Diary of a Port-Harcourt Housewife.

My husband and I had our differences but he could never disrespect me like this. We never hurled insults at each other in this manner.

I know my insecurities sometimes got me over reacting, but I still appreciate him for respecting me.
I watch from the window as he and Uncle Pastor try to talk to the couple, shortly after, he came in with the woman.
“Bel, please give Madam some tea”.
He goes back outside to join the man and Uncle Pastor.
“Mummy Nathan don’t worry yourself, I don’t want to drink tea. My husband is a useless man that’s why he thinks am cheating on him. He thinks everybody is like him. I will leave him the day I start cheating on him and that day is coming, he’s really pushing me”!
“Calm down Ethel, take it easy. Where is your son? “
“He’s upstairs with my sister”.
At this point Willie comes back to call her and escorts her back to their flat. Her husband had already gone ahead with Uncle Pastor.
They spend the next 1 hour there playing the role of marriage counsellors. What a way to start the morning! It seems like an endless circle of abuse and violence in that home, I wonder how she can stand to go through it.
I head to the kitchen to prepare the batter for pancakes, it’s a Saturday and I have a busy day ahead, I might as well get started.  The kids are already awake from the noise outside and they need to take a bath.
My thoughts go to my cousin Otele, she’s dedicating her twins next Sunday and wants me to cook the native soup for the occasion. She got a caterer to do every other thing but insists that I make the best native soup ever, therefore I have to do it for the dedication.
I look forward to it with excitement cooking is one of my favourite things to do. When we were growing up I was always in the kitchen with mum, my twin sister Biobele was the book worm and hated cooking. I have told Willie I want to go into full time cooking for people, making soups and stews for busy career women but my husband doesn’t believe I can handle it.
He says I shouldn’t give up on the prospects of finding a job but jobs are scarce in this town, it’s been 4 years of no job and I have been hunting. The truth is I have given up and I truly want to face doing something with my hands.
I need to do a list of things for the native soup, I will go to Creek Road market within the week  Lizzy wants to come with me, she used to do her shopping at Fruit garden and Spar! Until I took her to Creek road market and Sangana, she couldn’t believe how cheap food stuff was compared to where she was used to.
Besides, she had met my cousin and they hit it off very nicely. Otele is such a sweetheart and I am so happy for her miracle twins after 13 years of waiting. She is one of the closest people to me apart from my twin sister, I was her maid of honour at her wedding and got married a year after her. We were both trying to conceive, I waited 2 years and those 2 years seemed like 20 years!
 I can’t imagine what she must have gone through in those 13 years. She was always in my prayers, I was there for her as often as I could, I remember the last time she called me crying about not having any child.
” Belema,  *abro tiye ye mo*? Who did I offend? Why has my prayer not been answered? “
 I had to drive to their house at Peter Odili road to console her that day. 5 months later she called me one morning and said she wanted to see me.
I got there in a dash, driving like a mad woman, thinking she was having a meltdown. She was beaming with smiles as she opened the door ; “Belema, am 9 weeks pregnant and they are twins! “
I screamed in delight!  We hugged, we danced, we sang then we cried, tears of joy that it was finally over, that the battle had been won. Tears of joy that she was going to hear the sound of little feet in her home. Having waited 2 years I knew what it felt like to wait for a baby. How every month I would pray for my period not to show up, how I would cry and be moody for the 5 days my period flowed.
I knew what it felt like to have folks stare at my stomach and people ask if my husband and I were still on our honeymoon. We have a culture that has no mercy for a woman who cannot bear a child fast enough. It was such a brutal and harsh reality, as far as they were concerned, a woman isn’t complete until she bears children for her husband.
I will come back with Otele’s story later, the gist is plenty, am just glad her tears are over.  Let me write the list before I start breakfast.
1. *Ngolo*
2. *Isam *
3. *Mgbe*
4. *Oporo *………..
*abro tiye ye mo *  means what did I do wrong?
* ngolo* isam* mgbe* oporo*  are seafood used to prepare Kalahari native soup.  They include periwinkles,  oyster,  clam and prawns.

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