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Short Story - Liberation - Literature - Nairaland

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Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 3:09pm On Oct 02, 2017
Thank you for your lovely comments on my other story The Other Woman's Wedding. It was originally written for TNC, and meant to be part of a series featuring Libby Thomas. For some reason they said the readability of my writing was poor, yet no reason was given, and as a result subsequent stories shall be posted here on Nairaland. I shall soon publish a novelisation of Libby's story which focuses on her new life as a businesswoman, her relationship with her current lover Bob, and her rows with ex-husband Chinedu, but until then here is one of the two stories TNC did publish - Liberation. It may not be as good as The Other Woman's Wedding, but remember, it was my first story. Any comments or feedback will be appreciated. As it has already been published by TNC, they own part of the copyright. Thank you.

And for the record, Libby DOES NOT hate fat people. I know my character, and I can confirm she's too nice for that. That is all.



Libby’s eyes wandered across the array of shades and hues until she decided on Ruby Woo, admiring its vibrant yet subtle tone. She held the lipstick close to her face before smearing it carefully, finding the result flattering. Just as she was about to rummage through some matching lip pencils, a shrill ear-splitting voice caused her fingers to freeze as her heart briefly missed it cue. She turned around, curiously narrowing her eyes at the source of the sound – a short, pregnant woman raining obscenities at the unfortunate make-up artist who had scrubbed off the thick caking of war-paint her tormentor had arrived with, revealing the patches and blemishes she had tried hard to conceal. Fifty Shades of Bleaching, Libby thought, as she wondered if she had ever crossed paths with this double-chinned face whose owner was so fat, she had probably signed a lifetime contract with her local butcher. Suddenly Libby closed her eyes, and it all came back to her – the pain, the anguish, the misery she hadn’t deserved five years ago but still had to endure, and while events had occurred long before the average Nigerian had even heard of MAC, the scars were still present, and no amount of make-up would have been able to mask the past…





***



Her heart stopped beating, and she was certain she could hear it shatter into a million and one unfixable pieces. She jolted in her armchair totally dazed with disbelief – either Chinedu was playing an early April Fools’ trick, or he had actually confirmed the suspicions she had long ignored. She stared at him confused, her brain still not having processed her husband’s short but stern speech, but she was alert enough to realise that he was serious, and the raging storm outside was no match for his own thundery temper indoors. As Libby’s eyes began to moisten, he stood up and headed towards the front door, but Libby refused to give up without a fight, or at least an explanation. She ran in front of him, grabbed his shoulders, and pleaded desperately. “No, no, no,” she wailed. “You don’t mean that! What did I do, why?” The house abruptly plunged into darkness courtesy of NEPA, and Chinedu coolly brushed her hands off, took a few steps backwards, and growled in the direction of her tear-soaked face, his voice lacking the emotion Libby had craved for eons.

“I’ve said what I’ve got to say – I can’t be with you anymore. It’s not working, we’re not working. I have to be honest, I don’t love you. Like I said, you’ll get over it, but if you want to mope over a dead marriage, that’s your own business, and you won’t do it in my house. Our marriage was a mistake, it feels like a burden, and I can’t keep carrying it. Yes we have kids, but how can we carry on like this when I feel nothing in my heart for you? It’s over, deal with it.” Libby’s waterworks increased the flow, but Chinedu did not seem bothered as he concluded his statement. “We’re getting a divorce”, and with those cold piercing words, Chinedu managed to find his car keys before slamming the door behind him and driving through the storm. Libby suddenly dropped onto the rug and wept uncontrollably, her lithe body trembling with every sob. If this was a nightmare, she prayed that she’d wake up with Chinedu’s arms around her, cradling her back to sleep and whispering that this had all been a nightmare. Unfortunately, the agony in her heart reminded her that this was reality. Besides when was the last time Chinedu had even looked at her properly, let alone held her?

Chinedu had been precise when he told Libby that she must have sensed their lack of intimacy in recent months – the term ‘recent years’ would have been more apt – but she had chosen to ignore the warning signs, putting it down to exhaustion due to long hours at the merchant bank where he worked as a manager. He had stopped paying attention to his wife, and whenever Libby attempted to get close to him she struggled to make head or tail of his monosyllabic grunts. She also found herself living in perpetual fear of his temper; although he was never physically violent, Libby suddenly discovered that she couldn’t do anything right, and Chinedu wasted no time belittling his wife – her cooking was subpar (Weird, considering their friends always spoke highly of her culinary skills), her favourite music had to be turned down or better yet turned off (She never batted her long-lashed eyelids when he blasted out those vulgarity-laden gangsta rap lyrics...how many men pushing fifty still openly listened to Snoop Doggy Lion, or whatever he called himself these days?), and she was cruelly reminded to cut back on the calories because she was packing on the pounds (Even Stevie Wonder could see the last taunt was absolute rubbish). Their two children, Amara and Ugo, were not exempt from their father’s condemnation which Libby thought was unfair as they were good kids, polite and studious. Their mother had raised them well, yet they spent a great deal of their time flinching in terror whenever their father snapped at them, and no-one could understand this sudden transformation.

For years Libby had strived to create the perfect family whilst playing the role of Mrs. Dutiful Wife, forgetting her own individuality in the process. In the early days of their relationship she was sure her critics were merely jealous of her budding romance with Chinedu, but they had heatedly insisted that she could have done so much better due to his domineering temperament. They found him sulking whenever Libby arranged outings with her college mates. He would cut her off whenever she tried to express an opinion during heated topics with his own acquaintances. She came under fire the day she visited him wearing leggings. Yet like an incurable romantic in need of a dose of realism, she remained with him. One or two of her friends had pointed out that the considerably older Chinedu Ogbonnaya wasn’t exactly Mr. Nigeria material, and indeed although she had never been the shallow type, Libby had hardly been in awe when they first met at the bank when she dropped in to purchase an exam form. However, Chinedu had been persistent, determined to claim exclusive rights to this striking dame. Libby had gradually fallen for his inner charms in spite of his flaws, and against all odds they strolled down the aisle a few years later. She had stood by his side as he worked his way to the top professionally, and soon the children came along. As she wept bitterly, she questioned how her hopes and dreams had miserably come to this. Luckily, Amara and Ugo had gone to their aunt Hope’s for the weekend, and she was thankful she didn’t have to explain her swollen eyes and mournful demeanour to them the next day, but they had to find out about the split soon, a day she dreaded. Engulfed in pitch darkness within the walls of the house she had endlessly toiled on to make a home, Libby had never felt more insecure and alone.

Months passed, and as she lay in bed as the cobwebs in the ceiling corners above grew thicker she contemplated her future, and by what Libby had viewed so far it didn’t look bright. Everything had revolved around Chinedu and the kids, and now the existence she had grown accustomed to was vanishing rapidly. During their marriage he hadn’t even allowed her to complete her education or establish a career of her own, which meant there was now nothing to fall back on. While he had never actually uttered the sexist cliché that a woman’s place was at home, she knew that this was exactly what he had meant when he argued that he couldn’t trust housekeepers to raise his children or maintain the house, and had mocked her further by scoffing that no employer would ever take a chance on a woman with a ‘useless’ diploma in General Art. Now at the ripe old age of 34, she had been left stranded in her sister Hope’s spare bedroom with nothing – nothing to show for twelve challenging years of remaining faithful and loyal after the confetti had been swept away, and now she had been shoved into a dark ditch she wasn’t sure she would escape...



***



Libby paid for her MAC products and strolled out of the Ikeja City Mall into the warm sunny breeze, a smile spreading across her crimson lips – had she been wacky enough, she would have skipped along merrily all the way home in her pencil heels. When Chinedu had callously disposed of her without the slightest trace of compassion, she nearly died. After scrubbing away the final flow of tears she thought would never dry, Liberty Ogbonnaya did die. In her place was Liberty Thomas – the woman she had been proud of before her own identity had been placed on hold by her control freak of a husband. The driven and determined damsel Chinedu had hounded relentlessly before altering her. Following her banishment from her old home, she had dug out and dusted up her ‘useless’ qualifications, and after months of meeting with potential clients, examining drape samples, comparing colour charts, and countless sleepless night baking and icing dozens of her signature fruitcakes in Hope’s small kitchen, Libby was now the CEO of LV, the popular interior design and events management enterprise she had built thanks to the grant her US-based brother Victor had provided. Her eye for detail, colour and co-ordination earned her a large clientele, and no Lagos wedding was complete without her flamboyant multiple-tiered fruitcakes which often competed with the bride for attention. Chinedu hadn’t objected to her love of baking during their ill-fated marriage, and had even allowed her to cater for friends who sought her creations as a centrepiece for their celebrations; the orders had been few and far between, but her commissions were always impressive, not that she ever kept the money for herself as Chinedu had often dipped his controlling claws into their joint account without reason, but now she had her own income and, most importantly, her own life. Why had she exchanged those promises and oaths all those years ago…vows Chinedu had no intention of keeping? What a waste of her life, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of feeling sorry for herself – the cheating control freak wasn’t worth the effort.

As she drove to the Ikoyi residence her friends and associates affectionately labelled “Casa Liberty”, Libby winced as she recalled the day her ex moved Ekwutosi, the vertically-challenged youth copper/object of his lustful desires into their home. The scheming bitch who had enjoyed numerous clandestine meetings with her mentor at the bank as his wife remained imprisoned at home. Libby shook her head as she recalled the late nights at work, the unexplained restaurant receipts, whiffs of perfume he couldn’t wait to wash off as soon as he raced past her at home…what a fool she had been! She had despised her rival immediately due to the latter’s condescending attitude, and Libby was certain Ekwutosi, who was already heavily pregnant, had sneered “Old cargo” under her breath the day Libby had arrived to collect the last of her belongings. Despite both women living in Lagos, their paths had never crossed after that, thank God. Five years later Ekwutosi, with her newly-acquired flab, rolls, and bulges was now an obese shadow of her former self, and twice as uncouth. Chinedu had always insulted Libby’s slender figure, and now he’d ended up with…that. Ha ha ha. As she had walked out of the mall unnoticed by her enemy who continued to drop heavy f-bombs to everyone’s disgust, briefly facing the irritated crowd to sneer "What the f*** are you lot staring at?", Ekwutosi’s hyperactive twin daughters – mini carbon copies of their mother minus the hydroquinone addiction – continuously irritated the other customers as they ran amok in the store despite Ekwutosi’s repeated warnings, Libby breathed a silent prayer, thanking God for her own well-behaved offspring. Five years ago, her heart had nearly experienced another heartache as she waved Amara and Ugo goodbye when they boarded a bus headed for Owerri to live with her own parents months after the divorce (Ekwutosi had no intention of playing step-mother, and Chinedu was keen to please his new wife although he did support his children financially). Libby had pined for them as she threw herself into her budding business, but she couldn’t have been happier now they were back living with her. She would never be able to make up for those years they had been separated, but she intended to spend the rest of her life trying.

Libby parked her bright blue Mercedes in front of her Ikoyi home, kicked off her heels as soon as she stepped inside her tastefully furnished living room, and sunk into her multi-coloured patchwork sofa clutching a glass of rosé. Chinedu most definitely would have criticised her choices in upholstery almost as much as he would have jeered at her new lipstick, but right now who cared? She sighed with contentment – Liberty Thomas had finally moved on. She was reminded of that sentiment when her ringtone notified her of a text which read “Hope you had a good day. Looking forward to Saturday. B ;-)”. She smiled as she day-dreamed of Bob, the dashing Brit she had met at the British High Commission dinner she had been asked to decorate. Having long neglected her personal life, it felt refreshing to be asked out again, not that she was ever short of admirers as she was an attractive successful woman, but she sensed that Bob was special. Whether he would turn out to be the missing piece in her jigsaw, time would tell. As she waited for Amara and Ugo to bounce in from school, she beamed yet again. Chinedu may have been a selfish husband and a rotten father, but she would always remain grateful for releasing her from that hellish cocoon, allowing her to spread her colourful wings and fly into tranquillity, success, and freedom. Libby Thomas was here to stay.

1 Like

Re: Short Story - Liberation by Bonjoro: 7:41am On Oct 03, 2017
U expect someone to read this? U must be high. undecided
Re: Short Story - Liberation by Deo1986(m): 8:06am On Oct 03, 2017
There is a group for this sort of thing its called: Literature. There you'll find people who will appreciate your work. Here you'll be wasting N/landers time. So move over.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by Weevy(m): 9:02am On Oct 03, 2017
Wow...I so much love this story, it was very descriptive, emotional and entertaining, Keep up the good work.

1 Like

Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 11:39am On Oct 03, 2017
MrOwonikoko:


[color=#770077][/color]

Warrizdiz rooster and bull story? Op don mess up my day even dou i am not willing to do anything at work

It's not a c-o-c-k and bull story, it's fiction. If you don't appreciate it, piss off. And get some spelling lessons.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 11:39am On Oct 03, 2017
jemmabond:


It's not a c-o-c-k and bull story, it's fiction. If you don't appreciate it, piss off. And get some spelling lessons.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 11:41am On Oct 03, 2017
Deo1986:
There is a group for this sort of thing its called: Literature. There you'll find people who will appreciate your work. Here you'll be wasting N/landers time. So move over.

This IS the literature group. YOU move over.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 11:50am On Oct 03, 2017
Bonjoro:
U expect someone to read this? U must be high. undecided

I wrote an even longer story and posted it on Nairaland last week. It was read by over 3000 people. 3000 people can't be wrong. And I can assure you I've never done drugs in my life - I once tried to sniff coke, but the ice cubes got stuck up my nose.

1 Like

Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 12:18pm On Oct 03, 2017
xdc18528loaoa:
okay

Not sure what you're trying to imply...
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 12:34pm On Oct 03, 2017
Weevy:
Wow...I so much love this story, it was very descriptive, emotional and entertaining, Keep up the good work.

Thank you very much. I can only imagine the people here who sent me negative comments are Chinedu supporters who are scared of powerful independent women.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by aparata: 1:11pm On Oct 03, 2017
jemmabond:


Thank you very much. I can only imagine the people here who sent me negative comments are Chinedu supporters who are scared of powerful independent women.



Keep it up dear,very intriguing,waiting ffor the update

1 Like

Re: Short Story - Liberation by silver94(m): 1:59pm On Oct 03, 2017
Bonjoro:
U expect someone to read this? U must be high. undecided
Lmao
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 2:28pm On Oct 03, 2017
MrOwonikoko:



Warizdiz wan sayin?... undecided undecided

Are you seriously going to fly over to the UK to slap me? Go ahead.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by MrOwonikoko: 2:31pm On Oct 03, 2017
jemmabond:


Are you seriously going to fly over to the UK to slap me? Go ahead.

Lai lai jemmabond(Mohammed), where in UK r u so dat i can gladly do dat pls?
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 2:37pm On Oct 03, 2017
MrOwonikoko:


Lai lai jemmabond(Mohammed), where in UK r u so dat i can gladly do dat pls?

I'm too old to tell lies. Go to my Instagram, leave a message, and see if I don't reply. PS - I'm in London - jealous, much?
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 2:58pm On Oct 03, 2017
Dude, now I'm really pissed. You said you didn't believe I was in London, and directing you to my page was to prove the accuracy of my claim. Believe me, the last thing I need is a negative person following me, and despite my effort you're still complaining. You insulted my writing, questioned my location, and accused me of attempting to recruit you as a follower...what the f*** is your issue with me? I don't have a problem with criticism, but if it's not constructive I don't need to know. Write your own story first, then we'll talk. Until then, post whatever memes you want, see if I care. I'm done, bye.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by MrOwonikoko: 3:15pm On Oct 03, 2017
jemmabond:


Dude, now I'm really pissed. You said you didn't believe I was in London, so by directing you to my page you can see I'm not a liar. Believe me, the last thing I need is a negative person following me. Despite everything, you're still complaining. You criticised my story, questioned my location, and accused me of recruiting you as a follower...what the f*** is your issue with me? I don't have a problem with criticism, but if it's not constructive I don't need to know. Post whatever memes you want, see if I care. I'm done, bye.

Lolz grin grin grin... paining ur ass hole bro?..eyah sorry!

Re: Short Story - Liberation by Creeza(m): 5:58pm On Oct 03, 2017
Ok
Re: Short Story - Liberation by sochey(f): 9:49am On Oct 04, 2017
Can I get the writers number smiley
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 4:34pm On Oct 04, 2017
Creeza:
Ok

OK yourself.
Re: Short Story - Liberation by Creeza(m): 9:44pm On Oct 05, 2017
jemmabond:

OK yourself.
warriz this na?
Re: Short Story - Liberation by itsandi(m): 10:07pm On Oct 05, 2017
Cool story. Read other interesting stories on Tushstories via

www.tushstories.com

#Click!
Re: Short Story - Liberation by omeira(f): 6:36pm On Jan 13
Cool story, unique narrative. I like how you write.
Hope to read more of your works ma'am.
PS- I've read others. I kinda like how you brought Libby's character into those stories

1 Like

Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 11:20pm On Jan 21
omeira:
Cool story, unique narrative. I like how you write.
Hope to read more of your works ma'am.
PS- I've read others. I kinda like how you brought Libby's character into those stories

Thank you so much. I was planning to write a sequel to write a sequel to The Other Woman's Wedding, but have decided to put it on hold to concentrate on my upcoming novel to be published on Okada Books. I'll keep you posted!
Re: Short Story - Liberation by zukasteve: 7:22am On Jan 22
Bhdhs
Re: Short Story - Liberation by jemmabond(f): 10:54pm On Jan 22
zukasteve:
Bhdhs

What does that mean?

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