“Celestina, where are you coming from at this time of the night?” Andy enquired from me. “Sweetheart, I am coming from work. I am sorry for coming late but you know how my work is,” I replied. Hardly had I completed my reply than he gave me a hot slap and then pulled me by the hair into the sitting room. I was totally dazed because he had never hit me before or after our wedding which is almost two years now.
As I was trying to comprehend what made Andy, my husband, hit me, he pulled his belt and started beating me in the presence of my housemaid, Mary. Junior, my eight-month-old son, who was asleep was jolted and started crying when he heard my screams. Mary tried to stop him but he threatened to throw her out of the house if she came near him. She too stood at a corner crying as she watched my husband pummel me.
Andy punched me from the sitting room to the bedroom, calling me a prostitute who was using my job as a journalist to cover up my numerous affairs. He pounded me until he had no strength left to lift up his hands any longer. While he was beating me, I kept asking him, “What did I do? When did you change Andy?” The more I asked, the more he beat me. From that day, once he got home before me, I would either get a slap, a punch or, in worse cases, beating for coming home late. For him, the moment it was 8:30 p.m., coming home was late.
The day Andy does not feel like beating, punching or hitting me, once I knocked on the door, he made sure he will be the one to open the door for me. Once I get into the house, he will drag me by the hair straight into the bedroom and ask me to undress. He would start by smelling my clothes just to check if he would perceive a man’s perfume on it. After that, he would tell me to pull my underwear and he would smell them thoroughly too before throwing them at my face. Then he would say sarcastically “Celestina my darling so which hotel did you go for your assignment today? How many men told you they liked you? You know you can talk to me.” Shaking like a leaf blown by the wind in the forest, I would reply, “I did not go to any hotel for any assignment and no man told me he liked me. They know I am a married woman who will never be unfaithful to her husband.” “Shut up you flirt,” he would scream.
Next, he will snatch my handbag and go through the content. If he saw any complimentary card with a man’s name on it, he would ask me why the man gave his card to me. “Why did this man give you his complimentary card? So where and when are you going to meet him”, he retorted. “I met him at an event today. I may need to interview him in the future, that is why I collected his card,” I emphasized, shivering. He would kick or even give me a blow, after which he would take my cell phone and scroll through my call log and text message. A new set of ‘interview’ will begin. I will cry for hours almost every night without being able to talk to anyone. I did not want to report him to anybody because I loved him so much. I knew if I ever mentioned that he hit me, my mother would encourage me to leave him. The only person who knew what I was passing through was my housemaid, Mary. Sometimes, he locks me in the bedroom when leaving for the office. Not just that, he will seize my cell phone as well. The worse is that he is careful not to hit or beat me where people would see the marks or bruises and ask what happened to me. He beat me mainly at my back, thighs and at other areas that could be covered by the cloth. I just groan in pains and complain of body ache, but nobody knew the gravity of what I was passing through. My housemaid became my doctor. She massages my body with hot water and towel everyday and I was constantly taking pain-killing drugs. Just to erase every suspicion that I was unfaithful to him because of my job and also keep my marriage, I resigned three months after Andy started beating me.
The few months I stayed at home, we had no quarrels or fights. He became the man I married again. But months later he got me a job in a human resources consulting firm on the Island, he started beating me again. He kept accusing me of being unfaithful. Where he got that idea from, I wouldn’t know.
When I got pregnant with our second child, he beat the pregnancy out of me. The day I discovered I was pregnant, I didn’t know how to break the news to him since we were living like master and servant in the house. I shivered at the sound of his voice. It was that bad. Three days later, I summoned courage to tell him I was pregnant. Of course I got the shock and beating of my life. “Andy, I am pregnant,” I informed him. “Who is the father of the bastard you are carrying?” he asked. “I don’t understand what you mean. You are my husband,” I replied. He punched me in the stomach as if he was fighting with a man.
To be continued