Crack the whip said. You can audibly hear the slam of many doors; It is the neighbours giving the man and his wife privacy. The last time someone interfered in their fight, he had ended up spending 3 weeks in the intensive ward of the government hospital. The neighbours learnt not to interfere anymore. Better late than never, they still whisper among themselves. You hear the man and his wife again this early morning as you have almost every morning for the past two years. You shut your door, just like all the neighbours did.

You know the man and his wife. You know the man has been like that since the beginning of time- always using his fists to find his way through every problem. You heard once at the grinding mill that even His mother agreed that he has always been like that. He fought his way out from her shelter and when he finally came out, her womb was in shreds. The doctors told her she couldn’t give birth anymore. And so the man was an only child.

You moved into the apartment opposite theirs about the same time the man and his wife did. But you have never spoken to either of them.

You nodded at his wife once at the mini supermarket down the street and quickly averted your eyes to avoid being sucked into the dark sad pools that have come to have a dwelling suite in her eyes.

But that was after You heard at the salon that they had once been in love. He had loved her at first. He still loves her, he beats her out of love. That same day, one of the salon girls had told you she knows their story inside out. She whispers to you that she used to be close to his wife before she quietly dumped her poor friends when she hooked the man. She confided in you that the man had actually been interested in her, but his wife seduced him from her. She joyfully concludes that God had indirectly saved her from death in the arms of love.

You give her a half hearted smile which becomes more lopsided as she increases the strength of her fingers on your hair at each passionate tempo in her story. You are soon finished with your hair and you tell her to keep the change after you pay her for the attachment and braids.

You hurry out of the salon as soon as you are done- see no evil, hear no evil. You can hear them begin to talk about you just as you think you will escape the biting sarcasm by finally shutting the door.

You are the girl who moved into the street two years ago. You moved into the overly priced and haunted house on the street. You heard once that the house is haunted by the ghost of the two children whom robbers threw into a well of water because their parents had no belongings to give. You are the one who is believed to have been finally punished by the children for staying in their house and preventing them from purging the innocent blood the robbers stained the walls with.

You have always wondered about the origin of the story because even long after you and your neighbours put off the generator every night and peace descends in the neighbourhood, the only sound you hear is the intense breathing of your loneliness and the occasional barking of dogs.


You are lying awake on your bed this night again, tossing and turning and waiting for a new dawn to break. You know you have been excited all week and that the rumour mill is agog with news of your insanity as you have been smiling and conversing with yourself all week while walking on the street.

You know it is not because you are bewitched you smile. You know it is Lawrence that makes you smile.

Your Lawrence…

He is the one who pays your rent and keeps you indoor for several hours with his chit chats. You have been smiling because he has finally sent you your passport and you have gotten a visa. In less than 24 hours, you will be with the love of your life. You are glad you will finally put your parents to shame and you will stop being the butt of your friends’ jokes. He didn’t marry a white woman, neither did he go to his village in Umuahia to pick a wife; your Lawrence eventually sent for you.

You think of how you can’t wait to have him fill you inside till you think you can feel your womb explode. You think of becoming his wife and posting your wedding pictures on facebook for all to see that you won, eventually, despite all the odds.

It is in the middle of this excitement you hear another crack of the whip. You know it is your neighbours again, and you know the beating will stop after a while. You know the woman will come out tomorrow with a black eye and claim she mistakenly hit her face against a wall. You know she always mistakenly hits her face against a wall. You know her husband will come back in the evening with a pack with contents you don’t know because it is always wrapped. You know he will beg her on bended knees and tell her he hit her out of love and then blame the devil all in one breath. You know it is always the devil’s fault. But you are wrong.

You hear a thud on the wall, and then silence. You think this silence is unusual and as it almost lulls you to sleep, you hear that sound. It is the same sound that trailed you when you used to drag a heavy bag of rice for your mother’s kitchen. You hear the man muttering and sniffing. You hear him simultaneously open the main door of your building and then open his car doors with an automatic key. You hear the click of the shuttle of his car boot.

You are too scared to peep out from the window because you know what it is. And you are right. You drag your two carrier luggage the next morning and enter the cab of the man with whom you had negotiated the day before to take you to Muritala Mohammed Airport at Ikeja for three thousand naira .

You land in Heathrow Airport 10 hours later and spot Lawrence in the crowd waiting for you. He is the same way you remember him from the last time you saw him… from the last time you made love to him… from the pictures you share on BBM.

You rush into his arms and die a million times as he kisses you with such unforgivable passion; You forget the woman with the sad eyes and her husband who finally snuffed the sadness out of her eyes.

You deserve to be truly happy.

She deserves to be also, in the waters of third mainland bridge where he dumped her body.

By @shangytee


Thanks to Shangytee for sending this in. It’s unedited and she’d like your honest feedback. You can also send in your short stories to editor [at] Cheers.

Post tags:
  • Liveekins

    Furst? Going back to read!

    May 13, 2012
  • phantaa

    Wow! This is beautiful.
    No one talks about domestic violence in this country.

    May 13, 2012
  • jemmyma

    She chose rightly… Can't afford to hav ur own life snuffed out cos of someone cowardice..
    I kno dat man will def pay becos d nebos will eventually speak up wen they dnt see the woman…
    Cursed be men who r actually like ds..thank God thrs a violent side to me dat acts spontaneously…by d time we r Lyin side by side in ER,we'll decide if d next one shld b settled amicably or a last man standing kinda duel..oloshi!

    May 13, 2012
    • morris


      April 5, 2014
  • Ms_livvy!

    First? Yes? No? Ok.. So this is really deep! Most women are suffering but smiling in their matrimonial homes..#sad!

    May 13, 2012
  • Kiah

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

    May 13, 2012
  • Liveekins

    Lovely write- up. @shangytee hope to see more of ur works! *Back to the write- up* its really sad when two pple that were once in love cant even settle issues amicably. That man needs to be locked up in kirikiri for life. Idiot oshi!

    May 13, 2012
  • Phunshore Smily

    Wow,,can’t bliv I paused my movie 2 read dis….dat was so deep,,@shangytee..keep it up,,kid sister is proud of u.

    May 13, 2012
  • Mrs Drizzy

    Lovely @ shangytee, sometimes u need to remove your rose – tinted glasses. If someone loves you they'd never treat u like that. I have no idea why women keep up with this irrational thought process, he beats you silly but u claim to still be in love with him. Must be psychological. I've neva experienced such and I don't pray to. If I ever meet someone that even tries such nonsense hmmmm lips sealed…..

    May 13, 2012
  • viv

    Truly captivating write up…almost felt real….thanks

    May 13, 2012
  • Tobby

    This is nice hope to see more of ur articles! Women are really suffering in silent? God help us all

    May 13, 2012
  • Tai Farai

    Ah. Tayo. I am speechless. *doffing my hat and holding it in my hands…timidly"

    May 13, 2012
  • Arthur Bizkit

    You rush into his arms & die a million times. . .

    Applauds both dis lyn & ow u managed 2 portray d story w/o giving our protagonist a name.

    P.s m glad der was rili a Lawrence o, cuz Miss You wud also have turned into FishFood.

    May 13, 2012
  • whiteboi

    This Kind of loff, I can't let ma enimy be in it… 2 me she was okai wif the kind of loff

    May 13, 2012
  • Tim

    Wow! Should be converted to a movie script…would make a great movie. Well done!

    May 13, 2012
  • Ms_aeydem

    Tayo, was amazed the first time i read this story.. and am amazed still. Good one lv, seriously deep n soo true. In this country we live in.. we see things, hear things but turn the other way in a bid for self preservation. But what else can we do? Women need to speak up, if not we will continue to be 'independent slaves'. Nice one lv.

    May 13, 2012
  • This was interesting.

    Minor hiccups here and there with tenses, grammar and structure but the story is interesting. I particularly like the end. Well done.

    As for the whole domestic abuse thing, its a familiar pitiful story. Still sad and deplorable but familiar. Personally, I'd like to see more publicity about men who are abused by their wives. Its not as uncommon as people seem to think it is and I don't think I've ever read a story (At least here anyway) where this situation was portrayed.

    May 13, 2012
  • @shangytee

    Thank you ALL :D. @TTXIII, yea… Will improve. Thanks still.

    May 13, 2012
  • Well ..the act of domestic violence creatively captured …in an apt manner this ! Will come back to read again …and for the fact that you were able to line a domestic violated home with an anticipated love .wow #dropsmic

    May 13, 2012
  • poison ivy

    Nice story

    May 13, 2012
  • Yettee_saks

    Miss tee, this is very good, the need to address the issue of domestic violence cant be emphasized enough and you got the part about the salon girls right, terrible busybodies, lol, keep it up girl! 😀

    May 13, 2012
  • Moreks

    Nice one Tayo. I can't begin to say how touched I am. Domestic violence is on the rise. You read the papers everyday and you are shocked by the different stories of domestic violence. One thing I want to point out is that most abused women can't come out of abusive relationships on their own due to feelings of insecurity, lack of safety, etc. They need an outside influence to make them see the truth. That is why some women end up dying in abusive marriages.

    May 13, 2012
  • Hanson

    Good piece daughter shangytee! the suspense in eveery line is drawn from the depth in your work. It's a lesson for ladies, it's never early to leave when you are alive. Keep it up shangytee!

    May 13, 2012

    Diz a good job, keep it up

    May 13, 2012
  • JeSuisRaychelle

    Big sis,amazing story! I was spellbound all through,was very curious to know how it would end and when it did,I wished there was more. That’s what makes a great story..way to go! Know there will be more beautiful pieces from where this came from. Yea,domestic violence aint going anywhere if we all just look the other way when it happens.

    May 13, 2012
  • I have little or no patience for people who put up with abuse. If he hits you once, get out. Come back if he repents and apologises. If he hits you twice, get out, get a restraining order, and don’t look back. If you choose to be a battered woman, don’t blame the neighbour for keeping her nose outta ur business!

    May 13, 2012
  • Terdoh

    It's absolutely beautiful. And this tab just refused to close until I had finished reading it. Yes. Amazing stuff. Thank you for this.

    May 14, 2012
  • sinmi

    This is awesome!!pls keep it up…..

    May 14, 2012
  • PreyingMantis

    Few highs. Very few.

    May 14, 2012
  • gertrude

    Beautiful write-up! D conclusion was perfect. Nice work tayo.

    May 14, 2012
  • Bigg

    sigh…this nicely shows the irony of person is joyfully succeeding while another is sadly approaching their grave…story well told*

    May 15, 2012
  • beewyle

    Comment. Hmmnnn; really touching cos it really happening n not evryone is jennifer lopez dt learnt self defence for dis same purpose in one of her movies. Though, I got lost wre u diverted into the haunted house n all but I ll like 2 say this; the words pulled me in and for sm mins, took my mind off evrytin but itself. Nice work.

    May 16, 2012
  • Pulsestyle

    :'( This post actually made me cry. I like the way the two situations were juxtaposed. You cant help but feel sympathy for the dead woman. BTW Third mainland seems to be the dumping ground of choice. Heaven save us…..

    May 16, 2012
  • Tolutoludo

    I love it, now I’m eagerly anticipating your book once it drops. Domestic violence is a no-no and we need more of stories like this that addresses the scourge. Great job @shangytee

    July 1, 2019
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