Two weeks later, Tanko knocked at the door crying. Caro had locked herself for days in one of the rooms refusing to talk to Tanko, her whole body ached like she had been hit by a German truck
Tanko: “Perle, I’m so sorry! Please forgive me”
Caro: “Go away! Don’t ever come close to me! And don’t ever call me that, my name is Caro Chukwuebuka Okafor! Get it into your skull” she sobbed
Tanko leaned on the wall crying like a child, he lowered his voice
Tanko: “Baby, I swear I don’t know what came over me! The devil controlled my hands, it’s not always me doing it my love”
Caro: “Savage, that’s who you’re! You belong to the animal kingdom”
Tanko: “I swear. I’ll never hit you again! Trust me, baby”
Caro: “How do I even believe you? I thought you said you loved me?” she cried more
Tanko was on his knees crying as she opened the door. In akimbo she stood over him crying. The beatings had become persistent. Every little provocation evoked slaps after which he would come begging and crying. The previous beating she had gotten was because she placed his flower vase wrongly. He had beaten her until she almost lost her sight. This last one was worse; she had to be treated for ear loss and the doctor said the ear lobe was at the verge of being damaged-she was scared she might lose her sense of hearing
Ene held him with the whole of her might screaming as he tried to escape,
Ene: “Make una come ooo! I don catch pant stealer! Iya, Precious, Mama Chinedu,Hauwa! Make una show oo! Breeze don blow, fowl yansh don open O” Mama Chinedu was the to be out held him as she joined Ene in screaming.
Iya Kpati: “Yeh! Kpata stief! Maybe its you its stiefing my garri too sef. Because I refusing to announcing that one abi”
Precious and others joined by the men watched from a distance. It was the women’s call. Kalu was in his room he refused to come out. Since the break up incidence with Caro he had gone into the shell of oblivion; He hardly ate, couldn’t sleep, his thoughts were all negative. Countless times, he had slumped and was now suffering from symptoms of Amnesia. Precious took care of him. She had abandoned prostitution and opened a kiosk down the road. Kalu had asked her to date him but she refused by saying,
Precious: “you’re too decent for me!”
Kalu: “Cut me a slack!”
Precious: “ Kalu you’re still not over Caro. You need time. Let’s just be good friends for now! I want you to heal completely, I want you to move on and put the past behind”
She was quite right, Kalu knew it.
Precious spent most nights with him but last night he had walked her out of the room when he fell into mood swing. It was quite early. Some minutes past six in the morning.
Precious: “Let’s not deal with him first. Wait! Let’s hear him out!”
Ene: “Sit down for ground, idiot! Oya” she pointed to the ground, “go down” she kicked him with her tiny feet.
It was Ene that had caught him. Minutes after entering the bathroom she washed her pants and spread it on the bathroom to take inside once she was done bathing then a creaking sound came. Peeping through the many holes that graced the shack of a bathroom a man with a stick was trying to pull the pant that was caught in between the chapped teeth of the zinced bathroom. Biting her upper lip, made sure the wrapper was firm around her bosom then pounced on him.
Mama Chinedu: “Chai! So na you dey tief all our pants wey dey miss fo dis house!” she slapped him.
Iya Kpati threw herself on him but the ladies screamed and pulled her up,
Hauwa: “Iya, dan allah, he is an old man don’t kill please!”
Iya Kpati: “leaf mi lemme killing him. shey pezin wey dey stiefing payint e no deserf to dying?” she flung herself on the old man who groaned.
Precious: “Iya abeg, stand up now!” turned to the old man with injured lips, “But why you dey steal pants na,eh?”
Ene charged towards him and knocked him to the ground with her knee,
Ene: “Idiot! An you go dey behave innocent, innocent for dis compound! See all my designers panties you don steal em finish. See eh, you must carry me go where you dey carry dem dey go!”
The man was coughing, “Water! I need water!!”he cried.
It was Old Soja, he was the thief. After much interrogation and torture he brought out a box in the room and when it was flung opened they all screamed. Everybody scrambled for their panties; he confessed that he sniffed the panties. It was a habit he couldn’t stop.
He stood up with tears in the eyes staring into her eyes as she said,
Caro: “I have forgiven you, but if you dare touch me again then we will be done for good! I am giving you this last chance and its because I love you”
Tanko: “Castrate me if I ever lay my hands on you again! My Angel, My Sugar, You know I love you”
In no time they were on the bed. She was screaming into the ceilings as he gave her a cunning Lingus. They had sex for hours-it was nonstop; the more he gave it to her, the more she praised her heart for not letting him go. He was definitely going to change, she assured herself.
Caro was beautifully dressed in a black gown as Tanko adorned a brown matching outfit with a hat. They were going for an associate’s birthday at Lekki. Tanko had a habit of choosing the colour of car that matched with his outfit; no one could ever imagine he was a wife beater.
Tanko: “So Perle, what car are we going with?”
Caro: “The black porshe!”
Tanko: “why not the brown Lexus?”
She came close to him and rolled her tongue in the ear, the right. A shrill ran down his spine and there came an arousal, “You’re going to kill. Definitely!” they giggled.
Caro:”Dying in my in between is going to be haven!”
Tanko: “I don’t mind being your Samson!”
At the garage, she pushed him into the back of one of the cars and they were on it; another bout of sex. Before arriving at the venue realizing that the road was unusually free they parked and had another; that was how it was for them. If there wasn’t a squabble then it was sex all through! Getting to the venue, they met a lot of people. Eyes were flushed at Caro who seemed to be the most gorgeous of the women in attendance; except for the healing scars on her face. Tanko never gave her any breathing space, he kept ranting,
Tanko: “why is that guy staring at you?” Caro smiled ignoring his comment. It irked him the more, “See his fake suit, it’s from bend -down –select I’m sure” then referring to another guy, “why is he licking his lips and staring at you? Do you know him?” he turned to her.
Caro: “No!” she picked a glass of wine from those serving.
Tanko: “He is still doing it o! mtchew! His grand father must be snake!” Caro had to cackle but she not too loud to avoid mucking up her make up, “Eh, see oo! Even this pregnant man,”he referring to a pot bellied man on regalia, “he won’t mind his business with his Oyo tattoo on the face.ugly looking human.He must have been a hunter who fought with a tiger!”
Caro was feeling uncomfortable,
Caro: “I think we should get going!”
Tanko: “Why?” he was beginning to upset.
Caro: “it’s been one complain to the other!” she whispered.
Tanko: “That’s cos you are mine and I cannot share you with anybody!” A guy smiled at her and she smiled back, “why are you flirting with him in my presence!” he claws his fingers into her arm.
Caro: “Let go of me. Tanko! You’re hurting me! ” he relaxed his grip noticing that his actions were beginning to attract gazes.
The celebrant came and shook hands with them, Eugene was his name.
Eugene: “Caro, let me steal Tanko for a minute, please!”
Caro: “Gladly!”giving Tanko a stern look.
As they walked away,Tanko looked back and pointed two fingers at his eyes,
Tanko: “They are on you!” he whispered!
Caro: “Go to hell!” she whispered back.
Caro was really upset. Tanko was very sweet and romantic but he had anger issues and was unbearable most times. The only things she enjoyed were the numerous gifts, treat and sex. She couldn’t claim to be in love with him. It wasn’t love. Kalu was the only man she truly loved, “Kalu, how are you? Hope you’re good?” she sighed as she sent the message to him. The thought of Kalu made her grin!
A man walked up to her, “Hello!” he said.
Caro: “Hi!” It was the guy that was smiling at her. He was chocolate in complexion with a charm smiling very handsome and he had a nice fragrance. Tanko was handsome but he was no match at all, “Bayo is my name!” he smiled again and Caro felt herself having a knuck knee, “ca…ro. Caroline!” she managed to say.
What was wrong with her? She thought. She needed to put herself together.
Bayo kept talking and talking and she was laughing. He was a very funny guy. Their conversation lasted for more than thirty minutes and there were no traces of boredom at all. He told her a joke,
Bayo: “There was a pastor who was returning from a conference then he stopped by some ladies hawking then the bread seller ran to him and he said to her if you can give me a scriptural reference that has to do with bread then I’d buy everything and quickly she said ‘Jesus said I’m the bread of life’he kept to his promise, “Caro was already cackling “then the apple seller ran to him and he told her the same thing and she answered, ‘You are the apple of my eyes, God talking to King Davi’impressed he bought everything. Then the yam seller came to him seeing all that had happened. The pastor asked her to do as he’d told others and she said, ‘God said Iyam that Iyam!”
Caro was sent into an uncontrollable cachinnation. She didn’t care about her make up anymore. Bayo was smiling. Tanko out of the blue dragged her into the car, Bayo was screaming, “Your number!”but Tanko zoomed off.
Seeing Caro’s text made Kalu cry. It sent him into another round of desperation. Precious was raving with madness,
Precious: “What’s wrong with Caro? Why can’t she let you be? I thought you were nobody to her”
Kalu was crying and staring into the phone. Out of anger, she grabbed the phone,
Kalu: “Please, don’t delete it! Pleeeaase!”
Precious deleted it,
Precious: “Get angry with me if you want to! I have deleted it, she should give you some space and not make your life more difficult”
Kalu threw himself on the bed crying then all of a sudden, he stood up gawking at Precious with veins strung out on the fore head,
Kalu: “Get out!”
Precious tried pacifying him but he chased her out.
Ibe and Jude were headed to Kalu’s house,
Ibe: “Brother, Kalu don turn vegetable cos of woman oo!”
Ibe had met Jude some weeks back. They were friend on campus the thereof them; Ibe,Jude and Kalu. Kalu was the most intelligent of the trio but Jude was from a very wealthy family. He had traveled out from his masters when he returned his father was made a director at NNPC and he was employed and transferred to Abuja. Getting to Abuja he bumped into Ejiro who gave him the contacts of his friends.
Jude: “Na wa oo! I can’t believe what I’m hearing o!”
Tanko pushed Caro to the ground and started battering her for close to twenty minutes, he kicked her stomach, strangling her
Tanko: “I’ll teach you the real meaning of savagery!” he tore her gown sprawled her legs open and went in dryly. She was in pains but had no strength to fight back. The eyes became bulgy as he got the peak of satisfaction; zipped up, spat on her and left the house, “Prostitute!” that was the last she could hear.
Ibe, Jude ,Precious and others rushed Kalu out of the room. His body dangled lifelessly, he had written a note before sipping a bottle of pesticide,
“Caro my sunshine, my all
I have loved no other but you; and even as I cry in pain, I crave for your love. You were the only woman I could do anything for…and now I cannot live without you…you were my backbone, my strength, what else would keep me in this world?
Caro, the world is an empty space without you. Till we meet again, Caro! I loved you till death”
The whole compound was in tears. No one could believe it.
Question: Will Kalu survive? Would Caro survive the battering?
…SEE Final Episode, 22 Below (For Trending AdeLove Stories, Follow our Twitter HERE)
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