He loved her.
And no one could explain why.
He loved her when she had crooked discoloured teeth which protruded out of her bulbous mouth.
He loved her when her breath stank so badly that it brought tears to the eyes of the perceived.
He loved her when her skin was dry and scaly, so much so that she looked reptilian.
He loved her when her legs were so bow, it made her walk like a duck.
He loved her when her spoken English was so bad, it sounded like she was possessed by some spirit and was speaking in unknown tongues.
He loved her when she was held hostage by JAMB and couldn’t gain admission to any university to study anything.
He loved her when no one else did.
He loved her when everyone else laughed.
He loved her through the lonely nights when she cried.
He loved her to the edge of suicide.
He loved her to selling his father’s house.
He loved her to paying for the surgeries.
He loved her to paying for the dermatologist.
He loved her to the dentist’s chair.
He loved her through the healing.
He loved her to the JAMB classes.
He loved her to her matriculation.
He loved her to her convocation.
He loved her to her call to the Bar.
He loved her from the old her onto the new her.
He loved her because he loved her.
For him, she was his destiny, the one who he couldn’t wait to one day call his wife.
And one night, he drank too much and bedded another.
And upon hearing this and vituperating with anger, she screamed at him after rendering his house asunder.
“Don’t you ever come near me again, you heartless bastard. I will go find someone who truly loves me.”
She went with the wind so far away that he could find her nowhere.
And so it was that she married another.
A man who loved her for what she is and not for what she was.
Until one day the doctor told her that her womb was a landlord who forbids tenants.
And her husband was provoked so deeply that he beat her so regularly and cursed her so continually that for the sake of her life and her sanity, she resorted to a divorce.
It was then that she remembered the one that had truly loved her.
So she went in search of him.
And she found his weed-infested grave.
Lying lonely in a deserted cemetery, with the words written on the tombstone:
“Here lies a man who loved so deeply and lost the one he loved so completely that life for him rolled on so hopelessly that in the darkness that consumed him so fully, death by his own hands, was what life paid him for his love so mercilessly.”
And she wept.
Written by Jude Idada