MY ONCE LITTLE PUPPY
I used to have a puppy, a beautiful, brown furred, male puppy. He was obedient, loving, would lick at my feet; would wag its tail around me. I gave him the best of things, feeding, attention and love. And he reciprocated. No matter what love anyone showed him, he remembered his home, me, his real owner.
And he was like that until he came of age. When he was about 2 and a half feet tall, he spent less time at home. Whenever he had the chance, he sneaked out, jumping over the fence. He spent less time at home. He was always with the neighbours’ bitch. He spent the night outside in the street with one neighbour’s dog or another.
When he returned, he got punished, a whole day tied, without food. He looked feeble and made me think, he was only being a dog. He got released and off he went again, down the street, to his bitches. And that day, he never returned. His head was splattered on the road.
He was just being a dog.
YOU KNOW A MALE DOG
Sometimes he comes home –those are pretty good days. Most times he doesn’t return at all. No argument, he always has to be busy. When he calls, saying ‘I can’t be able to make it home tonight,’ you know a male dog; he has taken to the bitch’s bed that night.
A dog is a dog.
When you have a dog in form of a man, he loves you. No point in thinking otherwise. His world will crumble if you desert him, you have noticed. Who will give him such a warm care? You are the moon that light is starry night. The noon is bleak without the sun. The only woman in his life is you; though he is troubled by other women – he is troubled, not the other way round – and they are just trying, he is yours. He will always return to you. He always will.
He will cuddle you all over like a pet he is. Maybe he wants something in the heat. You have to be a careful – use condoms – else you pay for someone’s sin for the rest of your life. A dog will always be a dog.
THE MALE DOG
When we first met, it was magnetic. He was handsomely tall, with white eyeballs I would look up to see despite wearing heels, chocolate skin and he loved a tidy beard.
Just like the first time I picked my once little puppy, he, too, was beautiful.
We clicked quickly. He was from the south like I was. I called him Ayomi, though his mother named him Ayomide. He meant my joy, my world, the freezer that kept my love ice compact. Like loving my little puppy, we were made for each other and nothing could divide us.
He would skip class to have a nice time with me – in his house, in his bed, under the same blanket. He would remember my birthday and would meet my friend, gloriously declaring himself as the proposed groom. I received jealous stares.
Now I wished I should have recognized him as a dog, just like I did carrying my once little puppy. How I wished – now – that all we shared was a feeble dream that troubled my imagination. How I wished it wasn’t a reality that trouble my mind and extended to my sleep. My day was a mess for still having him.
Damn it! That blanket has covered many bitches; it’s hard to think.
It was good for them- fools. They knew they weren’t loved and they followed him. Or perhaps they were innocent like me – but weren’t just lucky. Who knows?
In the beginning, I was in their shoes. He said so sweet, ‘I have girls, who want me, but I know what I want and I’m sure none is like you. Kiki. I want this to work if you will only trust me.’ And I trusted him – like they did.
I believed him. I got lucky, got a ring, a promise that this would work after graduation. Unlike those unlucky ladies, who got nothing except kiss and many gifts and a night(s) under the sheet – it hurt to think. Maybe they got the ‘you mean a lot to me’ too. But he never loved them, or gave anyone else a ring or met anyone else’s parents Or maybe they did – That’s hard to know. Thinking of it stabbed my heart with needle stings.
I got to know him gradually as I did understand my once little puppy.
One night during the dog to lady relationship, his bed was wet with semen, just at an unexpected visit. He begged. We moved on – we all make mistakes. The other day at the supermarket, he went back that he forgot his phone which, in fact, was in the car. He went back – and I saw him… I saw the idiot wagging round another damsel. He fought hard for an explanation. My door recognized him every day as the fool who always came every day to beg for forgiveness. He would come dejected pleading at the door. He seemed as my once little puppy, crawled at the door, sad, with deflated ears. Then, I accepted him back.
The day that pulverize our relationship – he would have died. My cousin fell into his trap. I would have ended his life, just like one heartless driver did to my once little puppy. Rather, when I found them under the same blanket, my cousin, ignorant of the man’s connection with me, I bursted into fistful tears. Ayomi ruined me. I won’t let him empathize with me, I thought, this is the end. But he wouldn’t let it be.
On my finger was his ring, the promise. Our life would blossom. Our kids would play, with us sitting, watching together under evenly pruned, green grasses. The girl would have his eyes; the boy would have his height. These have ended, I thought.
The first magnetic love at Shoprite came back like a strong storm into my head, distorting many cords and I winched. When we were young – four years ago – it was just like the dream from a favourite play. Romeo and Juliet. He had the face, the physic, the wealth. He had money pillars to lean on. Girls flocked around him. Like tick to my once little puppy.
Once, when we had a hot argument, he shouted, ‘is it my fault that girls want me?’ He was close to tears. He needed help, I thought. I would have helped him, like I did, disinfecting ticks – girls – from my once little puppy. But Ayomi could not be helped. He wanted to do this just as much as they flocked around him like a thousand insects.
He came begging. He had grown lean and thin —- untidy beards, sore eyes, couldn’t look into mine. I sent him back with a stick. He kept coming.
Everywhere I go – home, friends gathering, and office – I received his message from friends and relatives. ‘He has changed. Give him another chance.’ Only if they knew how many chances I gave him.
He would come again, to the office, home, Shoprite, my saloon – looking like my once little puppy after being punished with a day fast. I couldn’t help it that my cousin shared the same bed with him. It’s too much to chew. Though the marriage was close, I would let it go. But his family and mine would not hear it. They came as though no other woman could wear his wedding ring. And Ayomi disturbed my dreams. In the day, he was getting thinner.
I wouldn’t have watched him die. I remembered those times when he was healthy, when we used to share the same cup of margarita. Or those times when we cuddled in the same tub, naked, covered in warm foams. Or the day together outside, our back on the beach’s sand, staring at the sea’s sky. We had thought of Korean names for each other. He had said I would be ‘Kim.’ Then, he would be ‘Lee.’ Or the other day, when we travelled to our village, he drank a lot of palm wine till he fell asleep. I tried carrying him on my back, he was too heavy, some meters covered and we fell. He wasn’t alcoholic, I could swear. It tasted good, he had said the next day, I couldn’t help it.
Then I embraced, with a teary smile, the possibility of those times again – he was the best I had had , and I couldn’t just let him go.
Two months later, after our marriage, we had a hot argument about his lateness and I stormed out to my parents. Willingly, I returned the third day to find another woman, in my home, under the same blanket – with the dog.
Oh dog, you are just what you are – a dog.
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