By: Rosemary Nwankasiobi Nwadike
“I can’t do that, it will destroy my marriage,” I heard Auntie saying. I knew she was talking to yellow pawpaw Auntie Caro. She is the only one that knows the inner things Auntie do in her house.
“You know how Simon is, he will beat me up and throw me out of the house. And, what will people say? I’ll be humiliated, and what’s worse? I’ll be arrested.”
I wanted to go back to the kitchen, but my legs refused to move, I wanted to hear everything, I knew Auntie would be angry if she finds out that I was listening to her talk with Auntie Caro, but I don’t want to go. I jumped when Auntie started to laugh.
“That can’t happen,” she told Auntie Caro. “Except I am no longer agu nwanyi. I can do anything to make sure my home does not fall apart.”
Auntie saw me and frowned her face before telling Auntie Caro that she will call her back. She dropped the phone and told me to enter the sitting room and walk towards her. I promised myself not to shake so she won’t see my fear, but Auntie was smiling and I began to shake as I have always.
“Dinma, how many times have I warned you not to eavesdrop on people, ugboro ole?”
“Sorry Auntie, I am passing to…”
Auntie gave me a loud slap that made me jump back.
“Haven’t I told you not to look into my face when I am talking to you? Are you a witch?”
Auntie did not allow me to answer. She dragged me closer and gave me another loud slap which made me find myself on the floor, it sounded like resounding bells in my ears. She adjusted herself on the sofa, and adjusted the rings on her fingers too.
“Have you taken the painkillers I bought you?” She reduced her voice and asked me. I nodded, still holding my face and sobbing.
“Good,” she smiled, showing deep dimples and crossing her legs.
“Uncle will be back this evening.” I nodded, and she ask me to get out of her face.
That night, I just lay like a small wood and Uncle, like big elephant was on top of me, making all gruesome noises. In the other room, I could hear Auntie listening to music. She is a beast. I am not breathing and I don’t feel anything. When Uncle finished, Auntie told me to take the drugs tomorrow morning (a drug she frequently gives me after such acts).
I remembered my first pregnancy for Uncle, I was just eleven then. Auntie kept shouting and asking Oga Chemist, “how is that possible? She is just eleven.” Oga Chemist told her that it happens like that sometimes. He calls it “one of the rare cases.” He later called Auntie to one corner, and told her that he has drugs for flushing and terminating pregnancy. That day, I cry rolling on the bed, my whole body was in pain and I asked God that if it be possible to kill me.
It is two years now, and I am still Oga Chemist regular customer, he helps flush my pregnancy and I use my body for payment. Sometimes, Auntie also go with him inside his small room and stay for longer hours. When she eventually comes out, they will both be sweating like I can’t express. I think all the babies in my womb must have finished. I used to think of my future, when I will get married. I am no longer sure of that future, because I know that my husband’s people will call me witch. They will probably say that I ate all my supposed babies. They will not know that Auntie is the witch, she ate my babies on different plates; plastic, ceramic, Stainless and Steel. She tore their prematurely flesh from their tiny bones. She did same with hers, that’s why she has no child.
Auntie refused to take me to school and do not want me to go see Papa or cry on Mama’s grave. She beats me and injures me anytime I mention that idea. So, I stopped asking.
Chidi always came around when Auntie is gone. There is this day Chidi came around, tickled my waist as I bent washing plates. I turn around and saw him smiling with his wide mouth.
“Is your Auntie at home?” he asked me, looking around the compound. I swayed my head and he smile more. He took me inside his room and tied me up; he promised me that I will enjoy it. That is what he always say, but I don’t feel anything. I am more like a wood. He finished and squeezed my breasts as if it was leather or as if he was trying to make lemonade. The next thing, he was sleeping. I looked at him and I wanted to vomit. I gathered my clothes and ran outside.
It was this faithful Thursday, myself and Auntie were back from Oga Chemist. I was lying on the bed and holding my stomach, rolling, plenty blood on the bed and the pain was much. Auntie entered the room and looked at me, I could see the fears in her eyes. “Are you still bleeding,” she asked me. I nodded and she bit her finger and looked around the room. She rushed towards me and tried to raise me from the bed.
“We are going back to Oga Chemist’s shop.”
Auntie tried raising me up, but I cannot stand, I was seeing double of her, and I had no strength. So, I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes.