When Death is Okay

When Death is Okay

Lub-dub-lub-dub… I could hear whooshes through my now emptying chest. Why hadn’t my heart stopped yet, I wondered as I lay motionless from the mind-blowing pain I’d received from Odaro’s bullet. It’s been more than 3 minutes. As blood oozed out, I could feel an infernal cold consume me. Is this the prelude for hell? I’m way too soft-hearted to be in hell, did Satan not get the memo? I can’t even stand Nigerian stress let alone eternal damnation; eternity is a very long time, I just can’t. The horror I now experienced felt like The Conjuring and Stranger Things did a crossover flick.

Barely three weeks ago, I was sitting in the sports complex enjoying sweaty men in loose shorts play basketball when the quick-kiss camera fell on me and the guy next to me… That’s how it all started, a soft kiss to a random stranger. One thing led to the other and we were sitting across each other on the bed giving names to our imaginary offspring. I thought I’d hit the jackpot. I knew my boyfriend was dangerous but this thing with Nonso just felt right. Nonso… He was probably dead by now. I’m not sure but the room was now so quiet… I couldn’t hear his ragged breathing anymore; I could barely hear mine. I know my end is soon but it just feels like the right way to go; how many can boast of a flurry of orgasms minutes before pushing daisies? Nonso gave me life before death. It was the strangest time to relish good sex, but I intended to die with a smile like someone who had won life.

To my surprise, Odaro was still in the room. His crying broke the silence. The rush of revenge had left him, he was now possessed by regret and trying to stop me from bleeding out but weirdly, I wanted to die. I had made peace with the powers that be. Odaro was my lord, he acted as if he purchased me at a dog pound and I could never take off the leash. On many occasions, he snooped through my phone just to make sure I was “behaving”. He never let me go to my parents by myself because he couldn’t trust me to stay put at their house without him there to play tag. He wouldn’t let me breathe without his permission and that game I went to was the one time I felt bold enough to defy him. He wasn’t going to let me die now, he had not permitted it. The now dead Nonso didn’t have to do much but treat me like an actual human being, yes, my benchmark was low.

I had stayed in this unfulfilling relationship for two years now because of how well Odaro had handled mine and my family’s finances. He sent my parents five hundred thousand naira every month for upkeep, but that was his seal of approval. I didn’t think he’d ever hit me until one April Fool’s Day, I had pranked him with a pregnancy scare and he beat the mischief out of me in his Guest House in Abuja. I had decided to leave him, but my father profusely begged me to return, he didn’t want to lose his cash cow. My boyfriend never apologized for this, I mean, I was the one who came back with a sorry face and a black eye.

Meeting Nonso was a breath of cinnamon-scented fresh air! He was such a lover, so very understanding, so brave. Till the bitter end. He’d held me close as I told him my story although leading him to believe Odaro was history. I desperately wanted this to be true. Nonso, I killed him, I didn’t love him, I loved myself

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