This is what I’ve become, “a native of the street”; these cardboard boxes and walls adorned with graffiti now define my existence. I am a monument of disgust, a generator of pity. My callused feet and disheveled hair are unsightly, to the normal human eye; I am pollution! My stench contaminates the world, denies others the freedom to breathe. I am a societal nuisance, the sidewalk doesn’t look quite as pretty with me there, the traffic doesn’t run quite as fast. I am the reason Mr. White goes late to work, because he stops to throw me a penny, I am the reason youth fail to strive anymore, because as I sit bare foot and hungry, struggling to bare the blazing heat and the disgruntled stares of passersby, I embody the beauty of laziness…like I chose this life.
I didn’t, my only crime was love and loyalty.
Femi walked into my life at a time when I was just about to give up on love. I had bought myself a ring adorned with my birthstone, peridot, told myself it would serve as a reminder to keep men away, then, slipped it gingerly on my fourth finger when I saw Femi. He had been there the whole time, watching me, smiling mischievously to himself. “I wouldn’t last a month” was what he said to me. Who this tall, handsome hunk of a man was, I didn’t know. Why he felt so comfortable, leaning on the sparkling white marble of my office walls I had no idea. But, he was right, I didn’t last a month, I didn’t last two weeks. A week and two days later, when he knelt down before me begging to pull that confining ring off my finger, I let him.
We went on a date immediately, on a private jet that took us to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York for our appetizer, the roof of the Arc de Triomphe for our main course and the grass outlying the Eiffel tower for desert. It was heaven on earth, he was heaven on earth and I was determined to hold on to this one. He popped the question one rainy night, on the islands of Pancuma with nothing but sand and coconut trees surrounding us, the 27 carat diamond ring gleamed in the moonlight. There was no way I was saying no to that.
Our marriage was amazing, Femi was literally all I could ask for in a man. We had a 24 hour chef service in our home still, he made it a point of duty to serve me breakfast in bed every morning. He would massage my feet before I slept, scrub my back while I bathed and still make it in time for work. I always knew he was the best but I knew he was just irreplaceable when he offered to help me run the company for two weeks. You see, I was the C.E.O of Maczillian publishers and while that was a very fulfilling job, I had also just been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. As one of the final candidates, I had to travel to Sweden immediately. This had always been my lifelong dream, so, Femi stepping in to take care of my responsibilities at this time of need, while handling his, as well, was just amazing, especially because I couldn’t trust anyone else to handle that. I signed over proxy management to Femi and travelled to Sweden immediately.
I didn’t win the Nobel prize and that left me shattered. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. Femi had to insist I stay home for two more weeks, on strict bed rest. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to heal. Within two weeks, I was back and better so Femi decided we were going to celebrate my recovery. I woke up to rose petals at my feet that morning. There was a beautiful red dress, some breakfast and a note that read “My angel, I filled the tub with lavender scents and roses for your bath. Put on the red dress when you’re done and drive to La Chateau. A private jet is waiting on the roof to fly you to your surprise”
I did as I was told, basked in the freshness of lavender and slipped into the slinky red dress, but I never made it to the surprise, I ended up in jail instead. Yes, I was intercepted by some security officers who had found a million dollars’ worth of cocaine in the hood of my car. They didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t mine, especially because I refused to name a suspect . But how could I, and drag my dear husband into this mess? I tried to contact Femi to post bail but I couldn’t, even my lawyer couldn’t help me because I wasn’t talking so I got sentenced to 6 years in prison.
When I got out of prison, it was to the news that the CEO of Maczillian Publishers and his wife had birthed a second son. Poor Femi, he had probably moved on after thinking I was missing. I still couldn’t reach Femi by his number and all my accounts had been frozen. I tried to go back to our house but the new security person, not recognizing me, kicked me out.
What was I thinking coming back to the house, it had been six years, and Femi probably couldn’t recognize me anymore. Plus, he had a family now, he had moved on. If I truly loved him, I’d leave and let him stay happy. So that’s what I did, with nothing but the clothes a kind lady had given me on my way out of prison, I moved and found a home downtown in this corner adorned with graffiti.
There is a part of me that thinks this may have all been a setup, that the romance, the love, the marriage, his agreement to manage my company, the red dress and its surprise may have all been an elaborate plan to rid me of my fortune. But I wave that thought away as paranoia. Femi loved me too much to do that to me.
I see the sneers of the passersby each morning, those who think I stink, those who begrudgingly drop me a penny, those who think I should get up and work. Oh! What I would give for a warm fresh bath, oh how I would long to sit in the fur cushion of my office and write again but who would accept an ex-convict? I want to tell them that I did not choose this life, that by being human, it chose me, but I don’t. It’s not them that matter, it’s the man in the black Mercedes G-wagon who drives by at exactly 7:35 am every morning. He is the reason, I remain here, waiting for the day he’d stop his car and finally recognize me.
Do you think the character is being stupid.
Do you think everything was a plot or did Femi truly love her?
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