Unlike the last room, the fourth room was surrounded by the smell of hate, so thick that a knife could cut through it. I could see it swirling from the reddish-black door. I didn’t want to go into the room. The hate stung my nose, made my stomach churn. The chair didn’t listen to me. It went through the door and I found myself in the midst of a thick argument.
“Useless man, your mates are out there looking for something for their family but look at you, the only thing you know how to do is to get drunk and beat me up. Foolish man, no wonder your stupid wife left you.” The voice was coming from the screen on the left wall in the dark room. It was the only source of light in the room. On the screen, the man that I had let into my house was standing with another woman, a bottle of drink in his hand. He stood wobbly on his feet and his hands were swinging as a warning to the woman.
I looked at her and frowned. Her face was similar to mine in the video that had played in the last room. Had the man beaten her as well? I listened on.
“Do…d…don’ttrymeo. If not you will go back to your parents house.”
The woman sneered at him. “Is it not better that I live in my parent’s house than die in this your house. God forbid.” She snapped her fingers at him. “I’m leaving this house now.” The woman made to leave but the man held her back… and the screen went white.
“That was when he killed me.”
“Jesus!” I shouted the cold voice had come up behind me. I turned to meet the crazed look of the woman from the video. The wounds had disappeared from her face, but the look in her eyes- they were so fierce, so scary. The chair moved me to come face to face with her.
“Who are you?” I asked.
She sneered, the same sneer she had in the video. It seemed as though it was a permanent feature on her fair face, her lips upturned in an ugly twist. “You don’t remember me eh? After all the threatening calls you gave to me? Mrs. Ihediora? Or I heard you changed your name.”
I took a deep breath. “Sorry, I still don’t understand what you mean? Who are you? Why do you hate me so much?”
She barked out a laugh and looked up, repeating my question. “Well, since you have lost your memory, I will do you good by reminding you.” She walked to sit on a chair that had appeared behind her then crossed her leg. They were as long and as slim as mine. The chair pulled me closer to her until we were barely two feet away from each other.
“You were married to Kanayo, I think it was for three years but there had been no issue between the both of you. I was Kanayo’s girlfriend. I enjoyed all the benefits of being with him.” Her lips quirked in a scornful smile. “And you, you got the worst side of him, the wife-beating, stingy, lazy and nagging type. Guess who he came to when he had a complaint about his boring wife that always smelt of kitchen spices. Me. Guess who he came to when he wanted to enjoy sex in different positions, in the kitchen, bedroom, just name it. It was me. And I never got tired of him. With him, it was a new day every day. We lodged in different hotels when I followed him for his business travels.” She winked at me. I almost felt the urge to slap her, to wipe that smug feeling out of her face.
“We had always been discrete.” She chuckled to herself. “Well, as discrete as one could be with a vigorous man like Kanayo. He liked, no, I dare to say that he loved me, in a special way. He displayed his love well, with money, gifts and affection. That was until you found out.” Her eyes blazed dangerously. “You dared to give me a call and threaten me. For what? Who do you think you are? How dare you pick up that phone and give me a call?” Her voice was fierce as she spat the questions at me.
I was grateful that I was already dead, if not, I was sure she would kill me. “But,” I dared to say. “He was my husband. I had the right to do that.”
“Not when you lost the right to him, which you did the moment he inserted his penis into my vagina. You lost that right when he went out of his marital home and came looking for a girlfriend and which he found with me. You no longer had that right to call me and threaten me.”
I remained quiet. She was crazy, really crazy. Why should she be that obsessed about someone else’s husband? I had no feeling for the man in the video. He was the lowest of all scums and didn’t deserve a space in my head.
“So why exactly are you angry with me? What did I do to cause your death? Why am I suddenly the villain in this story. Obviously, you and that man caused a lot of pain to me,” I asked softly.
“You left him.”
I blinked. “You said?”
“You left him and made him turn into a stupid, useless drunkard…wait, what did he say the last time you went back to him. ‘I’m on my knees now. I’m going to swear on my mother’s grave that if I ever raise my hand against you again, I will never succeed in anything I put my hands to’.” She shook her head. “He cursed himself, and what happened when he raised his hands against you again? You left him, he lost his business, he became a shell of his former self…And me,” she scoffed. “I was foolish enough to listen to his fake promises, remain with him and become the brunt of his anger.”
“So you don’t hate me? You hate him, you hate him for ruining your life for ending your life,” I continued calmly.
She croaked out, “I love him. It is you that I hate. Why did you have to leave him? If you didn’t, I would never have seen that side of him-”
“I would have died,” I cut in. “I would have died before my time, and he would still go back to you. It would be worse because he now has blood on his hands.”
She broke down into soft sobs. I made no move to console her, even if I could move, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. She had been unapologetic for taking part in ruining my marriage, one I cared little for.
“Is he dead?” I asked her. It would seem the best consolation to her to have to judge him. They would make a perfect fit. I wondered if the room would be able to contain the both of them.
“No.” She shook her head. “I am waiting for him here though. I will remain here until he comes. He is the last regret I have.”
I nodded slowly. The room had brightened to a light gray. It was much better than the darkness that had clouded it when I first entered.
“I’m sorry,” she muttered.
I stared at her in shock. “Eh?”
“I said I’m sorry,” she said, louder this time. “For trying to take your husband for you, for being blind to your plight as his wife, for blaming you for my death. I’m so sorry.”
“I forgive you,” I said. “I should have warned you about-”
“You did,” she pointed out. “But I didn’t listen.”
I nodded. “I wish you all the best. I hope you get the coverage you need.”
“I will.” She stood up and bowed deeply. “I wish you well on your journey ahead.” She didn’t recede or fold into the shadows like the other people. She was still there, bowed deeply as the chair rode out of the room. I had a feeling that she would be there for a long time.
The shadowed figure was on the screen in the yellow room. His silver eyes flashed as he opened his book. “Austa Chimerie. You earned two points from your last judgement and an extra two for being able to solve your last regret. Now, you will move on to the other world and enjoy the life you have worked for.”
The room disappeared and the chair loosed its hold on me. I stood up, glad to feel my legs against solid ground. The chair disappeared, leaving me alone. Like an automated machine, I somehow knew where to go. As I walked closer to the bright light ahead of me, I felt the memories I had gathered from the judgement slowly disappear into thin air. I felt light. I felt free. I was heading into a new life, and leaving the old one behind.