The Roué

a writing by Adeosun Olamide Ayo

Rahamatu, is that you? What you want? Have you not hurt enough? Look my face, is there space still to put scar? My eye barely sees’ see blood you put in it.

No mama, stand, don’t kneel, I am not coming, Not to your son, yes he did it, Rahamatu did, his fist gave this swollen face… did he say I bit him? No, it was when he wanted to remove my teeth. Yes, that was before, mama, how many more times will you come and kneel and beg me to return, no, not to your son, not to that grave, that hell. What did you want Rahamatu, what else did you desire that I didn’t give? when you say I mustn’t see Aisha again, did I see her? I cleaned my rags and laundered your robes, cleaned your bicycle, cooked you food, swept your ground, fed her child, then your baby.

Haba Rahamatu, you didn’t mean to hurt me? When you threw me in that dark, beneath that skies weeping and that raging winds, after battering my face with punches, all because I called you liar, I didn’t call you irresponsible, I didn’t even when you search my purse for coins to buy your liquor. All because I call you liar, Rahamatu, your mouth reeked liquor, and your lip was the paint of her, of another, I merely ask where you being and then you replied with slaps.

Your tears don’t move, don’t move me Rahamatu, no don’t hold my hands, and don’t sing even, my ears can no longer hear the beauty in your voice, and my lips are insensitive to yours, none would work. Then die of hunger, don’t they satisfy you again? Go, my brother shall come, they must not meet you here, and mama, stand.

Rahamatu, you have come again with your flower and verse, yes you say but you never do. Oh that is the verse, the one you rendered when we first met, it no longer swells my heart. Rahamatu, no don’t hurt yourself, don’t kill yourself, ok I will have the flower, I am not smiling, stop tickling me, will you? Look I must speak to mama; it is she that shall say.
You shall cook as you cooked in our first days, oh you shall bathe me, you shall sing me a verse every night and take me over the hills to the seas, oh you shall rub my back and carry me through the valley; you say. But Rahamatu that is how you always say, you said that the last time to. Don’t swear with Allah, my love shall not die, my Rahamatu shall not perish.

Mama, let me go, I am not insane, Rahamatu is my husband, my cross and I love him still, he was merely angry mama, the wounds are healed, just the scars, he has promise never to hit me, to stop seeing her and stop taking liquor. Mama I am ashamed of living beneath your roof, here is your husband house and I must go mine. Mama, I know you love me, don’t call him beast, he may be bad sometimes but he is good most times, mama I shall go and that is it, I won’t come back then, I am certain I won’t.

Oh sweet Rahamatu, you made my favorite, oh keep up with my feet, I enjoy it, no don’t thank me, I am yours Rahamatu, the day our nuptial was tied. No, leave it Rahamatu, let me do it. I have said it before Rahamatu, the house chores is mine to do, yours is in the woods, to bring meat home.

What shall that give us? Soon we shall get hungry and remember we have your child and our baby to feed. Of my presence you consider, I know but food sustains. My husband, the day is there to have me, you shall not sing, of what esteem shall seek? You must do men work, hard work. How can you say I am pushing you away? I will spend eternity by your side, no I don’t mean you shall die; I mean my whole life is yours. Still bother my thought that you shall go in street singing, making living therein when wider ways be, be open. It is profit darling Rahamatu, profit, my hands shall cook thy food, wash thy clothes, and tend you when you ache.

Won’t you touch me Rahamatu? It was last moon you last did. You keep saying you are tired. Tell me Rahamatu, do I not interest you? Please tell, don’t forget for you I will do all. Silence you ask, how can I give? Dear Rahamatu’ this expression of yours burdens my heart. My lord, please do not remove my hand from you.

Rahamatu, are you leaving? The meat you brought, you have not a bite yet you seek another. Do not starve me of your presence. And I have… well in peace go.

Where do you put it? Rahamatu, are you seeing her? Don’t scream, I only woke you up to… darling, where are you going? Come back!

Its two moons gone since he last spoke to me, what should I do Mama? It is my burden, so you say I must carry it. Mama in all your experience, what have you to give? I do, I give all, I wrap myself on him and try to look gorgeous and appealing, but it seems, he is just too blind to notice. Oh mama your cough returns, I shall of the herb make potion, I know it is late mama, but swiftly I shall.

Oh, you would talk to me today; I thought you lost your voice. K! I come from mamas, she is sick; my duty is to her as it is to you. Is that not liquor? Rahamatu, you are back to it, don’t dare hit me. Along this same path of destruction you dump months ago has find you, Allah knows I cannot live with it.
Sleep Rahamatu, sleep, the sun slumbers still, it is yet to rise, sleep Rahamatu in my arms, soon you shall taste the sweetness of your sweat. Rahamatu won’t you get out of bed? It is evening already. Rahamatu, where are you coming from? Rahamatu, you slapped me, what are you saying Rahamatu, you’d throw me out?

Rahamatu, is that you? What you want? Have you not hurt enough? Look my face, is there space still to put scar? My eye barely sees’ see blood you put in it.

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