Aisha comes up to him. She stands in front of him, blocking his view, and then chatters and screams and yells. He puts the remote control away.
“James, look at me.”
He looks away.
“I said look at me, you little piece of shit.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“You are a piece of shit. Look at me, James.”
“I said don’t call me that or else…” He decides to bite his tongue, instead of hers.
“Or else what? What would you do? Yeah, I said it. And I don’t take it back. You are a little piece of shit. A social climber. If it had not been for me, you would still be rotting in that dingy room in school.”
He stands and walks away.
“I do not need any of this.”
She stops and stands in his way. He steps aside to the left to make for the door, but she steps in his way. He tries the right, but then she will not let him leave.
“I said look at me James.”
He looks straight ahead. Like he is staring into the horizon that would take him home. She grabs him by the nape of his neck and tries to bring his face in front of hers.
“I don’t want to look at you Aisha. So please, let me leave. Let me go back to school. To my dingy room where you found me. Let me go and rot, as you gladly put it, and leave you here in this mansion. I can’t take your crap anymore.”
He shoves her aside, picks up his jacket and makes for the door. She comes back to taunt him. He looks ahead.
“You want to leave? Then why don’t you look me in the face and tell me like the fucking man you fancy yourself to be! She screams on his face.”
James does not speak. Just stares ahead.
“What? You dumb now? Eh? Can’t speak? Lost your tongue?”
Still, no response.
“Look at me, James. What happened? Hmmmh? There was a time you wouldn’t keep your eyes to yourself, and now you won’t even look at me? After three bloody years, you are just going to wake up and bloody leave? Don’t you think you bloody owe me that? Don’t you think I deserve just this one thing?”
James doesn’t flinch. He just stands and stares ahead. The rage inside him burns with passion. He wants to raise his hand and smack Aisha in the face. He wants to throw her out of his way and step out into the darkness. He wants to pull out her hair- not from the base, but from the end, so that she could at least come close to feel what he has been feeling for most of his time in campus. He wants to pluck her eyes out and rape her skull. But then he cannot afford to let her know how deep she has got under his skin. He does not want to let her have the pleasure. So he cages his anger within the confines of his self. He tries to contain it, just like he has been doing every time they had such episodes.
That is how it had always been. At school, they would walk into class, hand in hand and lie to the rest of the world about how they were doing. When in actual sense, he was a henpecked twenty-four-year old who had been tricked into an abusive relationship, in which he was always reminded of what he was. The son of a poor man who had found his way into campus courtesy of the Higher Education Loans Board and a CDF fund. A pauper with nothing to his name, other than his name.
“LOOK AT ME, GODDAMMIT!” She throws the glass that she had been drinking from onto the wall. It shatters into a million pieces with a sound that was now familiar to James’ ears. He snaps back into his present disposition.