Vero hissed for the umpteenth time as she looked at her wristwatch again. Her anger was evidently reflected on her facial expression – furrowed brows, twisted lips at the corners of her mouth and very red eyes from crying earlier. But, she had since moved on from crying and blaming herself. She had gone from first trying to figure out if there was something she must have done wrong, or if there was anything she hadn’t done well or enough. She had had enough reasons on those counts to blame herself. She knew she definitely had shortcomings, the biggest one of which was she was not very well-schooled like all those other girls who had gone to higher school and earned themselves a degree and the rights to wear high-heeled shoes without feeling like fish out of water. But, several hours of internal rumination and analysis of the situation at hand had gradually eroded those emotions and feelings of guilt and self-blame. Besides, the voice in her head won’t stop talking, giving her confidence.
This was not about you. It is all about him.
As the hours wore on, those initial thoughts and rationale for self-blame were replaced by others – more defiant, forceful and maliciously murderous ones. One in particular kept popping into her head.
All men cheat!
No matter what you do for them as a woman, give them yourself as a human sacrifice if you like, they will still go astray like errant dogs. She had felt she had been lucky, lucky to be blessed with a man who was different from all those other men. She had been blessed with a God-fearing man, a man who relished and appreciated her place in his life. A man who accorded her the respect such a vaunted position warranted. She had felt quite the lucky girl to find love in a man who would be every girl’s dream. She had counted herself even luckier that she had found that her man had taken her, with all her faults and shortcomings and at no time did she feel insecure with him or around him and his friends.
But, how things change.
All men cheat.
The voice needled into her brain, flexing and reaching into every corner of her reasoning. She sat there, thinking about it.
All men cheat.
Then it came again, the voice. It stole in on her silently sowing the seed in her:
But, which man will cheat like this?! Only an animal will do this! And he is the worst animal of them all!
She clutched at her head, how did it get to this without her even suspecting? Her world had come crashing to a grinding halt that morning. And everything since then had only added to her sense of misery.
One picture, and her beautiful world of loving peace came crashing before her in a jigsaw puzzle of hurt, pain, heart-wrenching betrayal and unfettered seething rage at him for taking her through this fool’s ride for so long. For, after that one picture, she had stumbled upon several others. It was like been in a dream and never really waking or really sleeping. She had been lost somewhere in the middle of wakeful realism and somnambulistic existence. But, time won’t stand still for ever. It can only do so for a few moments; and her moment passed like seven hours ago.
Men! They all cheat. They are the most treacherous of beings on the face of earth. No man could be trusted.
Now she knew that for a fact.
No man would ever stay loyal to a woman for the length pf his lifetime. It was how they are, what they are. They will always at one time or the other go off foraging in the wild.
She now knew this; but, the thought which kept ringing in her head won’t give her the peace to accept and settle.
All men cheat!
She picked up her phone and began to dial his number, he should have been home by now. Her anger and seething rage yearned for a confrontation. It was like an all-consuming fire engulfing her soul and charring her mind. She had ran the scenarios in her head like a billion times. She stopped hitting the dial keys. If she called him, she will definitely betray her emotions. They always had this thing when they talk on phone or in person, in her current state it would be too obvious something was wrong.
She dropped the phone on the bed in frustration.
Her eyes glanced at the wall clock, and just as she was glancing away she heard the door knob turn, and the voice say….
She had no idea where the voice came from, but she knew it was not hers but yet was hers. She was the voice that was not her. And the voice that wasn’t hers was now in-charge of her thoughts and actions.
You have to end this today. For your sake and for the sake of your inner peace and happiness.
As the door swung open, she saw him and instead of the loving man she had dated for the better part of four years, what she saw repulsed her. Instead of the calm, handsome face which always made her croon at how God could have crafted a demi-god and put him in her life, she was looking at the face of a monster. The eyes were hawkish and ugly, and there were three horns sticking out of his head.
Vero closed her eyes.
Open your eyes and behold your god!
Immediately, of their own accord and independent of her best efforts, her eyes flew open and gazed on a mouth filled with iron fangs instead of teeth.
She put, her hands against her ears. She was beginning to get scared. She was shaking and rocking her body back and forth. She saw him stop at the door step. Maybe he will leave her alone now and go back to wherever depths of hell he had come from.
But, he moved forward and towards her.
He is coming for you now. He will lie to you and you will forget the mortal crime and sin he had committed. You have to end this now!
As if in slow motion, she saw him stretch long talons towards her. And she recoiled from him, but the arms just kept growing longer and the talons bigger and sharper.
You have to protect yourself. Get the knife!
She sprang away from the outstretched arms and ran towards the kitchen.
“Ybab. Ybab. Gnorw gnihtemos”
She heard the heavy feet run after her into the kitchen rather than saw him. It will not be too long before the monster caught up with her in the cramped space of the kitchen. She had little time to decide.
As she reached the kitchen table, her hand curling around the kitchen knife, she felt the talons grab her shoulders and turn her around.
In one swift, slashing swing she slit the throat of the monster. Instead of the gooey green mass she expected to see gush from the cut, she saw with wild dismay and shock, the crimson red of warm blood spout from the wound like water gushing from a water fountain. The warm blood splashed on her face, and like someone who had been rudely resuscitated from a fainting spell, she began to focus of the scene before her eyes just as the voice began to fade away.
Well done. You have done well. Congratulations. Very nice cut.
The taste of warm blood which continued to dowse her face within those few short seconds brought her rudely to a state of wakeful realisation of what just happened. The jarring shock of the visual sending sharp sensations into her brain, wave after wave of shock hit her like waves crashing onto the shore. And just like when the waves ride back to sea, dragging sand and debris from the shore with it, something was taken from her too.
She dropped the knife, her eyes bulging out as the figure of Segun fell to the ground, his hand clutching at the deep cut in his neck, as if he can keep back the gushing flow of blood. Vero’s eyes continued to stare in wild shock at the sight of his prone body on the kitchen floor next to the knife she was clutching only moments before.
He is so far away from you now my baby. I own your soul now, baby.
Vero slumped to the ground, sitting in a fast growing pool of blood, mumbling incoherent jargons, her legs drawn deep into her stomach as she rocked back and forth. The last moments of her conscious, sane memory spent staring down at the dead body of the man she had loved lying in a pool of blood that flowed from a cut she had made in his throat.
It was how neighbours found her an hour later, when the call for help from Catherine – her ten year old niece who lived with the young couple drew attention.
Her eyes had lost its usual lively vibrancy and they found the phone on the bed. The sight of what they saw confounded the first responders, even when the police were called in, they also seemed clueless as to what could have led to the occurrence.
Later on, people would say that on going through the phone on the bed for clues the police had discovered pictures of Segun in compromising postures and circumstances with Catherine. They said, this was what had caused the malicious murderous rage that had taken over Vero that afternoon.
But, no one would know for sure what made her cut her boyfriend. Whether it was the picture or maybe it was the madness which was already in her blood.
“The Voice in Vero’s Head” was written by ShaiOnTheProwl
Have you read THE MIRROR?
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