Missing Christabel

Episode Two here



Three – I Spied on You.

Lola has now cleared up the broken glass and wiped off the floor and we were now all seated in the sitting room as Detective Davies questioned her.

“So you say that you don’t really know Christabel?” Detective Davies was asking now.

His rumpled jotter was in his hand and he’d been scribbling a whole lot of God-knows-what in it for the last seven minutes.

“I know her as far as knowing who one’s neighbour goes.” Lola answered smoothly.

Her voice had a nervous tinge. And I wondered if the Detective could notice it because it was really faint. I only recognised it because she was my wife.

“We exchange greetings every now and then when we run into each other.” Lola finished.

“And you didn’t see her at all yesterday?”

Detective Davies had made a hmm sound before he asked this question. I was worried he may not have believed Lola.

“No, I don’t think I did.” Lola angled her head to the right like she was pondering on the question.

I knew better. That was her evasive head-angle.

“Really?” Detective Davies tapped his pen on his uniform-covered thigh. “But your neighbour from across the street – Mrs. Ojo – was kind enough to tell me that she’d seen you walking towards Lola’s apartment yesterday evening, say about…”

He flicked his gold-plated chain wristwatch as if that would tell him the time of the event.

“… six forty-five p.m. or thereabouts.”

“Oh.” Lola gave a laugh tapping her forehead as she did so.

The laugh was almost believably genuine except that her face lacked it’s usual crinkles around her eyes when she laughed. But the Detective wouldn’t know that.

“I completely forgot all about that. Yes, I’d gone over to Christabel’s apartment – more like around it really.” She shook her head at the Detective. “You see I had run out of onions and hadn’t noticed, so I’d gone over to her place to borrow one. But no one had responded to my knocks.”

Her face was brightened by an easy smile. But Detective Davies merely hmmed again, bent his head to scribble some more on his jotter. A moment later he raised his head and treated us to a dark assessing, penetrating stare. I almost blanched at the sight of that horrid scar beneath the arched brow. As for Lola, she was smiling charmingly like she was staring into the face of her favourite movie star.

“Okay, Mr. & Mrs. Tariah, thank you for your time.” He got to his feet. “Investigations are still on, so don’t be surprised if you find me at your door again.” He shot Lola a measured look as he said this.
And then with a stiff nod he marched to the door, pulled it open and then stepped out, leaving the door to click shut after him.

“Phew! That was some questioning.” Lola laughed getting to her feet. “Thank God it’s over. Let me get you another glass of juice, baby.”

She was already bustling towards the kitchen door.

“You never ever run out of anything.” I said quietly.

Lola froze by the door.

“And at the time the Detective gave, I was at that apartment with Christabel and I never heard a knock.”

She turned slowly to face me. There was a guilty spread across her face. I patted the space she’d just vacated.

“Why don’t you come back here and tell me the truth.” I suggested my lips pursed.

She slowly backtracked to the sofa and dropped down beside me.

“So?” I prompted.

“Fine. I lied too.” Lola admitted exhaling a breath. “The truth is that I spied on you yesterday evening – from the time you got back from work.”

I stared at her, nonplussed. She’d seen me with Christabel?

Lola saw my mild confusion and nodded her head.

“Yes, I’d seen you when you were coming back yesterday and I’d been watching when she’d stopped you…”




She watched from the kitchen window as Christabel flirted openly with her husband.

Lola’s lips curved in disdain as she watched the spectacle. But she was more disgusted with Elvis, who was flirting right back – smiling in a besotted manner like he was seeing a woman for the first time in his life.

Weak flirtatious fool! He had her here with her full, generously curvy and endowed body and he was out there staring mindlessly at that artificial yellow-pawpaw with her non-existent boobs and flat surface sorry-excuse for an ass. Men!

They both stood there for another couple of minutes, saying things she unfortunately couldn’t hear. Her antenna alert went up when a moment later Elvis followed the silly hipless-swinging Christabel like a hypnotized sheep. They went in the direction of her apartment .

Lola pulled back from the window. Stood motionless by the sink, staring visionless at the diced onions, tomatoes and pepper on the chopping board. The pot of yam on the fire was giving out sizzling sounds, evidence that the water in the pot was drying up. She stretched her hand and turned off the burner.

What the heck was he doing inside there with her?

Her eyes darted about the medium-sized kitchen, seeing nothing.

Has he been there beforeNo, no that can’t be.

She pushed towards the window and looked out. They were still nowhere in sight.

What were they doing inside there And that flirtatious bitch had been wearing that bum-emphasizing shorts!… though there was hardly any bum to emphasize.

The thought of what Christabel had been wearing sent her into quick motions. Lola rinsed her hand under the sink tap, wiped it with a napkin and tossing aside the napkin literally flew out of the kitchen.

In less than two minutes, she was outside Christabel’s apartment, peering through the drawn curtains on her sitting room window.

The room was empty. They were not here?

She swung around and headed for the bedroom window.

Ah, today is either Elvis kills me or I will kill him.

Here heart was pumping so hard she could feel the adrenaline sweeping through her. She took a corner and was about to sweep past the kitchen window when a clap followed by a throaty laugh stopped her.

She edged towards the open netted-window, craned her neck to look inside.

Christabel was leaning over a back-bent, mouth-parted Elvis. The idiot had his eyes closed. Ah!

Lola moved to fully stand in front of the window.

As if she’d heard a sound Christabel arched her brows, looking up at the window, their gaze locked. Instantly Christabel jerked back. Lola treated her to a fierce, disdainful stare look before back to the house.




She’d finished and was now staring at me with what-have-you-got-to-say-for-yourself eyes.

I’d been caught. Lola knew I’d hidden some facts from my earlier tale. A wave of guilt gripped me. But I had to play the man.

“So you saw what happened yesterday and wasted my time making me recount it?” I accused with self-righteous indignation.

“And you lied to me.” Lola’s eyes were also accusing.

“Because I knew the way you’d react.” I defended hotly. “I mean look at what you did – I was gone barely ten minutes and you came to spy on me.”

I glared at her like she’d committed the bigger crime. I needed that edge unless she’ll have me grovelling and confessing things I had no business thinking or wishing.

Lola stared back at me for a full minute, then inclined her head.

“Sorry.” She said it so softly I almost didn’t hear the apology. “I shouldn’t have spied on you… I wish I hadn’t.” She pushed back to her feet.

I watched open-mouthed as she walked into the kitchen.

That was it? No screams and recriminations? No tearful yells? I got to my feet, then fell back into the seat. Or was this some kind of list-it-in-the-black-book act women were so fond of?

A sick feeling of dread seared through me and for some weird reason I sensed it had more to do with Lola not fighting me over this issue.


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Episode Four here


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