“I’m the hero of this story, I don’t need to be saved.”
I repeat the statement again and again like a mantra until the meaning implodes into itself becoming lost in the chasm of its own overuse, the empty shell of of a dying man’s will to live and the loosening of my tether to sanity.
Two more exits to go, I mentally reaffirm. Two more exits to make a decision, to fashion a suitable conclusion(or not) of my own tale. Slowly, I ease my foot on the brake pedal. Ahead of me is what I had hoped I would not have to deal with: traffic on Third Mainland Bridge. It makes the time to get to the spot exponentially longer and unbearable in equal measure. Worse still, it allows me way too much time to think. And think I do.
My mind embarks upon its unpermitted forays into the events that I have just lived through.
“I can explain…” she had said. The first thought that had passed through my mind was that it was the worst conceivable statement she could have made. If she had said anything apart from that cliché piece of horseradish, I might have considered forgiveness. I might have decided that the fact that she was atop a man who was not her husband while said husband-which just so happened to be me- toiled to fuel her considerable craving for grandeur was not enough proof that she was irredeemable.
So I had courteously granted her the floor to do all the explaining she would. Unsurprisingly, she could not, in fact, “explain”.
I am brought out of my musings by the very conspicuous wagging of a middle finger in my direction by a young man in a car which had obviously been behind me while I thought and forgotten to move forward with the traffic. The middle finger was soon followed by a torrent of curses in distinct Yoruba. Lagosians in Lagos traffic could always provide such love.
My foot eases off the brake and the car rolls forward to the spot just beside the car with the insulting man. “So much fuss for a few metres”, I think to myself.
Again, my mind roams free, unaware or undisturbed by the shackles I have tried to place upon it.
His face had bled quite badly. I will not hit a woman and even then, when the tethers of my sanity were being tested beyond what they had faced before, that cord did not break. He was slightly larger than me and would probably had beaten me in a fair fight but being partially pinned under a woman while her husband repeatedly hit you with a metal flashlight did not help his cause. He’d put up no fight.
By some very welcome twist of fate, the traffic begins to clear very quickly. From what I can hear from the insulting man, a car had broken down and clogged the traffic. It had been cleared. I make a silent “thank you” prayer.
The two exits pass quickly and by the time I finally turn off the bridge to the spot I had chosen, my mind is made up. From the boot of the car, I hear a very muffled scream. Her resolve has returned apparently. Too late though, we are already here.
I had chosen this particular spot for its relative seclusion from civilisation and now as I think about it, I realise my choice was even better than I had initially thought. There would be no one around here for a while, if at all.
I park the car close to a very dilapidated building and walk to the boot. I lift the lid and for one last time I see the face of my lovely wife, pretty even now with the gag around her mouth and the tears streaming down her face while she tries in vain to apologise to a now very very mentally dysfunctional man while the man she had cheated on him with slowly slips into rigor mortis.
For one last time I entertain the idea of lifting her out of the boot and trying one more time to achieve my oh so deluded vision of a happily ever after. But as quickly as it came, the idea crumbles to dust and the madness that she created takes control again. With her own hands, she has ripped my tether to sanity and she will have to deal with the consequences.
With one last breath to anchor myself to the path I have chosen, I slam shut the bootlid, lock the car and start off towards the highway to take a cab home. I cannot hear the screams she inevitably is screaming from even this spot three metres from the car, I don’t believe anyone else will. Maybe she will be found before she dies, I do not care. Her fate is with Fate now. And even now as I look back at what I am leaving behind, an inconspicuous car in front of a derelict building, I don’t feel pain for I am not hurt; I don’t feel joy for I am not happy; I don’t feel angry, I definitely am not. I feel insane, for that is what I am.