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Reality Check

Author • Bianca Ihua

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You were in love. Lust? Perhaps. But you still were in love, even though you lusted after him a bit. He said he loved you. You did, too. He said you were the best thing that ever happened to him, that you were the love of his life. How many times did he say you were the love of his life? You said the same thing, too. You told him things you'd never had told anyone, especially when you were 'pedophile-d' by one baba that your mum always kept you with whenever she had to travel to Cotonou for business. Did she know that you'd be harassed by a sixty-something-year-old man? That he would call you to his bedroom while his wives and grandkids were in the the senior wife's shop watching Ologbo Iya Ijebu? That he would promise you a camera you'd begged your mum to give you, but she had refused to, a thousand times? That he would do some really disgusting things to you? And that you would take it reluctantly, all because of a toy?

Yet, you told him. He believed you. He showed you empathy and said he would never leave you no matter what happened. Even when he kissed you the first time, you resisted. Not because you didn't like the kiss, but because you didn't want to do anything 'defiling.' You had already promised God you'd have your first kiss with your husband. But here was a man who was ready to be your husband; a man who wanted to feel you— all of you. Though you allowed him in, deeper into your world, he still left you.

What was his excuse? He said he didn't like the way you always yearned for sex. How? Why? Was he not the one that introduced you to it? Why the change all of a sudden? He detested how you called him "Nathaniel" instead of "Uncle Nathaniel" or "Bro Nat." He said twelve years was no joke. He didn't like how you would come to his flat and not stay in the kitchen for hours like a 'wife-material' would. He didn't like how you talked and laughed with other guys; he called it inappropriate. Inappropriate? But he had a lot of pictures of women who dressed indecently. You know those kind of pictures African women took to show they were full and hour-glassy. Yeah, those kind. You complained; but when he said it was nothing, that he only appreciated African culture, you zipped it no time. Did you talk about the matter again? You dared not, you knew he didn't like you complaining. He always wanted whatever he said to be final. He was a friend of your dad's. As a pastor, your father liked a 'church guy.' Dad always wanted a born-again somebody to tame his expressive daughter.

blck woman in a room

Remember when you told him he was your first, what did he say? He said sex, to him, was nothing. He even called it the f-word which you didn't like, because to you, that was love-making. He didn't sound as if he had something serious with you. He called it a mistake. I remember vividly when he looked at you and sarcastically said, "Ifeoma, it's nothing. I'm not the only man in this world nau, you are young; you can always find another guy. And you're fine, again." He was the one that said your marriage would be a disaster. And you angrily threw the gold ring— he bought you the other time— at him. That time when he asked you to marry him in front of few friends. Why was he now going back on his words? You did ask him. He made up one silly excuse like that. He said he needed to do some reality check. What the heck is that? After pounding you for months (close to a year).

Worse thing is you both work in the same firm. At your job, you give him that mother-fucker-ni-e look. You don't even want to listen to him talk in the conference room. He's looking at you now as Jide is whispering some things in your left ear and you're laughing as if it's funny. But deep down, you are so elated that you're 'pepper-ing' him. Jeez! See the look on his face. Why is it paining him? Didn't he do the same to you few days ago? You knocked and knocked on his glass door, but he ignored you, as he cupped Sandra's chin and said she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. You couldn't help but get infuriated, because he has said that to you a number of times. Exactly the same words. You embitteredly left. You wanted to go back and scratch Sandra's eyes off her face, but you knew that would cost you your job, and your salary too. No, you didn't sleep well that night. How could you? And the sedatives? They didn't help either. So you resorted to reading one of your favourite romance novels.

You promised yourself that you'd stop thinking of him. That's why you deleted his pictures from your phone. You also deleted his phone numbers and blocked him on every social medium. You will soon resign. You've typed your resignation letter. You said you'd submit it in two weeks. Not that you've gotten another job. You just want peace. Rest. A vacation, too. Then you will start your life all over, with someone new. No, you said love na scam. You are thinking of joining the missionary team in your church. You think you'll never find love again. Maybe you think it shouldn't be too soon.


REALITY CHECK

Readersketch | Ed. Adeshola Oluwafemi

© Bianca Ihua. All Rights Reserved.


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3 Comments

  1. Wow, sounds so real. Beautiful write-up, Bianca.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beebee! This kills me inside... Speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beebee, why do I picture her sitting on the bed, facing the window as the morning Sun streams into her eyes trying to dry her overnight tears??? Nice writeup dear.

    ReplyDelete

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