Forgive me if there are any mistakes, or if things seem a little off in this story which I wrote under an hour in between calls from my momcy to peel ogbono and go and buy onions…so I was quite frazzled but I finished it but until I can properly edit and get some parts right i hope you enjoy it and your comments are very welcome.
Sleeping with the Enemy
He always turned off the lights whenever we made love.
He had a scar he told me , a horrid looking scar, cut with machete during a raid by cultists on the house he occupied with his friends back when he was in school. Luckily for him, the machete didn’t penetrate deep enough to result into anything grave and he was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital.
The wound left a very hideous scar, one that made him feel insecure. He was scared it would put me off.
I had felt the scar many times, run my hands over it even while I gripped him tight deep in our lovemaking, it was deep and rutted and ran from his nape to where his elbow. He would sometimes shift uneasily as if to tell me, to stop.
And so for the six years I had been with this man, four of which I was married to him, I had never seen him bare, not once, not even by mistake and I stopped asking to after a while. I had come to terms with it, if he really didn’t feel comfortable exposing it, I wouldn’t push it and i could tell he appreciated that. After all I had secrets of mine, things I hadn’t told him but should have, and it wasn’t because I didn’t love him or trust him, I was just scared.
He is a good man, my husband.
I thought I would never be able to give myself wholly to any man, not after that incident. Men represented everything evil after what happened that night, they were never to be trusted and I was resolved to live my life without any man, till I met him.
“It was a feat o! She gave me a hard time, this one” he’d often tell friends.
I chased her for eight months, eight good months, when no be sey na contract I dey chase oh, can you imagine. Emem! her shakara don toooo much.
He loved me, and she could tell, a woman can tell these things. When a man loves her and when he does not. Yeah sometimes we lie to ourselves that a man loves us when it is evident that he doesn’t but we lie because we would rather be in denial. Because when we start to really accept the truth, it breaks us. Many a woman live in denialville.
This wasn’t one of those cases, he loved me and i knew it. Sometimes I even felt he loved me too much, too much that I became disbelieving.
I know i shouldn’t complain. What more do i want, but sometimes it all seems off. The way he looked at me, pain in his eyes, like he had something to hide and he showered me with love to cover it all up, but maybe it was all in my head. Me and my silly insecurities.
I found a good man, who would have thought.
We made love that night repeatedly. With the lights off as usual.
I used to loathe sex but he made me love it, he took his time with me. He was gentle, he explored my body like new terrain, planted soft kisses all over me. He knew how to rev up my engine, take care of me. Afterward we lay in bed and cuddled till we both drifted into sleep.
Hours later, I woke up with an urge to pee. I would usually sleep all through the night and wake up in the morning. I always thought that was odd. I can’t remember ever waking up in the night, it was unusual.
I pulled off the covers, the room was dark so i felt the floor for my slippers. I hadn’t noticed he wasn’t in bed, I headed for the bathroom and as i opened the door what i saw next sent my life crumbling
He turned around, fear in his eyes. He knew it was all over, she didn’t drink it, and he didn’t make sure she did… how could he forget. She always had milk at night and he would get it for her that was after he had drugged it in the process so she wouldn’t wake up in the night and mistakenly see him naked. How could he have forgotten.. How!?Oh lord no!
I grabbed the keys to the bathroom door and locked it.
He ran towards the door,hitting it repeatedly.
‘Pls Emem! Pls open the door, Emem pls I know there’s nothing I can say now…that will make things better but please Emem…I am sorry..from the bottom of my heart. And I am a changed man now Emem, I am sorry…I know I hurt you, I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel now…but Emem I love you and everyday I hurt for what I put you through.
I could hear words but I couldn’t process anything, my marriage was a lie. I’ve been married to a monster. That tattoo on his back, i could remember it any day, even if was dead and awoken, I would remember that tattoo. It haunted my dreams.
My mind flashed back to that day, that day when my world ended.
Fresh from secondary school, i had just gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt, my parents where so proud of me. Especially my father, the tears in his eyes brought joy to my heart. I loved that man more than anyone in the world. I loved my mother and my little sister too, but my father held a special place in my heart. That saturday night the family celebrated. My sister and i danced to all the songs we loved, mother made Jollof rice and chicken and we drank as many bottles of mineral we wanted. It was a happy day.
Minutes into our meal, Joshua, our gate man rushes into the parlour and is accompanied by a group of five burly men, all shirtless, dressed in black trousers and masked.
“Oga oga! Armed robber! Armed…..dem…
One of the men shot him midway his sentence.
My mother shouted…Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Father take control!
“Shut that woman up or she will be next” the guy with a red band around both his arms said. The others wore only one band on one hand.
“I see you are celebrating! Celebrating what exactly” he asked as he took a seat on the dining table.
By this time we had retreated to a nearby wall…shielded by my father.
“What do you want please, whatever you want we will give you? Just don’t hurt me or my family” my father cried out.
“First of all we want to eat, boys oya come and sample this food”
They immediately rushed to the dining and pounced on the remaining bowls of rice and salad on the table. Their oga, the one with both bands, had the bowl of chicken to himself. He ate some and downed it with some juice.
“Are we going to die Emem” my younger sister Ako asked me with tears in her eyes.
“Emem i am scared!”
I grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to me.
“Just pray I said…just pray”
I was overcome with fear, I tried to pray but I couldn’t. They looked like they came to kill.
“I see two fine looking things over there”
“You mean the Pololo’s” he asked grinning
“Bring them here!”
“He rushed towards my father, who protested, my father came crashing down after he was hit with the butt of his gun. He grabbed me and my sister but my mother held on to us..begging him to leave us.
“Woman! Don’t make me hurt you!’
“No! please I beg you please, they are just children”
He gave her a slap that hurled her towards the wall.
Leave me alone! Ako shouted, struggling with him.
Tears were streaming down my face, I held my sister as he led us to his oga.
“Fine girls” he said touching my cheeks and Ako’s with his oil stained hand.
He smacked his lips.
“Don’t cry! I am not going to hurt you”
“Azumba! You and the boys can take turns with these pretty little things”
“No!!! no!!!! my father shouted from the floor.
Two of them ran towards my parents and ordered them to kneel down and restrained them.
Azumba! Grabbed Ako….she screamed and kicked…but he just laughed…he tore her nightgown off, she tried to cover herself up with her little hands, she was small and frail, he pried her hands open, threw her on the floor, took off his trousers and he raped her while the others looked on and jeered.
My mother wailed, while my father begged for his little girl.
All through the nightmare, she screamed my name, begging me to help her. I wouldn’t have minded taking a bullet at that moment.
“No!!! please…my little girl…no I beg you, you will kill her she is just a little girl ,she is not more than 13, you are hurting her. Please we will give you anything please”
“We don’t want anything, we are just having some fun.”
“Turn by turn they ravished my little sister, while I stood with my face turned away, begging and crying, scared that I would soon be next.
After a while Ako stopped screaming, she just lay there motionless. There was blood all over her pubic area and on the carpet.
“Ako! I called out. Ako! Wake up its me Emem…No! Ako…what have you done…you …what have you done…
“Sharrap! You” shouted one of them as he gave me resounding slap.
“Kill those two” their oga said, pointing towards my parents.
“No! please…please I beg you, for Gods’s sake please…Nooooo!!!!
Two shots to the head sent my parents falling to the ground.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! HELLLLLLLLP!!!!Please …..i ran towards them but one of them grabbed me.
“Be still you little cunt”
I screamed some more praying someone would hear my screams, the next house was miles away, maybe someone passing by heard something. But our house was very secluded and no one might even know what was happening.
“Azumba! Lay her down for the boss..this one is for oga”
All the while, he sat in his chair giving out orders.
They tore off my clothes and lay me down.
He stood up for the first time since he sat down. He turned around to give out some orders and that was when I saw the tattoo. It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen in my life. It looked like a creature with several heads and each head with three horns. My house reeked of evil.
He took off his trousers and was completely naked.
I covered my face.
“Please I am begging you!, please, don’t do this please...”
But he just laughed…
“Why are you hiding your face, have you never seen a man naked before, have you never seen one of this? Look here!”
His boys turned my face around and I was faced with his very huge member, dangling in his hands.
I closed my eyes and he slapped me.
“Open your eyes!”
“Have you never seen this before, well today is your lucky day.
He knelt down and separated my legs with his knees.
“Leave her for me” he told his men who had been holding me down all this while.
As he lowered himself into me, it felt like he was tearing me up. I found myself slowly drifting away, all the energy seemed to completely drain out of me. I was going to die, I thought, I could feel blood seeping out of me. The pain was too much to bear.
He raped me continuously, till I lost consciousness.
I woke up in the hospital with my aunty by my side. In between my legs were sore and I hurt badly whenever I moved.
It took me a while to gather myself, but it all came back to me slowly.
“Yes yes! Dear…oh Thank God..Thank God o!...heeeeeeeeei!!!!...its okay its okay”
I reached out for her.
“Aunty! Mummy! Daddy! Ako!....”I asked with tears in my eyes.
She turned away.
“Are they really gone aunty!”
She shook her head, confirming my worst fears. It hadn’t all been a dream.
I spent several weeks in the hospital recuperating. I was within an inch of my life when I was brought to the hospital. I almost didn’t make it because I had lost a lot of blood.
When I was better, I left for Lagos to live with my aunty. My life would never be the same.
For a whole year I mourned my family, I became a shadow of my former self. Life had lost all meaning to me, the God who I had served diligently had failed me. He had let my family die, the people that meant more to me than anything in the world. He had let them die. Why didn’t he let me die with them? Why live me to suffer like this, what was there to live for. I rarely ate anything or did anything at all, I’d usually sit all day, moping and crying and this disturbed my aunty a lot.
Thank God for my Aunty. She tried her best to help me move on.
Emem! I know how you feel, I lost my brother, little Ako and aunty, and I almost lost you.Can you imagine how I felt when I made my usual Sunday visits, only to greet with such horror. Emem! I know its hard believe me..but Emem you can not continue like this. I know your father, he would not be happy to see you like this.
I understood she had good intentions, but she didn’t witness the horror I witnessed that day. She didn’t see it all, I did and I don’t know if it will ever be possible for me to get over what happened but I promised her I would try and get on with life, as hard as it might be.
Six years had passed since the incident, I was twenty one now, I decided that I would go to school. I enrolled in a private lesson and took the JAMB exams that year and passed it and gained admission into the University of Lagos. The night I gained my admission I wept because I remembered.
Four years later I bagged a degree in Accounting, university days just seemed to fly past. All through my stay at the university I never had a boyfriend. Alot of men had approached me but I turned them down. No one could understand my behaviour, not even my friends, but I wanted nothing to do with men. I had few friends and I preferred life that way.
Shortly after graduation I got a job working in an advertising company and that was were I met David.
I had a reputation in the office as a man-hater, a no nonsense stiff, unfriendly, man-hater I once overheard a co-worker saying.
I could care less, they could say what they wanted to say, they didn’t know me. I wasn’t here to socialize I was here to do my job. The first time I met David he looked at me a little too much. At times I’d catch him staring at me weirdly almost as if he knew me from somewhere. It was strange but I thought nothing of it. He became unusually friendly and would go out of his way to talk to me and get closer to me but I never gave him the time of day. I thought he would get the message sooner or later. But he never gave up, he was always there offering to make me a cup of coffee, walk me to my car in the evenings, go through some documents with me.
One night, after work as I walked to my car he followed me.I decided I would put an end to all the rubbish right then and there.
“Look David! I am tired of you disturbing me, I mean can’t you take a hint. I don’t want to know you. I don’t want you to be nice to me. I don’t want to talk to you. I just want to come here and do my job and leave in the evening without you or anybody disturbing me. If you continue to disturb me I just might report you for harassment”
He just looked at me and smiled.
“All I’ve ever been is nice to you, but you never respond in kind. I just want to know you, be a friend. Whatever happened to you, it has turned you into something that you are not”
“And who do you know I am!”
“I know this isn’t you, I know you are trying to put up a wall so you don’t get close to anyone. You’ve been here for what 9 months and no one knows anything about you but your name.”
“Has it ever crossed your mind that not everybody is like you, look you don’t know me so don’t act like you do, just leave me alone”
And she turned around and walked away.
‘I know you Emem! He called out!’
Stupid stupid man, where does he get off, talking like he knows me.
That night I couldn’t help but think about what he said.
Maybe I am a tad bit too harsh, maybe I could loosen up a little. Try to be nicer. Maybe, maybe not.
It took a while for me to open up, but slowly my attitude began to change. I became a little friendlier than my former self and a friendship blossomed between David that eventually led to a relationship. I never thought it was possible for me to experience happiness. But with David, I felt safe, I felt like everything would be alright. I felt i could live again.
Two years later he asked me to marry him and i said yes!
It’s been four years of marital bliss till this very day.
When i saw that horrific tattoo…the one with the creature with horns…David! David was the monster that tore my life apart. That slaughtered my family right before my eyes….but how didn’t i find out all this while…how?
All this while I had been sleeping with the enemy…no this was too much to take. My life was slowly taking form, everything seemed to be okay. I had forged for myself a budding career,had even met a man that made me happy and forget all the hurt and pain…how could that same man be the author of my pain.
Emem! Please!!! He shouted.
His voice brought me back from my thoughts…
“Emem! I am sorry…Emem please forgive me. I have regretted everyday since that night..Emem I was in a cult, I was a very bad man.That night, I was sent on a mission, I …I…oh Emem! I was ordered to take four men out who would be under my command and kill, that was the only way I would secure my post in the cult. I was to kill or be killed. A week after that day, our hideout was visited by a rival cult, everyone was killed…that was how I got that scar…I was the only survivor. I was able to escape but that not beforeI had been cut several times….i ran into the bushes but collapsed soon after. I was saved by a man who found me and took me to the hospital, this man changed my life Emem. I had no family.He showed me love like I had never felt in my life, he told me about God. He introduced me to Jesus, I was skeptical at first, where was God all my life.Where was God when my father killed my mother and then turned the gun on himself and I was alone in the world left the roam the streets like a vagabond. Where was God? But Emem, I found God, he became real to me and I gave my life to him. When I got better I was arrested and I arrested connection with another incident and I spent the next four years in jail, it was horrible and I almost lost my life but i got even closer to God.Emem! If there’s anything I regret in my life, its what I did to you and your family Emem!...the first day I saw you at the office…I remembered almost immediately. I thought I was seeing a ghost, I ran to the bathroom and I cried.i cried because I remembered what I did to you. Emem I know nothing I say can bring back your family, but Emem! I am sorry..Emem please forgive me…please find it in your heart, these past few years have been the best in my life, being with you has brought me more joy than I can imagine, I know it all feels like a lie, but it isn’t Emem…Emem I love you and I am sorry…Emem! Please!...Emem! please say something! Anything! Even if it’s that you hate me, just say something.I was going to tell ur Emem, I told God I was going to tell you, I was just scared, I didn’t want you to hate me, please Emem.
He could hear a racket on the other side, things falling, he heard a loud thud.
Emem! What are you doing? Emem are you alright? Emem! Please! Open up!
Emem!” he shouted
Father please give me the strength” I repeated continuously.
I searched the cupboard for a suitcase, and pulled it down and it came crashing to the ground. Grabbed some clothes from the closet and a few other things i needed .Oh lord why is this happening again, Father I want to be strong, but I don’t know what to do. I just need to get out of here, I need to think….
I changed into a tee-shirt and jeans, dragging my suitcase out the door, i picked up her keys by the side table…my throat was dry and itchy, I downed my milk that was still on the table from the previous night…
As I dragged my suitcase down the stairs, I could hear him screaming my name.
I tossed the suitcase in the back of my car and ordered the gateman to open the door, it was morning now.
“Ah! Madam, you done already dey go work” he asked.
I didn’t reply, i just drove out, while he stared on.
It all happened so fast, the last thing I remember was feeling real drowsy as i sped down the Ikorodu expressway, i lost control of the car, hit the pavement and the impact sent the car somersaulting.
The gateman freed Oga from the bathroom afer hearing some sounds emanating from the house.
“Ah oga wetin happen now?”
“Nothing nothing Jibola, where is my wife?”
“Ah, she just drive out now now”
“Are you sure she just left now?”
“Something like 30 minutes ago” he said scratching his head.
“Oga, hope no problem oh?”
“No, just go back to you post, ill be downstairs very soon”
He checked her closet, they were clothes strewn on the floor, her suitcase was missing.
He changed quickly, he noticed the cup of milk was empty, oh my!, she shouldn’t be driving he thought.
He had to find her, how? He had no idea but he had to.
The car would not start.
“Not now!” he muttered to himself.
“Please not now!, he tried to start it again but got the same result”
He dialed her number frantically. It rang for a while till someone picked it up.
“Hello! Emem.,..please Emem don’t drop please”
“Hello! The owner of this phone has been in a serious accident” the voice informed him.
“Oh my God, she’s my wife! Please where did this happen? Is she okay?”
“We don’t know yet, but the car has been badly damaged, it’s a total write-off , but some people managed to get her out, she has a few bruises by that’s all, but we are trying to determine whether she’s alive”
Where exactly did this happen?
“ehn Ikorodu road,around that Onipanu side”
“Am on my way!”
He flew a bike straight to Onipanu, a crowd had gathered around the area.
He dialed her number and the same person answered.
“Oga she has just been taken to a hospital at Ilupeju, St Stevens Hospital, I am there right now”
“Thank you very much! Am on my way”
Minutes later he was at the hospital and finally met the good Samaritan that led him there.
“Thank you very much! Have the doctors said anything” he asked the stranger
“Nothing yet sir, but just calm down I am sure they will be back to inform us about any development”
A woman approached them a while later.
“Hello I am Dr. Muyiwa, and you are?”
“I am the husband of the patient and this is the person who brought her here”
“Well we discovered that, there was a lot of internal bleeding, but we are doing everything in our power to address that, she was very lucky going by what I heard about the accident”
She is in operating room right now, as soon as they are through I will be back to fill you in on her condition” she finished doling out an assuring smile.
“Thank you doctor” he managed to say.
An hour later she reappeared and he prepared himself for the worst.
“Well! Your wife is stable now, the operation was successful, she is very lucky, but now she is resting.”
“Can I at least see her?”
“I think it’d be better if you come back tomorrow, she needs to rest now sir”
We’d run some more tests much later to ensure that she is perfectly okay.
“Eh, thank you very much, ill be here tomorrow”
“You do that sir!”
He got to the hospital the next day by 10:00, he had planned to be there earlier but he overslept.
‘Right this way sir!’ the nurse said as she led him to the doctor’s office.
It was a different doctor from the one he met yesterday.
‘Good morning doctor’ he said thrusting his hands toward her
Taking his hands she greeted him.
“Have a sit sir!”
‘Doctor I am very scared, when I got here, I was told you wanted to see me, please I hope my wife is alright.’ He inquired.
“Well Mr David, I am afraid to inform you that your wife, well, your wife has amnesia"
"Amnesia? he asked shocked"
"You see sir, most significant brain damage occurs when the brain is injured, such as in a car accident which your wife endured and these traumas tend to cause a state of confusion, and some memory is often lost. In your wive's case it is quite severe.
“Mr David! Are you with me?”
"We intend to carry out more psychological tests to find out how much she doesnt remember but right now your wife can’t remember anything"
okay i dont know alot about amnesia so cut me some slack....so i was thinking if u were in Emem's postion and you didnt have amnesia...would u take him back?
And for the guys, after you found out your wife had amnesia would you tell her everything..or just let sleeping dogs lie....pls let me know..thanks.