He would stare at her for several minutes at a time, wondering how any human could be so flawless, beautiful and graceful all at the same time.
I would tell him repeatedly, to keep his fantasies to himself. You see, Amarachi, was a married woman who lived next door, a lovely woman, I might add, but married none the less. And there was something else, something dark and sad, a secret shame she tried so carefully to hide.
Amarachi was married to Somto, better known to his friends as the Johnny Blaze, because he could blow up easily without warning, and he really was a brute. Somto was a night club bouncer, and so he got used to treating everyone like garbage, including Amarachi his wife.
Yes, Somto was a brute and a slob. To put it mildly, he was a pig who would drink all night, come home drunk, scream about everything he saw, drink some more, and yes, beat his wife with a belt. Sometimes, he would beat her in the backyard, and when we tried to intervene, he would say she was his responsibility and he had to train her; yeah right, like she was a wild animal he was trying to tame.
Femi, my friend and house mate would go over to the house and confront Somto, but he would shrug and walk away, we called the police on several occasions but nothing was done, they were his buddies. I remember once they said we were trespassing and Somto would press charges when next we tried to gain access to his home, of course we had no evidence, and Amarachi was too scared to call the cops herself, she would later say she was in a helpless situation.
Amarachi was a school dropout, she was a dancer in a local club, Somto frequented back in the day, and according to her, he was the only one who treated her right, I guess she knew what she was saying.
Many times we would hear Somto call her names, yeah he was that loud and on many occasions he would lock her out in the backyard overnight. Femi would stand by the kitchen window and watch her sob.
He told me many times how she needed to be rescued, he would say she needed a man to love her and treat her right, I guess he thought he was her knight in shining armor. I would always tell him to tread carefully, because Somto was a maniac, and his little brain always told him to act violently first and think later, if at all he ever did.
I remember Femi gradually started be-friending Amarachi, at first she was reluctant, but gradually she began enjoying his company, he would go over when Somto was at work, or they would discuss over the backyard fence when he was at the bar.
I was worried as to what the outcome might be if Somto ever found out, and no, I wasn’t worried because I was a coward, I was simply worried because he was a very dangerous man.
I found out soon enough, Somto was getting suspicious, you see Amarachi was regaining her self-confidence, on one occasion she walked out on him, and went to sit on the back steps, Somto came out and beat her black and blue, I had to pick up a golf club to make him stop, I called the police, and reported a domestic dispute, they never showed, and Femi was off visiting his folks.
He was furious when he got back, but I told him not to confront Somto, for lack of reason, and that night Amarachi came over, she cooked us dinner and cried her eyes out, we cheered her up with jokes and taught her how to play Guitar Hero, the fun ended abruptly when she heard his van pull up, she was not quick enough to get into the house, but she made it to the back porch, Somto stormed into the backyard and started pushing and slapping her around, questioning and asking where she was all night, he called her a no-good whore, and punched her in the face, she ran into our kitchen, her nose bleeding, Femi held her, and I went to get the first aid kit and my golf club, I knew Somto would come and I knew he would come for a fight.
True to his brute nature he stormed in, with a kitchen knife, he screamed and cursed, Amarachi hid behind Femi, her nose bleeding, Femi and I stood our ground, we threatened to call the cops, he wasn’t moved, he lunged at me, punched me in the nose before I could swing the club, it fell to the floor, and so did I, he kicked me in the stomach, and I felt like all the air had left my body.
Femi charged at him, and knocked him backwards, the knife fell out of his hand, he regained his footing, and rushed at Femi. Somto was a huge man, it was like a bull coming at you, Femi picked up the club and swung, he missed, and he got punched, I saw Amarachi run out of kitchen.
Somto was on Femi, kicking and punching, I tried to crawl up to them, but I wasn’t of much use, I could hear the blows, suddenly I heard sirens in the distance, he screamed at Femi, threatened to kill him before the cops got there, from the side of my eye I saw him pick up the knife, his knee was on Femi’s back, he pulled Femi’s neck backwards, he was going to slit his throat, and that was when I heard it, the first shot, then the second, then the third.
Somto dropped in a heap, Amarachi stood there, gun in hand, with a look I had never seen before.
The cops rushed in, I passed out.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
Arome Ameh is a Banker/Screen Writer/Producer/Blogger. He has written/produced both True Life/Fictional Stories/documentaries via his blog www.ameharome.WordPress.com and for TV/Youtube.