For her sake

For her sake

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan

I am amazed at the radical change in my thought process, at the swiftness with which I cross the moral dilemma that has plagued me for years. Yes, I could kill. And yes, I would kill if I had to.

There is something about newborns; that soft mewling sound which translates into total helplessness, into utter dependence. Ten years ago, I held Sarah in my arms for the first time and subconsciously vowed to protect her, promised solemnly to die for her.

This night, I might kill for her.

Sarah’s father did not live long enough to see her born. Two weeks before I pushed her into the world, he was mowed down by a garbage truck. We’d been married all of ten months. I was twenty-one, a widow, a mom. The world seemed to crash around my ears but I held on strong, held on to blind faith because there was nothing else to do. There was no one else that would be there for my new born child.

Somehow, we survived. Somehow, she turned two, then three. And then Matthew came into our lives. He was thirty and though I was much younger than him, only just celebrated my twenty fourth birthday, he seemed kind of childish, a man who was just content playing dolls with Sarah.

He seemed perfect. Five months after we met him in the park, we were married.

The first year of marriage was uneventful. He worked hard, played even harder with Sarah, hardly had any time for me. When I gave birth to Junior, he seemed disappointed. Later he would tell me he’d have preferred a little girl.

The second year was the year of the trial. On a dark, dark night, I opened the door to police officers, arrest warrants and flashing lights. Matt was the lead suspect in the rape of a ten year old girl. Although he denied vehemently until the last, my heart shattered into a million tiny unredeemable pieces. The trial was a constant thorn in my eyes, a circus that played out for two weeks. When he was acquitted, when he walked into my arms, I shuddered, said a little prayer, hoped I’d never go through the horror again.

I was wrong.

Two years later, we went through the same thing again. Only it was a different courtroom, a different judge, a different prosecutor, a different defense lawyer, a different victim, a nine year old.

I put on a good front, said over and over again that my husband was being framed. He loved little girls; how could he sodomize them? But in my heart, in that secret place you can never lie to yourself, I began to doubt. How could he be accused not once, but twice? I’d look at Sarah, almost eight then, and shudder with revulsion at the thought of a pedophile doing to her what a man had done to the two girls my husband was accused of raping. Then I made a vow to myself. I would not wait for a court of law to judge the nut guilty. I’d go after him myself.

Again, Matthew was acquitted. Again, we went home. But unlike before, I remained immersed in a cocoon of suspicion. If he went into Sarah’s room, I was right behind. If he sat to help her with her homework, I hovered nearby.

This night, I hold a sobbing Sarah in my arms. She heaves sob after wet sob, floods the front of my Tee with warm salty tears.

“He tweaked my breasts…he ran his hand through…through my hair.”

Something breaks loose within me, a consuming rage that sets my stomach afire. “Shh.” I tell her. “It won’t happen again. I’ll see to it it doesn’t.”

She cries harder. My own tears taste funny, like the distillation of several dangerous liquids. I wipe them, determined not to cry. Yet I cry more.

When Sarah is spent, when there are no more tears to cry, I lead her to a seat and promise her again. “It won’t happen again.”

From my knife rack, I make a selection. The biggest. The sharpest. The shiniest.

I hide the knife in my apron.

23 thoughts on “For her sake” by Folakemi Emem-Akpan (@Folakemi)

  1. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

    Ooooh!!! I so can’t wait for him to come home… I would give anything to watch it happen in my presence, to relish the last look on his face.
    I love this piece. Completely.
    I wrote something like this but from a whole other pov… This is really beautiful. Well, I’ve never expected less. You always raise the bar.

    1. @roy-journals, thanks a bunch. Is your story posted on NS. Pls send a link if it is, thanks

      1. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

        It’s actually still pending. Things have been a little slow on NS these past few days, and I really hope it comes out soon.
        Now this has raised the bar for mine. Lol! I just hope mine is half as appreciated as yours.
        Really good job.

        1. @roy-journals, it will be appreciated because you write well too. Looking forward to reading it. cheers

          1. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

            Aww! Flattery! It’s working. ☺Thanks so much. I would be sure to tag you to it.

  2. Paedophile he is! if he could be accused twice, thats enough evidence. Oh poor sarah! I knew it would come to her turn…. I’ll kill for her sake!

    1. @shovey, thanks for your comment. I’ll probably kill for her sake too

  3. She would have not waited for it to get to her daughter’s turn before she took action. As soon as he was convicted of the seond case, she would have made sure she ended the relationship before it took that dimension. I dont totally support the killing thing but at the same time I support her total move of revenging her daughter’s stolen innocence. Nice piece I must confess.

    1. @gmoney, you know how it is with people sometimes. We know in our heart of hearts that something is true, but we rationalise it in our heads why it couldn’t be true. I think that’s what happened to this woman. Deny it enough times that her husband is a pedophile and she just might start to believe it.
      Thanks for your comment

  4. Crazy man
    Let him come home first, mtchew!

    1. @chime221, i so liked your mtchew!!! Thanks for commenting

  5. Some men are just mad…. Beautiful piece @Folakemi, though I was not expecting anything less…

  6. louis (@luwizdrizzy)

    Wow, @Folakemi this is an awesome piece,have been busy for few months now,but visiting this site today,made me to realize that I’ve really missed a lot…this is awesome

    1. @luwizdrizzy, thanks for your comment. Yes, you miss a lot when you take a hiatus from NS

  7. That’s my problem with some people, if she can survive widowhood then she can be a divorcée, why kill, just pack your load and go, report to the police if necessary and possible.
    Now if she kills this man and they catch her, she may end up in jail leaving the same daughter she was protecting at hands more paedophile who may actually go unpunished. Cus she won’t be there to protect her.
    I can understand the emotions but one needs to be practical, calculative and extremely cautious when it comes to the future of one’s child.
    Because of anger you’ll come and do two-zero.
    Moreover there is no justification for murder.

    1. @ameenaedrees, I agree with you that why didn’t she just pack up and leave, but I wanted to illustrate the depths some parents will go to for the sake of their children, even when such actions will be disastrous. Thanks for your comment

  8. Child molesters are the worst kind of criminals. Imagine a monster yanking away the innocence of such a little kid. It just makes my skin crawl. Great writing @folakemi.

    1. @mcsnol, thanks for the comment. Take away innocence from a child, and you’ve essentially stripped away the child’s childhood

  9. @ameenaedrees am sorry you are trying to be religious here. The woman’s negligence and her refusal to look closer at the mask inorder to unveil the face has brought her to this point. Euthanasia will pay better than cold blooded murder. Atleast, it will take the Sheriffs a longer time to demystify the cause and thereby buying her enough time to disappear or do something better.

  10. There’s a feeling here, something smells, fills the atmosphere with its scent. Can you perceive it? It’s justice, real undiluted justice.

  11. @musite, yes something smells. Thanks for commenting

  12. Nice story, relatable.

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