Dear diary

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dear diary,
It’s nice to meet you. I’m Hauwa, a scared 14 year old mother with a lot to say but noone to talk to. I chose your beautiful sheets because I know you won’t mock, judge or torture me. Everyone finds a way to blame me, I’m the victim yet I’m the offender, the filthy reject. I live a nightmare, I cry within as much as I breathe. Mum said I should never complain, she said I would bring shame to the family and I never want to wrong her, so I just let it all well up my head, the pain, the anger, the curses.
I’m a child with a child of my own, the only reason I might be different is that my childhood innocence is gone. It was ripped the first night alhaji entered my hut, he took everything from me and left me with a foetus and a stench I might live with forever. My hut is my prison, my ‘leaking’ body is the reason I’ve become an empty being. ‘Being’ is most appropriate, they’ve snatched humanity from me. I’m an outcast in the midst of people, they’re supposed to be my family, I’ll be shocked if they know I still exist. I haven’t seen my mum since the night I conceived this burden, I miss her and her forced smile. VVF is what the pharmacist said it is, I don’t know what it actually means, but I know it has made me helpless. I’m trapped in my own body, tortured by the stench of urine I have no control over.
I remember the first night, the night I started loathing myself. Nobody told me what I was going in for. I was beautifully dressed, I felt like a princess, it was everything I had imagined, except I hadn’t seen my prince charming yet. I remember sitting patiently on the bed, waiting with high hopes, the room was dimly lit, I heard him shut the door, a shy smile spread thinly across my face. He didn’t say a word, he just started taking my clothes off and touching me. His hands were rough and irritating. He stopped for a while, I guess that was to take his clothes off. Without notice, he placed his saggy body on top of me. I remember mummy telling me that morning, “no matter what, don’t stop him or say a word”. I bore the heart-wrenching pain in silence, he was breathing like a pig and making noises like one. I crumble within each time I remember how he made a mess of the night that was supposed to be special. I remember how I screamed when I woke up the next morning to see a man older than my father laying next to me. My woes had just begun.
I reek, I disgust myself, I’m ashamed of this nausea-inducing covering that shelters my frail bones, I suffer more rejection than a leper. They couldn’t even come close if they wanted to, the flies and pungent smell chase them all away. Alhaji doesn’t come to my hut anymore, he can’t even look at me, so what am I useful for? I hardly see my baby these days, they say my ‘state’ is dangerous for his health. Just great! It means this predicament isn’t even worth it, I hope if I get to have another, it’ll free me from life on its way into the world. The elderly wives all treat me like a dirty object, they only come to take away the baby each time I manage to sneak him into my hut. They don’t hide their disgust as they cover their noses, some even cover my baby’s and look at me with cold, accusing eyes.
I remember when the urine plague began, I remember how I wept the first day I woke up to a soaked mattress, the horrid smell assured me it wasn’t a dream. My present plight had its stages, first the reaction and stares, then the avoidance, then the segregation, my hut is a ‘safe distance’ away from the rest. Memories are all the friends I’ve got, I had to stop attending classes with the other young wives because I made them uncomfortable. Dad kept away completely, mum’s consoling hugs stopped, I don’t blame her, I would avoid my body if I could. I miss my bestfriend Fatima, her free-sprited nature would have been just perfect at a time like this. She would have found a way to make me laugh in the midst of all this. She was the happiest person I knew, always finding a joke in every mishap. Everyone said we were the prettiest girls in the village, we used that to get away with a lot. I remember when we were 8, we would sit under the moonlight and talk about the rich handsome men who would come and take us away when we were through with school. Customs cut her dreams short, they cut her life short too, took her beautiful smile away forever. She bled to death during childbirth, most times I wish the same thing had happened to me.
I’ve stopped asking myself questions, all that does is threaten my sanity. Sometimes I blame my parents, sometimes I blame the community, sometimes I blame myself, why do I continue to stay alive? Whose benefit? I wonder who started this madness. I’m barely a teenager, how could they make me marry this beastly looking man that’s thrice my age? How did he feel each time he had his way with me? Why was he laughing like a lunatic while I was whimpering and in pain the first time? Why does this cruelty have to continue? I’m not the first young bride to have this ‘burden’, why hasn’t someone made it stop? Perhaps the customs have shadowed their thinking. It’s a village filled with people who have taken leave of their senses all in the name of obedience. Ignorance is actually the pillar of this much-revered tradition, it is the root of all our norms. I look forward to freedom, whatever form it may come in. The angel of death is the knight in shining armour I await, hopefully he’ll pity my condition and come earlier.
The familiar smell is seeping through my nostrils, I have to change, bye for now.

Authored by Kanyinsola,

Kanyinsola is one of our authors here at La Critique and can be reached at
Follow her on twitter @MsTeeDairo

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  1. Kanyinsolaa says:

    Reblogged this on whisperingnotes.

  2. RENEGAD_E says:

    Bro :]xx

  3. olamide says:

    Nice story Kanyinbaby! *sniff*

  4. Achi_va says:

    I actually believe this story, I’m in tears.

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