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True Confession: Love Affair with a Beast 

By Sheila*

I never expected the adventurous affair between Colonel and I to get so serious until he proposed to rent me an apartment. A second year major in Sociology at the time, I had faced enough of the odds of student life in Bonamoussadi, the cranky student residential quarter; to fully measure the immensity of the favour he was offering. I quickly agreed without much thought.

My sole worry was Musa, my childhood boyfriend who had been supportive all these years. As an Internet scammer, Musa had enough to give me some financial assistance but lacked the honesty to make me happy. Although I had suspected Musa of cheating on me a couple of times and even caught him pants down in bed with one of his Bassa neighbours, I knew I still loved and needed him.  So in order not to lose Musa, I told him my aunt in the US had wanted me to move into an apartment so she could send her baby back to Cameroon. That’s how I abandoned the shabby labyrinths of Bonas for a well equipped two-bedroom flat at Biyem-Assi.

Colonel went every mile to stuff my refrigerator with all that a 20-year-old woman could dream of having for a bite. My Blackberry mobile phone and the i-phone meant to take calls from Colonel alone were permanently loaded with airtime. My wardrobe had enough to make me the hit-chap of the neighbourhood.

I instantly rose from the status of a hustling school damsel to that of an accomplished mistress whose sole raison d’être was to service the manhood of a retired soldier and bring succour to his boring days. Charmed by the barrage of good tidings, I hadn’t the slightest inkling that I was only digging a grave for myself. No one could even dare convince me that I was establishing myself right in the den of a ferocious lion.

One month. Everything was cosy. Colonel had taken his family on holiday out of the country. So Musa and I had enough time to warm-up my new hideout. We did the love thing in just every corner and on just every available surface. His meals were regular and I got him enough to drink. But I left him in the dark about the true story. I thought of explaining things to him but opted out at the last minute. I thought I could handle it. But the second month proved me wrong.

When Colonel returned from abroad, my first reaction was to get Musa out of the way for a while. Telling him to come less regularly on account of my studies seemed to work. Considering that Colonel being a married man would not spend the night out of his home, I made arrangements for him to visit only during the day once every two days. My plans worked so well for about three months. I worked up the old soldier’s libido enough to get him paying my bills while safeguarding my childhood love affair with Musa.

Things began back-pedalling the day Colonel told me his wife had travelled to the village with the kids to visit his in-laws. That fateful day, he stayed longer than usual. It literally strayed into Musa’s arrival time. I had reassured Musa that I would cook Ekwang for him. The best I could do was to call Musa and blow the appointment. His number was not available. I left dissuading message in Musa’s voicemail hoping he would get it before the rendezvous time.

When the doorbell rang at about 8pm, Colonel was slouched in the couch watching a match on SuperSports. He expressed dismay considering that I once told him I never receive friends at home and that I never had relatives in town. Besides, he had gotten me to swear that no man would ever step foot into the house without his knowledge. As I raced out of the bath to open the gate hoping to dissuade Musa from coming in, Colonel was already there holding the gate open.

“Can I help you young man?” he asked. A shock wave ran down my spine. “Musa is a course mate,” I tried to explain. “I asked him to get some notes for me,” I fumbled, hardly noticing that Musa had neither book nor paper in his hand. Before I could finish the justification, Musa took me by surprise. “Who is this old man?” he queried pointing a finger at Colonel.

Almost immediately, Colonel charged into the house like some raging monster in search of something I couldn’t immediately guess. My first reaction was to plead with Musa to leave before something funny happened. It fell on deaf ears. Musa instead took on raining insults and charging around the veranda. Then came the surprise.

Colonel emerged with a pistol in his right hand. I screamed and tried to hold him back but he was too angry to stand down. “What does he think he can do?” Musa challenged. In one swinging movement, Colonel pinned one foot on the ground and with a back-kick from the other, Musa landed on the ground with a thud. After replacing the gun in its holster, he settled on dealing injurious kicks on Musa’s face. I wailed and pleaded to no avail.

Even with blood gushing from Musa’s nose and mouth, Colonel was unwilling to give up. He raised the lad to his feet and pinned him on the wall. With another hard hit from his right knee, he sent Musa sprawling to the ground again. This time, copious amounts of black clotted blood was oozing from his mouth. Exasperated, I rushed out to get neighbours for help. But the few persons who cared to respond were no match for Colonel’s might and anger.

While a few kind neighbours and I struggled to rush Musa to the hospital, Colonel charged into the house and began tearing down furniture. He gathered all my jewellery and dresses from the closet and lit them up in the courtyard. He smashed the plasma TV screen and crushed the Plexiglas dining table.  He did all he could to erase every trace of our union.

Musa was discharged from hospital a week later.  He was not ready to forgive me. He promised to pour revenge on me if I ever set foot near him. I was left homeless and ‘boyfriendless’. I became a subject of ridicule among the very friends I despised and abandoned in the days of plenty. I never met Colonel again.

I share this story today hoping that the love of my life would find reason to forgive me.

*Full name withheld on request
 

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