Sherna watched the comments on her channel trickling in. She and her husband had just made a video for their followers. In just an hour, their video had already gained some hundreds of thousands of views. She expected this type of reaction from their fans.
Rupert, Sherna is so lucky to have you
Rupert is my all time crush! Sherna, keep him well otherwise, we might just snatch him away..jk
I just love this couple. The only real couple in all Reality shows
Sherna smiled, not with glimmering pride, but at how all these people were so wrong.
None of them knew how monstrous Rupert was. She watched him on the video, acting all smitten up, giving her a bite of a birthday cake, then holding her close to him and singing her the birthday song. It wasn’t even her birthday. Sherna wondered if he even knew her date of birth.
Yet here they were, deceiving the world that the two shared an unbreakable bond while in truth, the bond broke into tiny irreparable pieces, ages ago.
She heard him call out to her. He was in the bedroom.
“Where is my phone tablet? It was right here!” He roared at her. A few hours ago, he was coddling her with love, but it had been just for the camera.
She looked around and saw it under the bed. She hadn’t been in the bedroom for some hours but she knew he would accuse her of misplacing it. She took it and gave it to him.
“I told you to be careful with this gadget, have you forgotten how much it costs? Where are your ears when I speak?” He blurted out as he grabbed it from her.
“Sorry.” She said, not ready for another fight. She watched him make himself comfortable on the bed, his focus now on the tablet, smiling now and then.
“Three hundred thousand views already!” He exclaimed.
She quietly left the room and went to the kitchen downstairs. The house they lived in was magnificent, everything in it spelt opulence. Nothing made her happy lately, even the latest gadget they had purchased, a 110 inch Curved television that almost filled a wall.
They had earned all that wealth together, by being social media influencers and product ambassadors.
Looking at them posing in a picture, they formed a very loving couple. Rupert had the American height, and he was heavily built, a result of daily visits to the gym. He was handsome, and had a killer smile that women drooled over. A smile Sherna had loved at first sight. Rupert then had this voice, a strong authoritative bass voice.
Years back, he had started as a radio presenter but women demanded to see the face behind the deep attractive voice. A TV station hired him as a news anchor and their ratings shot up like a rocket. The public couldn’t have enough of him.
One day, he was busy preparing for the evening news when Sherna, a model at that time, walked in.
She walked the office’s aisle like a runway. Her long hair sprang up and down at her every step. The fragrance around her could wake the dead. All the staff members stopped what they were doing to stare as she catwalked to the CEO’S office. When she closed the door behind her, the men took a deep breath while the ladies pretended they had not noticed her.
“Angels on earth, I tell you!” Rupert said to a fellow male colleague.
“Whoaa, if I had such a woman even for a day, I would say I have lived my life well, now death can take me!” His colleague said, feigning a death posture.
The colleagues laughed at his joke. Then the CEO’S office opened and Sherna walked out closely followed by Mr Hasif. He looked around and beckoned at Rupert. It was his lucky day.
“Rupert, meet Sherna, second runners-up Miss World, now the head campaigner of the ‘Operation Stop Domestic Violence’. She is requesting that you give her a small segment in your news piece in the evening to say something about the campaign.”
Sherna remembers how Rupert had treated her with respect. He had asked for her number after the news program. The two had started it off like a house on fire.
Unfortunately, months later, Rupert was fired after conflicting with the TV boss. He announced his end at the TV station through You tube. The channel garnered lots of views that led to a nationwide petition for him to get his job back. But the TV boss would hear none of it.
“Look at the bright side. You still have You Tube! See the views you have already, and it’s just your first video?” Sherna encouraged him. Rupert agreed. That would be his new way to earn money. He uploaded more videos telling the public how he was coping after the dismissal at work. The outcome was good for Rupert.
Then he thought he could even gain more views if he put his girlfriend in picture. He was right. The subscribers doubled.
Henceforth, he would post a video of them two taking a walk or cooking together or even bathing their pet and the watchers increased every day.
Rupert got hungry for more attention. He filmed proposing to Sherna who hadn’t seen that coming. She was shocked but happy.
The wedding was a private affair of close friends and family but the motive of having it such an intimate affair was not to keep the private ocassion to themselves. Rupert revealed to Sherna days later.
“Honey, if we release this to the public through our channel, we could reach one million subscribers and that will be great for the two of us!” He said excitedly at Sherna who had expressed her displeasure at showing her wedding video to the world.
“No Rupert, the wedding film stays private.” She said but did not see what was coming her way in the following few seconds.
She rubbed her hot cheek in disbelief.
“Rupert, did you just slap me?” She asked.
He held her tightly below her shoulders, glaring menacingly at her.
“Nobody tells me what not to do or to do in my house! Is that clear?”
She was very afraid that all she did was say a feeble ‘Yes’. He let go of her and stormed out of the house only to come back few hours later, tears in his eyes, begging to be forgiven, repeating that such behaviour would never happen again. But he had already posted the wedding video.
It was now a year since they got married. Sherna was cooking for her husband with her eyes so glassy that she had to shut them hard for the tears to fall out and give her a better view of the food she was cooking.
She wondered why she had been such a fool that she had not seen the violent side of Rupert. His reputation was that of a man who cherished his wife and would do anything to make his wife happy. Consequently , many women adored him for being a family man while men asked for advice to be like him.
Sherna knew better than to try and taint him otherwise. She had once threatened to tell their fans that he was a violent man but he had beaten her black and blue. She had broken a hand and leg and although her face had received a few slaps, there were no visible marks on it indicating a physical fight.
Sherna remembered how he had filmed himself feeding her and pampering her as she laid on the sofa, saying sorry to her for falling off the stairs. She had no energy then and moreso courage to tell the camera that captured every moment that he had been the cause of the broken hand and leg. She only did as he had firmly instructed, “Keep saying, ‘Thank you babe!I am so lucky to have you!’ ”
This was Sherna’s life for the past one year. Every time she was alone, a bad memory would come creeping in her mind, and then a deep regret would follow then a strong urge to stop torturing herself and walk out of the marriage. But something would make her continue holding on.
It was probably the tearful apology that Rupert would stage after a violent episode, or the threat that he would rather kill himself than stay without her. It could also be the fear to walk away from a marriage which everybody thought was the epitome of all. She feared the online lash that would follow her if she walked out. She knew no one would believe that the beloved sweet Rupert would even harm a fly. Plus, where would she even start?
No modelling agency would have her with the weight she had gained round her waist. And brands would not have her if she did not have Rupert by her side. She was stuck with Rupert.
She heard him jumping down the stairs whistling a happy birthday song.
“Hhmmm, smells nice, what’s for dinner?” He asked with a smile.
“Your favorite, rice with chicken curry.” She replied as she served him his plate then left him to eat.
She had only taken the first stair, when she heard him ask, “Where do you think you are going? Come back here, sit and eat!” His deep voice echoed in the house.
“I am not hungry Rupert. I am so tired, I need some sleep.” She said meekly.
He dropped his spoon and took two long strides to her ,then grabbed her by the hand and pulled her back to the dining area.
“Sit and eat with your husband!” He ordered. She served herself small portions and forced them down her throat. He watched her as he gobbled down his servings then said,
“Honey, let’s have a baby.”
She looked up at him in bewilderment. Rupert hated kids. He had said so himself.
“I thought you don’t like kids?”
“Mm…I am starting to look at it in a different angle. Think of it this way, if we got a baby, we would have more subscribers on our channel translating to more advertisement contracts, more products to campaign for, in short more money for both of us!”
“Really Rupert? Don’t you think you are going too far this time?” She said it without a second thought. He pushed all the cutlery down the floor. Sherna, seeing that, took to her heels, up the stairs taking three at a time. She heard him pursuing her closely and then a sudden grab of her ankle but her adrenaline rush was too strong this time. She kicked back forcefully and felt the grip on her leg loosen and let off.
She glanced back and saw him loose balance, stumble and fall down. She stopped, afraid he was dead. However, he woke up and touched the back of his head with his right hand and saw the blood from the bleeding wound. His fiery angry eyes met her worried and frightened look.
“I will kill you today!” He hissed and rose up then started to climb the stairs. Sherna ran faster as she screamt at the top of her voice. She managed to get to the bedroom in time to lock it before Rupert reached to finish her off.
“I am telling everyone that you want to kill me Rupert. The world has to know who you really are!” She was saying as he banged on the door endlessly.
He stopped and started to beg her to open the door, to resolve the conflict like the adults they were. He started to sob for her forgiveness , saying he was now open for professional help.
“Today the world will know your true colours. I swear to you Rupert, your days of pretense are now over!” She kept saying.
Then she realised that the banging had stopped, the begging too. She peeped through the key hole and saw no sign of him. Then she heard the engine of their car roar and he drove off. She could now take a deep breath. She ran down stairs to the main door and locked it and every other door that she thought he would come through. Then she sat down on the sofa with a glass of water wondering what to do next.
She must have gotten lost in her own thoughts because her phone ringtone startled her. It was her best friend.
“Check You Tube quick!” Rose Mary urged her and hang up. Sherna felt a flutter in her stomach. She opened her You Tube account and noticed a new video. This was the first video he had uploaded without her knowledge.
There he was, crying uncontrollably , showing his bleeding head to the camera for the viewers to have a better view.
“She gets so angry at a petty issue and can’t control herself. I have tried helping her but nothing seems to work. I can’t hide this anymore guys, please help me help her. I love her so much and I don’t want to lose her. I am scared of her and the worst part is that she is in denial of her anger problem. I can’t do this anymore!” He said, so convincingly.
Sherna was perplexed. Rupert had taken her threats seriously and devised a way to protect himself. The plan had truly worked to his favour. Comments were coming in thick and fast under his video.
No! Rupert,she doesn’t deserve you!
Why are you still with her when you can be with any other woman who will treat you right?
So sorry Rupert, my heart bleeds for you.
Leave her now!
Why do good people fall for evil people!
Sherna has spoilt a very good marriage because of failing to manage her anger, what a fool!
Sherna read them all, most of the commenters were women. None of them asked to hear Sherna’s story. Rupert’s story was enough to make judgement. She switched her phone off after endless phone calls and abusive texts from strangers cursing her for hurting Rupert.
“What did I ever do to deserve all these?” Sherna cried feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
-TO BE CONTINUED-