NO MORE SHADES by Yemisi Wada
When the slap landed on her face, even before Abiola could process the pain or feel that her jaw was shaking, the first thing she did as usual was to look around as usual to see who saw what happened. To see him beat her up again. The only person she saw was Tosin her and his little princess. ‘Oh, she thought, that’s okay, its only our daughter. Little did she know that years and years after she had died, that was the same thought floating through Tosin’s mind as she was being slapped and pushed out of a moving car by the man she let beat her too, before she hit her head on the curb, die and never to get to think another thought again.
Chidinna looked at his father with disgust, as he introduces him to yet another business partner. His father meanwhile looks at him proudly. His son, the one who has just graduated cum laud from Harvard University. His son that who has never been in School in Nigeria except for the early nursery years. He and his brothers. He did this to separate them from their mother’s influence. He did not like the way they, especially Chidinna, went to her defense anytime he disciplined her with a few slaps. He needed them to be men and to see that women need to be disciplined and set right like children. So here he glares at this brute of a man, wishing he could strangle him. Just the night before he had heard his mother scream and the sounds of breaking glass in their bedroom. It took his two brothers and the maid to stop him from going there. That morning she came out, checking to see who heard, who knew she was being beaten up. What a brute of a man. So tonight Chidinna cannot understand whats happened. He’s weeping because Ada his wife is curled into a ball after receiving the beating of a lifetime from him. All because she disgraced him at dinner. She didn’t know the right meals to prepare for his Harvard friends. She was not enlightened like him. She was just very drop deadly beautiful. He also did not like the way she tantalized the men at the dinner like a common whore. They tore off her clothes and stripped her naked with their eyes he could see. She was taunting them, he could see. Why? Why would she do that? To him, why? Little did they know then that beating has ruptured her womb and she would never be able to bear a child. Little then did Ada know that despite several apologies and gifts and beatings later, she would be thrown out as barren and Chidinna would father 4 children from 2 more unfortunate women who see the outside product only, the fine, rich Harvard graduate not the damaged, dangerous creature he really is.
Sir Shina Peters is on the stage; he’s showering praises on Agbesegbe, the Cocoa magnate who’s showering him with Naira. The money is flowing. The big boys are gathering, the big girls are throwing down. The spoilt under achieving newly married son of renowned Lawyer and politician is in the crowd. Due to his drug habit he does not have 2 bundles of naira to rub together but he too wants to be noticed. He wants to belong. He looks on to the sweet innocent who is dying to go home to nurse their newborn baby. ‘Do you have any cash he asks?’ ‘For Shina? Hell no. All I have is what I got from my mum this afternoon and its for the baby’s pampers and SMA’. She looks to see even before the pain sinks into her brain, who is looking as he twists her wrist to wrench her wallet from her. Oyinade cannot help it, tears pour out of her eyes as the pain sinks in. She still checks at whose looking. As she does, she see’s Adewunmi has left the party after his spraying spree and has left her behind. How does she leave this party and get back to their house all the way on the Island at this hour? She sees the catering van packing up. She recognizes their logo, they are based on the Island. She can trust these ones who don’t know her and Adewunmi, she begs for a lift. When news surfaced the next day, a trailer had flattened a van belonging to a Catering outfit killing all on board, Oyinade’s parents do not even give the news a glance. How were they to know their treasure, whom they had trusted into the hands of the renowned lawyer was amongst those flattened in the disaster. Later on when all checks are done, the renowned lawyer and his wife sort their son out. Oyinade’s parents cannot even get access to their grandchild. Oyinade was their only child.
Whilst you still have life, whilst you are still whole, before you look at who is watching or who knows, LEAVE. It is more honourable to leave than to stay. You are more valuable to your children both male and female if you leave than to stay. On this 21st day of January as we walk with women for their rights, say NO MORE! Enough is Enough. No more concealers, No more excuses, No more shades #nomoreshades