Perhaps I am a jerk for divorcing Chichi for reasons other than infidelity, but the truth is, I’d had enough in the sham that I called my marriage.
My friends said not to settle; that my decision to marry her would eventually bite me in the butt, but I’d been in such haste to have Chichi to myself that I shunned their advice. I somehow convinced myself that I could adapt to her temperament. I even arrogantly believed that I could change her. You see, there are not that many beautiful Nigerian girls in Atlanta willing to date guys like me – guys who are shy, short and rotund. Since I wasn’t a big catch in terms of physical features, to have Chichi consenting to date me, talk less of marrying me, had been a huge deal.
She was everything a man like me could ever dream of: Petite, light-skinned with long hair – not the one that carried extensions or weaves. Hers was real, the kind of hair a man wasn’t afraid to touch for fear that it came from the head of some poor Asian who had sold her thick locks of hair for the next meal. She had a sharp mind too, never lacking for topics to converse on, so it wasn’t surprising that she was well up on her way to becoming a big player at the bank where she worked. I’m no poet, but honestly, her smile was like the bright rays of the sun. And when she frowned, I sighed with fascination.
There was just something very cute about her every facial expression. She often made me wish that I was a painter so I could capture every look on her stunning face. People who saw us together frequently wondered how a beauty like her could be with a guy like me. I considered myself the luckiest of men, until her flaw came out like the murky waters under a clear sea. Hers was a vice that took the form of uncontrolled rage, lashing out at anyone and anything.
The first time I saw her throw a tantrum, it had happened in a cozy restaurant. The waiter, a white racist who couldn’t stomach the idea of two blacks eating out in a classy restaurant, had attempted to make our dinner a frustrating exercise. He was rude, but I don’t think he deserved the plate strike on his face, almost ending up with a blind eye. Chichi and I found ourselves escorted out of the restaurant by Security, as she wouldn’t stop screaming obscenities at the waiter and the restaurant’s management.
The second time I saw her lash out was some few weeks to our wedding when she had slashed my tires. We’d had an argument over the number of people we were inviting to the wedding. It was during that time that I began to encourage her to take anger management classes, but she rebuffed my advice.
Third time, she threw a fit because the wine cups we ordered for the wedding arrived late. Chichi visited the factory that made the cups and hit the manager with her heeled shoe when he couldn’t provide an answer to why the cups hadn’t arrived. She spent that night in Jail for harassment, and we had to cough out thousands to bail her out. Fortunately, the matter was settled out of court as the manager dropped the charges; unfortunately, my parents were in town when this last squabble happened and they verbalized doubts about Chichi.
For a while, marriage to Chichi was bliss until she became pregnant and suddenly, the time bomb in her head went off one Friday when I returned home late from a night out with my buddies. She accused me of sleeping around, and of not being physically attracted to her. It was a lousy fight, but it wouldn’t have been so bad if she’d controlled herself. When I tried explaining that I wasn’t doing any of the things she accused me of, she smacked me in the face, threatening to call 911 if I retaliated, as I so badly wanted to do. Something died in me when she struck me and it took a while for me to figure out that every love I thought I had for her disappeared that night. I didn’t want any more altercation, so I walked out of the house, confused at my wife’s violent nature.
I came back home the next morning to a quiet house, unaware that the situation was about to get worse, real fast.
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