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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nene's Choice (5)

Nene crawled to the en-suite bathroom, whimpering in pain as she spat one front tooth and salivary blood out of her mouth. 

She sat under the hot shower for a long time, letting the warm water soothe her bruised body.

This was another one of many vicious attacks Nene had come to expect from Zel. Any little argument often escalated to the point of violence mostly without warning and mostly with Zel doing the beating.

Nene felt a lot less bruised when she stepped out of the bathroom. She thought long and hard about where her marriage was heading. 

 Her husband seemed to become more and more irate by the minute. She rationalized that he had always been a moody and sometimes verbally abusive person for as long as she could remember.

 He had always been very cutting and brusque with his immediate family and never seemed to have much patience with his mother and sisters.

 He was always very patronizing to them but she always felt she had a special bond with him and she was the only one who could help him find peace and calm.

She had tried her best to be the best wife she could to him and had gone over and above the call of duty but nothing ever seemed to be enough. 

Maybe if she did as he wanted and settled into a different job then things could get better. After all, it was just a job he was asking her to give up and not her career.

If he felt threatened with her presence in that office then she could always leave and get another similar job elsewhere.

 She had all the highly sought after skills and a number of industry recognized accolades to demonstrate her expertise; she was sure to be headhunted in no time.

Reluctantly, she picked up the pen and started to write her resignation letter…

After what seemed like an eternity, she heard her husband unlock the door and silently step into the room.

 She had been locked in the bedroom for about five hours by this time with no food and water, not that she wanted any as her mouth was very sore and eating or drinking would have felt like punishment anyway.

After her bath, she had felt slightly better but she felt the bruises on her swollen face and her back felt like it had been seared with a hot rod. 

She went back to bed and tried to get some rest, thankfully it was Saturday and she did not need to be in the office.

 She was still in bed when he walked in. 
 “Where is the resignation letter?” he demanded. Nene pointed to the dresser table where she had kept it. He picked it up and read it.

 “Good, first thing on Monday morning, I want you to go to Human Resources and hand in this letter, don’t bother trying to explain your decision so they don’t offer you more incentives to stay, just tell them you want to spend time off to try for a baby, full stop.”

“But why, Zel, why do you want me to give up everything I have worked for this far?” she said weakly.

“What kind of a question is that? After eight years of marriage, we still do not have anything to show for it, no kids, not even a hint of pregnancy. What are you, a piece of wood?” he asked.

“Or do you think I want to be married to a fellow man that will be providing for me and competing with me in the office?”

Nene did not say a word, as the realization hit her that her husband’s ill treatment boiled down to jealousy and feeling threatened about his traditional role as a man and the breadwinner of his household.

They had early on the marriage agreed a five year plan not to have kids until they were well established in their career paths before having a family.

However, things had not gone to plan for after having used pills for such a long time, Nene was having trouble conceiving even after three years of trying.

 They had confirmation from their doctor that nothing was wrong and it would only be a matter of time before they conceived and that worrying about it would only make it that much harder.

 So why did he now bring this up as a major reason for her to give up her job?

Nene got unsteadily out of the bed as he watched her with a steely gaze. He did not offer to help steady her as she got up. 

She walked slowly out of the room and inched herself gingerly towards the kitchen wincing as the pain shot through her body.

She made herself a cup of tea and tried to come up with a plan. On Monday she would hand in her resignation for personal reasons and straight after that she would start applying for other jobs. 

 She did not mind giving this particular job up just to save her marriage. Hopefully, this would reduce the perceived competition with her husband if they did not work at the same company. 

With this plan in mind, her thoughts focused on tidying up her CV for her next role.

   To be continued

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