I heard a voice faintly, as if from a very far distance!
‘See, mind your own business Mrs. Lizzy. Nita is my wife and I determine what I do to her in this house. You can’t be the one to dictate to me’ I heard that voice. It was so familiar to me that my heart ached faintly.
‘Well, I am not interfering into your family affairs sir but if your wife lies lifelessly here and you could still flip through files looking for God-knows-what, I bet it with you that you are wrong.’ Another voice said and I tried to figure it out. The voice made my already cracked heart to crack the more. The voice of my one and only rival!
‘You must be very stupid!’ I heard Zack say and bitterness grew in my heart.
‘I am very sorry sir. I didn’t mean to…’ Lizzy was saying again when I had the sound of something falling to the ground- he must have thrown something!
‘You must be very very stupid again this woman. Who are you to question my authority? God saved your damn butt that the shoe didn’t meet you’ I heard Zack’s voice again
What a disgraceful man!
How could he have shown his beastly attributes before Lizzy? How and why?
I opened my eyes slowly and I was double sure it was as red as a fiery furnace!
What had happened to me?
Did I faint?
I had never fainted in my life and if I had fainted, what caused it?
It slowly dawned on me as I heard, ringing in my ears, the words of my barrister’s secretary as he broke the bad news to me.
I became extremely weak!
‘But see my brother; everything happening between you now is a devil’s proposal. You have been saying yes to it all along. Now, its time to say no! Please, for heaven’s sake have a change of…’ Lizzy was saying again, breaking my heart the more
‘You are mad! Now, leave this…’ Zack was saying when I sneezed very loudly that I thought one of my ribs had moved to my mouth.
I tried to stand up and someone ran towards me, held my back and quickly drew up the pillow to support my back. It was masculine and I was confused as I perceived my husband’s perfume. I looked up at him and he smiled!
Those horrible brown teeth!
But I smiled back at him!
‘What happened to you?’ he asked and I smiled again. I just wished that Lizzy could leave the room so I could display my madness.
‘How do you feel now?’ Lizzy asked, looking very shocked-probably from the pretense of my husband.
‘I am much better dear. Thanks’ I replied with a smile
‘She is better now. Now, go!’Zack said and helplessly, I looked over at Lizzy who was overly taken aback. I nodded.
‘All will be well Liz, please go!’ I said and Lizzy sighed aloud
‘Nita, please, you would need to get yourself together, eat and have enough rest. Your brain is under serious duress already. Please take care. Let me pray with you’ she said and Zack hissed.
‘Just go! We don’t need your prayers. Go!’ he screamed and I was shocked and very sad especially when I saw the big ‘I see!’ look on Lizzy’s face.
‘I will see you some other time then’ she said, obviously still in shock
‘If I should see you in this house again, chai! You would hate yourself!’ he said and I arched my brow
This man is mad!
No one can tell me otherwise!
First, it was my peace!
Then it was my sanity!
Afterwards, it was my companies!
Now, my friend…my only friend!
Zack is sick, madly sick! Over madly sick, ‘insaneously’ sick!
I watched as Lizzy walked out of the room and I sighed as I fought my tears from falling.
I must have fainted and her friend- the Holy Spirit must have informed her about my predicament.
The Holy Spirit still cared but I really couldn’t see any difference become things were not getting any better. In fact, things were becoming worse!
I scanned through the room and I saw my baby, Zoe beside me, holding the bed sheet beside me. She must have falling asleep while holding me. My pride!
Then, I looked at the man holding me by the waist. He was looking into my eyes deeply and I almost fell for it until he smiled- his teeth!
I hated Zack’s teeth! God forgive me!
They were like brown sugar. Exactly like that…like the bran of grains peeling off. Christ!
I looked away from him and tried to shove his hand off me. His filthy, dirty, contaminating, adulterous hands!
‘Please, could you take Blossom to her room?’I asked politely and he smiled, widely. Those teeth!
‘Anything for my Nita!’ he said in a funny way and I felt weird.
What was happening?
What exactly does this man want from me?
This is weird, oh Lord!
He opened the door, went out with Zoe hanging down his shoulder like a bag of beans and he closed the door after him.
This unfortunate, miserable man eventually disgraced me before Lizzy!
What exactly would she be thinking about as she drove home?
Ah! I exclaimed with a very loud, angry voice. I took in some deep breaths of air and panted for a while.
I was mad!
This guy wants me to be the shadow of myself while I lived.
He wants me to be a living dead!
What should I do?
The door entered and he came in with a tray of ‘Lucozade’ boost and a cup. I chuckled silently.
‘Of course this is becoming weird by the moment. Room service? By the man who rushed into the room and was scattering the files and all despite seeing me almost lifeless on the bed and even defied my friend’s caution and call to care? This is strange!’ I thought to myself, silently.
I was as weak as anything. I had never fainted in my life.
‘My princess, come and boost your system with this first. You need it’ he said as he dropped it on a stool which he dragged to my side. I smiled
‘I really don’t have any appetite for that now. My mouth is bitter.’ I said and he laughed.
‘You have to have appetite o. You need this more than anyone else’ he said and I sat up with great difficulty. When I spoke, my voice was shaky!
I could smell something fishy!
‘Zack, do you want something from me? This your overly care is making me to be worried’ I said and he laughed.
‘It is good to see you look helpless Nita!’ then he burst out into laughter till my heart tingled in pain.
Who would deliver me from whatever it was that this man was planning?
‘I know you are intelligent and that is why I love you’ he said, walked closer to me, rubbed my cornrows and smiled, flashing to me his filthy teeth again!
‘Zack, what is happening? Please, don’t hurt me. I am very weak right now.’ I said with a fearful voice as his eyes were as red as blood and they spelt mischief.
‘No, no, no! there won’t be any problem as long as you cooperate with me. All I want from you is to sign this cheque’ he said and dropped the cheque into my laps.
50 million naira!
That was the whole sum of money in my company account and here he was, asking for it!
That was the only account that I didn’t change the signatory when I married him, so I still had access to the cash from the media body but the rest of my company accounts had him as a signatory.
Had he finished spending the money in those accounts?
He just wanted to completely ruin my life!
I looked at him and shook my head.
‘Why is it that you are asking for this now?’ I asked and he smiled.
‘When is it best to harvest cocoa? Is it in the first, second or third year of planting it?’ he asked and I looked at him like a moron.
Did he really expect me to reply that ridiculous question?
‘See, I will tell you because I bet it you have never been inside a farmland. If you harvest cocoa in the first year, that is a great loss because it wouldn’t be ripe, sweet nor would it bring money. See this media company thing. When we first got married….” He babbled on and I closed my eyes in a very deep thought
Now I get it!
He waited long for the money to pile up in my account for years.
Tears ran down my face.
I had missed it in marriage- brutally!
‘If I refuse to sign the cheque?’ I asked and he laughed loudly.
‘Drink this Lucozade boost and kiss this world goodbye’ he said
‘It is poisoned?’ I asked to be sure and he nodded affirmatively, smiling and tears fell down my face as I looked into his icy face.
‘I would rather drink this thing you have prepared than to give you my sweat on a platter of gold. Bring it close’ I said and indeed, he poured the drink into the cup and brought it close to me.
Fight for yourself!
I had many struggles in my heart as to what to do.
If I died, who would take care of Zoe?
Who would even mourn for my loss?
I was never brought up as a coward, so I shouldn’t just allow this kind of thing deal with me.
I should deal with it.
…But I was weak…
My hands were shaking from shock and I was having a serious migraine. I was also seeing ‘double’!
As he brought the cup closer to my lips, I shook my head thereby falling the cup and its content on the bed. His face changed as he looked at me dangerously.
‘You are mad!’ he exclaimed as he deposited two heavy slaps into my face.
It seemed as if my jaws had shifted from their normal positions. I was weak, very weak.
Tears strolled down my cheeks.
This was not me!
I knew what I would do in this case on a normal day…Ah!
The devils in me roared!
I wheezed a couple of time and there and then, he poured the drink into the cup again and brought it close to me.
‘What would you gain from my death?’ I asked and the opportunity opened for him as the rink he held closed to my mouth jumped into my mouth….
It was acidic!
As it burned my tongue, I hurriedly spat it into his face and closed my mouth firmly, I still felt the acidic thing on my tongue.
I thought I saw death!
As my throat tightened, I sat up with whatever strength remained in me. I took hold of his hand and pushed him till we both fell down on the well rugged floor.
My head tingled as the mug fell on the floor and broke into pieces.
‘You still have some strength in you. Bravo!’ he exclaimed as he strangled me, holding my neck tightly
I had lost my voice!
I couldn’t say a word!
But my tears flowed!
Even as I died, I prayed that if there was another world, our paths shouldn’t even cross.
His grip on my neck tightened and I gasped!
Left with no other choice, I set my teeth on his neck and bit him, with all my might and my strength.
He screamed so loudly and his hands left my neck
I was relieved until I noticed a force.
As I looked up at his hands, I saw a broken piece of the mug in his hand, aiming at stabbing my back. My heart jumped into my mouth!
I turned suddenly and struggled with him.
Though he was heavier and more muscularly built, I fought well, perspiring like ‘A Christmas goat’
While the effect of the drink really worked fast, I overpowered him , took the piece and….
—deep into his neck I inserted it!
Everywhere was red!
‘Mummy!’ I heard that voice, overshadowing the deep scream of her father- My Zoe, my pride!
I looked towards the door and saw her shocked face.
I stretched my blood stained hands towards her, smiling faintly.
Her mouth still suspended, she looked at her silent father, back to my weak, outstretched hands and she ran away fast.
It broke my heart and my heart slowed down little by little till I fell on his chest!