Silvery lines cracked open the midnight sky, chilling the air all around our old candle lit home. Like a little child, I sat and watched in agonizing fear as eerie shadows crawled up and down the ceiling, walls and floor of the room that held me captive with each flickering illumination. The angry night growled at the whistling wind and at the dancing trees. My eyes roamed… searching through the darkness. It was only a matter of time before the door gave way to the angry beast that slammed itself up against it over and over. I could hear him claw at the wood. I could hear the muttering of promises underneath his enraged muffled voice. With each impact the walls shook, stopping my heart in gasps. The door knob turned again and again… 3 feet away was my fate… it was once my choice and now I was trapped. There was no escaping.
Obum was going to get me…. It was only a matter of time.
It had been ages since we last had electricity in our home, a very common predicament in our area off Bode Thomas Street, Surulere. You could say that the weeks of constant darkness, grinding noises of nearby generators of varying sizes, defrosted fridges and freezers, and ridiculously high ‘NEPA’ bills had forced us to give up on the hope of PHCN supplying us with any form of government electricity. The Mikano diesel generator stood idly by in the backyard night after night, keeping watching over an old damp creaky house that had once held a lot of warm memories for Obum and I… but that was a lifetime ago. If only my father were here, he would
know what to do. He would protect me from the monster that threatened to get me. He would, for he wasn’t a perfect man, as a matter of fact, he was far from perfect but he loved deeply and held family closest to his heart… always.
I don’t remember a lot about my father but I do remember who he was to my mother. It was no secret that he cherished and adored her and even though she had nothing but contempt for him, he could never go against the wishes and desires of his heart. He always called her ‘ORIAKU’ – The eater of my wealth. Oh how he lavished her with gifts and fine things. He was known to have a temper… a very violent one but around her, he was as calm as the sea after a storm. I never could understand why my mother could never love him. She struggled for years to forgive him for a crime that in truth was not his. He was a constant reminder of the life she did not choose. A life she was tricked and forced to have and oh… how she loathed him everyday for it.
My mother had dreams… big dreams; dreams of going to school in the city and becoming a doctor, a paediatrician. Unlike those very washed up lies our fathers today tell us of how they were always the brilliant ones in class, my mother actually was. She always made top 3 in her class. Her brains matched her beauty but her beauty was all he saw when he came for her. It was all that mattered. It was her greatest asset. To our kinsmen, it was her only asset. Yes, beauty sealed the deal and with the right amount of ‘incentives’, financial and otherwise, our kinsmen spared no more thought to the furthering of her education and cashed in on the opportunity; giving her away in marriage without her knowledge or her consent. It was funny actually. The scheming and trickery of old men didn’t start today. It goes way back to a time when great men were once little boys and my mother… a little innocent girl cursed by her own beauty.
Eduvie Duvie (my mother) was indeed a sight to behold… My grandmother always said her beauty was beyond her years. Time had embraced her youth and innocence; caressing every part with divine precision… defining and nurturing it into what had and would always be a masterpiece, admired and sought after by the best and worst of men. The rich, dark forest of her natural hair always stood proudly at the top of her head in a nicely combed bun. Her neck, long and slender; balanced ever so delicately an oval shaped head that bore a pair of bright, wide eyes, a petite pointy nose and the cutest dimples that deepened with every movement of her full pouting lips. Her teeth were pearly white, peculiar in nature by the large gap that stood between the front two… and a lisp, one she was always conscious of. It was a rather mild one but the years of constant mockery from her peers and elders alike had given it enough weight to dent her self confidence. She had a small waist that elegantly held up two beautifully shaped breasts. They were full… firm… untouched. They stood so proud that her nipples would always innocently protrude from underneath her clothing,
forming two sharp points across her succulent well rounded chest. Her skin was flawless. It glistened under the scorching sun, chocolate in colour… the dark kind, spread evenly over a pair of perfectly carved plum hips, thighs and long legs. It made the mysteries of what laid beneath the short khaki knickers she was always fond of wearing, the more intriguing.
It was at the market place he first saw her. It was at the market place it all began. Somewhere in the chill of the July rains stood a vision… a divine apparition that spoke to his essence. Oh how she glowed. It was like the rains ceased and the heavens parted just for a brief moment in tribute to her beauty. The sun snuck out, gently kissing her all over before surrendering once more to the impatient showers. His insides shuddered at the sight.
Mazi Arinze Okoroafor (my father) was a legitimate business man who dealt in import and exports of sorts. He was a fairly educated man… rather well to do. On meeting my grandfather, he explained how he was immediately smitten by her grace, her charm, virtue and beauty… and my grandfather, the joker that he was, replied, “Oh… and I suppose her robust buttocks and ample breasts also had nothing to do with it”. He shot Arinze a sarcastic look as he arched an eyebrow.
Yes, my father was smitten, tracing her right to her door step. Its amazing how love or lust can make even the proudest or the most reputable of men shrink into shy, insecure little boys. It must have been a thing of wonder and amusement to my grandfather to
have this educated man from the city who was obviously far older than his daughter, trip over words and profusely perspire while stating his intentions towards his daughter to him. In a sense, it endeared my mother to him the more.
Weeks had passed and this dusky stranger from the city became quite the regular visitor in Eduvie’s father’s little compound. She was never really allowed to interact with him and she did not care much of it. He wasn’t particularly good looking and he wore his hair and clothes in an unruly and unkempt manner but from his speech and possessions, one knew he lived comfortably well in the city. He smiled at her. Every time she walked passed the compound, running an errand for her mother… their eyes would meet and he would smile at her. The time soon came when she was summoned and instructed to go with this stranger back to the city. He was a supposed friend to the clan who was going to help her scout for universities to attend in the city. Enthusiastically, she obliged and bade friends and family farewell.
Silence!!!! The door knob remained still and the beast on the other side of the door had ceased its charge. Slowly I rose from the corner… heart still pounding fast within my breast… listening as little drops from the sky tapped on the roof and the window
pane. Was he gone? Slowly I walked towards the door, counting my steps… eyes still roaming the darkness… it was the longest 3 feet I had ever walked in my life. I stood still… frozen in front of the door. I placed my hand on it… then I put my ear to it. Was he gone… truly??? Maybe he had passed out on the floor. This could be my only chance to escape. My left hand… shaky… reaching for the door knob, my right hand… reaching for the key. This could be my only chance…
Eva is a contemporary soul singer with multiple hits under her belt. You can follow her on twitter on @I_AM_EVAEZI
This is the continuation from part 1, Please read part 1 before reading part 2