God is omniscient, omnipresent and ever just, ever understanding and ever knowledgeable, the kind of person who can read our minds. So, if all that’s been said about the ethereal being still holds some truth, I’m sure he’ll grant my wish.
Before date, I had resided in a dingy apartment with naught but rats and their kind as companions, and worst of all, I lived in Nemesis.
Nemesis, the home of filth, promiscuity, and death. An entity who boasted its flourishing dump and its ever increasing number of ne’er-do-wells. So, I was quite grateful, for in my case, a roof supported by hole ridden walls kept me half safe from the dangers of exposure. And also, food existed, the worst kind, but regardless, food existed.
I had lived in Nemesis all my life, and had been numbered with the few who were deemed worthless, but due to the abundant possession of a conscience, accompanied by a generosity which apparently was filled to the gills, my progenitors decided that death was too extreme, and as such, Nemesis was the best choice. I admit, this is not a story of which I was a witness , for I was told of how I came to exist within its gallows by a vagrant. So, being of an age which permitted me the ability to walk, I got up on my two feet and set to fending for myself. I, presently, fully aware of what we refer to as food here, I think God’s angels were sent down to our slum to help us babies.
But then, once upon a time, I was told that within our filth, existed a glowing door, made of shimmering gold, one which would lead us prisoners out of their mess of a home, out out of Nemesis, and into a clean society, a society that boasted an unending number of beautiful homes, rising higher than the other before it, homes furnished with plentiful food and opulence, all these, were conveyed to me by the wisest wanderer in town.
Now that I look back, I was extremely stupid for actually believing, but you know, at times, hope is the only thing that keeps us going when there seems to be nothing to live for, when the walls seem to be closing in on you and any sort of redemption seems far-fetched, we hold on to tales which foretell a sort of happiness.
So, as days ran, bleeding into weeks, speeding into months, and accelerating into years, I could do no more than feed, speak, think and drink, dream forgotten and totally resigned to my fate, my life remained as mundane as it always was. But within this period, I did learn something new - money could get you anything, and I mean, anything. But in order to have it in heaps one must know a money doubler. With such prized knowledge earned by digging through heaps in order to find food for the second wisest itinerant, I set off.
Nemesis had small villages, communities, towns, some worse than the other, and some, way better than most, my home was considered as one of the few habitable ones, one of those in which food could be found, not the best quality of food, and not the best water source, yet, we had something. But I was curious, and I wanted more out of my miserable life, and evidently, the last money doubler who had seen the borders of my town, had been absent in town for five years. So, I set off, with a hope almost battered till its last breath, and no other reason to stay back, to me, an adventure seemed to be the best choice.
The nature of filth and their towering masses acted as landmarks, I kept moving, escorted only by myself, and myself alone, acquaintance forgotten, and all trivialities abandoned. I moved for years, searching and searching. My hope, at some point had taken its last breath, and was beyond being resurrected, so, I stopped. Body and soul weak, heartbroken and mind confused, my surroundings became a blur, so, I collapsed. I felt the rough texture of the ground, the sharp and hot grains of sand, all digging into my skin coaxing it into breaking. On that day, the sky looked glum, it looked exactly the way I felt, and with mind, blank and tired, I shifted my eyes away from the sky and to my environment. Silently taking note of the change in scenery, I noticed him, the odd one.
He was the sun, the type you could not look at without flinching. He was beautiful, adorned with vibrant shades of beautiful, a sun adorned with a skin made out of caramel, eyes, a stunning black, hair, stylishly cropped. His lips had a vibrant red carefully kneaded into their soft skin, a red, which regardless of his skin colour suited him perfectly. His teeth were perfect, and so was everything regarding him. I never actually looked anywhere beyond his face, but, at that moment, my joy knew no bounds because, he smiled. At first, I was dazed, flummoxed, but a startling realization hit me, he was smiling at me. Me, his smile was directed towards me. It was beautiful, the kind of smile which could never be seen on a decent billboard, a smile as vibrant as the sun. He exuded so much warmth, a beautiful warmth, and I felt a great joy, a peerless happiness. He was so odd, so so odd, for all the sun which he gave off was obviously absent in all residents of Nemesis. But regardless, he was divine, and I being spellbound, moved, stealth and steady, with eyes wide, and permanently stuck on him, without the slightest possession of mind, my legs closed the distance.
Within this time, his face, a canvas splashed with so much kindness, seeped into a smile, a striking smile, eyes wide with amusement. But as much as I despised it, and really wanted to make so many excuses, I saw a doubt, a confusion, as minuscle as it was, an involuntary twitch, yet, the sure smile remained. He before me, he looked so close, he felt within reach, no more an apparition, but a being, a live being.
I waited to hear his smooth baritone, for since he was so priceless, he ought to have come elegantly packaged, padded with diamonds, and boxed with silk, yet, I paused, breath held in anticipation, I waited, astoundment leaked into my bones, for his voice was not just smooth, it was silk doused in glorious honey.
His name was Dike. Dike, beautiful, majestic Dike, dipped so carefully into a fountain, a fountain of sweet sweet mel, always the centre of my attention. Our conversations from then on were always the same, he speaking, and I nodding, worshipping him wholely as though he were ethereal. But in all honesty, I remember nothing of our past conversations, for once in my life, I thought of nothing, absolutely nothing, but I felt it, everything, the gorgeous quiet, empty mind, the serene solitude which existed in my head, I loved it, all of it.
But I remember a conversation, the talk, one of the few out of thousands of which we supposedly had. “What’s your name?” I heard name, name, so, I looked, really looked, ” You are beautiful. What’s your name?” “Mma” with voice breathy, I repeated,“Mma, it means beauty.” He smiled, a unique smile, one I had gotten used to. “Mma” he said, “It’s new. It’s different.” To me, plain old Mma sounded more salient, more significant. Most meetings I’d had with people prior to our encounter were forgettable, more of a nuisance, but ours, to me, it was obsessive, addictive, not unique, not extraordinary, yet, it was all things paralyzing and only because, it was Dike. Drunk inducing and heart stopping Dike. Be it in the softness of his features, the naivete in his eyes, an aura which painted Nemesis in vibrant blues, reds and oranges, an obsession which kept rose tinted glasses permanently fixed on my eyes. Perfumed flowers that masked every insult directed at me as compliments, thoroughly insulting comments played off as nothing, just cause he made them.
But regardless, he became my light, the light at the end of my literal tunnel, he became my sun in the always bleak looking Nemesis. My obsession rendered me useless at everything but at worshipping the floors he walked on, it made me his minion, his servant, his zombie. He reveled in the power he had over me, and he did use it, violently
Days went on as they always did, till one, in our usual one sided conversations and amidst the amalgam of sounds surrounding us, I heard “What crime did you commit to get here?” I ceased, vacating my perfumed mind to look, to listen, to seperate the bird-sweet vibe from the words, and actually take his words in. ” What did you say?” flashing his kilowatt smile, his ever verdant smile lighting his eyes with a playful glint, he said, ” I’ve known you for a week and three days, and I’m yet to get the most relevant information from you. What felony did you commit to get here? Cause as far as I know, Nemesis is deemed as being equivalent to or worse than death. We are forced to relinquish our comforts in civilised society and forced to grovel for food in a dump, exposed to so many factors which could lead to an extremely disastrous death. So, what crime did you commit to deserve a fate worse than death?” I halted, shook my head, blinked, then getting my bearings “What do you mean? I was dumped here by my parents when I was just a toddler.” The expression on his face said so many things, but the most dominant one seemed to mock me, to classify me as an idiot, with all the conviction that I was born with a hole in my brain. Then, he said, “That is impossible, we are outcasts, dumped here based on the degree of our crimes, and if I’m correct, you are of a town with way better facilities, your crimes weren’t as outrageous as ours. And if you actually try to look at anything else aside from me, this part in which we reside is the dump of a dump of another dump. So, be honest, we here, we’re all sickos, what did you do?” I gazed at him, puzzled, wondering, and as I thought hard, and long, his words began to echo in my head, echoes, echoes which triggered something. Then, I heard it, an exhale, a sob, the sound of a wail forcing its way out from something, someone, not me, but close to me, and soon, it ceased to hold its anguish back, it grew louder and louder. And soon enough, its origin ceased to be a mystery, for I saw it, I was no longer removed from the setting, I had assumed a role. And before me, a woman crouched on the floor, her pure white chemise stripped of its innocence, marred with blood, her hands, hair, skin, flawless skin, dented with blood. Her head bowed started a snail like rise, accompanied by the rest of her upper body, finally, her bloodshot eyes rested on me, cold, feral, inhumane eyes, rested on me, bleached of all personality, an empty host, her hatred filled gaze rested on me, the only audience present to witness her melancholy, so, I waited, waited for her voice, and for some reason, regardless of the state of her person, I expected a voice, a silky voice, one which had the ability to lull its listener to a beautiful slumber, yet, and to my greatest disappointment, her voiced matched the theme, hollow, angry and scratchy, laced with an unnatural fear, yet, the pride and oozing confidence I had attributed to her, stuck with her. “How dare you? You could have shot her, stabbed her, for goodness sake, you could have even poisoned her, but no, you hacked her head off with a saw.” No, that could not be right, so, my gaze moved from her face to my hands, hands that suddenly felt sticky, a kind of sticky mud could never give. My eyes rested on my hands, but I felt her confidence wither, wilt in my presence, then, I felt an emotion radiate from the beauty who resided in my presence, an emotion my host seemed to be so conversant with, hate and disgust, an emotion that consumed the woman of fair skin. My eyes were on my hands, but I had blanched out, too busy taking in the hatred, but then, my eyes focused, and for once in my life, I was unsure about myself, for my hands held the unforgiveable. A brand new saw, adorned with a beautiful royal blue handle, beautifully complimented by the blood which lay on it, slipping of the blade to settle on my foot. My voice, breathy and tired, “Adanna”, her name was familiar, too familiar, and with that thought, emotions surfaced, emotions I hadn’t felt for a long time, the confusion, a great confusion. I would never, could never, but Nne’s words said otherwise, but I would never even.
I felt the onset of tears, my eyes clouded, just a single breath and I would be a wailing mess, but I could not for I felt it, the cold, the searing pain that possessed my body, the fear that he and only he could awaken, his touch, his whispers, painful, poisonous, addictive. A terrible kind of addiction, so, I stood, and expected his words, words that spelt doom, a velvety voice that foretold misery, ” What are you waiting for? Your family has been exterminated by you, eviscerated by you, even beloved Ada. Your mother is the only one left, what is one more death. She hates you, do you really think she would protect you in the face of the law. She is your Nne, but that does not mean she supports your actions. Just kill her, rid her of the pain that consumes her soul.” His voice, breathy and faint as it was, sounded like trumpets in my head, cold, direct and exact, no hesitation. An ever rising fire ignited within me, a fire of which I was powerless to, but then, his voice, heavenly, a voice which held me, a voice I obsessed over, and then, it hit me, really hit me, Dike, beautiful Dike. A torrent of emotions hit me, hate, pain, anger, shame, all directed at me from me, but soon enough, I froze, I had lost the privilege to own my being, he now dominated, dominated my thoughts, my words, my being. And I felt him, all of him, but not around me, within me, and soon enough, my body was not mine, it was his, all his. THe darkness slowly seeped out of my eyes, but now, there were two corpses, both, headless. Innards lay on the floor, and their heads , they lay in a corner. And I could still see it, the hatred still lay intact in Nne’s eyes. Flustered, sad, and angsty, the memory faded, and I awoke from my reverie, but now, I was really awake, not preserved by the ever flying cherubs that fluttered around me, no my eyes were open, and with them, I saw Dike, and within his eyes lay a selfishness, one aided by a cold and calculating persona, a persona perfected with time, a being hidden, masked by a beauty, a celestial beauty. But now, he was a monster, the worst kind, hidden behind layers of vanity, yet, the worst kind. But, I did not run, cause there was no point, but I left, walked out like a queen, a queen whose soul had been shredded to pieces.
But now, I knew me, I knew my origin, I knew my undoing, for now, I had my memories, terrible memories, questions were now irrelevant. And for once, I appreciated the grace bestowed on me, for in that moment, ignorance was bliss. But now, the veil had been lifted, the spell had been broken. And now, I understand why my home was named Nemesis, it is our retribution. Punishment for our past actions, a suffering I both did and did not deserve, but then, we cannot change the past, but, regardless, I wish I had not been so stupid.
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