An “I do” or Die Affair (Abike’s Last Words).
I will die on a hot Tuesday afternoon, in the comforting strong arms of my once lover. I will struggle with my blood tightening my chest and my blood flowing in all the wrong directions of my body. He will look down at me with irritation and the funniest scowl on his face, crying his tears of pain on my forehead and I will even try to clean it, a kind of stupid reflex developed over the years, but my arms will die before me. That is when I will start crying as well, crying hot and steamy tears fueled by my regrets and bad decisions, I won’t remember any of these ‘bad decisions’ or ‘regrets’, just the feelings — the hot and painful feelings.
At some point I will begin to wonder if maybe my life had flashed before his eyes, because it has refused to flash in mine. I will want to stop crying but it seems like my tears have decided to desert my body along with my blood.
He will mouth the words “I am sorry” to me and my body will shake with frustration, I am almost fighting for my life at this point, praying that I get to stay, if not for a longer period of time then maybe just one more day, so I can send the man that I married to jail, to where a lying and conniving man like him belongs. I am fighting for a future where I can scream at the top of my lungs that my husband had tried to kill me but had obviously failed due to his inadequacy, I am fighting for this thought and I am losing. An ending for my story that was far beyond my reach.
My resentment will build in the last minutes of my life, it will build and it will climax because David Faramide will walk out of that door the way he always has; with a symbolic bounce in his step and his head held very high up like he can see something in the sky that we, the mere mortals, simply can’t.
He will greet Mummy and Daddy with dishonest tears and say “Iyawo mi! Iyawo mi ti ku!” and Mummy and Daddy will cry as well, saying to him “It is well my son.” Until it’s a song stuck in his head, until he actually believes it. He will sneak at night and kiss his accomplice on her forehead who will, as well, tell him “It is well.” When in genuine sense, it really is not. David has killed his wife and nobody will know, there is absolutely nothing that is well.
I wish I had died the day David had met me. It feels disgustingly poetic that I would have to die this way; the same way that he met me on the night of the crash, only switch his car for some cheap poison and his drunken state for a woman with a size 2 waist and perky breasts. The first time David had ever seen me was when I was bleeding in his arms and the last time, I would be bleeding in his arms. It was gut wrenchingly poetic. God knows and I know he had been my end from the first day I laid eyes on him in the hospital, where they had said that I wouldn’t be able to move my legs for a while. I wish I had known right there and then that for a while would somehow morph into forever. I wish I had known that my forever would again morph into David.
My parents took the news like any other set of parents who were old and had not been made grandparents yet. They were just the right amount of hysterical about it, but not about the fact that I would never run again, or that I would never kneel down to scrub the always dirty bathroom tiles or that I would never simply stand outside my veranda and watch the fowls outside jump and cluck, that was never their concern. They screamed once they heard the news, my mother’s voice louder than my father’s wails “Who will marry her now!?” she screamed out everyone already knew the answer to that but ironically nobody answered.
Coming from a small town like Ireti our problems were not many and so in return our solutions were also not many. The justice system in my town can easily be described as ‘an eye for an eye’ or a finger for an eye, a herd of cattle and a virgin for an eye, or my personal favorite, a full grown man for a pair of legs. And so I can only guess my mother asked that question rhetorically because she already knew the answer, everyone already knew the answer.
I wish I could think of David with more love in my last moments. I wish I could lie to myself that David bought me flowers sometimes or pecked my cheek everyday before he left for work. I wish I could paint a false tale of evening strolls with lengthy kisses at the end of the night on most days but I cannot — He did none of those things, he didn’t even try.
I like to think I got the worst of David Faramide and you might think I might not blame him, but I do. I’m aware that forced marriage on a cripple could do that to you, make you kill your spouse you know? But he didn’t try, David could have met me in the middle, in an amicable maybe less life threatening marriage. He could have easily left me too, that’s definitely better than ending my life but like the coward he is, he took the high road, the coward took my life.
My breath will hitch in my throat and my brain will beg for last words, my parting sentence that will be said by David at every event forever, a sort of closure for him to take and run with it, share it to the masses who will eat it without question and collectively shake their heads to think “Abike, gone too soon.” Yes my last words would ease his conscience and unburden his heart, make him feel less distressed and maybe even save him from reoccurring night terrors. This is why I will look up at David, I will say nothing and I will die.