UNSAID | A Short Story | Chapter 1 | Stories by Ima Udott
PC: Chupik Counseling

Intro: A home devoid of peace and harmony will certainly have the opposite - restlessness and disunity. But then, who is the cause? Find out in this short story.

  UNSAID - Chapter 1

The reflection from the mirror didn't help Helen a bit as she stood, gazing at a face carefully patched with bandages.

She turned and looked at Ray, her husband who had finally fallen asleep, after what he did to her.

Nothing was going to stop her from doing this. It didn't matter if he was her husband or not, but domestic violence was something she would never tolerate.

She carried her bag and left the house. A few minutes later, she returned with the escort of some policemen.

Ray came out of the room, looking surprised when he saw the policemen with his wife. For some minutes, he thought she was in trouble. It was when they walked up to him that he began to wonder hard.

“Mr. Ray, you're under arrest...” one of the policemen said, showing him his card at the same time, bringing out a handcuff.

“For what?” Ray asked, confused.

“Domestic violence,” replied the policeman.

Ray wasn't allowed to say another word, he was handcuffed, bundled, and thrown into the police van like a criminal.

The next day, his brother had to pay a huge amount of money to get him released from police custody.

Ray looked tattered with a swollen face. He was limping because he had secured some deep bruises on his legs, all thanks to the highly disciplined policemen.

He was bailed, after he was made to sign an undertaking letter, never to beat his wife anymore.

On their way home, his brother, Ben suggested he should learn to control his anger. He knew that Ray was very hot-tempered and he wasn't surprised to hear that he had beaten up his wife.

When he got home, he met his wife on the couch, watching television. She shivered when he walked toward her.

Ray looked at her for a long while, clenching his fists. If looks could kill, then Helen would've been long buried and forgotten. He finally walked past her into the room, without saying a word.

The next day, the neighbors were restless as a result of the unbearable noises of foot stamps and constant splashing of plates and glasses on the floor, coming from one of the flats upstairs. It wasn't a surprise that it was coming from Ray's.

What surprised the neighbors was Ray's effrontery to still fight his wife, after the agreement he signed at the police station.

“Help me o! He wants to kill me! Ray, you will kill me today...” the neighbors could hear Helen screaming.

“Why are women always the ones suffering in the hands of men?” one of the female tenants asked.

“This is why I refused to get married. I can never be under any man. Once you agree to marry them, you become a baby making machine and a punching bag for them,” another female tenant in her early forties said.

My husband can't try this with me. In the women association I belong, we are taught that women are equal with the men. We are strongly against women inequality and abuse of the girl's child. We teach our young girls how to cope without the help of any man. My husband knows what I can do, so he can't try this nonsense with me,” another woman said.

Soon, the police arrived once again. One of the neighbors had called them. They didn't bother knocking on Ray's door, they pushed it open and were agape at the sight of broken plates, scattered all over the house.

Ray was caught red-handed, holding a kitchen knife and going after Helen who ran straight into the hands of the policemen. 

She was rescued immediately and Ray once again was handcuffed and thrown into the police van. He was going to sleep again in the police cell, this time around, for a week.

After one week of torture, Ray was finally allowed to be bailed by his brother who had spent a lot of money for his release.

Before he left, he was forced to add to the agreement he had initially signed. This time, he was to be blamed and sentenced, should anything happen to his wife afterward.

On their way home, his brother suggested a divorce, but he opposed it vehemently. Ben couldn't understand why Ray refused to dissolve his marriage, even when it was obvious that it wasn't working out.

“What if she doesn't survive your next outrage of anger? Why are you making her go through such pain if you don't want to divorce her?” Ben asked.

“Because...I want my caring and loving wife back...I believe she will change...” Ray said.

“Come on, bro! You know that you are the one who needs to change for your marriage to work. You should work on your temper else, if you get arrested for the third time, you might not get out,”

Ray nodded, looking at the road. His mind wandered far away from his brother's conversation. Everything was still like a nightmare to him. He hadn't expected it to get this bad.

When he arrived at his house, he met his wife and her mother on the couch, conversing. He barely entered the house when his mother-in-law stood up and faced him.

“My daughter has told me all that you did to her. Look at her face, filled with bruises. If this was how you saw her before now, would you have married her?

Come on Ray, answer me! She even told me of how you tried to rape her. Ha! Don't you know that even as a married couple, as far as your wife doesn't agree to make out with you, if you do it forcefully, that is rape?

Do you know that I can sue you for that? I'm still in shock because this wasn't how you were when we first met you. If we had known that you're a woman beater, we would never have given out our daughter to you.

I will be staying in this house till when I'm convinced to leave. Let me catch you raise a finger on my daughter, I will show you that red pepper and Cameroon pepper are not mates,” the mother-in-law concluded.

Ray looked from mother to daughter. Without saying a word, he slowly walked into the room to freshen up because he was stinking.

It looked like peace was finally restored in Ray's family as soon as his mother-in-law stepped into the situation.

Neighbors were at peace because there was no more screaming and splashing of plates and glasses on the floor.

But then, just when everybody thought the fight was finally over, another scream broke out from the same flat on one Sunday morning, not long after Ray's mother-in-law left for church.

While others were preparing to go to church and some in church already, Ray and his wife were on a war front at home.

“I wish he could be sentenced to death at once, he is too wild,” one of the neighbors said on her way out of her flat to church.

“This time around, that wife of his may not survive it. I've never seen a man so heartless. I wish his mother-in-law never left. That lady needs protection. She needs to be protected from that husband of hers,” another said.

Helen's mother who had forgotten her jotter hastened back to the house. She opened the door to behold a scene that sent shivers down her spine.

Her hands clasped her mouth as she looked from the room, filled with broken glasses all over the floor to a knife dripping blood, then to the lifeless body on the floor, and finally to the one holding the knife.

Anticipate chapter 2

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