The Red Sea


She lay there sated. The vibrator now tossed aside. Slowly, she descended from cloud nine or cloud ten, wherever she was floating for the past five minutes.

She reached for the blanket to cover her nudity. This was the routine, the game, today, tomorrow, till life deserts. It disgusted her, this necessary evil.

She held on to the blanket as she padded into the bathroom, her bare feet making slap-slap sounds on the floor.

In the bathroom, she turned the knob of the shower and closed her eyes as water spurted out, cleansing blood washing the unforgivable sin.

Scrub, daughter, wash and be clean.

She was only six when Moses started parting her sea with his rod. Moses was not the picture she painted in her mind when the children teacher spoke of the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. Moses was not the old man, blessed with serene handsomeness that only age could bring. He was not clad in a long flowing gown which was girded with a cord. Moses did not have the powerful, commanding voice that echoes and boomes leaving the ears strained and tingling.

This Moses mumbled in an uncertain voice. This Moses was clad in polo shirt and jeans.
This Moses was an eighteen year old with the familiar face of her cousin.

Suddenly, she felt dizzy as the room began to spin and spin, round and round. And her life began to play before her eyes like a moving picture. She was six years old again, she was lying on an old mat blackened by age and thick with the stench of urine. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears.

He stood nearby, dearest Moses with his erect and eager rod. Ready to part the unwilling sea. She closed her eyes as he whispered, “I love you, don’t cry, I just want to show you how much I do.”

She opened her eyes when the pain came, staring at the faded sky-blue painted ceiling, thinking of nothing. Relishing in the beautiful confusion of nothing.

He carried her in his arms to the bathroom and scrubbed her. She winced when his fingers brushed around her upper thighs.
The blood tickled down, a thin slippery zigzag line like a snake till it met the puddle of water near her feet, on the ground.

She closed her eyes and thought about the sea. The Red Sea.

The spinning stopped and she was back to the bathroom again. The sea was no longer red anymore, it was creamy now, a blunt testimony to the parting by many rods now. Many Moseses.

She no longer asked why he did this to her. She no longer wondered why someone who loved her would leave her permanently deformed.

She began to cry. Again.
For herself.
For everyone.
For tomorrow.
She was lost.

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Victoria Onyinye Nathaniel hails from Oraifite in Ekwusigo LGA, Anambra State, Nigeria. She's presently an undergraduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. She's a feminist and humanist. A lover of Chimamanda Adichie, John Grisham, James Hadley Chase works. She loves reading, music (Ed Sheeran, Adele and Sia's songs) and writing.



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