Previously on 1213…
“I beg your pardon?” I said, my eyes narrowing with fire banking in their depths. My hands were trembling.
Aliu tipped his chin, his expression knowing and his mouth twisted into a smug slant. White noise flooded my ears, muddling my thoughts, and suddenly, I lunged forward and shoved him towards the door.
“Get the fuck out of my house!” I screamed. “I don’t want to ever see you here AGAIN!”
“Oh, you do want to see me,” he said, confident as ever.
I used to admire that about him. He wasn’t one to second-guess himself. It made me want to follow him wherever he led. The only emotion it incited in me, right now however, was anger. My God, I was angry.
“Fuck you! You have the guts to come into my home to say that to me? You told me to stay away! Blamed me for your son’s death! Called me bad luck! And you have the effrontery to come to my house and say I want to see you? We have to talk? Abi oloriburuku ni e ni?!” I spat.
His jaw tightened. “There’s plenty to say, and you’ll hear me out. You owe me that much.”
My eyes flew wide open at his nerve. “You must be mad! Get out!”
He took a step towards me. “Moe…”
It was the first time he’d said my name since after the funeral, and something broke inside me at the sound of my name on his tongue. I recoiled, stumbling back as he advanced towards me. Before I knew it, he had me pressed to the wall, an arm on either side of my shoulders.
“Listen,” he gritted out. “Crap! I’m doing this all wrong. I…I wanted to tell you. Look, Moe, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I still love you. I –”
He didn’t get to finish it as I shoved him back and followed the push with a slap to the left side of his face. There was such force in the blow that it sent him reeling back a few yards. He tried to regain his footing, but the back of his leg hit a stool and he tripped and fell to the floor. His hand was on his face when he sat up looked up at me, clearly startled by my violence. He hadn’t expected it, and frankly, neither had I. But the cold fury that consumed me had been unleashed and it rose in me like a phoenix from the ashes.
“You come into my house,” I said as I took slow deliberate steps toward where he’d dropped on the floor, “to tell me you love me? To tell me there’s much to say? And I have to hear you out? Next you’ll ask me to take you back? After leaving this on my wrist?” I leaned forward in front of him and thrust my left hand out at him, showing him the scar on it. “You did this to me. You beat me twice. While I was with you to help you through your grief.”
My eyes narrowed again dangerously. My heart galloped in my chest. “I took a break from my boyfriend – whom I love fiercely – to be with you because we both lost someone we loved. Oh, you think you were the only one that lost a son? You think I am who I am because of you? Your son – our son – gave me life! He kept us together. He made you who you are and you threw all that away because he died!”
My body shook with dark laughter as I straightened. “I wake up every night dreaming of him. I’ve cried myself to sleep every night for the past year because I will never see him again. And you think you’re sorry? Oh no. You are only sorry because your only leash is gone. Every dark fibre in you is out for the world to see and you think I’ll come back to you with all that? Well, mister, you thought wrong!”
I jerked my head curtly in the direction of the door. “Get out.”
Aliu ground his teeth together, his jaw working with the pressure. His gaze never left mine as he got to his feet. “Just so you know, I never stopped loving you.”
“Well, that’s too bad. I love my boyfriend. Now get out!” I said, my tone final.
Aliu took a step towards me and I took one back.
“You heard the man. Get out.”
The two of us turned to where the voice had come from. Demola and two of his friends – our friends, Mister A and Baker – stood a few yards from the open front door. Aliu turned back to me and gave me a knowing smile. He’d known when they entered.
I moved towards my man, not questioning his sudden appearance.
“I’ll be back,” he said a little loudly to the four of us while his dark gaze was fixed on me. There was no humour in his tone. The words were a threat. A promise.
Aliu smirked and nodded at Demola, who had a proprietary arm around my shoulders. He didn’t spare a second glance to the other occupants in the room as he started for the open door.
My eyes caught the new tattoo behind his neck as he walked towards the door. What I saw there made me shudder again.
It was a word. My name.
Written by Vhar