Saving Dipo


© August 2020 Folakemi Emem-Akpan

This time, you could not save him from himself.

You couldn’t save him from the law, like you had done a thousand times in the past.

The first time you rescued him, you hadn’t known that he needed rescuing, that he was anything like your father had been.

They looked so different – Dipo and your father. Fair skinned vs. dark skinned. Classically handsome vs. your average looking guy. He was as tall as the sun; your father couldn’t boast of 5’3 even in his tallest shoes.

It took the first blow to your face, less than two months into your relationship, over something as silly as you not picking his calls quickly enough, for you to know that he was exactly like your father. When he fell to his knees afterward and groveled at your feet, when he wept his soul out and confessed his demons to you, when he begged for your mercy, that he hadn’t meant to hit you, you knew he needed saving from himself.

And so you saved him.

You didn’t walk out as you had promised yourself that you would if a man raised his fists to you the way your father did to your mother. You flinched as he tenderly wiped your bruised cheek, and you trembled in his arms as he made love to you. What you didn’t do was leave.

He didn’t hit you for a long time. Then he lost his job, drank more, slept less, ranted at the boss who had it in for him.

He hit you again, four months after the first time. And he fell to his knees again, blamed it on the booze and his paranoia. And you saved him again. You did not call the police, and you did not leave.

It’s been three years now and you have lost count of how many times you guys have repeated the cycle of hit, grovel, forgive, hit again. When he is happy and feels on top of the world, light suffuses your whole being. And when he is morose and is antagonizing the world, the darkness takes you.

The thing is, you now have more darkness in your life more than you have light.

As he throws the broken shards of the whiskey bottle at you this dark, dark night, as he pummels you with bare knuckles later on, your spirit is overwhelmed and you weep desolately because you know that you can no longer save him. You cannot keep on saving him because someone else needs your salvation.

Once Dipo falls asleep, you tiptoe around the apartment, throwing the absolute necessities into a duffel bag.

Finally, in the living room, you lay on the floor for the longest time, your flat bare belly against the cool linoleum floor, your heart breaking inside of you. When you finally curl yourself into a ball and reach for the phone to call the police, your tears almost blind you.

You love Dipo so much, but you love this new life growing inside of your womb even more.

You dial the police.




6 thoughts on “Saving Dipo

Add yours

  1. God will take control. Calling police can also help to some extent but the child should grow up to experience the inhumane treatment giving to the mother such children also grow to become wicked and mean.


  2. Thank you ma. Indeed, only God can bring a lasting solution, and calling the police alone will not help. The woman in particular needs a mental and emotional reengineering so that she doesnt see or accept that this cycle they are in is normal. And she needs to see that she and her unborn child deserve more. Thank you for your comment


  3. Thank you sir. Thanks for citing studies. Indeed, statistics do say that we tend to repeat our parents’ mistakes despite our good intentions. And daughters have a higher tendency to attract and be attracted to abusers when their own mothers were abused. Indeed, Dipo’s wife will need more than the police. She will need a full mental reengineering. Thank you for your comment

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You would think she and many others like her would not even stay the next minute the first time they were hit, knowing what their mothers had been through, but this is not always the case. Studies have shown that most women from homes where the mum had been the punching bag of the father’s rage tend attract similar situation and become victims of senseless husbands.

    Dipo’s wife will have to do more than just calling the police; she will have to find the part of herself she has lost to long-term battering and humiliation. She will have to do it for herself and the child coming. The child need not inherit the fears and social programming of her mum if her mum finds true healing.

    Thumbs up, Folakemi Akpan. You have rendered the story beautifully and with expressions that tell more than the words used. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well in this kind of relationship with remorse repentance after misbehaving, its only God that will bring lasting solution for this kind of abuse because calling police cannot solve problem. May God continue to help us in our relationship IJN.

    Liked by 2 people

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