It had been an amazing day, Chidi had married his heartthrob of five years. It had not been an easy ride to be honest; from staying celibate especially when his flesh had wanted to devour her to the countless prayer meetings and fasting.
Chidi knew what it was to be in the world, he had partied hard, carried women, clubbed well. Infact it would be ideal if he said he had rocked the life of his head and still met with Christ before everything kept spiraling out of control. He counted himself lucky and he knew he owed it to Shade, he felt he had eaten his cake and had it at the same time this sometimes-brought guilt to him because his friends where not all that lucky. The day after he finally decided to quit the life they were all involved in an accident and no one survived. He knew he would have been in that car and this guilt spurred him on to be the best man he could possibly be and preach Christ to as many that came his way. Though Shade was not the one that invited him to church that faithful day, but she had made it her life’s mission to win him for Christ. She followed him up, she called him, text him and made sure to pray with him and for him he later found out. Sometimes he wondered what she saw in him to not only put in the work but even consider him for marriage.
Chidi was good-looking no doubt, he was also intelligent and making a good amount monthly, but he knew Shade was not all about that, even when more spiritually grounded men came to ask for her hands she insisted on him. When he even brought it up and asked her why she would not go for someone worthier than he, her answer shook his very foundation. She said, “when you have God, you are worth it besides His ways are not our ways neither His thought our thought. His plan towards us is for good and not for evil to give us an expected End”. Her words silenced him, and he had to pray really hard to be the man she prayed and hoped he would be.
Shade was pretty, she was bright like the sun if he could say that. She did not use makeup, but her beauty still radiated and when she walked into a place everyone did not have a choice but to stare. She was like a magnet that attracted all to her and Chidi was not immune. He struggled with the thought during their courtship, but Shade made the burden bearable and that is why Chidi was excited as they drove home. She had insisted she wanted to sleep at home that night and not in any fancy hotel. They could always make the trip later. Chidi drove fast. His body was on fire for his bride and he knew he still had the moves though he had been celibate all through the years since he gave his life to Christ. He wanted to show her just one thing he could boast he was better than her in. The thought but a grin on his face as he drove even faster, “Mr Nwankwo, this smile I see on your face, I hope it is not what I am thinking ooo” Shade asked in sarcasm, already reading his mind, “Oh! Mrs Nwankwo it is that very thing you are thinking. I am on fire”, “I hope you are on fire for the right purpose, for Him alone”. “Oh baby cut that out, you know my loins burn for you this minute and it is perfectly legal and righteous now to KNOW my wife as the Bible said” the both laugh, “sha take it easy, it is not formula one, we have forever to keep KNOWING each other till you are tired”, “I can never be tired Shade infact eeh! You will be the one to beg me to stop”, “I believe your government sir, sha take it easy with us, you know it is our first. You do not want to leave scars of war there” “Then why am I a warrior if I don’t?” Shade gave Chidi the shocked look, “Oh come off it darling I am only joking. I will be as gentle as a dove till you want me to go all Lion on you”, “I know only one Lion young man and he is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” “Oh yes and the funny thing is, we are joint heir of the same Kingdom, so that makes me a Lion also. He will be proud of the feat I’m about to accomplish tonight with you” they both laugh as they drove home.
On getting in Shade tried to unpack and arrange the little she could and also warm the food they where given in the microwave. “darling I think we should rest a while before embarking on any adventure tonight” Shade called out, “to be honest I concur, with all the dancing and standing and kneeling and prostrating a quick nap would help refresh us for the journey ahead”. “So, you were forming before, instead of you to have come out straight”, “look at you? Is it because I am being considerate. My motto is Always ready ooo, don’t go and test me Ma” “Oya don’t be angry I was joking sir”.
They tucked into bed, said a prayer together and rested for the night.
LATER THAT NIGHT….
A big bang woke Chidi up from sleep, he looked to his side and Shade was equally awake, “what is going on?” came the trembling voice of Shade, “I do not know but stay quiet let me go check it out”, “Please don’t leave me Chidi”, “I will be back now, Pray to Our father in Heaven”. Chidi tiptoed to the living room and as he opened the curtain the lights came on, his heart skipped a beat and then started to beat so fast he could hear it bound in his ear. “Welcome Mister, we the friendly Neighborhood watch have come to pay you a visit. We have trailed you and watched you from afar, all with want is our contribution and we will be on our way no hassle” came the voice from the man with the pistol. The only one without a mask on being flanked by two other men with cutlass and mask on. Chidi started to pray within calling for help and hoping the nightmare would pass. He was hoping it was all a dream and he would wake up and pray this dream away. “Have you suddenly turned dumb? Please we have other places to visit be quick before I get angry came the leader who had death in his stare. “I…I…I…..I am so sor………ry… Please I do not have money with me here… I………I……….I just moved in please” “Now you are making me mad I hate it when you all do this, you just make it hard for yourselves”, “I am sincerely saying the truth, I just got married and I have used up all I have for the wedding please. You can take the Television or whatever please just leave us in peace please” Chidi said pleadingly, “whao!! Congratulations man, I am proud of you” came the sarcastic answer from the leader of the gang with an evil grin, a dead stare while he put his gun in its holster and clapped. “Honestly, I am sorry for ruining your honeymoon, though I would have suggested a hotel, you seem to me a soji guy now, why did you bring her home though?” there was silence and one of the men moved swiftly and slapped Chidi on the face, “When Oga follow you talk, answer quick”, “I am sorry, She……..she insisted we head home first before going on any Honeymoon” Came the reply from Chidi amidst sobs. “Small, go get the wife let us even see what the bride looks like” came to command from the leader. “Please do not hurt her I will give you all that I have though I do not have cash” another slap was planted on Chidi’s face by the guy close to him but this time he blocked most of the impact. “So, you mean to tell me you do not have cash here, where did all the money that was sprayed on you go? Or you think I am a fool and do not know how weddings go?” “sincerely I will not lie to you. I am a Christian. The money would be deposited in the bank for us by my Sister I do not like carrying cash around when most things can be gotten through my card. I can always transfer to you if you want please just let us go”, “smart! But I am wiser man, I give you an account the Police can trace so you can find us” “I promise I will not get the police involved. You have my word” “Abegi!!! Na so dem dey always talk. We waka now straight na police my guy go call” came the reply from the guy next to him.
That Moment Shade was brought out by the one called Small and everything paused. The leader stared lustfully at her and swallowed hard his saliva. She wore a see-through nightgown and her curves where seducing, Chidi knew and he prayed like he had never that they would not look at her and just leave. “My man, you carry eye go market” said the one beside him, “Asin eeeh!!! Boss wetin we go do now because this meat too sweet” replied Small, “I am thinking guys calm down” replied the leader. “Please I beg you in the name of God, have mercy on her, have mercy on us. Just take anything and leave please we will fully cooperate with you” Chidi cried out, the tears rolling down his eyes. He felt helpless. “Since you do not want to share the money with us, we will share your possession, don’t worry I am a fair man” the leader said still looking at Shade longingly “Thank you, thank you very much may God bless you. You can take the TV, the freezer, the washing machine, our phones, the Ipad anything at all I don’t mind giving any or all the possession we have” Chidi cried out in relieve. “this guy stupid sha, he no soji at all” Small cut in, “Anyways young man I do not believe in this your God, we has never been there for me when I needed him so I took matters into my hands and became a god and right now you will come to realize just as I did that he doesn’t exist, even if there is that tiny hope he does, he does not care about you or me. I shall commune with your wife and because I am a fair man, I will not share her with the rest of my gang, it would just be me.” Horror was written all over the face of Chidi, the world started to spin before his very eyes. He made agonizing groans that was unexplainable as he begged, but the more he tried to shout the more he was beaten by the man beside him and later gagged in the mouth and his hands tied to his back. Small tore Shade’s gown and set her on the couch for the leader who slowly undressed in front of Chidi while mocking him, “I am your god now beg me, I am your god now I take what I want, when I want and how I want it”, “Chidi struggled to no avail, every time he tried to move he was hit by the man beside him, blood gushed out and mixed with the tears. His body vibrated and his anguished consumed him till he spasmed intermittently but that did not stop the dastardly act from being done. Shade struggled but it was futile, she cried and scratched but Small just hit her at every point. The leader got on top of her, looked back one last time before taking her. She cried out in pain, sorrow and anguish but the leader quickly placed his hand on her mouth. Chidi looked on in total sorrow, he felt increasingly useless and helpless as the man mounted his wife and raped her and he could hear shade saying “Lord take me home! Lord take me home!!! Lord take me home!!” till it became a whisper and got drowned in her sobs. By the time the man was done, she had become unconscious. Chidi was spent, he became numb and was barely conscious himself. The leader zipped up and looked at Chidi with a wicked grin on his face. “She is sweet. Sweeter even considering she was a virgin. I will always be her first now regardless of what happens, and you will always see my face when you make love to her” the leader said amidst glitched teeth. “Just kill me already, just end this pain” Chidi muttered back, “Now you ask a favor from your god. You are wise. Is it not ironic that few minutes ago you beg me with your God and now you realize I am your god and ask for mercy from me and now death. I am glad I have been able to let you see the light and now I will grant your request because unlike that God which you call, I do answer”. The man lifts the gun to Chidi’s forehead and then smiles but before he could pull the trigger, Shade screams, “No!! leave him alone please” immediately the leader turns to Shade and shoots then turns to Chidi and pulls the trigger….
TO BE CONTINUED…………
Categories: Short Stories