African StoriesLife and General Fiction StoriesNaija StoriesShort Stories

Perfidy

A beautiful morning, not for the young and graceful Yvonne, who got up quite early, probably for the first time in three days. Her dark, sparkly skin glided across the room in an air of uncomfortable gait. She stood next to the window, wondering what to make of the abnormal growth on the ground outside, trying ever so forcefully to direct her thinking elsewhere.

The morning sky was lucid; the flies were dancing to the song of the tranquil air; and the horizon had risen to its max. But Yvonne could not borrow the peace outside.

Her ribs were gradually crawling, tearing into her heart, a heavy organ it had seemed for two days. Her mind was a chaotic place, a battered wall of unevenness, an overwhelming madness of different words playing at a raucous speed. Her eyes were getting unsteady now, failing to focus on the ground outside. Her hands were shaky; her legs now couldn’t hold firmly on the ground. She longed to sit.

A brightness appeared over a Samsung phone before it rang. Her heart beat. She stared at the name written on it for the whole period it rang and looked away. The ringing went on later.

In the bathroom, the bathing water became friends with tears; her sponge suddenly became iron, one with sharp edges; every meeting of her toothbrush with her teeth was a wave of pain.

The mirror reflected a different image of her, one that brought her nightmares. The phone was still giving out a ring.

She thought of her family. Her father, the sweetest and most lovely human in Venus, because he was certainly out of this world, he was not of Earth. “My daddy,” she still called him at age twenty-one, the anchor in her life—her guardian angel, who was always there when her abusive mother, a religiously refined reckless woman, who loved her and her two siblings in her own way, turned on the children; Chris, her mischievous nineteen-year-old younger brother, always telling jokes; and Miracle, a sweet girl at sixteen.

The images she was trying to bury deep in the corner of her mind were beginning to make nuisance of themselves. They commanded themselves up, all the way to her sight; she could see them now; her mother’s nonchalance; her siblings’ shock and dismay; her father’s denial down to his smile, then a frown, as he gave her a jab, held her mouth, pinned her tightly against the wall as he unzipped his trousers and threatened her with death after combing through her womanhood, over and over in an ugly night. Her beautiful father.

Another darkness came when her mum followed her laughter with a swing of a knife she had not intended to use after she told her story. It landed on her cheek. Scars were forming, physically and mentally.

Come back to the morning.

She picked up her phone, finally. “Yes. Two cans of valium.”

She drank all, more than enough to end three men.

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