ECHOES OF SILENCE – PT. 7
“Ahhh, iwo omobirin olosi yii, o ti pa a (you, useless young woman, you have killed him)!” An old female voice screamed at her.
She looked down at the lifeless corpse on the floor, speechless and perplexed, as what seems like thousand tongues accused her of killing her husband.
She looked at the faces before her: some shooting arrows of bitter hatred at her, some gleeful, some expressing morbid interest at her helplessness whilst a few others watched in no certain concern, other than for what would happen next.
Suddenly, a wave of fear hit her as the premonition that everyone present was ready to take her blood, washed over her. Looking for a means of escape, she looked away from the faces peering at her from a distance and looked towards the big door. She saw, for the first time, the judge sitting on the elevated big chair by the door.
His face was devoid of any expression as he banged his gavel.
“O-r-d-e-r! This is my judgement: all evidence before me establishes that the Accused, Abike Ajayi, murdered her husband, Irewale Ajayi, on the 21st day of April, 2001 by clubbing him on the head with her stilleto shoe heel. There are preponderance of evidence from the deceased’s mother and family to show that she has shown nothing but hatred to the deceased ever since she married him for his wealth.”
“The revered man of God, Pastor Ehis King who is the family pastor of both the Accused and the deceased, also testified that the deceased himself complained of her pretense and lack of love and respect for him, a few days before the murder. I find that piece of evidence credible and am satisfied by all the preponderance of evidence that the charge of murder has been proved against her, without any reasonable doubt. Moreover, the Accused’s silence all through the trial is deemed admission of the charge against her and a proof of her premeditated motive to kill her husband. I arise and would return shortly to pronounce the sentencing”.
The silence that followed the Judgment was interrupted by the Court clerk bellowing, “C-o-u-r-t!”
The judge rose and went out and almost immediately the court audience started to murmur. Then, a female voice was heard above others, “What are we waiting for?! Are we going to stand here while she escapes our own punishment?!”
“Bring her down!”
“She must not escape us today!”
“She must be flogged to death!”
“N-o-o! We’ll burn her alive”
“But the law say she shall be hanged till she dies”
“Shut up, our justice is better than the law”
“Will you all shut your traps and get her here now!” Another voice screamed and hordes of them moved towards her, with blood dripping fangs exposed in an hallowed smile of victory.
“Help me, help me …”, she muttered to no one, shivering, as broke out in heavy sweats. As they drew near to snatch her, she jumped and screamed. “J-e-s-u-s!”
“Dear, wake up!” Wale, woken by her choked screams for help, shook her awake and held her as she clung to him, covered in sweats and breathing heavily as though she just finished a marathon sprint.
“What is it?”, he drew her face to meet his as she started sobbing. “Did you have a nightmare? Don’t let it trouble you so much now. Should I get you warm tea?” He asked, still shaken by her horrendous screams and not knowing how to calm his perplexed wife. The look on her face troubled him and it troubled him more that he did not know why or what happened to cause his beautiful wife to look this dreadful, pale as death.
Moreover, her silence was killing him with worry; he adjusted himself well to accommodate her weight as she still clung to him, her sob ebbing quietly..
“Baby, stop this, no death will snatch you while am by your side. Believe me.” He persuaded softly, rocking her like a little child.
She looked up at him: this was her Wale. Though, he had jumped to the wrong conclusion that she dreamed of her death, and not his too or that she was the accused murderer in the nightmare. How would she ever be able to tell him of such dream.
Since he didn’t insist on knowing the content of the nightmare, she kept it to herself. Her body shook and a sigh escaped her mouth as Wale drew her more closely to himself.
Touched by his sudden kindness, she relaxed against him while he stroked her hair, splayed on his naked chest. Soon, the touch of assurance changed tone and relayed a new message. Their lovemaking slowly graduated from a mild quest to urgent demands of passion and was without inhibitions.
On and on they went. Driven by an innate urge to be lost in each other, they plunged together in unison as if the very act was their escape from imminent doom.
Much later, an exhausted calm reigned: sated and far from harm’s reach, they fell asleep still locked together in an embrace.