I believe that underneath every surface of good lies a shimmering of potential for evil that shows up as hitches in an otherwise beautiful relationship So what made me kill Ibe? It was nothing really when you look at it with that world weary perspective many people are want to look at things these days but for someone like me who had a conscience, it was worth spilling blood over.
Fate threw the first wrench into the otherwise smooth progression of my life’s wheel when my father decided to die. I had been sleeping with feline satisfaction in every graceful curve of my body when the rude shrill of the phone jolted me awake. For Ibe who sleeps like the dead, it didn’t cause as much as a stir. Not so for me. I jerked up with all the energy of a puppet in the hands of a vicious puppeteer.
With a sigh of irritation, I yanked the phone and barked a rude ‘yes’? It took a while before my mother’s babbling could cut through the haze of my anger.
‘Your father is dead’, she had to say several times before it sunk into my head. I was silent. Did it take me by surprise? You bet it did; especially since I hadn’t figured my father for the type of man who would go before my mother. He had this larger than life personality that always had me scrambling out of his way and I don’t mean that as a compliment. There were times when I wondered how it would feel to lose him and I used to think that I wouldn’t miss him at all.
But there I was, hair all moused up, lips pressed together in disbelief, knuckles tightened in a bid to control the rise of emotions in me.
‘Toni’? ‘Toni’? My mother’s insistent call roused me out of my state.
‘What happened to him mama’? I asked briskly. ‘Was he sick’? As I asked her that, I remembered the last time I saw him; he was in disgustingly good shape for a man nearing his sixties. My mother’s response was a bit flustered for someone who was never caught off guard.
‘He…he had a heart attack’. A heart attack? ‘It must have been the fact that he hadn’t eaten some solid food for about two days or so’, My dear mother elaborated. According to her, my father had keeled over her sweaty body in the process of trying out some new sexual moves they had both seen on one of the channels of the Dstv dish Ibe had so generously installed in their home a few months back. I was speechless. You see its one thing to know that your parents have sex; it’s a whole new crystal ball to gaze into when you’re given intimate details of their sex lives. I cringed inwardly and prayed I wouldn’t be traumatized by the unsolicited tidbit.
‘I’ll be over first thing tomorrow mama’ I said after asking her if she could hold on till then. After I had dropped the call, I rolled over to my side and watched the profile of my sleeping husband as he snored softly and imagined loosing him. It would kill me that much I knew. Snuggling into his arms and pressing myself as closely as skin could get to skin, I fell into a dreamless sleep.
The next few weeks whirled past and were filled with burial arrangements and making sure my mother didn’t do something silly. She went around the place all weepy eyed days before the burial day so much so that I was expecting her to hurl herself into her husband’s grave on the burial day. I was relieved and admittedly a bit worried when she was dried eyed throughout the service.
As I watched the coffin lowered into the earth, I wondered if I had fared well with a father in my life. The only thing my father ever said to me that stuck was ‘you’re going to have quite a pair on you when you grow up’. He was right…I did have quite a pair.
I didn’t realize how emotionally draining the entire period was for me until Ibe looked across the kitchen table at me a week after the burial and said,
‘You look like crap.’ I threw him a saccharine sweet smile that promised revenge for the statement. He was undeterred. ‘How about a vacation? Take some time off and go put your legs up somewhere? Shop till you drop? ‘Name the place you want to go and I’ll make sure you go there’.
I perked up a bit. The mention of a vacation somewhere new was interesting enough to snag my attention and distract me from the fact that I did look like crap.
‘London? I suggested archly. ‘Done’
Ibe husked. I knew he could afford it and the thought of being with him in London was tantalizing.
‘There will be lots of places to try out something naughty’ I said looking at him from underneath my lashes.
‘I’m sure there will be’, he replied, the gleam in his eyes spoiling his attempt at a straight face.
It took Ibe almost two weeks for Ibe And I to wrap up business on our ends but after that, we were like two excited kids with a fool proof plan for stealing huge chunks of meat from our mother’s stew pot. London turned out to be a bleak city. There were tall stark buildings everywhere and the people seemed to walk around in their own little balloons. Nothing seemed to be able to penetrate their personal fog. No wonder bombs seemed to be the choice of terrorists around here, I thought to myself after three days of watching the way the people acted. How else were they supposed to get their attention for God’s sake? I personally preferred the outskirts of London. The people there were much friendlier and the chances of having someone curse you when you bumped into them accidentally dropped drastically!
Ibe and I stayed at a lovely guest Inn in Hampstead where the air was clean the rooms quaint and pretty. We had a month to laze around and in spite of the daunting task of making friends; I was determined to have a good time. Having wild sex in the back seat of cars seemed to be a daring venture in London; Getting caught with our pants down in a public place meant some jail time so Ibe and I stuck to toilets and dark alleys. When it came to sightseeing, I fell in love with the churches especially the catholic churches; they were grand in their structure and breathtaking in their beauty. It was as if you were walking on the very edge of paradise being in one of those churches. I never fancied myself a romantic but being in those churches made me almost hear voices of history whisper secrets to me. Ibe was more concerned with the football clubs around town than the churches and I being the faithful loving wife I had willed myself to be happily obliged him and tagged along with him to the ones that seemed to catch his fancy.
We had been in London all of three weeks when one night Ibe suggested we go watch a football match in one of the clubs near the guest inn. Manchester United was playing against Arsenal and being a Manchester fan made it easy for me to get my tired gear up from the bed. The club was filled with smoke and sweat washed bodies and I had to hold my breath as we fought our way to the front of the bar where the huge screen came alive with racing footballers all chasing after the ball. Bloody marys had fast become my favorite drink and Ibe ordered one for me as soon as we got a spot in the front. I yelled till I was hoarse and cursed till Ibe was red in the face…being in London gave me certain liberties that Nigeria could not afford to give…who was I not to take advantage of such liberties?
I was in the middle of sipping my third glass of bloody Mary when Ibe whispered into my ear that he had to go to the rest room. I waved him on, eyes glued to the television screen.
Minutes later, I felt warm breath down the nape of my neck and a husky voice in my ear ‘You’re one pretty cunt.’
I froze. You see, only Ibe gets to call me that and even he has limited use of that word…he calls me a cunt when I want to be called a cunt. No one else gets to have that freedom. With a sigh, I turned and looked into the bluest eyes I had ever seen in my life…the bluest and deadest eyes.
‘Fuck off’ I said quietly. He grinned with surprised appreciation. ‘Wow there! Got some fire in you haven’t you? I turned back to the bar in silence. I knew he was still standing behind me but I ignored him…that is until he was joined by two other men who flanked me on either side.
‘Pretty thing here just told me to fuck off’, the buffoon behind me said in a mocking tone to his friends. ‘What do you reckon I should do to her?
The two new arrivals sniggered with glee as he ran his hands down my arms. I was up from my stool before I knew it, my hands grabbing his crotch in a vise grip and my heels grinding his toes in his sneakers. ‘
Touch me again…
I never got to complete the sentence as his two buddies yanked me away from him and slammed me against the bar. Blue eyes was all red in the face as he wheezed for breath. His eyes were on mine and they promised murder. My heart was pounding so loud I thought he would hear it and know that I was scared stiff. For one thing, the bar was too crowded for people around to notice what was going on and screaming above the din of soccer crazed fans hardly seemed like a good idea. So I glared at him with as much defiance as I could muster as his pals held me down against the bar. Blue eyes had recovered and was reaching for me when Ibe materialized behind him, his own eyes going dark as he took in the scene.
Wordlessly, he grabbed blue eyes by the collar and with one move threw him backward into the sea of bodies around us. ‘That, he gritted out as he moved forward towards the men holding me down, is my wife’. I smiled up at him as he swung a punch at the guy at my right and then turned to take down the other guy. Unfortunately he had scrambled away as fast as he could. Ibe turned back to me as I leaned against the bar in the most casual stance I could muster.
‘I had it all under control darling…really, you can be a spoil sports sometimes! Ibe grinned at me wolfishly, then leaned forward and pulled me close to him…as close as skin could get. I could feel him trembling violently.
‘If they had hurt one hair on your head, he muttered as he ran his hands all over my body. ‘Let’s go home, I whispered in his ear, turned on by his vulnerability. I saw him in a whole new light and I was loving it immensely. I told him that much with my body by the time we were back at our room at the Inn. I kissed and teased and licked till he knew how much I appreciated his ‘knight in shining armor antics’ Needless to say, Ibe accepted my gratitude with all the enthusiasm he could muster in the face of its profusion.
We fell into an exhausted slumber afterwards with no idea that both our lives were going to change forever. They say that when evil creeps in and takes control, it’s usually when its victims are fast asleep. My nightmare begun at precisely two in the morning when I heard a familiar voice in a sing song going, ‘Cunt? Wake up cunt….! I told myself I was dreaming until I opened my eyes and saw blue eyes hovering over me with an evil grin on his face.