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One, Step two, step three…… (bells) She shut her eyes behind the white fabric, beautifully woven with the best silk. Dropping down her shoulders with so much elegance above her white duchess satin dress made of pearls and crystal rhinestones.
This was everything she had dreamed of! A life time wish-come-true. The hall was Massive. Chandeliers gave the atmosphere so much radiance. Everything was on point but for this sudden rush of Emotion that swept across her Neck. Her hands felt so cold, her legs shuddered and her eyes became so pale. Every organ of her body detested the moment. It felt so right but it wasn’t. Why am I here? Why do I wana take a vow that will leave me unhappy for the rest of my life? Why can’t anybody hear me screaming? These questions played over and over her head as the formalities went On. Lord can I run outta here? Her thoughts played on. She slowly turned her neck towards the door, contemplating an escape….
(nuptial rites………)
Priest: “do you take Damian as your lawful wedded husband to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?”
She had missed the part where Damian gave his promise of ‘I do’. The procedures had been going on but she was definitely absent minded. Damian’s eyes pierced hers so painfully. He was looking gentlemanly under the $6,000 Brioni suit he wore. Damian was the kind of man money spoke for. He was wealthy enough to get himself whatever he wanted, probably why she was standing right before him about to tie the knot with him. The wedding was nothing compared to his other previous weddings. He had never lasted in any marriage for more than three years and nobody knew whatever happened to all the women he married, no one had the guts to ask. He was that dangerous. She had lived in his lonely mansion for years, with different women he introduced as his wife, after ofcourse her own mother. Years had passed since then and whoever knew she would be next in line? Lies and deciet danced all over his face as the wedding rites went on. She could decode the pretencious smile on his face. The same smile he gives before his demon unleashes. Nights of torture and battery. It was the wrongest kind of love. So perfect yet incomplete. It was all coming back now…slowly, tormentingly…
I will not! Layla screamed in pains, forcing herself out of the wooden chair she had been sitting on for 3days. Damian had tied her down for fear that she was going to escape. I love you, see I do these for us! Cant you see? I dont need nobody coming inbetween us my angel. Tell them we’re fine. Tell the world we’re fine! Tell your pastor we’re fine!! Tell everybody we’re fine! We’d get married and travel faraway and we’ll just be fine!! He screamed like a lion that had just recieved a bullet, staggering about the place with a half empty bottle of vodka in his hand. She had cried so much the past days, her face was numb to the tears rolling down her cheeks. She struggled to see through the fost on her weak eyelashes as every blink released another drop of tear.
I want you! You are mine! I am your lover!! I am damian and you remain Indebted to me! He belched, downing the last shot of vodka left. Nobody defiles my orders, not even your slut of a mother could. You saw what she got in return? He asked laughing and belching in her face. You will not call my Mother a slut Mr damian!! By now her temper had risen. So high that she could stab him in every part if his body till she was sure he wasnt breathing anymore. She had the chance to do it once but she was too young to. The memories of that night stung like a bee. It was exactly twelve years ago but it seemed like just yesterday. She was 8 years old when she watched her mother lie in a pool of blood. Mummy!! The little girl screamed!! She had woken up from a bad dream. There was a bad man in the other room. She couldn’t see his face clearly but she was sure she recognised the bit she saw. He was not so short and not so tall, he had a strict look and hardly ever smiled. Every movement of his face released a bad temper. But he wasn’t the only one there. She spied from the little hole on the door, panting and sweating profusely. She covered her mouth with her little hand, holding the tears back. She had seen the second person in the room. It was a woman, she was bruised all over, it was mummy.
Oh! That was a Nightmare. But there was no need to be grateful yet as the sound of tears stormed the entire neighborhood. It was as though that building alone was affected by an earthquake. She ran off to the other room and there was her mama on the floor. It wasn’t a dream after all ! She knelt down next to her wiping the blood stains off her mum’s body with the edge of her gown. Observing the steel standing upright on her mum’s abdomen. There was an unceasing red flow and by now her gown and both hands were soiled. “Run baby, run….just go. You will be fine, and you will survive! Just keep running..” she said repeatedly as the tone of her voice gradually reduced until there was no more sound left. “Run” These were the words she forced out. The last words.
A dead silence swallowed the room now as she stood like a defeated soldier. She had been living like a soldier in a cold world, she had to act like one now. She pulled out the knife covered in blood, exiting with rage but a shadow met hers. It wasn’t hers, it was bigger than hers. He was by the door all along. It was him, The devil was there all along. Her fingers could not support her anymore. Her bones had grown too weak to hold onto the weapon. Her hand shook tremendously, opening up one finger after another until the knife dropped. He smiled, yes baby…don’t do what I din’t teach you. Now get back to your room while I handle this Mess! He sparked ! The little girl ran back to her room in full speed, slamming the door. She rolled back up in her bed, hugging her teddy so tight as she wet it with tears. It was twelve years ago.
I have been “running” all my life, from all the shame and disgrace. She truly loved you, she was a keeper, a backbone, she covered all of your mess until she was the mess! You will rot in hell Mr Damian! He stormed a slap on her face, staggering but still supporting the already empty bottle of vodka underneath his armpit. Bringing his face next to hers and releasing yet another smelly, disgusting belch he asked what do you know about love young lady? Tell me what you know about love? Isn’t it what we both share? He asked kneeling on the floor and resting on her weak laps as she remained tied down on the chair. Crying and caressing her body. Marry me, I raised you up for me, sent you to the best schools for me! We don’t have the same blood flowing through our veins. He laughed hysterically, your mama was a slut! The hatred crept in again, if she had some venom she would have spat it out on him. I need you to satisfy me! I get what I want cause you see, its a man’s world! Hahaha! He stormed on her now, possessed by his libido. Kissing and licking her all over like a dog. She cried painfully. 3 days Damian!….3 days! you starved me, denied me Life and now you want to devour me in these weak bones. By now, the rope on her legs loosened up, but her hands were still tied down. She kicked him so hard on the balls, he lost his balance and fell. Struggling to untie herself with her teeth, she was progressing until he stormed back up itching and feeling remorse like a drug addict. But he was searching for something. Sniffing all the areas of the room. Now what was it? Her heart started beating faster. He wobbled out of the room and flew back in flicking his pocket knife in the air. Was he ready to let her go? It dint seem so much like it after cutting the rope hastily and carelessly pulling her outta the chair. He bundled her on his shoulder and threw her on the floor. It was too late to escape now. He locked her up with his masculine hands, ripping her clothes off. Aggressively, painfully, Excruciatingly….he devoured her. He broke into her walls and stole what was rightfully hers. Too weak to fight, she surrendered and lay on the cold floor.
That Night, That one night…..But morning came, a new day! a new decision. Everything was planned. He had his own plans and she had hers. The drama of the previous night couldn’t stop the event. And so she had to attend the wedding. Her wedding.
Priest: “Madam?? Do you?”
Layla rose her head up now, responding with a much more confident “I do” Damian smiled and winked at her. That’s my baby! His lips read. The rest of the procedures went on as they both exchanged rings with the exact words of the priest “What God has joined together, man must not divide” Priest: I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride! They kissed so passionately like it was their last. Or just maybe it was gonna be one person’s last! she slowly pulled out his pocket knife from last night. It had been with her all the while. Tucked right in her palm underneath her glove. She buried her hands on his chest. And the kiss went on, the kiss of death. Good bye “Father”, I’d rather marry the devil than marry my own father, she whispered in his ears. No, no….getting weaker now…your not my…but he couldn’t finish the words. The devil would be happy to receive you, she completed. Slowly pulling out, she removed the veil and took to her heels. Remembering her mother’s words that night…”Run” you have to keep running, you will be fine!!

“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’ – Peter Maher



Nonye. J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)



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