Maryanne was furious. Her baby was crying, and the house adjacent to hers was booming their TV like they were in a concert. Her baby said that her mum had just slapped her and thrown her on the ground simply because she asked for the drumstick.
She took her leso and tied it around her waist and tightened her head wrap, she was ready for war.
With baby in hand, she stormed into the living room where Monica was seated comfortably with her feet on the table. She was watching one of Tyler Perry’s movies, again. Her two daughters were seated by her side still enjoying their dinner.
” Monica, we need to talk.” She said curtly. The woman maintained her position and attention to the screen as if no one had talked to her.
Furiously, Maryanne walked to the TV and disconnected it from the main socket. She could see Monica’s daughters stare at each other as if a fire had broken out.
Monica maintained her position but her eyes moved towards Maryanne. She smiled. ” I’m sure whatever you have to say can wait till we finish the movie, it’s very impolite to interrupt family time.”
” What’s the big idea beating up my son simply because he asked for a drumstick?”
“Well, it’s a good thing you brought him along as I’m sure he only told you one side of the story. Chichi,” Monica called facing her daughter, “can you tell your mother what happened.”
“Dan wanted another piece of chicken mum. He had already eaten two breasts and a gizzard. But the drumstick he wanted was in plate. He grabbed it and called me a cow. When I confronted him, he threw the bowl with hot soup on my face. That’s when mama came in.”
” Enough child,” Monica said patting her daughter’s head.”You’ve been through enough for one night. Now,” she said facing Maryanne,” I hope you understand why I did what i had to. Maybe next time you can buy enough meat for all of us and not depend on my kindness to feed your child.”
“Monica, I know you have always hated me, but surely that is no reason to treat my son like an animal.”
“Well, if he didn’t behave like one, it would be so much easier to-”
“What is your problem!” Shouted Maryanne.”All I want is a happy family, to live happily and in peace-”
“Well I wanted the same thing and you took that away from me,”Monica said calmly. “I married him. He was mine. He swore it would just be us till death, till death! Then he met you. You, who knew from the get go he was married. You, who was blinded by his charm, his money and his promises of a good life. You wanted a man who was already made and in your perfect little life, you thought I would exit my life ad leave you two to be. Where were you when we slept hungry? Where were you when we built this dream, when sacrifices were made. And now, simply because a law was passed where he can marry as many women as he wants, society and the like of you expect us, us who worked towards a happy home, nod our heads and say yes, he can bring in another woman. Am I dead? Is there a void to fill here?”
“I hate you. I hate what you stand for. Your son reminds me each day of the betrayal pushed my way. A betrayal I am supposed to be okay with. A betrayal I am not to forgive because it is legal. I am supposed to live with you, love you and teach you what my husband loves, as if I am dying…And you, you view yourself the victim in this situation? Well, my dear sister, soon enough he will tire of you like he did me, and then, only then, will you know how it feels to be me.”
Maryanne stood glued to the ground. Her mouth felt dry. She just stared at Monica, her face showed it all. Her mouth spewed hate but her eyes showed pain. She looked tired, lonely and bitter. She remembered the first time she met her. She was full of life, bubbly, confident and genuinely happy. In her own quest of happiness, she changed this woman’s life. At that moment, she realized Monica had a right to make her miserable as she was mourning her life as she knew it.
She held her son’s hand, squeezed it tight. This transition was not going to be easy.
“Sorry for interrupting your show,” Maryanne said picking her son. “Have a good night.”
Maryanne walked towards her room holding her son tight, fighting the tears that wanted to escape her. Tomorrow will be better, she thought. Tomorrow must be better.