Ade was ministering in the choir when he saw a woman walk into the church, she looked like a wingless angel. She was average height, physically fit, and had a pretty face, with fake hair that flowed down her shoulders. In that moment, he knew in his heart that he had found the one, the rib from his ribs. For the first time in forever he found himself praying that the service would end soon, and immediately the service was over, he ran out after her and introduced himself.
Chichi was in her mid twenties, all her friends had gotten married, and she was getting desperate. Most men who dated her broke up after a while. Usually stating that she was too much for them to handle. She did not want to cross into her thirties as a single woman; so she took her mother’s advice, she suppressed her true nature and put on the cloak of submissiveness. That was her first Sunday at the Church, her mother suggested that she should attend a church, far away from home where nobody knew her.
Ade was good looking, and fit, for a church boy. She thought he was cute and immediately took a liking to him. But after hanging around him for a couple of dates, she realised how different he was from the other men she had dated. She found his Ideologies annoying, but who was she to tell him? She smirked every time he said something she disagreed with. He was against women being in political positions, or being spiritual leaders. He thought a woman should humble herself and submit herself completely to the will of her husband, and that it was taboo for her to raise her voice at him. He mostly quoted Paul and Timothy, to buttress this points. And she smiled and agreed with him – complimenting him for remembering the bible passages. He was the Traditional Christian, and her soon to be husband.
Ade was excited about finding the perfect woman for him. When he inquired if she was a virgin, she remorsefully and honestly told him that she wasn’t, but was now celibate since she became a born again Christian, four years ago. He was satisfied with her answer, it worried him that he would not be her first, but that secret would remain between the two of them, he thought.
She smiled at his content with her lies, thinking to herself, ‘I will not have to sleep with this idiot until we get married.’ The thought of sleeping with him made her stomach curl.
A few months later he introduced her to his parents. His mother could instantly tell that there was something off about her. But her son was smiting, and Chichi was on her best behaviour. She passed every test his parents set for her, from cooking to taking care of the house, she knelt down to greet them and was super polite. And in two months time, the two love birds got married at Chichi’s Family church.
On the Day after their wedding, Chichi pulled off her veil of submission. At first her transformation was subtle, but it soon became glaring. She had promised to quit her job after marriage, but when Ade brought it up, she convinced him that it would be a bad idea, and read Proverbs 31 to him to buttress her point. When he insisted, she ran to their pastor to complain, and the pastor took her side.
Chichi’s wife material game was on-point. She always made sure that her husband had food to eat in the morning, before he left for work and at night when he returned. On weekends she did the laundry and went shopping like a good wife. And she never once said anything insulting to her husband outside the home. She was even a regular at church.
But the spark that blinded Ade had slowly began to fade. He began to find faults in everything she did. Chichi in return would run to their pastor in tears, crying at how useless her husband was making her feel. Ade found it annoying that she would always run to their pastor, and it was not long before he confronted her about it. She smirked and said to him, “Since I am nothing but a woman, my opinion will not have any impact on you, so it is better if a man of God speaks to you, since you are so religious.” He could tell that she was mocking him, it was evident in her voice, but he brushed it aside, and trust Chichi, she called the pastor to tell him that Ade had asked her to stop reporting their affairs to him.
Ade became so frustrated that he pulled out of the choir, citing stress and rising responsibilities as his reasons. To his surprise, his wife’s ‘churchiness’ also reduced. She no longer reported him to their pastor, and joined him in playing truant. On the Sundays when he would skip church, she would make their home feel like a slice of heaven.
The wife game had gone on for 2 years, Ade was no longer a religious man, but his ideology of women had not changed. They were yet to have children, and Chichi had gotten a promotion at her office that saw her pay check rise. She was excited, and she announced her promotion to her husband who felt more jealous than happy for her. He soon began to pressure her for children. he wanted a child, but more than a child, he knew he could get her to quit her job, if she became a mother.
He became agitated and complained about everything. Now that they had pulled away from the church, she knew it was time to stop her petty games, so she met his complaints with sharp retorts. The first time she snapped at him socked him, and he warned her against it. But she continued.
When he complained that her soup was too salty, she would ask him to do himself a favour and leave the food. After a while she stopped cooking for him since he hated her cooking so much, and she ordered him to eat wherever he wanted. When he complained about her washing, she would ask him to wash his clothes himself and threaten to stop washing them if he did not stop complaining.
Chichi had taken full control of their house and Ade did not like it one bit. She told him where she was heading to when she left the house, but his instruction not to leave fell on deaf ears. She never changed her style of dressing from the first time he met her, and he was beginning to wonder if she knew she was now a married woman. Worse, he had begun to suspect that she was having an affair with her boss. His despair led him into a bar where he found comfort in strong liquors.
On the third year of their marriage, after Ade called his mother to intervene, they finally seemed to be getting along, they even made love for the first time in a long time, and there was peace. Then one day, Ade stayed out late, he spent the night at a bar, drinking. Things seemed to be going great with his wife, but he could not shake off the feeling that she had emasculated him. As he filled his belly with alcohol, he thought back to the first time he met her, and for the first time, he realised that she had played him like a fool. At 2am he sauntered into his compound and knocked on his door.
Chichi had been up all night, waiting for her husband, imagining all the evils that could have befallen him, and praying he was not in the clutches of a Jezebel. The moment she heard his car pull in, she rushed to the window. Anger boiled over in her heart as she watched him stagger out of his car and towards their house. She would not stand for this, if she tolerated this today; he would continue. So when he knocked, she refused to open the door, and went in, to sleep, leaving her drunk husband out on the pavement, in the cold of the night.
In the morning she opened the door to an enraged sobered up Ade. He scolded her for locking him outside “Did you not hear me knocking woman!” He shouted.
She raised her hands “Don’t you get me started! Ade.” The Bantering went on for a while, and developed into insults. He called her a heartless woman and she called him an idiot. He called her a witch and she called him a weakling. Then in order to piss her off to the point of no return, he called her a prostitute, and finally said what had been troubling him for a while, he accused her of sleeping with her boss to get her job and her promotion. She laughed at his face and retorted “See this Bastard calling me a prostitute! Better go and ask your mother who your real father is.”
Her retort hit home, and he responded with a slap. Chichi was shocked but not for long. Out of reflex she returned his slap, twice, calling him a coward in the process.
He could not believe that his wife had slapped him, a woman had the nerve to slap him. If he let this go she would feel like she had won, she would believe that she had power over him. He would not let this happen. His Ego had been bruised. He rushed at her, pushing her to the ground, he was about to kick her when she grabbed his leg , pulled it so that he fell on his back then pounced on him – raining her clenched fists on his face. Ade was dazed for a moment. He could not believe that a woman had pulled him to the ground, and was now punching him. He lifted his knee to hit her back so she fell forward then he hit her with his forehead, punched her to the side, got on top of her and began to strangle her.
Chichi’ eyes bulged as she struggled for breath. With the little energy she could muster, she stretched her hand, grabbed his Adam’s apple with her sharp nails, and pulled at it like she wanted to rip it out of his neck. Ade instantly let do of her neck to save his. Before he could recover, she punched him at the side of his rib as hard as she could, pushed him away from her and stood up looking around for a weapon. He grabbed her leg, this was not over.
She turned to face him, for the first time since their fight started, he looked at her and realised that his wife was gone. And she realised that the man she married had evolved. All he could see was an evil witch who needed to be vanquished before she killed him. All she could see was a monster who needed to be killed before he killed her. He pulled her leg so she fell forward almost hitting her head on the side table. Coming close to death for the second time that morning, her adrenaline spiked. She grabbed the side table just as Ade tried to mount her again, and with the full force of gravity she smashed it into the back of his head.
Time froze to stare. Blood flowed down his head, onto her heaving chest. She released the table. it fell to the ground. but no sound was heard, only the sound of their hearts, ticking away.
When Time had witnessed enough it continued moving. Chichi’s eyes shot open. “What have I done?” She panicked. She sat up, her husband’s head resting on her thighs. She touched him to make sure he was alive, happy that he was still breathing, and worried that he could stop breathing at any time, she grabbed a cushion, placed it under his head, and with a shaky voice, she got her phone and called the hospital and the police.
A week later Ade was in the hospital surrounded by his family, who by now had heard the story of the fight. The police could not arrest Chichi, she was badly bruised when they arrived, and all evidence pointed to self defense.
His mother held his hand as she cried, his little brother sat at the corner of the room reading a book, and his father leaned against a wall by the window. Chichi walked in holding a brown envelop. She greeted them and asked of how Ade was doing. His mother scowled at her, but she ignored her. The old woman had never liked her. She handed the envelop to Ade’s father. “When he wakes up, please have him sign it, and we will be out of each others lives for good.”
He stared at her, wanting to speak, but he looked at his wife and his son then nodded at her. Her face still had bruises, but the swelling was almost gone. She pursed her lips and walked out of the door. She had had a whole week to think about her life, and had realised how wrong she was for getting married out of desperation and trying to fool another. She did not mind being single anymore, in fact, even though she was nursing pain all over, the week she spent away from her sick husband were the best she had ever had. Plus she was pregnant with their first child, and she would not let Ade know until her baby was born and registered as hers, and hers alone.