Certain events make us realize the error of our ways, by normal human nature, we only become remorseful, when we get caught doing something wrong, we ordinarily would never repent if we got away with doing evil over and over again.
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.
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)
From the day I found out I was going to be a dad, everything changed for me, I grew up almost instantly, and I was determined to be the best husband and father I could be.
My wife was a wonderful woman, she brought me joy beyond measure, and I remember always teasing her, about giving me a copy of herself, so I could have two of them, and she did just that, our daughter; Claudia was born, June 12th, 1988, that was the second happiest day of my life, the first being my wedding day.
I held Claudia in my arms, she stared up at me with her big cute eyes, and I promised her I would never let anything happen to her, I swore I would rather die, than see any harm come to her, and I meant it.
The years passed, and Claudia grew up, she was normal, and went through all the stages, the “I hate boys” stage, which was my personal favorite, the “I am aware of my body/I want boys to notice me” stage, didn’t like that stage very much, and then the “I am a grown woman, off to college stage”, I had dreaded this stage from the day she was born, but her mother always said, “you cannot hide her under your wing forever”, she was right, I had to let her go and hope everything would be alright.
Claudia left, I wasn’t worried, I knew she was going to be fine, I knew she would be fine.
In her usual way she breezed through college, time went by with Claudia, as though some cosmic force was in a hurry to see her grow up, don’t get me wrong, I was happy my baby was achieving things in leaps and bounds, but sometimes I just got worried, worried that everything was moving too fast.
After college she decided work for herself as an IT consultant, she might as well, because I never saw her as a nine to five woman anyway, she stayed with us, I mean there was no point living on her own, call me old fashioned, but I never saw it as a right thing for a single woman to live alone, but secretly it was my own little way of keeping both my girls as close to me as i possibly could.
Then he happened……..
She met him, while consulting for a firm here in town, and from the way she always talked about him, I knew she was smitten, my little girl was finally in-love, don’t get me wrong though, she had been in-love lots of times, and she had fallen out of love lots of times too, but there was something about this that was different, I could feel it, and even though I didn’t like it, I was happy for my baby.
Claudia and ikenna got married after just a year of dating, he owned a small transport company, and was doing well for himself, he was a nice boy, nothing too extra-ordinary about him, he had only his mother, he had informed me he father passed away a few years before, I was against an early marriage, they were going too fast I thought, but my wife, and other family members, would not allow me slow things down, well I guess it was an African thing, I remember my wife saying “be happy she has found someone who is responsible enough to marry her, you have a good daughter, so be grateful”, and after she said that, I let it all go, and gave my blessing.
A few months into the marriage, I began noticing changes in Claudia, I noticed she didn’t answer her calls like she used to, I mean I knew she was married now, and had other responsibilities, but 8 out of 10 times, her husband would answer her calls, and would always tell me she would call back, and whenever she called back, her excuses always seemed rehearsed, and there was this forced cheerfulness about her now, I knew something was wrong.
I told my wife about it, and she dismissed it, she said I worried too much, and that I should give them space, I tried to give them space, but when Claudia came to visit one Sunday afternoon, I knew something was seriously wrong.
We just got back from church, and we met Claudia at the front door, she looked broken, her smile was a tired smile, her eyes were filled with fear and suspicion, this was not my Claudia, I tried hard to get her to tell me what was wrong, but she wouldn’t budge, and at a point she really got upset with me, told me to mind my business, and left the house, I was furious and immediately got on the phone with her husband ikenna, and asked him to see me immediately.
He came over that evening, and I told him in very plain terms, that I didn’t like the way Claudia was looking when she came over earlier, his surprised look, showed me he didn’t know she had been here, and he suddenly seemed very agitated, and while I spoke and proceeded to give him some fatherly advice, I noticed his fist clenching, he was really getting worked up, and so I stopped, I told him to take things easy, and no matter what problems there might seem to be now, they could both work it out.
He left, and I was troubled.
Later that night, I asked my wife if Claudia had told her about any troubles she was having at home, she denied any knowledge of any problems Claudia might be having, and since I had agitated two people already, I decided not to push this anymore; maybe I was just being paranoid.
Later that night I woke up troubled, I just couldn’t sleep, I felt something was terribly wrong, and when I tapped my wife to see if she was asleep, I noticed her eyes were red, not from sleep, but from crying, my heart missed a beat, and I asked her in a very stern tone, to tell me what was going on, she went on to tell me that ikenna had been beating Claudia, my baby, the same child I had never laid my hands on, and when I asked why she had not told me all this before now, she said she was afraid as to how i might react.
I was furious, I got out of bed, got dressed and headed for Claudia’s home, and I was going to put a stop to this once and for all, my heart was racing and I felt sick in my stomach, I pulled up at their home, and immediately went in, it was very quiet, the lights were on, I tried to open the door, but it was locked, so I banged on it, a neighbor emerged from out back and motioned for me to come over, she told me they had been loud screams coming from their flat, and that ikenna had left a few minutes before I arrived, we went to the back door and forced it open, I ran into the house calling out for my Claudia, I was panicking, and then suddenly saw her laying on the couch in the living room, I rushed to her, my heart sank when I saw her, her eyes had been beaten shut, the had a swollen lip, and bruises all over her arms, she could barely move, she could barely speak, and when I tried to carry her up, she winced in pain, and that was when I noticed the blood, the couch was soaked with it, she had a large gash in her side, and it looked like a stab wound, she was bleeding, I quickly picked her up, grabbed a towel from the kitchen in an attempt to stop the bleeding, I put her in the car and drove to the hospital with the nice neighbor lady, I called my wife on the way.
We arrived at the hospital, she was immediately rushed into surgery, while I waited for my wife to arrive, I called ikenna’s number severally, it rang for a bit, and after a while it was switched off, I called the police, and explained everything, they sent two officers to the hospital to see things for themselves, my wife arrived and she was beside herself, she wept without control, I didn’t attempt to console her, all I wanted was to find ikenna and ask the question, why did he do this to my child?
The police arrived and took statements from myself and the nice neighbor lady, they had to wait for my wife to calm down, before they could ask her any questions, Claudia was still in surgery when I left with the police to make a former complaint, I got to the station, wrote my statement again, and left.
Claudia died a few hours after surgery, she had lost too much blood, she had broken ribs and a punctured lung, my baby had been beaten to death, and I was not there to protect her.
Ikenna was arrested and charged with murder, he was not charged with abuse, just murder, the police simply stated they didn’t have substantial evidence to bring abuse charges against him, no one had ever reported abuse, and her wounds could be as a result of anything.
I was there when Claudia was born, I helped pick out her first bed, I picked out her first bike, I walked her to school on her first day, I helped pick out her first car, and now I picked out her casket.
I don’t understand it; I never raised my hand to hit my wife or child, why did he take my baby away from me.
I made a promise to Claudia, never to let any harm come to her, I didn’t keep that promise, and I let that bastard take her away from me.
He was charged with just murder, not abuse.
By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
Posted by Arome Ameh (The Priest) From WordPress for Android
Remember when you would spend endless hours on the phone with her, talking about anything and everything, your phone was always loaded, and in most cases you would ensure hers’ was loaded with call credit, just in case the network would not permit for voice calls, then you would easily switch to text messaging?
Remember how long it took you to work up the courage, just to meet her parents, and remember all the assurances of love and loyalty you gave to them, just to make them trust you?
Remember when you finally decided to propose?
Remember how you felt when she said yes?
Remember your wedding day?
Remember your vows?
Remember your wedding night? (wink)
Remember all those days when you couldn’t wait to get off work, just so you could rush home and be with her?
Remember how beautiful she always looked, even when she just got out of bed?
Remember how she listened to all your jokes, and laughed, even at the ones others never found funny?
Remember how she suddenly became a sports lover, just so she could share your moments with you?
Remember how she supported all your dreams and aspirations?
Remember when she was the “ONLY” woman you wanted and desired?
Now my dear friend, its barely two(2) years, and you don’t remember to call her, and tell her how much you love her, now you hardly remember to send her text messages, off course you still do send messages, but none ever get to her phone, now you don’t even remember to tell her how stunning she looks in that new dress, or how lovely her new hair do is.
Suddenly, she just doesn’t mean that much to you anymore.
Suddenly, you realize that she snores in bed, and always takes up too much space.
Suddenly, you begin to notice how she likes to “CUDDLE” too much.
Suddenly you realize she doesn’t cap the toothpaste after she uses it.
Suddenly you realize she is putting on too much weight, and it annoys you (even after baring you a child)
Suddenly you developed a sour taste for that egusi soup you always loved so much, and could eat for days without end, and you decide to adopt a new phrase “IS THIS ALL WE HAVE TO EAT IN THIS HOUSE”.
Suddenly, work becomes more tedious after normal working hours.
Suddenly, you prefer to spend most of your weekends with the “BOYS”.
Now, someone else is taking your attention.
Now you feel you have something better going for you.
Now you feel you have a more sophisticated woman in your life.
Now you feel you have a more submissive woman, to cater to all yours whims and desires.
Do you really believe this other woman is a better alternative?
Do you actually feel there is room for comparison?
Do you honestly believe your own lies and justifications?
You walk around with a ring on your finger, the other woman clearly sees this, she knows what it symbolizes, and yet she agrees to sneak around with you
She knows you have a family at home, and yet pretends to be your quantum of solace, she pretends to give you a safe haven from your self induced and assumed problems.
Ask yourself this simple question, if she is willing to run around with you, if she is willing to destroy the home you built with your wife, then what possible future do you have with her.
After all is said, and all the excuses are made, the bottom line is simple, all you get from her is sex.
Why go out for sex, when you can make passionate love to your wife, a woman who has given you her mind, body and soul, with no price tag attached to it.
Why don’t you see your wife for who she is, and in case you don’t know who she is, I’ll tell you, she is the woman you fell in love with.
So my dear friend, before you pick the easy route, which will lead you to more sorrow and pain.
Try to remember your wife, who she was, who she is, and who she will always be to you.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
I met him on badoo, yes badoo, the network where people upload pictures and deceive themselves, he looked cool enough, at least he didn’t have a cheesy profile and didn’t claim to own the taj mahal, he was just an average guy, looking to chat and just while away time, well at that time that’s what I thought.
I was still going through his profile when he sent me a message, clearly he had taken the same interest in me, I hesitated at first, but then I decided to reply him, he was very polite, but I didn’t fall for it right away, I have had experiences with guys online, most of them pretend to be nice and civil at first, until they begin to ask for pictures of your breasts and privates. We chatted for about 10mins and he decided to log off, this was a first for me, because usually I always leave in the middle of a conversation, to keep them wanting more, now I know what that felt like.
Now I know we just chatted for 10mins, but it felt like we had been old friends, yes I know how cliche’ it sounds, but that’s just the plain fact, anyway I logged off too, but about 30mins later, I was back online, silently hoping he had logged on while I was away, and left a message, but to my dismay, there was no message from him. I logged off again, and repeated the process about 4 times that day and finally decided to control myself, I was lonely, I didn’t have a boyfriend, I didn’t just break up, I just didn’t have a boyfriend, don’t know why, but no one had ever asked me out, don’t get me wrong, I have male friends, but nothing intimate, I have had a few flings, but none ever stuck around long enough, it was always wam bam, thank you sam and they were gone before I could even put on my panties.
A few days passed and no message from him, I caught him online once, but while I was sending him a message I realized he had logged off, now it really hurt me, which made me ask myself why I was so bothered about this guy, I didn’t even know his real name, so I decided to forget about him, and move on with my life.
I carried on, still hooked on to the site, checking out profiles and dreaming up stupid fantasies, suddenly there he was, he had sent me a message, my first impulse was to log off, but while my head was logging off, my hands were already replying his message, we chatted for hours, it was fun, refreshing, intriguing, I became drawn to him, I asked for his phone number, but to my surprise he refused giving it to me, he simply said the time was not right yet, well I felt very insulted and I didn’t hesitate to let him know, he just simply apologized and told me goodnight. I was fuming, I decided I would never speak to him again, but deep down inside I knew I would speak to him if he spoke, so I just vented, cursed and went to bed.
After that day, we became regular chat mates, we talked about everything, but the most frustrating part was I still couldn’t read him, I didn’t know what he wanted, any regular guy would have made his intentions known by now, but not him, and he had this air of mystery around him, I guess that was what drew me to him, so I decided to make the first move, told him I wanted to hear his voice, this time he didn’t hesitate, he gave me his number and I immediately called him, he had a very calm voice, and I was smitten, in addition to what I felt already, I called him almost all the time, I sent text messages, and did all I could to stay in constant touch with him, at this point I realized our roles had been reversed, I was the guy and he was the lady, I would call and call, sometimes he would pick up, sometimes he wouldn’t, but I would still call, I would send long messages, and all I would get as a reply was a simple ‘ok’.
I decided I wanted to meet him, I craved definition, I wanted to finally put a face to the voice and all the messages I arranged for us to meet at the shopping mall, he agreed without hesitation, suddenly I felt sick in my stomach, was it regret or just sheer excitement, time would tell.
The agreed day for our date was here, I was falling over myself, I had trouble deciding what to wear, I wanted to make a good impression, but I didn’t want to appear to slutty or desperate, I arrived at the mall I bit early, I waited for close to an hour before he arrived, and when he arrived, I wasn’t disappointed, he was handsome, suave, and very calm, and a perfect gentleman, if he was still pretending up until this point, he must have been a good actor, and oh yes he was.
We had a swell time, talked about anything and everything, the day was gradually coming to an end, and suddenly I was becoming depressed, he noticed this and promised to take me out on a date on Saturday, I was happy, and although Saturday was just 2 days away it felt like an eternity, he stopped a cab for me, and gave me a kiss in the cheek, I wished it was more, but I had to be content with what I got.
The next 2 days were very interesting, he called me every chance he got, and my message inbox was filled with very romantic messages, finally some attention, and I was loving it, every moment of it. He hadn’t sent any sexual messages, or suggested anything sexual, all he did was call to know how I was, and tell me how deeply he felt for me, I was smitten beyond reason.
Saturday morning, I was so excited, I couldn’t eat, I tried on several clothes, I was determined this time to show off my features, I wanted him to see all he had at his disposal, and all he needed to do was ask, my plan worked, from the moment he picked me up, I caught him checking me out on several occasions, I was enjoying every moment of it. Our date was heavenly, he took me to a lake side restaurant, we ate, talked and laughed, and when we were done he offered to drop me off at home, I didn’t want to be too forward, so I agreed, but on our way back to my place he asked if I wouldn’t mind going back to my place, at least just to know where he lived, I agreed and off we went.
Most times we are blinded by lots of factors, and these don’t allow us look out for warning signs, on our way to his place, his phone rang, and suddenly he pulled the car over, he genuinely looked upset, and went on to tell me, he just received a call from his gate man, informing him the house had been fumigated, so instinctively I asked what the plan was, and he said he had to check into a hotel , then he offered to drive me home, well I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, so I decided to go with him to the hotel, I wanted to play the loyal girlfriend, after all it wouldn’t speak well of me if I abandoned him now, so off we went.
There was an awkward silence at the hotel, I was quite tense and I guess he was too, because he kept walking around checking everything over and over again, I took off my shoes and put on the tv and sat on the bed, I watched him walk around and told him to come sit by me, he hesitated at first, but then he sat beside me, he took my hands and kissed me, I responded, he pulled back, looked into my eyes and told me he hoped it would last, then he kissed me again, I totally melted in his arms, I threw all caution to the wind, and allowed him have his way with me, I didn’t care, all I cared about was that time, I would care tomorrow, but today, I was with him.
He made love to me, over and over again, it was intense, maybe because I had not been treated with so much care and passion, I didn’t care that we didn’t have protection, all I wanted was him, looking back now, it was a stupid thing to do. We both fell asleep, the next morning he gently woke me up with a kiss, he ordered some breakfast for us, we ate silently, we didn’t talk about the previous night, I went in to take a shower, he joined me, and we had sex right there in the bathroom, this time it was urgent, as if he was having me for the first time, I loved it, he gave me a good mix, gentle the previous night, hard the following morning, as he had me, I thought to myself, where had he been all my life. I was so happy, in my mind I had found my Mr. Right, we got dressed and he drove me home, we were chatting like an old couple, he stopped at my hostel gate, came out and opened the door for me, kissed me on the cheek and promised to call me once he had sorted his house out, I watched him drive off, with a massive smile on my lips, I was happy.
I waited for his call all day, I waited for his message, I didn’t get anything, I fought the urge to call him, didn’t want to appear too needy, after all he had told me he would call, so I waited and waited some more, but no call came in, I was beginning to get worried, so I called his number, it was switched off, my heart skipped a beat, but I calmed myself, maybe his battery had died, maybe he didn’t have access to his house yet, so I waited, I lay on my bed waiting, I fell asleep with my phone in hand.
I woke up the next morning, immediately checked my phone, no missed calls, no text messages, I tried his line again, still switched off, I started to panic, I immediately logged on to badoo, lots of messages, but none from him, I tried to check his profile, and my heart sank with the message I saw, “USER PROFILE HAS BEEN DELETED”,I immediately broke down crying, I was confused, what was happening, I tried his number again, still switched off, tried to check his profile again and got the same message, it was like he had vanished into thin air.
I spent the whole day in bed, hoping blindly that he would call, nothing, I tried his number and it was still switched off, my roommates asked what was wrong, I was too ashamed to tell them anything, I still didn’t want to believed I had been played, so I waited, and waited some more, I eventually slept off.
The next day I woke up, tried his number, checked his profile, everything was still the same, I decided to try to find him, I found my way back to the hotel, I tried to see if I could get any information, I lied that I had forgotten my wallet in the room, they checked the registration details, the room was booked in just one name, victor, that was his online name, that was the name I called him, the phone number was the one I had, I was let into the room, I found nothing, I left there, and tried to trace my way to his place, I got to the point where we turned around, I walked around for some hours hoping to see if he would drive by, but slowly I began to realize he wasn’t going to drive by, slowly I began to realize I had been played, I fell for a scam, I had sex with a phantom, how else could I explain what had happened to me.
I went back to school, ashamed, depressed, and feeling very dirty, I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, when asked about him, all I did was say he was fine. I tried his number a couple more times, and checked his profile, everything remained the same, the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, I was beginning to forget, until I fell ill.
I woke up one night shivering from a serious fever, I was burning up, my roommates rushed me to the school clinic, I was, I was placed on admission, the doctor insisted on running some tests before he started treatment, I was given an injection to help with the fever. A couple of hours later he came back with the results, he asked to talk to me privately, my roommates left the room, and the words came out like blows, “YOU ARE PREGNANT”, I was too shocked to speak, I was 19 (nineteen), and pregnant for a man I met online, nowhere to be found, my life was over, how was I going to explain this to my parents, if I was pregnant, what assurance did I have that I hadn’t contracted a disease from him, there were so many questions, and no answers, I was pregnant, who was I going to blame.
I met a man online, I acted like a common slut, and he left me with a pregnancy I didn’t know what to do with, there was no excuse for what I had gotten myself into, no sympathy for my actions, if I am to carry this pregnancy to term, how was I going to explain the circumstances, how would I tell this child who the father was or is.
There is no happy ending here, just the mistakes of an overzealous young girl.
By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
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