The Jewel ~ excerpt from my book ‘The Perfect Girl, the Prostitute & other Stories’

{14}
The Jewel
stomach in knots, clenched fists, tears in throat, pressure mounting behind eyes.
What am I gonna do, gonna do, gonna do?
Silent scream, noiseless cry, storm filled clouds in my sky.

Where can I go, can I go, can I go?

Suffocating, choking, can’t breathe, can’t stand, won’t sit, don’t lay, no comfort here.
Who can I tell, can I tell, can I tell?
Mind racing, rapid fire thoughts, internal conversations with myself. What I should have said, what I didn’t say, what I held back, what I conceded to, what he labeled me.

Where can I hide, can I hide, can I hide?
Pretty in pink on the outside – red bottomed shoes, Prada bag, gym toned abs, hair did, flashing smiles, dazzling ring, bling bling.
Colgate and Cartier but bruised, battered, ugly on the inside.

Who’s gonna believe me, believe IN me, want me?
Diamond choker, choke hold grip. Diamond ring, gilded cuffs. McMansion, luxury car, picket fence, 2.5 babies – formulaic perfection.
Marital rape, emptiness, HIS bank account, HIS world – you just live in it.
Barbie doll, barbaric world, barber shop – wanna chop all this hair off,
wanna not be deceitfully picture perfect on the outside anymore.
You sold your soul for a diamond ring,
your heart and mind for fancy things.
Who you gonna tell, gonna tell, gonna tell?
King and Queen, let’s play ‘house’.
I’ll be your boss, you’ll be my spouse.
You wear what I buy, move where I say – you have an opinion, I’ll make you pay.
Quiet as a mouse – ssshhhh.
Mortgage on the house – in too deep, cannot sleep,
cannot swim. Private school, six years in.
Who’s gonna save, gonna save, gonna save the day?
The rap on the glass broke her out of her reverie. “This is the happiest day of your life.” Or it should appear to be, his look warned “You are turning forty, you’re in Dubai with forty of your closest friends to celebrate. I did this,” he paused for emphasis, “Just for you.” He smiled with pride. She smiled back, through gritted teeth. “You did good, baby.” Dutifully.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fakest?

Who is the weakest?
Who is the most dead inside?
Ice sculptures in Dubai, oasis in the desert but drought in my heart. Lucky me, lucky her, mirrored pill box in her purse. Vodka, razors, overdose, how long before tub overflows?

Will she get to see his face as she slowly fades away? Hear him say, “Look what you did? Can’t take you anywhere – can’t even die right!” He’d scoff. What if she somehow survived? She stiffened with fear at the thought. It could quite possibly, be worse than death. He would have her committed for sure and then she would never see her kids again. At least dead she’d watch over them from heaven. Not like the useless figure head that she was now.

Rubber Stamp mother – ask Dad for the real decision.

Padded cell, padded life,
insulated in her strife.
The envy of the undiscerning, lusting eyes, envying, yearning
for this life of hers that she would end tonight,
just as soon as she could wriggle out of this tight designer dress. Lest there be forty more years just like this.

Who would end this, end this, end this?
Wanna be me? Be like me? My nightmare is your dream, so surreal it’s true.
Complicated and unsimple,
out of this world but happening next door – that neighbor a galaxy away. A cup of sugar from next door, but the closest house is on Jupiter.
I need a friend, need help, need a friend.
She had married ‘well’, her Prince had found her. Haha, the joke was on her.
Reverse zoo – animal on the outside, tamed in the cage.
But it looks good though, the people have gotten their money’s worth.
Spectacle, splendor, spectacular, expensive, unnecessary misery.
The price is dear, the priceless is cheap, loneliness trumps penury.

His ‘jewel of inestimable value’, he boasts, she grimaces a smile, but they both know, his jewel is a fake, he values her at zero.
Sotheby’s jewel is a swap-meet find.
Thrifting, take me, buy me, antique me.
Anywhere but here, anywhere but here. Not here, but nowhere.
Slashed wrists, wine sedated, birthday cake, most sated.
Show n tell for scars, the most ‘hurting-est’ wins – she got this. Show me your ‘boo-boo’ and I’ll show you mine.
Band-Aid ripped off, bloody, but internal wounds much deeper. Hurt better, more secret,
in the morning light disbelieved.
Liar, liar, pants on fire, it was so bad, so dire,
yet you sat there, unbound?
But not quite free – bought with currency so cheap (rubles, lira, cowries, now defunct) that we do not speak of it.
Except on pretend paper and invisible ink,
fear of being found out paramount – must not topple the bride from cake.
Cake fights only fun in movies, messy in real life.
Dry cleaning bills, catering bills, gossiping guests with averted eyes. Bride cries, mother cries, groom so mad, ooh he mad!
Fear: cost of cake way too dear
and value of her life not high enough – it does not outweigh the shame.
You let us down, you spilled the beans.
You ain’t the first, won’t be the last, but so indiscreet.
Tsk Tsk.
You should have let them eat cake. But it’s ruined now.
My bad, my fault, ALL my fault.

Let them grace our gala of destruction in their finery from Neiman Marcus and Bloomies. They have earned their right to dine on the debris of our union, chewing up fragments of children who will grow up thinking that this is how it has to be, cars and houses that will soon be not just theirs but ‘communal property’.

Toast your love,” they say and he does. She looks on through unseeing eyes, a clenched jaw and her perpetual noiseless scream.

No love here except for the fight.
Bound by battle, enemies on the same side,
fighting for the right to keep fighting
each other to the death.
Misery loves company and so
I got you babe.
I got you, I got you, I got you.

copyright CC Adetula November 2014

Read ‘The Perfect Girl’