Richard felt as if a part of his body was being
pulled out as Ifeoma tightened her grip. He was
too shocked, and honestly too much in a pain to
strike at her. Thinking about it, he often regretted
not punching the life out of her with his free hand.
He screamed out in pain, begging her to stop.
Strangely, the more he pleaded the more Ifeoma
tighten her grip. To ease the pain, Richard bent
slightly, as if he was kneeling. He could almost feel
his testicles melting away under the crushing hold
of his wife.
Ifeoma lunged at his nose, as he bent a little below
her height. She increased the pressure on his
penis. Richard scream out in pain. Ifeoma bit into
his nose, as hard as she could. He felt something
like sweat crawling down the sides of his face, only
it wasn’t colorless, it was bright red in color.
Instinctively, Richard struck his wife on her throat.
She scream out in pain and freed his penis and
nose. She put both hands on
The last thing Richard remember before he fainted
was seeing Charlie tackle Ifeoma to the ground.
.……. ……… ……….
Richard turned into the street that his parent lived
all his life. The street was empty and deserted as
usual. He liked it that way. Too tired to open the
iron gates, he packed in front of the fence that
enclosed the bungalow building that his father had
built years ago.
“Later I will come and drive it inside” Richard
As he opened the door, he felt something.
Something was out of place but he wasn’t sure
what it is. He was uneasy.
“It’s probably the after effect of being home alone”
Richard said to himself as he chuckled. He turned
on the light and the television before going into the
kitchen to pour himself a glass of juice.
The three o’clock news was being shown on the
television. A youngish woman with a brown
spectacle balanced on her nose was reading the
news. As Richard stepped out of the kitchen, he
heard her say:
“… The owner and chief herbalist of a traditional
home in Njaba local government area, was this
morning attacked by three persons, they are
believed, by police, to be mental patients in the
healing home. However, reports reaching our news
desk has it that two of the assailants has been
arrested and the third, a female, is still at large. In
Richard froze. It all started falling together, in
Richard mind, why things had seem out of place
when he came in. Ifeoma was here. He could feel
her presence. The smile of coconut butter cream
which she used on her hair hung in the air. He
hadn’t noticed it before but now… now he could
perceive it, as strong as he had perceived it five
years ago. He had always liked the smell.
He wasn’t scared of her –he was just scared of
what she would do. This time around, he would
not hesitate to smack her as hard as he could. She
still tormented his dreams. In them she was,
always chasing him with a blunt kitchen knife.
Which she used to cut off his penis and then she
would plunge the bloody meat into her mouth. And
as he shouted, Ifeoma sawed through his man
meat with a salvage energy and laughter. The pain
of the blunt knife was indescribable, even in his
dream. Blood lined her hands and mouth, giving
her the appearance of a vampire that had just
received his worst Christmas present from his
human friends. He wasn’t sure why he never raised
his hands against her in his dreams, something
was always pinning him down and holding his hand
down. But that was a dream. Reality is far much
different and, for all intent and purposes, he
planned to strike hard and fast.
He heard her footstep as she came down the
stairs. Richard walked back a step or two. His
heart beating a fast staccato beat. She came into
view. She was so beautiful, more beautiful than
she had actually been on her wedding day. Her
long natural hair had been cut short, thus giving
her a school girl kind of look. Her lips were painted
a bright red and her eye lid was neatly lined with a
black eye pencil. She was wearing a long red gown,
that she had split into two and as she cat walked
down the steps, Richard could see her slim, long
legs. Those legs stirred something ancient in him.
A desire to have her there and then. To make love
to her till she was incoherent and speaking
gibberish. But he suppressed the feeling.
“Richard!!!” Ifeoma shouted when she saw him. Her
face was lit by a beautiful smile. She pulled up her
skirts and ran down the stair. “Oh darling I’ve so
missed you, how are you…” she halted on seeing
the look on Richards face.
She came a step forward, and Richard took two
“Richie am so sorry. I didn’t mean to attack you. It
was that stupid woman, I think she was in my
head, she told me that you were cheating on me
with Charlie’s wife. Am sorry. I shouldn’t have
listened to her. I promise I won’t listen to her
again. Can I hug you?” Ifeoma asked. The look on
her face was beyond innocent and sweet, so
innocent that it would have made an angel jealous.
“No,” Richard said in a deep voice, he narrowed his
eyes and looked straight into her eyes. “Don’t
come near me. What are you doing here in my
The innocent look disappeared from Ifeoma’s face
and was replaced by look that was akin to devilish.
“I see you didn’t miss me. She was right –the
woman in my head. You were cheating on me with
that black witch and I know that you don’t love me
anymore. She was right. And I made her go away
because I wanted to believe you“. Ifeoma
screamed. She stamped her foot on the floor and
then looked up as if something just occurred to
“How is my daughter? Nnenna?” she frowned and
then laughed, “I never liked that name, Nnenna, is
like a song and a useless repetition of redundant
names. Father mother? How is that a name? Who
answers that?” she smiled an evil smile “but you
liked it, and I had to like it too so you would be
“D–k, I like that name, it suits you more than
Richard. Richard sounds too mundane, and my
God! What a boring name. But then you’ve always
been too traditional, conservative and boring. It
drove me out of my mind along with that baby’s
crying every second of the day. You know she’s is
just like you, Nnenna, too boring and ultra
conservative. I guess you all get it from your
mother, my dear, dear mother in-law.
“Where is she, by the way? I’ve been waiting for
her, wanted to have a chat with her. So she could
tell me what I did wrong. I know she was the one
that fed those ideas into your head. She told you
to f–k that woman, Charlie’s wife. And she told
you to put me out of your house, our house.”
“How do you know that?” Richard whispered in a
voice that was a little more than a whisper.
“The woman in my head, she told me. She knows
everything. Don’t look so shocked sweet D–k, I
know you f—-d her too,” Ifeoma said in a drawing
voice. “She told me that she loved you, but you
broke her heart. She warned me that you’ll do the
same to me. But you don’t expect me to fold my
hand and watch you break my heart? Did you,
sweet D–k? What a nice name. I know your
mother have turned Nnenna against me. She never
liked me and I tried to be a good daughter in law.
Where did you say she went again, sweet D–k?”
“I don’t know. Please come let me take you back
home…..” Richard began
“Don’t you dare patronize,” Ifeoma screeched, she
pulled at her short hair and jumped up and down
hysterically. “Don’t you dare lie to me? You think
am crazy don’t you” she stopped smiled and
started removing the sleeves of her gown, “let’s do
it here on your mothers cushion. Let’s f–k, like we
used to do”
“Ify calm down. Maybe later. We’ll do it…” Richard
started to say
“I knew it. Liar. You never loved me. You still want
her. Ahhhhhh” Ifeoma screamed. She ran towards
Richard, but he hurriedly stepped aside. Ifeoma ran
into the kitchen shouting. Richard went after her.
Yes he was scared, but to his utter chagrin, he had
discovered that he still loved her. And wanted her.
Seeing her like this, like a crazy woman, had broken
his heart –despite his earlier resolve. He wanted to
reach out and touch her and hold her close to his
chest. But once bitten, twice shy.
Ifeoma stopped at the kitchen sink, smiled and
raised up her hand. A knife gleamed in her hands –
the one he had seen in his dreams.
“Ifeoma stop, don’t play with a knife. STOP,”
But Ifeoma kept on walking towards him. Slowly at
first. She stopped for three seconds, smiled again
and then she rushed towards Richard, knife raised
high, poised to strike. Instinctively, Richard reached
for the pestle that his mother always kept by the
door, near the cupboard. He swung. A strong single
A red blobby matter spattered on the kitchen wall.
The knife dropped from Ifeoma’s hand. Her head a
red mess. Ifeoma fell to the ground and breathed