We called him Master Yoda. He was brimming with wisdom. Sometimes he said crazy things. Take this:
“Cora, crossing that bridge will help you get over it.”
Um, yes, I thought to myself; sure it will. Crazy guy. I’d leaned on him many times in the past-this time it felt like taking his advice would prove to be my undoing. The bridge was officially called Great Gorge Bridge. Among my friends, it was called The Bridge Over Trouble(d Waters) because sometimes floods filled the gorge with water but it was always trouble.
Young people went to the bridge to escape their families; the preferred method was jumping off the bridge. Some did it by taking a slow-acting poison and counting on the fact that people avoided the bridge like a plague. Great Gorge Bridge was where people came to die. I would know.
I was once married to a man who loved me. He treated me to the best things in life and showed me things I didn’t know existed. I would have done anything to please him. This should have been easy-the only thing he wanted was that I never have a child.
I know women are said to have these strong maternal feelings lurking in their systems. I was not one of those women. If I could, I would get my tubes and all that donated to researchers but I hear cadavers are a more attractive prospect. Being resident in a country where sterilization was not available to childless women, and my husband not being the one to have a vasectomy, I got on a course of hormonal contraceptives and trusted science.
Science failed me. Five years into my wonderful marriage, I got pregnant. I was forty and toyed with the idea of keeping the baby. I got a certain fight I didn’t know I had in me. I told my husband I wanted to leave a piece of myself when I died. He did not take it well.
Actually, he took it really badly. The beatings began and got worse with each passing month. I became amazingly skilled at spinning impressive yarns to cover the scars and absences. These beatings were the reason Yoda wanted me to cross the bridge. My husband tried to kill me on Great Gorge Bridge in a final attempt to get rid of the baby. He succeeded-the incident cost me my baby-and left me scared out of my wits.
So here I am; crossing the bridge. Hoping that getting to the other end will rid me of the things that I carry around like a millstone. The shame, the fear, the massive newspaper coverage, the fact that I moved to a new country to escape it all. Every step I take is a chance to rewrite my story, to deserve the epitaph I asked Yoda to place on my gravestone in case my husband killed me.
“Be Not Afraid”
Background to the story
This is the second story in what may become a weekly feature. It is in response to this prompt on @Njeri__’s blog. I endeavoured to write a few more words and , for those that dropped by last week, give some background to last week’s tale.
Find the other prompt response here:
The Bridge Yonder by @beenduta
The Bible Purse by @Njeri__
This funny bunny handed it her assignment first today (not beyond her to gloat). The powers that be await the excuses of these three: @IvoryPunk @FilmKenya & @Raph_Out_Loud 😀
Thanks for dropping by!