Two Months Ago – The Breakup
We were watching our favorite TV show in my living room. But my mind was a million miles away. I think Funbi said something because he had to give me a gentle nudge to bring me back to the present.
“What are you thinking about?” He asked.
I muted the TV before replying.
“You are still as mysterious to me as you were 5 months ago when we first met. I know nothing about you. Where you live, who your parents are, whether you have siblings. It doesn’t make sense.” I said.
“I don’t think that matters.” He said.
“You don’t think what matters?”
“Tomiwa, I was going to tell you this before it got any serious but I didn’t want to hurt you” He replied.
“I don’t think I get what you are saying,”
“I don’t see this going anywhere.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t get me wrong. You are sweet, loving, smart, everything that a man prays for but…” He trailed off like he couldn’t find the words to describe how not good enough I was?
“See, babe, let’s just…there’s no need prolonging something that’s going to end in break up anyway.”
“But I never saw us breaking up. Why would you even think that? And by the way, you just said I am everything a man prays for so what is the problem here?”
Funbi looked like he didn’t want to be in the same room with me. As if he couldn’t wait to leave.
“I’ve got to go,” he finally said.
He picked up his car key from the center table.
“But we aren’t done,” I said
“Tomiwa, I… ” He turned to leave without completing his sentence.
I rushed in front of him, “I am sorry for bringing up the topic, Funbi. I won’t mention it again. Until you are ready. I can wait.”
He still didn’t say anything. And the expression on his face wasn’t readable. He stepped to the side and headed to the door.
“It doesn’t make sense…” I started to say, he stopped but didn’t look at me. “Can you tell me what I did? Where it went wrong. Maybe we can fix it?” The most excruciating silence ensued. Then he left.
I stared at his back until he disappeared out the door. I kept staring at the door, maybe it was all a joke and he would come back.
3 Months Before The Breakup
“Something about him doesn’t feel right, sis,” Mayowa said, as Funbi got in his car and drove away.
“Don’t,” I said and started to walk back into our compound.
Mayowa is my younger sister. I love her but she’s a weird one.
We’ve only got each other in the whole world since the death of our parents 2 years ago. So despite her weirdness and all, I’d die before anything happened to her.
“Wait for me na!”
“I’ll lock you outside and leave you to spend the whole night in the cold if you say one more thing about Funbi,” I slowed down until she fell in step with me.
Mayowa came to stand in front of me “Sis, please, be careful with him.”
Mayowa can tell things about people. She can’t explain how she does it. Nobody can. Sometimes, she can tell what is going to happen before they do. 3 days before the death of our parents 2 years ago, she had a dream about it. A very rough time in our lives, that was.
I’ve ended two relationships in the past. Because the guys were giving off bad energy, according to Mayowa. She was right about them.
But I didn’t want the same to happen to me and Funbi. I don’t remember loving any other person the way I loved Funbi. He was a dream come true. And I could tell, with everything he did, that he loved me deeply.
I wasn’t ready to let something that beautiful go.
I felt something plummet in my stomach hearing Mayowa say I should be careful around him. The sinking feeling in my stomach morphed to anger.
“Is it that you hate seeing me happy or what? Why are you never satisfied with any of my boyfriends?”
I flounced inside, and headed straight to my room. I couldn’t stop wondering what could be wrong with Funbi even though he refused to reveal anything about himself.
2 Weeks After The Breakup
“Sis, look,” Mayowa said. I swiveled to see who she was talking about. Funbi. My chest threatened to explode. He was leaving the restaurant with a lady, hand in hand.
“Stinking bastard,” I wanted to go over and strangle the bejesus out of him. I wanted to run after them and pull out the lady’s hair.
“Sis, don’t even think about it. He’s not worth it. Let’s just go home.”
I couldn’t sleep that night. The image of Funbi holding another lady was making me go crazy.
The next morning, Mayowa and I snuggled together on the living room sofa, watching a TV program. I picked up my phone, opened my Twitter app , scrolled through my feed. Nothing exciting.
I was about to switch to Facebook when something caught my attention. It was a picture of a lady lying lifeless on a hospital bed. She looked like the girl we saw with Funbi last night.
According to the tweet, she was found dead close to the restaurant we were at last night. It seemed she was raped, and then suffocated to death. They wanted people to retweet the post until a friend or family member saw it. There was nothing on her, like an ID or a phone, to help with her identity.
“Mayowa, isn’t this that lady from yesterday?”
“Oh my God,” Her eyes went wide “That is her.”
A million things started going through my head. We saw Funbi leaving with her. So did he have something to do with it? It couldn’t be. Funbi wasn’t a killer.
Maybe they were attacked by robbers. Of course, that explained why they didn’t find her purse or phone. But where was Funbi? Was he somewhere, hurt or dead too? Oh no, what if Funbi was dead too?
I sent a DM to the person who made the tweet. And things started getting weird from there. They assured me I was safe and invited to the Police Station for an interview.
Am I in trouble? I typed and sent.
Not at all. But you have information that can help the investigation. He responded.
I went to the police station with Mayowa the next day. We were welcomed by Mr. Felix, the Twitter man.
I told them what I knew about Funbi. Which wasn’t a lot. The looks on the officers’ faces seemed to say “You dated someone for five months and you can’t say two things about him?”
But I had a picture of him. Fumbi never let me take his pictures. The only reason I had that one was because I took it secretly.
It turned out his name wasn’t Funbi. He had a lot of names according to what he felt like telling people. But his real name was Adeleke. He was a dangerous criminal, a rapist, and a killer. And he’d been escaping the law for years.
How come I never heard about him?
“We’ve been trying to hunt him down but it’s been impossible,” Mr. Felix said.
“I know where he lives.”
We all turned to Mayowa
“What?” The officers and I asked at the same time.
“I followed him. I can take you there.” She said, as if it was normal to follow people.
“When did you follow him and why didn’t I know about it?” I asked.
Mayowa shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal and it got me mad.
“Why would you do something like that without my knowledge? What if something had happened to you? Are you crazy?”
“He’s going to leave town soon. Let’s go before it’s too late.” Mayowa said as if she didn’t hear anything I just said.
Funbi was apprehended that day. For a criminal, I expected his house to be in a secluded place. But he lived in a normal, and crowded neighborhood.
We didn’t go in with the police. We waited in the car while the Police raided Funbi’s house.
It’s like they were in there for an eternity. They emerged, finally, from the front door. Funbi was in a handcuff.
As if he knew I was there, he looked straight at me and my heart did a flip. He was put in another police car and we all drove back to the police station.
I asked to see him when he was safely behind a cell.
“Why didn’t you hurt me?” I asked
He looked at me for something that felt like forever.
“First, because I fell in love with you. Second, because your parents were good to me. I recognized them from the pictures in your house. That night, my sister left me for dead after another episode of sexual abuse and beatings. I developed a deep aversion for every lady because of her. Your parents saw me and saved me. When I got better, I went after my sister and killed her. Started taking my inexhaustible anger and hate out on every girl I met. But you, I felt like I mattered to you. The same way your parents made me feel like I mattered. I fell in love with you. Something I didn’t think I was capable of. So I had to leave. Didn’t want to ruin your life.”
Juliana Lene is a Health Education graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State. She is a naturally quiet person so writing is a regular hobby to release her emotions. She can be reached through email@example.com.