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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - landed a lethal blow on her face, Ronaldo, or perhaps, Messi, figuring out, love, what love is, street.

Chinagorom saw Dubem’s clenched right fist flying towards her with venom. She raised her hands in a feeble and belated attempt to protect her face. Simultaneously, she turned her face away from the approaching blow as fast as she could. Her efforts were hardly enough to protect her from Dubem’s furious onslaught. Gbosaa!! Dubem landed a lethal blow on her face, leaving her neck and head swiveling at three hundred and sixty degrees, like a brand new swivel office chair. In a flash, tiny stars appeared in her blurred vision as she went flying to the rugged, uneven floor of the shabby apartment.

“How many times do I have to warn you to stay away from those little boys?” he barked angrily at her. She could barely hear him. Instead, she heard other rhythms and blues that were playing cacophonously in her head, following the deadly blow from Dubem. He leaned to his left, packing all of his strength in his right foot before delivering a terrible kick in her belly. She squealed in agony, curling up and grabbing her abdomen. “Stop it, Dubem. Please, stop it,” she begged, gritting her teeth in pain. As though she were a football and he was Ronaldo, or perhaps, Messi, he kicked her yet again with an ugly frown on his face.

Then, he turned and stormed out of the tiny living room, leaving her in pain on the floor. He was breathing hard as he walked away.  Shortly after he had left, Chinagorom dragged her battered body to her feet, shaking intermittently as she sobbed from the core of her heart. She entered the shabby bedroom that she shared with Dubem, packed a few clothes in a polyethylene bag, sat on the old scruffy bed and wiped tears off her face. She pulled herself together, walked to the half broken standing mirror that hung forlornly on the wall and stared at herself.

She had a black eye from Dubem’s punch. She applied powder on her face, working frenetically on the black-eyed spot in an effort to mask it. Satisfied that she had hid the scar of her last beating by Dubem, she walked to the entrance of their apartment, opened the curtain slightly and peered into the compound. She scanned the immediate vicinity for Dubem. He was nowhere to be found. It was getting dark, but there was still enough daylight outside. Quickly, she dashed outside and walked towards the gate. She walked as fast as she could. When she reached the gate, she stopped momentarily and peered into the street.

Neighbors who had heard her crying earlier peeped through their curtains, murmuring in their apartments at her stupidity. “Is she running away? She will soon come back, like she always does. Mumu (Fool)!” Mama Ogechi, one of their neighbors whispered to her husband. “Mom, it is like that idiot, Chinagorom is running away again!” Another neighbor, Chinyere, said in a low tone to her mother. Again, Dubem was not anywhere in sight, so Chinagorom dashed outside. She ran as fast as she could. Dubem who was sitting on the front yard of his close friend, Kalu, sighted her running.

He sprang to his feet and ran after her. She looked over her shoulders and saw him running towards her like a determined lion after a galloping zebra. She increased her pace, running around the corner and entering the next street. Dubem raced after her yelling, “Come back here! I will kill you if I catch you!” Chinagorom made a left turn onto Eze Street, running as fast her slender legs could go. Dubem was rapidly shrinking the gap between them. She looked over her shoulder and saw him getting closer. A torrent of fear and anxiety enveloped her. She made a last ditch effort to speed up. Swerving right, she ran into a small garden at the end of Eze Street.

She brushed against a sheet of old, rusted corrugated iron sheets surrounding the garden. Like a blade, the edge of the sheet grabbed hold of her right thigh, tearing her skin like hot knife through butter. Searing pain swept through her as blood oozed freely out of her. She wanted to stop, but the thought of another round of pounding by Dubem propelled her forward. “Help me!” She shouted, drawing the attention of a man in his forties who was walking with his back to them. The man turned and saw her galloping towards her. She was severely fatigued. A stream of saliva hung on her chin, having exited her mouth a minute or two earlier.

“Please help me…he will beat me again. Please, don’t let him catch me,” Chinagorom begged the man who she recognized by now. His name was Ibe, a young carpenter who lived on Eze Street. Ibe grabbed her. Chinagorom literally melted into his arms. She was bone-weary. Slowly, he shoved her behind him, placing himself between Chinagorom and Dubem. “Do not get involved in this, Ibe!” Dubem shouted. Ibe who was equally strong in his own right, held him, pushing him backwards. He spun around to his left, attempting to get around Ibe so as to get hold of Chinagorom. Ibe read his move.

He blocked him, wrestling him to the ground. He managed to hold him down for a few seconds while he tried to wriggle free. Chinagorom saw her moment of freedom. She dashed away from Ibe and across the street. A bus was about to leave the bus stop on the other side of the road. She hopped on the bus, urging the driver to speed away. Having seen the kerfuffle on the other side of the road, the driver obliged him, calling to his conductor to hop back onto the bus. As soon as the conductor was on board, the driver sped off.

“I will kill you!” Dubem shouted to both Ibe and Chinagorom. He tried to land a blow on Ibe’s face, but Ibe ducked to his left, evading his punch. “Come on, stop it. The poor girl does not deserve your constant beating. After all, you have not paid a dime on her head. She is not even your wife, and even if she was, she does not deserve the beating you give her frequently. Real men don’t beat girls,” Ibe replied. “So you think you are a real man, right? Ibe you think you are a real man? Now, show me what you are made of!”

Dubem stretched his right leg, throwing a kick at Ibe. Ibe ducked, taking hold of his leg in the air. Ibe kicked his other leg, sending him to ground. He then sat over him and began to pummel him. By the time people came to separate them, Dubem’s face was red with blood. One of his teeth was shaking like a Parkinson’s patient, bruised into constant irregular motion. “I will show you!” he shouted as a man pulled him away from Ibe. “Look at you; I have damaged your teeth and face. You can’t fight a fellow man, but when you see a girl, you begin to flex your lizard-like muscles. Go home and nurse your wounds, idiot,” Ibe taunted him.

“Chinagorom, you cannot stay in our house for long. My parents will not allow that. For now, they are fine…I have spoken to them, but you have to decide what you want to do long term,” explained Joy, Chinagorom’s best friend. She had taken refuge in Joy’s parent’s house in Abakpa Nike. “Thank you, Joy. I will figure something out soon.” “What are you figuring out? It is as clear as daylight, my friend. Leave that guy and return to your loving parents!!! They have made it clear to you from the beginning. You are not married to Dubem and they will never bless your relationship with him. If you leave him for good, then your parents are willing to take you back. What is wrong with you? Leave the sadist for good, or do you enjoy the battery he gives you?”

Chinagorom said nothing. She was lying on the bed with tears coasting down her face. “I don’t know what you are figuring out. This is not time to cry…you have cried enough. For how long are you going to put yourself through this? Don’t you love yourself? Why stay with a man who beats you? He is twice your age, Chinagorom. He is not good-looking – monkey! Each time I see his face, I swear he is truly a descendant of gorilla. He is not kind! He has nothing to show for his life – broke like a church rat. He has no education and he has no love in his heart. Please tell me, Chinagorom, why do you keep going back to this monster?”

“But I love him!” Chinagorom countered. “Shut up! Love who? You are hallucinating, my friend. You have no idea what love is!” “I really do…I don’t think I can find the strength to leave him.” “Strength is not some imaginary thing. It comes to those who work hard to muster it, Chinagorom. One little step at a time. Rise up and begin to walk. You have been crawling my friend. You may fall a few times, but if you keep trying hard enough…and long enough, you will eventually begin to walk and eventually run!” “It is not easy, Joy. I feel like…like I can never free myself from him.” “But you have not tried. You keep going back to him. In your head, you believe that someday he will love you, treat you right and make you feel good.

“You can’t find closure with him, because you feel like you deserve better and you are willing to stay with him, take the beating until he changes. You want to change him to prove your worth, Chiichii. You may die trying. People like that have a dark place in their hearts. The only person you change my friend, is yourself. He is not the only man in the world. You don’t have to change him to find love; to believe in love again, to find your worth in life. No!!! Everyone is not meant for you and you are not meant for everyone. You will find the one after your own heart someday, but first, you must end this terrible misery and start life anew! Please, do this for me! For yourself!!!”


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - landed a lethal blow on her face, Ronaldo, or perhaps, Messi, figuring out, love, what love is, street.
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