Babe please open up, it’s me Binta (continues knocking). Please open up. Are you in there ?
Who could this be at this time of the night? I grumbled. Who’s there ?! It’s me Binta.
I opened up slowly and she hurriedly came in. Wha what are you doing here by this time? I stuttered as I was surprised to see her. It’s really late. How did you get here ?
I took a cab. Binta answered. Luckily I saw one coming towards this direction and he offered to help.
Once again, what are you doing here ? I don’t understand, are you chasing me away? I’m your girlfriend. I can come here any time I feel like. She had a point and I didn’t want her to start throwing her usual tantrums. Besides I had a fight with my dad again she said as she burst into tears. I quietly consoled her till she fell asleep.
It was a typical Friday night and the thugs were out on the streets again but I think this time something was really upsetting them. We started hearing numerous gun shots and soon enough smell of smoke. Alas! They had set up the nearby building on fire. Don’t wonder why I live in such environment knowing how dangerous it was. It was the only place I could afford, a young graduate and currently unemployed. I stood up to shut my windows as the smell of the smoke was choking me. Turning back I saw Binta on the bed struggling to breathe and coughing heavily. I was inhaling the smoke too but she had little tolerance to it compared to me. It became worse and that was when I knew it was an asthma attack.
News flash: I never knew she had asthma. She was quite secretive and we were just two months old in our relationship.
There I was sweating profusely, totally confused about what to do. I couldn’t take her out of the house and it was not like staying in made any difference.
You should have an inhaler I asked panting like I just finished a 100 metre race, she nodded in agreement pointing to her bag. I hurriedly went to check but there was nothing there. She must have forgotten it home.
She continued to cough harder and right before my eyes she was dying slowly. I tried giving her CPR but to no avail and before I knew it she lost consciousness.
Binta! Binta!! I checked her pulse, she had no pulse. No no no no please don’t die on me I cried out. Binta please wake up, I cried shaking and slapping her trying to bring her back to life but to no avail. I didn’t want to accept the truth but she was already dead.
Right before my eyes my world crashed down just in a matter of minutes. If you’re thinking I’m referring to Binta as my world then that’s all wrong, I mean we were just two months into our relationship and I wasn’t even sure where it was heading with a lot of secrecy between us.
This was a literal expression. A helpless orphan and unemployed Nigerian, and now with a corpse in my house.
In the heat of the moment, I picked up few of my belongings and fled not minding being a fugitive.
No one in their right senses would stay back. It was literally my words against whoever. And Mr Badmus( Binta’s father) never really liked me. With me having clandestine meetings with his daughter to avoid facing his wrath if ever caught with her.
I was gone for only two days when it was announced that a corpse was found in my apartment. One thing I didn’t understand was why my identity was kept hidden as I wasn’t declared wanted.
This was quite strange and I didn’t want to celebrate just yet because I knew Mr Badmus’ contempt towards me and there’s no way I would go free. Binta’s corpse was taken for post-mortem. The biochemical examination of serum obtained at autopsy gave helpful information for diagnosis that asthmatic attack was the cause of death.
Did I go free after it was confirmed that she died of asthma and I was no way at fault for her death ? Hell no! Within a matter of weeks I was fished out by Mr Badmus’ agents. He just wanted to pin her death on someone. Did I mention that this was an illegal abduction? My arrest was never made known to the public. Days turn months and I was severely beaten and starved. Mr Badmus didn’t exactly hate me. He hated my financial status and hated that his daughter stooped so low to someone like me. With constant inhumane treatment I became mentally deranged. Thrown to the streets like garbage I was picked up by a kind individual and taken to the hospital.
This is my story being told right from the psychiatric home where I’m now recovering.
Moral quote by C.Joybell C
There is a higher form of hierarchy and that is the hierarchy of the spirit. When I stand in front of a person, I stand in front of a soul and I have met magnificent souls in bodies possessing no money, as well as parched and shallow souls in bodies bathed in riches. In the same light, I have met magnificent souls in bodies bathed in wealth, as well as parched and shallow souls in bodies that are impoverished. I am tired of people busying their minds with hierarchy based upon money, because this form of hierarchy is primitive; meanwhile there is an altogether higher form of hierarchy that is of the soul. As you judge man and woman based upon their riches, I laugh at your primitive form of judgment! When I stand in front of a human, I stand in front of a soul.
Writer: Elemue Tuvie
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria