It has been two months since the day i bought the masks. She didn’t make it back home that night. I bathed the kids and took them to school the next day. Like the bright stars that they are, they knew better than to ask more than once where their mother was. Or maybe they saw the grayness in my world and pitied me.
Night came and I arrived home from work. The house told me she was back before i entered. It was always like that with her and the house. It brightened when she filled it with her presence and pined sadly, when she wasn’t there. It was quiet everywhere but the house and its brightness gave her away.
‘I always knew it was Nifemi.’
I turned in the direction of the voice speaking out from the darkness of our dining room. She was sitting where I had sat the night before; the Mask in her hands.
‘ I just wanted you to know. In case you think you ever had me fooled. I have always known’.
I didn’t dare to move. I feared even to breathe. If she heard me breathe, maybe she would change her mind and stop. She stood and walked the few steps to where I stood. My heart stopped beating for the few seconds it took for make her way to me. It started up again when she reached for my hand and led me to the bedroom. The other bed that had been my prison this long year had been removed. There were tears in her eyes. They rolled down her cheeks. The angels had taken away my speech . Like Zechariah, they feared i would spoil the miracle if i said anything. I took off her clothes with a reverence that was evidenced by my shaking hands. That night, she whispered my name with every breath, with every moan. She climaxed with my name on her lips.
I rushed home the next evening. I had regained my speech at work. I wanted to sing of my love for her. Tell of my eternal gratitude to her. Croon about my undying loyalty. I got out of the car and my eyes went to the bin. It had been that way since the first day the i saw my flowers discarded. I held my breath as i made my way to look in it. Only the masks were there. Mine and Nifemi’s.
I let out my breath and raced into the house. My flowers were beside her reading lamp.
The era of the masquerades was over.
Song of the day: Green day- 21 Guns