I looked around the court room and my eyes landed on my sister, Zoe’s, face whose eyes were red, puffed, and barely seeing. I thought she had cried herself dry the whole night, and till the last minute she came inside the court room. The court was still waiting for my first utterance. Since I asked the court to confess three days after I had been sentenced to life in prison and because my case had been rated case of the century it took weeks to be given a date. At last though, today I had to take a journey back on memory lane to the dreadful event that everyone awaited with baited breath, eager to know what actually transpired on that Sunday afternoon.
“It had been months since I saw Dave snogging with Chloe – the same woman he introduced to me as a family friend, cousin or some such thing. I barely knew Dave’s relatives, which is why I never bothered myself asking about the relationship’s intricacies.
“‘Dave would never cheat on me,’ I assured myself on the same day I was taken for a fool.” I stopped for a second to find courage. “I heartily adored Dave; my undying passion was seen by many though still Dave was left wanting.” I was in tears now even though my heart had gone cold and numb.
“Who in this room can kiss the same person who betrayed you before your eyes, who in this room can go share the same roof and same bed with the same person who tells you he loves you yet goes on to sleep with another woman?” I asked the court and not a soul said a word.
I went on to ask, “Whose mother would plead to her daughter to hold on to such, for what? For a wedding whose knots would be tied in solemn deceit?”
“Hayi-bo! Andingeke ndivume ukwenza ububhanxa!” a Zulu woman voiced her disgruntlement.
I took another glance at my sister who now was in tears, there was nothing I could do but unravel the so called mystery.
“When my father passed away we never got anything from everything he owned, his brothers- my uncles- came and repossessed all the property he owned; they even went as far as throwing us out of the house, my home. We were left with nothing and we struggled until my angel came along; until I met Dave. He showed much generosity with his finances, and that’s when my mother encouraged me to give him my body…” I paused for a moment and asked for a glass of water. I couldn’t hold the glass, my hands had gone too weak to grasp anything, the judge asked me if I wanted to stop but I insisted on proceeding.
“I got home and phoned my mother to tell that I had seen Dave kissing the same woman he introduced to me as his cousin. My mother suggested that I stay calm and I should not let him suspect that I saw him, I obeyed and acted as if everything was well yet my heart was already bleeding inside. I hated the man that I lived with, I became his slave but an admiration to the community for they didn’t know what happened between the walls and behind closed doors. Worst of all I couldn’t confide in any of my friends, but only to my sister. As for my mother, she was the happiest woman on earth since Dave had bought her a house in a low density area and had promised her a new car of her choice… The two of them seemed to get along very well and I later came to understand why she wanted me to be married to Dave.”
“The beatings continued and on some occasions he would come back home drunk and he would force himself on me. I would smile and mourn with tears streaming down my cheeks while I was being raped. On one occasion he beat me and left me in no state of mobility; I was in so much pain that I couldn’t lift my hand or turn my head. He called for his doctor and I received all my medical attention at home. One Sunday I thought it would be good if pass by my mother’s place, pick her up and take her out to lunch. I left my car outside the gate and walked to the house, I loved the green scenery around the yard so I used the kitchen door that was at back. As I made my way to the back of the house I was welcomed by Dave’s unlocked car parked in front of the kitchen door. I simply concluded I hadn’t been the first to come up with the lunch idea. But something seemed unusual, my mother never liked noise but today her radio was on a high volume. I opened the kitchen door and halted, not sure whether to proceed.”
“As I got to the passage I saw Dave’s tie on the floor his shoe, a stocking, the trail of Dave’s scattered clothes went on up to my mother’s bedroom door. I was convinced that my mother was away and since Dave kept the spare keys for the house he had brought that Chloe woman to have some fun. I tip toed back to the kitchen and reached for the butchers’ knife as I determined to give Chloe a run for her money. I took the weapon in my hand but kept on looking for something till I remembered that Dave carries a gun in his car. I returned from the car in a jiffy and was in the room in a flash.”
“I knew what to expect but was in no way ready to see it. Without a further thought, I closed my eyes and shot at the woman who was still in the act, gyrating and panting as though her life depended on it, atop of cuffed and blinded Dave. When I opened my eyes blood was all over the bed, soaking the linen and beginning to drip onto the floor. With cat-like agility I leaped onto the bed to give Dave his share, who was screaming for his life like a little girl. As my blood boiled in fury and disgust I all but reaped Dave’s throat open with my teeth. I shoved the gun into Dave’s mouth as far as it could go, looked at him with glazed eyes and on reflex turned my head to look at my first butchered victim. I remember feeling awestruck as my eyes rested on the lifeless mass, and inched towards her outstretched arm. My heart lurched for there was something distinctly familiar on the woman’s wrist; a bracelet like the one my father bought for mom before he died- the one she never took off… I shot off the bed and found myself kneeling beside the corpse. My eyes must have been deceiving me- the woman that I had just killed was not Chloe but my mother.”
Zoe’s wail cut through the deathly silence that had engulfed the court. A solitary tear danced on my cheekbone, and that was the last tear I would ever shed.