Darkness has enveloped the remote town of Gwari. This night has a special kind of darkness, the kind that wants to house just the moon alone in the sky. This particular night had no stars blinking from afar, not any that Miriam could not see. Rather in sight was the stillness of the silver cloud. The young woman looked once more at the sky, should her eyes be playing hide and seek, but there were still no flickers of stars. Miriam reluctantly drew herself towards the mat. In the blackness that covered the place, she traced the well built silhouette facing up in wait for her. She had drawn the wooden plank to lean over the window space, allowing only filters of moonlight through the interstices. The body before her was restless, impatient. Like a hyena that cannot wait to devour its prey. This was evident in his moves, stretching his legs and passing his fingers farther to the groin, picking hairs or plucking them off. Miriam could only imagine.
“My flesh, I await,” came his coarse voice, stuttering every word as if unsure of what to say next or before the other.
This startled Miriam, bringing her to the moment and drawing her from thoughts about the darkness of the outside, the beauty of the clouds. The present was about to unveil before her and that equally terrified her. She looked at the body again, the man to whom she has been forcefully married to. Hate builds within her, her heart was ensheathed in bitterness but the peak of it was the revelation about her marriage. This revelation particularly daunted her more than the terror of this consummation against her consent. The priest had said a lot of things, so much that she questioned her womanhood, her sacredness. He had revealed that she was a defiled woman, one who had done a shameful thing. Without a fair hearing, she was given to the strongest man in Gwari for marriage. Every dream she once nurtured about becoming a teacher had vaporized into air. No wonder she kept staring at those skies, should the dreams be clinging on the clouds in wait for her.
Her husband grunted in anger, rising from the mat which he had decorated in white linens. The hyena has lost patience. He approached his young wife at the corner she was seated, staring at her debility. He gave a lopsided smile and sticked his tongue out of his puffy lips. The sight of him disgusted the young woman, but he was her husband afterall. She didn’t struggle, she let him. He tore her top out of her, exposing her fullness at chest. This sight which the flickers of light gave, was pleasing to his bulging eyes. He made for her thighs with ease because the young woman did not resist. Like a lustful soldier, he came hard at her, lunging forward in clenched fist resting on her belly. With one hand he worked on her chest, while the other reached for the white linen. He grabbed it and forced it between their clamped bare bodies. The young woman screamed in soreness and let the welling tears drop. From there, she passed on to sleep.
The filters of sun rays that welcomed them into the new day had brought hope to Miriam. She had been untouched until the night before, this has been proven. Blood stains had sticked dry to the white linen which once sparkled unblemished. The priest’s revelation was only but erroneous.