LETTING GO

LETTING GO

His lips always taste like honey. It’s like addictive nectar on my tongue, spreading through me and burning my soul with need, desire, lust and maybe, just maybe, love.

A love that I’d always wanted – one that Dotun finally made into a reality.

So even though there’s the taste of blood – my blood – mixing with our kiss, I still shiver with need for him. I want his kisses, his warmth and all of his love. He has me pinned to the wall with his hips against mine. I feel his bulge and I gasp, wanting to pull him closer to me, but holding back as he fervently kisses me. My scalp begins to sting as his grasp on my dreadlocks tightens, and I grimace, stopping our kiss from intensifying. He pulls away from my slightly-cowered stance and finally looks at his damage.

There are tears rolling down my face, staining my bruised cheeks, and I can feel the stream dropping onto my lips and mingling with the blood there. He touches my chin and I recoil from him.

A voice shouts in my head: You’re so pathetic! So weak! You’ll always be pathetic.

“My Matthew,” he says, lovingly.

And I melt at his words, letting him finally touch my face.

“I guess I took it too far,” he says with a tinge of regret.

You think? I nearly respond. I have to bite down on my tongue to hold back the retort. I have had enough for the night. I think that if he hits me just one more time tonight, I might leave him. I don’t want him to hit me again, because I don’t want to leave him.

“Baby, it’s okay,” he says as he wipes the fresh stream of tears that have started flowing down my cheek. “It’s not as if I like to hurt you. You just don’t listen. Just trust me. Everything I do is for you.”

He says this, then lets go of my face and turns to walk away from me toward our bedroom.

Everything I do is for you.

Those words ring in my ears. They are words I have heard a lot from Dotun. And yet, every time he’d do something unforgivable, something that I’d never take from anybody. Every time he’d hit me or say hurtful things to me.

Everything I do is for you.

I usually hold these words from him like they are my religion. But tonight, something snapped.

“How?” The single word escapes from my bruised and bloodied mouth before I register it.

“What?” he says.

He turns to face me and I see surprise etched on his face. I am sure he’d been expecting an apology. One I was usually quick to give to him who constantly hurts me.

I fearfully look into his eyes and find myself staring at the flames I’d always seen in them from the moment I met him and knew he’d be trouble. Flames he promised he’d never use against me.

“See my face, Dotun,” I say shakily. “The things you do…hurting me in every way possible… How is it for me?” Even unsteady, my words come out with rising venom.

“Do you even have to ask?” he snaps, his voice rising too. “I help with your finances! I’ve always tried to teach you how life is!”

“You don’t have to anymore!” I find myself yelling back. Fear grips me as I hear the volume of my voice, and my mind races. But my courage keeps going. “I’ve been there for you too, Dotun, through the good and the bad. And you’re my lover, not my teacher.”

“What I am is here, even when no one else is,” he says this and then lets out a sneering laugh.

And this angers me even more.

“No. I’d rather have nothing than have the constant pain that is you.” I practically spit the words out. “I love you, but you’re destroying me. And that’s no longer love.”

It is obvious that what I’d just said has stunned him, because he stands completely still, motionless, as though he’d never move again.

Then he moves swiftly, faster than my bruised and teary eyes could follow. I instinctively move my hands to cover my face, but a punch lands on my stomach and I am not sure he even realized his punch would be so thorough.

All the air I had ever breathed in seems to leave me in that moment and only unbelievably searing pain remains. I struggle to take in more air, panicking as I wheeze out some words to signal my pain to him. But our hands are moving too quickly because at this point, I can’t speak and my arms seem to be my last hope. I claw at him but he sees this as me fighting back and it incenses him even more.

I become numb to the rest of his blows, and for the first time, I fight back for dear life.

Stop! Please stop hurting me!

I want to scream this, but I can only move my body as ferociously as I can manage and make unintelligible sounds.

He digs his fingers deep into my locs, tugging my hair directly from its tips and the pain shoots through my scalp again. I move my hands to knock his off, but he swings me to the side, sending me crashing against the glass shelf in our parlour. I hear the thud of my back hitting my favorite piece of furniture, a force which sends the shelf tilting to the ground and shattering on the floor seconds before I tumble down myself.

I feel as though I am drowning and I can almost tell these are my last moments.

“Fight!” my mind screams at me.

I continue struggling to breathe, taking ragged breaths as I attempt to lift myself off the ground. But Dotun reaches me first and lashes out, his leg connecting with my stomach. I gasp, blood spraying from my mouth.

Stop! Please stop hurting me!

I am sure I want to leave. I’d never been so sure than right now. I know I’d thought about it before but I promise that I mean it now. I mean it so bad. When he is done hurting me, I will leave him!

But he has to stop hurting me first.

I pull in more air and my vision starts to blur even more. I place both of my hands up to beg him, gesturing that he needs to stop. I know he will. He has never hurt me like this before. He loves me. I just pushed him too far this time.

But he keeps on kicking me, raging in a loud voice as each kick connects with my body.

Then I begin to pray for him to stop, to see that I am in too much pain to keep going. I have no more fight left in me, but I hope with all my might that he’ll finally let me go. That this final hurt will be enough. And that he’ll see how much damage he has done to me this time. That he’ll see that I deserve much more than this. That he’ll promise to be better. That he’ll be sorry. And maybe, I’ll finally be free of a love that since turned into a nightmare.

But he doesn’t stop.

My lungs start to feel empty, my soul fizzles out, my eyes lose their light, and all I can pull from the world is nothing but pain.

Then the darkness comes and silence reigns.

But if I could have one moment before that night, I’d tell myself to let go of anything that brings me pain. I’d tell me that I deserve nothing less than happiness. I’d tell me to forgive myself for thinking that a broken love is all I can attain. I’d tell me that loving myself is enough and more important than loving anyone else.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s not too late for someone else.

Written by Abrams

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  1. Mandy
    February 02, 10:31 Reply

    Damn. I didn’t see that end coming! This was such a dark read. But its an unfortunate truth: not all victims are survivors.

    Please, if you’re reading this and you’re in an abusive relationship, know that love doesn’t hurt like this. If his love comes with bruises and blood, GET OUT!

  2. Delle
    February 02, 11:00 Reply

    This was so depressing to read.

    Jeez! I can only hope no one, at least after reading this, will allow this become his reality. He hits you ONCE, leave!!!

    And honestly, Matthew didn’t have a knife on him? That animal beats you for sports and you didn’t have any thing on you for protection? May that kind of love (whatever it really is) stay away from me and mine.

  3. Mitch
    February 02, 17:35 Reply

    Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemao!!!!!

    The question of violence in same-sex relationships is a tale as old as time.

    Domestic violence, be it emotional, physical or otherwise, is fucking debilitating. And, it’s terrible the way it happens and, even worse, the people it happens to.

    It’s not always the weak, soft-spoken, inconsequential ones. Sometimes, it’s that really popular, very hawt and handsome, very outspoken, very indomitable hunk who’s on the receiving end of domestic violence.

    The annoying part of this is, it’s not even a function of power, as it were, in same-sex relationships.

    No, it’s more about control, about who’s got more to lose, about who was open enough to allow the hooks to get sunk deep into their skin.

    I’ve seen boys get beaten by their boyfriends, guys that, on a normal day, them no born them well to challenge these guys to a fight. Yet, these guys would use their boyfriends as footballs, kụọ fa ife tinker na-akụ pan, jiri fa melụ ịgba. All because, love.

    Thing is, domestic violence never starts out as just plain physical or emotional violence.

    No! It’s always more subtle, more sublime.

    It’s an offhanded remark that is aimed at crushing your spirit, at bringing you down a few rungs. It’s the ignoring you in public. Then the belittlement in company. All of them aimed at making you feel smaller than you are.

    Then it becomes the reminders about how much less than others you are. (God help you if you’re one with a fragile sense of self-esteem because this is the point where they break you.) It becomes the blowing hot and cold at words you say, at things you do. A pointing out of only your mistakes, your failings, your mess-ups, a shutting out, a shutting down, an ignoring you when you need them and then an overwhelming of your senses with a lot of care and love shortly after that you start to doubt your own sanity, believing that their previous actions were imaginings of yours.

    Then, it proceeds to yelling at you. Controlling you. Centering themselves firmly in your life. Cutting you off from every lifeline you could possibly have: friends, acquaintances, whatever. Their world becomes yours. You have no life outside them, they make sure of that.

    Then, when you are well and truly hooked, when they are the lords of your life, it becomes a slap to chastise you, a shove to make you act quicker, a seizing of your gadgets to make you learn respect, a raping when you’re unwilling to have sex, a smack when you fail at something, a kick when you piss them off. And, every single time, they’d burst into tears and ask you why you like making them lose control, why you simply cannot act right. And you’ll console them, promising to do better, seeing a teacher, a saviour, a lover where only a monster exists.

    By the time it becomes severe beatings, you are so broken inside that you fail to see them. Instead, you see the false picture of yourself they’ve painted for you. And you’ll try, you’ll keep trying, to be better, to make them proud, to be truly worthy of their love.

    Thing is, we like to think domestic violence is something that can be tackled on its own. Truth is, I’ve found that most domestic abusers and violators are, more often than not, sociopaths.

    There’s something about them that is inherently twisted, something warped, inhuman, lacking any form of empathy or refinement, something that makes them incapable of happiness except they are feeding on the unhappiness they are causing the ones who love them.

    It’s a disease!
    And it’s more rampant than we believe it is.

    PS: Sometimes, the violence doesn’t even happen physically. It’s all psychological and emotional. But, like we know, that is the worst form of violence. Physical scars may heal. Mental scars, not so much.

    See ehn, I’ve seen things!
    I’ve seen and heard things in this my short life. I’m kuku surprised I’m not sporting grey hairs already. Because, it’s always a wawucious something.

    What’s worse is the vilification you’d receive if you dare interfere in favour of the abused. You’d become the devil that wants to destroy his relationship.

    Chineke chọzịe ịkpọ gị ọkụ, if you dare threaten his abusive boyfriend or even touch him, the abused that you’re trying to protect will pounce on you and beat you. The beating he cannot beat the nbuzo that is abusing him, he’d give it to you.

    It’s always a thing of wawu!
    Wò, I’ve chopped abused boyfriend slap that left me seeing stars. I no do again!!!

    Not in this lifetime or the one to come!

    • Tristan
      February 15, 16:06 Reply

      You really have been throught a lot , Mitch. And they were pithily expressed in your comment. I get the whole picture. I had been emotionally abused so I can relate with few of the nuances in your comment but maybe not as much as you felt them.

      And I like the way you make a delicious potpourri of Igbo and English languages. What’s your library? I really would like to follow.

      Btw, where is Higwe? I miss all that drama. And the ‘big’ words😂

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