I am praying the worst kind of prayer any man who has ever loved a woman and married that same woman, with hopes of living with her for as long as God gives them life, could ever open his mouth and utter to God. But funny enough and as sad as it is, that is the prayer I’m sending up to God, please take my wife’s life away.
It’s a terrible prayer. A sad and terrible prayer but I can either help nor stop it. I have to keep on making this prayer because that is the only way I can get peace of mind and rest for my soul.
If someone had told me just last year that I’d be going down on my knees every morning and night to ask God for just this one thing, that He comes and takes my wife’s life, I’d have taken offence and maybe got violent. But time has a way of making the impossible and remote so damn possible and close.
One year ago, seven months ago, to be precise, my wife and I and our only son were just one small happy family. We were in love, we were settled and getting comfortable in life, we had our son to bring up and life looked rosy and promising. Then one morning, every damn thing fell apart-Happiness, joy, peace, every damn thing and today, all I’m doing is calling on God to take the life of the only woman, apart from my mother, who has ever meant a thing to me.
Lizzy knows that I love her and that I have always loved her. I know deep down to the very depth of my soul that I still love her as I have always done and that is just the reason I want her dead.
I know you’ll call me wicked. I know you’ll call me evil and wonder how I could love a woman as much as I profess to and still find the heart to call for her death. And that is just the irony of my very peculiar situation. I want my wife dead because I love her so much to see her alive. I love her too much to see her the way she is. I love her so much that I cannot bear to look at her every morning without murmuring a prayer to God to take her life as soon as possible.
As I write this, it’s quite late at night. The clock on the mantle piece tells me it’s six minutes past one in the morning. The whole house is quiet. I am sitting at the dinning table and writing this. My wife, Lizzy, is asleep two doors away in our bedroom.
Our son is not here. He has been staying with Lizzy’s mother since our lives changed seven months ago.
The house is quiet and it seems peaceful but it’s not. My mind is anything but peaceful. My eyes go to the shelf in the sitting room and falls on an enlarged picture of Lizzy receiving her trophy as a NUGA games gold medalist and the tears began to fall as I began to retrace my steps through the dim alleys of memory and time.
I met Lizzy for the first time when I was in primary school, way back in the seventies. Her school was having an inter-house meet and my school had been invited. I was in primary five or six then.
I did the 100 metres and relay events. While we waited for the main events to go on, I’d noticed a petite girl who kept on dusting every other person. She seemed to be participating in all the events.
“Who is that girl? I asked our games master, my finger pointing, as I watched the same girl coast home to win the 100 metres sprint event for her house. That’s Lizzy Ubeh. The state government has given her a scholarship to go to the secondary school. She is the best athlete in the Junior category. Many boys are scared of running with her,” he told me as the whistle sounded for our point. I kept hearing the girl’s name in my brain. “Lizzy Ubeh!” And it surprised and amazed me to learn that she’d got a scholarship just because she had fast legs.
I’d competed in the 100 metres and won. Our relay team took the second position because they had fumbled with the baton.
As soon as I was free, I’d pulled Paul, my friend and team mate, along. Come I want to race that girl. I told him as we went searching for Lizzy Ubeh.
We found her in the midst of her friends and the competitive edge coming out in me, I said:
“I want to race you. If you win, I’ll give you N50. If I win, you give me N50.” I said, my breath catching in my throat.
“But, I haven’t got N50,” she said.
Fifty naira was big money then and I’d only saved up money by foregoing my lunch breaks.
“How much do you have?” I asked.
“Nothing. I have no money,” she said and I’d begun to turn away. I wanted to run and compete for something.
“Okay, if you win, you take my scarf”, she told me, waving the bright orange scarf just above her head. I said that was cool by me and the next thing her friends were abuzz with the news and it soon went round and we had to be asked to run on the main pitch.
To Be Continued…