THE LADY IN THE MIRROR
When the fourth girl died, Munira thought that was it. He would take a hint. He would be the proverbial ghost resigning himself to his grave, her, and their matrimonial home. Alas! She was wrong.
As she toyed with the jagged knife in her hand, she wondered what would jolt her man back to his senses, back to being the man she thought she had said ‘yes’ to in her father’s crowded parlour on their wedding day.
Then, she had thought she had gotten the man that would make her the envy of all wives. In some ways, he did; he was strikingly handsome and possessed considerable wealth. He was very gentle and was fond of making women swoon with his honeyed words, the exact honeyed words that had won her over some five years ago and convinced her to be his wife.
But much to her chagrin, what made her the envy of all women had made her a laughing stock, or at least, was attempting to make her one. Her husband, Kamil, she discovered, much to her chagrin, was a chronic womaniser.
His womanizing was not merely of the sexual kind. He would often fall in love with his mistress and be gone for days, building a love nest with the said mistress, leaving Munira alone, dejected and cold in their bed.
At first, she thought by confronting him about his behaviour; he would change. Those confrontations always turned into full-blown tantrums, ending with Kamil packing a travelling bag to spend some cooling off time with his latest mistress.
Then she tried confronting the mistresses. Those always ended in nasty brawls on the streets, salons, or private residences paid for by her husband. The mistress would often report her conduct to Kamil, who would come home feeling angry, throw a tantrum and pack his bag for some cooling off time with his mistress.
She was always grateful he wasn’t a wife-beater, but the cheating broke her.
It seemed all hope was lost till her grandmother gifted her the mirror. It wasn’t too large, just about the size of a large TV screen. Her grandmother had merely said, “The lady in the mirror makes things happen,” and she understood.
She remembers the first night she used it. Feeling an overwhelming mixture of rage and sadness, she summoned the lady in the mirror and sent her on a mission to rip out the heart of her husband’s mistress. Two days later, Kamil rushed home sobbing. His mistress had fallen victim to a ritual killing syndicate, and her heart had been sawed out of her chest.
Munira now fully appreciated what she had been gifted with.
The first week after the incident, Kamil mourned his lover thoroughly, even refusing to eat. In the second week, he began eating again and one night attempted to have sex with her. Every thrust was grief-laden. He didn’t even finish before he broke down crying atop her.
His mood lightened in the following weeks, and it was almost as if he had forgotten about his mistress. All was sunny till two months later when he found himself another mistress. He began to withdraw again.
Enraged by her husband’s unreasonableness one night, she summoned the lady in the mirror and chose death by fire for her husband’s mistress.
Two days later, Kamil returned home mournful. His mistress had died in a filling station explosion while she was out getting fuel for her car. Her body was charred beyond recognition; had it not been for the car number plates she was in, she would have been named a Jane Doe.
The third mistress had drowned under extraordinary circumstances in the children’s section of a pool at the resort she was vacationing with Kamil.
The fourth mistress went mad and ran into an incoming Tipper truck. A shovel was used to fetch her grey matter from the street.
In all cases, Kamil would return home, go through his weeks of grief, and become a perfect husband until he found the next mistress.
As Munira stood in front of her mirror, thumbing the jagged knife in her hand, she thought: “why don’t I kill him and set myself free?”
But she couldn’t. She loved him dearly. She loved him for how he loved and how he cared. It was particularly for this reason she couldn’t fathom sharing his love and care with anyone else.
She also didn’t want to be widowed. An adulterated spouse was one thing, a childless widowed spouse was quite another. She would be most vulnerable and at the mercy of his family.
She stared hard at the lady in the mirror, her reflection, and handed over the jagged knife.
“Carve her skin.”
About The Author
Cornerlis Kweku Affre is a thirsty creative wishing to mete out his own revenge. He’s attempting
to discover himself and the boundlessness of what he’s capable of within the creative space.
He believes in the power of storytelling as a chance to explore, analyse and probe the human