It was a dark night. The moon was hidden by the dark clouds that held the promise of a storm and glided casually across the sky. The insects, invited by the previous rains, flirted around the lamps of the street lights, twisting and turning and searching out mate. The gutters flowed with water, the current having cleared them of their debris, creating a sound similar to that of a waterfall. All around the streets lay quiet, no humming of generator sets, no beats from a night party anywhere. There were only dots of light flowing out through windows and verandas.
In most houses, the residents lay asleep. It had been a good day. The Nigerian Military had finally succeeded in apprehending the Boko Haram leader and had arrested its key supporters too. The people had rejoiced in the streets, churches had closed early to join in the celebrations for it was a Sunday, the beer had flowed freely in the bars and the drunks finally had an excuse to indulge in their vice. Some private transport workers even slashed their bus fares in the celebration. It was a wonder therefore how the night could be so quiet. At least that was what Brenda was thinking until her husband, Patrick got back from his drinking spree.
Brenda was a beautiful dark skinned woman of an average height. She was slim and fit with long black hair and perfectly set white teeth. During her school years, she was the desire of every boy and man who was considered rich and famous enough to date her. Her intelligence and pleasant character got her many friends and as such, she seemed to be perfect, save for one problem; Brenda wasn’t the best judge of character as evinced by her choice of men. She was known to have dated the worst ill-mannered men in the city, spoilt brats of wealthy parents and occasionally, to everyone’s horror, cult leaders. It was her pathetic inability to discern between good and bad men that drove her to marry Patrick, despite strong warnings from her friends and well-wishers.
Three years of marriage without any children had left Patrick angry and on the verge of taking a second wife. When he was told it was against his family’s traditions, he resorted to expressing his frustrations in the form of abuse on his wife. The first time she suggested that they see a doctor resulted in her going to see the doctor on her own and telling him she fell off the stairs. She got a slap the next time she brought it up but by the third time, he agreed. The beatings intensified after the results came in a week later, revealing Patrick as the source of their problem. Five years passed and Brenda developed a means of limiting the intensity of the battery; silence. She became a shadow of her old self. She became extremely introverted and accepted any decision he made, right or wrong.
As Patrick stumbled through the door, she knelt down and welcomed him. He grunted a response and plopped down into the couch.
“Should I bring your food now? Or maybe I should heat it up first.” She offered
“Do I look like I’m capable of eating anything now? Use your head woman.” He retorted
“I am sorry,” She responded “Good night.”
“Come back here! Where do you think you are going to?”
“I am sorry; I was going to sleep in the room. It’s already past one a.m.”
“Are you trying to say that I can’t see or read the time?” Patrick asked menacingly as he rose from the couch.
“No! How can I? I just said it.”
“Come here my friend-,” He burped loudly “This is a night to celebrate.” He pulled her roughly and they both fell back into the couch.
“What better way to celebrate than,” He chuckled “You know.”
“Patrick, please not tonight, I am very tired…”
“Shut Up! Is it not your responsibility?!”
“I’m sorry. I know it is my duty as your wife but I am just so tired.”
He pushed her off himself and got up.
“Nonsense, I am the man of this house and I will get whatever it is I want!”
He began to unzip his trouser.
Brenda knew what was coming. It wasn’t the first time he would go so far. Her rule for surviving the coming onslaught was to submit. She remembered how she was beaten silly the last time she tried to object and resist.
“Come here!” He bellowed.
She obeyed quietly and stood, cowering, before him.
“Kneel down and do it.”
The anger rose like bile within her. The pain and humiliation she had suffered began knocking on her reasoning like a traveller would knock on the doors of the last open inn. She knew what she had to do to escape relatively unhurt but she had had enough. Bruised and battered too many times for her to count, she had worn sun shades on numerous occasions to hide her swollen face. Like a possessed man, he would come and she would surrender. Then he would leave, leaving her hurting and wounded. He would strike like a savage and she would do nothing. This night was going to be different.
“No.” The words came out of her mouth before she even knew what she was saying.
“What did you say?” He asked cocking his head to one side, urging her to repeat her statement.
“I said no.” She sounded more confident. It almost felt good.
“I don’t think you understand what I asked you to do.”
“I understand completely, and I have said no!” She screamed.
In a flash, he had grabbed her by the hair.
“If you dare-” He began
“No! If YOU dare touch me again, you will be surprised!” She cut in.
He looked shell shocked. There was something different about her. There was defiance in her eyes, a type he had never seen before.
“And what will you do if I may ask?”
“For starters, I’ll get my friends involved. Now release my hair.” She said quietly but assertively.
Patrick knew she had friends in high places, both for and against the law. Men who were willing to take him out if meant they could have a chance with her. Drunk as he was, he knew well enough that it was wise to unhand her. He slowly released her and she fell to the ground.
“Why do you treat me like this!?” She screamed with tears in her eyes “What did I ever do to you!”
Patrick was quiet. She had the upper hand and he knew he had to get back into the driving seat.
“I’m tired of you treating me this way!!!”
“You’re making noise.”
“Oh! So now I’m making noise? When you beat me like a market thief, we don’t make noise?”
Her confidence was rising.
“Enough of this rubbish, I’m going to bed.” He turned around to leave
“You’re not going anywhere until we settle this matter!”
Patrick lost his cool. Fuelled by the alcohol lodged in his belly, he descended on Brenda and began hitting her violently. In a couple of seconds, she had passed out. He staggered round the house in search of a rope and smiled when he found it. He returned to the living room and bound her with the rope before dragging her into the garage.
Brenda woke up about an hour later with a pounding headache. Everywhere was dark and she didn’t know where she was. She tried to move but found herself bound with a rope to something. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she realised she was in the garage. She tried to get up but Patrick had done a good job in tying her. She began shuffling towards the end of the rope which she discovered he had tied to the door of the garage. He tugged at it but it didn’t budge, only the clanging sound pierced through the silence of the night.
“You’re finally up.” A voice said.
She turned around quickly and saw Patrick standing in the doorway that led to the living room. Her eyes widened when she spotted a knife in his left hand.
“You’ve been a very foolish girl, and today, I will end your folly.”
“Patrick, you don’t have to do this. I love you, we can settle all this.” She pleaded.
“What do I want to do?” He asked her “Do you think I’m stupid enough to kill you? You must be joking.”
“What are you doing with the knife then?”
“I want to know just how spicy pepper can get and you are my test subject. Since you’ve been so vocal this night, let’s try putting it in your mouth.”
Brenda was horrified. The man she had married was a monster. He was going to torture her.
“So I’ve been chopping up pepper. I’ve been thinking about putting it in even the less convenient places.”
“What do you want, Patrick,” Brenda wept “You can’t point out exactly what I did wrong to you and yet, you’re hell bent on making my life miserable.”
“The time for talk is over woman, I’m in control now. We’ll see what your friends can do for you when I’m through with you.”
“What point are you trying to prove? That you’re a man? You’re just sad and hurt because you can make any babies.”
Patrick froze like a Popsicle. The anger crept into his face and he approached Brenda menacingly.
“Please repeat what you just said.” The venom was evident in his question.
“Am I wrong? That’s the reason why you been treating me like a dog.”
“I said repeat what you just said.”
“I said you’re just sad and hurt because you can’t—”
The slap was deafening. Two more followed in quick succession leaving Brenda curled up on the floor.
“You’re a foolish woman, an ugly fool!”
“We both know that’s not true.” Brenda replied from the floor and earned herself another round of beating. Her whole body was swollen and aching but the defiance felt good.
“I’ll kill you!”
“You killed me a long time ago.”
Patrick stormed out of the garage leaving Brenda with the opportunity to analyse the situation. She knew she had to escape quickly but didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden, she spotted the knife Patrick had brought in on the floor. She knew instantly that was her way out of her predicament. She crawled forward and grabbed it with two hands before gingerly turning it around to cut through the rope that bound her hands. She was almost done with the rope that bound her legs when she heard a breaking sound from the house. “Patrick must have broken something.” She thought to herself. After cutting the rope free, she got and stumbled. The pain shot up from every part of her body and resulted in an intensified headache to which she winced.
“And where do you think you’re going to.” Patrick asked from the doorway. He was bleeding from his hand. He looked angry, very angry.
“I’m leaving.” Brenda wondered where she was getting her courage from.
“First things first, give me that knife.”
“You must be joking.”
“You must be joking if you think I’m just going to hand you the knife.” Brenda answered calmly.
“Don’t make me come over there!”
“I will kill you if you come here!” She spat and for the first time, she meant it. Her heart was beating hard, sweat formed on her forehead, her hands shook with anticipation.
Patrick laughed loudly and began to approach her. He suddenly lunged for the knife but she was prepared for him. She stepped aside and he crashed into the garage door. She kicked out at him and connected with his ribs. They both cried out in pain.
“You bitch! I’ll kill you!”
In a flash, he was back up on his feet and heading towards her with fire in his eyes.
She raised the knife.
He froze.
Flesh surrendered to metal as she brought it down with force and lodged it in his chest.
He knelt down, his shirt soaked in blood.
“You finally did it you…” he coughed out blood
Brenda fell back and wept.
Patrick tried to get up but his knees gave way and he collapsed back onto the floor. In a few moments, he took his last breath.
Brenda sat, staring into space. She didn’t move or shake. The tears fell silently. She would remain like that until the neighbours came to check up on them 2 days later…

Categories Short Stories

4 thoughts on “Snapped

  1. Dis story is amazing..I could picture d story graphically…GOOD WORK


  2. I hate it when i have to get to the end of a story myself. It is so tragedic. I’m so sorry that i’m a lover of the good life and happy endings, but i can’t help it. I have to say your use of imagery is almost so accurate. I could see it in my back eye as i read along. I wish Brenda’s life did not have to end so bad because of some wannabe like her husband. Why do these things have to happen to good people?


  3. Well, I guess we should pray for good judgement in our choices. Thank you for your comments tho. Very much appreciated. 😀


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