YETUNDE

The wind is blowing in my hair as I drive. The windows are down and the air conditioning is off. The bridge is empty as I drive, which is strange. The road is never this free. The sound of my little daughter in the backseat pulls me back to reality. I look back at her face and a smile sneaks up on me through the tears that have been streaming down my face.

My name is Yetunde. And I’m running for my life.

I wonder how it all went to hell. How everything nosed-dived into the pit I live in now. Everything was near perfect as far as I could tell. I had everything I wanted and more. I had a whole lot of things all the other girls wanted. I always felt the envious looks when I walked past. And I didn’t care. I was in my own perfect little fairytale. Oblivious to the fact that all it was was a happy never after.

It all started that one day. T – My best friend – and I were walking to the cafeteria. We were in our 400 level – final year – and we’d had the most gruesome day and we just wanted to get some food, eat and go back to our hall.

Of course to get to the cafeteria we had to pass the basket ball court. We were walking hand in hand to support each other. But I remember supporting the skinny twig with my won frame. Out of someone’s hand flew a ball and it bounced until I finally rolled its way to the front of us girls.

Someone was coming from the court to pick up their ball so I thought to pick it up and throw it towards whoever was coming. And I bent to pick up and I looked up right into the eyes of the man who would be my husband.

I had met a lot of guys in school but I don’t really remember meeting him before then. He was tall, with dark chocolate skin, wavy dark hair I wanted to run my hands through, arms that bulged from where he stood, a barrel chest that strained to free themselves from his somewhat tight basketball jersey and he was sporting a beard. I thought to myself man not boy.

I looked up into his eyes and I saw something and I knew I wanted him. We stood there for a few moments just staring into each other’s eyes. It felt like no time passed. T just walked off beside me to get food. She swore she told me something about leaving because she was hungry but I swore I didn’t hear a thing. He said of that day that someone had to wrestle the ball out of his hand because he had seen the woman he wanted to marry and he never wanted to stop looking. What girl doesn’t want to hear words like that?

If I didn’t know better I would have said it was true love. I saw something in his eyes that day but I was lost in the moment. Who wouldn’t be?

I spent the rest of the evening talking to him. I never wanted to leave. I had never felt that way with anyone before. I forgot about the hunger and the tiredness till after I left him to return to my hall. Then it hit me hard. God bless T, she had bought food for me. I wonder where I would be without her.

As soon as some of the peppered rice had gone down my throat, T set the room ablaze asking questions. I told her some of the things I had gleaned in the short time we had talked. He was in his final year too. 500 level mechanical engineering. He was 3 years older because he started school a little late. He was adopted. He had lost his parents when he was young in an accident I couldn’t bear to bring myself to ask about.

T said I was lucky. I had meet this totally hot guy and connected with him in just a few hours. People do that in months. Years maybe. We were inseparable over our final year in school. We did everything together and we did it in sync like it was natural. T had to make some space I was happy. Service year came along and we pulled all the strings we could so we could serve in the same state. And we pulled the right strings. He would drive over to my house each morning to pick me for work and drop me back home in the evening.

My mother gave her blessings immediately, my brothers just wanted my happiness and what they saw gave them conviction but my father was reluctant to give his blessings. He wouldn’t say what his reasons were but after hours and days of intervening by the entire family he finally did; saying I no longer belonged to him but to my husband now.

We got married 5 years after we meet. 4 years after leaving school. The ceremony was wonderful. My father spared no expense. I was his only daughter. And it didn’t help that my husband came from a wealthy family with an inheritance from his birth parents.

It was the events of the night after, which forever changed me. I had been looking forward to the night after like every new virgin bride. I had never experience anything of that nature. Blame it on lack of opportunity and me waiting for “The One” and I was married to him now. I snuck out early with T in tow to go “freshen up” for my new husband. She helped me pick out a sexy little number and left me to wait on my husband.

He wasn’t long behind. He had this dark look as he walked towards me. I could feel butterflies in my stomach as he got nearer. He was finally in front of me and our lips met in an explosive fiery kiss. He led us to the bed and ripped the little thing I was wearing. His eyes grew darker and he pushed me down on the bed. I felt his weight upon me holding me still and then he fingers closing in around my throat, choking me. And the next thing I remember was the searing pain as he pummeled me. I passed out from the intensity of what I went through in the short time. As soon as he realized I was up he was ready to go again despite my tears. The pain was beyond me and I passed out again.

I couldn’t walk the next morning. He told me that I had better get used to it. It continued nights after. The instrument of punishment varied and I would be subject to various things prodding me inside and out. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, who would believe me? Except T of course.

I got pregnant after enduring three months of my own personal hell. He stopped all his “punishments” and became doting as he was before. He would take care of all my needs. And treat me his precious baby once again. I began to see light at the end of my tunnel. Till last night, six months after I had delivered our baby daughter he came home with those same look in his eyes.

I did the one thing T had been saying I should do – run. I packed out things and here we are on the road running for my life. I made a quick stop at T’s place to say quick goodbyes and headed out back as fast as I came in.

I was making my way to the airport. I was leaving and never looking back. Some distance to the airport I spotted a car that was as familiar to me as my left hand – my husband’s! He was moving closer in his bid to catch me and take me back with him. I had sworn that I was never going back. I pushed down on the accelerator pushing the car faster, running from what would soon be my past.

I didn’t see it soon enough. There was construction work going on and one of the workers was in the glare of my headlights. I swerved and the car somersaulted. I knew I was going to die. It was an expected end. I’m just glad I gave T and the baby time to get away.

CHANDELIER

She walked up to the door. It seemed quiet. She checked her phone again to be sure she was at the right address. She was. She rang the bell and the door swung open and she could see the party was in full swing. The house must be sound proof, she thought to herself. A blast of cold air hit her as she stepped into the house.
The techno beat was hypnotic. It sounded like something Calvin Harris had thrown together. As she moved through the crowd someone handed her a red plastic cup. She grabbed it and swallowed its contents in one gulp.
She began swaying to the beat of the music. Just another night in her life. She lived for the party. She would party to the early hours of the morning and repeat it all again the next day. She felt someone’s hand move to her waist. She didn’t look back, it would disrupt her momentum. She grabbed his hands as she gyrated into him, his body fitting hers perfectly. She was lost in the moment.
She stretched out her hand and another cup was passed to her, the hypnotic beat filling her head as she danced. She had done everything but it still wasn’t enough. Her phone started vibrating against her leg. The body hard against hers felt too good, she didn’t want to risk losing him in the crowd. Her phone kept vibrating but she didn’t acknowledge its urgency.
She spotted a familiar face walking towards her in the crowd. The last face she expected to see here, one of the faces that led her to escape her life every night.
“Your friend told me you were here” he said, his tone accusing.
“Can we not do this now” she said as she felt the hand pull away from her.
And with that he pulled her upstairs and into a room.
“I’m done, with all this. It’s been what, three years since I’ve had to put up with your bullshit.”
She just looked at him, like he wasn’t there.
The song playing downstairs escaped into the room.
Party Girls don’t get hurt, can’t feel anything.
Yes. And sadly she didn’t feel anything.
“Say something, anything” he pleaded.
“I’m done too” she said, and with that she walked out of the room.
Keep my glass full until morning light.
She reached for another cup and gulped its contents. Someone was on hand to fill her glass. Till the morning light the song said.
‘Cos I’m just holding on for tonight.
After all she was just holding on for tonight. Once the night was over she would feel no pain.
Throw them back till I lose count.
She had lost count of how many glasses she had had. The buzz was finally beginning to set in.
I wanna swing from a chandelier.
The gears in her head began to spin. She looked at the roof and right in the middle was a chandelier. Bright as it could be, filling the house with light. She steadied herself on the railing of the stairs and jumped.
She grabbed the chandelier. She didn’t fear falling. She swung her legs and the chandelier began to swing. Someone noticed her movements and pointed up. The entire house stopped to cheer her on. She was the life of the party, like she always was.
As the chants got louder and her momentum increased, her hand slipped. As she fell, the crowd parted and she landed with her back to the ground and her world faded to black.

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Her eyes opened as the morning light hit her face. She looked around. She didn’t remember where she was. She knew that to mean her night had been a good one. There were bodies on the floor, passed out from the partying. She felt a sudden breeze and looked down. She was missing her undergarments.
The same song was still playing in the background.
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame.
She felt sore as she stood up. As she stepped out of the house and into the street she only felt one thing.
Shame.

Her Dreams (Part III)

Before you continue, read how it all started Her Dreams (Part I) and Her Dreams (Part II)

He advanced towards her, step by step. With each step he took towards her, she took a step backwards. Till she felt her back pressed to the wall. She looked around the room and wondered if this was how she was going to lose something she had held on to so tightly.
She spotted something shine in the light of the passing moon beside her. It was a table knife she realized as she reached for it. It was a bit dull but she would use pressure if she had to. She pointed the knife in his direction. The gleam in his eyes died as his smile faded.
“Wetin you wan use that knife do? You wan kill me?” He laughed anxiously.
“Just lemme, make I waka commot. I no wan do” she said as she inched toward him with the knife pointed at his chest.
He stepped back and reached for his towel which still lay on the floor without taking his eyes off her.
“Oya waka commot from my room” he hissed at her.
She made her way out without turning her back to him, keeping the knife pointed at his chest. She dropped the knife on the floor as soon as she crossed the threshold of his room and ran back to Sade’s room. She knocked as hard as she could without alerting the whole compound to her presence.
Sade opened it groggy-eyed. Biola jumped in as fast as she could. The customer was gone now. Biola explained everything that had happened as fast as she could. Sade stood there and listened to her and as soon as she was done, she burst into laughter.
“Sha sleep.” she said as soon as she was done laughing. “But tomorrow morning you go pack your load commot from my house, I no like this your kind wahala.”
Biola was speechless. She just took her usual sleeping position beside Sade and drifted off to sleep.
As soon as it was bright out, she rushed out of the house to seek a business center. She dialed the number she had memorized for no reason thinking she would never need it, but here she was calling someone she never thought she would.
He picked it on the third ring.
“Hello, who is this?”
“Good morning sir.” She said, her voice timid and seeking another way out. “it’s biola”.
“Ah, biola. I was expecting your call sooner. Have you thought about what I said?”
“Yes sir. Yes”
“Stop calling me sir, we are friends. Meet me by 12 at the address I gave you. Take a taxi. I’ll pay for it”
And with that she knew her fate was sealed. She went back to Sade’s place and packed the single bag she had come with. Sade was apparently surprised. Perhaps she had wanted her to beg. She took her bath, thinking about her choice every single moment.
She wore her only black skirt and one of the blouses she had been saving for her first audition. Sade just keeping staring at her while she moved about, dressing up and picking up her stuff.
“But girl, you sabi say I dey joke?” She said. “How I go chase you commot? Hehn? Where you go stay?”
“You never sabi say you dey joke before? Na when I don pack my load commot finish na in you sabi say you dey joke. I don commot”
And with that she picked up her bag and she left the house. It was a few minutes to 12 when she stepped out, she didn’t want to get there too early and at the same time she wanted a chance to back out if she could. Once she was inside the cab there was no going back. She couldn’t afford a taxi. Or even a bus to where she was going.
This is it she thought. She hailed a taxi and gave him the address. She didn’t bother to barter over the price. She wouldn’t know how much it cost anyways.
He was waiting for her outside the place. It looked like a hotel. Nothing too fancy but it would be better than any where she had stayed. He paid for the taxi as arranged, he didn’t even complained that the driver had charged too much.
He ushered her in with such speed and anticipation that her heart skipped several beats. The man at the reception didn’t even bat an eyelash at them. Meaning he was a regular.
As soon as they were inside his room, he locked the door, signaling a lack of an escape route. She was really going to do this. He started taking off his shirt, smiling as he looked at her. She thought of her mother as tears flowed from her eyes.
She didn’t know how much time passed but he gave a satisfied grin when he was done with her. The tears kept flowing.
“Biola, Biola, you have done me well. Sorry about the pain hehn. Oya take paracetamol and order anything you want from the hotel. You can even sleep here. Just come for the movie audition tomorrow. The part don sure you.” He said with another grin.
He went into the bathroom, came out a while later and dropped some Naira notes and was gone.
She got up and cleaned herself. She still felt filthy afterwards. She tried to eat but she had no appetite. She fell asleep thinking that at least her dreams would come true.
She barely slept at night and was up early for her first movie audition. No one else had considered her, saying she was an unknown face. And she had met Mr. Gbenga at one of the auditions. He said he had come to scout out potential talent for the movie he was producing and she looked like she belonged on billboards and in movies but first she had to give him what he wanted from her. After that she would be a super star. He would make sure of it.
She spotted the throngs of girls there also auditioning for the same role. She had the upper hand but she wouldn’t stop herself from acting her heart out. She had been the female lead in all the dramas acted in the village festivals for as long as she could remember.
Soon she was the one facing the panel. Mr Gbenga sat at the centre like the chairman that he was. She channelled her inner actress, picturing the world of the character, living her life and speaking her words. She opened her eyes as soon as she was done. The other two judges looked impressed but Mr. Gbenga’s had the same bored expression he had had on with all the other mediocre girls.
“I’m sorry but you’re not good enough for this role. Try your luck somewhere else.” Mr. Gbenga said with the same bored expression.
Her head exploded with the words she had just heard. She couldn’t move or talk. Her heart just kept beating, almost like it would shut down any time from now. She didn’t recall how she had moved off the center stage but she recalled looking back and seeing a woman walk in and greet mr. Gbenga. She recognized her, she was of those actresses she used to see on posters, but whom she had always thought she was better than.
Mr. Gbenga’s voice rang saying he had found the actress playing his lead role. She looked at them and their body language suggested intimacy. And with that she collapsed to the floor.

Rewa opened her eyes. She didn’t believe it had been five years from that day. The events of that day had changed her. She had changed her name to rewa. Sade had died on the floor that day. She had decided to use what she had to get what wanted, after all she had lost her dignity and everything that day. She did get her revenge on the producer and his precious actress. Sade had wanted back in her good books once she learnt her friend was famous. It hadn’t taken long to convince her to seduce the producer and then tape him. What she didn’t know was that she had planned to switch the tape with the movie he had produced. She had paid one of crew handsomely to switch it up and the movie had gone straight to the market. The producer had been ruined and bankrupted. Of course she had relocated Sade and paid her off. She had made it her personal mission to ensure that the actress never got another role, it didn’t matter who she had to sleep with. She could be very persuasive, she had picked up some tricks from Sade.
And now she was standing in front of all these people to accept the most prestigious award an actress in her shoes could ask for, all in five years. Hate was a powerful motivator. She straighten her crisp white dress and she turned to accept her award and give her speech. Out of the corner of her eye someone stood up in the audience, she thought it was just another adoring fan. She smiled, as he raised his hand and pointed his gun at her and fired two bullets into her chest before anyone could stop him. She hit the ground as her white gown became red in the hue of her blood.
Security held on to Mr. Gbenga as he dropped in the gun in his hand. Someone held some cloth to her bleeding wounds shouting words she couldn’t be bothered to listen to.
She smiled again. She had after all achieved her dreams.

Her Dreams (Part II)

Before you proceed, you should (if you haven’t) read the prologue Her Dreams (Part I) here

She felt a tap on her shoulders. She didn’t remember dozing off on the ground. The cold and the exhaustion must have helped her off. She took a moment to readjust to her new surroundings.
The events of the night came back in a rush. She dared not go back to Sade’s room. She looked up to see the person that had tapped her back to reality. It was one of Sade’s neighbors. An Igbo man with fair skin, a round head and a belly that preceded him. She never really paid any attention to him before. He was after all not on her list of priorities.
She couldn’t see his face clearly in the dark but she could feel he was smiling at her.
“I was dey come from the bathroom when I see say you dey sleep for ground.” He said, his accent thick on his words. “You and your sister fight?”
Abiola wasn’t however, in the mood to explain to him that Sade wasn’t her sister. She didn’t even know what Sade was to her now. She just nodded a reply to him.
“Sorry hehn, I get space for my room o, you fit come sleep there. I no like how you dey sleep for ground. Bia come inside”
Sade peeked her head through the doorway of the open room, it was quite spacious. Maybe because he didn’t have as much junk as Sade did. Or maybe his room was actually bigger. In truth the room was inviting. And the thought of a warm bed compared to the cold concrete compelled her in.
She picked the wrapper from the ground and made her way inside. She sat on the bed wondering if he would sleep on the soft carpeting on the floor. He dropped the bucket he had brought in from the bathroom in a corner of the room and turned to face her, his body still gleaming from the water that was on his body.
He kept adjusting the towel which hung loosely on his waist. And after a thought he let it fall to the floor.
“So how we go do this thing? You prefer bed or you wan do am for the carpet, we fit even stand, I be agile man. Cat way back no dey touch ground”
Abiola looked in horror at the sight in front of her. She hadn’t thought this had been his intention when he invited her into his room. His gentle manner had deceived her.
“Or you think say I no sabi wetin your sister dey do? I go even pay you extra sef”
She looked round the room for an exit but the only way out was through him and he was evidently ready for action. She was determined not to go down without a struggle even though it would prove fruitless.

Her Dreams (Part I)

She looked at herself in the mirror. Everything she wanted could be hers with just a phone call. She looked at herself again. Could she go through with it? The only thing she had to lose was her dream after all. Her dream or her dignity. Dignity would not feed her nor give her the life she wanted. But her mother had told her once, that her dignity would be all she had left when everything was gone.
She couldn’t pick out a top to wear – not like the decision mattered, all she had were the few tops she came to Lagos with and so she sat in front of the mirror in just her bra and the one black skirt she wore every time.
She was staying with one of the girls she knew who had left home years ago with her dream, in her one room apartment. She had never told her what she did but it wasn’t much seeing from the state of her life. She told herself every day that this was temporary.
Her friend – Sade – walked into the room then, with a man in tow. The guy gave her the once over with his eyes and she saw approval which disgusted her but still gave her a sense of pride. She hadn’t been the village beauty for nothing. Sade on the other hand had always envied her but she liked being known as the friend of ‘Arewa’
‘Arewa’ wasn’t her given name but it had stuck. She had been named Abiola and that was the name she used everywhere. She wasn’t only blessed with beauty, she had brains also. She had aced every one of those village classes and had always craved knowledge. She was literate and always practiced how to talk like the ‘City People’.
Sade’s voice snapped her back to the present.
“Rewa, Abeg I get customer.”
The look of recognition came into Abiola’s eyes. This was what her friend did for a living.
“I never bring customer since you don come here but I need the money.” Sade’s voice rang again.
“But Sade where will I go? I have no where else to go.”
“That one consign me? But you gan sef e never do?” She eyed her as she said it. “You don dey here for weeks I never collect one kobo from you, I never even ask you to commot house rent but still I dey tell you may you gimme one night make I do my work but you dey refuse, you be wicked friend”
And with that Sade bundled her out of the room, still in just her bra and her only black skirt. She locked the door behind her and threw a wrapper through the window.
She could hear her “customer” through the thin walls saying that she could have joined them and that he was willing to pay extra but Sade bluntly refused. Abiola sensed that it was the jealousy talking – not like she wanted to join them – as she laid herself down on the cold concrete in front of her room and covered herself with the flimsy wrapper that was thrown at her.
She made up her mind there and then that she would do whatever she could to achieve her dreams and that included saying yes in the morning. But first she had to make it through the night.

Read the next part here Her Dreams (Part II)

The First

I was cleaning out my wardrobe. I had just gone out and acquired a whole lot of clothes from my trip. One of the compromises I had had to make with my husband was that every time I bought new stuff I would clean out my wardrobe and decide what I wanted to keep and what I would give out, it gave me something to do and at the same time kept our rooms and home sane.

I started with the drawers at the bottom of my wardrobe. I hadn’t worn anything in the drawer for five years now. Five years since I got married. Five years better than what I deserved. I pulled out all the clothes in the drawers and dumped them in the away pile. They would surely fit someone with a huge frame.

As I arranged my new clothes in the drawer my hand hit the bottom of the drawer and I remembered that I had a false bottom made for that drawer. I opened it up and pulled out my diaries I had hidden there; they were diaries I had kept up until the year I got married.

One in particular caught my eye. It was a pearl blue leather bound diary I had received on my 21st birthday, the last diary I kept. A tear slid down my face as I opened the book and felt the pages, crisp from lack of use and age.

It happened five years ago. I had been dating my husband for 3 years at the time and the only reason we were together was because my best friend pushed me and he pushed harder for a relationship with me, and because there was no other person in the picture; my best friend said it was because I was a lot intimidating.

Frankly I didn’t see what was intimidating about me, I was tall but I had a petite frame. Maybe it was because of the way I moved like someone on a mission, but then I just couldn’t stand to be still for too long, or maybe it was the intensity of which I looked into people with my dark eyes, I could never really tell.

I was headed home from work. I had been having one of the worst days of my life. I had woken up late, gotten to work late and missed an important meeting to which my boss sanctioned me, someone had tripped and spilled a bottle of coke on me – which is what you’d get when you try to drink and walk at the same time – and worst of all the heel of my favorite pair of shoes had broken and I had fallen face flat in the office, simply put – or according to my horoscope – I was out of sync with the universe but something would pull me back to my orbit.

Whatever it was had better find its way soon. I decided to branch for some comfort food on my way home – maybe that was what I needed to pull me back to my universe and my number one comfort food was ice cream and pizza – so I headed out for ice cream and pizza and I went in and out without any incidence and I was grateful for that.

Balancing the box of pizza on my left hand and holding onto the nylon containing my ice cream I fished for my car keys from my pocket with my right hand. I was trying to open my car door but I kept missing the key hole and the key fell out of my tired sweaty hand, I tried catching it in mid-air but then I let go of my ice-cream.

I managed to catch my ice cream before it hit the ground – without letting go of my pizza – but my key hit the ground and bounced a few feet in front of me, landing in front of someone’s shoe.

He picked it up and walked over to hand it to me. And I saw the most handsome man ever. He was dressed in black leather – motorcycle gear- holding his helmet in the other hand. He was sporting a few days’ growth of beards but it was perfect on his tall frame with dark eyes that matched my intense stare. His wavy hair was just perfect and all I wanted to do was kiss his pink lips and fall into his muscular arms and lay my head on his perfect chest – the leather didn’t leave anything to the imagination.

We stood there for a while and then we went in and talked for hours. My parents asked if anything came up when I got home because I was never home that late. We exchanged contact details and no day went by without a funny, flirty conversation with him. I told him everything, about the boyfriend but he then told me he was willing to fight for me.

I would sneak around to hang with him and leave work at my earliest chance to spend extra time with him. My boyfriend was the last thing on my mind. He asked if we were okay once in a while but I told him we were fine. He called and we talked but it was always awkward and boring and I knew deep down that it was over but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him those words knowing my family wouldn’t want to hear them too – My mother had already started planning our wedding in her mind.

Two months after we met, we were having dinner in a romantic restaurant on the island. The atmosphere was charged and I smiled every time I looked at him and I blushed every time he “mistakenly” touched my leg under the table. He looked into my eyes and asked me to marry him. He told me to leave everything and run off with him to some other country where we would start over without all the drama. I said yes and rushed to kiss him; I didn’t care if anyone was looking at us.

We pulled apart – after what seemed like moments – and he looked me straight in the eyes and I felt it too and he pulled out his wallet and dropped a whole bunch of notes on the table and we sped off to his house on his bike. We couldn’t get home any slower. We weren’t through the door when I ripped off his shirt and witnessed the body of a god on a man. I knew at that point I’m totally and wholeheartedly in love with him.

That night was – is still – the best night of my life. I gave myself wholly to him and he gave himself to me. It was the first time I had sex. The first time I had sex with a man. The first time I had sex with the first man I had ever loved. There were no barriers between us and no distance, we were one and one was us, everything was beautiful at that time and there was no curbing his enthusiasm and mine too.

We decided in the morning that I would go to work and we’d meet up after and we would go to the airport together. We were going to start afresh somewhere – he wouldn’t tell me where. He was paying for everything. I ran home to get my passport and I hugged my mom goodbye. She had no idea what was happening but if she did she would have stopped me.

I peeked at my horoscope before I stepped out for work – your old life ends today and you will start your life anew was what it said – and I thought to myself that the universe was finally smiling upon me. I was giddy and happy throughout the day. Everybody kept asking why I was so happy but I couldn’t tell a single soul why and it was the hardest thing I had to do. Work ended and I was so excited but there was no sign of my husband to be. 2 hours later I was a wreck and I started to think that all he wanted was to get into my box, and that maybe I was a fool. I was crazy with worry because his phone wasn’t going through and I couldn’t reach him.

I headed into my car with a broken heart and I turned on the radio and I stopped at a news flash. There had been an accident on the bridge over 2 hours ago involving a fuel tanker, a motorcycle and some other cars and among the causalities that had died on the sport was the rider of a blue motorcycle. I heard the news and my heart broke even further. I was all tears as I drove to the accident site, which was still being evacuated and I moved as close as I could get without getting burned by the flames. I saw his body mangled and burnt beyond recognition, with pieces of his jacket burnt to his skin. I knelt down and cried at the life that I would never have now. In a sense my old life had ended.

Two weeks later, I crawled out of isolation, took my bath for the first time in weeks and headed out to see my former boyfriend – even though we never broke up. I told him I was sorry for my behavior for the past few weeks and I told him I wanted us to get married. It wasn’t too hard to convince him with the offer of sex on the table, even though all I thought about was how I was betraying the memory of the only man I would ever love as deep. I got a letter two weeks later saying I had inherited a ton of money and I kept it in a trust.

My five year old daughter walks into the room and asks why her mother is crying. I look at my watch and realize I spent the day reminiscing. I tell her it’s nothing and that grown-ups cry sometimes and she asks what I’m holding. It’s the diary I was saving for her but I don’t tell her that, instead I walk to the kitchen and set the diary on fire with a lighter. I dump what’s left in the bin and air the kitchen out. I look at her and smile. She looks just like her father; my first everything.

Crazier

(This is the sequel to the “Crazy” post, which you should read first.)

He spotted me as I aimed the gun and as I fired he positioned my sister in front of him to protect himself. I watched as my sister’s body slumped on the bed and he ran from the room. Of course I hadn’t meant to kill her, maybe injure her but he had been my target all along. I didn’t need any ringing in my ears to push me. I was fueled with rage.

Rage from all the years he had stolen from me, Rage that he had now stolen my only sister from me. Rage that he had stolen the only family I had left. I threw the gun to the floor and picked up a piece of wood, heavy enough to do enough damage, light enough for me to swing with some element of freedom. The ringing started again.

I marched into the house, adrenaline fueling my movements. I expected him to be ready for me; he had seen me kill my own sister. He had seen the look in my eyes, the look that said I was ready to kill. It was a situation of impasse. It was kill or be killed. And I intended to be the killer here.

I took off my heels. I didn’t want to draw attention to where I was and I didn’t want to be slowed by my shoe. I pushed open the door and threw my heels in. No reaction. He wasn’t there. I stalked in through the kitchen, keeping my back to the walls.

I moved in, making my way to his bedroom which was at the end of the house. I would have to cross the space between the living room and the passage way leading to the bedroom to get there. He had turned off the lights. He was somewhere around. Probably lying in wait for me. Hoping to stab me in the back again.

I turned on the lights and made my way to the bedroom. Light reflected on a surface in front of me. In an instant I realized what it was. I turned round swinging the plank of wood I was holding. He was coming at me with a knife and he raised his hands to deflect the blow. The knife flew out of his hand and clattered to the floor a few meters away from us.

He rushed at me, grabbing me and knocking the wood away from my hand. We both tumbled to the floor and I hit the floor hard. He grabbed at my throat and began choking the life out of me. I guess a slow death was what he had planned for me. The world was spinning and the lights were dimming. I couldn’t breathe and my vision was blurring with polka dots in the every corner.

And with my last amount of strength I raised my knee to his groin. He doubled over in pain. Gasping for air, I spotted the knife a few feet away, I crawled toward it. He spotted where I was headed and grabbed my leg. I kicked him in the face. He had recovered quicker than I imagined and he grabbed me, ready to go in for the kill. And I plunged the knife into his side.

I stood up and watched as he bled. I grabbed the piece of wood and raised it down on his head. Again and again and again and again. Till I couldn’t raise my arms again. And then I blacked out.

There was a pounding somewhere. I opened my eyes to see I was in my bed. I was cleaned, bathed and in my pajamas. I moved to open the door and saw that my en suite bathroom had been cleaned spotless and there was the faint scent of bleach.

“Yes, who is it?” I asked, sounding groggy.

“It’s the police”

I opened the door to see two policemen in their black uniforms, eyes cold and mouths thin.

“Yes, how may I help you officers?” I asked with a yawn

“We’re here about your boyfriend. It seems he was killed.”

“Why would you think that?” I ask.

“Because his gate man returned late this evening to find the house and gate unlocked and the house spotless with a faint smell of bleach. Not many gate men can speak proper English, so we decided to investigate. And his claims were correct so we’re looking into what might be his murder.”

“One other thing.” The second officer chirped in. “It seems your sister might have been killed as well. The gate man also said he saw someone who we’ve identified as your sister going in today, right before his oga asked him to leave. So whatever or whoever got to him might have gotten to her as well. ”

With that, I fell on the floor, bursting into tears.

“We made plans today,” I wailed “We were supposed to go out and have fun and cheer me up. I called her but she didn’t show so I thought maybe she was busy.”

With that I wailed even louder.

“We’re sorry ma’am to have disturbed you” The officers left like there was a dog napping at their heels.

The ringing started and I smiled to myself. Maybe I was crazy after all.