Hiya people. So sorry I haven’t been around. I’ve been so, so, so busy. Still busy but not as busy. Today is Horllybee’s birthday and the 5th was TeeWhy’s birthday (Tee, so sorry I wasn’t here to wish you a happy birthday). I wrote this short story for Teewhy and Horllybee (That’s why we have Horatio and Tyra, lol). It’s my birthday wish to you guys. Happy birthday, Tee and Horlly and many more happy returns. Cheers.
“What did I do? Why are you arresting me?” The young man protested as he was pushed into the back of the Pick-up van by the uniformed Police officers.
“Shattap and get inside! “Yahoo boys everywhere… carry laptop dey deceive mumu oyibo people.” One of them bellowed, hitting him with the baton in his hand.
A violent curse followed the assault and further protestations was drowned as the double doors were forcefully shut. Inspector Edobor watched the goings-on with bored, dispassionate eyes. He didn’t care how the job got done so long as it was done. Even more, he didn’t care about protestations of innocence or infringement of a citizen’s rights so long as he got the delinquents off the street and fattened his bank balance by their bail bonds.
And they have five unfortunate scapegoats this morning, so he considered it a job well-done. “Let’s go!” He ordered, tossing out spittle on the sidewalk as he got into the van.
“How do I look?”
The excited cry startled him out of his thought. He turned to look at her. She looked breathtaking, like a mermaid princess dressed in a flowing, shimmering white gown.
Then he saw it. Like a flash in his mind’s eyes—him in a sky blue suit with tails and she in her mermaid princess flowing white dress, walking down the aisle of a magnificent church, arm-in-arm. Soft, soulful music played in the background. The guests were all standing, applauding, hailing, delighted… for them. They were married. They were husband and wife.
“Kolbe, I said how do I look?”
This time he jolted at the faint impatience in her voice. He blinked and stared clearly at her. “You look beautiful.” Kolbe said softly.
“I do?” Marlene let out a delighted shriek and whirled around to gaze into the oak full-length mirror. “Oh Kol, I don’t just want to look beautiful. I want to look exquisite, breathtakingly, unbelievably gorgeous. I want to be the most beautiful bride.”
“And so you are… so you’ll be.” Kolbe’s heart thrummed with heaviness as his eyes drank her in.
Flawless, fair skin. Peculiar grey eyes—so un-African in the oval, barbie-doll lovely face. She was slim and small, like a Barbie doll herself. Her fair floated down her back, framed her face. Reddish brown waves of thick tresses, a natural mane as un-African as her eyes.
Many would call her a near miss albino. He simply called her, beautiful.
Parts 1 & 2
Stella watched as he blinked and seemed to focus again. Her mouth twisted into a cynical smile. “Something tells me I just jugged your memory.” She said. “Did you remember how treated me? Did you remember how you cruelly rejected me and threw me out of your house?”
She hated to hear his voice. She hated him. “SHUT UP!” She roared, jerking up the gun and pointing it straight at his head. “Shut the damn up before I blow you miserable, self-centred head off, you fucking bastard!”
Nicholas raised his hand as if in a plea. His eyes darted to the windows.
“He can’t hear.” When he gaped, she smirked. “Your security man—Musa. He can’t hear us. I read somewhere that this house is noise proof.” She swept a quick glance around the room. “It’s amazing what one can achieve with a lot of money. Money, I helped you make. You met my Uncle—on my insistence.” Stella chuckled, coldly. “He found you the job at an investment company. You made contacts and you made money and then you started your own company… and now there is the luxurious house. And a wife and baby on the way too.” She drew closer and bent towards him, the tip of the blade touching his chest. “Imagine how that makes me feel when I hear you talking about your son with her.”
He shifted backward but his fearful eyes did not leave hers. “Please, Stella, be merciful. I know I hurt you and…”
“Hurt me? Did you say, hurt me?” She barked out a laugh. “You ruined my life, you bastard! You ruined my life.” And because she was so tempted to sink the blade into his miserable heart, she stepped back and drew in a long breath.
She needed to stay calm. She wouldn’t kill him until she’d told him what he did to her.
Nicholas stumbled backward at the sight of the stainless steel blade. “Stella, what are you doing?” His voice trembled with fear.
“Nothing yet, but something soon.” Her tone sounded amused.
Nicholas stared at her, wondering if she has gone mad. She could be for all he knew. They hadn’t seen each other in almost six years. “What are you doing with that knife, Stella?”
“Well, I wouldn’t call this a knife.” She replied in a conversational tone. “I think this is called a dagger. You see, it is double-edged—sharpened on both sides—and symmetrically sloping to a sharp, pointed tip. ” She tilted the blade so he could see it clearly. “It is mostly a weapon—a thrusting weapon.” She jutted her hand forward and when he shrieked and jumped back, she sniggered. “Please, no girly screams… that will just be too dramatic. I am going to kill you, Nicholas, but before I do, I want you to understand why.”
“Stella…” He didn’t know what he wanted to say. His heart was thudding too loudly that he found it hard to think. “Stella… please…”
“Shut up!” She ground out, the venom sweeping back into her eyes. “Don’t beg. It is undignified. Sit! I’ll make you understand the reason for your death from a comfortable position. And don’t think of running… or this will send a bullet into your back.” Her left hand moved backward and came back with a handgun, which she pointed at him.
“Oh my God!” Nicholas exclaimed.
Nicholas killed the humming engine of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, pushed open the door and got down from the car. He shut the door and went around the passenger seat to grab his briefcase, then he clicked the lock button and giving an absent nod to his gateman, he turned and marched briskly towards the front door of his duplex house.
It was his. He always felt a surge of pride when he thought about it. That the five-bedroom, six baths and a two-bedroom BQ was his—only his. He’d worked hard for it too! Well, he couldn’t take the entire glory for his success, a good Christian doesn’t. So, he’d worked hard and God has blessed his efforts with success.
He’d worked really hard, seven years as an investment analyst and advisor. He’d met with the wealthiest, the obscenely richest, crème-de-la-crème people in this country and some even outside the country. He’d studied the stock market, counselled them on when to invest and when to sell out. He’d managed their investments and he’d made some of his own. The returns had been unbelievably rewarding—and not just financially too.
They’d come to trust him, the clients he handled their accounts for the investment company he’d worked. They’d trusted him and because they trusted him, they’d been willing to move with him to his own company. And he’d moved, just eighteen months ago he’d moved. He’d turned in his resignation and he’d walked out of the two-storey office building straight for his own two-room office space and he’d started work same day. Six months later, he moved into his own building—a three-storey marble building with personnel filling every office inside. Three months after that, he’d started the building of his duplex home and exactly three months later, he’d moved in.
And now six months after that, he was getting married to the love of his life and they were already having a baby.
The room hummed with a silence that was so hushed the sound of human breath was like buzz of a wasp. They were all standing, eyes unflinchingly forward as they stared at the Portrait.
They had all come to see it. Well, they had come to see his collection… of Portraits. But there was only one. The one—The Portrait.
That was what he called it, The Portrait. There hadn’t been anything else to call it. He had worked long months on it. He had studied the image, in his mind’s eye, from every point of view. He had seen it from different lights, diverse angles. Had groped for it in the dark. He had seen it, felt it, touched it… heard it.
He had known it. And then he had become it. They had become one—one body, one heart, one soul, one breath. They had fused into one, one entity and inseparable. That was when he had begun his drawing.
Another little story. Enjoy…
It was her brother’s wedding and Chisimdi stared enviously at the couple who were gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes as the MC made jokes that had the guests reeling in laughter.
She couldn’t help her envy, they looked so happy. Hilary who’d sworn as a teenager that he’d never marry had just exchanged vows with the girl he met barely six months ago. While she, who’d been dreaming of her wedding and happily-ever-after all of her life, sat at his reception single, man-less and… helplessly envy-ridden.
Chisimdi felt like such a loser.
She was quite a pretty young woman, had a great job in a telecoms company, had her own car and her very own apartment in a plush side of the Mainland. She was a good Christian girl and she devotedly paid her tithe. Ladies like her shouldn’t be single and without a man of their own.
Of course, she wasn’t without admirers. There were hordes of men dying for her attention. Well, not hordes, she admitted grudgingly sipping her wine, but there were men who wanted her. Who were attracted to her and would anything to have her give them the time of day.