You were convinced you had seen enough. You let out an irritated grunt and stood up abruptly, staggering as you did and headed towards the walkway. As you walked out of the row of seats, clustered so close together you graze your leg on every living thing in your path, you wondered as to who conceived the idea of making the sitting settings in cinemas so congested. Your waltzed through, apologizing to those you could, hardly sorry for the interruption and more concerned about your own inconvenience. Taking the stairs as fast as you could, you bolted for the exit door. You were as exasperated as fuck. You were largely disgusted. You told yourself this as you hopped up and towards your escape.
The movie wasn’t bad. You knew this. And it wasn’t the cause of your irritation either. In fact, you really couldn’t tell what the movie was about in the first place. You had spent almost an hour in the cinema, one of your favorite places, but you could not tell if the movie that had been playing was Mexican, American or even Nigeria. You had not been attentive. No, You had not even been in the cinema. Not really. You had been elsewhere, toiling against the monsters you had sought to escape; from whom you taken cover behind the large screen, and from whom there was no running. Monsters from your past. Monsters from your present. As you were about to take the final step up, you tripped, almost falling as your heels clanged loudly on the sharp edge of the case, and you wobbled in a semblance of a drunken dance only to regain your balance at the last minute. You puffed, grateful to have escaped the out laugh; the ridiculousness that would have followed such a fall. You would have given the audience another spectacle to behold, another exhibition; one they did not pay for and one they would have enjoyed just as much. You knew they were looking at you now. You knew you had caught their attention. You did not care though. You took the final steps and sauntered through the door and into the dim lit hallway.

As you negotiated your steps down the hallway, you could not help but notice the way passers-by regarded you with awe.They gawked, trying too hard to hide the fact; trying to look unconcerned. You knew it. With the way they quickly took their eyes off you when you sought to regard them, with the way they escaped your eyes and with the way they walked by you quickly enough, so they could look at you again with your back to them. You could feel the hot stare. You were used to this. So you acted, just like them. Pretending to be what they pretended not to see. Carrying yourself with gait and style, and picking your steps with the grace of a cat. They were deceived. But they were not the first. Your farce had been one you sold to everyone that came across you. A cheap deception, they bought with relish and consumed with gusto. Your painted fingers, your polished speech, your golden earrings, your emerald necklace, your exquisite garb; a stylishly plaited dress with a long parting by the side, your 6 inch glamour heels and the other helpings of artificial aesthetic helped to cover the dirt of your soul. They did not know you. You were not the glamour girl you painted yourself to be. You were not an eccentric T.V host, your where not the fashion aficionado they saw and loved, you were not the respected lady of dreams and the stylistic artist of multifarious techniques; you were just a street rat, a polished rat. One with a flair for the camera, and who has made the freaking world her unlikely stage. That was who you were, that is who you will always be. This constant reminder of your worthlessness, the persistent self-preserved notion of shame even in the fortune of the moment and in the pretense that was your life; you had convinced yourself that this was your penance. Perhaps, it was what you where to pay for haven lead a life as yours. The unforgiveness that came with being a disgust to your own self. But the memory or the shame only you where conscious of, couldn’t be your penance. Far from it as you had realized days back. It was subtle in its way, and hidden in design. Your penance was far worse. Your penance was not a memory or an awareness, it was physically manifest. You could feel its pangs even at the moment.
As you stepped into the night through the hallway, the light from the surrounding buildings and from the street lamps that where lined in a frog file down the tarred road poured into your face, making you squint and welcoming you into the bright night. It was going to be a long night, you averred. it was going to be your last night…….


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