Baby, I need you to stay here, while I go over there to buy us some food, ok? Alright. I responded. Meanwhile, what do you want to have? Trying not give away my ulterior motive, I smiled and said, I’d have whatever you will. Shane cocked her head to one side, making her pornytail-styled hair to bounced a little bit. I want to take Onugbu soup and akpu with my bare hands, do you know what that entails? That you would do same. I couldn’t wait for the discussion to end for her to leave me alone. I excitedly told her to buy same for me, that I was not in the mood to eat rice. She kissed me while mouthing “we need to talk about why you have that far look in your eyes when I am back”, and left. I don’t know what you’re talking about o.
I grabbed my cardigan, tried to open the zipper, but it refused to. I kept on fondling with it till I forced it open. I took out a razor blade, unsealed it and smiled. I flashed back to when I did it the first time. It was in my apartment, a one-room-and-palour apartment that I rented in my Youth Service days. I love the quietness, the separatedness and the fact that we always had light. I had just got out of a soul shattering relationship that I tried to patch up. I struggled everyday of my life to make it work out. I liked Chris. He’s a basket baller, six feet up there, with well built body that any one would fall for. He is a poet, a computer programmer, a web designer and chorister. He sings tenor. That was my weakness. I have always loved the voice part more than mine. I had heard him take solos in several occassions. To me he was the best out there. He was my version of Andrea Boccelli and his counterparts. We were very close. I really liked him alot. We were so fond of each other. I loved him, I supposed, until the day we had a little misunderstanding which escalated to, “you are not my type of woman, I just liked the fact that you sing well, you dance, you love programming, and you play basket ball. You are too chubby for my liking!” He went on and on lisiting things he never liked about me. He made me hate myself. And that was how our love story ended. I sat in my bath tub filled up with water while I moved the blade right into my wrist. I close my eyes and expected to die, perhaps I could finally find out if heaven and hell were real, because if they were I would be visiting one of them soon. I woke up in the hospital with plaster on my left wrist. It turned out that a friend of mine a fellow chorister came to collect a score from me and was met with the incident.
Hi Vieeeeeee jolted me back to reality. It was ‘Nenye, Shane’s friend. She was at the same park we were. She also came to enjoy her public holiday just like Shane and I. The park is an amusement park with two different eatries and other side attractions. If you sought privacy, you would get it there. If want to revisit your childhood through toys, you will have it. It was all encompassing. Shane and I usually go there to sit down and talk, eat, drink and enjoy the evening. Vie, see as you dey fresh. I came out of the car, slided the razor blade I was holding under the passenger’s seat. Lemme jhoor. Who dey fresh? Me wey dey dry like this, abi nah you wey dey fresh. Nne, happy Easter. Thank you jare, she responded. “Come, where is Shane?” she asked. “She went to get food for us o. She should be on …” “Right here bitches”. I was interrupted by Shane who was on her way back. I smiled, pretending to be angry, “you almost spent a year there, were you working as a waitress? Shane, hugged Nenye and turned to me placing her hands on my waist and pulling me to her, nah, I can’t take up such a job. I was gisting those who cared to listen about my heartbeat, the only girl that loves every art I Iove. While saying this, her hands moved from my waist line up to my back, my shoulder, my neck and finally pulling my in to a kiss. I reciprocated the kiss. “You both should get a room,” ‘Nenye yelled. “Nah, we like it here”, I responded. “We sure do, Shane responded. We stared at each other eye-ball-to-ball. There was an awkward silence between us. I broke it with, “Shane, I love you”. “Forever”, she responded. “Awwwwwwwn, that’s touching and romantic”, ‘Nenye exclaimed. “Oya, go and meet your gf”, Shane turned and gave her a litte chase, ‘Nenye ran off, laughing, and left, Shane came back.
“My love, I am so sorry I spent time there and still came back empty handed. Their POS just stopped working when it was almost my turn. Gimme 20mins to quick withdraw money from access bank ATM gallery, on my way back I will buy us food”, Shane said. “No p dear”, I responded. “Shane?” I called out. “My love”, she responded. I will miss you, I said. She walked back to me, without saying a word she cuppled my face with her hands and kissed me. When she broke the kiss, she said, “every split of second I spend without you by my side makes me go insane. I wish it were posdible to spend centuries with you without a second of interruption from the outside world. You are a god with a beautiful soul, and I, your tireless worshipper. Baby I will be back”. She left, a little runing and walking at the same time. I was dumbfounded. I just stood there looking at her as she disappeared in to the crowd. My heart pondered on the words. I, a god? I walked back to the car, sat down on the passenger’s seat, retrieved my blade and asked myself, if I were a god, if my soul is as pretty, and beautiful as people say it is, why was I maltreated, stigmatized and rough-handled as a kid. The flash back of every beating, rape incidents, being accused of witchcraft, and unjust punishment I faced as a kid came back to me. My eyes were blinded by tears. I was drowning in my own tears. I looked at my wrist, saw the scar of the previous event, moved the blade straight, right beside the scars. It sank deep into my flesh. Blood continued to pump out endlessly as the flashback was still on going in my memory. I remembered my last day at my primary school where I was stripped naked for being a witch, for being possessed by an evil spirit which makes me turn into different animals. My school teacher flogged me and stripped me naked right in front of the whole school for sins I never committed. My mind went back to the first day I was raped as a child. I was only seven years old. I went to Ikpa to fetch some firewood for dinner. I had already rounded up my search for fire wood when I heard a noise at my back. I turned it was a man in his late 20s. He asked me where my mum was. In my innocence, I told him I came alone to the bush. He pushed me down and took full advantage of me. He told me not to scream, lest he’d kill me. Records upon records were playing in my head as I faded out gradually.
Shane came back calling me to come help get some stuff. I could not answer her. She managely brought in the only to be met by the scene. Flinging away all she bought as she screamed in shock and disbelieve. Her voice the melody that keeps me going. Her touch the only rhythm my heart listens to. She closed the door to my side of the car and got in to the driver’s seat. She kept on calling my name; “Vie! Vie! Vie, please, don’t do this to me, baby please stay with me”, while the car moved on a very high speed. All I could see was blurry image of her, my worshipper, smiling at me. Her name was the only thing my brain could come up with. All I was able to say was Shanny,I am sorry”. I went blank.
Yes, doctor. Ok I will go immediately to buy the drugs. I know I felt a hand caress my cheeks down to my neck. It can only be one hand. It’s the only touch that makes my heart beat increase in tempo. It’s the only rhythm my heart responds to. Her image came to my mind. She, in her favourite blue gown, her hair packed in her favourite pornytail style, was smiling at me. I wanted to reach out and hold her hand, while I called her name. A hand held mine, “baby I’m right here”). My eyes opened. She gave me a very weary smile. I tried to sit up, but she prevented me. “You need all th rest you can get, she said. Just lie down. You will be fine”, she added. You have been in coma for three days. You lost alot of blood. I had to turn off your phone, persons were calling endlessly. I asked her if she told anyone of my condition, she replied negative. “I am not ready to see anyone else in this condition asides you”, I said. Feeling all sad and pity for the both of us, I quickly added, “I am so sorry . I am such a piece of shit. My life is messed up”. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I talked. I just wished I can change everything. I…. “You can, my love”, she said. Allow me worship your beautiful soul. Allow me to help you out of it. We will do this together at your own pace. Baby, I don’t want to complicate your life, mine is trashed I said, all in tears. I only manage to remember that I am alive daily. “Sweetie, listen to me, if you were to come back in your next life this shitty, I will still marry you, she interrupted. If you were to be an art work, the Monalisa can not be equated to you, because your worth is inestimable” she asserted. I was thinking of why she loved me to the point of wanting to help come out of my trauma. “Please, allow me to help out, I beg of you”, she pleaded. We were both shedding tears while continued to persuade me. I may not have been through what you have been through, but, I can help you come out of it. We can do it together. Will you? I nodded in agreement, she smiled, bent, and hugged me.
After one, week I got discharged from the hospital. Shane drove us home while I sat on the passengee seat enjoy my chicken-pie and listening to Handel’s “Surely he hath bourne our grieves” playing in the stereo. She looked at me at said, I have never seen you this happy. I looked at her and said, “you have an inncocent, healing and soothing smile. Your smile was the last thing I saw before I passed out, it was the first thing that came to my mind when I regained consciousness. I need it everyday of my life to remind of how precious you are to me. I reached out and kissed her. She mouthed “thank you”. We spent the rest of the day in each other’s arm, chatting and laughing.