Previously on 88,000 Acres of Bad Shit,….


The image in the mirror doesn’t reflect who I am. My names are Nneka Mandy Nnanda. I’m traditionally married to Akala Kudzu. I didn’t drop my father’s name nor take his name because at that time I felt it was a hurriedly arranged type of marriage. But with time I gradually learned to love him. This time I dipped both my feet into the murky waters called love. It’s a strange unabated feeling.

It’s been a week now since he got discharged from the hospital. He claimed that he needed a break. Our conversations seem banal oflate. He drifts to sleep often as soon as he closes his eyes. Whenever I’d ask him he’d always claim that it was his only way of escaping the misery that accompanied him. He claims that I’ve been haranguing him lately and that sleep is his only escape. He’s been mumbling in his sleep lately.

I should have been happy atleast that I got rid of him for a week but instead I felt robbed. I felt short of something. I was used to his constant complaints but instead it was filled with a dark void which didn’t feel okay. For once I was worried about him. I mean, which wife doesn’t worry when her husband doesn’t come back home? Even if he shows up in the wee hours of the night, it’s okay. Though it still pisses me off. He knows how to push me through the wall like I didn’t exist at all. Perhaps he’s trying to get rid of me. But why would he do that?

I was working in my office when his mother called me and asked if I’d seen him. He hadn’t been home for three days and he hadn’t called. An unusual behavior of him. I was worried that maybe he had been waylaid by armed robbers or he’d been murdered and his body was thrown in some godforsaken sewer. It kept tormenting me that I knew none of his whereabouts. Not even his drinking buddies knew where he was. I couldn’t afford to loose my husband when he had not yet sired an offspring with me. He must be in some place where’s he’s safe. That’s what I comforted my soul with.

We both haven’t been on each others good books for a couple of months. Maybe I pushed him to the edge, or I forgot our language of love. Truth is for a long time before I decided to turn I away from my shenanigans, he was the only one in the picture. I never quite liked the girl who stared back at me whenever I looked into the mirror. I didn’t love her back at all. I should’ve been a blur in the background so that his picture would be perfect. The vows we made when we were both 24 seemed nice fairytales. But happily ever after has been plunged deep in an antagonistic never ending crisis. I highly doubt if he believes in them vows. A couple of times I’ve found porn links in his browser history. At first I thought that he was looking for ways to spice our sex life which was diminishing at an alarming rate. We grew apart as the days rolled by. Distance became our child and he became excellent at parenting it.

Back to the present,…..

I’m still puzzled on how he managed to fly under the radar. I got a message from a little birdy about his whereabouts. He wasn’t pleased regarding that I broke off his honeymoon with his handsome self when I showed up with his mother. He was agitated and he wished that he’d be somewhere else rather than be with us. But he came home, which was quiet a surprise and a shocker to both mother and I. He’s been quiet. He only speaks when spoken to. He spends too much time on his phone or laptop. It’s either work, chasing money or he’d slave away his hours watching some boring documentaries. Something doesn’t feel right at all. Even the cats seem to have a holiday from all the beatings and curses. There’s an unusual calm within him which seems unnatural. Akala was a creature of habit. Most Sunday mornings he would be hangover ladened, he would meet with the boys in the afternoon and watch soccer matches in whatever dingy pubs they’d decide to shelter their heads upon. On normal days he would curse alot in the morning, he would go to work early and come back late. He would drive in the wee hours of the morning announcing his arrival with his ear splitting noises that came from his newly installed anti lag exhaust system. On Saturdays we would drive a cool hundred and fifty kilometers to his mothers place. He had a thing about homemade food.

Before he ran off, we got into some huge ass argument. I found out that he was seeing another woman behind my back. He neither denied nor accepted liability. Damn, he’s so good at refuting. In my blind rage I slashed his brake lines. I regretted immediately when I heard that he was involved in a terrible car crash. His car was written off. I was glad that he came out alive. I didn’t mean to get him hurt. That part strained our relationship farther. He’s always wanted out. He’s grounds of him wanting a way out was because I couldn’t bare him kids. He hates all this cause it was all arranged. I can see that he’s grown out of it. He doesn’t look at me like the way he used to nor touch me like the way we were in our prime.

We’re not that bad financially, I remember confiding my deepest fears to my sister. Instead she said, “people are always who they are. Our assumptions about them cause us to be surprised when they act or do something aligned to their nature. Don’t be too harsh on him at times.”

At times I just feel it’s me, myself and I that I’m riding through this murky waters called marriage. It seems I’m the only one in the picture and the hunger driving me to fight for what’s mine is growing stronger. The sky glows with a golden tinge tonight. Nothing changes knowing now that he wants his way out more than anything.

I’ve been swimming in money, it’s perhaps time that I swam in liquor and try see if my liver is mighty to do the rational thinking on my part. I won’t go down easy. I’d fight for what’s mine rightfully.

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