I’m running towards our room. Today wears a new color. Just the color of memories. It is blue and this type reflects my intention. I open the door quietly. I see him. He sits quietly on his desk. I run up to him. My face is a mask of sly smiles.
His name is Emeka. He is my husband. A Black, and toned man with those muscles in its right places. Today, I’m not afraid of him. I run him over with my oval eyes. I start from his legs letting them stop at intervals. Finally, I bring them to rest on the head. I stop at his face. His face is matching into mine. We meet at this point. I’m laughing at his confused state. He is looking at me. He sights my gift.
‘Another gift!, Emeka is shouting. He seems surprised. He exclaims in loud words. That way, he shouts, my mother says could mean many things to a woman.
I’m staring at him. He seems unhappy. I come nearer to him while pushing the gift forward. His stance is godlike. Looking at my supplications with a type of fire. He is looking at me. A frown is clouding his face. He is weighing the gift. I see him peep anxiously into the enclosed parcel. His eyes are now big just like Ada’s mother eyes. They say such eyes are trained. Their job is simple; to decipher things. Especially those things one wants to gift them.
My legs is tracing long lines. I’m watching them run here and there. I’m not surprised that he could be like this. Emotions are words he’d master well just the way we master games. His voice is booming. It is raging. I watch him fall out from heartlessness.
“What is this?”, He queries. I smile.
A type of facade you wear when you want to hide your pains. He is bending over it. Peeping anxiously into the parcel. I’m standing while watching him open it. They remind me of memories. That way he had carefully claimed me
“what on earth would this mean?” he asks again. He advances towards me. His body is promising me that punishments is meant to live as scars in a room. In my body.
Mother says women are holy waters. Quenching unholy fires in men.
I’m seeing fury in his stride when his eyes breathe brimstone. They speak fire in many language.I watch him advance, refusing to be moved. In future, My child will know why I did this.His voice is pulling me away. It tells me to face reality. I breath in those words. It reverberates.
“Do you want to insult my intelligence?”,he asks. He is showing me what he has solved. It is my answer that I house in me. A runic alphabet craved into a parcel.
“who did this?”, he pauses again. His voice is jolting me from this sad reverie.
“I’d it, dear. I’m giving to you what you want most”,I’m saying it again.
I’m looking at him now. My tears are building up. Days like this, they gradually weigh us down. Like Leads drawn up from water. He has thrown the parcel to my face. I’m bending down picking the letters. I’m forming it as I had done always. The letter is forming rapidly. It is transforming itself into what it has been meant to be..
‘I LOVE YOU’, It read.
I pick my solved puzzle showing him amidst tears. The pains in me are the reddish swell in my face, the marked marks on my hand and my scarred body. They give me away mingling me together with my past.
I look up. His voice is not with him. His threat has died with him. He is reading meanings into what I hold.
Yes, he remembers something. It now lodges in his mind. I had touched him again. He is remembering many memories. From College to Marriage to the time he had laid me.
“I love you”,
It was a litany we all rehearsed daily. A word we spoke in our first chemistry experience. He remembers the word and the exact date. Emeka has been hit squarely. He is looking down now.He is not meeting my eyes.He is looking at the ring he’d had given me. The parting heirloom that his mum had given him.
“Nkem”, He is saying.I turn to face him. To see those waters he never sheds. Waters that extinguish unholy fire in him.
‘I’m sorry, I never meant to be thus’, he says…
He is moving toward me. Choking on those words. He is saying those words he never cared to hear me say. Words I never knew he would care.
I’m waving him to a halt and he is looking at me.
In one lone moment, I’m asking myself if this is how people reclaim love. My mind is calling love a new name; An unending litany which echoes in the darkness.
Chukwu Emmanuel C is a Nigerian writer who loves to use his muse to delve into the happenings around him. His works have been featured in Praxis magazine, Ngigareviews and others.