Wednesday the 12th of January 2017. Exactly a year, 14 hours, 17 minutes and 45 seconds after Martin and i both died. I was rather unfortunate enough to wake up 3 months after, with a blessing and a curse. Mostly the latter. Martin on the other hand got a first class ticket to hell or wherever it is the afterlife decided to accommodate him.
7 month’s pregnant with a black eye, wearing my favourite nude silk nighty without the robe. The bell rang for the 5th time in ten seconds. As i hurried out of bed, half asleep, running down the stairs three flights at a time. Past the dinning table that held the dinner i made 5 hours ago. One last turn and i unlocked the door on the 14th ring. I prayed he wasn’t too drunk this time, but as always he was about 5 shots or more past the drunkometer. He slowly entered into the house, walking past me, and headed for the room. No complaints, no abusive words, which was downright peculiar. It was the first time in forever anything like that would ever happen. I took a long deep breath, locked the door and headed for our bedroom, got back in bed and tried to sleep. He lay silently beside me his back against mine without uttering a word. Eight minutes later he requested i brought him dinner. Once again i went down the stairs, warmed up his food and plated his dinner. A half full glass of water, a guava and a knife for him to slice it with becsuse Martin didn’t want anyone doing that for him. He sat up as i plated his dinner in front of him, giving me a long stare, his eye’s fixed on mine, his eyes were blank and emotionless, the effect of the ivory, alcohol and maybe Juju’s green made his pupils look dilated. I knew that by 2pm the next day he wouldn’t remember anything he did the previous night, ask that I forgive him, buy me something expensive. Most likely something from one of those exaggerated designers with complicated names i wouldn’t ever be able to pronounce. I knew this Because i could tell this was going to be one of those hellish nights and he would wake up as sorry as sorry could get. As i started to go back to bed he held my hand, piercing my skin as his nails dug in from his tight grip. Still silent, this time he wouldn’t look me in the eye. His eyes looking down at our unborn child like he just realised we were expecting. The silence lingered for a minute and 18 seconds, i knew better than to walk away, so i just waited. The silence continued for another minute then he asked the most mundane question ever.
” Why did Buhari sell us dreams?”
I didn’t have an answer to the question, well i did have an answer, but it sure wasn’t the answer Martin wanted to hear. Hell, i didn’t know if the man was for or against Buhari that night. So i took a deep breath, looked at him and then the dinner that would soon be flipped over and said;
” i don’t know Martin, people aren’t always who they seem to be”.
He looked at me as if trying to translate what i just said from gibberish to something that made actual sense. He squeezed my hands really tight and then he suddenly let go, his palm covered his face, he looked at me once again before flipping over his dinner. I froze at the noise the plate and cutleries made as they met with the floor. This was it, another long night of yelling, crying and a blacker eye.
He began mumbling stuff i couldn’t hear and then got up, he was still fully dressed. He wore the white shirt I’d gotten him for his birthday and a True religion jean. He was sweating profusely though the air conditioning was on full blast. He grabbed my arm and made me face him.
” look at me you dumb bitch, look at me!”
As i met his gaze he slapped me and pushed me to the bed. He struck me two more time’s. Once on my neck the other on my stomach. He then ripped off the sleeve of favourite nighty. Sweat dripping down his face and saliva splattering on me as he yelled. My head hurt but that was a walk on the beach compared to the excruciating pain that came after Martin struck me repeatedly on my stomach. I tried to curve into a ball and protect my baby from the recurring blows but it was no good. I knew things were going to get way worse if i dared move, but i wasn’t going to let Martin kill our child. I’d rather he woke up the next day with our baby safe and sound in the walls of my tummy than letting him beat her out of me. I struggled to get him off of me. His grip was firm, his hand’s wrapped firmly round my neck. I could feel myself begin to fight for air as we both fell to the ground. I managed to land a strong resounding kick at the back of his knee, giving me some seconds to crawl into the living room. My legs were numb and I could barely stand as i grabbed the arm rest of the two sitter and tried to steady my breathing. That was usually the end of the brawl, Martin would tire out and pass out some minutes after but this night was different. He came out of the bed room sweating more than he was earlier, he looked like a totally different man. I didn’t know who that person was and the look on his face suggested whatever was left of Martin wasn’t any good. I tried to make my way to the other room and shut the door till whenver Martin’s crazier alter ego was gone. Six quick steps in and he charged towards me with great force and i fell to the ground with him landing on top of me. The effect of his weight was unexplained. It was then i realised he was holding his guava knife. I struggled to get him off me, kicking, biting and scratching my way to freedom. I was finally able to land a direct punch directly to his left rib. He rolled over at the effect, dropping the knife. I picked it up and crawled my way through the ebony centre piece and other pieces of furniture that were now in places they weren’t designed to occupy. As i made my way to the stairs the smell of blood hit me, not from my head or any other part of my uper body. The blood was sliding through my thights and covered what was left of my silk nighty. My head hurt like hell and my vision was becoming blury. As i tried to make my way through the first flight of stairs Martins dragged me back. Landing an effective blow on my side , still holding on tight to the knife, i cut him by the calf and tried to free myself from his grip but the cut didn’t seem to have any effect on him. He was suddenly numb. He tried to get the knife from me as he locked his legs firmly around me.
“” it’s you and me baby, till the very end”
Those were the last words that came out of his mouth as we struggled for the knife few inches from the stairs. I knew we were going to roll over the marble stairs if I’d stabbed him right there. The chances of me surviving was zero to none. But what the hell! I’d lost my baby and i was as good as dead. At this rate Martins was going to kill us both, why not do the honours? I thought. The knife cut through my arm as i used all the strength left in me to turn it ninety degrees towards Kene and plunged it into his stomach. He froze! his entire weight lay on me as we both went down the stairs. I felt my neck and other vital bones break as it came in contact with the 30,000 dollar marble Martin specifically ordered from Italy. The man did love his marble. That was the last time i saw Martins. A knife plunged into his stomach and his birthday shirt covered in his own blood.”
Hyperthymesia is what scientists call it. A perfect memory, an autobiographical memory. Most people are Born with it, but my neuroligist says mine is a rare case. The effect of the multiple hits my brain suffered as i hit those flights of stairs rewired and woke up parts of my brain that normaly should be asleep. That was Martins gift to me. He made sure i remembered every single detail of his existance for the rest of what was left of my life. Voluntarily or not, my brain could dial up the perfect memory of that night. Now a year, 15 hours and 56 minutes i am standing exactly where it all happened. For some reason I feel the need to revisit where it all happened. Where it all ended and where it all began.
Np: This post was insipred by David Baldacci’s Memory Man.