She was finally getting her life back together again. She could now sleep through the night without having to wake up screaming from yet another nightmare. She could smile at people without faking it. Her heart was beating normally, no more palpitations. She could tell she had healed.
Norvisi had managed to put her horrifying past behind her. She came out of her self-made confinement and began to put herself out there again. “As long as you keep yourself lonely, you will never get rid of that fear, my dear,” her aunt Esinam used to tell her.
Thanks to her pretty look, it wasn’t difficult for her to get some male attention. She got her fair share of ugly frogs to which she heeded no attention before she found her Prince Charming. He was indeed charming, had a good heart and had his act together… Too intact that sometimes, Norvisi wondered if it was fair for him to end up with a once-broken-and-glued-back-up girl like her.
“Don’t feel guilty for the good things that come your way,” her auntie’s words would ring in her ear and banish the thoughts away.
She was excited when he popped the question. She was going to be a wife! But after the initial thrill subsided, she began to worry. Nana Yaw being the known media specialist would want to let his social circle know about the good news. She was however skeptical of doing that. She had moved to the city for a reason. She was still in hiding, although she was doing so in plain sight.
“But why? Are you not proud of getting married to me?”
“Of course not, Nana. I just don’t want the unnecessary attention social media brings to personal events like this.”
“I work in the media. I breathe the media. I have a lot of friends who would love to join us on our happy day. Why deny them that chance?”
How could she tell him? She didn’t want to ruin the moment from him.
“I know you’re reserved and you love your privacy and I respect that. But could you please meet me halfway here?” He pleaded. She forced a smile. What the hell? She wouldn’t be able to hide forever so why not let go and live while it lasted?
“Sure, sweetheart. Sorry for trying to ruin it. This is your day as well and I want us both to be happy.”
“That’s my girl,” he said happily and kissed her forehead. She just had to wait and see.*
It was a week to the wedding. Nana Yaw had promised her a surprise that day. She waited for it all morning but nothing happened. She decided to go take a shower and go meet up with the event decorator. She had just come out of the bathroom when she heard the doorbell ring.
“It’s in!” She shouted and ran to the door.
She opened her apartment door to hundreds of roses. She knew they were from him: he had found her. Source: Pinterest.com
She swallowed hard and looked around to see the one who had just dropped them. There was no one in sight. She noticed a card in the midst of the roses. She took it with shaky hands and opened it.
Found out my baby girl was getting hitched and I wasn’t invited? Now that’s not too nice, is it, darling? Especially when we have some unfinished business to deal with… Looked everywhere for you; you did a good job hiding from me. But thanks to Facebook…
Norvisi screamed as she tore up the card. She knew social media would be the end of her. Why didn’t she stand her ground against Nana Yaw? She slammed the door shut. What was she going to do now? How did he even find her residential address? That’s not on Facebook. She wasn’t safe now and neither was Nana Yaw. But how could she protect him without telling him who the villain was?
“Auntie, he’s back! He found me!” She cried hysterically when Auntie Esinam answered her phone.
“Calm down. Who’s back?”
“Nii! Who else, aunt?”
“How? He texted you or what?”
“He dropped roses at my doorstep. It’s him. I know it’s him.”
“Calm down, Norvisi. You can come and spend the night with me if that would make you feel better. Don’t worry, he won’t be able to hurt you, okay?”
“What about Nana Yaw? He’s capable of hurting him too. Should I tell him?”
“No, my dear. There’s no need declaring mayhem over this issue. Just leave your place and come here. You’re getting married in a week. After that, it will all be over.”*
What was the story behind Nii and his fetish of roses? Nii was a quiet, unassuming kind of guy who loved too hard: too much to scare and creep a woman out. And when he was unhappy about something, instead of meeting face-to-face, calling or even texting like normal people do, he preferred to send roses with a card scribbled with uncomfortable messages. Long story short, he was a black version of a western TV show psycho.
When Norvisi tried breaking ties with him, he grew dangerous. Lingering around, showing up at odd hours, he almost drove her crazy. She knew she had to run and hide. And she had stayed hidden till now.
She hurriedly dressed up and packed a small bag. She kicked the roses to clear the way as she rushed towards her car. Her phone beeped. It was called from Facebook Messenger. The name was unfamiliar. She looked around. Was it him playing games or what? She ignored the call and entered the car. Then a message on Facebook.
Still ignoring me? That’s not nice!
How did he? She had blocked him, hadn’t she? Or did her niece accidentally unblock him when she was playing with her phone the last time? She couldn’t believe she was back in the chasing game again.
She stayed off social media and immersed herself in making sure her traditional and white wedding came off great. She was able to convince Nana Yaw not to post directions to the venues online, so she knew she was safe. The traditional marriage ceremony went great. She was happy but couldn’t help stealing glances around to be sure he wasn’t hovering around. When she was convinced he wasn’t, she felt more relaxed to dance with her husband and friends.
Her friends planned a surprise hangout dinner for her on the eve of her wedding. As they were all having fun at the restaurant, a waitress approached their table with a bouquet of roses. Norvisi suddenly felt sick. Her friends were excited by the gesture, assuming it was from Nana Yaw. Norvisi snatched the card from one of friend, excusing herself to the washroom to open it.
I’m sorry if I made you think you could just leave me to dry. You are mine. I won’t let anyone come between us: NOT EVEN YOU. So I leave you with two choices. I know you’ve already bought your dress and you’d want to wear it. So I’ll let you show up at the wedding. But say no or else I’ll kill him right before your very eyes. Don’t make me a murderer. N.
She covered her mouth with trembling fingers to muffle the sobs. She came up with the excuse of fatigue and left the dinner.
It was all her fault. She knew it. She led him on when she knew she wouldn’t go all nine yards with him. She accepted his gifts and they were quite expensive too. Some would say she had used him but he was duly compensated, right? A woman’s body was worth more than all the gifts in the world. So why wouldn’t he leave her alone? She wasn’t the first person to dump a guy and she won’t be the last. He should grow up. Seriously, they should quit showing all those crime shows. They were giving creeps like him too many ideas.
Aunt Esinam assured her nothing would happen. She had reported the matter to the police and had been promised some security at the wedding.
“Get your beauty sleep, my dear. You need to look beautiful tomorrow.”*
She could feel her heart pounding in her ears as she walked down the aisle. Was he here watching her? Was he capable of shooting him in front of everyone? Did she want to find out?
She smiled when her eyes met Nana’s. He took her hand and gave it a squeeze.
“We are here to…”
Hurry up already, she muttered under her breath. She glanced at the priest when he finally got to the part of “Do you take Nana Yaw…”
The light suddenly went out and the priest paused. Everyone looked around. It was him. He was here. She looked at Nana Yaw. She had come too close to start the life she had always dreamed of, but she couldn’t risk losing him to a psycho.
“I’m sorry, Norvisi but I don’t think I can do this.” She blinked. What? Someone waving in the corner behind Nana Yaw caught her eye. What did he do?
“I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you and I can’t do that if you are dead.”
“What are you talking about?”
Norvisi woke up startled. Looked at her ring finger. Nothing.
“Good morning, darling. Nightmare?” She turned to look at the face. It was Nii.
She screamed. Was it a premonition?
“Sorry, did I scare you?” He sat up and pulled her in for a kiss.
“There’s nothing to be scared of, my love. I will always be there for you, Norvisi.” He took a rose lying on the bedside flower and gave it to her. She swallowed. She was in trouble. She knew it as she smelled it. She just had a flash forward and she had no idea how she could avoid it.
How would you avoid this future? Kindly share your thoughts.
© Josephine Amoako 2016