September ushered in the last of the rains; the kind that fell noiselessly and without the fierce winds like in May and June.
May was when I saw it, the fierce eyes of Soluja the mad man. it had been a cloudy day, one where, the blackness of the cloud thickened, breaking up now and then with thunder and lightening, darkening my mood like charcoal.
i was sitting by the window of the moving bus, lost in thought, what people refer to as being “absent minded,” when my eyes met the mad man’s. i’d expected to meet a blank expression but what my eyes saw were alert pupils; pointy unblinking eyes with an air of artistic craziness. almost as if he could see through my fears, past my boldness to dare stare at him. he could see all of my secrets and those eyes, still haunt me till this day…
if i turned, she would definitely know i was staring at her and i wasn’t about to give her the satisfaction of being admired. lowering my head instead, i looked at her feet. i’d be able to find out few things about her just by staring at her feet.
they were tapping now, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, beat by heartbeat, then the tempo changed swerving from left foot to right so fast my eyes could not keep up.
she had one of those cute flat pump shoes girls like to wear these days, a flowery design as delicate as i presumed she was and the hair on her legs rested obediently on her very dark skin. very mesmerizing.
i looked up to the pulpit.
the preacher was saying something about seeds that were left on the wayside for birds to feed on, all my mind wanted was for her to be one of those seeds for me to feed on. me, the bird. she, the seeds.
i resolved to speak to her after service for real this time and not in my head as i had for weeks.
Mary stares at me with her sleepy eyes covered in tears, her nose running muscus like her life depends on it, her lips open slightly. she is about to say something but must have thought against it. she doesn’t notice that i notice this, so she straightens up with effort on the small seat and chokes back her tears. she is braving her predicament.
she doesn’t know i notice everything about her. that i notice when she’s shaved off the sleeky hairs on her legs she hates so much. that i know that when she’s nervous or excited she taps her feet to the tune of Pharell’s “Happy” and that to differentiate her nervousness from excitement i’d have to look closely at her fingernails because she bites them whenever she gets nervous. those lovely fingernails of her’s, she bites them off.
but Mary does not know.
that day, June 5th, after service at St. Barnabas, i waited under one of the mango trees at the church entrance patiently for her to come out. i was possessed with wanting to possess her. nine months i had watched her from afar. nine months i’d battled with myself to let go, to be reasonable and walk away. but as my mind resisted, my body surrendered, giving up my mind in the process.
two and half hours, thirteen minutes and twenty-two seconds i waited for her outside, only for her to show up finally, with a man guiding her towards a car in the opposite direction, right hand on her waist.
i went blind with rage. my hands trembled by my sides. the old woman beside me looked at me concerned and asked,
“my son are you fine? ”
fuck this. my mind raged on.
calming down… politely i responded,
“i’m okay ma. thanks ma”.
i went home that day half a dead man. how could she belittle my feelings and throw them away? she should have noticed me loving her. she should have! how couldn’t she? i loved her to death for Christ’s sake but Mary did not care to know.
she never did.
she is still sobbing and this gets on my nerves. she doesn’t look so good too. could it be hunger? discomfort? or both? could she be sick? she couldn’t be sad! could she? she had to be happy to see me. to be here with me. the man of her dreams. the one who loved her to death, till death.
“darling do you need some water? “, i cajole, patting her hair, after some minutes of thinking to myself.
“fuck you Thomas Bala! ” she screams in reply sobbing,
“you are a crazy person! ”
“you just get the hell away from me! “she finishes.
i flinch. turn and sit on the couch facing her.
my heart is tearing up. here is Mary calling me crazy when i am only trying to show her how much i love her. talk about the ignorance of women! they don’t know how hard it is for a man to keep loving them, to keep trying to prove themselves. me. myself.
Mary does not understand.
she never does!
this will mark the twentieth day i saw my Mary get into the car with another man who wasn’t me. i have been able to trace him. down to the least tiny detail, i know this man.
he’s one of those big-shot-high-society-alfa-male type who have little regard for women except to warm his bed and get paid. what did she see in him? money? fame? what? he was not worth her time i concluded. he needed to leave and fast.
i had mapped out my plan accurately to the book. Mr big shot Segun was going down. and painfully too.
she’s asleep but i can tell she’s been haunted by nightmares just as i am with Soluja’s eyes. i shudder as i remember his eyes. the coldness and sharpness of his pupils, the aura of craziness about them. i have been missing one detail from my encounter with Soluja but i cannot say what it is even up until now. this was what keeps me awake most nights these days. that little detail I have been missing all this while. what could i be forgetting and why?
i tiptoe to where Mary is carelessly struggling with sleep. this woman has suffered a great deal and will suffer some more before this story ends.
this story of our love, i can tell is going to have a painful ending for both of us. we will both suffer and endure pain but for now, i do not know how much we can endure.
the only thing that is certain though, is the end of our love. and it will end.
June July 9
July’s always confuse me.
whenever i want to write “July” on my journal, i end up writing “June”and having to cancel. maybe it’s because they both start with the letter “J”, which reminds me of Jane, my first wife or maybe it’s because July, like June continued to torture me in ways i cannot explain. still Mary ignored me. still i madly professed my undying love for her. still, Mary did not know.
most nights in July, i spent in my inner chamber cutting myself. relieving the pain she cost me. denying her nastiness towards me. searching for excuses for her. she had none. not one single excuse to keep rejecting me. her husband, Mr big shot Segun was gone for good (i’d taken care of that) but she still ignored me!
it was in those moments of torture, a new plan hatched and that is what, i presume, you have been wondering?
(the new plan)
i am still standing over Mary, she is still carelessly asleep. fighting off some demons in her nightmares. honestly, she shouldn’t bother fighting. her demons are me.
beads of sweat already dorn her neck and face. she still looks beautiful. oh my god, she is still beautiful. this is why i love Mary. she has the kind of beauty that endures in every situation. her kind of beauty is diverse and assumes the shape of any situation she’s in.
i feel for the veins on her neck, feel them moving; the very evidence of life on my index finger. she stirs in her sleep and turns her head to the other side.
she is beautiful.
her body is more relaxed now. breathing in steadily. she is finally peacefully asleep.
and i am happy.
¤ in the art of murder, of taking life, the ultimate satisfaction is a peaceful victim for the taking. isn’t that what the literal geniuses would call an irony?
the literal sense of it? ha ha ha.
taking out the silver dagger from my pocket, i am careful not to make much noise. the pointy edge of the dagger pushes through Mary’s vein as she immediately cries out of shock, pain and disbelief.
surely she wasn’t so dumb not to have expected this. she should have known the day she began to reject me. to push me away. that this would come.
the dagger is completely plunged in deep into her neck. her screaming muffles down to some painful grunts then silence.
except the noise of murder in the air.
the gush of blood on her chest, the blood on my hands, the eyes of Soluja that haunt me still. despite this, my body feels the rush of excitement, of happiness and freedom. the cloudy mood i’ve been in for months is clearing and in it’s place, a lightness.
if Mary could see herself now she’d really be upset i stripped her of her clothes. her hair is messy and that would definitely make her mad.
what does Mary know though?
Soluja’s crazy eyes follow me all the way home. the siren of the Police trail me to my bed. tonight, i’m going to sleep peacefully, for the first time in almost eleven months.
the fifth woman i have loved is gone. first Anna, Fola, Eve, Sara, Jane and then Mary. sweet, delicate Mary. with those sleepy eyes of her’s and her forever snubby air. i’ll miss her but my love deserved her attention. or what do you think? that a mad man like me, Soluja Thomas Bala, cannot be loved back in return?
probably you all are confused as to why i have penned down this incredibly disturbing and not so delightful story. i will go ahead and tell you why now:
long ago before i went crazy and starting killing these women, whom i loved, i used to be a writer. the kind of man everyone adored and women cherished. i used to be well spoken and polite and i didn’t kill people that i loved.
it was until one day in March, in the year i can no longer remember. the day even before Soluja’s eyes haunted me, reminding me we were the same person and not to be forgotten that i am Soluja Thomas Bala, the Soluja, a man haunted by the reflection of his own eyes and his artistic craziness.
i do these things because i fear oblivion. wanting my name to be on the lips of everyone, even for the taking of lives, even for my craziness in love, even for taking of innocence .
i cannot continue the story of my transition into madness but i know that i will fall in love more, kill and write about my dealings more and no one, not even Soluja, that is, myself, can come between me and my new found addiction.
what has eyes but cannot be named?