“A woman’s beauty is like a flower. As the sun rises in morning and fades at Night, that’s how a flower fades with time. Adaeze,” she theatrically dragged her earlobe; her right hand clutched the loose end of her wrapper against her breast, “leave that boy alone and pick one of these promising men. A woman is five times older than her male age mate. Pick one of these men and marry. Stop being foolish. Hmm… Choo ewu ojii ka chi di.”
I vividly remember these memories like it was yesterday. Then, it became mama’s anthem whenever I visited the house. Every visit from school became an avenue to pour out a long-overdue rage. The lining of the veins on her neck grew thicker with every new pressing issue. A single mother with four children. I cried every time her hot tears touched my skin while comforting her but, yet, my heart had long been stolen by my university lover, Nkem.
I had never believed in love. I never believed it could exist. I had doubted it with my life until the 5th April, 2017, at Emmatex Fast Food in Abuja campus, when he walked in. A male figure, with exotic bears glowing like a lit charcoal, in an oval face. His eyes, a mesmerizing dark pupil with flecks of slivery light performing ballets throughout. An air of confidence stuck around him with a high rise chest which slopped downwards. And when he said, ‘hi.’ I was jolted back to reality. My head was racing, my hands were unease, and my heartbeat had lost its rhythm. I remember how magical it was.
On moonless nights, at the school love garden, we held hands wrapped in love; staring at the skies and counting the stars. In the half light of night, he would draw me closer to him. His breath fanning my nose, his voice bearing promises of our future and, at intervals, our lips, interrupting the thoughts of our future as his kisses ceased my breath.
I delved into something I never believed in and gradually it started destroying me. “You must leave this house today, no no! no! this can’t be true,” mama threw herself to the ground, “you mean you gave your school fees to Nkem to pay for his ICAN exams. Ewo.. My daughter has gone mad oh. You people should come.” She screamed in pain, tears gushed like a water fall. “I have lost another one oh, eh! eh! My enemies have succeeded. Adaeze,” pain enveloped her as she smashed her head in bitterness, “I curse the day I bore you, Adaeze. Go and never come back again.”
That was seven years ago, Life grew cruel with each passing day. Love faded and my spirit was shattered. Life tossed me to a dead end in the streets of Port Harcourt and forged me into something else.
And right now I’m holding a pistol pointing at the love of my life.
“I beg you in the name of the lord, please… don’t kill me…” Nkem pleads with his everything. It has been five years since I last saw him and Nkem has grew finer.
I smile a faint smile. “You destroyed me – you demon.” My words are barely above a whisper. And I Shoot at the ceiling.
“Jesus- Jesus. No nah. Adaezem, it’s not what you think. I beg you in the name of God,” he kneels, “I can explain everything. See – after I left for Canada, I know I promised to always keep in touch. But everything did not just fit into the plan. Please, I can make it up now.” Sweat drips through his head.
“You can make it up now? Can you bring back my career now? Can you bring back all the lives I have taken? Can you bring back my mother? She died of high blood pressure after she kicked me out – all,” I rage at him and shoot his large flat screen TV beside him, “because of you. You’re a monster.”
“Please, I still love you,” his voice is like a soothing balm as tears trails down his black diamond bears, “those pictures you saw on Facebook is not what you think… the marriage was only a sham… things got rough – I still love you.” In between his words, I could feel some truth but I brush aside the thought.
“Liar! Liar! Liar! I hate you.” I could no longer conceal the tears. Tears splits over and flows down my cheeks with suppressed sound of hiccups.
“Adaeze, please I know I did you many wrongs but please – please don’t kill me. I always truly loved you.”
I am staring at him. He has grown thicker and more endearing. I look into his red swollen eyes and I can still find those flecks of silvery light. Bitterness and hate nestles inside of me, yet his presence still caresses my soul. How can I still be in love with a man that ruined my life, my family and my everything? How can I still feel this way? Someone I dreamt of killing every day, how can my heart still swell for him? In one quick swivel, I turn the pistol to my head and press down the trigger.