In My Presence

In My Presence

I met Lizzy when she was nineteen; we met in our penultimate year in university. Lizzy was a rose, she was fair in complexion, tall and hourglass-shaped. Despite her endowment that called for second look, she was patient, holy and selective. On that good noon I met her at Kenneth Dike library, she sat next to me. I could not recall if I met her at the library or she did but I could recall fully, I could not turn a page of the book before me. I had spent an hour staring at her intently but she was oblivious to my staring. Her attention was glued to the book she was devouring. After a long staring, our eyes came in contact and before I left the library we exchanged number.

It was some weeks to our graduation that Lizzy agreed to my request. Before we graduated, I began to sing to her ears the song of love-making, in short, to have a taste in her pure honey. But Lizzy would reprove countless times. “Let us wait till the time God has provided for us,” she would cry to my deaf ears. Lizzy had vowed to lose her virginity on her wedding night, I was shocked when I realised this.

After my youth service, I got a job and things were working well for me. Lizzy had also gotten a teaching job at a public secondary school. With the good look of our life together, she introduced me to her parents for the first time.

When sun set on the fourth year of our relationship, we began to plan for marriage. On my stag night, I thought my dream would come to pass and I could have Lizzy that night. Countless of urges began to unfold, cold gave way to shivering. I could not wait any longer but to my disappointment, Lizzy denied and that night I seemed like a famished bingo that sees a bone dangling before his goggled eyes but his mouth could not touch. I could not break her strong heart and she could not trade her virginity for anything. It was her pride. In fact she said she would rather die with it than to live without it before her wedding night.

After many a year of yearning, the wedding night came; it was a night I had dreamt of for five solid years. An unadulterated joy could be read on Lizzy’s face as she danced unbelievably during the wedding party. I could not compete with her, when she swayed to the right, she then swiftly returned to the left as if her legs were not touching the ground. Our well-wishers could not stop raining applause on her. But when the spirit of the music of the prodigy, the Juju musician, descended on her, she danced like Okoto.

The night finally arrived, Lizzy and I returned to our enormous flat after the stressful party. Lizzy prepared the bed. I could only picture the bed as a football pitch; seeing Lizzy as my opponent. It was really a match. Lizzy would never want to be defeated as she appeared partially naked on the pitch; she had come with her squad, with both strong attackers and defenders. My ramrod began to bulge as I stared at her on the 38-inches. She looked so tired, I was tired too but not to the extent to forgo my intention. I jumped on her with full force. She protested and pleaded to take a nap. She yawned and then fondled my shoulder as she whispered to my ears some words that could not climb up to my brain. “You will have me very soon, I’m with you my love, just give me some time to rest.”

I could not do anything stupid, I let her be. I was tired—but I could not sleep. I stared at a clock that was hanged on the wall as it ticked and stopped its count at eight. Hunger began to strike me hardly, Lizzy had already slept. Everywhere was as silent as a grave.

I rose to have a glass of chill wine, while attempting to leave the room I was struck by a thunderclap, though it did not seem like it would rain. It struck Lizzy too, she sprang up frightfully. The sound was let loose intermittently and at this time, we knew it was gun. Now it could be heard directly from our roof. Lizzy held me firmly, she began to quiver; my legs were shaking too. I thought of calling the police but I could not recall any number, even my number, I was completely stupefied.

They broke into our flat. They were armed to the teeth. No one could imagine how they had managed to sneak in. They requested for money, but I could not bring out valuable money; they pounced on me. I was nearly beaten to stupor.  Lizzy could not halt screaming. I was gasping for air while I saw the four armed men as they clambered Lizzy one after the other. I could not shout, nor cry. I saw Lizzy as she cried; I could not free her from the evil men. It happened in my presence as they deflowered her. They dismantled my rose, they broke her vase; the vase that gave pride to my rose.

After they left, Lizzy was unconscious. I rushed her to the hospital. I stared intently at her on her sickbed, but now with a broken heart. She stared at me too; tears had formed cloud in her eyes. I stood up and began to take my leave. As the horrendous memory occupied my head, I waved to her as if never to return.

End

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