Thursday, August 24, 2017

(Excerpt from the novella Hard Times) Originally published by Human Change Communications Company by John Chizoba Vincent.

Immediately she walked into the house, he buried a slapped on her face and she lost her footing. Before he could blink, she jumped to her feet, grabbed his trousers and almost knocked him over. “Robert, what's the meaning of that?” she protested.
“Who's that man?” He yelled at her.
“Which man?” she shot back.
“Don’t take me for a fool, Rachael. I saw you hug a man down there. Who is he?”
She chuckled, let go of his trousers and shifted her weight to one leg. “You are not ashamed of yourself!” She hissed and then began to walk to the bed room. 
Robert pulled her back. “Don't walk out on me! I am the head of this house. You need to explain to me what happened down there! I saw you hugged a man!”
Sighed, “I have a sore throat. I cannot talk for long, Robert!” She flashed a menacing smile at him and continued, “But if you push me to the wall, I will answer you roughly. It will be wrong if your miserable kids see me as a bad wife. Excuse me! I must rest!"  
She tried to walk away. Robert pushed her and she landed awkwardly on the chair. "I need you to talk to me, woman! I am your husband!" he barked. "You are not going anywhere if you don't answer my question."
Wrapped in anger, she rose to her feet and adjusted her dress. Pointing at him, she said, "Listen, Robert, if there is anyone to be afraid of in this world, it is not you. You call yourself the head of this house? Look at your children. They are all dying of starvation. Tell me, when last did you put money on the table?  When last did you pay your utility bills? Are you not ashamed of yourself? I expect you to be worried about your life. The man you saw downstairs is the kind of people we call a real man. He is the one feeding us!” she pushed him aside and walked into the room.
“Rachael, are you cheating on me?" He turned violently and followed her into the room. Red with rage, he pounced on her and they fell on the floor. He landed several blows as she remained pinned to the ground. Satisfied with the damage he had done as Rachael bled from the nose, he pulled away. Robert grabbed his shirt on the bed, he slammed it on his broad shoulder and walked out of the house.
After she had cried her hearts out, Rachael paused. Sobbing gently, she rose to her feet. She took her handkerchief and wiped her bruised face. She changed her dressed and left the house. Perhaps to find solace on the warm hands of her new boy friend. 
Rachael stayed away from the house for nearly six days. For the days that she was away, we barely had a good meal. Then one evening, she returned home. She looked refreshed and charming. Her coming was the messiah who had come to save the world. I thought my father was going to start another quarrel. I was anxious to see how the event would play out. But he tamed his demons. I guess he must have missed her too or he had been overwhelmed by his shortcoming.
One day, from the balcony, I saw Osinachi beating his wife and the woman cried for help. People gathered to separate the man and his wife, my father was among them. The disturbance brought my mother to my side. When she noticed Robert in the crowd, she hissed and said, “Birds of a feather!” She turned and walked away.

Meet John Chizoba Vincent.--He's a prolific poet, writer, and cinematography.