Four bullets in the chest and he was down. He drowned in his own blood and I watched him as he choked on his last breath. Powerless and hopeless, he lay on the ground and the strength he once had left his body together with his soul. I stood there with the gun in my hand and watched the mess I had made but there was no turning back. Neither could I turn back time, but again, I wouldn’t have, even if God had given me a chance to… he just had to die.
I looked out from behind the curtain and the neighbours were slowly approaching my house. Soon everyone was standing on the street and wondering what was happening behind the closed door. Police van sirens pierced my ears and my mind was shaken by these sounds and then I realised that what I had done would soon come to haunt me. I shook his body, hoping he would awaken. Suddenly I wanted him to wake and wished I could turn back time.
There was a harsh knock at the door and it was the police. I sat next to the body with tears running down my face. I was so hopeless and I had to live with the fact that I had pierced my husband’s chest with four bullets and soon I’d find a new home in a prison cell. The police broke down the door and light shone throughout the living room. I could see my husband’s blood beautifully reflecting like smooth wine in a glass. I had seen the beauty of the life I had stolen from him but I’d also seen the beauty of the life I was about to have without him.
The police asked for my statement and soon I was cuffed. I watched them as they moved his body in a black bag – well, he should have been put in a black plastic refuse bag and buried in a bush like an animal, I thought to myself. The neighbours were causing a riot outside, shouting that I had to be burned and that I was a murderer. My heart pounded and it felt heavy as I had to face my neighbours on my way to the van. It was time. I had to sit in the back of the police van and be labelled as a murderer.
Everyone in the crowed had something to say, even the Pastor looked at me in disgust and I could see in his eyes that he saw the Devil in me. I sighed and looked at them casting their words as heavy as stones, but I knew they would all be silent one day…The shutting of the police van door was the shutting of a chapter of my life, and now I had to prepare myself for a new one.
I spent years in prison and I wondered if the outside world would cave in on me like the walls of my prison cell. I never longed for freedom because I felt safer in these walls, but then freedom was near – now freedom was here and these chains of my tragic past were released; they have lost their weight. My heart pounded in fear, for it knew not what awaited it in the outside world.
My heart beat steadily at a rhythm and pace of love, for it knew it left its lover back home – yes my lover, my life….my daughter. My daughter whom I protected from my evil husband! I could have never allowed anyone to hurt my angel, or even worse, force themselves on her! Each and every year I spent in that cell was worth it, for I did what a mother was supposed to do and that is to protect her child.
I wouldn’t have been able to live with the fact that I allowed my husband, who’d had multiple nights of pleasure with me, to just force my daughter, our daughter, into the pleasures we made an oath on! I could never live with myself knowing that I allowed my husband to rape our only child – but then I guess I can live with the fact that I killed him in defence of the only seed I had borne.
My heart starts to pound deeper as I’m about to reach the neighbourhood that once wanted me burned, a neighbourhood that cast words as heavy as stone against me. My hands are still stained by the blood I shed, and I am still a murderer. What will they say? What will they do to me? The car slowly approached my street and the whole neighbourhood awaited me. I took a deep breath and appreciated the last gasp of air I inhaled – for I knew I was about to be burned soon.
The car stopped and I was welcomed by a numb and unsympathetic crowed – today is indeed my last. I comforted my heart with a hymn and I prepared myself to let go of my last breath…
As soon as I stepped out of the car, the crowd drew closer and I took a step back. They made way for a beautiful young girl with flowers in her hand: “Mama you saved me! You chose my life over yours,” she said. Tears fell down my face and they pierced the ground. I knew then that a new seed had been planted. It was a beginning of a new chapter.
“One’s actions hold the true reflections of the heart” – Sithabile Nene.