The Eyes Do Not Lie

By Ikenga Chronicles July 23, 2018

The Eyes Do Not Lie

–Chioma Ngaikedi,

Six able bodied men wearing white t-shirts with a blue inscription¬† “Apams Funeral Services”, lowered him into the grave. The shiny mahogany casket hit the ground in a thud.

The thud sounded like the echoes of her shattering heart. She was standing beside the heap of red soil, drawing her black shawl tightly around her body, battling to contain her grief.

He was gone. Forever.

She twisted the diamond ring on her fourth finger. He had given it to her two years ago on her 22nd birthday. He called her his soulmate and said the ring was the token of his love. So, she didn’t listen when her sister told her to get a young lover instead of a 48 year old sugar daddy.

She didn’t care when her best friend disgraced her at the university faculty car park to the glare of all the students, calling her ashawo and telling everyone that she had a sugar daddy.

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That night, he had cried with her. Cradling her in his arms, he told her that fate had played a cruel one on them to have been born decades apart.

She didn’t listen when neighbors said he was deceiving her.

“The eyes do not lie,” she told them.

Her eyes fixated on the casket. She cried at the pain the memories brought.

“To all those who loved Cornelius Igeh. Take heart,” the Priest’s voice boomed through the mic. The cemetery was silent except for the faint coughs and the shrill cries that Cornelius’ wife released at intervals like a choir mistress raising a new song.

“The Lord will be your fortitude. Be strong in this trying times, ” the priest said. His eyes focused on the short, fat woman who was Mrs Igeh. She was standing with her sons. Michael. Jacob and Eddie. Tall, fair men who had their father’s face.

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She knew all of them. Cornelius told her about them. He told her when Jacob got admitted to Harvard, and when Eddie had an accident. He had even invited her when Michael got wedded. She had dressed exceptionally nice for the occasion, doled on her glittering red sexy gown that was no way in line with the purple and gold dress code.

She knew the rules. She knew that they cannot be seen talking in public. She knew that Cornelius must maintain the charade of a loving, faithful husband. Still, her heart broke when she saw Cornelius smile at his wife as they chatted with guests. She watched the fat ugly pig remove the food particle hanging at the corner of Cornelius’s lips.

Jealousy pumped within her where she sat at the far end of the hall.

She got up, strutting across the hall, she grabbed a glass of wine and began to flirt with every man in sight. She felt Cornelius’s eyes following her across the hall. Noticed how his jaw tightened when she pecked a guy and how his hand clamped into a fist when her dance partner reached for her butt.

But Cornelius sat still, maintaining the charade of a faithful husband.

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That night, at Royal suite hotel, wriggling beneath the bedsheets, he poured his rage. He took her without foreplay, without kisses. With every thrust,he labeled her his. With every moan, he offered his heart.

The first heap of red soil that poured into the grave sent her knees buckling. She let out a wail. Tears ran down her eyes. With every heap of soil poured, a piece of her died.

She remained there, kneeling by the grave. Long after everyone had departed. Long after the moon had risen in the sky, she remained. Mourning another woman’s husband.

  • Chioma Ngaikedi is a writer and film maker whose works appear mostly on www.chiomangaikedi.com
  • Photo credit: Pinterest
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