The bathtub didn’t give her the solace she needed even after submerging her body into it for more than an hour. She emerged from the soapy cold water still feeling lost and defeated.
As she walked to the door, she caught a glimpse of her naked self. She stopped to have a better view of the dejected woman that was her reflection. She tried catwalking to the mirror and stopped, embarrassed at the image before her.
The lithe flawless body was no more. She now had some fat around her hands, stomach and thighs. That wasn’t anyone’s fault. What she was angry about were the scars that filled her body. They were like badly drawn tattoos. Now that, was Rupert’s fault.
She sat on the cold floor and hunched over facing the icy slippery floor, and the tears started to fall again.
Then she looked up , sniffed back her running nose, sprang up and did the catwalk.
She was in the runway again, hypnotizing her audience with her confidence and beauty. She stopped an inch near the mirror , then turned around stylishly and threw self-assured looks at her awed audience. They were clapping and nodding at her. She bowed at them all, thanking them for their applause.
Then she saw a crowd of women, listening to her speech as she urged them to love themselves first , never to allow anyone put them down. She smiled as they hang on her every word.
But that was less than two years ago when Sherna was a fashion magnate. Back then , men broke their necks while trying to catch a glimpse of her while women adored and envied her in equal measure. She was planning to take the fight against to a higher notch when she met Rupert. Marriage shelved her dreams.
What happened Sherna? Where did that assertive girl go? You used to be so fearless. You campaigned against domestic violence! You will die and the world will spit on your grave because Rupert will make them think you deserved it. Wake up Sherna! This new Sherna is not good for herself!
The voice in her head was louder by every word. She would no longer be the woman that said Yes to every thing that Rupert asked her to, who smiled to conceal the pain in the supposed blissful marriage, or the one who took all the blame when everything fell apart. The circus is over, Rupert. I got the steering wheel now!
She unlocked the doors and waited. He came in , his head bandaged, his jaws actively chewing gum. He bounced in like a lottery winner and smirked when he saw her two black suitcases parked near the door. He walked to the fridge and took out a bottle of beer.
“Is the taxi outside waiting for you?” He asked in utmost arrogance.
“I can’t do this anymore Rupert. You won after lying to the whole world.” She said in the calmest of her tones.
Rupert slowly walked to her, smiling cynically and then sat next to her. He held her chin with his index and thumb and pulled her close to his face.
“Nobody threatens Rupert! Nobody! I will not let anyone kill my dreams….And you are not going anywhere, not until I say so!” He hissed menacingly.
“Rupert. Some day you will hurt me and the fans will know you are the one with the problem!” She pleaded. He let her go and snorted.
“How will they ever know, I write my own script and the gullible bootlickers believe every line.” He boasted and his deep voice gave way to a hoarse diabolical laughter.
“Rupert, let’s be true to ourselves then. Our marriage is a wreck, let’s go separate ways. You have already told them I have anger problems , you can tell them you couldn’t cope with me anymore. It will be a plus for y…” Sherna pleaded but couldn’t complete her statement.
Rupert sprang at her and thwacked her on her face with such force that Sherna saw stars for some seconds.
“Didn’t I just say that I write the script? Rupert is the scriptwriter! Nobody tells me what to do or say! Understood?” He roared.
She nodded. Was this a good plan? She started to regret. She had to avoid provoking him, but how would she do so when he reacted at the slighest goading? Sherna had to come up with something fast to calm him down.
“Ok. You talked about a baby. I will have your baby.” She said, her voice urgently negotiated.
His phone rang. Sherna’s heart stopped for a minute. She knew if he picked that call it would be the end of her.
She ran to him and pushed her body close to his, feeling his manhood. “Rupert, I want you to be happy, if a baby will bring more money then so be it babe!” She murmured softly. He looked at her confused at her reaction. The phone had stopped ringing. He threw her away from him.
“What is it with you?” He asked and squinted at her trying to read through her. “Oh, I know. I lied about you and they believed me, disowning you, right? Everyone is against you now and you have only me.” He let out the devilish laughter again. She came to him and leant on his chest and smiled at how wrong he knew her.
“Rupert, a part of me wants to leave and I ask myself, where to? You are my world.” She was fondling him all over, keen to tightly press the side buttons of his phone through his clothes to shut it off.
His face was grimacing at his wife’s attention on him. Sherna could almost predict his next move. Rupert threw her on the sofa and clicked his mouth, then gulped down the remaining beer.
“I am not in the mood right now. I just came from a sexcapade with a fresh young damsel,” He said as he gave her a risque smug, then he added, “This one was under eighteen years, it was her first time and I enjoyed every bit of deflowering her!” He laughed again and headed for the stairs. He was still laughing as he entered the bedroom. Sherna knew he was headed for a shower.
This was her chance. She grabbed her phone, her handbag and the suitcases and ran out. She ran like she was running for her life. The taxi guy, upon seeing her put his phone down and ignited the engine of his car, his right foot on the accelerator. As soon as she put all her luggage inside and jumped in, he stepped on it. She closed the door as it veered off.
“Madam Sherna, kumbe this Rupert guy is an animal!” The taxi man asked excitedly. He had watched the live show from his phone.
She took out her phone and saw the missed calls and unread texts. She would read them later. Now, her only interest was YouTube.
“Badum, badum!” Sherna exclaimed. Her plan had succeeded. She had hidden her camera phone behind the teddy bears on the living room shelves. All that time, it was streaming the ongoings in the house.
Fans tagged each other, even those who did not follow Rupert and Sherna couldn’t ignore this video. It was raw and live, unedited and uncut. This was the realest of all the reality shows they had ever uploaded. Rupert was showing his true colours. People could not believe that Rupert would be so evil. And when he smacked his wife, who he had always claimed to love with all his heart, they gasped in shock.
Sherna scanned through the comments and knew Rupert was in very dire straits.
Did he just call us gullible bootlickers?😡😡
The jerk did!He got the nerve!
Poor Sherna, we judged her so wrongly! OMG!Did he just strike her?
He said an under eighteen,right? Coz I want to go and cut his balls off!
Sherna, will you ever forgive us?😥😥😥😥
I can’t watch this anymore. No.
Meanwhile, Rupert was whistling the birthday song under the shower drops that hit his body so warmly. The wound on his head didn’t even hurt as much. He smiled at how well his plans were going. Sherna had even given in on the baby issue.
He walked out of the bedroom and picked his towel , whistling as he wiped the water off his body. He would take a nap and then head for downstairs in the evening to have supper.
Three hours later, he woke up famished. He was puzzled that the aroma of food was not beating his nostrils as it usually did when Sherna cooked.
He took his phone from the trouser that was lying on the floor. He frowned that it was off. He couldn’t remember switching it off.
“What? 100 missed calls? 400 hundred texts!”
You should rot in hell you piece of shit!
Never call me, or text us. We no longer regard you as a friend!
You are a disgrace to all men.
Sherna did not deserve you at all.
Rupert’s mind was in a maze. He knew Sherna had done something. He sprinted downstairs hungry for her blood. She was no where to be seen. He was puffing and panting like an old steam engine.
He sat on the sofa with a thud and took a deep breath to ready himself to check where his guts warned him not to. He opened the app and saw it.
It was all there, bare and unhidden ; the true Rupert, exposed to the world. He bit his nails nervously as he watched himself strike his wife, belittle her and worst of all, admit that he had slept with an underage girl.
“Dammit Sherna!” He howled. He flung the phone away but then picked it up quickly when he heard a ring. It was a marketing manager of one of the products him and Sherna had been paid to endorse.
“Mr Rupert, we have with immediate effect terminated our contract with you for obvious reasons. We would appreciate if you did not continue advertising on our behalf. ” The caller said.
“No!” He said as he fell on his chair when his knees failed him. This was their highest paying company. Rupert knew the rest of the companies would also drop him like a hot brick, one after another.
As the world was tumbling down on Rupert, Sherna was clinking glasses with her best friend, Rose Mary.
“You need to do one more thing now,” her friend suggested.
“File a police report.” She said, Sherna agreed and they hastily put their glasses on the table. They would hit the nail while still hot.
It wasn’t a case the police would ignore. They were eager to take up on it. Determined to appease the fired up public, they went to make the arrest.
Two policemen knocked on his door. There was no response. Another knock and still no response. Sherna and RoseMary had followed the policemen in another car.
Sherna saw the policemen’s tension as they stood at the door. She jumped out of the car quickly and ran to Rupert’s house. She still had the spare key.
Rupert heard seen the approaching police cars from his window. He was hastily tying the rope around the ceiling fan. To Rupert, death was a better option than going through any more humiliation. He stepped on the stool and put the noose around his neck then swiftly kicked the stool under him.
“Twaaafff!” The gunshot sounded, the rope cut into two, Rupert fell on the ground.
“Did you really think you would get away this, so easily, Rupert?” Sherna asked the man who had controlled her all their marriage life.
“Rupert, any man who hits a woman is a big coward, like you. You are not a man but a coward who hides behind blows and kicks.” She said as Rupert struggled to wriggle his way to attack Sherna but the policemen were too strong for him. They dragged him out of the house as he bent his head trying to evade the curious eyes of his neighbours.
RoseMary joined her friend minutes later.
“So, will you continue with the You Tube endorsements? You are now some hot cake and companies will throw themselves at you like crazy!”
“Naah. That was never my thing. It was Rupert’s. ”
“So what will you do with your life?” RoseMary inquired.
Sherna stood up straight and as if in a fashion show, she walked around her house imitating Tyra Banks on a runway. She stopped, her hands on her waist, one leg in front of another.
“I am going back to modelling. I will bring back my sexy bod back,” she said as she approached her friend, “Then I will revive my campaign against Domestic Violence. This time, no one will persuade me to stop the campaign. No one.” It was a vow she was intent on keeping, forever.
“Dynamo Sherna is back!” Rose Mary proclaimed proudly!