The first time I ran down this staircase, we ran down the stairs together. It was a happy experience as we were both giggling and laughing out so loud. He chased me round the house and each time he almost caught up with me, he would slow down a bit to watch me run tenderly. At times, he would catch up with me and my punishment was a deep passionate kiss before I would get off his grip and start running again. It was beautiful! It was fulfilling!!
I needed the prayers of no pastor to tell me he was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with; so when he asked me to marry him, I didn’t think twice before I screamed a Yes and allowed the tears of joy trickle down my cheeks. He gently kissed them away. We were young, vibrant, intelligent and like many would say, in love. We did everything together and became the envy of several other couples both young and old. Truth be told, it would be absolutely insincere to say we didn’t have our moments. Moments we felt it wasn’t worth holding on, moments we had been close to losing each other, moments we had pushed each other to the point of tears. Yet, one thing urged us on; LOVE. Despite the feelings we shared, despite the emotions that ran through us, despite the ecstasy that possessed us and despite the hurdles we passed through together, we lacked one thing. It was the very thing that broke us, the very thing that could overpower what we shared, the very thing that made me lose him.
Running down the stairs this time around was the opposite of my first experience. It was filled with sorrow, pain, tears and fears as he continually used his whip on me. Each time the whip found its way into my skin, it decorated it with marks of pain. I would keep running and when my strength failed me, the staircase would welcome my fall. I had lost so much blood but I kept running for the fear of losing my life in his hands. “If I would die” I thought to myself, “It wouldn’t be in the hands of the man who means everything to me”. At this point, guilt set in and I blamed myself for allowing such disaster befall me. But how? I didn’t defile myself when I was eight but it happened till I was 15. Is it my fault that I became a constant victim of sexual harassment? Is it my fault that I couldn’t stand the presence of any man? Is it my fault that I couldn’t protect the only thing that was my pride? Is it my fault that I finally gave myself to love?
I couldn’t bring myself to tell him any of these, I couldn’t bear the pain of being disgusting to him and I couldn’t imagine being a subject of ridicule to him. My thought was interrupted with a bang and a loud scream. I watched him slip but before I could help him, I saw my man in the pool of his blood, mixed with my sweat and blood. The same staircase that welcomed our love, the same staircase that has welcomed my pains, the same staircase that has welcomed my fears, the same staircase that has become my best friend, is the same staircase that has caused my loss.
My fears were finally confirmed and just like I predicted, I lost him. I lost love. Is there truly a term called love?
I sit by the staircase. My feet in a pool. The blood is not my own.