African StoriesLife and General Fiction StoriesNaija Stories

The Bleeding Heart

I sat down at the edge of the bed with my face full of tears. My past is hunting me. Hunting me for a sin I never committed. How am I going to explain this to my newly wedded husband? That I have been lying to him all along?

I still recall that day with tears in my eyes. A pain deep down in my heart threatening to burst out. The question I always asked myself is: “Why me, why did it have to be me?”

Memories harmful to my heart rear theirs ugly faces at me and the tears flow in torrents down my face.

I can still remember the days of my childhood vividly and I know I miss them. I miss my childhood days. I miss the childlike attitude and carefree nature. I miss the different games I tried and the schools I attended.

I smile whenever I remember these but it is not always for long, because that scene always rears its ugly head.

My mom was a trader and my father, a farmer. I grew up under the eyes of strict parents, the last born in a family of six. Two girls, two boys.

My mom was always busy in the market but always finds time for us. As a child, I didn’t like going to school that much. I used to envy those kids that took money to school to spend it at break time.

My mom never gave me money to school, she always said that I have eaten and I’m going to eat when I get back, so there was no need of taking money to school.

I still remember the first day I refused to go to school and insisted on collecting money from my mother. I smile when I remember that day. The moment my mom brought out a cane and gave me three strokes, no one told me to race to school.

Was it that day or another school day? When I was on my way back from school, I came across some palm kernels that were spread on the ground.

They were tempting and I found no harm in tasting them, so I took a handful. But a voice stopped me.

I was scared that I have been caught stealing some palm kernels, so I quickly dropped them. The man who saw me called me to come and I obediently followed frightened out of my wits.

Oh! If only I could go back to that day, I would have ran away. I wish I didn’t listen. I so wish I was a stubborn brat but no ounce of stubbornness ran in my blood

He took me in his house. I was naive at that time. I was only four for crying out loud. How could I have known what he intended to do? Like a fool, I followed his instructions and later when I began to cry about going home, he released me.

So tell me now, how is that my fault? I was a victim not the sinner, so why is it hunting me? That day left a huge scar on my heart that always brings tears to my eyes. I wish I was wiser.

Now, I am faced with another episode of pain. Yesterday was my wedding and all along I have been telling my husband that I was a virgin. I was scared to tell him the truth because I didn’t want him to look down on me but now that lie is hunting me.

After last night how do I explain to him, from where will I start from?

It will take the Grace of God for me to forgive that man and may he never come across my path because I will make him pay. I will draw my own pound of flesh, this I swear.

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