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BAAAAAM GBOOOM GBAAAAAaM!!!! These are the sounds our neighbours are accustomed to hearing,followed by a cacophony of screams,screeches and squeals. They hear it every other night. Its as sure and certain as the breaking of dawn that we would have a fight. Punters are sure to win,if and when they placed a bet. For whatever reason there is,we would have a fight. I am always irate,deranged,with the demeanour of one who’s taken too many blows to the head. A smile as inoffensive as it is,a passing comment from Anna would attract a battering. Punches,kicks and pillows flying around resulting in the blackening of her eyelids,those eyelids that secrets her seraphically gorgeous blue eyes;those swimmy blue eyes that illuminates my world and burns the hard and rocky edges of my heart…

Then a sudden awakening,a humongous rush of overwhelming;sickening guilt then takes hold of me and I become as sober and morose as penitents who have just come to the realization of God and how evil and empty their former lives were without him . Then I beg and plead, with me,solicitous and promising never to lay a finger on her again,all in a bid to prevent her from moving out of the house and worse still my life. I infact would not touch her for days,even weeks;not just the Mayweather kind of touch but the couples’ kind of touch too as I cannot stand touching her with the same filthy hands I used in inflicting pain on her. “WOE BETIDE YOU ARTHUR“,I would curse under my breath.

On several occasions she would move out of our apartment for weeks unending,relocating to her parents’ under the guise of coming to stay with them pending my return from a business trip and her blackened eyelid,she will tell was as a result of her wandering in the dark
whence the Power Holding Company of Nigeria did what they know how to do best;seize power. She told this lie so frequently that it became almost musical;strings and chords coming together in melodious harmony like the strings,chords and keys of a typical Mozart’s symphony. She began believing it herself but her mom wasn’t gonna be deceived,she stopped believing it,“you hit your eyes on the wall everytime ehn Anna,how long have you stayed in that house? When you are not a baby.”,she would say as she hisses and squeezes her face and concludes with “that your husband does not know me and he would know me.”, in a threatening and sardonic tone.

Though Anna’s mom iffy as she always is,smelled a rat from the first day but she couldn’t just imagine her Anna lying to her about anything in this world,but now she was cocksure I was beating her daughter. And trying to deny or convince her that the otherwise was the case,would take the exact same dexterity it would require for one to convince an eskimo to buy a refrigerator or the gift of the gab and gutso,it would require to intimate a native doctor of his inability and inefficiency coupled with a lack of knowledge and mastery of roots and leaves to concoct herbs for ‘Iba’ without him conjuring the deities to have your head for dinner. That infact wasn’t gonna happen. She was gonna show me what she in clear terms,termed “serious pepper” and that sounds like a lot of pepper for anyone to be in. Anna’s mom always makes good of her threats,she would infact show me pepper, if not serious pepper at least a little,which actually is enough pepper to spice a party jollof rice meant for 300people. But for the timely intervention of Anna herself,who persuaded her to let me be,I’d be somewhere behind bars and as she never refuses her anything being an only child;she would infact leave me alone.

I would call Anna severally but she won’t answer,my texts she won’t reply,not even my lengthy apologetic Skype messages would do the trick. In that moment,she just wanted to be far away from me as much as possible.That she would do till she can find a place in her heart to forgive me;till she can stand the sight,smell and sound of me. But for a lot of reasons too benign to understand she always comes back.Maybe for the fear that I’d die of loneliness,that in her absence my troubled world will ingurgitate me and I’d dissolve into nothingness or maybe for LOVE;this same four letter word that drives me nuts,the one that leaves me screeching,reeling and writhing in pain whenever she left the house,the one that goes crazy with rage whenever she gets dropped by her colleague from the office Archie,the one that drives me to hit her;that cannot be love…

This time Anna came back home and brought light to the darkness of my life,such light that pervades even the darkest of darkness;the light of love. And like a new born baby,I was renewed,her return brought me a new lease of life. I started treating her like the angel she was,no punching,no kicking,no hitting. It was the stuffs of dreams,the very ones dreams are made of.

Everything was fine,up until 6months later. That morning,I left the house in a hurry got to work and I began to miss Anna. I decided to give her a call,“Hey baby” I said as is customary,“Stop it Archie,I’m not in the mood” were the words I heard at the other end of the line,words accompanied with so much passion that I doubted if that was my woman’s phone I just called. I called back to establish certainty but there was no answer. Something sinister swelled up in me;urges from a deep dark place…

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