I am in love with two men.
The one I see now, and the one I see no more
The one in my life, and the one in my life no more …”
I blink the words out of my mind and force myself to focus
What do you feel Ayo? Tell me, what is it? What does it feel like? I don’t know what it feels like either…no, wait…
It feels…it feels like nothing. That’s it Ayo, you feel nothing, complete nothing! You’re numb right now, and that is what you’re permitted to feel; nothing. Look at your eyes right now, there is nothing there. Nothing…absolutely nothing…not even that fire…
I take a step closer to the mirror and examine my eyes more carefully; I search for the fire that she claimed to always see.
I shiver, then I steady myself.
See? It’s no longer…it’s no longer there I stutter
I swallow, blink rapidly, stretch my hands, and reach out to myself in the mirror
Nothing I whisper in a way that is supposed to soothe me.
Nothing, that’s what you feel…nothing. You’re a strong man; you’re now beyond the bondage of the emotions that has held you captive for so long. Misplaced emotions, emotions misplaced on a girl that wasn’t worth it. So long Ayo, so long did you misplace your emotions on Eni…
My lips quiver, humiliating me and bringing all my bravado to shame
I gnash my teeth and swallow hard as I look at the mirror again.
That can’t be moist in your eyes, Ayo. Don’t lose it all now. I admonish myself and blink again.
Deal with it; you invested your emotions on the wrong person, and that’s why it didn’t work out, and you had to end things. You see? It was the best decision. You made the best decision. It wasn’t supposed to be Eni…
I freeze again. My heart skips, my eye brows fluster and my lips quiver. I study my reflection in the mirror, gnashing my teeth and clenching my fists, swearing to do myself proud by staying strong through this.
Say the goddamn name, Ayo. Call her name; say Eni…
I freeze for the third time.
I feel my anger well up. I look at the mirror, and I resignedly allow myself to view me for what I now really am: a broken young man who had played with the fire of love and gotten burnt.
A young man who couldn’t be strong for himself now he needed his strength the most
The bile in my system rises, my breathing shallows up, the veins running through my throat and head swell, and my pent up anger swims to the surface.
In one swift movement I grab a chair and send it flying straight at the mirror, amidst beastly screams.
The breaking sound soothes my soul for a very short moment as I watch pieces of glass fall to the floor, broken, unfixable, wrecked, reminding me of the current state of my soul.
My rage urges me to break another thing, and I monstrously search for another lifeless victim to destroy.
Just then, the phone in my pocket rings, unafraid of my tantrum, daring me to destroy it.
My anger doubles as the ringtone blares and my phone vibrates in my pocket, not because of the guts it has to disrupt my raging momentum, but because of the audacity it wields to remind me of good times by playing ‘Joromi’ by Simi.
I don’t care if it is my ringtone; how dare it ring at a time like this, when it knows all the memories that come with that song?
That used to be her favorite song
Embittered by the reality of what I have lost, I plunge my hands into my trousers, pull out the rebellious phone and hurl it violently at the pile of glass and broken furniture in front of me. It meets its impending doom with a painful cracking sound, but as it slides to the bottom of the pile, it doesn’t stop playing the melodies of my torture.
Joromi keeps playing through the partially damaged phone like a relentless fighter, and at that moment my anger wanes and tears well up in my eyes as I crumble to the floor in abject pain.
Irritated and displeased from being deprived of good sleep was how I felt when I got a call in the middle of that fateful night.
There was a conflagration at Industrial Avenue, an area that contained multitudes of industrial buildings, and the fire was consuming everything in its way as it spread frighteningly fast.
It was two am in the morning, and I would have loved to remain in bed, but I knew that the fire scene would not be there by the time dawn broke, and even if I thought otherwise, I still didn’t have two choices to pick from.
I was a photographer for ‘The Watch’, a reputable newspaper company in Nigeria, and I took the best pictures of newsworthy scenes.
Over the years, The Watch had steadily lost readership; a factor I attributed to its refusal to digitalize along with the rest of the world, but those in the helm of its affairs attributed it to the inefficiency of its workforce, and so went on a spree, sacking and employing new persons as they deemed necessary.
It was in the midst of all of that drama at work, that I was awoken in the middle of the night by my editor. He explained that the photographer who took the night shift had been laid off and his replacement was to start the next night, but this news couldn’t wait and so I had to fill in for him.
I would have protested if I hadn’t feared that I would be the next person to be laid off if I tried doing so at such a precarious time, and so I agreed. After all, my unwillingness was the inefficiency they were fighting against.
I grabbed my camera and other necessities, hopped into my car and sped to the fire scene. I should start taking the pictures once I get there; the journalist would meet me at the fire scene, I was told.
I got to the scene and began taking pictures while feeling bad at all the money I saw disappear into the atmosphere in the form of thick black smoke, as the fire raged on.
The scene around the fire outbreak was that of a typical Nigerian chaos: there were lots of spectators, many lamenting as they beheld the problem in sight, but very few actually feeling bad.
I took more pictures, getting closer to the fire while being careful not to give myself up as a burnt offering.
I took pictures of the chaos of people that had assembled; those that mourned out of empathy, those that were merely excited because of the adrenaline of the moment and didn’t bother to be hypocritical about it, those that clustered and found a way to blame the president for the fire outbreak, and those that were considering being heroic by coordinating themselves and forging into the fire to rescue as many as items as they could from within. Don’t be stupid I whispered, as if they could hear me.
I was still capturing the moment when I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I turned. She wore identical jackets with me, our company logo embedded on it.
“I assume you’re the photographer from the watch?” she asked with a slight air of superiority and disinterest, scanning the environment as she waited for my answer
“Just for tonight. I work the day time shift”
“Yes…me too…starting from later today…we’re partners…” she said incoherently while being distracted as she surveyed the environment.
“Any idea why there aren’t firefighters on the scene?” she pulled out a pen and a pad from her fanny pack and went right into it.
“The usual; no diesel for their motors, or so I heard” I replied
She sneered in a way that made me wonder if it was directed at me or at the sad state of our nation’s fire department, before she turned and began to leave
“Since when? You being my new partner?” I called her back. She turned and looked at me for a while, then examined me condescendingly. I felt my stomach tighten with immediate dislike and irritation.
“Since now…got employed this morning… got poached actually…” She bragged with a giggle and walked away, leaving me with the feeling that I might prefer my previous partner whom I had initially despised, in light of this new being.
I wouldn’t lie to you, I disliked Eniola. It was quick, somewhat impulsive, and for someone like me that every kind of feeling needed to grow on, I didn’t need to give my dislike any attention before it grew and blossomed into full disdain.
Eniola was arrogant and pompous, or so I had thought.
Her effectiveness, innovative spirit and unique literal prowess made her one of the most sought after journalists in the business, and she knew this. The problem was that she didn’t try to hide it, or downplay her worth in order to make others feel comfortable around her.
Eniola replied to compliments of herself with more compliments of herself
“Oh my God, Eniola, you write so well”
“I haven’t seen anybody that writes the way you do”
“Neither have I”
“I read all the news you report before I read that of other journalists on the newspaper. You’re my favorite journalist”
“I figured that out.”
Never a simple damn thank you!
What irked me most was how everyone else seemed to be fascinated by this behaviour, instead of being repulsed. Three weeks into joining us at The Watch, Eniola became some sort of public figure among the staffs.
They hailed her whenever she bounced in on her high heels, clad in good cooperate, then they made sure she acknowledged and responded before they felt satisfied enough to resume their work.
Whenever we weren’t out in the field sourcing for news in the middle of all the tension that had developed between us, she was at her cubicle in the large space office, and there were always one or two people littering her space and enjoying her company, without hiding their fascination with her.
One time when she was in this kingly position, I caught her gazing at me, and when I looked she evaded contact. One day I caught myself wishing there was actually something more to her gazes than just a random action, and that was when I realized there might actually be more to my feelings than just dislike.
Don’t rush into conclusions please; I’m not going down the lane of infatuations. I’m talking more of plain curiosity and wonder.
Despite all, I still stayed in my own lane even when the new feelings began to find its way into the mix. Even with the dislike beginning to fade to give room for other feelings, I still didn’t make her acquaintance, because I was a terrible introvert and an excessive recluse.
A month into our working relationship, we were out on one of those boring days, driving through the streets when she spoke for the first time about something not related to work.
“Can we stop to get a drink?” she had asked. The tone of her voice sounded like she had put much thought into her action before making it.
“Yeah…sure” I stuttered, when I regained myself after the sudden intrusion into my thoughts.
I pulled over at the first fast-food we saw, and killed the engine.
“I actually meant a drink for the both of us” she explained when I made no move to get out of the car
I looked at her startled
“Actually you don’t have to, but thanks anyways…I’m okay…I’d just wait for you here while you go in and grab…”
“No Ayo, I would love if you come with me and have one too, the drinks are on me. Just a kind gesture” she shrugged
I looked at her some more, completely puzzled.
Some weeks afterwards, I joined her fan base.
Once her strong appeal convinced you to overlook her supposed traits of arrogance, you would fall in love with the being beneath.
She was enticing; her smile, her gestures, her bipolar personality that unpredictably switched between cute sobriety and amusing boisterousness, and her theatric, larger than life countenance.
A drink together led to more drinks and long dialogues, with her doing most of the talking and me basking under the eerie feelings that her voice projected.
It was during one of those revealing conversations that she told me that she had been intimidated by me for a long time. I sat there with mouth agape, listening to her narrate how I made her feel self-conscious, explaining that my silence had a strength to it, like I was judging her quietly. She further disclosed that my disinterest in starting a dialogue all this while had left her wondering what I thought of her, and how she felt that whatever it was, wasn’t good.
All that while as she talked, I had wondered in disbelief, how my almost non-existent being could possibly make someone not only feel uncomfortable, but intimidated.
Later on, I revealed my initial dislike for her while we sat and talked in the car, waiting for an indoor political meeting to be over. We had been tipped that the meeting might turn into a full blown fist fight that would spill out to the view of the public, and we were there to record the first hand story.
While we waited, I narrated my earliest impressions of her, as she listened attentively like my opinion meant a lot. I took my time to explain the reason for my initial feelings of dislike, and how they had gradually turned to like, then great admiration and respect, though I still thought of her as a proud person.
When I was done, she gazed at me with eyes that glittered, and for the first time, she didn’t return my compliments with compliments of her own.
She sat and stared, silent and not making any attempt to say anything. After a period of more silence, her hand snaked towards where mine was rested, covered it protectively, and squeezed gently.
I shivered as her skin brushed against mine slowly and thoughtfully, and I looked into her eyes. The intensity I saw overwhelmed me.
In no while I was lost in her eyes, until she slowly closed them, and ran her hands up my arm and down again. She then took my hands and guided it to her cheek, placing it there and exhaling from the contact. I felt weak all over as her smooth, soft, ebony skin came in contact with my palm hardened by years of struggle.
A thousand sparks ran through my body as I fed off the energy pulsating through her skin, through my hands, and into my bloodstream. She looked angelic as she sat by the passenger seat, with eyes closed and a face squeezed in intensity, while my hands cupped her cheeks and slowly ran down to her neck, contemplating beyond.
Suddenly, the violence that had brought us out began, but we were displeased at its timing. We however picked our devices and ran off to work.
Some days after, we ended up at my place after work hours. It was a flat with only a kitchen and a bedroom, and it couldn’t pass as being comfortable, than to talk of luxurious, but she didn’t seem to mind.
She skipped the formalities of commenting about my place or absorbing it like a first timer was supposed to, and marched straight to the kitchen before we were barely through the door.
She picked out dodo from my store and fried them.
She maneuvered through my kitchen like she was the one who drew the blue print for my house; I could almost swear she had been there before.
We watched comedy skits on my laptop afterwards, since my apartment wasn’t blessed with a television yet, and then we talked about music.
We shared similar passion for good music, and we literally exchanged our music libraries that night. I introduced her to Tjan, and she introduced me to Simi. Her favorite song was Joromi.
She played Joromi through the speaker in my apartment.
As the sang began, she rose slowly from the floor like a tree springing forth with grace, and then stood for a while towering above me and staring down with a sheepish grin.
I gazed on, as her hands left her side and slowly floated up like a thin thread flapping in the wind, her hips beginning to sway sideways to the rhythm of the music.
Slowly she begun, while still gazing at me, appraising the way I reacted to her body movements. She must have liked what she saw, because her dancing steadily picked up pace, and soon she was swirling around the room with the grace of a ballerina, while I sat on the floor mesmerized by the blend of artistry and erotica being displayed in front of me.
My hormones interpreted every move she made as sparks bouncing off the walls of my system sporadically, leaving me energized and weakened at the same time. It was hypnotic to watch her dance sensually to the music; her body picking out every sound, instrumental and melody, and breathing life into them, making them come alive in the enclosed space of my apartment.
Entranced, I saw colours escape her skin into the open air, causing a rainbow like blend of different colours to saturate my apartment. My lungs suddenly became too small to suck in the adequate amount of air I needed to stay lucid through this glorious experience.
I felt lightheaded and filled with substance, as this enchantress danced around, moving her body theatrically, her gaze never leaving mine, her smile never leaving her face.
Unexpectedly, she snaked towards me, took my hands, pulled me up and led me to the dance floor. It amazed me how at that moment, a heavy man like me could be picked up from the ground with little or no effort.
Like the rats under the spell of the piped piper of Hamelin, I allowed myself to be led to the middle of the room, where she stopped, locked my hands in hers and guided me through this dance of fine art.
I’ve always known I wasn’t a good dancer, but at that moment, as we locked bodies in melodious intimacy, I enjoyed the way I felt and looked, dancing side by side with her. I closed my eyes for a while and exhaled, experiencing a form of emotional orgasm.
My hands possessed her waist and we swayed to the beat; left right, left right.
I fell in love with her and with Simi simultaneously that night.
It was in this emotional mix, that the air suddenly shifted from delight to a pleasant tension as Joromi faded and ‘Tiff’ by Simi replaced it.
Our dance steps slowed, and our bodies relaxed into each other.
Her eyes were beautiful to look into.
It was a portal to pure and undiscovered galaxies filled with stars and other astral wonders beyond the reach of man’s corrupting presence. I wanted to go in and dwell there, and the shimmer in her eyes told me she wanted me to.
We saw the kiss coming.
The tensed moment that was supposed to lead to the lascivious fastening of lips fell upon us, and I arched my head closer as I shut my eyes and better judgment, my heart thumping in my throat as I anticipated the taste of her lips, which I presumed would taste like strawberry.
Against all expectations as I titled forward, my lips glided right through hers without contact, and I opened my eyes to see myself in an embrace.
Startled, I pulled back and looked into her eyes questioningly, and I met tears that spoke of a thousand pain.
She pulled back slowly as a sob escaped her lips, turning her back on me, probably hating the idea of vulnerability in front of the person she had previously been seducing.
I was confused.
A thousand thoughts ran through my mind as I took in the image of her, transfixed to a spot, her back on me, with shoulders heaving under the weight of an unknown pain.
Before I could question the new twist to her bipolar personality, she spun around, hurriedly gathered her things and began to make for the door. I was probably scared that she would take every element of the aesthetics I was enjoying and flee with it, and so I grabbed her and refused to let go.
She struggled for a brief moment before relapsing into my arms, overwhelmed with sobs.
I guided her to the bed where she slumped in and cried some more before she began to explain the reason for her pain.
“My ex. I still haven’t gotten over him…” she bit her lips as she forced her voice to make its way through the maze of agony that clogged her mind and throat.
My heart sunk at that one statement for two reasons; I didn’t like the fact that there was an ex in the picture already, someone who had witnessed all the splendor of her presence and personality and let it go, and I didn’t like the fact that he had left but was still in the picture.
She explained that she was still stuck in the memories of a past relationship she was finding difficult to move beyond.
She had just completed her master’s degree program, but while undergoing the program, she had met a guy and had fallen in love with him. He had sworn his spirit, soul and body to her, and promised to be there till the end of time. But as they graduated, he told her that they weren’t going to work out because he was going overseas and wasn’t a fan of long distance relationships.
Hadn’t he known that all along when he strutted in and made her fall in love with him!
What happened to the times he promised to fight for them no matter the challenges that would come their way? Wasn’t this an example of a challenge!
Eniola quizzed me with all these questions amidst sobs, like I was supposed to know the answers to all her problems
Broken, she explained that she had begged and offered solutions, agreed to make sacrifices if it came to that, but the bastard of an ex was resolute in his decision, and weeks after, he was out of the country, without giving a damn about her.
She explained that the experience had left her shattered and broken, and had rewired her mind towards how she saw the world.
I bit my lips.
She sobbed some more that night, with me holding her close and caressing her hair, hoping my strokes would somehow permeate her skin and access her soul.
Soon, overcome with tiredness, her cries faded and we sat there in silence.
Darkness came upon us, and I made an attempt to go put on the generator, but she refused. She said she preferred the darkness and the feeling of safety it brought.
I tried not to think of the fact that it was in the dark that the worst atrocities happened, talking about safety.
“Your eyes…” she suddenly whispered from where she was positioned beside me, drawing me out of my thoughts.
“There is a fire in your eyes…”
She snuggled closer, and soon was fast asleep in my arms, leaving me awake, as I stared at her enticing sleeping figure, filled with thousands of thoughts entangled in my mind.
I tried to gauge what I felt for this lady, who most likely didn’t feel anything for me, at least yet.
There are a thousand of ways to describe what I felt at that moment, but ‘possessive’ and ‘not-willing-to-let-go’, is what I would settle for.
I didn’t like the thoughts of falling for a fallen soldier of love, but the thoughts of her not being in my life in any intimate manner, after the little taste of grandeur I had experienced didn’t sit well with me either.
…can’t deny, I’m feeling it
I wanna call you baby
Baby, butterflies, boy you give me butterflies
You be thief, I know say you be thief o
And you know say you don steal my heart go,
You be thief, I know say you be thief o…
Those lyrics ushered me to sleep that night and many nights afterwards.
We both called in sick the next day, and spent the whole day playing around in my apartment.
More encounters with her and I promised to fight for her heart.
The way she made me feel, even in her broken state was heavenly, and I promised for my own good, to wipe out the last elements of her ex that was in the picture and establish myself there.
We were good together; we were so good together…
She read my thoughts and laughed, without me having to say a word.
I predicted the next words she was going to say most of the time, and we said it together and burst out laughing.
There were those few times that her ex came into our conversations…Okay, not a few times; most of the time.
She somehow found a way to drag him into everything we did, very mildly, but it stung.
“My ex would have thought this is disgusting to be honest; mixing the egg with the indomie while it is still on fire…” then she would cackle a dry laughter, and I would be forced to follow suit while nursing the new sting that had been added to the collection in my heart
“My ex thinks Davido is better than Wizkid; I always thought that was ridiculous sha, I mean how can you say Davido makes better music than Wizkid?”
I had always preferred Davido myself, but at that moment I couldn’t imagine being in the same team with this ex of a guy, so I scorned at the fact that anyone could think that Davido made better music than Wizkid
Wizkid became my new favorite artiste afterwards, just because Davido was his.
Time would deal with all this, I told myself…
She needed time to grieve and then gradually she would get over him.
I also needed time to prove my love to her and the fact that I wanted to be there for her, and then she would channel all the love my way
Three months passed, and time seemed to had failed in what it did best; healing wounds
Three months, and Eniola wasn’t past the hurt from her previous relationship, even when it seemed like she was developing something deep for me. I wondered how that was possible
Before I forget, we shared that kiss a month later, and many more afterwards, but I couldn’t solidly brag that I had established prominence in her heart.
One time when my hope began to wane at a point when it wasn’t late to quit the chase, I stumbled upon a small paper that was in her possession
I am in love with two men…
The one I see now, and the one I see no more
The one in my life, and the one in my life no more …”
I didn’t feel bad when I read the letter. I felt delighted; it meant I was in the picture, I had a fighting chance, and with persistence I could become the only guy in the picture.
I doubled my efforts
It would have been better if that was all, but then trust issues came into the picture
She found it hard to trust me when I said I loved her, when I said I wanted to be there for her. when I said I wasn’t going to be available because I was tired and wanted to go home and rest, when I said I wasn’t with my phone and that’s why I didn’t pick her calls, she didn’t believe I was saying the truth.
One time she surprised me with a visit to my house when I cancelled our movement, to go home and rest, just to be sure I was at home and alone, and not with another woman.
The whole thing confused me, how she could play the role of the protective girlfriend, while constantly reminding me through her actions that I hadn’t earned the role of the lover yet, or anything close to it.
You see, I invested all my time in Eniola, trying to woo her, trying to make her fall for me and give me her spirit, soul and body like she had done with her ex.
What I didn’t realize was that while I tried to win her heart over, I lost mine to the war I fought.
It started with total immersion, then it transcended to obsession.
It was like she played mind games with me, and every back and forth movement she made, imprinted her existence more into my mind.
She frustrated me, and delighted me at the same time; made me feel like I was the only guy she cared about and yet wasn’t. She made me feel secure, then insecure at the same time. When I was sure I was leading her down the road to the land of happy ever after, I would suddenly stop and realize that I was walking on my own, she having left me way back.
I began to think about her more than anything, more than my job, plans for the future, and even my miseries.
My thoughts became lodged with feelings of longing, lust, anger, and hatred. I longed for her, desired her, was enraged with the fact that I was constantly failing, filled with bitter hatred towards her ex, who without knowledge, had suddenly made life difficult for me.
You see, most of my life I had felt like a failure. My childhood wasn’t the happiest, amongst many other things.
What Eniola’s presence did for me was to uplift my spirit, make me feel like I could amount to something, and so I did a quick math in my head:
If I could win someone like Eniola to myself, then it meant I could be a success at something.
Now you can imagine what it felt like when I realized I was losing another war, and I was losing it to a man who wasn’t even fighting or interested in winning.
How hopeless can I be?
Did Eniola even know about the struggles in my head over her?
One of those jolly days after work, we had ended up in one of those fanciful places in the city, had a good time and then returned to my apartment.
While I tucked my gadgets away, she went to the music player and soon Joromi filled the room again, as I smiled at the tune I was now familiar and in love with. It was even my ringtone now
You can guess, the magic of the moment began.
“I love you” she whispered hoarsely, as our foreheads met, and she grabbed the back of my head tenderly. Her breathing was heavy, but mine was worse as we swayed to the rhythm, absorbing the wonderful feelings from each other’s body.
We adjusted positions while standing, into an embrace, moving melodiously to the tune
As I held on to her, a thousand thoughts ran through my mind, most of which weren’t pleasant or delightful, but somehow, the feel of her skin compensated for all the negativity.
We moved to the music in silence, enjoying each other’s presence.
“I love you too” I said some minutes into the moment, and waited for her romantic response, which she was a professional at giving, but none was forthcoming.
“Hey…” I whispered, still stuck in the moment
“Did you hear me? I love you” I said again in a voice barely above a whisper, and waited for a reaction.
There was nothing, and that’s when I realized that apart from the movement of her legs to, she was stiff.
I pulled back slowly and looked at her face, to catch her in time, snapping out of a place in her head she had been.
She had been lost, lost in her head, in a memory I knew so well without her having to say.
A memory that cut so deep that it could pull her in, even when I stood with her dancing to her favorite tune.
She sighed and exhaled, and began to apologize tenderly
“You ex…” I said knowingly
She studied me for some seconds, before she looked down like she was embarrassed, and nodded in the affirmative
I looked at her again, and took slow steps backwards, suddenly realizing I was at my breaking point.
My body reacted differently this time. I didn’t feel pity or hurt, I felt rage.
It started as a burning sensation in my gut, and then it spread. I could feel it every step of the way, as it intensified and engulfed me.
I staggered backwards, feeling dizzy till my back touched the wall and I pressed my hands to it, as I began to pant.
I gnashed my teeth so hard it felt like they were going to crack under the pressure.
My anger was justified, because in that moment I reflected over the last six months and saw how futile I had been. I had suspended my life, my entire life, to win a heart, a single fucking heart, and here I was, standing on my own with nothing to show for it
“Ayo” her voice rang through the empty apartment, with the song having been switched off. Her voice seemed to sail on a lot of emotions, but at that moment I despised them.
“Ayo” she called out, as she began to come closer
“Don’t” I growled between my teeth
“Stay away from me” I managed to groan in the middle of all the murderous energy I felt flooding my system.
I opened my eyes, and I saw the colour of red and black float across my apartment as my interior burnt with demonic rage that sought to be expressed.
There was something about the way I felt at that moment. The rage; it was primitive, and felt uncontrollable, as I forced myself to remain on the wall, panting and groaning within me.
My mind seemed to desire only one thing immediately; to destroy.
I looked at Eniola, and I lurched at her, grabbing her head and bashing it unto the wall countless times over, until there was a splatter of flesh and blood all over my white painted wall…in my mind.
How dare you let me waste all this years?! I screamed and then I threw the fire extinguisher beside me, and it found her skull and pinned it to the wall in an explosion of blood, flesh, and fragments of bones…in my mind.
“Ayo” she called out, pulling me out of my head with desperation in her voice.
I looked at her again, and I felt a force within me, pushing me to actualize all the images of violence I had conjured in my head. The force was strong.
I pushed myself off the wall and took two steps forward, and halted in a beast like stance, feeling a heated energy possess me.
She froze where she stood, and I could see the colour wash off her face; she must have seen the new demons in my eyes, the way she always saw the fire.
I took some more steps forwards, clenching my fists tightly.
“Ayo” she called out again, this time with a shaky voice, as she stepped back
I doubled my pace while she doubled hers backwards and soon she was pinned to the wall, while I marched towards her.
Some inches away from her, my hand left my side violently just at the same time I looked into her eyes and saw that portal again.
That glorious opening to a world beyond
Shaken at the sight in her eyes, my hand reflexively redirected its path to rest on the wall beside her, as I exhaled all the rage from within, gasping agonizingly for air.
I felt the hot tears of failure roll down my cheeks, as I closed my eyes and let them flow
I’d loved someone who couldn’t love me back
“Get out” I suddenly said to her, who was still pinned underneath me, with tears of her own
Her face rumpled as she processed my demand
“Get. Out” I said again, with so much resoluteness.
She opened her mouth like she was about to argue, then she froze and broke down in sobs instead.
“Ayo” she called out, searching my gaze like she expected to find something, a weak point
“Ayo don’t do this…I’m sorry…I love you…It would get better…Ayo” she mumbled incoherently with a croaked voice, dotted by tears and pain.
Her hand reached out for my cheeks, but I ducked out of the way and shifted, so she could find her way out of the room, and my life.
“My ex…I know that’s the problem…give me a little more time and he would be done for…I promise…I love… ”
My hands flew into the air with speed to halt her from saying anymore.
She must have perceived the finality of that last demand, because she sighed, cleaned her eyes, and picked up her handbag.
Before she left the room, she walked up to me and looked into my eyes.
“I still see the fire in there” My heart sank, then I heard the door creak open, and close silently.
She was gone
I sit down and sob, as Joromi continue playing from my phone, then it stops abruptly.
Still on the floor, I crawl towards my laptop, turn it on and click on the first folder of pictures.
The folder contains hundreds of pictures we took together at different times, all romantic and happy, then I cry some more.
Still sobbing, I open the next folder.
The folder contains tens of thousands of pictures, all photoshopped and edited. They aren’t real, but are scenes I had conjured from my wildest fantasies with Eniola, and working my way around with my knowledge of photography, had created visual representations of every thought. They have me and Eniola at exotic places across the world; France, Germany, Russia. At the Eiffel tower, beside the statue of liberty, at the White House, pictures with presidents, pictures at the seven ancient and modern wonders of the world, at Seychelles, pictures at space, and many other glamorous ones.
There are pictures of us on our wedding day, on our honey moon trips, and with our kids.
Then there are the more erotic ones, all photoshopped and created by me; pictures of us naked on bed, and at different places, engaged in deeply sexual ways, fulfilling my deepest fetish sexual fantasies. There are pictures of us involved in BDSM, erotic asphyxiation, amongst many others.
I look at these pictures in their thousands, then the rage of not being able to have fulfilled or lived out any of them overwhelms me again, and I fling my laptop. It collides with the wall as it crashes.
I Stand up reflexively, snatch my car keys and head for the door, groaning from the intensity of the new rage I feel within.
I get into the car, bang the door and the window shatters on me. I am unfazed as I maneuver out of my compound and into the highway in no while, fixing my leg permanently on the accelerator.
My car jolts into a high speed that doesn’t reduce for anything as I swerve through the few cars on the road, screaming in my head as I drive on.
Everything moves past in a blur, as my mind processes a lot. I just need to do one more thing, before I close the chapter of Eniola in my life.
As I contemplate what I am about to do, I do not notice there is an incoming trailer directly in front of me, as I am on the wrong lane. When I am jolted back to the present, I see that the trailer is seconds away from collision.
The last thing I think about before there is a black out, is the fact that I have never seen Eniola’s ex before, not in person, and not in any picture, and that I do not even know his name.
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