READ: Amara Episode 5: The Decision
In Iya Agbomola’s hut, she is made to drink a concocted mixture and she settles down to sleep. She wakes up suddenly in the middle of the night, bleeding profusely. No amount of herbs the old woman mixed can control the thick dark red liquid from flowing from her vagina. Ayo watches helplessly as his wife bleeds away. He has never seen so much blood in his entire life. Amara bleeds so much she knows she is going to die.
But she doesn’t die. Instead, she spends an extra week in Iya’s small hut. When she is strong enough to travel, they go back to Lagos. Ayo, frightened by the experience in Ijebu, becomes a devoted husband. He quit his okada business to take care of her. But he doesn’t see the damage in her heart and soul. He doesn’t see the trauma, the self-guilt and how much she hates him and herself. She is drowning in a red torrent silently crying out for help. She can see blood. No matter how she tries to wash them off, they come back, swallowing her, choking her until she can hardly breathe.
When she is strong enough, she resumes her chores. She has to. Ayo’s income has suffered due to neglect. But her movements are mechanical like she is remote controlled by an invisible force outside herself. She is often seen staring vacantly into space, her conversations monotonic. Then, there are babies. They are everywhere. Suddenly, the world is full of them. And wherever she goes, they seem to cry nwaa! nwaa! nwaa! which sounds to her like mummy why! Mummy why! Mummy why! their eyes bulging coldly into her skull, judging her for what she had done. She can’t seem to block them out. They keep digging holes into her brain with their shrieks until she finally caves in.
The neighbors, attracted by the frantic knocks and shrieks of her children, break open the door and find her motionless body on the bed one fateful morning.