As I stand here, I start to remember my fantasies. They start to dance before my eyes the way they had always done: Slides and fragments of beautiful pictures, beautiful scenes; not memories but haunting hopes, taunting dreams, painful fantasies.
I have always been an ardent lover of romance. When I was little, I stumbled across my parents’ wedding photos. I stared at them for hours. So much love in their eyes; I wanted that. I kept that album under my bed and every night I would pull it out and stare at the pictures until sleep took me to a land of blissful love. As I grew, I became an avid reader. I only read romance; if it wasn’t romance, I wouldn’t read it. Ever since I could remember, I’d read like 5 romance novels a week. I didn’t just read them, i shaped my goals, my hopes around them. I made pretty pictures, beautiful love scenes in my head. I was in love with love. I knew that one day, no matter how cliché it was, I would meet my prince charming, my own talk, dark and handsome hunk who would sweep me off my feet and leave butterflies in belly.
And so I waited patiently for my one true love. I rejected all substandard men who dared make advances at me. I was not going to settle for anything less than perfect. I watched all my friends get married but I remained unperturbed because I knew that when my time came, they would regret ever laughing when I told them prince charming was coming. My mother made things so much worse. She made it a point of duty to call me several times a week feigning tears and screaming “Ngozi!! Ngozika!!! I did not let my mother go to our ancestors without seeing her grandchild. Why do you now want me to die without letting my hands carry my own grandbabies?!?! Your father’s relatives did not let me rest because I only had one child and it was a girl. Now that you have refused to marry and have kids, what will they say?! “. I did not let her constant pestering get to me. After all, it was her and dad’s love that inspired me to seek my own happily-ever-after romance.
Just when my hope in a fairytale ending started to dwindle a bit, I met him. He was a tall drink of water, dark and richly chocolaty, so handsome that Idris Elba or Borris kodjoe or whoever else could not even nearly compare. He was my Adonis. Nonso was and still is the most beautiful creature to walk the face of the earth. Within a month, we were engaged and in three months, we were married. Surprisingly, my mum was not in support; she said something about Nonso irked her. I didn’t mind her because I knew that once the babies started to roll in, she’d be too elated to dislike Nonso. My wedding was exactly how I had always dreamt it would be, it was perfect. I marked it off my mental checklist of fantasies as I had marked off ‘finding the perfect man’ and ‘falling hopelessly in love’. Finally, I was going to have my own beautiful love story; all the many love scenes I had hoped for were finally going to become a real life play.
And now, i’m standing here looking down at a lifeless body lying in a pool of blood. Dead hopes, dead dreams, dead fantasies. Nonso is sitting in a corner with a cigarette in one hand and his phone in the other dialling ‘911’.
‘hello’ he says in a distressed voice
‘my wife just slipped in the bathroom. I need help!’ he says in tears
After the call ends. He chuckles; the same devilish chuckle i’ve heard a million times. He has that look in his eyes. The same look he had each time he beat me, the same look he had when he hit my head against the wall for the millionth time until my body could take it no more and I finally fell to the floor for the millionth time, the final time.
I’m staring down at my own body. Nonso is now weeping because the police has arrived. They are taking my body away. All my attempts to explain to the police, to hit Nonso are in vain. No one can see me, no one can hear me. I’m just a trapped soul in a loveless world.
**this story might seem somewhat cliché but seriously, don’t let your love for romance land you in trouble. Be realistic, be wise, SHINE YOUR EYES ‘cos not all that glitters is gold…Thank you for reading!**