by Osakwe Nwamaka
What thoughts kept your head busy that evening? What made you stare unseeing at me? Why did your lips push against each other and swing from side to side. When you woke up the following morning did the inside of your cheek feel raw from your chewing on it all evening?
Where did you buy the ridiculous wig you had on? Didn’t anyone tell you it aged you?
How could you not have known? Did the hair on your body not rise? Did my eyes not burn holes into your back? How could you not have perceived danger with me reeking of desire? Anticipation? Why did you lead me straight to your home? How difficult did you think it was finding out which was your room? Didn’t the lights come on three minutes after you entered the building? Is it not the one on the right corner of the top floor? And why do you live in such a house? What is its colour? Ash? Grey? What use is that dirty green monstrosity clinging to its wall? When you looked out of your window did you see me gather my coat when the wind whipped it? Did you see me look up at the pregnant clouds before leaving? Did you?
What drew me to that shop? Did the mannequins look anything like you? Were they as alluring? Did their breasts rise like the huge mounds of earth we planted yams in when I was back home? Did their hips curve as voluptuously as yours? Were they not more like anorexic models at fashion week? Could it have anything to do with the wig on the mannequin that sat as if for a shoe fitting? Was it the wig that reminded me of you? Why did my heart pound as I flung the wig on the floor? Why did my breathing get deeper as I pulled out the right leg? Did it feel anything like breaking your femur? Did ripping the left arm feel like dislocating your shoulder joint? How did the right hand come off? Why had it bothered me that I wasn’t the one who pulled it when all I wanted to do was wrap my fingers around your neck?
How did I miss the light flooding in from the side window? Who called the police? How did they get there so fast? Had I been there more than ten minutes? What did they think when they saw a teenager ripping the arms off a mannequin? Teenage idiocy?
Will you ever know that you would have been the first one?
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Nwamaka Osakwe is a medical doctor in Nigeria. Her work can be found in Per Contra, Flash: The International short-short story magazine, Naija Stories and others