I LOVE THIS ONE!!! IT IS THE ESSENCE OF EVERYTHING! It is a collabo like valentine last year https://ekpoeze.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/valentine-special-loves-madness/. I did the prose while @dami_maverick did the poetry. Please check out this dude…he is my greatest inspiration in cyberspace….In the spirit of love, kindly broadcast this one and I await your comments like a desert traveller in need of cool spring water…
Have you heard the songs from the slough?
The soulful melody of the prodigal son?
Have you heard the wanderer’s tune?
Accompanied by the music of harps, drums and flute.
Such songs aren’t heard, they are felt.
They crawl down your spine, seep through your skin
Into the nether regions of your heart,
Sending up a wave of unfettered emotion.
Such songs are a blitzkrieg of love, a waterfall of beauty
“Dad, I have to go…”Ruby said in her sing song voice.
It was all I could do not to shout out in frustration.
“Ruby, you should have done this earlier,” I responded.
“Daaad, if I have to go, I have to go,” she went on further, dropping her back pack in the process.
Despite my angst, I had to smile at the way she drew out the dad and imitated the little girl in the Disney Junior show, “Nina has to go”.
“Alright love, let’s make it snappy,” I sighed, exasperated.
She reminded me of myself as a kid, impetuous and impulsive. I had once run away from home.
I was going to be abominably late again today. By the time, I dropped them in school and started driving to Lekki; there was no way I was going to make it to work early. In the last two years, my impeccable, record of punctuality had been shot to smithereens.
Fortunately, my attitude to work had always been sterling and that had made up for these lean years. Otherwise, I would have been another casualty of the downsizing presently going on in most companies.
My eyes fell on my reflection in the mirror in the bathroom as I helped Ruby and I felt I was looking at a stranger. My eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep and my beard was an unruly black forest. Since I did not have the luxury of time these days, I had started keeping a beard and an afro. I used to be the quintessential picture of sartorial elegance but the mirror, mirror on the wall was sending blatant messages that I had been taken over by an opposite-me.
I carried Ruby and held Mimi by the hand as we dashed down the stairs and raced for my car. My nanny had travelled for the Xmas break and as they were wont to do during the holiday season, did not come back. She had gone somewhere else so that her agent would receive another brokerage fee. Fortunately, I had sent Timmy and Renny to boarding schools. As much as I abhorred the idea, I could not cope anymore. That had given me some bit of sanity in the mad cycle that had become my world.
By the time, I dropped my blessings (that is what I called my kids) and made it to work it was 9.00am. The HR was going to give me some grief again. Life was running me ragged and it was a surprise I had not come apart at the seams. I laid my head on the steering as waves of despair and despondence washed all over me…
…..It had not always been this way. In the early days, it had been pure bliss, sheer ecstasy. He had pulled out the whole stops on Valentine’s Day three years ago. Dante had started with fifteen minutes, then 30, then every hour on the hour. It was a storm of fresh exotic flowers, a rain of colourful petals. The bouquets wouldn’t just stop coming. They came with exquisite combinations, earrings, bracelets, chocolates, shoes (the Ferragamo was wicked!), all the books of Robert Jordan’s wheels of time (she was a fantasy freak), this one really blew her away.
The icing on the cake of a lovely day was when he finally took her to a restaurant on a knoll overlooking a waterfront. From the time she stepped out of the door of her office until they got to their location, every step she took was cushioned in roses. Fresh roses of all hues had been laid out on the floor from her office to the elevator to the white Escalade, a white, metallic stallion on winged wheels that whisked them away to their destination. The floor of the car was dressed in a gown of yellow roses. From the speakers, Kenny G in a duet with Chante Moore blared “one more time” softly. Flutes of champagne appeared out of nowhere like they were being served by magical elves. The whole experience was ethereal.
The meal itself was otherworldly, it wasn’t mere dining. It was an experience! The gods of Olympus did not even have the privilege of such fare. The appetizer, the main course and dessert were despicably divine. The food seemed to melt in one’s mouth like it was a sin to masticate in that environ. However, much more than the food was the ambience. The room was bathed in golden, yellow light that made everything seem to be made of gold. This gave credence to the moniker, “Midas.”
Looking through the glass, waves tenderly lapped away the heat of the sands after a long hot day like a mother tepid sponging a feverish child. It was a night that had stars winking mischievously over a coquettish midnight blue sea that was demure to the overtures of a bashful moon.
He kissed her for the first time ever that night and something exploded in her. The smackeroo was a mixture of honey, sugar and spices that even the far reaching merchants of ancient Arabia didn’t know anything about. After that night, she moved in with him and the wild romantic roller coaster ride had blossomed. Soon after that she moved into his house.
The next valentine, he had had taken her to the Swiss Alps. He had gone to work and she was puttering in the house (he had stopped her from working immediately they started living together), when a chauffeur had arrived. She dressed up, took only her hand bag and was driven to the airport where he was already waiting in a private jet. Up in the clouds being attended to by white liveried, flight attendants, she actually felt this time she had died and gone to heaven. He had taken her shopping, closed a whole shop on her behalf and then she was taken to a spa for massage, facials, pedicure and manicure. It was too much for her senses, her emotional circuits blew!
I was tethered to a past that was now gone,
Pulled apart by the mares of night that now raced through my mind.
Distraught, I pulled through the days haggardly,
A beggarly soul at the end of her rope.
Caught in the crosshairs, between lust and a lostness
That strangled my imagination and snuffed out my dreams,
Hemmed in on all side by vain thoughts and desires,
Yet there remained a knowing, that in His arms I would always
Have a home…
… as she made her way gingerly to the bathroom, she reflected that, that was then, this is now. She had been had! A slashing pain below, throbbing head with a swollen eye and a flashing spectrum of pain was the reality now. The webbings of deception and distortion had been torn away and she could see now, albeit hazily since one of her eyes was swollen to unimaginable proportions. He had raped her again the night before. The physical rape was nothing compared to the psychological one she had endured over the months. Every shred of dignity had been stripped off her. She should have known that the devil cannot give a passport to heaven. When she had been his personal assistant, she knew how he treated ladies like used tissue. How could she have deceived herself into believing that her situation would be different? He had exploited her weaknesses. However, there was only one other thing to be done, a last chance saloon no matter how tenuous. Reckless and resolute, no other option in sight, she picked up her car keys…
…Saturday mornings were usually an escape portal for me. I was in my shorts, bare-chested, slicing tomatoes to make some eggs. I make wonderful eggs even if I have to say so myself. The yam was already singing on the fire. Ruby and I were having a Karaoke session belting out Frank Edwards, and Kingsley Ike’s Okaka while Mimi watched a show on Disney Junior. That was when the bell rang shrilly, unremittingly. I was irritated at the persistence. My belief has always been that you rang the bell once and waited, but some people believed in bringing the whole house down.
Ruby in tow, still singing Okaka, I made for the door. The music playing on my laptop speakers in the kitchen changed then from Okaka to Acapella’s “your love is more.”
I opened the door and there she was. I looked around; mentally wishing her away like one would an unwanted apparition. This could not be happening. Ruby, always the shy one had hidden behind me, clutching my leg at the sight of the stranger. After blinking for a few seconds without her form disappearing, I called her namely, quizzically. It came out strangled…
My wife who had abandoned us for three years was at my doorstep. She had left just after Ruby had been weaned at 9 months. My gone girl who had abandoned us in the cold, refusing to see or talk to our children and I had re-emerged from the murky pools of the past.
In the Kitchen, Acapella sang on….
Your love is more than my mind can fathom
More than I know
Your love is more than the highest heavens
More than forever…
Hearing my name on her lips, made my innards explode with sweetness. My name had always seemed mundane until I met Ife. There was a life she gave to my name, a bubbly quality she injected into it…I had not heard that in three years…
A war was going on within me. My head and my heart going at each other like ferocious foes. What kind of woman leaves her husband and four kids for an amorous relationship with her boss? Her boss had a very wild reputation. He did not cease to make headlines.The tabloids and magazines loved him. It was obvious they would have done things that would have made fifty shades of grey seem like the tale of Jack and the beanstalk. My head was a raging grizzly robbed of her pups, a flooded rapid roiling in deep consternation but my heart stood firm, a sturdy mountain.
Make me one of your hired hands, a butler, a chef…
I have done great evil, I do not think I can be forgiven of this debt.
Yet some way, somehow you look past my faults.
And your Love was an avalanche that silenced all my doubt.
“Oba, I am so…” she started.
“Hush,” I said, reaching out my hand to caress her left swollen black eye.
“Ife, he did this to you?” I inquired, wrath pumping through my heart, heat coursing through my veins.
At my query she burst into tears. She wept, sobs emanating from the depths of her being, body wracking heaves that made her double up in emotional agony.
Acapella went on in the kitchen…
Sometimes the future seems so unsure
Sometimes my heart is afraid
I draw my comfort from knowing you
Lord you are my friend…
I lifted her chin looking into her eyes; I had almost forgotten how beautiful she was. Even in her sorrow, her honey coloured eyes flashed with light, her dimples deepened with life, her gap toothed dentition spoke arcane mysteries of love to my heart. I wiped her tears and hugged her, kissing her on the forehead (she knew this was my ultimate gesture of fondness), planted my lips there. Joined together our faces became a confluence of tears that baptised our reunion.
Ife knew she had exchanged her husband’s love for seeming affection and lust that had the flashiness of a tawdry trinket. Oba’s love was deeper than all the ocean’s combined, more durable than mountain ranges and colourful as a rainbow.
My lips finally found hers and we embraced, seeking solace, shelter from the storms that has torn us apart. In our embrace, we melted into each other. Our girls instinctively understood and rushed to join in the hug that united as one…
In the kitchen, Acapella sang on….
One stone would have ended it all…
The Father could have turned him back, away from his door.
She would have cried with no one to care…
But somehow Love stepped in and saved the day.
Wandering far from home, but never too far for Love…
Trading her heart for coins yet never losing her worth.
Each one found a Love others felt they didn’t deserve,
Not knowing that Love would in the end have the last laugh.
This is a tale of betrayal, love, mercy and forgiveness. THIS IS OUR STORY! It is an allegory of love depicting Christ’s love for his bride, his church. We keep failing, falling but God keeps loving! His love is stubborn, sticky, and relentless! He has called us to his banqueting hall and his banner over us is love. He loves us madly, crazily, unfathomably…I can’t make sense of it but I am glad for it…
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
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©2016 Ekpo Ezechinyere