…a short story titled ‘Happy New Year’, I wrote it almost two years ago and found it in my archives…enjoy!
Sadia stared intently at the clock, willing its indolent hands to go faster. Midnight drew nigh and she felt the air being sucked out of her as she anticipated that final boom. She had always imagined how she would die but suicide had never crossed her mind. She wondered if 70 hot brothers would be waiting for her in paradise but the thought of another man laying his finger on her caused bile to rise up in her throat. Her stomach twisted in revulsion as she begged the images that began filling her head to disappear. She didn’t want to remember and that was the reason for her haziness the last couple of days. Jemima assumed she was a junky, she saw the pity and disapproval in her eyes but even she knew better than to interfere.
Sadia sighed as she clutched her tummy. It had felt hollow since that night. A part of her had been removed and she wasn’t sure if it was entirely Alhaji’s fault. She spat as she glanced at Alhaji heaving and writhing on top of her, eyes closed, lost to the world. Murder was too good for him, too good for her. It had taken her 10 years to decide what punishment best suited the crime but her mind hadn’t waited that long. The punishment had started the first time the tears failed to come, the first time she didn’t struggle as hard. Alhaji had noticed, she remembered his smile at having broken her finally. She died that day and even the loss of her womb had not been able to provoke emotion, just emptiness. She moaned as the pleasure built up mingling with his in sinful melody. There could be no atonement for her. The jury found her guilty and the more her mind tortured her with feelings of unworthiness; the more she succumbed to the passion that emanated from this single act. She had started planning this day 5 years ago and she knew it would be poetic justice that they die together. She needed to do this for Hassan. She remembered the first time she laid eyes on him…
She had wandered along the busy streets, eyes glazed, oblivious to the blaring horns and hustle and bustle around her. She had come to buy rat poison. She had decided that she would beg Meme to allow her make dinner tonight. Meme was going to her uncle’s house for a wake and would jump at the offer. Hassan must have seen the look in her eyes as she bought the poison. He knew that look, remembered it from days training in the far dessert. He knew deep down that no rat would be dying tonight and even as he warned himself to mind his business, the striking girl with the sad eyes and determined mouth had him enthralled. Sadia was in no mood for chitchat but when Hassan remarked that rat poison was a slow and painful way for anyone to die, he finally caught her attention. He hadn’t asked too many questions, hadn’t provided her with much information but he had done something he thought he would never do, he had told her about his timeline. He had no family, made no friends but had confided in Sadia that in a few years, his phone would ring and his time would be up. He had asked for no money in exchange for his death, just the peace that came with leaving behind his troubled past and a chance at atonement. He didn’t care too much for those he would take with him. They were better off dead anyway. And in a kiss more laden with promise than passion, the deal had been sealed. He would teach her all he knew and in exchange she would carry out her plan without fail or compromise. He didn’t know her story but she believed in heaven, maybe Allah would give them a chance to be together in heaven but if He didn’t then it was all the same to him.
Sadia hadn’t died that day, Rufus had. She had cooked the food with the poison alright, not wanting to stake all her plans on the stranger at the market but just as she turned off the gas, Alhaji had grabbed her bosom from behind, causing her to jump at the unexpected intrusion and her insides had churned with a mix of hate, disgust and desire. Eight hours later, she lay asleep in his bed. Alhaji watched her, Meme would be home soon. He left the room hastily, determined to expunge all evidence. He hastily dumped the uneaten food on the refuse heap outside and never saw or heard the troubled barks of his beloved canine as he ate his last.
Sadia was ready by Christmas but had taken her time. Getting Meme and Jemima out of the house tonight had proved quite a challenge but when she got Alhaji involved, he had made it happen. The sick pervert couldn’t pass up another opportunity to possess his offspring and she closed her eyes tight to block out the lustful curl of his lips. She watched the minutes pass by. Alhaji would be home by 10pm, he had gone to drop his wife and niece himself. Sadia wore a black robe and underneath it the red underwear Alhaji liked. She felt nothing, not even fear, just a cold emptiness. She glanced at the clock again, it was time. Alhaji heaved in her ear drowning out the first chime. She counted the chimes as the third, fourth, fifth, sixth rang in close succession. She closed her eyes and searched for the button on the contraption beneath her pillow. She thought of Hassan and the suicide bombing in Kaduna the week before. The eleventh chime went by, she looked straight into Alhaji’s eyes and with a voice laden with hate she said ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ and then pressed the button. The boom was the last thing she heard…