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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - you call me weak, accentuates my beauty, rancid pong of alcohol, stronger than you think, WrestleMania wrestler, a world class boxer or even a UFC fighter, husband, strength.

The world calls me weak; weak because I bear not hefty muscles with a six-pack abdomen – simply because I am a woman. You think I am feeble; feeble because I glide on high-heeled shoes and clad myself in elegant, flowery clothes. Yes, I am enamored by makeup; that which brightens and accentuates my beauty. Romance; Oh! How I love thee – you depict the depth of my heart, the feelings that spring forth from deep within me. Feelings my man may never fully understand even though I bear them for him; flowing like a river, willing to ‘smother’ him with undiluted love and kindness. When those romantic lines roll in a book or a movie, tears cascade down my face like waterfalls crashing down from a high-hanging cliff. For these, you call me weak, soft, and sometimes, materialistic. How wrong you are!

Judge me not…judge me not, I tell you, for you know not my strength – I am stronger than you think. Through the nights when my man goes drinking, hiding his fears and sometimes cowardice under the influence of liquor, I stand firm, holding the home together with indescribable strength. When he comes banging on the door with alcohol-induced empty strength, as though he could knock down the door, I rise from my half-sleep to let him in. After all, I had been lying awake on the bed waiting for his safe return. Often, I run his bath as the rancid pong of alcohol erupts from his breath and invade my space, yet I make sure he gets a good hot or cold bath depending on the time of the year. That is called patience…that is strength that defies any muscles or six-pack abdomen known to man.

Judge me not, for I am stronger than you think. When you go driving from the east to the west as a commercial driver, my knees go down on parched, rough mother earth, making fervent and deep-felt supplications for your safe return. You have no idea what the wives of commercial drivers go through – the burdens they carry each day, praying for the safe return of their men. Yet, they smile and rock their babies at home, cooking and fetching water, cleaning and drying with grace and infectious joy. Their fears and worries they carry with emotional strength that no ‘muscle meters’ can ever measure or quantify.

How about women whose men have no job? They sleep not! In their minds are a million ideas and ventures – ventures they nurture with labor and sweat, grinding away with grit to help put food on their families’ tables. They may not be lifting a two hundred pound dumbbell weight, but they sure do lift thousands of weight through untold labor to sustain their families. Watch them when they walk their children to school! Their eyes sparkle with prayers and sheer joy, urging their wards to go forth and conquer the world, while they strive for, and pray for the best for them.

Truly, you know not my strength if you think I am weak. Have you seen a mother whose daughter became pregnant at home – far too early in her teenage years or even in their twenties, out of wedlock? Look not onto the anger and barking of the father, who albeit lovingly, wants to wipe the slate clean and save their family name. No, look onto the heart of a mother who cries with her daughter, hiding behind to provide her with toiletries, a crying shoulder and indefatigable support. Of course her heart bleeds with pain and disappointment, but with all that weight, she calmly nurtures, supports and works assiduously to help her poor child who has taken the wrong turn in the journey of life. That is strength my friend – strength that surpasses the might of a WrestleMania wrestler, a world class boxer or even a UFC fighter. Quiet inner strength that does not flex like biceps and triceps, yet it gets so much done.

Just take a look at her in the countryside – she cuts through the brushes in search of grass and fresh leaves for her late husband’s goats. She weeds the small patch of land that her late husband’s relatives have allotted to her until her palms are covered in blisters. Watch the cracks and blisters on the soles of her work-laden feet as she trudges from farm to farm, searching for victual to feed her famished children, following the passing of her husband. In the sun and in the rain, she ploughs through whatever obstacles that stand in her way; she feels every pinch that attacks the intestines of her hungry children, who wait at home for her return – she is the ultimate bearer of succor. Can’t you see as she is easily brushed aside? An inconsequential widow whose world has crumbled after her husband’s death, yet through sweat and blood, she slaves away with incredible compassion to raise her children. Please don’t tell me that is not raw strength.

Have you any idea what it takes to forgive a cheating husband? Of course there are great men out there, but truly, many today are helplessly addicted to ‘skirt’. Their eyes wander and their loins hunger for anything that is clad in skirt. As her body ages through labor and childbirth, his eyes stray, following the skirts of younger girls. For the rich, they keep girls in harems, sometimes right under her nose. Have you any idea how much her heart bleeds when she finds out? Daggers of sorrow pierce her poor heart with merciless brutality, yet she forgives…repeatedly. Muscles are strong and mighty, but they stand no chance against the emotional lashings of heartbreak and infidelity – the pains are worse than a bullet wound upon which salt and pepper are generously heaped. Yet, that is what she is repeatedly faced with today.

Please, try having a child, strong man! As if nine months were not enough, the entry of her child into this torrid world stretches her strength to the limits, ravaging her body and soul with infinite pain. Through a deluge of tears and knifing pains, shouting and yelling, she delivers her child with amazing grace, and afterwards, she reaches for her newborn child through tears as she hugs her gentle little one with adorable joy, warmth and love. That is strength, my friend. Strength that defies pains which stem from deep within; cutting like a sword and marauding through the body like a slave master on a cruel, evil raid. Look beyond your flexing muscles my man, and cast your thoughts for a moment on my heart – a heart that boils with a different kind of strength. A heart that empathizes, endures and overlooks, over and over again. A heart whose muscles may not be as muscularly strong as yours, man, but it bears far more weight with gusto.

Indeed, strength lies deep within me. It never rests nor sleeps; working round the clock for those that I very dearly love. Please do not think of me as weak anymore, for strength lives deep within my soul.

Praise for the heart of a loving woman by;

Victor Chinoo


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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - you call me weak, accentuates my beauty, rancid pong of alcohol, stronger than you think, WrestleMania wrestler, a world class boxer or even a UFC fighter, husband, strength. An African Literary Blog
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