He brought her home. I had never seen her before but I was sure there was a her somewhere, I wasn’t stupid at all, I might have been emotionally weak but the blood of my family still runs in my veins.
I told Kelvin, I was traveling to Enugu to see my sister in school and of course we argued about everything but principally how he was going to it. Somehow, I ended up going to the market and cooking to put everything in fridge before leaving. Unsurprisingly, I got to the park very late and after waiting for two hours I realized I would just have to make the journey the next day, it really was late.
I made the tiresome journey home, I was too tired to notice that there was an underlying tension amongst his flatmates as I got in, they kept trying to talk to me, to prevent me from moving forward but I was too tired. I got to Kelvin’s door and brought out my key and opened the door and it was then my brain snapped into various violent pieces.
They were both naked, she was straddling him with her back to me and her long green weaves cascading the length of her smooth and curvy backside. He saw me first.
“Dunni, what are you doing here?!!”
“Kelvin!!!!!! What am I doing here?? What is she doing here???” My head was burning hot, I was a very quiet person by nature but the situation did not permit quietness.
Then she turned to face me and my anger grew in volumes. She looked like a screen goddess, perfect skin tone, her lips curled into a permanent small pout and the aura around her was just too classy, my scream did not move her a bit. She picked my wrapper and wrapped it round her shameless nakedness and then turned back to face Kelvin.
“Can you take care of this? I mean who is she to just barge in on me like that, I thought you had no girlfriend”
“Nina, don’t worry, it would be taken care of, she is my ex that comes once a while to visit.”
I thought I was hearing triple, ex? Once in a while? Visit?
I ran to the big sized mirror in the passage, broke it with my hands and ran back with a shard, the girl must die today, not tomorrow. The flatmates saw me running with the glass and shouted to Kelvin.
“Babe dey rush come with broken glass o! She fit kill person o!”
Kelvin was very fast. Very fast to protect the whore against me. He hit me with the door as I was running in, the glass broke into tiny pieces and I fell on them, it felt like a million tiny needles pricking me all at once. I hardly felt it, I was up again and ready to claw the b**ch to death; it never occurred to me to face Kelvin, he was my own heartbeat. This time around Kelvin picked me up and threw me over his shoulders, picked my bag at the side of the room and with the whole world watching, threw me out of his compound on the street without any shred of dignity.
In that moment, I was defeated through and through and the world had won against me. I still wanted Kelvin, I couldn’t breathe without him, he was the only real thing in my life, the only thing I had any passion about, he was taking my life by taking his presence. I picked the remaining shreds of my dignity and my bag and stopped a bike to take me to my hostel.
My roommate exclaimed when she saw me and it was no shock, I had been battered and I looked like it. She collected my bag from me and carefully helped me remove my clothes, she sat me on the bed and boiled water for me while she said nothing, I was staring into a non existent space; I wouldn’t have heard her. I needed my heartbeat back, I simply did not know a world without him as it’s centre.
After I had freshened up, I cried myself to sleep, having dreams of broad chest and long strong arms around me. The next morning I tried calling him but he kept cutting the calls, eventually I could not bear it again and I rushed to his place. I met him dressing up for a class and I ran to hold his legs with my knees to the ground.
“Kelvin, please I am sorry, I can’t live without you. I just felt pain that you brought another lady to our place..”
“My place!!! Do you hear me? Mine! There is no our anywhere, so just get out of My Place in peace before I have to throw you out”
“Kelvin please, I would have nobody in my life, you are the only one that means something to me. I won’t shout at your guests again, I will do everything you want please just don’t leave me. Please Kelvin”
After minutes of tireless begging and crying he picked me up.
“Dunni, you know I love you but you cannot be embarrassing my guests because you are having mood swings, now don’t ever disturb my guests. I am going for a class now but I will see you in the evening” My joy knew no bounds as I timidly nodded, I was back where I belonged but not for too long
* * *
Two weeks after, I managed to get the number of the screen goddess and I called her begging her to leave Kelvin alone, she cut the call and apparently she told Kelvin because that was the night I almost died.
“What did I tell you about embarrassing my guests, why did you call Nina?!!! Where you drunk?”
I cannot remember when the beating started I just remember with startling clarity that by the end of the night I was half dead and barely breathing. His flatmates rushed me to the health centre claiming they saw me that way in the middle of the road, on my side I feigned amnesia.
Distorted was the perfect word to describe myself, broken bones, swollen purplish flesh, marks and cuts, I was a caricature of myself and I couldn’t call my parents, what would I say happened?
Kelvin never came to visit me for once throughout the week I spent at the health centre. I knew beyond doubt that if I returned to his place I would surely die in his arms, I knew I couldn’t go back so I stayed alone.
I was depressed and unhappy, I wasn’t often alone, talking to no one but my inner self, wondering if there was a God somewhere. I contemplated suicide severally but I didn’t have the courage. Life meant nothing at all.
Eventually I sought for help, I went to a church close by and poured my soul out to the pastor. He introduced me to Christ afresh, it was all strange but gradually I understood that no one except God could help me. I faced my fears and insecurities and started healing gradually, it was a painful process of cutting myself off from Kelvin in my heart and my mind and growing totally dependent on God.
* * *
Its been six years now and as I walk down the aisle to meet the man I could only have dreamt of, I am gratefully aware of how far I have come. God had been faithful, truly he makes everything perfect in His time once you give him the reins. I occasionally talk to women facing domestic abuse or violence and assist them with recovery, my story always proves to be an inspiration to them all. I am glad I have found life, God and purpose and I just hope anyone looking at my life can realise that all hope is not lost with God watching for everything to work together for good for those that can yield to him.
“No Kelvin!! I don’t want any of this and you know it”
“Really Dunni? You don’t? How can you deny me this one thing I want to give you, this beautiful pleasure Dunni?”
“Its not like that, I am just not ready for it and I have told you and you said you understood it, that you would never ask me so why are you doing this now?”
“Then just go!!!! I am tired of having to pick up your little fragile self always. I have never asked you for anything and I am asking you for just this one thing and you are saying no, then leave!!!!”
I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears, Kelvin had never even shouted at me but now he was screaming, like I had done something wrong that he was angry about but I couldn’t think of anyway I might have offended him. He knew, he knew I could not leave, he knew I was depending on him for the actual pumping of my heart, yet he turned against me. I didn’t know when the tears started rolling down my eyes and I started sobbing like a new widow.
He stopped screaming when he saw me in tears, he wrapped his arms around me and I felt so overwhelmed by his presence, his strength, his person, I couldn’t imagine him leaving me. He was the only one that had ever loved me and I am not about to lose his love.
He pulled me away to look deep into my eyes, the intensity of his gaze was intimidating, I felt all my resolve crumbling and when he asked me again I couldn’t help but nod vigorously like a corrected child.
Kelvin knew the art of lovemaking from his soul and he taught me everything I needed to know to satisfy him. At first it was beautiful and exquisite, exploring this beautiful new art but then several things were changing and they were changing radically.
Kelvin screams at me to leave at the slightest provocation, including when he doesn’t get his food that has become my daily duty, on time. He complains about everything, I can’t remember the last time he called me beautiful, or intelligent or anything nice for that matter. I was practically walking on eggshells around him. The only time he acts nice to me, are the few minutes between my legs; I usually live for those moments, those moments when I can see the breath I fell in love with, those moments I become the only thing he lives for.
Kelvin was not done breaking me, he started making me beg to make love to me and I did so shamelessly until I started seeing panties that were not mine, and green coloured long hair strands and smelling perfumes Kelvin’s dead body would never use; too feminine.
I was too afraid to say anything about it.
Then today happened.
I was always the odd child. In a family of very brilliant scientist, experts and world changers being average was not unacceptable, it was a curse and it was my curse. My father learnt to realise that I was very dumb and didn’t bother me with the intelligent questions, He simply asked about my day and I would always reply that it was fine.
No, it was never fine, I was always the butt of jokes in school for being the odd one, not just because I was really dull in comparison to my other siblings ( funny, I was more intelligent than most people that made fun of me) I also had a very ugly birth mark that made half of my face look like it was once part of a fire accident.
Basically I was an outcast everywhere so I learnt to protect myself, to be invisible, I didn’t have friends and I was the first back home immediately after school, just locked in my room till I hear the horn for the school bus the next morning (Mother had learnt to leave my food at my doorstep).
Things were very much the same all through my growing up till I entered the university, by then I had already accepted that I was this very ugly and dumb shy girl no one would ever want anything to do with. I was contented in my small space and world until Kelvin showed up.
Kelvin was the last of the last set of humans I imagined would notice me, talk less of talk to me or even show any form of interest in me. He did and it was the biggest miracle of my life, until it was not.