You have no idea how long I have tried to write this letter to you, but I couldn’t because shades and voices now haunt me. They are in my head now, speaking nonstop, a man is lying in the pool of his blood close by, his blood, crimson red, is soaking my blue shorts. It is not Tinnitus, they speak languages I can understand, not just sounds. I’m not hallucinating, I can touch them, I can feel them, just like this man lying on the ground. His face is pale, snow-white. His mouth is open, as though he is screaming, but he is not. He is dead. He is from my past, yes, my past but they are so many I can’t remember who he is. They ebb out of the shadows l locked them in, reaching for me, trying to suck me in. I’m trying my best not to screw this up like these papers, crumbled and lying in wait on the ground for this to join them. But I will try to hold myself till the end.
I’m writing this letter to you because you are the only one I owe this story. You are the only one who will believe this tale because it’s your story, the story you share with them. This may be my last letter to you, and to me. But I beg of you, everything in this story is true. All of it. I have a horrible feeling that you might roll this letter up and throw it into the nearest trash can because the story I’m about to tell will feel so alien, so strange and dark and so different from my story, the one I shared with you for eight long years before I came here last year. Efua you have to believe my story and find another life, you’ve stayed glued to me for years, sending letters, sending love, but you know so little about me, so little, but I know a great deal about you, your secrets and the silent part of my story— our story. They haunt me now, perhaps they’ll set you free.
GREEN PLANET PARK SHOOTING– I believe it was an accidental discharge, wife claims.
That was on the first page of the guardian yesterday, your interview on my case with Teju Greene on why my case should be reviewed and investigated again.
That was when they came, the darkness.
I held the newsprint in my wet palms, my eyes fixed on the front page, on your picture, on your expression, fear and pain in your eyes all frozen.
Slowly the hard cement floor began to crawl with green creepers, grasses, and wildflowers. All at once, I was at the park again.
You sat on the bench with Fred. The evening sun was shining, drowning both of you in its rich yellow light and the birds were tweeting away in the orange trees. I stood behind the tree, my hands on my camera, watching you both, waiting patiently to raise my camera and make a quick flash. Then seconds grew into, minutes into hours, then at last I was about to leave, I was about to believe you were innocent, then you stood and he pulled you to his body, buried you in it. Your lips locked in his. I looked away, something raised its head in me, then started to crawl to my heart and all at once began to scream:
Kill him, Kill him, Kill him.
So I whispered my prayers for forgiveness again for the oath of duty as a policeman, I was about to break.
I waited till you left, then I walked to him. He was shocked to see me, his eyes red and feral like the eyes of a rat. There were more people in the park now, scattered under the trees.
But I didn’t mind, they didn’t matter now, what mattered was the fiend staring at me, looking through me, perhaps at the serpent that was still screaming.
I smiled at him, just like I did when moments like this came. Then my hand found its way to my holster, to my little darling. I raised it, he screamed, then the couples close by started to scream, the whole park now screaming, even the tweeting of the birds was drowned out.
“ Please I can explain, I can explain ”, He said, his eyes swimming in tears. I squeezed the trigger.
The birds took to flight in the trees.
He fell on his back. Then the sirens wailing, then fellow police everywhere, so I started to run and run…slowly the green grass and flowers started to fade away for the cement floor of this kirikiri prison, my fellow inmates in blue restraining me from squeezing myself through these iron bars.
“He is mad! Maaddd!” they were screaming, they can’t see what l see, they can’t hear what l hear.
I died again that day in the park, but that was not the first time I died, I had been dying before Fred. And you killed me Efua.
Your eyes were closed on the bed, the giant machines had green zig-zag playing on their screen. They were connected to you. Something was beeping too and the doctor was holding your hand, shaking his head. Then he saw me and smiled and said:
“Are you ready?”
“ Yes, I said. ”
Then I donated my kidney when no one could, I did it because l loved you. Because meeting you was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. You survived, we married and I thought it would be: happy ever after.
I was wrong.
Five years of living with you, I was normal with a kidney, then it happened on that dreadful Saturday, l was driving back to the station to deliver my firearm when spasms surged through me from under my person. Then it spread through my body. I parked and held my hands over my abdomen. After a while, I was relieved, but I was wrong.
That night, your arms wrapped around my waist, your warm skin against my skin, my lips locked in the sweetness of your mouth, my pride rose, we crashed into bed then I was about to take my place when I went limp, my pride gone.
“Why did you stop?” You asked, your voice laced with dismay.
“I’m tried, today was hectic”, I replied. I rolled away dejected, it had never happened before. I took a shower and slept and woke to the saddest of my days.
“It’s the kidney…” the doctor said, massaging his temple, holding my test file in his hands. I fixed my gaze on him, lost and broken.
“It is not a death sentence Inspector Murphy, you can replace it in India or any of these countries in Europe, you will enjoy low-risk surgery there,” He said, raising his voice when he got to ‘ low risk’ and ‘ Europe’.
I was silent, my voice dead. My heart was in my throat, my vision blurry.
“You can also do it here o, don’t get me wrong, but since the in potency is as a result of your kidney problem, it is quite delicate. I advise you fly.”
I returned home that evening, the test file in my hands.
“Jesus !” you screamed. “ How…how did it happen?” You asked.
I stared at you, letting my eyes do the talking. Then it dawned on you.
“How do we pay for this transplant now?”
“Let’s have hope”
So I believed we sowed the seeds of hope together, little did I know that while my seed was growing, yours never rose above the earth.
You told me you got a big project with sunrise magazine, that they wanted artworks on local attire, that you would be working away from home during the week. I agreed. We celebrated the win with a Champagne. Do you remember? That was December 2000.
Then you changed. You missed dates, dinners and at the crack of dawn, you were gone. So I followed you, trailed your car, you didn’t head for the studio, instead you drove to Ralph( he was your first). My fear was confirmed. I gave you heart, but you threw it away, I died that day Efua, you killed me. Something began to grow in me that day, a great thirst, a great desire to end anyone who comes close to you.
Are you still wondering about his mysterious disappearance?
I waited patiently and put an end to the bastard after your contract with Sunrise, threw his body into the lagoon, others after him suffered the same fate and Fred was the last.
So you see, you made me an animal, a killer, you sent me here…
They are screaming in my hears now, Ralph is swimming towards me now, his eyes is feral, his teeth— glistening sabres. I wish l can tell you more, but they are here, l have to stop. The water is drying up, and moonlight shining through the window is fading away now for trees, my blue shirt is now crimson red.
I’m losing grip, if you receive this letter forgive me. I have forgiven you.
Written by: Victor Oladejo