I hated it with passion. I hated that I had to be the one who called first, sent texts first. Said I love you first.

Every God forsaken time.

I hated that Ike was so insensitive to the fact that I sometimes needed to be reassured that I was not in whatever it was we were doing alone, and that he loved me as much as I do. I hated that I could not help but get that feeling of being all by myself when he did not call or text me in a whole day because as he said, he’s so busy with his thesis these days. I hated that every time I complained, he said that I know he did love me and proceeded to shut me up in that coy way only he could do. In all honesty, I sometimes hated that I loved him so much but I derived comfort in thinking he knew where I stand .He knew how I loved him, and so did he too, that much I know without any doubt…loved himself so much that he spent hours buried in his Philosophical books when he was not busy working – if jabbing at the keyboard all day counts as work. He preferred – calling it coding. Wasting precious time that we should be spending together.

I never have to worry about some other girl or stuff. I knew my rival already, and it was what I termed “over seriousness” on Ike’s part. His immersive obsession with whatever he did. Like the way he was obsessed with me too in the beginning. Giving me all his attention and loving me like no tomorrow. Now that he had discovered another love, I was being thrust aside like a broken toy and I knew it.

Sometimes, I did not want to call him or reach out first, but deep in my heart was a fear that he would not even notice until the rift became too wide and we have to call it quits. I could not let that happen, because well, I have an obsession too – and it’s Ikechukwu. I felt like I had come too far, invested too much in this relationship to watch my efforts go down the drain. We’ve been seeing each other for almost three years and from the look of things, not for much longer.

So when I slipped into his apartment on that fateful Tuesday evening and it looked like a cyclone hit his room over the weekend, I tried very hard not to freak out. He was seating on the chair but his eyebrows furrowed in concentration, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I just walked in, and that the last time we spoke was the previous Thursday. I was at loss of what to do as I looked at him for a long time. He still didn’t say anything.

I dropped my backpack on his bed and instinctively started straightening out the room. I packed dirty dishes and made way to his kitchen. I was halfway through sweeping the room when he lifted his legs so I could sweep under and spoke

“Thank you.”

“I stopped. Who are you talking to?”

” Thank you, Chinyere. Who else is here?” He still didn’t take his eyes off his laptop screen

” Oh. So you even noticed that I am here?”

He sighed dramatically” You know…”

” I don’t know anything. The only thing I know is that I could fall down and die here now and you won’t even notice for days, because you’re too busy pressing computer.” The Irony of that statement, if only I had known

” Look Chinyere, the last thing I need right now is you doing this today… ”

” What am I doing?” I interrupted again

” Do you want to fight? Did you come here to fight me?” He said lazily, still typing his nonsense

I rolled my eyes “what kind of silly question is that? ”

” You’re…you’re distracting me right now and I can’t afford to be distracted right now because I need to..” .

“Of course, your lordship. It’s always about you. You always make it about you. What about me? What about what I need?” It occurred to me briefly that we were finally arguing. I was finally treading on dreaded grounds.

He looked up finally “what do you want?”

I opened and closed my mouth like a fish as my throat went dry. Now that I’ve been given a blank cheque, I suddenly did not know what to do with it

“Ehn? I’m listening”

“You don’t give me enough attention” sounded very petty so I kept quiet. And finally, when I opened my mouth to make peace he turned to his laptop and asked me to go make dinner if I didn’t have anything to do.

“You’re crazy”. I said before I could stop myself.

Later that night on my way back to my hostel I would beat myself up badly and wonder if I overreacted and wish with all my being that I had left then or let the matter die. I would curse whatever made me leave my hostel for his apartment in the first place as I tried to bring myself to go back, to confirm what I had done. Presently I lifted his mattress to sweep under it and saw it…a red thong that most definitely wasn’t mine. And that was when hell broke loose.

Cold night wind rushed against my face as the bike man sped along recklessly. On another day, I might have reprimanded him, but this night I basked in the comforting euphoria of the feel of cold wind rushing against my face. My eyes stung and tears rushed down the slope of my cheek, I could feel my bones quaking. I blamed it all on the cold wind. I tried to not to dwell on it. I let myself go, calling him mean and self centered bastard who did not know the worth of what he had. I ruminated on the way I screamed the place down and shoved him against the wall so hard that his legs tangled with the table and his precious laptop clattered on the tiled floor. The sound was so melodious I wanted to dance to it. I remembered how I laughed as he looked on in horror. Then came the time when I saw fireworks explode behind my vision and wondered briefly how it came to be until I realised Ike had dealt me a thunderous slap. I shoved him harder against the far side of the room, grabbed my backpack and ran out like hell was at my heels.

I got to my hostel and laid awake all night, waiting, hoping for a miracle – like Ike calling me…

Ike didn’t call that night

He didn’t call the following day either

In fact, Ike didn’t call me ever again as I feared, because when I had gone back for my slippers that night, he was a heap on the ground, gasping his last breath and he didn’t respond to my cries and pleas that I’d never hurt him again while I clasped his head to my chest, sobbing my eyes and heart out.

When the news broke out a couple of days after, I had to put up an Oscar worthy performance to all and sundry about how devastated I was by the fresh news of his gruesome death. Deep inside me was fear that someone will put the pieces together and point fingers at me. However, no one has done that yet. So here I am, freaking out at every sound, heart leaping at every knock, waiting to get caught.

No one knows yet.

So here am I.

Still waiting.


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