They were young lovers and he’d dreamt of holding her hands. When he finally did, they were soft to the touch. He couldn’t believe how incredibly soft her hands were, so he often held her tight.
He could see she liked him too. He wasn’t much to look at but the way she looked at him made him feel he was better looking than what he saw in the mirror every morning.
He told himself he would be a better person for her. She had just turned 18 years, was in SS3, and still lived with her parents.
But lately, it had become difficult for the two to see each other as often as they would have wanted because she could only do so when her parents sent her on errands. They wanted her to concentrate on her studies, so they reduced the number of times she ran errands.
“Face your WAEC and pass it one time,” they repeated often, pulling on one ear for emphasis, the way parents are wont to emphasize the seriousness of a situation.
Ulumma would nod; she was as smart as she was beautiful and she understood the peace of mind that came from ‘sitting’ the WAEC exams once. It would indeed be a blessing because then, university education would be a lot easier to attain.
She wouldn’t have to waste another extra year sourcing for money to buy GCE forms or worry about any other thing apart from passing JAMB.
But while her parents wanted her to face her studies, someone was missing her with an ache.
Everything from that moment had happened so quickly and she was practically swept off her feet by his fervency, his devotion to her.
What blew her mind the most was seeing her images splashed all over his wallpaper; his profile photo was hers, and even when she had gone with him to his room, in a house he shared with his relatives, she saw that he had splattered her photos all over the walls.
They were not sleeping well because their nights were spent chatting on Whatsapp until Ulumma’s mother caught them. No, she didn’t catch them ‘sexting’ or having sex. No, they were caught holding hands at the back of the bus stop stand.
Ulumma was forbidden from seeing Chibuzor.
“You have WAEC coming up, you this girl, you want to fail? What are you doing with that boy?” Mama Ulumma screamed at her daughter when they got home.
She reported the same to her husband, Papa Ulumma, and both parents made her swear never to see Chibuzor again.
She swore never to.
Ulumma knew her parents weren’t prejudiced, they just wanted the best for her. Her exams were a priority and they wanted no distractions. They were simple folks. Civil servants who’d worked hard all their lives; they still struggled daily to put food on the table.
So she sent Chibuzor a text message that read ‘I can’ t see you anymore. I want to focus on my WAEC.’
There was no sleep for Chibuzor for days after this. He called several times but Ulumma wouldn’t pick up. His heart ached and several times, he would wipe his chest expecting to see blood flow, but there was nothing; it was just his heart breaking into several pieces that weren’t bleeding out.
He would feel faint, then gasp for breath. He soon began to lose weight and wither. A few people noticed his suffering. They wondered what ailed him. He confided in Ella, a mutual friend of his and Ulumma and Ella told him there were other girls in town and that he should forget Ulumma if she didn’t want him anymore.
“Leave her, there are other girls out there for you,” Ella advised.
But like Romeo, there was only one Juliet for Chibuzor and he wasn’t about to give up so easily. He wanted Ulumma because no woman, he felt, could ever make him feel what he felt for her… and he was determined that no man would have the same pleasure.
At this point, Ulumma had become scared of Chibuzor’s obsession and constant badgering on Whatsapp and text messages. He had begun irritating her with his constant calls and threats, yes, he was threatening her.
He was making her look bad. Telling her he knew she was lying about her parents’ forbidding her from seeing him because, in his reality, she wanted to start seeing other boys. So, Ulumma avoided passing areas where she would run into Chibuzor.
This infuriated Chibuzor even more, so one day, he marched to Ulumma’s house, barged through the doors and into her room, confronted her with his theories and before she could find words to defend herself, not that her words would have mattered, he stabbed her repeatedly with a knife he’d been carrying around for days.
He wanted to make her feel the same pain he had been nursing for days. She would know what it felt like to be betrayed by the one who loved you.
Ulumma made it to the hospital but she didn’t make it out. She died, just days before her WAEC exams began.
This narrative here is fictional but the characters are not. The issues are real. Girls, ladies, women are dying in the hands of men who claim to love them.
Women are being attacked, maimed, disfigured with acid or hacked to death when they leave a relationship they no longer find comfortable.
Ulumma is the archetype here but there are several like her out there.
Chibuzor is in custody, thankfully, and while he awaits trial, can someone please help me ask him why he stabbed this young girl to death because he will never sleep ever again!
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