True Fear III: Stormy Days
“Who are you?” the woman asked again.
Innocent, all traces of his headache receding folded his arms and looked at the woman. “Na joke you dey joke abi you don dey madt?”
Slowly, she stood up and tightened the towel around her body. She was still trembling a little bit – but it was not as bad as it was in the beginning. Innocent repeated his question, but this time he added her name.
“How do you know my name?”
He looked at her, trying to see if there was a smile lurking around in her eyes – or at least another clue that would indicate to him that there was something going on. But you don’t live with someone for five years, day in day out and not at least have an idea of the kind of person they are deep down.
There was nothing about the woman’s mien or demeanor to suggest she was anything but serious.
Innocent didn’t know what to make of it.
“I don’t know who you are and I don’t care. But do you know what will happen if my husband finds you here like this?”
His heart thumping loudly in his chest, Innocent shouted, “Henrietta, are you mad?! I’m your husband!”
The woman shivered. “You?! My husband?!” She shook her head slowly. “Look, please don’t put me in any wahala. I beg you in God’s name – I have never been a bad wife…” she stopped talking as Innocent turned and stormed back into the room. “The door is not there o!” she yelled as she followed him.
Innocent did not answer. Instead, he walked to the bed, snatched up the picture frame on the bedside table and handed it to the woman hurrying up beside him without looking at it. She took the frame from him and looked at it, and then handed it back to him. “Look,” she said.
Sour taste of unexpended adrenaline in his throat, Innocent looked at the picture that had been beside that bed for the same amount of time he had been married to Henrietta. It was a picture of a bride and groom, holding each other and promising each other forever with their eyes. It was a picture of what is hailed as one of the happiest days in a woman’s life, the day she officially becomes one with her man…
Except ‘the’ man in this case; the man in the picture was no one Innocent knew or had seen before.
Obviously, it wasn’t him.
He felt as though the ground was shifting underneath his feet and he put out his hand to steady himself. The small frame fell from his hands, and as though from a distance, he heard the woman’s tiny keening cry…
And everything went black.