As I hovered in front of Korku, trying to stop him from opening that door, it finally dawned on me that this was the man for me, the love of my life, a man who had loved and respected me, except for that single dark spot when I had found him naked in the bath with my best friend.
This man had begged me over and again, asking me to believe in him and forgive him, but I had been so bitter and hurt that I could not trust him with my heart any longer.
But now, when it was too late and I was just a floating spirit, I faced the painful truth finally: I should have forgiven this man!
He had been my husband, and he had begged me till the day I got married to Tony. He had been in such torture and broken down completely when I told him I was going to marry Tony. This loving, gentleman had gone on his knees and wept like a baby, begging me not to break his heart, telling me he simply could not live without me.
But I had spurned him, still hurt deeply by his betrayal, and had married Tony.
And now, as he stopped suddenly and looked down at his boxers, and then picked up a bathroom robe and slipped into it, I knew without any shred of doubt that if he opened the door, let Esi in, and made love to her it would simply kill my soul!
It would give me a thousand times the pain I had felt when I saw Tony and Yaa Yaa. With them, I had felt furious and disrespected. It had been a great feeling of disgust and revulsion!
But with Korku, it would be a different kind of pain!
It would be jealousy, betrayal, and a really fractious experience that would have killed me again if it had been possible to die twice! And so, I buzzed around the room furiously, wanting to dim the lights and scatter stuff on the floor…anything to make him stop and not open the door for Esi!
Korku pulled the robe around him and belted it, and then he brushed his hands across his face to wipe the tears away. He reached out, turned and opened the door.
I was peering intently at him, and I saw the look of disgust and fury on his face as he looked at Esi.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he asked furiously, and when I saw the hatred in the depths of his eyes, I hovered away from him with horror!
Dearest, sweet Lord…had I made a mistake? Had Korku really been innocent?
Esi sighed, and on her face was a look of sheer dejection as tears suddenly came to her eyes. She placed the back of her right hand inside her cupped left hand and looked at him with slanted lips of remorse.
“Korku, I came to ask for forgiveness for the atrocity I committed against you, for framing you,” she said and took a step into the room, forcing my dear beloved Korku to take two steps back.
“No, no, no, no!” I moaned in great anguish, and if I had been able to cry, I would have probably wept a tank full of tears that morning. “Esi! Please! Don’t tell me you made me divorce my sweet love because of a lie!”
But Esi did something worse!
She suddenly fell on both knees and wrapped her arms around Korku’s legs, putting her right cheek against his thighs.
“Korku, I’m so sorry!” she wailed as I hovered and looked at her slackly like the fool I probably had been all my life. “Please, find it in your heart to forgive me! Please, I beg of you! I didn’t mean to hurt you so badly!”
Korku took deep breaths, and then he reached down, grabbed her hands and forced them off his thighs, and then he took steps back out of her reach and looked at her coldly.
“No need to apologize now, Esi,” he said coldly. “I’m a Christian, and so I forgave you a long time ago, and I’m not holding any grudges against you. I was taking my bath, and you stripped naked, and came into the bathroom, begging me to make love to you, and offering to be my mistress, Esi! I tried to be kind and gentle to you even when I rejected you, but you struggled with me, and in the end, you made me lose Afia’s love. I’ve forgiven you, yes, I have, but I’ll never forget what you did to me! Never!”
He uttered the last word savagely, causing Esi to flinch, but she remained on her knees with tears streaming down her cheeks.
She had lied!
It was confirmed now!
My husband had not tried to rape her!
Esi, my supposed best friend, my adopted sister, had offered herself to him, but he had refused, and in his refusal, she had struggled with him in the bathroom until I came along, and then she told me he tried to rape her!
My soul wept with the pain of being burned alive! I remembered it all so vividly now as if it was just happening!
When I burst in on them in the bathroom, Korku did not even have an erection!
Instead, his sweet lance even appeared to have shrunken because of his anxiety and revulsion of what had been happening! He had not been in the mood to make love, to rape! Oh, dear Lord…that should have told me the truth!
A man about to rape a woman would have had, at the barest minimum, a half-turgid male organ…not a completely deflated one!
Oh, what a fool I had been!
Oh, Korku, my love, my sweetheart…please forgive me, Korku! Oh, Lord, what had I done to us? Forgive me, my breath! Oh, Korku, my love, my only love, please say you’ve forgiven me!
I could have wept blood if I had been able!
What had this evil girl done to me?
But even as I wept so violently without shedding real tears, something worse happened…again!
Esi got to her feet, still weeping, and walked slowly toward my Korku, who still took steps away from her until his back came up against the wardrobe.
She stopped in front of him and put both her hands on his shoulders, looking intently at his face.
“Oh, Korku, now that we have lost Afia, I have to make a full confession to you, my dear,” she whispered tremulously. “You know I loved Afia like a sister! I would have done anything…anything at all, for her!”
You filthy, stupid, motherfucking, menstrual clot, lying, bitchy-witchy devil!
I screeched and lashed around at her head, simply wanting to kill her that very instant. I had loved this girl, and I had treated her like a part of me. Her words had been sacrosanct, and I had hurt so badly because my husband had, to all intents and purposes, mistreated her.
Looking back, I was convinced I had not forgiven Korku simply because of Esi’s constant air of doom whenever she spoke of the incident, and her tearful face as she kept hammering on the fact that she could not bear to look at him, or see him again.
This witch of a girl had intimated that if I stayed married to Korku, she would stop being my friend because she could not bear to be near him!
And like the fool I was, I had listened to her and believed her acting, and then I had torn my love out of my life forever!
But the import of what she said to Korku was lost on me until Korku looked at her suddenly with raw pain flashing across his handsome face.
“What are you talking about, Esi?” he whispered suddenly, shaking his head numbly as if warding off an invisible blow.
“Oh, Korku!” Esi cried shatteringly. “How could I refuse my best friend, my sister, when she told me she wanted to leave you because she had found Tony and fallen in love with him but didn’t know how to divorce you and marry Tony? What was I to do when she brought up the plan and asked me to try and seduce you, and then she would use it as an excuse to leave you? She planned the whole rape thing that day, and that was why she intentionally left the documents and came back. She forced me to act it out so that she could accuse you of rape. Yes, that was what Afia did.”
You liar! You evil witch! Oh, don’t do this to me, to my memory, I beg of you, Esi! Don’t use your evil tongue to make the love of my life hate me after my death! Esi, I beg you, I beg you, please don’t do this to me!
Oh, if only I could weep!
If only I could scream!
How evil some human beings could be!
Had this monster really been my best friend all along? What had I done to deserve this? I had always looked after her, loved her, taken care of her and her sister and even her mother!
How could Esi be this mean to me?
How could she destroy me in front of the only man I had ever loved? I could take almost everything else, but for Korku to have this idea about me, and hate me after my death…that was something I could not take!
No, not him, not my Kork!
And my heart was shredded into bits, and I wished, wished, wished just to be able to appear to Korku just once and tell him Esi was lying!
But I could not!
It was too late…I was just a dead, hovering soul watching helplessly!
Oh, Lord, please help me! I beg of you, help me…I worshipped you with a true heart, my love, and always stayed on the narrow path, striving constantly to do Your will and fighting for my salvation…please, if You have granted me Hovering Time, then help me, please! Enable me to right injustices that are surely killing my soul, Lord!
To be continued