My lover is a monster.

Just like every other day, I sneaked into my sneaker before the church bell rang for the early morning mass. I began my race down the road and struggle was a tie between the sole of my shoe and the leaf I crushed, cutting my way across the orchard. The breeze was smart. It sneaked through my skin and I felt a sudden fatness around my chin.

I hadn’t moved for so long when my heart gave me a reason to cease.

It pounded harder. I could feel my rib cage crushing against my side.

I sat on the rails of a bridge. My hands in my pack, as I withdrew bottled water and I gulped the tepid water in it, violently down my throat. The fog was thick and the mist clothed the clouds. My foresight was futile. The trees were fading far off and I could hear distinct sounds of train. The road would be busy in minutes and I had to get out of sight.

I clipped on my buckle and I shoved out of my pocket a time watch. I had ten more minutes to reach the Calvary, and say hi to the very love of my life that I could see only before sun rise. My Melissa. I could sense her breath burning my neck like it used to and I felt her touch. She was far away but her stench filled my nose.

I zoomed off in a flick and after few minutes I was on the ground. My ankle was weak and my visions had gone blur. I regretted coming out this late. My drugs were absent and I had to be home before sun rise. I wasn’t going to make it, but I was going to watch her from her opened window.

The sun came out quicker than it used to, and my skin began to grow pale. My chin got swollen and I felt bulbs growing out of my skin. No one must see me this way. I sighted a pullover jotting down a running string, with one end pinned to a pole and the other attached to a wall. I stole it and I zoomed off.

I stood outside her compound and I stared at her window. I listened to her breathe. It was the hardest thing I had to do for her. I had to kill every other sound. It was important I saw her this morning.

I glared at my hands, claws were protruding. It was sign of danger. That was my structure. I could sense danger from afar. I tried listening and I sensed a struggle. It wasn’t what I wanted to believe. She once told me about her step dad who had been maltreating her.

I scaled a tall tree, outside the compound to its top and I swung myself into the air powered by propelling force as I kicked against a branch.

I would never miss a target. I broke in through her window with shattering glasses blending with my skin. I rushed at the man I suppose to be her step father. He was the only one in there. I grasped him by the throat, lifting him up like a light feather and I threw him against the wall adjacent. I looked away and I could see fear trapped in Melissa’s eyes. She had not seen me like this. Now the real me was trapped behind the monster that I was.

“Ashy!” She called as I turned away from her and I made it away through the window. She must have seen the tattoo on my wrist. I scaled my way down the wall and I heard her discrete sound. She was calling my name. She wished she had known her lover was a monster. Now I had left her with so much trouble, much more than she had when I met her.

© Godwin Okhuoya