I knew who my husband would be hours after I came out of the womb.
But as usual my parents’ thoughts were different.
Two days later they placed me in the hands of the husband they had chosen.
I liked him. I played joyfully while he held me.
He continued to visit me until I was old enough to be married. I was twelve. I moved in with him.
Today I woke up feeling fed up with this marriage.
I pulled the blanket over my head and turned to face the wall and tried to sleep.
“No.” I thought, “I cannot take it anymore”
I got out of bed and entered the bathroom.
I opened the shower.
And there he was. He wanted us to take a shower but, from the bottom of my heart, I was not in the mood.
If I made the mistake of showering then it meant I’d live with him one more day..
I walked out of the bathroom and sat on the bed.
I looked at the clothes I was supposed to wash that day and started crying.
I was tired of washing the clothes,
because he would not wear a dirty shirt,
I was tired of cleaning the house, and cleaning the utensils..
Every time I entered the house, no matter how tired I was, he had to eat from a clean plate.
To add insult to injury, all the girls wanted him because he was clean.
I stopped loving him one and a half months ago.
Now I can’t stand him.
I stood up from the bed and went to the kitchen.
He was at the sink.
I opened the tap..
“This month has been very hard for me.” I started explaining, looking at him sorrowfully, it was not easy. “It has been cold but you have not made any effort to keep me warm.”
“Why” he asked.
My husband has one problem. He never has any idea of what is happening.
“Is that why you did not take a bath this morning with me?”
he asked almost crying.
“I am the only one who does everything in this house”, I complained, “even the many children we have don’t help me at all.
I don’t need you people anymore. I’ll stop paying my bills and let you go.
I want you all, off my budget. You have become an unnecessary expense”
Tears were rolling down my cheeks. How can a mother hate her children so much and throw them out of the house?
“I want a divorce” I said wiping the tears off my face.
“Where do you want me to go?” My husband asked, his voice almost a whisper. I wanted to change my mind..
I shrugged, “I don’t know,” I answered, my hands pointing towards the door, “there are so many women out there.”
My husband did not move, he just stood there, looking confused, some of our children had already gathered in the kitchen and were crying. I did not care. I wanted them out right now. Maybe they could come back later but this time of the year…. No!
“Let us see who will win” I walked to my closet, picked up my bag and went to the offices to file a divorce.
It was very cold outside. This made me even more determined to send my husband and kids away.
I did not want to touch water and yesterday was the last day.
I entered the water offices, my vision blurred by tears. I wiped the them with the back of my hand and continued to fill the forms. I could feel all the eyes of the staff on me. I looked back, as I handed over the forms to the person at the counter, and smiled at them. The person gave me a copy and I immediately ran home because I was afraid my husband, Maji Baridi (cold water) might leave before I said goodbye.
I pushed the door open and ran into the bathroom. Maji was not there.
I rushed to the kitchen..
“Aaaaaaaaaah” I cried, “let me give you one last kiss..”
I had made the mistake of leaving the tap open when I went out. Maji was gone.
I ignored the cries of the children and rushed outside to the drainage.
I was relieved to see Maji walking away very slowly, his head hanging low.
“Bye bye Maji, I hope you understand.
You may send someone to come and collect your children, you will find them outside.”
I picked up my children,
my firstborn, Soap,
my second born, Scouring pad,
my third born, Jik,
the rest, Scrubbing brush,
my second from last born, Toothbrush, cried at the top of his voice and begged to remain, but I explained to him,
“Baby you cannot stay. You cannot live here without your father….you see……even your sister mouth wash and brother towel are going”, into the paper-bag they went.
I kissed them and placed them 17 metres away from the house.
I took my last-born the face-towel and walked back with her into the house.
I went to bed and slept for two days..
I was the happiest woman now that Maji and the kids were gone.
On the third day I heard a knock on my door.
I peeped through the keyhole to see who it is before I opened, because I could not even begin to picture Maji Baridi entering the house.
You remember the husband I told you I knew would be mine hours after I came out of the womb?
He was standing there outside my door.
I quickly opened the door and hugged Mr. Jasho(sweat).
I never knew I loved Jasho like I loved him now, I thought.
I smiled, behind him was his only son, Roll on.
I knew my life was going to be perfect.