He seemed to make sense as he explained his reasons for leaving me but I could not place a thing he was saying. ‘‘You haven’t done anything wrong. I just feel differently from what I felt last year. I love you still but only as a sister.’’ That hurt more than a gunshot. As a sister! After all the energies expended doing beastly things in every available space in the house – as a sister. My emotions were running riot right then but I tried to curtail it. I had heard friends describe their heartbreaks but what I was experiencing was more than the several emotions they said they experienced. I was dying within while I looked on at David in shock.
Nothing prepared me for this. Even as he said the words, I still saw a glimpse of the eyes that loved me and made love to me like the existence of the world depended on both. ‘‘So what are you saying in essence?’’, I asked almost like nothing was hurting me. ‘‘There is someone else in my life and we are in love. I am getting married to her. I am sorry Sandra’’. If the talk of him leaving me was killing me inside, that he was leaving for someone else made me conclude the death feeling had to be catalysed. ‘‘I have to go now. I am sorry’’. I stood there, motionless and lost in the world.
I considered David sent from heaven and his leaving proves that because now I feel he is dead and I must go to heaven to meet the man I was in love with for two years. We met at an art gallery in Lagos. I had made a statement about a particular artwork not being beautiful enough, when I heard someone say behind me, ‘‘the beauty you see lies within your heart. If your heart is free enough to see all the beauty around it, then you’d see this artwork is probably the most beautiful thing you’ve seen all year’’. I was really pissed with the crap he was saying but I maintained my calm. I did not say a thing until he said ‘‘Hi’’ and I said a cold ‘‘Hi’’ and moved away from the spot.
I was looking at another piece of art when the pictures of the other one started forming within me. What I had seen as a riot of colours was actually an abstract representation of a rising sun in a virgin land. I turned my face towards the artwork again and there and then I saw the sprawling elegance of beauty the picture was sharing. I suddenly felt guilty and wanted to apologise. The man was no longer around. I slapped myself gently for being so rude. May be I should run outside. He might just be walking down the road.
When I stepped outside the doors of the gallery, what I saw made me feel stupid at first but then I could not stop laughing because the guy caught me running but that would not have mattered had I not stopped like I just saw a ghost when I saw him behind the wheel of one of these new Honda sedans. He sat there, smiling at me and then we both started laughing. We laughed for about two minutes then I regained my composure. ‘‘I saw everything I should have seen. I am sorry about my act in there’’. I thought he was going to go the way of ‘‘it’s okay, that happens all the time’’, but he didn’t. He just said, ‘‘I am sorry I made you laugh too hard’’. He said that like he was apologising for stealing my car or something. Then I could not stop laughing.
When I looked at him again, I prayed he’d invite me to come in his car. ‘‘Why don’t you come let’s find a place to continue the apologies.’’ My prayers were answered instantly but my laughter to the words would not let me answer, I just acted my wish. I walked closer, opened the door beside him and jumped into this stranger’s car. That was just the beginning. I prayed not to fall in love with him on our way to Whispering Palms in Lagos, but on our way back from there, my prayer was not to get hurt by him. I was in love already.
‘‘What are you thinking? Would you rather I stay with you and stay in love with someone else?’’. Those were the words that brought me back from my dream. I thought of what to say and the only words that formed in my mouth were ‘‘Sweetheart, you can take your leave now. Leave my house’’. He was shocked. He was probably expecting me to go down begging and all but dear, I’d lose everything but my dignity.
I needed him to leave so I could cry my life out. Alone in my room, alone with my tears. Alone with my doom, alone to face the years. I wanted to be alone. He walked out obviously disappointed I did not try hard enough to persuade him. You don’t persuade a man or woman who has confessed his/her love for someone else to stay with you. If they stay, you cease to be the love angel, you become the sex object and eventually they leave you worse than they would have left you earlier. Broken, dejected, worn out, useless and worst of all stripped of your dignity.
I swear by my life, my love of it, I swear by my heart and my mind, I swear by every quest I live for and every value I live by, I will never hold a man against his will to leave me. ‘‘Mr. David, you are welcome in my house at sane hours, just like every wanted guest. Just call before coming’’. When I gently closed the door, I ran upstairs to my room to let out my hurting heart. My mind had to take a back seat for my heart to cry. I cried and cried and cried.
My mum had told me about a bottle of poison she always kept ready for when my father would come back to claim me as his child. I prayed for the man never to come and he never did because the same bottle that he would have found pleasure in would have killed him. I needed to drink something. If David was heaven sent and the real David I knew had just died, then I needed to pay a visit to the residents of heaven. Either that bottle meant for dad or another bottle. I needed to drink my thoughts out of my mind. I craved blankness in my mental entity. I went straight into mummy’s wardrobe where she had told me she kept the killer bottle. I never really believed her until I saw the bottle there looking all new and elegant and full of something that looked more like a red wine than a death messenger. I gently took it and left for the sitting room. May be I’d need another drink to help it down my throat so I went for the bottle with the ace trade mark. Wrapped in gold and feeling really cold, I lifted it out of the cellar thinking I deserved a royal drink to gatecrash heaven. I dropped both bottles on the table. I opened mummy’s bottle and poured it…then I relaxed my back to take a final look at my life.
David left for his new girl’s house immediately. She stays right here on my street on Awolowo road in Ikoyi. Her house is almost directly in front of Keffi road, opposite the Mobil gas station while mine shared a fence with the Polo club. I didn’t know this in my previous life before David’s departure for wherever his soul left for. When he got to her house, he saw two glasses on the table and asked Shalila what she was doing pouring two glasses of wine. ‘‘I guess you are not used to a loved one waiting for you to arrive. The second glass is yours’’.
David saw another reason he’d fallen in love with Shalila. She knew just what to say and do at all times. She – according to his stupid thoughts – is just too perfect. She was dressed only in her pink rope-like underwear and this got David’s blood flowing and his head buzzing. He moved closer to her and moved to kiss her but she acted like she was not in the mood then remembered David had told her the day she turns down his kiss is the day he knows she has stopped loving him. She opened her mouth gently and when David kissed her, he thought he swallowed something like phlegm that had been in Shalila’s mouth but he couldn’t bother himself with that then.
He needed to calm his nerves and for him sex was the only way out. He could feel Shalila’s hesitation but he loved her like he had never loved anyone and felt complaining would be childish. She excused herself for the powder room – or toilet like most people know it – and David promptly understood her initial hesitation – she needed to spit something out of her mouth or through her legs who knows. When she was away, David suddenly realised how she’d love the idea of him coming to meet her right there in the ladies. He tiptoed so she would not know of his presence until he grabbed her. When he got close enough to the ladies, he heard the sound of her moans and thought Shalila was the sexiest woman in the world.
Moaning because she was passing urine, made David think Shalila must been thinking of him while she let go of the liquid waste. This made David strip himself of all his clothes as he continued to hear Shalila’s low, silent, gentle moans. He opened the door to get himself into the ladies even though he knew that was un-gentlemanly considering the sign –Ladies – on the door. He’d care about the rules later. He was going to get into her from behind.
He could not see her face nor his. David went pulp and weak in-between his legs and was even more shocked that Shalila did not notice the sound of the open door but the guy looked back and stopped. ‘‘Common boy, don’t stop. F..k me harder!’’, Shalila was begging him to keep coming in. He could not really place the full picture but his mind helped him – he had swallowed another man’s semen as he kissed Shalila earlier. He felt sick and thought he was really going to die right there and then.
When Shalila turned to see him, he did not see her go down on her knees, he did not hear her say ‘‘it is not what you think love, it’s the devil’’, he did not see the guy make his may by his side heading for the exit, he did not remember his own nakedness, all he saw was Sandra –myself- in an angel’s wing flying out of his grasp. He did not say a word; he dressed himself up as quickly as his hands would allow him and made his way to the sitting room, grabbed his car keys and made for the door, his car and sped towards my house.
He realised he still loved me and had actually been fooled by Shalila’s sodomistic skills on the bed. He needed to save himself, his life and his love. ‘‘Sandra is the one for me and I would even propose to her today.’’ He’d tell me he was joking about loving someone or admit part of the truth and apologise. He’d thought I’d kick him, shout and bark but after all said and done I’d eventually bow to love. He was right – partially right.
When he got to my house, he thought I was fast asleep. He came in, saw my pretty angelic face and cursed himself for being so stupid earlier. The problem now was how to first of all wake me, and then start his apology. He blessed his luck for the wine on the table. He thought if he needed more guts, the wine would do. He gulped the wine I poured for myself to drink. When I poured the wine earlier, I did not pour it to kill myself, I poured it to kill the part of me that had died with David’s betrayal. I slept off wondering how I’d kill that part of me without killing the whole of me. David took another cup from the same bottle I had poured from. David poured his wine from the bottle my mum had kept for the day my dad would come to die. He pretended to mistakenly drop the cup after gulping the content so I’d get woken by the sound of broken glass. He was smart enough because I was jolted by the sound and regained my consciousness immediately. I could not believe my eyes. My glass of wine was empty and here was David standing before me hale, healthy and looking stupid and ugly. ‘‘Hey, are my dead or alive?’’. I needed to know what was happening but David understood my question differently. ‘‘Sandra, I am sorry. You have to believe your eyes. I am back’’. ‘‘No. you are not back. You are dead David!’’. ‘‘Not if you forgive me Sandra’’. Then I realised he had no idea he had just committed a crime against himself. I needed to think of what to think or say. ‘‘David, I will forgive you only if you confess all that happened today without telling a single lie. I swear by my life and all that is me, to forgive you after you say the truth about today’’. He agreed to say everything as I expected he would. ‘‘Before then David, go into my room so I can show you my forgiveness after your tale’’. He could not believe his ears as his eyes shone brighter than the October 3rd constellation. He walked on like a lamb led to his slaughter as I made for my recorder. I was suddenly grateful to mum for having the tiny pocket recorder within reach in the hidden chair locker.
David said the whole story and some of what he said I have shared with you already. He ended it with his part of waking me. Then I told him he had been forgiven but I also needed him to forgive Shalila or whatever her name is. ‘‘I won’t believe you no longer love her until you spend the night at her place’’. ‘‘David, that is the only way I will allow you back into my life’’. He agreed to go back to her just for the night like I said. Need I tell you my recorder did not feature this part of our discussion? I wanted to kiss him one last time then realised the deadly risk and then decided to urge him on with a peck. ‘‘David love, you can take the unfinished bottle of wine with you. Don’t sleep with her, don’t share my drink with her, just accept her forgiveness and share the room with her peacefully’’. ‘‘If you last the night without sex, I’ll have you back in my arms tomorrow’’. David could not wait to leave my house and for that I am glad. I will be presenting the tape as evidence in court today as David died on Shalila’s bed the following morning. When David died, a part of me died with him because I never could tell a soul I was unknowingly responsible for David’s death. If I can get a soul to read this after my literal death, that part of me would resurrect to survive my dead body. Who killed David? That was the question the jury wanted an answer to. Shalila was convicted of murder but she had the ruling over turned on appeal as the evidence proved inconclusive. Who killed David? Is it murder, suicide or fate? I’d rather men answer this.
PS: My question is; should Sandra have owned up to the truth and what would she be guilty of?
CAUTION: Joshua .J. Omojuwa © 2010 no reproduction without acknowledging this website and the author who is the copyright owner.