Bitter Waters.

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He shot her thrice at close range.
Right in their living room.
Then picked up his mobile phone and dialed 911.
The voice at the other side sounded tired and groggily replied.
“Yes… Nigerian police complaints desk how may we be of service?”
“You can’t help me”
The killer whispered in a weary voice.
“So why are u calling at this ungodly hour?”
Replied the officer irritatedly.
“Because i killed her”.
“What… When… Who are you… Where are you presently?”
Came the officer’s startled response.
“Patience … all will be revealed at Number… ikeja”.
The subdued whisper answered just before the line went dead.
Wife killer took one long look at the woman he’d said i do to.
Years ago at an elaborate wedding ceremony.
Shook his head and padded over to the scanty liquor cabinet.
Picked out a half filled bottle of Lord’s dry gin.
Unscrewed the bottle and poured out a stiff double which he downed in one gulp.
Then poured out another round and let his mind roam to that time.
When he never thought it was within him to take a human life.
Much less a familial one.
But the one he’d loved to the point of madness had made his life hell on earth.
He let his mind wander back to the first time they met.
At a singles event in church.
Where his Master of Ceremony skills had elicited a casual compliment from her.
A compliment that quickly became conversation.
They fancied each other and months later they got married.
Although.
Her earnings were slightly higher than his generous remunerations.
She never rubbed it on his face or gave him cause to doubt their future.
Their love blossomed and life was good.
Then.
Two years and some months after the election that brought in a disastrous dictator from Daura.
A dictator who was supposed to right past transgressions.
The man of the house lost his job.
In another mass retrenchment.
Occasioned by another government trial and error policy.
Dejected.
He came home in shock.
Wondering how his employers could take his job.
But alas.
His fears were allayed.
When the love and center of his world.
Told him not to worry that all would be well.
A statement reinforced by the fact that.
If she cared for him before.
It was deeper now.
As she took care of the bills and even gave him a generous allowance.
Then the rumours started.
Which gradually built up until.
It got to a stage where whenever he walked past.
Neighbours stiffled a laugh… acted funny or whispered among themselves.
Then one day he got into a misunderstanding with a neighbour over parking space.
In the heated exchange that ensued.
The latter told him point blank
“If you’re not man enough for your woman then be careful because i don’t fight emasculated half men”.
Confused.
Jobless husband shouted the neighbour down.
Laughing sarcastically the neighbor casually replied
“Nor worry she go soon dash u AIDS… yeye man wet no fit control woman”
Livid with anger.
He approached the one who was bent on humiliating him..
Fisticuffs ensued and he came out tops.
By beating the loose cannon black and blue.
Loose cannon’s wife who was carelessly chewing on gum.
Immediately joined in the fray.
“Na my husband body u get power, u wey nor fit control ashawo wey u put for house”.
Other neighbours intervened.
Frayed nerves calmed.
The neighbours wife delved into a staccato outburst in Yoruba language.
“Oloshi… oponu… alai nitoju… oko ashawo… senior mugu”.
She kept on pouring unprintable invectives on him till he left the scene.
That ugly encounter and other related issue sowed suspicion in his heart.
Till he started snooping up on his wife.
Rigorously observing her actions.
Manners and conducts but found nothing out of the ordinary.
So he took the battle to her phones only to find out that she’d put codes on them.
Suspicions mounted.
Especially when he noticed she made very long closet calls that always ended with knowing smiles.
A lift in her mood and occasional words of endearments when she thought he wasn’t there.
Angered.
He planned and schemed till what was thought to be a brilliant idea crossed his mind.
One night after an unsuccessful play at his conjugal rights.
She’d turned over to her side of the bed and slept off.
He lay awake.
Tossing and turning.
Thinking about his dilemma till her iPhone 7 phone light illuminated the darkness.
Curious.
He picked up the phone that was on silent mode.
Displaying the customized caller’s familiar face.
With the caller’s name tag displayed as sunshine.
Picking up his and his wife’s phones.
He tiptoed out of the master bedroom and into the kitchen.
Hands trembling as he removed her sim card and inserted it into the second sim slot of his Samsung galaxy mobile device.
Switched the phone on.
Impatient as the device boothed up.
Finally.
It came up and he scrambled to the text message section.
Scrolled to her inbox section.
He searched for sunshine.
Found it.
Read messages which caused his pulse to race.
His blood pressure rose.
Catalyzed by the erotic exchange between the one he loved and an acquaintance.
Who described his one and only in an indecent fashion.
Steeling gut and nerves.
He read on and suddenly the pieces fitted into themselves.
Such as the constant weekend getaways.
Irregular.
Lackluster bondings.
At that very moment she walked into the kitchen.
Staring him in the face with a look of utter contempt.
Hissing she spat out at him in anger.
“You’ve seen what a real man is not supposed to see… now where is my phone?”
Shock turned into rage as he accused her of infidelity.
Unperturbed.
She continued talking him down.
In humiliated response.
He told her he was through with her.
Unpertubed.
She told him to please himself.
That she’ll file for a divorce if he wasn’t man enough to.
Then turned and stomped out of the kitchen.
Shocked.
Upset.
Confused.
He tried to think straight but couldn’t.
So in a dreamlike state he decided to confront her again.
Heading for their bedroom.
Where he met her talking on phone.
In a placatory tone to someone he presumed was her lover.
“What audacity”
He snarled before snatching her phone away from her.
She clawed at then slapped him in response.
Momentarily surprised he touched his left cheek.
Which stung from her angry lash.
Hurt and annoyance quickly raced to seething fury.
Calmly he walked towards the drawer on his side of the bed.
Opened it.
Picked out a Smith and Wesson pistol.
Checked it.
Cocked it.
Took in a deep breath.
Called her a bitch and fired thrice.
Thirty three minutes after he made the call and as the first patrol car raced down the block.
He pointed the weapon at his own temple and squeezed the trigger.

Daniel Ibanga©


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