Ugochi drove into her compound at exactly
10:30pm. She parked the car at the slot in front
of her apartment, got out and locked the car.
She tried her door, found it locked and unlocked
it with her keys. Ikem is probably asleep , she
thought. He would have locked the door when
he was going to bed; she didn’t think it was
likely though. He rarely slept before she got
She went in, and saw him seated in front of the
TV. He didn’t turn around, or acknowledge her
entrance in any way. Ugochi skirted the small
dining table with just two chairs, and narrowly
avoided stumbling over a pair of shoes as she
walked up to him.
“Hi dearie. You’ve been waiting for long?” she
asked as she sat beside him. She saw he was
playing with the DSTV remote in his hands.
He dropped the remote as he turned to her, and
she was momentarily taken aback by the cold
look in his eyes. “Where the heck have you
been?” he demanded coldly.
She drew back, alarmed by the anger she felt
emanating from him. “I told you I was going to
have dinner with the girls now. Today is
“I told you I was going to have dinner with the
girls now.” He mimicked. “You were having
dinner with the girls till this time? And you
expect me to believe that?”
‘Why not? It is the truth.”
He stood up suddenly and leaned above her.
“Don’t give me that bullshit. Who were you with
tonight? You think I’m a fool? You think I don’t
see what is going on here?”
Ugochi stood up too, alarmed. “What is wrong
with you, Ikem? Please don’t start your crap
with me tonight.” She made as if to move
“Crap? Did you say crap? Are you talking to me
like that?” he grabbed her arm, swung her back,
and before she could adjust her stance, gave
her a resounding slap. The force of the slap
knocked her back on her seat.
She sat there staring at him with a palm
pressed to her stinging cheeks, too stunned to
do anything other than stare, tears streaming
down her face. He stood over her, still vibrating
“Ikem, did you just slap me?” Ugochi asked
“Yes, I did. And if you provoke me further, I’ll
serve you the second round.”
She stood up, her palm still pressed to her
cheek, staring at him, dumbfounded. “What has
come over you? Where is all this coming from,
“Don’t ask me stupid questions. I am the one
with the questions here. Which guy did you go
out with this evening?”
“I don’t have to stand here and take this from
you. Excuse me.” she sniffled as she walked
He wanted to grab her again, but he refrained
from doing so, and watched her go while a
myriad of feelings passed over his face. The
final one that settled in was guilt. He didn’t
know what just came over him. He usually does
not react with such anger, but this time around,
he just couldn’t stop himself from hitting her.
The anger had started to build in him when his
friend, Donald, called him this evening to tell
him he spotted Ugochi in a small café with a
man. Donald said they had looked very cozy
together, and he just wanted to inform her as
the good friend he was. Ikem didn’t believe that
for a moment, he knew why Donald called, it
was to rub it in his face, to throw his absolute
faith in Ugochi back in his face. He had
constantly bragged about how faithful Ugochi
was, now for her to throw this in his face? It
He took a minute to think of the many years
they’ve been together and how in all those
years he had never had a reason to doubt her.
He thought of the look of hurt in her face as she
walked out on him, and how much he loved
her. Could he be wrong here? Is it possible what
Donald saw was entirely innocent, or could
Donald have been lying? What reason would he
have for lying? All these thoughts streaked
across his mind as he paced around the living
room. Did I just make the biggest mistake of
Ugochi lay on the bed as silent tears trickled
down her face. What just happened here? It
was as if I was talking to another man entirely.
What could have prompted this sort of behavior
from Ikem? I can’t believe he actually struck
me. She thought miserably.
In the three years they’ve been together, Ugochi
had never had a reason to complain about
Ikem. Sure, they had their differences like every
couple but it had been nothing that couldn’t be
resolved quickly and easily. Their relationship
had been good, and as comfortable as an old
pair of pajamas.
Six months ago, when Ikem asked her to move
in with him, she hadn’t hesitated. She had been
happy he suggested it as it had been on her
mind for a while, but she hadn’t brought it up.
She had not had any reason to doubt or
question his feelings for her, until now. Now,
she couldn’t believe he could raise his hand to
strike her. It feels like a dream she would wake
up from very soon. This couldn’t be happening,
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