By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
I was walking around at my engagement party, fake smiling and pretending to be happy while deep down inside I felt empty and ashamed. I felt a lump on my throat every time I swallowed and a sharp pain in my chest. It was horrible. I had just forced my then girlfriend who had refused to marry me to pretend that she indeed had said yes because I had thrown a lavish surprise engagement party for her and didn't want to look like a fool if people knew that she had said no.
It was selfish of me really. Everyone was waiting for us at my house and I had gone over to her house and told her that she had to come with me and pretend that we were engaged. I had pulled a knife on the love of my life and looked her in the eye and told her she had to come with me or else I would kill her. Even though I was the one giving the threats it ripped my heart out. I loved her with everything that I was and I would never kill her, not in a million years.
If she had known, she would have pushed the knife away and told me to stop being crazy but in that moment I think she didn't recognize me. I think she, like me, was seeing a different Johnnie; the Johnnie that had been told since he was a young boy that he would never amount to anything; the Johnnie that girls used to laugh at for being clumsy and wearing the thickest spectacles in the whole school. The good for nothing Johnnie who lived with so much anger in his heart yet could never express it because he didn't have enough guts to. Hell, even if he had had the guts to express his anger he would not have known how to. He wasn't tall enough, he wasn't strong enough and he wasn't handsome enough. But now, holding a knife to Kate's throat he finally had the power and Kate had become the object of all the rejection he had ever received in his life.
It was only through harnessing all the anger of the inner Johnnie that I was able to go through with it. She got out of her house and we went to the party in silence. She didn't even look at me. When we got to the party I was nervous that she would snitch on me and tell everyone that I threatened to kill her but she didn't. She played along and for a second even I was surprised at how well she was 'faking it'.
A little while later during the party she came to me and said, 'Johnnie can I talk to you?' and I obliged. She then told me that she had also called my brother Mark to meet us in my room because she wanted to talk to both of us. We went to my room and Mark was already there pacing around the room. 'What's going on?' I asked. The question was directed at both of them. Kate said, 'You'll find out soon enough Johnnie.' Before she said anything, Mark panicked and said, 'Johnnie it was a mistake, I promise. She forced herself on me. I promise!' I looked at him and said, 'What? What are you talking about Mark?' and he said, 'Kate brought you here to tell you that me and her had sex and I'm telling you that it wasn't my fault, she forced me. I promise bro!'
I was stunned and literally froze for a few moments. I didn't see that coming. I looked at Kate and said, 'Babe is this true?' She looked at me, expressionless and she said, 'Yes Johnnie. Mark and I slept together, but that's not all. I'm pregnant and it's not yours.' As soon as I heard that I started thinking about Kate and me – our relationship, and how I had loved her with everything. We even had names for our children and had spoken about our future countless times. How could she betray me like this? All of a sudden I snapped and I took the knife that was in my pocket and I jumped on Mark and put the knife to his throat. 'How could you do this to me?' I yelled. I was enraged!
I threw the knife on the floor and started punching Mark in the face. He then pushed me off and came on top of me. 'I'm sorry Johnnie. I'm sorry!' he screamed. Kate then came up from behind him and stabbed him in the back with the knife I had thrown on the floor. His eyes and mouth opened wide as the knife went into his back then moments later he just fell on me. I was mortified. I tried to feel for a pulse and it was there but weakening. He was losing a lot of blood. 'Hang in there Mark, please!' I said as I tried to cover the wound in his back with my hand but there was just too much blood coming out. Kate was just standing there next to me and my mind was caught between trying to help Mark and thinking about why Kate had stabbed Mark.
I started screaming for help but the music outside was too loud. I got up to leave the room but Kate had locked the door and was holding the key. I walked towards her and demanded her to give me the key. She refused and pulled the knife on me and said, 'If you don't back off I'll stab you too Johnnie.' I moved in and slapped her and she fell to the ground. The bedroom key was knocked out of her hands as she hit the ground. I went over to pick it up and as I did so I felt a large object hit the back of my head. Then, darkness…
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