SO NOT LOVE
I brou-ght Victoria to my house that night. I went to the kitchen, cooked simple meal for both of us and ate at the dinning table quietly.
I watched her in silence as she was eating enjoying the meal. Though, she knew I was looking at her. After the meal. She cleared the table and washed the dishes, [email protected]£ back to the living room where she sat on a couch and we started the discussion.
I finally asked as I watched her f!ngers,
“Your ring, where is it?”
She hesitated before she answered. “Last time I checked, I threw it into the sink. Daniel must have found it.”
“So you finally decided to leave him, why?” I pressed.
I felt her tensed up and she lowered her head before she murmured. “I don’t think I want to let anyone know what he did to me.”
I ran a knuckle down the back of her head to her hand said in a soft reas-suring voice. “You know I won’t judge you.”
“I know, but all the same, it’s not a t©pic to be discussed.”
I paused for a second as I tried to decipher what she could probably be so uncomfortable about. “Wait, did he maim you?
She remained silent for a moment then sighed. “He [email protected]£d me… an-ally.” I could feel her when she felt more tensed as if [email protected] herself for my reaction.
“He did what?” I frowned in confusion.
“Well, he has always wanted it and I have always refused. He finally found an excuse to take it by f0rç£ after I left you.” She said to me.
“But V, why did it take you this long to make up your mind? I have seen that man disrespect you in public and I’m sure he does worse to you in pri-vate, why didn’t you abandon him since?”
“My parents…” She said now, leaning the back of her head on my shoulder. “They drove me into this. They are supposed to stand up for me in ways that I couldn’t for myself but yet, according to them, Daniel could never do wrong in their sight. He was the perfect son in-law and their meal-ticket.”
“So you mean that your parents practically turned a blind eye to your plight for material and financial benefits?”
“They told me marriage was for better or for worse…” She said now in a distant voice as she blankly stared up at nothing as if drifting into a personal flashback. “They said a woman was supposed to accept the condone whatever injustice metted to her by her husband. They said a good woman never abandoned her home, not even for domestic abuse. They told me that a good woman would be the pillar of the house and while her husband went astray or [email protected]£ someone else, their duties were to get on their knees, pray fervently and fast till he come to his right s-en-ses. But when I asked them what the duty of a husband was, I was told that his sole God-given duty was to provide for the family and as long as he wasn’t shirking this responsibility, he was allowed to get away with anything including cheating. I was told there were temptations everywhere and men were prone to be victims of such temptations and as long as he didn’t marry a second wife, I could let him do whatever he wanted with other women out there, that, that was how it had always been since the time of our ancestors and that was how it was supposed to be. When I refused this notion, they told me that I was not a submissive wife and women like me tend to destroy my home fas-ter.”
“What’s the worst thing he has ever done to you besides dumping you on the road, helpless and in the middle of nowhere?”
She hesitated as if trying to remember. “When he asked me to stand n-ked in the room so his younger brother could m——–e with my nudity and…” she trailed off, too ashamed to finish her words.
I held the edge of the couch ti-ght so as to contain my growing anger. “Why would he do that?!” I was furious.
“He told me that I should have known that I was also getting married to his family, not him alone. He did this to me a week after our wedding. His brother had come to spend the weekend with us then he took tramadol, probably expecting a girl. Unfortunately, the girl failed to show up and he was in severe agony since his £r£¢tion wouldn’t die down. They waited, hoping that the effect of the drug would wear off but after four hours of severe pain and no relief from his £r£¢tion, my brother-in-law began to howl in pain, rolling on his be-d with his hand on the d–k. They contemplated on going out to get a pr©st!tût£but he complained that he couldn’t wait for that long.
Just then, my husband glanced at me and then told me to re-move clothes. He said that p©rnogra-phy would not stimulate him quic-kly the way a live person would. He ordered me again to take off my clothes and said that if anything happened to his brother, he would deal severely with me. I stood my ground and still refused, but when I tried to run out after he kept persisting, he [email protected]£d me and tore my clothes off. Then giving his brother a jar of Vaseline and told me to stand in front of him. As his brother began to m——–e, I tried to cover my n-kedness with my arms but my husband re-moved them. He claimed that I should be glad that his brother was not tou-ching but watching me instead.
The brother wanked for almost twenty minutes but when he realized that he felt no sign of eja-culating, he told my husband that I would have to do more than just stand there and watch him. When my husband asked him what he wanted, he told my husband that he would re-lease fas-ter if I s—-d him off. By this time, I was alre-ady trembling and sobbing, hoping that my husband would refuse such an outrageous request but my husband ordered me to get on the be-d and s–k his brother. When I refused, he simply walked out of the room and locked the door. His desperate brother who was anxious to get a relief from his agony suddenly [email protected]£d me, f0rç£d me to s–k him for like fifteen minutes, he still felt no relief then I could see how frustrated and agitated he was.
Then he pu-ll-ed closer to the door and called out to his brother in a quiet way. After trying three times and getting no reply and he was sure that his brother was not at the other side of the door, he suddenly attacked me and f0rç£d me on the be-d. I screamed, fought, cried and begged but his de-sire for S-xual relief was greater than his s-en-se of reasoning and since I was alre-ady n-ked, it didn’t take him much effort to pry my th!ghs open. He [email protected]£d me. He had S-x with me for over forty five minutes and when he reached his c—-x, he simply eja-culated all over me in a demeaning manner. My hair, my face, my belly, my stomach, everywhere it could land, he let it fly with glee.
Till today, you are the only one I have told. I never told Daniel. I don’t know if he knew but decided to stay quiet. Ever since his brother [email protected]£d me, he lost respect for me. He treated me like cra-p, talked to me in any manner and treated me almost the same way Daniel treated me. She began to sob again and my heart went out to her. I could feel her pain and sorrow. Her b©dy shook as she sobbe-d and I [email protected] her and consoled her without saying a word. I had a lot on my mind now but I didn’t want her to know what I was thinking about but I was alre-ady plotting ways on how to avenge her. Ways to make Daniel and his brother pay for everything they had ever done to Victoria.
PAPA VICTORIA’S POV
I was sitting outside in the varendah with my wife, happily eating garden egg and usoji while my wife was eating roasted corn and cooked pear. We were enjoying ourselves on this Saturday afternoon and pas-sers-by would st©p to exchange plea-santries with us before going on their way.
“Emma!” My wife called out. “Emma! Bring your father and I some cold minerals from the fridge so that we can wash this food down properly.”
I laughed. “Mama Adanna, you and enjoyment! Enjoyment will not kill you o.” I tea-sed my wife.
“Bia, papa Adanna, plea-se leave me to enjoy my enjoyment. If it’s going to kill me, I don’t mind, let me die! Besides, it’s my son-in-law’s money, it’s my right. Let me enjoy it. Do you think it’s easy to give birth to beautiful daughters?”
I laughed. “Just don’t finish the fifty thousand he gave you o. Remember that I nee-d twenty thousand to go and drink peppersoup in Big Mama’s shop o.”
She gave me a disgruntled look. “Twenty thousand naira for eighty pots of pepper soup or what? Baba Adanna!” She pointed a f!nger at me and squinted suspiciously at me. “I’m beginning to suspect you and this woman o! There’s no day that you won’t go there! What exactly is between you and this woman, ehn? What exactly?”
I chuckled as I bit a garden egg. “Ahan! Your blood is too h0t! Nothing is going on between Big Mama and I. I only go to her shop for the peppersoup!”
“It had better be the peppersoup o!” She shook a f!nger at me. “It had better be! The day that I will find out that you are big Mama are pla-ying away match, I will visit Ezedibia and…” She suddenly slammed right palm against her left fisted hand for emphasis. “… I’ll make sure you gum there! You’ll gum there and the whole street will know what you have been doing!”
“Eh?!” My eyes grew round. “Eliza, if that’s a joke, st©p it o.” I shook a f!nger at her. “You’ll gum me where? Don’t try it o! Don’t try it at all at all!”
“Oh! So you want to cheat on me, okwia? You want to enter another woman’s perere?”
“I thought you told our daughter that marriage is for better and for worse and that men are allowed to cheat!”
“Taaaa!” She shouted. “That rule is only applicable to the rich! Papa Adanna, are you rich? Answer me, are you rich? When your mates were ma-king money, you were busy chasing small village girls and putting on masquerade costumes to dance around the village!”
“Then why did you marry me?! Ehn? Why? Did I f0rç£ you to marry me?!” I snapped.
She simply flin-ched her mouth to me turned away and placed her jaw on her hand as she continued eating her corn. Just then, a small car and a police van pu-ll-ed into the compound and confused and surprised, we rose, wondering what was going on when Daniel appeared from the car with a n£¢k [email protected] and several stitches on his face and arms. He didn’t look happy as he stormed towards us with some police.
I rose slowly, exchanging a confused glance with my wife. As he neared us, I stepped out of the varendah to meet him. “My in-law, welcome.” I said.
My wife adjusted her wra-pper and folded the end properly un-der her armpit as she joined us. “In-law wam! What happened to you? Were you involved in an accident?”
He glared at us with such hatred in his eyes that I turned to look at my wife if she had any idea what was wrong with him but she simply pouted her mouth and [email protected] the back of her hand into her palm to indicate that she was as lost as I’m. I turned back to Daniel and said, “Eh, in-law, plea-se come and seat down. We were just eating some garden egg and Usoji, plea-se join us.” I gestured towards our seats but he didn’t move an inch.
“Where’s your daughter?” He asked in a de-ep tone that oozed revenge.
I glanced at my wife again and asked, “Which of our daughters?”
“The witch you brou-ght to my house!” He spat.
My wife hit the back of her hand into her other palm and we both murmured in agreement. “Mba o, witches? We have never given birth to witches before.” She replied him. “The children we have are from God.”
“Go in there and bring her out this minute! I know she that she must have come back here after what she did to me!” Daniel barked.
“Did to you?” I asked, perplexed.
“Are you trying to say that Linda did all these to you?” My wife gestured with her four f!ngersput together at his face.
“Mba o!” I shrugged my shoulders de-eply and turned to look at my wife, both of us now wearing an amused smile. “Is it not the same Linda that cannot kill a common chicken on Christmas days?”
My wife laughed, “Or the Linda that will never sleep if there’s a c0ckroach in her room.” She [email protected] me on the upper arm and doubled over to laugh and I joined in the laughter too.
Daniel suddenly cut in. “Do you think that this is funny?!” He was furious. “So this is your plan? To have your daughter to not only steal from me but to also kill me so that you all can sit down and enjoy all the things I have laboured for.
I turned sober now, clearing my throat. “My in-law, God forbid that we should harbour any evil thoughts towards you. You have been more than generous to us, so why would we wish you ill-luck?”
“I don’t care what you say!” He hissed with a stiff n£¢k. “All I want is for you to go in there and bring out that witch you bred!”
“What other daughter again?” I asked in confusion. “We only have two daughters? Adanna, the elder one we gave you in marriage and Linda, the young replacement we gave you for Adanna. Which other daughter could you be talking about?” Then I turned to my wife and asked, “Or did you not deliver our daughter to him as you told me.”
“I told you na, is he not the same person that gave me the fifty thousand naira?” She asked me.
“Are you sure that you checked the house address and you were sure that he was the very one you left Linda with?” I pressed.
She eyed me now with a frown on her face. “Papa, Adanna, what kind of question is that? I have gone to Daniel’s place a million times and I wouldn’t have forgotten where he lived so soon.”
“Then why is he here talking about the same Linda you claimed you left with him before you returned home?”
“I wonder.” She answered. “Bia in-law, where’s Linda?” My wife asked, craning her n£¢k to glance at his car.
“At first,” he began in a terse tone. “Your first daughter stole from me, I forgave you and next, you deliberately set me up by bringing your younger daughter to my house so that she can do this to me!” He pointed at the n£¢k [email protected] “She nearly killed me all because I tried to be friendly with her!”
I scrutinized the marks and bruises on his face and arm that were like f!ngernail scratches then turned to my wife and asked in a quiet tone. “Bia Eliza, this thing looks serious o. Are you sure Linda is not learning kung fu somewhere or she’s actually possessed? Can’t you see the havoc she wreaked on his face?”
“Mba mba mba!” She vehemently shook her head in disagreement. “Not my Linda. My daughter is not possessed. She couldn’t have done this na. We all know how meek and gentle she is.”
Having had enough of us, we heard Daniel suddenly bark an order. “Officers, arrest them!”
We turned wi-de eyes on him and gaped in surprise. “Ehn?” I asked as if I had not heard him right the first time.
“You heard me!” Daniel said again to the police men. “Put them in cuffs like the criminal they are! Whether they like it or not, they shall pay for what their evil daughter did to me! If they also can’t provide the money their daughter stole from me, I’ll make sure that they rot in jail!”
“Jail ke?!” My wife said aloud in shock as she kept moving her hand in order to evade the handcuffs a policeman was trying to cuff her in. “In-law, it has not come to this eh, bikonunu…” She began to plead as the police man finally cuffed her wrists. “In-law, plea-se this embarras-sing. You cannot do this to me. Ewo, chimoooo oooo… In-law, consider the fact that I’m almost old enough to be your mother? plea-se I beg of you, have a change of heart on this matter.”
“Yes my son…” I said as I was being handcuffed now. “This is family issue. We can settle this amicably between us, you do not have to bring the police into such family business. plea-se do not let our enemies see this and laugh at us, plea-se!”
But all our plea-s fell on deaf here. “Take them away officer!”
As the police guided us to their van, our son, Emmanuel appeared from inside the house, surprised at what was going on. “Papa!” He called out.
I [email protected] turned to say to him. “Emma, plea-se call my brothers. Tell them that your mother and I have been taken to the police station and that they should meet us there as soon as possible! Biko! Lock the door and run quic-kly to my brother’s house as fast as you can!” I anxiously told him.
As he attem-pted to gr-ab the padlock and lock the door, my wife quic-kly shouted at him. “plea-se take the garden egg and corn inside the house o and return my unfinished soft drink to the fridge too.”
Soon, we were pushed into the back of the van and driven to the police station were we made to sit on an old bench behind the counter. Much to our dismay, we soon grew weary as the expected visit from my brother never [email protected]£. I stared at the two policemen at the counter who were chatting and laughing too loud, pretending we didn’t exist.
“…as I reach Mama Ezinne shop yesterday ehn, the Nkwobi na die!” The lanky one said and made a peppery sound with his mouth as if he could actually taste the food. I scrurinized him for a moment, wondering if he was actually the one wearing the black uniform or it was the uniform wearing him. He was so lanky and tall that I could see the Adam’s apple in his throat moving up and down as he spoke. The only significant thing about him was his big head which he had managed to f0rç£ the police Beret on.
The other one, a shorter man who pla-yfully threw a scornful look at him had a paunch which was straining the front of his uniform shi-t and threatening to break free anytime soon at the expense of a few bu-ttons around that area. “You no well. Na him you no fit bring small for me? (You are not alright. So you could bring some for me?)”
“You for try un-derstand na. Na just one small change wey the bike guy give me. If to say he no give me that money, I for seize him bike, bring an come station. That bike no get plate number. (You should try to un-derstand. It was just a small change that was given to me by the motorist. If he had not given me the money, I would have seized his bike and brou-ght it to the police station.) He explained.
“Ehn, na so you go dey lie!” The other one said skeptically. “Na today? If na me now, you go dey beg make I buy you one bottle of big stout, but you, even tinko, you no fit carry come for me. Common tinko and one bottle of maltina. (Right, that’s how you lie a lot! It’s not the first time. If it was me, you’ll be begging me to buy you a bottle of big stout, but you, even small friend meat, you could not bring for me. Ordinary fried meat and maltina!)”
“Farouk-farouk!” The lanky one suddenly hailed in order to placate his colleague then suddenly stomped his foot on the floor, accompanying it with a salute. “Sion-sir!” He said aloud.
The shorter man ignored him and began to fl!pthrou-gh a worn-out book which had a lot of loose pages struggling to stay within the book. Later, he lifted his head and said quietly to his colleague. “Eh, come, shey you hear about that nightclub raiding thing wey happen? (Come, did you hear about the recent nightclub raiding?)”
“Na which one? Shey the one wey our people storm one str!p club like that, pack all the girls? (Which one? Is it the one that our colleagues stormed a str!p club and arrested all the girls?)” He asked.
The shorter one had a mischievous look in his eyes now as he leaned closer and whispered. “You also hear about that girl wey go tell newspaper people say popo [email protected]£ am with pure water nylon wey he take use as c0md0mso he no go catch disease? ( Did you also hear about the girl who told the media that she was [email protected]£d by a policeman who used a water sachet as protec-tion so that he wouldn’t contract a disease?)
The lanky one heaved a sigh. “My brother, na so we see am. If I say I no tire for this country people, na lie I dey lie. We go dey here, dey receive nons-en-se salary and dey also risk our life for this country, na im some mumu girls because of small f–k go go dey spoil our name for outside. If dem think say na so police work easy, make dem come do am na. Make dem come do am. (My brother, that’s how we met it. If I say that I’m not tired of the citizens of this country, then I’m lying. We are here, receiving meagre salaries and also risking our lives for this country club and yet some girls, all because of little S-x, we’ll go around ruining the Nigerian police name. If they think that it’s easy to be a policeman then they should come and do it. They should come and do it.) He angrily said, leaning with his forearms on the counter.
Tired of their irrelevant talks, I loudly cleared my throat to ignore them. At first, they only glanced back at me then ignored me but when I did it again, the lanky one sh0t me a ha-rd look. “Something dey do you? (Is something wrong with you?)” He asked angrily.
“Abeg, Mr. Policeman, my throat don dry, I fit see water drink? (plea-se, Mr. Policeman, my throat has gone dry, can I get some water to drink?)” I asked.
The shorter one turned from the counter to fix a disgruntled look at me. “You think say this place na charity home? Water never hungry you o, you just start. (Do you think that this place is a charity home? You are not thirsty yet, you have only just begun.)” He told me.
“Na we-tin even carry them come here sef? (What even brou-ght them here?)” The lanky one asked his colleague.
“Na their son-in-law arrest them o, say the first daughter steal him one million naira, while the second one almost kill am. (It’s their son-in-law who arrested them. He said that the first daughter stole his money while the second one almost killed him). The other police man explained.
“E good for una!” The lanky one stated. “You see say no be money money be everything? Una go dey pack the girls wey we supposed marry give rich men all because of money! Na people like una dey make life ha-rd for us because una no want make una pikin stay with responsible men like us wey dey hustle. Una don [email protected] many girls wey be say, girls no dey look for love again o, na so so money. Dem tell you say as money dey mean say the marriage go sweet? (That serves you right. Have you seen now that money is actually not everything?! It’s people like you that are ma-king life ha-rd for us all because you do not want your daughters to stick to responsible men like us who are hustling. You people have [email protected] so many girls to the extent that they are no longer after love but money. Do you think a wealthy home guarantees a happy marriage?) He complained bitterly and hissed. “Una never see anything! When una sleep for cell today and mosquito finish una, una go get s-en-se small. (You have seen nothing yet! When you sleep in the fell tonight and mosquitoes deal severely with you two, maybe then you’ll have some s-en-se!) He finished and finally turned away from us.
My wife secretly tapped my [email protected] and whispered. “But papa Adanna, na true this man talk o. He does have a point. Can’t you see that we practically sold our daughters out to that animal? We chose to stay blind to Adanna’s ordeal all because of the financial aid we were getting from her husband. After taking her home, he suddenly appeared to claim that Adanna ran away with his one million naira. If you ask me, I smell something fishy o. First, Adanna has disappeared, now it’s Linda.”
“What are you insinuating, Eliza?” I asked.
“How are we sure that he is not a ritualist and has also used our daughters for money ritual?”
I laughed wickedly, tapping my foot on the cracked, cemented floor of the police station that was in serious nee-d of renovation. There was a moulded insect next on the wall and a faint trail of termite’s m—d that had earlier been [email protected]£d off. The ceiling was bad in several places and had brown patches where rain had continuously leaked in and soa-ked. “It had better not be o!” I chuckled wickedly. “It had better not be. Nothing must happen to my daughters o! Nothing!” I stated firmly. I paused in surprised when I turned to see my wife sobbing quietly and b!tt!g her little f!nger in regret. “Eliza, what is it na? Is it the mosquitoes that have not even arrived that is ma-king you cry?”
“Ha!” She exhaled. “Papa Adanna, so this is where we have ended? Because of money! Papa Adanna, our two daughters have suddenly disappeared and we don’t even know where they are or what happened to them. If I had known that this was how things were going to be, I wouldn’t have allowed my daughter marry Daniel at all. That boy is a pretender and he has no iota of respect for us. Imagine him not only calling my daughters names but also telling me to shut up! Mua!” She placed her hands on her che-st.
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“Oh, so why the sudden change of mind? Is it because he finally threw us into prison or because you know that even if we finally get out of here, that he will severely deal with us? Which is it?” I asked her.
Then she began to sob aloud as she realized the gravity of our mistakes. “Chai!!! I have killed my daughters ooooo…” She cried. “I have killed my only daughters!” She [email protected] her che-st ha-rd with both hands three times that the police men had to turn.
“Madam, if you no shut up, we go just open that cell put you for there!which kind ru-bbish be this na? (Madam, if you don’t shut up, we’ll throw you into the cell. What sort of ru-bbish is this?)” The shorter one threatened. “Oga! Better control your wife now! This place no be market wey dem dey shout anyhow! Mr., you had better control your wife now! This place is not a market where people can scream as it plea-ses them.” He stated.
My wife continued to cry profusely now and I had to pu-ll her closer to tap her back repeatedly in order to console her. As the policemen yelled at us without empathy, my wife quieted down a bit and began to wipe her tears with the unfolded end of her wra-pper.
After what felt like three hours and it was almost 7p.m. in the evening, our son, Emmanuel walked into the police station to bail us out. After he had written his name and signed the necessary papers, we were re-leased. Once outside, I asked him what had taken so long and where was my brother but he said that my brother had refused to come to the station with the excuse of he didn’t have money to spare for such nons-en-se. When I asked him how he had gotten the bail money, he told me that he had managed to reach Victoria who had been secretly contacting him and she had s£nt the bail money. My wife began to go around, trying to find her but Emma informed us that she didn’t come and wasn’t re-ady to see us yet. Sadly, we went home. We ate a light dinner because we didn’t have an appetite.
To Be Continued.
So not love Episode 18
SO NOT LOVE