Dear editor, kindly correct that article with the false headline, ‘Mad Man Rapes Senator’s Wife in Public’. I have interviewed the suspect and here is the truth:
Until a week ago, Ikenna thought his lot in life was a rarity. As far as he was concerned, it was only a matter of time before Nigeria and the rest of the world would give him a standing ovation, demand his impressive autographs, take long notes and flash a million shots of him with their still and motion cameras. See, these thoughts held him up until he nearly fell headlong into a gutter as he gawked at a beautiful lady last week. Worse, the lady continued on her way as if nothing had happened. Why, he thought he was news because with a PhD degree in English and a handsome thirty-eight-year-old face, he was only able to become a menial laborer!
Ikenna said to me: “after I caught myself and rubbed my toe where a stone had drawn blood, I realized I had been a fool of the highest order. I began to wonder why I should keep my chin up even when I was but the scum of the earth. Beside me was a plank that weighed about a hundred kilograms. My immediate assignment was to carry it on my head from where it lay to a cluster of sawing machines at the far end of a vast mill, a hundred meters away! The reward for that single task was twenty naira, which was equivalent to four half-liter bags of pure water. There were five planks waiting for me. On busy days, I made an average of five hundred naira before nightfall. I took hold of the plank at one end of its long frame and raised it up. Then I carefully worked my hands to its center and placed my headgear which was strapped to my head onto it. I gave a snort as I heaved the heavy plank from off the ground and balanced its weight upon me. My stomach made a low rumble for hunger. As I moved with short painful steps, I called myself a fool again and began to sob. Strangely, my impressive PhD degree was not good enough to make me a lecturer or anything else that was honourable for me. I had searched unsuccessfully for a job with my first degree and when I was through with my second degree, I had searched for a job with it until I realized I needed a third degree. But, as I sit here in this police cell today, I know now that the fault is not in my stars but in me for not having excellent connections. How did I come to know this?”
Dear editor, a week ago as Ikenna carried that plank and sobbed, the lady walked ahead of him, her pair of slightly-curved legs sashaying away from him to the sawing machine as if on a catwalk. She had come to buy wood for her new house in Lagos. A man was standing beside her Avalon car. See, before that fateful moment when Ikenna hurt his foot, she had kissed the man. A fellow drudger had whispered to Ikenna that the man was a senator!
Ikenna continued, “As I threw the plank upon a collection of its kind, she gave the sawyer my wage and made to move away. Reporter, do you know that a long time ago I had held that face and kissed it again and again? We had just graduated from Independence University with first-class BA degrees in English. We had high dreams of getting married. I showered her with love; made sure I was committed to her goals and gave her ample attention. But one day this same man had stopped his Mercedes V-Boot car by my one-room apartment. He had walked into my room and took her away with words that flowed from his tongue like sugar. She made me believe he was her cousin until the truth dawned on me. She never came back.”
Editor, as soon as Ikenna dropped the plank, he rushed to the lady and held her hand, asking her if she did not recognize him. She screamed and tried to beat him off, making as if she did not know him. Then she slapped him. Ikenna gave her many mad returns.
He was in a daze when the police took him away.
Thank you, editor.