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Short Story: The black widow

This story is about a woman who when her back was pushed to the wall, did the most unimaginable thing.

When the police entered the Olorunfemi household on the fateful day that the incident took place, they could only marvel at the scene that awaited them. There was a man on the ground, his stomach had been cut wide open and his head had been bashed in. His brain could be seen spilling out of his head like a crushed juice box.

Neighbours were said to scramble around the men in black uniforms, buzzing like bees, looking for who would take their statements. Everyone had a different version of what happened. Some said Mrs Olorunfemi was a witch who had killed and eaten her husband. They used that to explain the fact that the dead Mr Olorunfemi’s stomach was wide open with his entrails spilling onto the floor. They also used that to explain the couple’s childless marriage; the Olorunfemis didn’t have a child even after ten years of marriage.

Some other neighbours said they had heard an argument right before everything went silent. They claimed that it was self-defense. Mr. Olorunfemi had wanted to kill his wife but God interceded and taught him a bloody lesson.

Whatever the story was, all the neighbours could testify that the man is a domestic violence offender who used to beat his wife. Several people had seen Mrs Olorunfemi with bruises she tried to explain away. She never could, they all heard the screams.

Of all the stories that were told, one seemed to be the most believable. It stuck so close to home, very few people could say it was a lie.

Iya Basira was Mrs Olorunfemi’s closest friend. She was also a chronic philanderer. She had five children who have different fathers and she was shunned by everyone in their local community. Mrs. Olorunfemi, for one reason or the other, had taken a liking to Iya Basira almost immediately and they had become fast friends.

The story Iya Basira told was enough to send a chill down any woman’s back. She told a story of abuse, of betrayed trust, of pain caused by someone who was trusted – someone who should have had your back.

She told the story of how Mr Olorunfemi would beat up his wife, how he had been beating her since the first month of their marriage. He beat her up for the most ridiculous things: for boiling rice too soft, for not having food ready on time, for confronting him about his cheating. He slept with everything and anything. It was how Mrs. Olorunfemi had met her best friend, her husband had slept with Iya Basira too.

Domestic violence was the reason Mrs Olorunfemi never had a child. The babies were always either miscarried or born dead.

According to Iya Basira, matters got to a head when Mrs Olorunfemi received an anonymous picture of her husband in bed with a man. Iya Basira had counseled her to leave, the woman said, but Mrs Olorunfemi was too scared that her family and the society would shun her. Iya Basira said she had advised patience but hers had seemed to be running out. One can take only so much!

She pleaded with the policemen to treat her friend kindly. She let out bitter tears as she watched the police carried away Mr Olorunfemi’s body.

Mrs Olorunfemi would now pay with her life for a crime that should never have happened.

Simbiat Haroun studied Computer Science at the University of Lagos. She enjoys doing research and spends most of her time reading. She can be contacted at simbiat@sidomexuniversal.com.


  1. nice story. A lot of domestic violence is being heard of today, there need to be more awareness about it.


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