RED FLAGS – Episode 3
WRITTEN BY: EWATOMI ABIODUN
If my mum knew the person who was knocking was Suleiman, she wouldn’t have answered so he will think we are not at home but it is too late now. My mum was already shivering in fear beside me as Suleiman kept knocking on the door while I was thinking of a way out before he realized the door wasn’t locked.
We were so scared to even think of locking ourselves up in my room or my mum’s room. We were just glued on our feet when I remembered my phone was still with me so I quickly pick it up on the couch and dialed our flatmate’s number who is a police officer. He picked my call at the second ring and I quickly told him to please come to our rescue that my psycho ex-boyfriend is in front of our entrance planning to hurt my mum and I.
” I will be right there in the next five minutes with my two officers. please make sure you are inside and don’t reply to him no matter what ” he told me and hang up immediately. My mum and I stayed beside each other praying he doesn’t open the door before our flatmate (police officer) arrived but I guess our prayer wasn’t answered because Suleiman tried the door handle angrily saying:” Why won’t you guys… but he was cut short when the door came opened widely. He walked inside and smiled at us as he walked closer to us while we shifted backward.
He stopped when he was a bit closer to us and laughed mischievously as he brought out a knife from his back pocket. I guess you have told your mom I am a monster with the look on her face right? Anisha, how dare you disgraced me in public like that? I only did one mistake and you could not even look past it. I just raised my hand on you and raped you once and you could not even find it in your heart to forgive me. I was going to marry you and I even apologize for my mistakes but you think the best way to get back at me is turning down my proposal in front of everyone. If I don’t marry you then no one will marry you, I will rape you again this time in front of your mummy then kill you and kill myself too.
I needed to engage Suleiman in a conversation so he won’t remember he hasn’t closed the door before the rescue team comes. My mum was praying silently beside me as we were both sweating profusely. I brace myself up and said:” You sure know I love you so much but I can’t marry you because your short temper will lead to my death one day, I am sorry if I turned you down in public but I want you to know I never intend to get back at you that way but you didn’t give me a choice. You lost me the day you raised your hand on me and raped me without my consent. I am so sorry Suleiman, we can still be friends but I can’t be in a relationship with you or marry you be…..He cut me short angrily and said:” Shut the f*CK up Anisha, making me fling back”.
He shed some tears and said:” You can change me, Anisha, our love is so strong and I don’t think I can live if you are not in my life again. I promise not to raise my hand or raped you again. I can forgive you for turning down my proposal if you are going to accept me back in your life ” he told me and brought out the ring in his shirt pocket. He went on his knees with the ring in his right hand and the knife in his left hand. I looked at him and smiled because of how stupid he was thinking I will oblige him because of the knife in his hand.
“Suleiman, you don’t have to do this because my answer will still be the same thing even if a gun is pointed to my head,” I told him and I think that angered him as he lunged at me while my mom screamed calling all sort of God names but I was quick to get a hold of the knife. Suleiman and I kept dragging the knife while my mom keeps shouting for helping not knowing what to do. He got the upper hand as he turned the edge of the knife at me trying to stab me with it when I heard a sound and Suleiman suddenly fall down. I was confused not until I saw my mum holding a frying pan. It was funny because my mum knocked Suleiman into oblivious with just a fry pan.
We quickly tied him up before he becomes conscious till the rescue team arrives. Not quite long, our flatmate (policeman) came in with two officers. He apologized for coming late, he asked us if none of us was hurt and we nodded in confirmation. One of the officers picked the knife up with a glove and put it into transparent nylon. Suleiman was carted away in their vehicle though he was still unconscious and am sure he is going to be shocked when he wakes up in the cell. we were told to come to the police station to give our statement.
My mum and I hugged each other after they left thanking God for saving our lives. We went to the police station to give our statement and I told the officer in charge of the case not to charge Suleiman to the court that I just want a restraining order so he won’t just come near me or my family again.
Suleiman was just staring at me as tears spilled down his eyes and I felt pity for him because this was the man I spent 4yrs of my life with but I can’t take him back because of pity. I know am not over him yet but I am over all the red flags that come with him. He was given an undertaking to sign that if he harasses me or my family or anything happens to me in the next 50yrs to come he will be charged to court for domestic violence, attempt murder, rape, and harassment.
I was happy everything was over with Suleiman when he signed the undertaking. He was picked up by his best friend Kola who was Bimpe’s boyfriend. Kola called me aside after he made sure his friend was seated in his car while my mum was thanking our flatmate and neighbor for coming to our aid. I explained everything to him and he was so surprised to hear what transpired between us.
” I thought you guys’ relationship was the perfect one and you won’t believe I got envy of it sometimes not knowing what you guys are going through underneath. I sincerely apologize for all that Suleiman made you go through but trust me, he wasn’t like this before. Suleiman and I were childhood best friends and neighbors, we both went to the same school from primary to university so I know him like an open book.
Suleiman was raised in an abusive home that he lacked genuine parental love while he was growing up. He watched his parents fight while the neighbors including my mum and dad gathered every day to separate them until they finally separated but his parents never knew they left him with a stigma.
I noticed some kind of behavior in him when we were in our 300 level in school that he had short temper, he always had nightmares of how his parents always fought with each other in his presence and the nightmares even got worse at a stage that he was admitted to the hospital for two weeks because he screamed out of his sleep and fainted. I had told him several times of number to see a doctor because he was traumatized but he never agrees that he has a problem so helping him was impossible.
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I thought he found the healing he deserved when you guys started dating because you were the first girlfriend who spent 4yrs dating him, his past girlfriends only spent 3 months with him even the least was 5 months before they left him. I am taking him right now to see a doctor because I can’t let him injure anyone or himself again” Kola told me and apologize on behalf of his friend once again before he headed towards his car.
I looked at kola as he entered the driver seat while Suleiman was at the passenger seat with his head bow down and I hope he gets the healing he deserved. I take a look at him as his friend starts the car and our eyes meet. He used his hand to do the sign language I and he understands which says:” I am so sorry babe, I want you to know I will love you till the rest of my life even though I can’t be with you anymore. I hope you get the happiness you deserve and a man who will love you more than me and treat you like the queen you are, love you forever my Nisha baby “.
A tear dropped from my eyes after he said those sign language and I also replied back to him in the sign language that I hope he gets the healing and happiness he also deserves. He nodded his head in accordance and waved me goodbye as his friend maneuver the car out of the premises.
My mum and I went home after everything was settled and my relationship with Suleiman became history. I isolate myself from going into another relationship for two good years even though I keep having numerous suitors but I knew I wasn’t ready because I needed to heal too. My mum kept reminding me that time is not by my side again that I am 27yrs old this year with no man to call my own. It even got to a stage she had to ask me if I still loved Suleiman maybe that was why I am not giving room to any man but I told her I just needed some time to myself.
“How many times do you need Anisha? This was what you told me last year too. Do you want to clock thirty before you get married? Your age mates have already given birth to three children if not four by now and even Tola your cousin who you are 5 years older than is getting married this Saturday.
Tola is just 22 years old and you are here saying you needed time. If you don’t pick one out of the numerous suitors that always come for you, I won’t hesitate to set you up on a blind date. I understand Suleiman broke your heart but that doesn’t mean another person will do the same. You this girl, don’t let your father’s family and your father mock me that I am a single mom and I want you to end up being like me ” My mum stated as she burst into tears which I knew she is using it to emotionally blackmail me.
“Mum, you are not me and I am not you so put your mind at rest because I am going to get married. I will make sure I made some amendments very soon ” I told her and she smiled at me and I shook my head because African mum can be very funny. Bimpe is now married to kola so she kept telling me to give love a chance so I can settle down on time.
After more persuasions from friends and family, I decided to give love a chance again. Among all the suitors that flock around me, only Gabriel was persistent so I decided to go on a date with him. The day I called Gabriel that I was ready to go on a date with him, he was so happy that I could sense it in his voice. When I told Bimpe I was going on a date with Gabriel, she was so excited that she was even the one that got me the dress to wear on my date.
“I wrote down some red flags that I am to notice on my first date with Gabriel in my phone diary. I hope tomorrow turns out well ” I thought to myself as I laid on my bed.