A while back, I was scrolling through my timeline when I saw a link to an incomplete story. Turned out to be a writing competition. I would usually sit back and watch this sort of things unfold but the universe knows I could do with $1000 at any time and my wardrobe is in dire need of a new T-shirt. You guys should try it too and don’t forget to cite me as a reference.
My words come after the bold letters.
Here goes nothing
Aigbe smiled callously as he watched Esosa tumble backwards onto the floor. He thought to himself that she quite looked like a fish out of water – flailing about, reaching for support that would not be forthcoming. His smile very quickly evolved into a cruel laugh as he watched the back of her head crash onto the cold, tiled floor with a sickening, wet sound. Leaping astride her semi-conscious body, he rained three solid blows onto her torso, working his way from her lower ribcage to her sternum. She yelped, shook and choked with each blow, unable to fight back.
“You are the one that will die, not me, Stupid Harlot!”
He spat into her face as the last blow landed and she choked violently, jerking with the impact of the blow and recoiling from the glob of projectile spittle that had hit her face.
“You! Are! A! Mad! Dirty! Prostitute!”
Each word was punctuated by a slap that sent waves of pain coursing through Esosa’s head. She could barely speak or shout or scream in protest, much less move. She felt herself start to slip into a numb blackness but she tried to hold on. Aigbe wrapped his hands around her neck and muttered.
“Witch! Harlot! Your plan has failed!”
Esosa closed her eyes and let the numbing darkness take her as her husband choked the remaining life from her, his wedding ring pressing against her carotid artery.
2 hours earlier
Esosa smiled to herself as she poured the brown powder into the bottle of Merlot. She re-corked it and shook it violently until the powder began to dissolve. She knew Aigbe was already on his way home.
He had called her earlier and told her to prepare banga. She was at it in the kitchen and didn’t hear him come in. About two minutes later, she heard him approach the kitchen.
“Welcome dear, you’re back. How was your trip?”
“My trip was awesome, came home with someone, come and say hello.”
“Someone?” She thought. This couldn’t be good.
Aigbe halted abruptly. She leaned over to see the reason for this weird behaviour and her eyes beheld her worst fears, writhing on the floor in obvious agony was Mrs Iyobosa Bello, Aigbe’s mother. Aigbe rushed to his mother aid, the shattered wine glass explaining all.
Aigbe looked up at Esosa, his body asked and her’s answered even before a word was spoken
“Did you do this?” He asked anyway.
“Aigbe, I didn’t know Iyé was coming with you” her words faster than her thoughts
“So it was just me you planned to kill then?” He countered as he approached her, swaying gently from side to side
She knew that gait, that gait was the reason all this was happening. She had to say something fast, although words never stopped him. “Aigbe let me explain…”
But Aigbe had heard all he needed to hear and her last words were lost to a left hander that sent her sprawling.
2 days earlier
“I’ll be back the day after tomorrow” he announced unceremoniously.
Aigbe was travelling to Benin City to attend the concluding parts of the Igue Festival, his father was a Chief and he had a role to play as the first son.
“Do something about that eye” he concluded as he stormed out.
It was the latest in a series of black eyes she had come to receive from the man she loved and whom she thought loved her.
Esosa picked up her phone and made the call she had been waiting to make for a while
“Ronke, He just left.”
“I’ll be in your house in 30 minutes” No pleasantries, no mushy stuff…just 2 friends who understood.
Her bell rang, it was Ronke.
“He did that to you abi? Never mind we’ll talk on the way. Put on anything please, we’re going to see a native doctor not the oil minister” Ronke rattled off, never pausing to give her chance to respond nor to catch her breath.
2 minutes later they were set for their 40 minute drive to Epe.
“My daughter” Baba started. “this is not a movie oh, your husband won’t just take this and it will happen suddenly, no. There is a process, and it would be frightful at some point”
“What kind of process Baba?” she asked, scared.
“There will be pain oh, serious stomach pain. You would take him to the hospital but he will not die. When he wakes up… that is when he will see you as nothing but a treasure to be cherished. You husband will love you wholesomely again”
“Thank you Baba…how much is your money?” Esosa asked
“HAHAHA!” Baba bellowed surprising her “you didn’t think I started the work without money did you? You don’t owe me”
Esosa looked towards Ronke who was already on her feet and ready to go, no words could express the amount of gratitude she felt, so she let her eyes do the talking.
“One more thing” it was baba “I prepared that medicine with your husband’s name, it would only work on him. Don’t go and do álaanu and give it to a friend who has same troubles”
“Okay sir” she said as she left, already looking forward to the love that the powder in her hand promised.
2 months earlier
Esosa looked up from her hospital bed to see Ronke looking down at her.
“I came as soon as I heard, what happened?” Ronke inquired
“my baby, my baby, my baby” Esosa drooled continuously
“what baby, what is she talking about?” Ronke looked from Esosa to the nurse, who stood there unsure of how to proceed.
“erm…madam maybe you should wait outside first” the nurse finally spoke to Ronke as she proceeded to administer some demulcent to her patient.
“No please, let her stay” Esosa called out, seemingly calm now
“what baby is she talking about?” Ronke insisted
“she had a miscarriage madam” nurse finally volunteered
“oh my! What exactly happened?” Ronke sat now by the edge of her bed, Esosa’s left hand sandwiched between her hands.
Esosa looked at the nurse, letting her know it was okay to leave them alone and as she sat with her friend in the room, her mind skirred over many details seeking a pilot. She wanted to tell her how she had waited to break the good news of her pregnancy to her husband, she waited for a second missed period to be sure, they had already waited 4 years. How her husband had looked up at her with bloodshot eyes and shouted “what?” with alcohol tinted breath. She wanted to tell her how her erstwhile docile and loveable husband had become piceous since his excessive romance with the bottle started a couple of years back. How he had called the baby in her tummy a bastard as he hit her for the first time in their union. In the end she did tell, she told Ronke who shared all her secrets. She told it all and ended with the question “do you think he knows?”
Ronke knew what she was referring to and she was quick to dispel the thought. “The only way he’ll know is if Jimmy told him”
She met jimmy about 2 months back, Aigbe was out of town and they had gotten a little too friendly. The baby was Jimmy’s, she knew that but she wasn’t going to abort a child in her present predicament and after what happened two years ago, she had no reason to worry.
2 years earlier
“This place is too far now Aigbe” Esosa complained.
They had been married for 2years now without children. The pressure mounted and Aigbe decided they had to see a fertility doctor. She was up for the idea but why he had decided to drive all the way to Egbeda to see a doctor was beyond her. His explanation was vague but she wasn’t in the mood to argue. He was driving afterall.
They waited in the doctor’s office as he went to retrieve the result of the test they did a few days back
“Mr and Mrs Bello” Doctor Bayo called their names as if they were lost in a crowd and not right in front of him. “It is my pleasure to inform you that you are both fertile, and only thing keeping you from making babies is God’s time”
“Oh thank you doctor” Aigbe beamed, the relief palpable..
As they left the doctor’s office, Aigbe looked over at Esosa, she smiled at him but he was thinking of 3 weeks ago when he had seen Dr Awo.
Unlike Dr Bayo, Dr Awo didn’t fake results and Dr Awo had delivered the words that would change his life forever
“I’m sorry Mr Bello; you will not be able to biologically father a child”