By Bilabi Oghenefejiro Joseph
You were the song a lady sang, on a cold night of dreams, broken into bits of sorrow. You were the whispered prophesies of a pious priest, birthing greatness behind crisp curtains, scent of home and horror.
You could have told her love wasn’t a harlot, unsure of the day her dawn would come, like rain and light, washing sad memories of sex and orgies.
Because the night he smiled at her, with a swagger that reminded her of rainbows, she had felt a mere receptionist may never find love in the eyes of a rich boy, son of a popular politician.
Four weeks after, she was in his arms, in a room here, counting his promises of a paradise with her lips. She may have counted a million kisses that night which smelt of happiness. She had preferred sex here in your paradise, where every orgasm melted into answered prayers.
On weekends, she was in his house, peering through his eyes, seeing her future there.
The day it happened, you wished you could tell her not every place beautiful as this was paradise, the home of a loving God. He was in that room again with her, a five star place.
She wanted to memorise every fabric of him and never forget the taste of love. She had started singing along to Celine Dion playing in the background, “and I will always love you…,” when he offered to blindfold her before they had sex, she obliged, because she trusted him.
Suddenly, she felt very strong arms around her neck. He had also gagged her mouth. She knew it was her lover because she could perceive the scent of his perfumed hands close to her nostrils. He kept chocking out the life from her.
She couldn’t cry. She couldn’t even ask him why. All she did was to wriggle and pant for breath. He kept on strangling her until she was stiff, as stone, her tongue protruding from her mouth.
What the lady never knew was, her lover was tormented by demons in his head. That he had attempted to take his own life occasionally. When he was fifteen, he had pushed his own nine year old sister from a four storey building. She shattered into shreds on the hard tiled floor.
Later, he had cried for months. He had been chased all his life by these demons.
He was a hunted soul.
Tonight, as he looked at her, lifeless on the bed, only one thing came to his mind. He found a rope somewhere in the room.
By dawn, he was dangling from the ceiling.
Now, you are the prayers of a pious priest, laying her to rest. You are the paradise on earth, with its little shades of rottenness and glamour, and coloured nights.
You are “Hotel Nigeria”, the beautiful place where a lady sang her last song on a cold night, disembarking.