Love…?
The first abnormality we noticed on her face as she walked towards us was the swollen right eye, but when she made to sit down, my friend and I could not help but notice the painful way she sat down even though she tried to hide it. So Clara my garrulous friend asked suspiciously,
“Babe, what happened to you, did you fight?” Chy looked from Clara to me as we both stared at her. Feigning innocence, she asked,
“What do you mean? Me ke, get involved in a fight?”
“So what’s with the swollen eye?” I asked in confusion.
“Oh, this?” Chy asked, gingerly touching the swelling. “Was it not this power holding people, they took the light and as I wanted to go get the torchlight, I bumped into the door frame.”

A couple of weeks after that, Chy visited Clara and I in the apartment we shared. This time, the bruises were more pronounced, her story was that she lost her footing while climbing down the stair case and fell down.
“I hope that guy you started seeing that you do not want to introduce to us is not hitting you Chy?” Clara probed.
Of course she denied it, but this time, we knew better than to believe the cock and bull story. However, matters came to a head when one weekend, about a month later, Chy rushed into our apartment with an overnight bag. She looked like she was run over by a truck. It was then that she narrated her story to us. She started dating this guy who seemed matured and responsible, different from the usual students her friends dated. They fell in love with each other and before you can say ‘jack Robinson’, she had moved out of the hostel and moved in with him.

Within months however, the guy became too jealous and over protective, monitoring her every move. Any form of communication with another male results in abuse. He started with verbal and financial abuse till he graduated to sexual and physical abuse.

This guy somehow traced Chy to our house, threatening all of us if we do not let her come back to him. It took the intervention of neighbours to get him to leave. The baffling part is that a few days after this incident, we came back from lectures and Chy was nowhere to be found. Fearing that the guy might have done something bad to her after calling her on the phone several times without any response, we began to run helter-skelter. We didn’t even know the guy’s house. It was later in the night when we had tried all avenues to no avail that she answered her call, informing us that she had gone back to the guy’s house, she had been missing him, blah, blah, blah.

Clare warned her not to come near our house again if he should beat her up again, but she did come few weeks later, more battered and broken than the previous occasions. We mended her as much as we could and the guy came again but this time, we were ready for him. We had informed his course mates and they dealt with him but he continued stalking and harassing her to the point that we had to get Chy’s Dad and the school authorities involved.

My question now is: Why did she keep going back to him despite the threats to her life and everything? Is it really love? The battered woman syndrome? Fear? Or just for peace to reign?
Another friend of mine told me that she has become so used to dating guys that abuse her to the point that if one did not abuse her, it seemed to her that they were not man enough and I was like really?

Is it possible that some women are wired to like abusive men and abusive relationships? I know scientists and psychologists say it is fear and battered woman syndrome, but to wish it upon oneself? Going through it over and over again, condoning it? Makes little sense to me.

Besides, why would a guy abuse someone he claims to love to the point of beating her up?

Maybe it is another shade of love…?

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