I hate you. I’m just writing to say I hate you. I hate every bone in your body.
I would’ve never believed. That when I saw you on camp at Youth Service, when you walked up to me and asked me why my hoe was bent; that I’d hate you this much. Ever.
He stopped reading. He had to. It was the sixth time that day that he was reading her letter. The three-year-old ‘hatred’ letter that’d been left in his laundry for him still had a very fresh impact on his brain.
His children; two of them, or was it three?
His wife. At least his first one.
He suddenly asked himself the question that he wondered why he’d never asked before:
Why? Why’d he do it? For what reason? What was the benefit?
He couldn’t put together why exactly he’d done that to the beautiful family he had just five years ago.
His first daughter, Oge, with her soft long hair, his little guy, Chiboy, who never sat in one place; and his wife.
His heart raced as he darted to the bottom of the page, scanning the conclusion:
No longer and will never be yours,
She was a grammarian, he used to love that, and always mused whenever she spoke ‘big English’ in the house, replying her in Igbo so that the house shook with laughter.
But now, now that she used her grammatical wiles to scar him, he hated it. It felt more painful in excellent English.
He almost stabbed himself for thinking he had the right to ‘hate’ anything. Only she did. Only she, and her children, and his second wife, Rukevwe; who was sleeping calmly in the living room.
He suspected that she too was beginning to ‘hate’ him.
He buried his face in his hands, praying that his intentions to patch things up was really not based on the fact that Rukevwe had no kids and he wanted to get Oge and Chiboy back.
He didn’t know why. It wasn’t a mistake; it was the devil. Ah, yes, that serpent was very wicked.
He concluded that that was it. It was the devil, but it hurt that he had to pay for its heinous deeds.
Taurian put the paper back into his phone pouch again, where he kept it anytime he wanted to remind himself that he was nothing short of a demon.
He hadn’t spoken to Kaima for those three years, not the kids either.
Well, obviously, he was too busy drooling over Ruky.
Rukevwe hadn’t given birth. Not for five years now. He prayed again that wasn’t the motive behind his reconciliation with Kaima.
It would just make too much sense. That would be their first resolve: that he wanted to claim the kids, and there was nothing he could say that would convince them of it. After all, he was the heartless criminal.
Convicted for neglect, abandonment and deception. No, he wasn’t convicted. He just had his conscience hovering over him, battering him with guilt.
He solemnly wondered why it was at that time that his conscience decided to rev. Maybe it was because of the picture, the photo shoot they’d had when they gave birth to Chiboy, when he was still humane.
What made him think that ruining the lives of these two women was okay?
Of course initially it wasn’t a ruin, it was just pleasure, self satisfaction, lust, and anything enticing you could name that only temporarily benefited him.
Kaima, he’d left her for Rukevwe when she was pregnant again, with a third child. He didn’t know the fate of the child; whether it was delivered, or miscarried, or dead. He didn’t know anything concerning the lives of any of them anymore. They had been completely scrubbed out of his life, as far as he was concerned.
He didn’t know what to do. He still had her account number, but he didn’t know if she still used it, or if it was even still hers anymore. He was so detached from them. Like they’d never existed.
Like the woman he spent those good, happy years with, had just vanished. Because of him. She didn’t vanish, he vanished. He left her, neglected her, and condemned her to oblivion.
He spent some good times with Rukevwe. but they didn’t last long. After two years of marriage, Ruky was suffering the depression of not being able to give birth.
At that point he didn’t really know if it was her, or if he suddenly became impotent.
He didn’t want to know.
Taurian placed his head on the pillow and wished Rukevwe would never wake up. At least so that his worries would be subdued.
Going back to Kaima was stupid, leaving Ruky was wicked, but staying this way was cruel.
He wondered if she’d ever called again; maybe one of those unknown numbers that he never answered.
You left me with two children, a protruding belly, no support, and a torn heart. Not even my faith can make me forgive you.
Each line of the letter was just Kaima literarily breaking down how much she detested him.
He thought of suicide. Yes, if he killed himself, Ruky and Kaima would have peace, and revenge, and they’d move on and continue to live their lives, like he’d never happened.
Something wanted to slap him for thinking he somehow held a big importance in their lives.
He belonged to da streets.
He’d been watching those kinds of shows with Ruky; about unfaithful partners who ‘belonged to the streets’ and he now realized that he fit perfectly in the street category.
He loved his life too much to take it away. He wouldn’t commit suicide.
He then thought that sitting and thinking of the horrible things that he was would not help Ruky or Kaima in any way.
He would book a flight to Lagos and look for Kaima. At least to grovel at her feet and see the kids, and give them half of all he was worth.
The door creaked open and the tall, dark woman he’d married and nicknamed ‘Ruky’, held out a printed paper with attachments to him.
She wore a straight face and watched him steadily as he took it from her hand. He didn’t need to look at them twice to know they were divorce papers.
Wryly, he smiled.