It was love at first sight.
Actually, it was more than love; it was something much more profound. He felt pain when he first saw her. The pain that comes with seeing someone who is the personification of all one desires and knowing that from that moment on, you are a willing slave to them. He had to make her his own. Take her into him. He desired more than her body, he wanted her soul. She would be his escape.
Tunji had always been a loner. He spent more time in his own head than anywhere else. Cursed with a face that was not attractive enough to be desirable and yet not ugly enough to be considered ‘of character’, he had never become a social animal. He had been bullied a lot in his adolescent days, which had only served to make him more shy and reserved. He had no friends save for Femi, his childhood friend. He knew Femi only stayed friends with him because of their history. They had been friends since childhood and so they continued to be friends: Circular logic. With no shared interests and only a few perfunctory text messages exchanged every other week, what they had was a friendship of function. For all practical purposes, he was alone.
At night he occupied himself with lesbian porn and masturbated his sorrow and loneliness for the day into a tissue. Every so often, he weighed his life on the scales of continuity and he found himself wanting. He would find himself contemplating suicide but could never summon the courage to end his life. His existence dragged on, he dreamt of the girl that would love him, unconditionally accept him for who he was and maybe give him a reason to die.
Kerna was a whore. At least that’s what they called her to her face. Many people said much worse behind her back but she cared little what they said. Their words were as empty and hollow as their knowledge of her past. What could they know of the pain that had been visited upon her by her Parish pastor Rev. Umokoro? What could they know of being flogged with a leather strap whilst being forced to fellate the priest at age 9 because she hadn’t swept the back row of the church properly? What could they possibly know of being tied with discarded wires to the pillar in the pastors quarters while he masturbated into her mouth and repeated Matthew 15:11 before forcing her to swallow. She would never forget those words.
“What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'”
No. they knew nothing. So she pretended not to hear them when they drove or walked by her spot on Allen Avenue and sneered at her. She was doing what she could to survive. Waiting for someone, something, to take her away from the pitiful existence she called her life.
Their eyes met on a cold, cloudy night in September. Tunji had just finished his daily lap of the rat race and left the office late but there was no okada in front of his building to take him home as usual. He was walking toward the roundabout where he thought he could get one. He kept his head down as though hidden from God as his feet shuffled forward. It was dangerous to be out by this time, walking down the street alone, but he did not really care, what did he have that was worth being taken away from him violently?
As he looked up briefly to ascertain his location, he saw her out of the corner of his eye, standing by the road. He felt the pain of desire as Cupid’s jagged arrow tore through his soul. She wore a short blue dress, exposing almost all of her creamy thighs and rendering her considerable breasts more or less free of their jailer. She was dressed in the attire of her trade. But it was not her appearance that he was drawn to. Her sorrow called to him like a beacon, her weariness of life she wore on her head like a crown of thorns. His beauty queen: Miss despair. To him, she was beauty personified. She was the Mona Lisa, defiled and scorned. He ached for her. In that instant, she had become the unwitting queen of his silent supplication.
Panic set in. He was consumed with a mad lust and desire which he did not know how to react to. It was utterly irrational. He felt his feet begin to saunter forward, toward her, slowly at first and then faster with more purpose as a dark resolve which he did not know he had gained momentum. She saw him walking toward her and in that moment she knew she wanted to lie in and die in his arms. He arrived in front of her and stood close, very close, invading her personal space. She did not resist the invasion, she simply stood her ground and stared into his crazed eyes. As they stood there she looked into his eyes and knew he was her Angel of death. They stood there face to face, breathing into each other’s mouths for almost a full minute before he finally spoke:
“How much for a night?”
The walk to his house had seemed to last an eternity which was a good thing, because they had shared a lifetimes worth of stories in the two hours it had taken them to get there. Now they were in in his room, silently staring into each other’s eyes, lost in mutual despair. After what seemed like an eternity of comfortable silence, they both spoke at the same time in unison:
“I want to die”
It was the culmination of everything they both wanted, as though they had been waiting for each other, each one waiting for their escort to the underworld. They had no illusions about where they would spend their afterlives, but surely it could not be much worse that their present states. They kissed. A deep passionate kiss that seemed like the first time for them both. No other kiss in their entire lives had held so much fire, so much passion and desire.
They quickly undressed and fell to the floor in a sweaty tangle of fevered passion, sweat and desperate lust. Foreplay set aside, He slapped her face violently, repeatedly as he entered and thrust deep into her and she scratched his face in response, leaving deep cuts in his cheek even as she thrust right back from under him. They persisted. When his legs felt weak and he slowed the pace of his thrusts, she dug her fingernails into his side, below his ribs, dragged her upper body up to his neck and bit him until he bled. He howled as his fingers curled into a fist and he punched her in the face, breaking her nose. She moaned and screamed simultaneously. He thrust faster into her as they both began to laugh madly, bleeding, moaning, and sharing their bodies and diseased souls. As he felt himself nearing the climax, he bit her nipple and pulled her hair from behind, she reached out and dug her fingers into his neck in return, and then she ripped away suddenly, peeling away the skin and leaving four deep cuts. He came.
She rolled onto her side and curled into a ball. Fetal. He struggled to his feet, his ears ringing, and went to the kitchen where he found his large cutting knife, the one he used for cutting meat and fish from the market. He took three candles, the knife, and an old rope and went to the bathroom. He turned off the lights, plugged the bath and lit the candles, arranging them in a triangle around the dirty bath tub and lighting them before walking back to the room and taking her by the hand.
“It’s time” . He said
“I love you”. she replied.
“You are my queen”. He said lovingly
They kissed and walked to the bathroom where he sat her by the tub. His hand was shaking but his heart beat steady with resolve. He must have her, all of her and then he would be free. They would both be free. He lifted the knife to her throat trying to remember where the carotid artery was as she closed her eyes and readied herself for the blade. He cut swiftly. She let out a gasp as her life essence sprayed onto his chest and torso and mixed with his tears and blood as he wept from the intensity of the emotion he felt. It was pure, undiluted joy.
He methodically severed the rest of her head from her body. He tried to be gentle with her but it required some effort to sever the spine. When he was done, he kissed the lips on her severed head and set it down on the bottom end of the tub before using the rope he had taken from the kitchen to suspend the headless corpse of the only woman he had ever loved upside down from the bar across the ceiling, draining the blood into the bath tub. He climbed into it and sat there, enjoying the feel of the blood dripping onto his naked stomach and the level rise around him. He gazed into the eyes of her severed head as he sat there, absorbing the spirit of her through her lifeblood as he thought about what he had to do.
Tunji was at peace and for the first time he could remember, he was happy. The events of the last four hours had been nothing short of amazing. Inconceivable, unbelievable, still, amazing. He slowly lowered his head into the tub of her blood, fighting the natural instinct to breathe, to survive. He went under and held his breath until he felt himself begin to feel disoriented. His lungs burned and begged for air but received blood instead as the darkness engulfed him and the last bastion of resistance in him surrendered. He gave into the darkness and let it take him to be with his one true love, draped in a garment of her essence.
He loved her.
Ok. I guess I’ve caught the story Bug. Thanks Nono *sideeye*. I wont pretend there’s a message here, I just thought up this story and wrote it. Feel free to make what you will of it.