24 years later and I am all grown up, through murky waters and bitter nightmares I have emerged, with the love of an uncle and aunt who took me as their own, watching over me and never giving, for 24 years they gently chipped away the anger and hate, their love, patience and prayers was just what the doctor ordered.
It took us five years to get pregnant, first two years of our marriage, we spent discovering each other, and making plans, building our home. At first it didn’t bother us, because we thought we had it all planned out, we wanted to be ready before the baby came, so we waited, one year became two years and the three years, and my wife became worried, so did i.
After the incident we began to talk and play as kids’ do, I even started to hang out with Obiri and the rest of her friends whenever Aunty Edith was out as she often was. Sometimes I will follow her and Kemta her side kick to kuramo near the motor park on the other end of Paradise to go hustle. We go there to sell ‘Igbo’ weed or stolen phones which had been appropriated from handbags and pockets of careless commuters unlucky enough to have let their guard down while in Paradise Island, my duty was to stand watch near the road by the okada commercial cyclists to watch out for Police or ‘Askari’ as Obiri calls them in street parlance.
Sometimes i will follow them to Audu the Mai-Suya in front of Ghana High for barbeque ﬁsh with coke to chase it down, this was a luxury and only happened once in a while. I love coke but could not afford to buy it save the few times we made some money and will treat ourselves to one bottle each or share between us. Sometimes on these trips kemta and the other girls will steal off with the commercial motorcyclists, the okada men going towards the far and dark part where the beach huts faced rumbling waves of the ocean. They would be gone for 15 perhaps 20 minutes and then come back, the okada drivers adjusting his trousers and the girls counting money. I did not understand what they were selling but never asked not once although i never saw Obiri go with them.
Paradise island a complete contrast to its name one of the most deprived and violent ghettos in the city. It stood alone set apart from other areas an island standing aloof as though in deﬁance of constituted authority, that might be open to debate but most of the inhabitants were certainly in deﬁance of society. We made our own rules lived by our unwritten commandments. “Thou shalt not steal from residents” or a tire round your neck, a box of matches materialize as if from thin air and the culprit is reduced to cinders all in minutes. You are permitted to steal from outside never in Paradise…
The Island concealed a rich gaggle of hardened criminals, inexhaustible supply of mild mannered and well-spoken fraudsters alike, I was yet to ﬁgure out the most terrifying monsters were not battle hardened villains carrying guns waylaying innocent people, they were those much closer to home sporting the beguiling smiles endearing manners.
This Friday evening as usual Aunty Edith dressed up to go out only this time she laid out a pretty dress on the bed, she asked me if I liked it and i was extremely thrilled when i realized it was for me.I tried it on and it was a little short and revealing but I did not care so much about that. This does not happen every day so I was happy with my new dress, giggling with childish excitement. After a while we heard a knock and aunty opened the door, as soon as I saw his face my heart sank to the pit of my stomach, not even the excitement of my new dress could remedy the unpleasant mien that had sullied my happy mood, of all Auntie’s friends and customers I resent the man standing in the doorway the most. I constantly felt a strange sense of unease how Uncle Sammy stares and ogles me with those bloodshot eyes of his, piercing eyeballs which seem to bore right through me, searing as though stripping me naked. He is obese and very dark in complexion, always sweaty with a lingering body odor that trailed after him, not unlike mama’s He-goat back in the village.
Once, when Aunty was not looking he grabbed my bottom but I quickly pulled away from him, since then I am always mindful of being near him. He stepped inside Aunty greeting him and both exchanged ﬂeeting looks I did not understand but dismissed as something adults do. He sat down and like Aunty had tutored me, quickly rushed to our small fridge to fetch the bottle of beer reserved for him as i uncorked it he made a half-hearted effort to grab me and I jumped back alarmed, he laughed heartily as he busied himself ﬁlling the glass to the brim and gulping down to the dregs lips smacking in contentment. He must be giving her a lot of money because she never entertains any of the others, not even with ordinary water or biscuit, unless they brought out their own cash. Ah!!! Aunty never jokes with money.
I sat down in a corner soon lost in my dreams my girlish fantasies though still self-conscious in his presence tried to cover the exposed part of my body due to the revealing dress. Aunty left with him later but instructed me to leave the door unlocked. It must have been no less than 30-45 minutes after I had been in bed I heard a creak in the door, before I could react I felt a massive sweaty palm clamp over my mouth. The overpowering odor the weight on top of me, even in the darkness I instinctively knew it was Uncle Sammy.
In blind panic i tried struggling free the distinctive odor of cigarette assailing my nostrils but with little success. He was on top of me now breathing heavily noxious scent of beer and whiff of nicotine bellowing out with his every breath, ever present stale sweat as he continued slobbering all over me, while I tried twisting my face away from his terrifying assault. I made an effort to push him off and scream but he had planted his lips directly over mine, almost swallowing my lips and tongue in his slobbery and slimy assault. With his shoulder and part of his chest pinning me down to the bed one of his hands was fumbling and squeezing my immature and barely formed breast, rough and mauling touch really painful mentally more so. It felt like an eternity of his terrifying assault before he brieﬂy paused to undo his belt .Then I saw a fleeting chance to free my right hand, as i grabbed an empty bottle sitting on the side of the bed and smashed it on his bald head as hard as I could with what little strength i had left, the bottle did not break but his yelp of pain as his hands instinctively went up to his head holding and massaging the point of contact was satisfying indeed.
This created a small window of opportunity to quickly slip out from underneath him as i ran outside the room into the darkened corridor darting out as fast as my legs could carry me. He lumbered outside the bedroom after me cursing loudly and trying to grab hold of me but I was already outside, holding my torn nightie tightly with one hand to my chest and racing towards the main road. I looked around for any sign of Aunty but she was nowhere in sight so crossed over to the other side, and after a quick look to make sure he was not following ducked and hid my small frame on the other side of a disused sand dune. I sighted him after some minutes shufﬂing out, still massaging his head and smoking as he continued muttering audibly even in the distance. He lurched off into the night the dark already cloaking his dark thoughts and designs with the enveloping anonymity darkness affords the vile and evil. It was in this state shivering with fright that omoefa had accosted me. She led me back to her own room lending me a shirt to wear over my torn dress, and then gave me her bed to sleep in until the next morning when Aunty will return. The next morning before I left Omoefa warned me not to accept opened drink or food from any of Auntie’s friends. I returned back to our apartment with a new resolve to return back to the village with the little money I have saved going out with Obiri and Kemta. I know mama can use the money to start something and we would have enough at least to feed.
To Be Continued……………………..
By Bunmi olaniyan
Read Part 2 HERE
As I lay there deliberating my friend Omoefa’s coarse and loud voice rang out as she shouted my name from outside startled me out of short lived reverie. I got up from the bed still in my pant and bra holding my head which had subsided a bit, just by sheer will and effort managed to put on a pair of Jeans and tee shirt. I slipped on a pair of slippers and stepped into the slightly darkened corridor crisscrossed with other rooms adjoined leading out to the compound.
I beheld one of the older girls who also worked in our compound Cindy and friends dancing near the window but ignored them only extending a brief greeting to Deborah one of the girls as I moved on, I heard from Omoefa’s roommate Cindy was from a good home, had even been sent to school a real secondary school but had run off with an older boyfriend her father’s pension safely tucked in her bag. The boyfriend swindled her and traveled out to Spain, leaving her with just a letter I suppose as memento or reminder I don’t know. Some have feet and shoes to wear on them, some have shoes but no feet, others possess neither shoes nor feet I wish, i wonder….
I met Omoefa sitting in a corner with the girls smoking ‘Igbo’ weed as they all shuffled to the music emanating from the stereo. I went towards them and as soon as they sighted me, they all shouted as if on cue hailing AREA HOW FAR NAH? Happy Birthday!!!
Tinuke Omoefa’s room mate passed me a cup of “Tombo liquor “as I joined them on the bench Omoefa passed me the smouldering wrap of ‘Igbo’ she was smoking. I held it between my thumb and foreﬁnger the embers cackling, sparks emitting from the tiny embers of the seed as i tapped the excess ash off. I put the cup to my lips and swallowed a mouthful of the local gin, my eyes watered slightly as the ethanol hit me full in the chest, oblivious to my pain charting a burning path down my throat traversing relentlessly down, a ﬁery passageway to the pit of my stomach. I took a long drag of the ‘Igbo’ weed inhaling holding in the smoke as long as I could thankfully, it was not the highly intoxicating kanaku hybrid.
The smoke circulated slowly coursing through internal oriﬁce, oh so soothing…swirling as in creating an artiﬁcial smokes screen, cloud-induced interface alongside sudden No stark reality of the life i existed in. It was all I could do not to lean back in relief my headache slowly receding as though dancing backwards, evaporating into nothingness…air, just like the smoke emanating from my slightly parted lips and nostrils drifting up into oblivion. I watched it all swirling upwards towards a stack heap of forgone memories where earlier introspection, niggling conscience end up never to harm or hold my thought process in a choke hold leaving me free to indulge in my vices, my excesses with no recourse to conscientious thoughts.
The ﬁrst time omoefa and I met she had accosted me hiding behind the sand dune crying profusely on a Friday night. I was tucked away in a darkened corner hence did not notice my presence until she nearly stepped on me. Omoefa shouted out in fright jumping back “Blood of Jesus” seeing me clearly her initial fright swiftly morphed into anger. She rounded up in anger asking who I was and my purpose for lurking in the darkness, all the while getting ready to smash her upturned ﬁst in my face. Tears still running down my face intermittently casting furtive glances towards the main gate i had escaped from, she must have realized the extent of my disconcert especially at the sight of my torn clothes as I held tightly to cover my half exposed breasts. Her anger turned to concern, as she asked me what had occurred abandoning all her initial resolve and hostility.
When I arrived Paradise Island I was still naïve hence was oblivious to what the girls actually did until much later. I only started to enjoy myself after I met Obiri, a girl who lived in a shack next to our compound. She was my age although looked and acted older, that girl was a real tomboy a ﬁre cracker. I often wondered how she came to be living on their own in the ghetto later after becoming ﬁrm friends, she conﬁded in me that she ran away from home hiding under a lorry ferrying plantains to Lagos.
She was labelled a witch by a man they called ‘Prophet Zephaniah’ in her village, Prophet’s minions tortured then forced her to drink a concoction made out of water droplets drained from a dead body, declaring the spirit of the dead will compel her into a confession of her deeds even against her will. It seemed one of the strongest demons dwelt in her dark heart as she failed to confess, repeatedly maintaining her innocence. This provoked Prophet’s holy anger as he instructed assistants to hold her down, mouth forced open using his holy staff and concoction poured down her throat. Ensuing stomach cramps triumphant validation for prophet Zephaniah.
She had been accused initially by her father of deploying the powers of witchcraft that strong demonic spirit to drain his destiny causing an inability to feed her 8 siblings, he was a subsistent farmer. Her ropes had been untied in the dead of the night by her mother, who urged her to run away or be killed. Rescuing her mother and siblings from her father’s clutches and giving them a better life has been her motivation for hustling. I will make it in Paradise Island one day you watch and see if I don’t she often said with strong conviction and seriousness.
Aunty had sent me to buy some Panadol at baba Oyibo’s chemist not very far from our compound. On my way back, one of the boys who hang around our street accosted me snatching Auntie’s change off my hand. I cried out begging him to give me back the money but he laughed taunting me until Obiri walked towards us and faced him. Looking on steadily no expression on her face bellying her true intentions she asked him to return my money, but he didn’t pay her any heed neither did I to be fair. Request repeated again this time ﬁrmly resolute as calm as you please, or he would get a beating. He ﬁnally paid attention to the irritant quickly surveying her small frame incredulously, unbelieving of the sheer impudence from this tiny runt as he laughed gleefully. Truly Obiri like me was shorter than the boy, by this time his friends had sauntered closer cheering urging him on.
All of a sudden she lunged forward grabbing his neck like a man and raining punches, open mouthed map of disbelief displayed all over my face at the sight “See this small ‘Pelenge’ girl ﬁghting a boy. The ﬁght seemed reminiscent of David and Goliath bored children had begun watching and clapping as the impromptu ﬁght progressed. She landed a quick succession of punches then another slap Ha it’s a miracle!! I stopped counting after nine punches with interjecting slaps, a cut on his thick black lips blood spurted trailing down his jaw line. He was riled seriously angry now, yellow rimmed eyeballs bulging in naked resentment as he wiped excess blood with the hem of his oversize 2pac long sleeve tee shirt, he began pulling up his sleeves. It has gotten much personal no more a random past time but saving face that male ego has to be redeemed forthwith. He deliberately rushed towards Obiri swinging wildly right hand busy, as he made to grab her with his left hand we all gasped in fright but she darted back evading his latest swing, then moved in crouching like Malaika the great wrestler in our village. She grabbed his legs in a seemingly coordinated motion and shoved him backwards. He landed hard on his buttocks the audible grunt of pain sounding like a pig’s grunt. The tides had swiftly turned at this stage everyone turning the boos earlier directed towards the small girl into cheers the now vanquished ﬁghter lying on the ground, smarting from defeat. I watched her beat him back to the ground, even after he unsuccessfully tried to get back up until an old woman drove the crowd away with a long broom. Caught up in the excitement I had forgotten about my dilemma until I felt my cloth tugged from the back i turned around to see her still looking disheveled from the ﬁght and sporting a small bump on her right cheekbone, without a word she shoved the crumpled change in my palm abruptly walking away.
To Be Continued……………………………
Written By Bunmi olaniyan
Read Part 1 HERE
I would tell him several times in a day, to keep his fantasies to himself, you see Amarachi, was a married woman who lived next door, yes a lovely woman I might add, but married none the less, and there was something else, something dark and sad, a secret shame she tried so carefully to hide.
Amarachi was married to Somto, better known to his friends as the Johnny Blaze, well because he could easily blow up without warning, and he really was a “prick”. Somto was a night club bouncer, and he got used to treating everything like garbage, including Amarachi his wife.
Yes, Somto was a big “prick”, a slob, in subtle terms he was a pig, he would drink all night, come home drunk, scream about everything he saw, drink some more, and yes beat his wife with a belt, sometimes he would beat her in the backyard, and when we tried to intervene, he would say she was his responsibility and he had to train her, yeah right like she was a wild animal he was trying to tame.
Femi, my friend and house mate would go over to the house and confront Somto, but he would shrug and walk away, we called the police on several occasions but nothing was done, they were his buddies, and I remember once they said we were trespassing and Somto would press charges when next we tried to gain access to his home, of course we had no evidence, and Amarachi was too scared to call the cops herself, she would later say she was in a helpless situation.
Amarachi was a school dropout, she was a dancer in a local club, Somto frequented back in the day, and according to her, he was the only one who treated her right, I guess she knew what she was saying.
Many times we would hear Somto call her names, yeah he was that loud and on many occasions he would lock her out in the backyard overnight, Femi would stand by the kitchen window and watch her sob.
He told me many times how she needed to be rescued, he would say she needed a man to love her and treat her right, I guess he thought he was her knight in shining armor, I would always tell him to thread carefully, because Somto was a maniac, and his little brain always told him to act violently first and think later, if at all he ever did.
I remember Femi gradually started be-friending Amarachi, at first she was reluctant, but gradually she began enjoying his company, he would go over when Somto was at work, or they would discuss over the backyard fence when he was at the bar.
Gradually Femi fell in love with Amarachi, and I think she did too, Femi was making plans to run away with her, I don’t know till now if that was a good idea or not, well obviously my opinion didn’t matter.
Amarachi now relished the nights Somto would lock her out, she would sneak into our house and into Femi’s bed, and soon she mastered the art of sneaking in and out, I lost count of how many times it happened, on one hand I was glad she was happy and found comfort in Femi, on the other hand I was worried as to what the outcome might be if Somto ever found out, and no I wasn’t worried because I was a coward, I was simply worried because he was a very dangerous man.
I found out soon enough, Somto was getting suspicious, you see Amarachi was regaining her self-confidence, on one occasion she walked out on him, and went to sit on the back steps, Somto came out and beat her black and blue, I had to pick up a golf club to make him stop, I called the police, and reported a domestic dispute, they never showed, and Femi was off visiting his folks.
He was furious when he got back, but I told him not to confront Somto, for lack of reason, and that night Amarachi came over, she cooked us dinner and cried her eyes out, we cheered her up with jokes and taught her how to play guitar hero, the fun ended abruptly when she heard his van pull up, she was not quick enough to get into the house, but she made it to the back porch, Somto stormed into the backyard and started pushing and slapping her around, questioning and asking where she was all night, he called her a no good whore, and punched her in the face, she ran into our kitchen, her nose bleeding, Femi held her, and I went to get the first aid kit and my golf club, I knew Somto would come and I knew he would come for a fight.
True to his brute nature he stormed in, with a kitchen knife, he screamed and cursed, Amarachi hid behind Femi, her nose bleeding, Femi and I stood our ground, we threatened to call the cops, he wasn’t moved, he lunged at me, punched me in the nose before I could swing the club, it fell to the floor, and so did I, he kicked me in the stomach, and I felt like all the air had left my body.
Femi charged him, and knocked him backwards, the knife fell out of his hand, he regained his footing, and rushed Femi, Somto was a huge man, it was like a bull coming at you, Femi picked up the club and swung, he missed, and he got punched, I saw Amarachi run out of kitchen.
Somto was on Femi, kicking and punching, I tried to crawl up to them, but I wasn’t of much use, I could hear the blows, suddenly I heard sirens in the distance, he screamed at Femi, threatened to kill him before the cops got there, from the side of my eye I saw him pick up the knife, his knee was on Femi’s back, he pulled Femi’s neck backwards, he was going to slit his throat, and that was when I heard it, the first shot, then the second, then the third.
Somto dropped in a heap, Amarachi stood there, gun in hand, with a look I had never seen before.
The cops rushed in, I passed out.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
It took me twenty four years to get here, and a lot of guts, but I think it’s time I got it off my chest.
I won’t pretend I grew up in a perfect home, and suddenly things went bad, for as long as I can remember, it was always the same, I grew up thinking all Fathers yelled, and all mothers cried.
Father was never happy, he always yelled, everything was always done wrong, and even when he did it wrong, he always found a way of blaming mother.
I saw him punch her, shove her, swear at her, but I never saw him hold her, hug her, kiss her, or even say anything nice to her.
It’s not a long story, just a brief sad story, of an eleven year old boy, a story that changed his life forever.
I just got back from school, I was in the kitchen eating, and as usual, mother would set my meal with the usual cupcake on the side, chocolate flavored, so I could eat immediately I got back from school, she never missed it, I still remember the smell of cake batter, she baked so much, the aroma was almost permanent, and even up until now as an adult, I always remember her, when I smell cake batter, among other things.
It was quite, unusually quiet, I didn’t think much of it, because I knew it was just a matter of time before father would get back, and he would find something to yell about.
He got back earlier than usual, I was just about biting into my cupcake, when he walked in, I remember losing my appetite, he walked passed me like I was not there, not that I cared, I was accustomed to it, he yelled out for mum, but he didn’t get any response, I knew she was asleep, she was pregnant, and it was hard for her to keep up with her daily routine, I didn’t bother checking up on her, because I knew she was a light sleeper, and I didn’t want to wake her up.
He yelled out again, and still yet no reply, I remained in the kitchen, and waited for it, I heard him walk up the stairs, I could tell he was mad, what else was new, suddenly I heard him yelling at her, I couldn’t quite make out the words, but I knew there were angry words, I left the kitchen, and made my way to the foot of the stairs, I stretched my neck, trying to hear what was being said, dad was yelling, and mum was trying to pacify him, suddenly he appeared at the top of the stairs, and stared right down at me, I felt a chill, this was not normal, “what are you looking at you stupid boy”, he said, don’t you have anything better to do than stuff your face with cakes? Your mother has made a girl out of you, am pretty sure you are the first boy who will have his period; those were things father said to me.
I let his words wash over me, but I didn’t move, I was accustomed to it, I think deep down he just needed to rave and rant all the time to give himself a sense of self-worth, mother emerged from the bedroom, and simply told him to leave me alone, and that was when it happened, he turned around and punched her in the face, he didn’t care if she was pregnant or not, she spun around, and used her elbows to shield her tummy from hitting the wall, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back, haven’t you done enough to ruin him, father said, why doesn’t he act like normal boys, and you dare tell me to leave him alone, he spoke about me like I wasn’t even there.
Mother tried to pacify him, he started shoving her, I saw her walking back, towards the head of the stairs, I tried to warn her she was too close to the edge, but his constant yelling drowned my words, she missed her step, I saw her fall, it was like an eternity, but while she fell, she tried to shield her stomach, I saw her fall, I heard bones crack, I saw her falling, and I was rooted to the spot, until she hit me, and we both landed on the floor, I hit my head, and when I opened my eyes, I saw her, lying down, she was staring at me, but was looking through me, suddenly I felt something sticky on my cheek, it was red, it was warm, it was her blood, and then I realized, she was dead, he pushed her, I passed out.
I didn’t see him anymore after that, I went to live with my uncle, years later he told me, my father left, started afresh, was arrested, but never convicted, ruled as a domestic accident, people fall down stairs all the time.
I still don’t understand why he was such a bitter person, mother didn’t deserve what he did to her, I haven’t spoken to him or seen he since that day, personally I see no point
I have moved on, am happy, have a family now, they give me joy, decided to share this, I don’t know how it will help, but am pretty sure it will.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
In the morning he woke up, dressed up and left for work without saying a word, needless to say he untied me before he left, I lay on the bed with my face in the sheets, and I cried, I cried so hard my lungs and throat hurt, I only raised my head when the nanny came in, I quickly shut my room door and gave her instructions on what to do with keji.
I went into the bathroom, and tried to clean myself up the best I can, I had a swollen lip, and a slight cut above my right eye, so I applied some make up, and moved out of the house quickly so as to avoid the nanny………….,this time I was angry and I hated myself for crying, I had to take a stand, so my first stop was the hospital to get myself checked.
I got to the hospital and asked to see matron tamasi, she was shocked when she saw me, she could only just control herself from screaming, she scolded me and threatened to call the police, but I assured her that this time, I had it all under control,”Mrs Gboye she said, I beg you with everything you hold dear, leave that man, he is going to kill you eventually, think of the child you have now, do you want her exposed to such a life, hasn’t she been through enough”, those words sent a shiver down my spine, and at that very moment I realized it was not just about me anymore, it was about me and keji, and this time I was going to put a stop to it.
The next thing I did was get a new number and called amarachi, I told her everything that had happened, naturally she was outraged, but I calmed her down, told her everything was going to be alright, you see, at the point I had an unusually calm demeanor, I was not going to make any hasty decisions, my exit had to be perfect, and I was formulating a plan.
All I needed was one perfect opportunity to execute my plan, and while I waited I began to strategize on the best way to pay lawani back for all the years of pain and suffering, I know I can’t get those years back, but I was going to make him pay. I did a lot of research and my plan was taking shape, it was only a matter of time.
On the 15th of September 2010,the opportunity presented itself, it was a hard opportunity, but I was willing to make the sacrifice, Myself and keji were driving back from a weeknight church service when I decided to stop for ice cream; we pulled into an eatery, which made us 20 minutes late getting home. Lawani had gone out looking for us, and when he returned home, fully aware of this infraction and furious, he ordered me to take keji to bed.
Then, for several hours, lawani punished me, telling me,
“I’m going to do this until you pass out”.
“Then I’m going to take you out to a secluded place, slit your throat, and no one will ever know what happened”.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, after struggling on the bed, we fell in a heap onto the floor, and a burst of searing pain shot up my back; i could barely move. I was in such agony that Lawani had to lift me back onto the bed for our ritual makeup sex. Even then, he ordered me to get on top.
The level of violence he reached that night was like nothing I’d ever experienced,” “I didn’t know what he was capable of doing beyond that, and I didn’t want to find out.”
He fell asleep after we were done ,and I got off the bed and prepared some breakfast for him, but before I left the room, I took one last look at him, and for the first time I smiled, and walked out.
I prepared his breakfast and brought it to him in bed, I woke him up gently and whispered how sorry I was in his ear, yes I was the submissive wife, you see after years of abuse, lawani had taught me how switch between characters with the greatest of ease.
He rose up, looked at me and said “you see how easy life can be if you behave yourself, and with that he ate and took his coffee, when he was done he stood up and tried to walk to the bathroom, I could see he stumbled a bit, but he probably thought it was due to what had transpired the night before, I went downstairs, and called out to him to come take a look at some things I had for him, I was standing at the foot of the stairs, he walked to the head of the stairs looking very stunned, his eyes were a bit swollen and he could hardly support himself, knowing lawani the way I did, I knew his ego would never allow him admit he was weak, and so he attempted to walk down the stairs, and that’s when it happened, he missed the first step, and he came tumbling down in a heap, I watched him roll down the stairs and I didn’t move an inch, I could hear his bones crack as he hit each stair and he landed right in front of me, he was conscious but could not move, I stared at him for a minute, I could see the look of both pain and surprise in his eyes, he attempted to say something, but I quickly put a polythene bag over his head and watched him choke until he passed out, I checked his pulse, he was still alive, so I quickly ran up the stairs, picked keji up from her bed and came back down, he was still unconscious, so I picked up my phone and called the hospital, I explained what had happened and an ambulance was sent over.
Lawani was taken to the hospital, and we followed behind in my car, I called my mother and told her what had happened, so she met us at the hospital and took keji home.
The doctors confirmed he had a broken spine, he was paralyzed from the neck down, they had also carried out a scan of his head, noticed some swelling in the brain and confirmed he had suffered partial brain damage, to put it mildly, my dearest lawani had been reduced to nothing but a semi-vegetable, and in my assumed form of panic, I asked what the implications were, and I was informed that he would probably be in need of external care for the rest of his natural life, unless a miracle happened, don’t hold your breath, miracles don’t happen for demons.
I walked out of the hospital a few days later, with a sigh of relief, for the first time in a very long time, I could feel the rays of the sun, and the cool air blowing around me, don’t judge me, and was I happy, you damn right I was.
Lawani was in the hospital for a couple of months, he showed very little signs of improvement, you could tell he understood everything that went on around him, but was powerless to do anything about it.
Shortly before he was discharged from the hospital, I came into his room, and sat beside him, bent over and kissed him on the fore head and told him how he got here.
”I loved you lawani, I gave up my womanhood for you, I gave up my sanity and my humanity for you, I gave you my life, and all you gave me in return was horror and sorrow, this was no accident my dear husband, remember when I served you breakfast in bed, after that night when you chocked me and turned me into a common whore, that night made me realize no amount of love was worth all the abuse, so I slipped some pancuronium bromide into your coffee, don’t bother asking how I got it, desperate times called for desperate measures, but you were too blind and proud to realize something was wrong with you, I watched you fall, and with every crack of your bones it was like a chain being broken from my life, I put the bag over your head for just the right amount of time to knock you out, you see lawani I had done my research, killing you was going to be too easy for you, so I did this instead, and well I guess mother luck was on my side, I want you to re-live the horror you put me through these past 5 years, I want you to have a taste of hell, before you actually go there, you are my dear husband, ”for better or for worse” remember”?
Thank you for giving me keji, she made it all worth it, you are nothing but an animal lawani, a coward, a vile being, and I will savor every moment of your pain and suffering, I will watch you soil yourself, and I will watch you be the helpless little man you really are, your tears will be like nectar to me, and your pain will be like cold water on my skin”.
I walked out of the room……..and signed his discharge papers.
These days life has returned back to normal, keji is growing up healthy and strong, my ad agency is doing very well, I don’t look over my shoulder anymore, I still have nightmares once in a while, but I know it will pass, as for lawani, he is kept upstairs with his nurse who attends to him, and every now and then I walk up to his room and stare at him for minutes, I smile and walk away.
My name is Ifeoluwa ,and that was my story.
Written by Arome Ameh ( The Priest)
Read part 1 HERE
Read part2 HERE
Read part3 HERE