Fiction, Not Broken

Not Broken 2

Episode 2

Not Broken 2
Ike’s aunt quickly went inside, leaving Runo behind. She was stunned at the wrecked living room with incredible interior decorations and Vwede who sat on top of the glass shards. She shot Runo an accusing glare.
She quickly assisted in stopping Vwede’s bleeding arm before guiding Runo on how to carry her to their bedroom and he was kicked out right after.
Runo decided to clean up the mess rather than dwell on negative thoughts. Trying to get his mind off the events earlier was hard, even harder cleaning the blood of his wife.
Several thoughts raced through his mind, getting too loud for his liking, he stopped cleaning and went upstairs.
Runo barged into his bedroom. “How is she?”
Ike’s aunt shot him a look before she sarcastically asked. “Which part of her Runo?”
“Handle her gently” Ike’s aunt scolded the nurse giving Vwede a sponge bath.
“She’s holding onto something in her fist,” the nurse remarked.
Runo stepper closer.
Telepathic powers maybe? He didn’t know but when he was close, Vwede let go of the last strand of life she held onto – her five-carat diamond silver wedding ring, which rolled off the bed to Runo’s feet.
While Ike’s aunt and the nurses tried to resuscitate the fading Vwede, Runo stared at the endless circle he gifted his wife two years ago, as the symbol of their union.
Squatting down, he felt a strange feeling, a type of fear maybe, or even deja vú but he couldn’t pinpoint it.
It just didn’t make sense to him that his beloved wife would take off her wedding symbol before she passed out.
When did she even have time to remove it?
“Runo” Ike’s aunt called him, interrupting his long endless thoughts before walking out. “Living room now”
Runo quickly stood up, looked at his motionless wife being attended to by a nurse. He got a glimpse of the sky from the slightly opened window, it was still dark.
How long has it been? He asked himself. Longest day ever, or more appropriately, longest night ever. Even my wedding night was this long.
“You want the bad news or bad news first?” Ike’s aunt stern voice rang out as Runo came into her line of sight.
“The bad news or bad news?” Runo mumbled.
Ike’s aunt was trying to suppress her anger and disgust. “Vwede is in terrible shape, I honestly didn’t expect this from you. I will monitor her for the next twenty-four hours before sending her to the hospital. Yes, it’s that bad. That’s not the only bad news Runo. The bad news is…” She trailed off.
She picked up her phone, send a message to her nephew before turning her attention back to him.
Who could blame her for such assumptions? Their home is soaked in a blood bath, Vwede covered in bruises and scars, scratch mark not left out and her torn blouse…..
She shook her head before picking up the cleaning equipment and continued from where Runo stopped.
“What is the bad news? How is my wife? Why aren’t you saying anything?” Runo just couldn’t stop himself from asking.
“Go clean the kitchen,” Ike’s aunt told one of the nurses cleaning up the living room with her while the other one was by Vwede’s beside, closely monitoring her.
When they were alone, she spoke. “How did Vwede injure her shoulder?”
Runo sighed. He should have known it was the reason for her silent treatment. “She incidentally fell down the stairs”
She arched a brow. “Incidentally fell?”
“Yes,” Runo confirmed, wondering why she was giving him a disgusted look similar to Vwede’s.
She ignored his further questions.
Runo groaned at the cold shoulder he was receiving and went to his bedroom.
♦♦♦♦♦
Coco Vwede’s close friend barged into the compound, throwing her car keys to the security at the gate of Vwede’s house. She was anxious after she received Ike’s message about something going down at Vwede’s house.
“Vwede” Coco yelled running towards the front door but abruptly stopped at the sight of a nurse emerging from the house.
“What’s going on?” Coco asked with a frown.
“We were called by the occupants of this house. Do you know them?” The nurse asked.
“Yes”
With a polite smile, the nurse said. “Go in”
Coco ran in.
“Auntie nurse” she was surprised to see her.
“It’s not polite to call people by their profession, I have a name Coco” Ike’s aunt scold.
“Sorry. Ike called me to come over, what’s going on? Why are you here?”
“Runo called me”
Coco scrunched up her face. Why would Runo call for nurses? Is Vwede unwell? We spoke a few days ago, she wasn’t ill but she has been keeping to herself for a while now and she was quite pale the last time I visited.
Ike’s aunt’s eyes were fixated on Coco, watching her every slight movement.
“Vwede is pregnant?!” Coco announced happily.
Ike’s aunt face palmed herself. The out of order living room is enough to know something is wrong despite cleaning but why can’t she just think of the other possibilities?
She shook her head at her.
“I am right. Vwede is pregnant” Coco said firmly. “Let me go see her”
♦♦♦♦♦
They say when you wish for darkness, it appears faster than lightening. I can see the darkness, really close but it won’t consume me. And that voice, is just so annoying and selfish, always asking me to stay. I am sure it’s the reason why the darkness won’t take me.
Vwede groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. Lying still for a few minutes before attempting to move, causing waves of pain to hit her hard.
I thought I was numb. I didn’t feel pains a while ago.
“Babe” Runo who had been watching her from the fluttering of her eyelashes to her failed attempt at sitting up. He was scared of touching her.
The image of her ripping her flesh was vivid in his mind, he couldn’t risk it again.
Vwede ignored him and sat up with difficulty. She was tired and hungry. She removed the duvet from her body and tried to stand up.
Runo was quick to catch her falling body. He sat down on the bed before wrapping her with the duvet and helped her to stand up.
He allowed her to lead the way to the bathroom and he was dumbstruck when she asked for his help to bathe.
Her weird behavior has nothing to do with amnesia right? Or was it bipolar?
How can she detest me hours ago and want me now?
Runo refused to dwell on the thoughts. He happily helped her run the bathwater before waiting outside for her.
He felt like he hasn’t been with her for a very long time.
The surprise didn’t end there. She initiated something else when she dragged her body out of the bathroom.
Who was he to stop his babe from smooching with him?
But it wasn’t the most conducive time. She needed to rest.
“Babe” Runo broke the kiss.
“Please” Vwede pleaded, before kissing him again.
Vwede knew she shouldn’t do this. She wasn’t in any state too but after sinking for so long, she had the courage to stand up and reach for the light. The light was far from her reach but first, she had to perform her duties as a wife. She didn’t want it to be held against her.
♦♦♦♦♦
Coco knocked on the door but there was no answer. She pursued her lips and returned downstairs. Ike’s aunt gave her the look.
“I refused to be a third wheel okay,” Coco said defensively.
“Has she told you anything recently?”
Coco knew who she was referring to. “No, why?”
Ike’s aunt ignored her and picked up her phone from the round glass table in the center of the living room.
♦♦♦♦♦
Vwede wasn’t surprised to hear her friend’s voice outside her bedroom. She had finally decided to grab the bull’s horns, any slight interference could push her into the dark abyss threatening her last strand of courage.
She didn’t want to be strong anymore. She just wanted to breathe.
Vwede stepped out from the bathroom, supporting herself with the walls. She picked her white handbag and phone before reaching for her luggage on the floor, she opened it and pulled out an ankle-length maxi gown.
Runo sat on the bed watching her. She was back to her old self, having a blank expression and lifeless eyes.
Supporting herself with the luggage, she stood up after she was dressed and rolled her luggage towards the door.
“Babe”
“I fulfilled my duties as a wife and paid you for helping me run a bathe, what else?” Vwede sounded exasperated because she really was.
Runo couldn’t believe his ears. “Paid me? Perform your duties?”
Vwede turned to him, using a few seconds to take in the view of her matrimonial bedroom for the last two years. She didn’t think she had it in her to be an interior decorator until Runo asked her to decorate the whole duplex to her taste.
She did well.
“October 11, the international day of the girl child, Susie as you fondly call her like every other male who is fascinated and tripping for her-”
Runo cut her off. “I am not tripping”
Vwede growled lowly as she sat on her luggage, and continued ignoring his denials. “Susie gave a mindblowing speech and you couldn’t get over it. It was all you talked about for weeks. You broke our rules. No call or chats allowed while eating and after 7 pm, except it’s from our parents, Susie was exempted. Susie complimented you and you changed your style of dressing to suit her complements which you got every day after. I am too lazy to stand up, but if you check the calendar on the bedside table, I marked every day you never noticed me expect Susie”
“That’s not true” Runo shifted to the edge of the bed to stand up but she lifted her hand to stop him.
Vwede stared at the yellow wall, she designed with white paper flowers. “Our date night twice a week, Susie was the topic of discussion, if I say something else, you are not interested. Your almost dead social media was resuscitated by her and you upload pictures every day she complimented you. I bought you t-shirts, cufflinks, and sneakers I saw online, which I liked but you never wore it. Susie said such colors don’t suit you. On your birthday, I waited all night for you with Coco and Ike to celebrate your birthday we planned. You returned at 11 pm and said Susie organized a party for you. On my birthday, you sent a message around 9 am after Facebook notified you and the whole platform of my birthday and not a single gift from you because Susie took you out to a new restaurant. During visits to our parents, you were so distracted with Susie’s chat you were never with us-”
“Babe-”
Vwede refused to allow him to speak. “Susie wore an Ankara kimono jacket and she was so sexy and hot, you advised me to buy one. Every day after, you compared me to her. Susie is this and I am not. Susie this, Susie that….I was losing you to her and you never realized you were giving her so much importance. You come home late every night thanks to her, your weekends to her. I had to do something”
“You’re beautiful,” Runo said sincerely.
Vwede’s tears welled up. She blinked several, licking her suddenly dry lips. Every time she thought about it, she couldn’t stop the tears. “I wanted to save our marriage I promise. I fought for you, for us, I….” Her lips quivered.
“Babe please”
“You said I am chubby, Susie’s clothes won’t look hot on me. Men won’t desire me, I can’t steal attention like Susie.” Vwede paused, her tears dropped. “Women would do anything to save their marriage, they would lose weight, change the style of dressing, career fields, do so much with little consequences but because I am cursed, I started a diet and gym then a week later, it was hell. I had dizzy spells, nauseated, fatigue and the headaches won’t stop. My doctor advised me to stop but I refused to lose you. One month later, I fainted while running on a treadmill and woke up to the news of losing our baby”
Runo froze.
“I called you to pick me from the hospital but you never showed up, Susie had to go somewhere. Susie always came first. I told you about it but you wouldn’t listen. I just had to fit into Susie’s clothes, I had to be hot and sexy for you but my body refused. I couldn’t stomach food, I became weak, my hair started falling out, work stressed me, I refused to stop. I just had to save our marriage.”
Runo stood up from the bed, wore his trousers and approached her. “Vwede, listen to me”
“One health crisis after the other. I lose so much weight my body almost shut down, I still wore glamorous clothes and a fake smile to your parties where you ignored me and stuck to Susie. You complimented her not me. I had to be valid, I gave my body to you every single time to remain relevant but it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t think straight, my work suffered and it was query every week until I was fired. I didn’t know if it was the pain of losing my job or my body acting up again, I fainted in a pharmacy I went to get drugs and again, I lost my second baby”
Runo wiped her tears. He couldn’t believe so much happened right in front of him and he never saw any of it. “Please stop”
“I felt so guilty and depressed. I couldn’t eat or move or sleep. I just stared into space, hating myself each day for killing two of my children. You didn’t notice. But I noticed the smile on your face when you spoke about Susie every time, your care for her, giving in to her demands until you just stopped touching me so I could feel valid as a person and maybe redeem myself from the guilt of losing my children. I wasn’t surprised she kissed you”
Runo was shocked. How did she find out?
“You should have waited till I left before you gave her your body but I can’t blame you. I used you to feel valid then I started despising you. We are even.”
Runo couldn’t look at her in the eyes anymore. “I didn’t kiss her”
Vwede wiped her tears and struggled to her feet.
It just didn’t make sense to him. How could he have neglected his wife to an extent?
“Why did you hurt yourself?” Runo asked remembering the scratch marks on her body earlier which he could have sworn he never saw before.
“Twenty four hours of idleness and I never got the answers to my questions”
“Which questions?”
Vwede looked into his eyes. “Why would he do that? Am I not good enough? Why couldn’t I make you smile like Susie? Why can’t I have a perfect figure for you? Why can I satisfy you in bed? Is my body? Am I ugly? Is there something lacking? Am I dispensable? The questions were endless until one day, I was careless and burnt my hand. I felt a different type of pain I could live with than the suffocating pain I had. Every day after I pain till I bleed so I don’t ask questions or feel hurt inside”
Runo broke the eye contact and sat on the floor. This is it. He messed up big time.
“I fulfilled wife duties, no one will hold it against me nor nag you about Susie,” Vwede said before opening the door, dragging her luggage out.