Please turn on the light

[Bob Marley x Redemption Song]

Please turn on the light.


Things were never as bad as this. I used to be happy. He used to send me silly videos when I was stressed during the day. Whenever there was a storm, he’d hold me with his strong, assuring, warm arms and comfort my trembling heart (I didn’t know then his arms had other applications then). On weekends, he’d surprise me with breakfast in bed. That was what I understood love to be. The serendipity. The fact that he could make me smile without even trying. Things should have stayed that way. Our relationship shouldn’t have acquiesced to the supremacy of time. But it did.

I never thought either of was were capable of what we did. We both grew up in comfortable environments, loving homes, everything out of a psychology text book needed to ensure “stable” human beings. If a soothsayer had predicted it to end the way it did, I would have laughed and told him I wasn’t born yesterday. I was born twenty six years ago and I didn’t see it coming. Or I couldn’t?

First it started with the arguments we just couldn’t resolve. Not the silly ones that end with good make up sex, but the nasty ones. We would go at it for hours and even forget why we began arguing. We agreed to blame it on stress. Why else would a couple so drunk in love suddenly become Spartans? I told Akua what was going on. She said it was just a phase that would pass soon enough. She and Pierre had experienced something similar to that and couples therapy and a vacation helped them out.

We tried everything but we just couldn’t stop. One night, after equally stressful hours of work, one of our heated soirees ensued. He got angry and asked me why I hadn’t cooked for him like a “proper African wife”. I reacted equally but sensibly. We were both tired as always, why didn’t he get take out like he always did. I don’t know if it was the sensibility I showed or the hunger in him, but a switch flipped. The same arm he used to carry me with joy, caress my hair, was now an uncompassionate instrument of pain. The next morning, after dried tears and mucus, I was too shocked to tell anyone. Akua knew me all too well, she knew something was amiss.

Inasmuch as it hurt, I couldn’t convince myself to leave him. So I endured, like my forefathers had done for four hundred years across the Atlantic. Then that night came. Our tradition of after work insults had just ended and we were getting ourselves ready for peaceful sleep. I was going over some memos when he turned off the light.

“Please turn on the light”

“No! I want to sleep”

I cursed him out loud and got out of my bed angrily to turn the light back on. Just as I turned, my face was met by his calloused palm. The rest is straight out of a Slave Trade story.

The next morning I knew what I had to do. This had to end. I surprised him with breakfast in bed and apologized for not being a “good wife”. He was glad I had come back to my senses. He smiled and sipped his coffee. I thought I put in enough to kill him slowly and put him through excruciating pain, But because of the bruise on my right eye I couldn’t accurately measure. He died too quickly for my liking. I wanted him to beg.

Looking back I don’t regret my actions. I just regret being a fool and staying with him that long. Everyone deserves happiness. Life is too short to be unhappy.

“Your honor the defense has no further questions of the accused”




Stop domestic violence. Respect each other.



4 thoughts on “Please turn on the light

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