by Daniel Nkado
‘Why do you like me?’ she asked.
She often asked me that question—why I like her. Why anyone could like her.
‘You are beautiful, Elizabeth,’ I told her. I wanted to touch her cheek and she shied away.
‘I have to go now,’ she said. ‘I will see you tomorrow.’
‘Wait!’ I held her arm. ‘Will you marry me?’ I asked her.
Her eyes froze on my face. My chest pounded from anxiety.
‘Please,’ I said, when the silence dragged on.
She shook her head and ran away.
The night of our wedding, she cried on the bed. ‘Thank you,’ she was saying. ‘Thank you for marrying me. I never dreamt this.’
I was smiling. I held her face and kissed her. ‘I should be the one thanking you instead,’ I said to her.
‘But I’m afraid,’ she said, turning away from me.
I smiled at her. ‘You have no reason to be, my love.’
That night, it was hard to finally be with her. It was her first time ever. I was careful; I wouldn’t want to hurt her.
I looked at her face often, checking to see any sign of strain so that I would quickly withdraw.
But she endured. She loved me.
But I later hurt her.
That afternoon she caught me with Kate, all she could mutter was ‘Why?’
I was too ashamed to speak, to even look at her.
She ran to the kitchen and I didn’t follow her. I was scared. I couldn’t believe I did that to her.
I never imagined a day like that.
‘Leave now!’ I barked at Kate.
She got up quietly and wore her clothes.
Quietly, one shameful step after another, I entered the kitchen.
There my wife lay, stiff-still on the tiled floor, the kitchen knife standing on her belly.
A piece of paper was beside her. I picked it. On it she had written just three words.
‘I told you.’
She told me. She did.
They say now that I am insane, but I still remember how it all happened.
She told me.
Daniel Nkado is a Nigerian writer and journalist, the founder of DNBStories.Com.