Sunday, September 7, 2014

Her fight with the devil

By Chinwe J. Obinwanne

Mabel stared into the mirror. She couldn’t recognize the face that stared back. She didn’t know who the hell this person was.

This wasn’t the first time she was looking into a mirror. But this was the first time she saw a face unknown to her.

She lifted her brows in surprise. The strange face did the same.
Why was this person mimicking her?

She moved her hands over her face. It hurt. The strange face did the same. It then occurred to her that this was no stranger. This was her. Suddenly the events that caused her not to recognize her own face came pouring back.


It had started like a beautiful dream. Her life was taking shape and she loved every bit of the game played by fate.

Mabel was beautiful. She was light-skinned, stood at 5ft 8inch, endowed both in the front and behind, she was smart. She was intelligent. She was industrious. She was hardworking. She was the only daughter of Chief Emezie and the apple of his eyes.

Mabel was the girl all other girls looked at and appreciated God’s handiwork. All the make-up she needed was lip-gloss and white powder; and she would look more beautiful than that woman who spent a fortune on loads of makeup for her face. The beauty and length of her eyelashes would put the artificial lashes sold in the market to shame.

She had a flaw. She had a broken tooth as a result of a fall she had when she was a kid. But that flaw, men saw as beautiful.

Looking at Mabel, the only perfect word to describe her was ‘Ajebutter’ because she didn’t look like she had broken a sweat in hard work all her life.

She went to the best schools and graduated with a 2:1 in Mass Communication. Life was bliss for her as while she was still doing her National youth service in Benin, she landed a cool job with a mouthwatering salary.

Friends envied her. Enemies felt like killing themselves. Life smiled broadly at her. And men? They came in droves after her, seeking to put a ring on it.

She was confused. Who would she wed? In all the beauty life had to offer, she hadn’t been fortunate with men. They had always cheated on her. She couldn’t understand the reason for that.  Her fear couldn’t let her narrow down her choice.

Wouldn’t they all be the same? She thought. Finally, she picked one. A man who was not among the many suitors. A man her parents told her hailed from a nearby village to theirs in Abia state.

She saw him and liked what she saw. He was 6ft 2inches in height, light-skinned, built like an athlete, handsome and owned his own business. She was even happier because her parents knew his parents and vice versa. She was certain this man was the right man for her. She was sure he wouldn’t treat her wrong since his family and hers came from the same place. She was happy that he wouldn’t make her leave the roman Catholic church because he was also a catholic.

The stage was set. Wedding bells had started chiming in the air. Guests had been informed. The mood was perfect for the wedding vows. She looked radiant on that day and her prince charming looked dashing.

Guests oohed and aahed at the perfect combination. Friends predicted how perfect their kids would look. When beauty met handsomeness, their kids had to be extraordinary.

The day came and went. She was married. She was Mrs. Mabel Odoziani. She moved into her matrimonial home. That day started the nightmare. One she couldn’t believe was now her life.


Michael Odoziani changed overnight, or so she thought. Perhaps he had always been like that. Perhaps she had ignored it believing he would change.

Now that she thought of it, he had pulled her somewhat roughly on their wedding day when she was dancing with a colleague. She had thought nothing of that. But now, that and many other minor actions began to make perfect sense.

Mabel had been on her menstrual period on the day of her wedding, so she planed her seduction after the flow. Her plan never happened because her husband had raped her blood and all that night.

She didn’t want to term it rape. After all, people would say a husband can’t rape his own wife. But that was exactly what Michael did. She had chalked it down to intense desire and his want for her. But that would continue what she now lived as a life.

One year later, things had gone from bad to worse. The next two years were even worse.

Mabel became Michael’s bank. He would borrow huge sums of money from her and never pay back. He would give her only N2000 for weekend cooking and when she supplemented with her own money, he would beat her black and blue asking why she dared to do that. He told her she was insulting him and telling him inaudibly that he wasn’t man enough to take care of his own home.

She never looked in the mirror after any of such ordeals. She would take days away from work to heal and then resume fresh and smiling.

Mabel was suffering and smiling and no one but her knew her dilemma.

When people looked at Michael, they saw a handsome and hardworking man but when Mabel looked, her heart caught in her throat at the deadly monster staring back at her.

She was certain God didn’t create this one. His apprentice Lucifer must have a hand in fashioning this creature that called himself her husband.

Oh, how the fallen angel must be having bouts of laughter at her expense. He must have schemed and planned this so perfectly making sure she took a liking to his agent. Now they were taunting her. Now, they were driving her insane.

Mabel became the shadow of herself. The only solace she had was her job. It was from there also that Lucifer decided to play his next wicked game. One she overcame with every ounce of her being.


Kingsley Ugani had just been transferred to the bank as the new branch manager. The first thing that caught and held his attention from the first day he stepped into the banking hall was the beautiful marketer Mabel.
He studied her like a course for months before making his move. The fact that she was married didn’t matter to Kingsley.

During his months of studying her, he had seen her hidden agony and tears. He had watched her suffer. He had noticed the times she had claimed to have ‘apollo’ covering her eyes with dark shades. He knew that she must be getting beat up constantly. He decided within himself that the man she married didn’t deserve her.

To be sure it wasn’t just his emotions getting the better of him, Kingsley decided to look into Mabel’s husband.

What he found left his heart cold. He was sure it would snatch the life from Mabel if she knew. Her husband was a chronic philanderer. He was sleeping with everything in skirt plus some in trousers. He was bisexual. 

His Facebook page was a sorry sight as he engaged openly in love discussions with several women.
Kingsley made his move. Click and whrrr…. They soon became good friends, he and Mabel. She started confiding in him and soon, he found himself falling helplessly in love with her.

She was unaware of this though.

When he later told her of his feelings, she laughed sadly and told him she liked him a lot but would never commit adultery. He persuaded her to leave the marriage. Again, that sad smile played around Mabel’s lips.

She wouldn’t be that woman who left her home because she wanted to be with another man. She would leave Michael on her own and make sure the action hit him where it’ll hurt the most.

Mabel had decided to keep her unhappiness from her parents and siblings. She believed she could handle it. That was until she came home from work late one night due to mad traffic and found that her keys didn’t work in opening up her apartment. Michael had changed the locks.

When she called him up, he asked her to return to where she was coming from. Mabel went to the neighbour’s house and slept. The next morning, she went to her house and found that her husband had locked the house and gone out. What could she do? She simply went into a boutique, bought a dress and went to work in it.

This event forced her to tell her mother her misery. Her mother didn’t believe it.  That was until she got her own bite of the cake.

Michael had returned drunk one day and was banging the door hard. He was almost breaking it down when Mabel’s mom who had come visiting raised her voice to tell the person knocking to take it easy. When she eventually opened the door, her son-in-law pounced on her and gave her a beating she wouldn’t forget in a hurry. How dare she dictate to him in his own house?


Mabel’s father came that day with her two brothers threatening fire and brimstone. They were firing from all cylinders but when they got to Mabel’s house, they found it surrounded by mobile policemen. Michael  was ready for them.

Try as they may, they couldn’t see Michael or even tell Mabel to come with them. They got tired eventually while Michael laughed long and hard at them.

After they left, Michael gave Mabel a good beating. She fought back for a moment. She even picked up a weapon but was overpowered. So she left herself at the mercy of his punches, kicks and belt-flogs.  When he had had his fill, he got in between her legs and relieved himself; ensuring to make it as painful and rough as possible before pushing her aside like a used rag.

Mabel sat in her room and cried till she saw no more tears. She begged God to take her life. She was tired of living. She was a ghost of her former self. She was drained physically and emotionally.

She took one more look at her face in the mirror. Looked down at the blood that dripped from her legs and her chest heaved. This was the third pregnancy she was losing in this cursed marriage. She was sad that her babies were dying but a part of her was happy. She didn’t want to bring babies into a cursed home to a cursed father.

She needed to make a decision. She needed to do that fast.

She took a final look at her face and headed to the bathroom. Showered and fresh, her head went into thinking mode.

She thought long and hard. She had about N6million in her savings. Money she never thought would come in handy. Money she had saved over the course of 6 years in case of a rainy day. Now the rain was pouring on her hard. The rain was threatening to rip up her skin. Now, she needed the money.


When Mabel called Bruno, he was shocked. They were childhood friends and lost touch after many years when Bruno travelled to the United States to study Computer Engineering and to do a course in ethical hacking. Dude eventually became a pro at hacking into any and every system available. All he needed were minor details and he would break a bank if need be.

He did this for fun and not the money as he had a lucrative business going for him. Only close friends and family knew the dark hobby of his. And a few months after his return from the states, one of those close friends employed his expertise. Bruno was glad to oblige.

Derek had been working closely with Mabel on some freelance jobs. He was based in Singapore and he was also a master at forging signatures. He too came in handy when called upon.

Joan had always admired her school mother right from secondary school. She was the reason she was a lawyer today. She knew she could do anything for Mabel if she asked. And so when Mabel eventually called her number after 2 long years of being incommunicado, she jumped at the offer of help. But she wasn’t needed in the long run.


It all took two months of endurance for Mabel. She was finally ready to play her next hand at this game of chess life was playing with her. All was ready.

That morning, before Michael left for his business, she looked him in the eye and waved him goodbye. He smirked at her cold face, hissed and slammed the car door.

He was on his way when his neighbor at the shop called him sounding frantic. His warehouse and shops with all his goods were engulfed in flames. A fire had somehow started and everything was razed to the ground. Just as he was trying to get a grip on the situation, he hit a car that stopped suddenly in front of him.

He jumped down angrily but quieted down when he saw the nuzzle of the gun. Before he could say Jack Robinson, his car had disappeared along with his assailants.

He took the nearest bike to see what was left of his goods.

He met sorry-looking faces shaking their heads in pity. He saw nothing but ashes.

His only hope was in the N30million he had saved up in his two accounts, his 3 properties and his wife’s car. 
He also reckoned that since he had control of his wife, he would force her to fund his business till it stood again. She was his pawn to move. Or so he thought.


When Michael got home strangers were in his house. Who they hell were they he thought.

Before he could blink, his lawyer showed up smiling at him.

“Mike, my man. Congrats o” Kehinde said.

“What are you doing here. And what in God’s name are you talking about?” Michael responded.

“Your wife told me of the surprise today. You both had safely hidden it till now.” Continued Kehinde.

“What surprise? Haven’t you heard what happened at my warehouse and shops” responded a now visibly angry and confused Michael.

“ Haba… calm down now. Mabel told me that you guys were relocating to Spain for good. She gave me the house and property papers with a hand-written letter from you asking me to sell the house and properties and pay the money into your accounts. I have already done that. These are the new occupants of the home. It was even easier as she provided the people that bought the house and properties. Didn’t you get the alert of N200million paid into your two accounts?” responded a now agitated Kehinde.

“How can I get alert when I never activated alerts for those accounts. I never touch the money in those. Wait let me call my account officers” Michael said, scared out of his mind.

When he ended the calls, his face was white. His accounts had been cleared. He had zilch. He had nada. No kobo in any account save for the N30, 000 he had in his savings account.

The bank had told him the transaction came from him. It was a transfer to his wife’s account.


Mabel didn’t care who came after her. She had changed her name. She had changed her hair colour. She had even gone as far not letting her family in on her actions. She had disappeared into thin air. She needed time to finish her little plan. She knew she’d be caught. But for now, she’d have the fun of her life gloating over the fall of the being called Michael.

She didn’t need this devil’s money. She had in fact donated it in bits to orphanages in Brussel, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and Somalia respectively.

She needed him to suffer. She knew that it was only a matter of time before she was nabbed. She was ready for anything at the cost of ruining Michael’s life.

She never planned her life to be this way. The devil had planned every bit of it.

Now she was ready to fight the devil himself having punished Michael as he deserved.

She took one long look at her family picture on Facebook. She would miss them. Tears dropped from her eyes at what her aged father would feel at this moment.

Having etched their faces in her memory, she prayed to God for forgiveness and drank the poison.

It would in a short time, be her against the devil himself. Against the agent that orchestrated the ruin of a life that started so beautifully for her. Against that power that has forced her to become the devil herself.

She would never give Michael the satisfaction of punishing her one more time. With this thought, she smiled a real smile as life seeped out of her.


I know this was really a long piece. If you took the time to finish it, thanks a lot for stopping by. Kindly share with your friends and tell me in the comment section below what you thought of this article. Cheers!

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