By – Andrew Mejire Etoh
Stanleyyyyyyy!!! she screams and jerks herself back to reality. At first she is quite relieved it was just a bad dream, then as she lays there, funnelling the dream back and forth searching for meaning, the bruises on her arm reminds her of the nasty fight she had with Stanley and the messy breakup some days ago. She glances at her phone screen. Its just 2:15AM, no text messages, missed calls, BBM or whatsapp messages. She swipes the phone screen to unlock and then runs through her whatsapp contacts only to discover she had been blocked from sending chat messages to Stanley. She hurriedly runs a search on Facebook for Stanley Chidebere Okafor the search returns with no results he had blocked her on Facebook too. She feels a tinge of anger mixed with panic, fear of what might become of her, bitterness and pain from loss.
A Facebook picture post of a young couple and a new born baby captures her attention; her cousin Juliet is the young lady with her husband in the picture with their second child. Suddenly, a jolt of pain hits her with mixed feelings of joy and envy preening her thoughts, her eyes wells up with tears as she hugs her pillow. In her head the same unanswered questions prodding where did I go wrong? am I just unlucky with men? what do I do now? how did i get here? she contemplates why good and decent girls like herself had remained unmarried while the wild ones end up happily married. Her hurt confounded by the realization that she wasnt in love with Stanley, after all he was married, but she couldnt bear the thought she would have to fend for her self now.
Amaka had let herself believe the illusion that the affair with Stanley would end up with her becoming Mrs Okafor. Sadly Stanley wouldnt divorce his wife and worse,, had gotten new girlfriends he now fancied the way he had previously fancied Amaka. She recalls the moments she accompanied him on every business trip, moments of total devotion, always at his beck and call, satisfying his need for a companion, a lover, a friend, mother, maid, messenger, friend, play thing and cook.
A twinge of guilt and disgust reverberates through her, she had gotten used to the luxury that comes with having an affair with a wealthy married man, she hardly remembers the last time she bought a bathing soap or toothpaste for herself. She soon finds herself like many other young women who define their lives by men they can never truly have, crippled by their culture of dependence, with desperation in their eyes, Brazilian hair extensions on their heads and designer handbags on their wrists. She realizes, she is just like many women who lose themselves in such kind of relationships, women who cant do anything for themselves.
Amaka feels herself submerged in a lake of low self esteem, self pity and worthlessness, as she lay there, drowning in regrets of what could have been her life, if only she learned to be an independent woman.