Short Prose “The Past Died That Night” By Joshua Oyenigbehin
Mother said she would watch over me, not watch as I slide into an abyss. Not that it just occurred to me, but, really, Life is mean, not because it wrought torturing occurrence in my life, but it does not undo these experiences. I have always wondered why I got this far, how I became a wild dog without a home or a name, without a family, and a future. I am with nothing, other than a beautiful face and a sexy body for men to lust after.
I worry about what they say at home. Everyone in my small hometown would have one thing to say about me since I left home unceremoniously. News came from an unexpected source that Mama has died, I had seen it in my dream, the sweet comforting voice of my Grandmother had whispered “ Bukolami, Don’t run from me, my dear, I will always be with you” the same words my mother had muttered before she passed on ten years ago of a heart disease.
Her death hit me hard, I could not understand why she had to die, why she had to be sick, why daddy didn’t do enough, why I could not do anything to help the situation. Why, all my life, I have been helpless. My father’s new wife did not help matters. Before long, Mama insisted I come to stay with her in the village. I agreed immediately, because, my stepmother had made it her personal mission to wreak all the fortitude I was gathering to process the grief of my mother’s death.
“Hello,” a man in his bright-lit white car stole my attention. “How much for a night?” he asked.
“7k,” I replied, his curved face got my attention the more, his wide eyes seemed familiar, and his fair complexion brought back memories. I knew him, he had not change from seven years ago, other than the fact that he had added weight a little bit. Everything seems familiar about him, his goatee, his smile, his set of tooth and his dimpled cheeks. “No 10,000, can you pay?” I increased my price because I didn’t want to go with him.
“Ok, I will pay, come in” his smile struck more chords of familiarity. I knew who he was. He didn’t seem to recognize me, I wanted to walk away, but my legs were too stiff to move “come on, do you want to increase your fee again, ok I would pay you 15,000” he opened the door from inside, I got in subconsciously. The past wants to rewrite itself.
“You are so beautiful, what is your name?” he inquired as he drove into the hotel down the street, as he stared at me with the corner of his eyes “what is your name?”
“What do you want my name for? Knowing my name is not part of the deal” I avoided his gaze. He packed the car. We got out of the car, and we walked into the reception of the hotel and He paid for the room. The room was familiar, but, tonight, it was strange. Yes, I have made love to different men in this room, over and over again, but, tonight, I felt trapped, I felt claustrophobic. As usually, the beast of a man, like other men who had paid for my body, did not waste any time to undress, he came closer to start his fest. “Wait, I thought you said you wanted to know my name” I interrupted his from charging closer.
“You said all that is not part of the business,” he said, his lips curved into a small smile, like somebody I have always known.
“My Name is Bukky, I will tell you a quick story about myself. Sit” I gestured at the bed, as he sat his almost nude body on the bed, close to me.
“My grandmother died last week, and I would not go for her burial,” he impressed his thick lips on my neck severally, “she trained me, she took me in after the death of my mother ten years ago. I am the worst child a parent can pray for”
“Well, why are you telling me all these, I came here for business, not to listen to your story”
“Be patient, listen, this would make us flow better, moreover, for your generosity, I would service you all night” I said. I fondled with his smooth bald head and caress his small potbelly, just like I usually do with my customers. “as I was saying, I stayed with my grandma in Omuo Ekiti for five years, do you know Omuo, Ekiti?”
“Yes, I served there”
“oh that’s good, apart from the fact of my mother’s death, life was full of bliss, I love the discussion I had with my grandma, I loved my life on the farm, I was brilliant, I had a bright future, I topped my class, I wanted to become a politician, I don’t know why, but I wanted to be the first Nigerian female President.
Until a Youth Corp Member came along,” I paused to look into the face of My esteemed client , “he lured me into his room, when he invited me over, he raped me and turned me into his sex slave, threatening me not to tell any anyone, he lunched me into a mystery that has brought me this far”
My client’s face lost its savor, it felt dead and scared at the same time, his fair-complexioned face become gloomy all of a sudden. “Bukky, I’m…”
“Since that time, I became drowned in a desire that felt like a curse. It was a sexual craving that cannot be satisfied, always wanting more. Before I knew it, I would leave for the corper’s room at night through the window, always wanting more.
I was caught with him once, I was tortured by the police at the age of fourteen to confess if anything was going on between us, I endured the torture, I didn’t sell him out, because I loved him, or I thought he loved me.” I couldn’t help but smile at this memories, the memories of his soft caresses, of him fondling on my small breast, the sweetness of his Warri Ascent, whenever he said he would marry and take me with him.
Life became a mirage when he left, without saying Good bye, without taking me along, without marrying me, and ultimately, without his worm body against mine every night. “But he left me, he ruined my life and left me”
“Bukola, I’m so sorry, I never intended to…” now on his knees, he felt like a child punished for stealing a cookie
“Shot your filty mouth, Solomon” I can taste the saltiness of my tears in my mouth, but I recognize the taste, because every day, I get to my house mourning the sourness of my life as a street girl. “You liar, you ruined my life. I ran away from my hometown after I wasn’t getting enough of what I wanted, and I ended up here”
I stood up, my anger was triggered by an incredible idea. I brought out a white powdery substance, its poison, or something like that I had always had it in mind that one day, I would end this ‘life’ with a man. Since Solomon was my first, it is a good thing I’m ending it with him. I missed my end in the glass of wine and offered it to him. He did know that I added something “drink this”
He looked at me through his tears opaque eyes like a hypnotized man, took the cup and drank, I collected from him and did the same. We stared at each other silently as though a transparent barrier was separating us, then death came swiftly, before death came like sleep, I wrote this story in my fainting heart while I waited for death to take it course, and I hope that during my autopsy, the story would be read to the whole world. Strangely, I felt I still loved him.
But the past died, we didn’t die, this story is five years old, we outlived it, we outlived our addiction. Solomon is a changed man now, he is my husband, and life re-forged and gave us a new beginning. Our regrets are more than the burdens ten stallions can bear, but love has eased it all.
This short story was initialy published on www.stationofthought.wordpress.com by Joshua Oyenigbehin