3am on a humid sunday morning,the piercing sound of Suzzy’s scream wakes me up from a pleasant dream…I had barely slept for over an hour
Very unwilling to get up but still pushed by curiosity,I rolled out of bed and peeped through my window but didn’t see much as it was still dark but voices of the other neighbours’ yelling assured me all was not well.
Suzzy and I had graduated from the same University,and she made one of the best results in her class.
We both had mind blowing dreams of starting a clothing line of ours in joint partnership,I mean with her brains and my creative skill we would’ve rocketed across the success sky of fashion so high.
But things took a different turn when she met Ted. He was the typical guy every lady-in-waiting would want; Good looking,financially secure, and was from a prominent family. He had just returned from the States and wanted to open an extension of his company here in Nigeria.
Suzzy and Ted’s romance got off to a quick start,she was so into him and over-looked so many obvious flaws he had; he was ‘tempered-hot’ ,care-less and lacked family values, amongst others I talked to her about.
Less than a year into their steamy relationship, just after we had returned from NYSC camp, she ‘took-in’ for him.
I can still remember the phone call I received from her when she discovered, she was so afraid and confused but on the long run she confronted Ted whom was indifferent about the pregnancy, and her parents, whom insisted she marry the man responsible for the child.
A hurried traditional marriage was arranged to save the family’s name and Suzzy’s dignity.
Then the sweet love began to turn sour and then bitter. Ted’s evening outings increased and he started coming home late smelling of a mix of alcohol, nicotine and marijuana.
He started acting ‘funny’ towards his young pregnant wife like he wasn’t happy with the union and the sudden pregnancy. The threats turned into yelling, the yelling into slaps, blows and several rounds of beating, Suzzy was about 7months gone when this brutality started.
The reasons for this inhuman treatment were so insignificant that when she narrated them to me on one of my visits to her, I got so angry but she calmed me down saying “he’ll change when I give birth”.
That wasn’t the case… Suzzy eventually gave birth to a beautiful girl she named Ruby. Even on the baby’s naming ceremony, Ted the supposed father was so ‘high’ half way through the event and spoke rudely to all the guests present, including his parents not to talk less his wife.
Back to 3am on a humid Sunday morning. I quickly opened my apartment door, rushed down stairs and joined the other neighbours who were screaming Ted’s name, pleading and begging.
We kept banging the front door as he had locked both the back and front doors leading in and out of their home, kept the keys to himself and was mercilessly dealing with his wife.
Thirty minutes later,he opened the front door and there he stood sweating profusely, shaking and had the look in his eyes as one possessed by a demon, the young men within the vicinity rushed in and seized Ted before he did any more harm.
At once I ran into the sitting room which now looked like where World War 3 had happened, quickly grabbed my half alive friend and poor Ruby who had cried her heart out, was also carried by a fellow female neighbour. Suzzy was bleeding from her head,her upper two front teeth broken and half of her hair pulled out. Immediately an ambulance was called which took Suzzy to the hospital accompanied by me and a few other women.
Finally on Monday evening,she regained consciousness and put our worrying hearts to rest.
It took her a week to recover from the shock, then she narrated the incident to us present in her private ward….”Ted came back from one of his frivolous outings and asked for his dinner in his usual drunken manner, irritated by his state i ignored him, continued breast feeding Ruby and walked into my room to put my baby to bed..I was on my way to the kitchen to ‘warm’ his dinner which I had prepared over 6hours earlier when the first blow hit me”… As she continued to tell the rest of the tale, I and the other women inclusive of her mother and siblings stood in awe around her bed…
If Suzzy were your sister,friend (as in my case), relative, what would you do?