Love and Duty

Eunice’s emotions were a mess. The tears were welling up in her eyes, along with a painful tightness in her throat that made it difficult for her to speak.

“This is not the life you promised me!” She managed to croak as she grabbed a throw pillow on the sofa beside her and tossed it at the man in front of her “This is not what you promised me!”

The man made no effort to move as the pillow bounced off his chest and onto the floor. He stared at the floor as she yelled at him, looking defeated.

“Kay, I’m begging you, please don’t do this to me.” She wept, tears streaming down her face freely.

“I have to,” He said calmly “And you know I have to. There is no other way.”

“There is-”

“I’m doing this for you,” he countered “I’m doing this because I promised you a life of peace and happiness, where we can raise our children in a loving home. But all of that will be impossible if we don’t demand and enforce better from the government.”

“Please stop, this isn’t about me, Kay. This is about Deji. I’m sorry he’s gone. We all miss him, but you joining those men to fight the government won’t bring him back.”

“But it will stop someone else from dying cheaply. For three years, I petitioned the government and NAFDAC to implement stricter laws on fake drug peddling, three years. In the end, fake drugs killed my brother. How do you expect me to honour him?”

“By living. By staying alive to take care of his wife and son. By staying alive to start a family with me! Am I not important to you?!”

He moved suddenly and hugged her tightly.

“You are the most important person to me, Eunice,” He said calmly “And I love you, much more than you realise. It is because I love you that this is important to me. If I stay and do nothing, what is the guarantee that I won’t die in a week’s time by ingesting fake drugs? What if I piss off one of those bastard politicians in the courthouse and they send assassins after me? I’m fighting for your future. I’m fighting for our future, and that of our unborn children. Do you understand?”

“Kay-”

He kissed her suddenly, leaving her knees weak. She couldn’t think straight. She locked her hands behind his neck and kissed him deeper, wishing she could hold the moment for eternity. Her breathing hiked up and she held on tighter, savouring the moment, lost in a sea of emotions too complex for words. She pulled away gently and buried her head against his chest, inhaling the fragrance of his cologne in deep breaths.

“I love you, Eunice.”

“I love you too.”

His sincerity had always been apparent to her. He was an honest man in every sense of the word, and she often found herself wondering why he decided to become a lawyer. With his intelligence, he could have become anything, even a doctor, but his obstinacy had driven him to law.

“Peace be unto this house.”

The voice that carried the words was a rich baritone. Eunice turned around to find a medium height man with light skin and a strong jaw standing at the door. He wore glasses and smiled like a man with many secrets.

“Senator, please come in.” Kay said breaking their embrace. Eunice’s hurt deepened.

“Please call me Daniel, Kunle. Leave all those titles for the people that care about them.”

“Eunice, meet Daniel Akabueze. He’s a Senator, and he’s the leader-”

“He’s the one that is going to get you killed.” Eunice cut in.

“Eunice-”

“Please just stop. Do what you must. I just want you to know that I tried, but I’m not going to be your fool. The moment you walk out that door, we are finished.” She said sternly, fighting back new tears.

A wry smile tugged at the Senators lips. Kay, on the other hand, looked shell shocked.

“It’s your choice, Kunle.” Eunice added, stressing his name with sarcasm.

Kay looked at her with sadness in his eyes. He took in the sight of her; clad in an Ankara dress with her arms folded under her breasts, rich black hair that had been pulled into a bun, and a curvy small frame that made men lust after her. She really was a beauty.

“Eunice, you’re the most important thing in the world to me, and this fight is for you. I won’t dare ask you to wait, but if you do, know that I will be back.”

With that, he picked up the travelling bag on the sofa and walked out of the room, leaving her on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

“This war that we’re going to fight will guarantee us a better future,” Senator Daniel said as she collapsed into a sofa and wept. “Don’t think it was an easy decision for him.”

As the rebel leader walked out of the room, Eunice, in a scornful tone, began singing the national anthem. She had no idea that her fiancé was merely the first thing the coming civil war was going to take from her.

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Categories Short Stories

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