My head ached terribly it was someone was hitting my head against an armored tank. My heart was beating rapidly and my arm hurt. My vision was blurry but I could sense that I was still bound.
I could hear Henry’s occasional whimper and one of the men, talking to him, pointing a gun at him. I turned my head slowly, it was like watching a movie in a slow motion and zooming in and out. I could see the movement of the man’s lips as they came together slowly, and then parted a little before opening even wider as if he was saying……Benita!
“She’s awake!” The other man shouted and the first man left Henry and was now walking towards me. His face wasn’t so clear, part of the effect of the drug I was given…
I felt him entered me in one full thrust and the agony and pain I felt that day, started building up in me, shattering me inside out and jerking me back to consciousness.
I was covered in sweat and I could hear my heart still beating so loudly. I felt a touch beside me and I screamed, yanking the hand off before I realized it was my husband who quickly put on the light.
“Baby, it’s me.” He said before pulling me into his arms, comforting me.
I rested against his chest as I tried to calm down.
“You are okay love. You are okay.” He was patting me on the back as I relaxed more….
“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked.
I thought for a while, talk about the name he had mentioned with Felix earlier today, magically showing up in my dream.
“No.” I replied, pulling the blanket over me.
“Should we go to the therapist today?”
. “Yes please.”
I was sitting down beside Henry in front of Kate, my therapist. She was sitting down all dressed in red suit, her large glasses pressed on her tiny nose while she scribbled something down in the note on her lap.
“So, how are we doing today? “ Kate asked
“Fine.” I replied, absent-mindedly.
“Do you think we are making progress at all?” She asked again, directly at Henry who nodded.
“So are you saying that your wife is improving s*xually and emotionally?”
Henry hesitated for a while but later nodded.
“You don’t need to lie Henry, we both know I’m not.” I blurted.
“I believe she still needs more time.” Henry explained, holding my hand.
“I do not think I do Henry, I think I am not making progress at all” I said sharply. I had no idea why I was feeling so irritated when he was being nothing but nice.
“Please let us all calm down.” Kate said calmly. “I am sensing some tension here and I need to know what is going on.”
“What is going on here is that my wife will not accept that she needs more time.” Henry replied, gently.
“But I do not!” I shouted. Now facing him. “ I do not understand what is going on Henry. Maybe I need time, maybe I do not. I don’t know. I still don’t know why you refused to report the incidence to the police, since all these days!”
“But honey, I thought it’s for your own good. You agreed to this!” Henry sighed and buried his face in his hands.
“Well, Mr. and Mrs. James, may I know what is actually going on? Because I do not understand this sudden outburst from the two of you.”
We were both quiet. I realized I was acting as a result of my own doubts or suspicion and he was acting out of his own fear, maybe I should just apologize or better still, remain quiet.
“My wife had a nightmare last night, she refused to share it and I respect her choice. I am not going to force her into anything she doesn’t want to do. I just want her to know whatever she is going through, I am here for her.”
I looked at Henry, he was being sincere but that was just not enough for me, I needed so much more, yet I was so afraid I might end up being an ingrate and then ruin our marriage, I didn’t want that.
“Madam, is there anything that is making you afraid?” Kate asked.
I sighed. “Maybe.”
“I don’t know.” I replied.
The two exchanged glances and Henry held my other hand to his lips.
“Love, you need time to heal, I will buy you anything you want, take you out of the country if you want, just tell me what you need me to do.”
“Who is Benita?” I finally asked, looking into his eyes.
I could have sworn that he flinched but he maintained his position…or maybe it was my thought.
“Who is Benita?” He asked again and I nodded.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” He replied.
“That day I was bound, I heard the guy mention a name, now, I heard same name yesterday, who is she?”
The two exchanged glances again.
“Tee, you were drugged that day, you remember? You cannot trust whatever you think you may have heard or seen.”
I thought for a while maybe he was right, maybe this was a mistake…God I was losing my mind.
“But….” I started but stopped. “Okay, I am sorry. I think I need to go lie down.” I replied.
We later left the therapist that day and after Henry left for work, I sent a message to Felix, he must definitely have something to tell me….
“How stupid was I to have let such a beautiful woman like you leave my life?”
I smiled as I heard Felix’ voice behind me. He must have parked outside the gate because I didn’t hear him drive in and I haven’t heard his footsteps either. I was behind the house, in a pink flowing gown and a hat to prevent the sun while I watered the flowers.
I sensed him move behind me and I stood up straight to give us some space before facing him.
He was in his Monday suits, and I was sure he had left the office to come see me. I held the watering can in my hand as I surveyed him with my eyes. The Fendi sunglasses he was wearing made him even more handsome.
“You like what you see?” He asked but I chuckled.
“Not bad.” I replied as I continued my work . Flirting with him had always been fun for me. Even though we were no longer together and he was my husband’s best friend, nothing changed. I was the one that got away, when I caught him cheating on me, few months later, I had met Henry, unfortunately, they ended up serving in the same place and that was how they got close until he introduced me and he realized his friend’s fiancé, was his ex.
He had travelled out shortly after and then by the time he got back, we were already married.
“You know you could have waited for us to patch things up.” He continued as I walked towards the entrance of the house while he followed me, I was smiling all the way, like I said, it was fun.
“Is my friend making you happy?”
He asked when I handed him a cup of wine, I was avoiding his gaze all the while so I just nodded.
When I turned around, he held my hand and took the wine from me. Then he faced me so we were looking at each other.
“I know I was a fool to have cheated on you when I did. There is no day that I don’t regret that. The next day, I got my posting letter; I sought for you and didn’t see you. It tore my heart apart when I discovered you both are together. Leaving for UK was beyond my control either, you know I had set that plan in motion since our three hundred level days, and now I am back, I know it is too late but I still love you…”
I wanted to protest but he continued….
“You don’t need to say anything. I will never ask you to leave him for me. What I want is for you to answer me…. Adetola, are you happy in this marriage?”
I had no idea why or what had caused it the next thing was that I was crying and he was hugging me tightly, comforting me….
“You were r@ped on the night of your wedding?” He asked again, finding it so hard to believe.
We were sitting down now after I have calmed down.
“Did you tell the police?”
I shook my head negatively.
“He said the deed has been done already and he didn’t want me to keep reliving it with police’s problem.”
“Bullsh!t!” He snapped angrily, standing up and now pacing with arms akimbo. “So something this terrible happened to you and he was just sitting down there without doing anything?”
“He was tied up too.” I replied in Henry’s defense.
“Oh my God! I wouldn’t have minded getting shot in the process of trying to rescue you Tola, what happened to you was cruel!” He came closer to me and went on his knees, holding my hands and looking into my eyes.
“My darling, I am sorry beyond words. I wish I was there to do something.”
I said nothing but just gave a weak smile.
“Who else knows about this?”
“Just my therapist.” I replied.
“You told no one?”
He sighed and then continued. “Why did you decide to tell me?”
Well, I was waiting for that …
“Because I need your help Felix.”
“I will do anything for you my love.” He replied. ‘Send me.”
“Who is Benita and how is she related to Henry?”
He looked surprised. “The girl we spoke about?”
He gave a sharp breath before sitting down beside me.
“Are you sure that was the name you heard ?”
I nodded. “Yes and for some reason, I have not asked my husband. I just don’t know why I have this fear of confronting him.”
Felix thought for a while I waited eagerly.
To be Continued…..