The question that keeps running through my mind is this – which is better, the one that is married and is unhappy in the marriage or the one who is longing for marriage and hasn’t found hubby? That, people is the million dollar question. Internally, at that moment, I thanked my stars. I could have been Mrs. Onisokame today, beaten, bruised and battered. All of this has made me rethink and redefine this finding hubby quest of mine. Why should I allow myself to be defined by my marital status, or Mrs. Who I am?
Toke tried to call Ossy’s phone with Gloria’s line but he kept cutting the call off. She tried with her own phone but got the same treatment. By the time we tried with mine, his phones were switched off. We sat there, as we waited for Dr. Phillips to come out of the emergency ward.
A little later, restless, Toke decided to ping Ossy impersonating Gloria. The BBM read: “Ossy, you have killed our baby, I’m in the hospital, and the doctor says I’ve had a miscarriage. And you aren’t taking my calls. What did I do to deserve this? Marrying you?”
The bbm didn’t get delivered to him immediately, as his phones were off. After what seemed like an eternity, the motherly figure of Dr. Philips came into the doorway and beckoned on us to come in to see Glo.
When I saw my friend, I burst into tears. She had a cut above her eye that had been patched up, the lacerations I had seen the day before had become fresh again, and her black eyes had become even blacker. All this, after the doctor had worked on her. I wondered what Toke had seen when she picked Glo up initially. We all stayed silent for a while, grieving in our own different ways. The bubbly, lively and mischievous Gloria I knew was gone; on the bed lay someone else, a shadow of her old self. Just a few months ago, we were phone-selecting, Mr. X-ing and all the likes. It seemed we had lost ourselves in the quest for hubby.
Toke broke the silence, saying what the circumstances would not permit me to say and which Glo’s nature would not bring her to say. “That marriage is over. I read some blogs on how a Nigerian guy stabbed his wife to death recently. We will not wait until you are dead and become bloggers’ fodder before this madness ends.”
Gloria’s BB beeped in Toke’s hand, and it seemed a welcome distraction from the tension-soaked hospital room. That was until she read the message. “It’s the idiot,” she hissed.
“What did he say?” I queried.
Rather than answer, Toke handed the bb over to me.
“The idiot! The frigging idiot!” I exclaimed, raw anger seething through every pore in my body. Gloria tried to sit up, anxious to see what was on the bb. She winced in pain as she tried, so she lay back down. I wasn’t inclined to show her exactly what he had said so I paraphrased for her. “He said the baby can go to hell, and that you had better get back home to do your duties as a wife. He’s threatening to haunt you if you ever try to leave him.”
Gloria spoke quietly, “He’s been threatening me every time he beats me. I would have left him earlier if I was not so afraid. Ossy doesn’t handle rejection well at all. He forced me to come to your wedding, Oyin. You couldn’t see me that day, but I had been beaten. If you were close enough, you would have seen the marks.” Her body began to shake as she broke out into quiet sobs.
“Gloria, as I said,” Toke continued, slamming her hand on the hospital bed railing, “the marriage is over. While it’s painful, thankfully, there are no kids involved just yet. And as regards his threats, we will teach that foolish wife-basher a lesson he will never forget.”
Dr. Phillips came back in just as Toke was rounding off her quite imaginative plans on handling Ossy. We knew our time with Gloria was over. I screengrabbed the chat from Ossy and emailed it to myself. Those kinds of things should be documented. You never know, cos people will never believe an Ossy could say something like that about his own child. Or beat his wife like that. I asked Toke if she had taken pictures of Gloria the night before. My smart Toke had. She forwarded all of them to my email.
Gloria was able to leave Dr. Phillips’ clinic by Sunday afternoon and we brought her over to mine. I had missed my girls. Even though it was something like this that brought us together, that night was one of the best nights I had had in a long time. It brought back memories of a time that wasn’t too far away in the past, when we were just girls having fun.