I’m sitting here watching him talk and wondering why.
I briefly contemplate the calla lily stem tattooed on the inside of my wrist. The flower itself sits below the words “Diligo est nunquam reproba”, Latin for “Love is never false”. We got matching tattoos exactly a year ago. Right from the first day we met, it seems he’s been talking me into things. Like I’ve had no power over myself since he came into my life.
And now, in this place, I have a secret to share, but he’s talking. Has been talking for some time. He says words like regret, loyalty, tells me how he’s fallen for someone else…really? Could you be more clichéd right now? I’ve known for some time that things were going downhill; I just never realized it would all end so soon.
It’s as though he’s speaking through water. I see his lips move, but I don’t understand. I don’t want to understand this…this obscenity. He’s found true love? He never meant to hurt me? What the bloody hell?!
Screw true love, and to hell with never meant to hurt me!
I clench both fists so tightly that by tonight I will have ten tiny moon-shaped scabs on both palms. I asked him here to surprise him, but I’m the one being surprised. And not in a good way. Nausea blacks out my vision briefly, and I bite down, viciously, on my tongue. The pain brings me back to reality, and with the bright red taste of my own blood salving my throat, my hearing comes back and his words pour in,
“This isn’t the way I wanted to tell you, Chichi, but you’ve been so distant, I had no choice…”
Distant? Maybe it was because I’ve been so sick, you inconsiderate bastard!
I stare at him in stony silence.
“Every time I touch you, you shun me,” he says plaintively.
Well, boo-fucking-hoo! I think as the rage eclipses my mind.
As he leans forward to speak again, I calmly flick my right hand palm up, grip my knife in a tight fist, and drive the blade into his left hand.
His eyes widen as the pain registers. He shoves himself back from the table, sending my glass crashing to the floor. Suddenly people are looking, pointing, but I don’t care. All I see in this moment is him. All I think is that I have just wasted five years. All I feel is this black, murderous rage, furious in its intensity, but strangely sweet because I have never felt it before.
I am on him in a flash, and we describe a weird sort of flying arc to the floor as I straddle his waist and stab him again in the side of his throat. There is a sound like a slab of fresh beef hitting a marble counter as the knife sinks in, and a spurt of blood hits me in the face.
He is screaming now, but my hearing is gone again. His eyes are huge as he comprehends that I mean to end him right here, on the floor of the swanky Le Bistro Continental Restaurant (For fine French cuisine in the heart of Lagos!).
The warmth on my cheek is running into my mouth as I lick my lips, and his blood assaults my senses. The sharp, acidic smell, the silky texture on my tongue, the smoky salt taste in my throat.
The feeling is almost erotic and I swoon briefly, gripped by the most powerful wave of lust I have ever felt. In this moment- astride him in a gruesome parody of what we were doing just two nights ago, my pelvis pressing into his stomach and my hand driving the knife into his side, his chest, anywhere I can reach- I feel closer to him than I ever have.
With a jolt, I realize that I am soaking wet, even as his voice comes through again…
“I can only hope that we will part as friends”, he says.
I blink a few times as I come back to my senses and take a breath. My hands are in my lap, still clenched. My glass is on the table, the knife beside it, gleaming in the soft light.
I realize that something is expected from me, some comment or contribution to this conversation that has been a monologue up until now. So I sip some water and open my mouth to insult him,
“You bastard! I’m pregnant…”