Thursday, December 4

4

The Other Side of Love - 8

EIGHT


Grace picked one of the cushions and pressed it into herself. ‘Who and who were aware of this relationship?’
‘Virtually nobody. We kept it entirely a secret.’
‘So what happened next?’

Alex’s chest rose and fell in a deep breath. ‘She refused to have the abortion.’
‘So? Why couldn’t you have allowed her keep the baby?’
‘I was eighteen. Mum was at the hospital for heart problems already. I was so scared.’
Grace inhaled deeply. ‘So what happened next?’
‘I put the tablets in her drink.’
A sudden gasp fell out from Grace. ‘Without her knowledge?’
Alex nodded, slowly, miserably. ‘Yes.’
‘Alex!’

He looked at Grace and looked away quickly. A drop of tear ran down his cheek and he quickly wiped it off.
‘Continue.’
‘She dra…she…she drank the juice. She started to ble…bleed an hour later. It continued and—’
‘And what?’
‘And...I was with her in the bathroom all along. She…she—’His shoulders heaved up and down. He looked at Grace. Tears were now flowing down his face. He shook his head. ‘She didn’t make it.’
Grace’s lips fell open.

Alex dropped his face into his hands and started to cry. Crying looked more pitiful when done by men.

Grace stared at him, her heart pounding from multiple emotions.
‘Dapo helped me cover it,’ Alex said under relentless sobbing sounds. ‘I was so scared.’ His tear-soaked face glistened under the light from the bulbs.
‘What exactly did you do?’
‘We drove out in the dead of the night in Dapo’s car. We…we threw the body into a river.’
‘Jesus Christ!’
Alex sniffled. A thread of saliva hung across his mouth when he opened it to speak again. ‘Her body was discovered in the morning. People called it an accident, that she drowned. Some mentioned suicide.’

Goose pimples walked round Grace’s skin. She covered her face with two hands and tried to breathe. She turned to Alex. ‘Wait, did this happen sometime in 2004?’
Alex nodded. ‘It was all over the news.’
Grace stood.
Alex’s eyes ran up to her. Deep remorse has reconfigured his features. ‘Baby, please.’ He held her hand. ‘Baby, please don’t leave me.’
Grace looked down at him and shook her head as if in pity.
‘Please.’

She pulled away from him and walked away.
The door banged shut behind her and Alex fell to the floor, croaking with tears.

***

Grace has worked in Communications long enough to know how both to initiate communication and hinder it. She was experienced in cutting off all unwanted interactions whenever she needed to.

He did all he could but no success. His calls were not answered. Emails were not replied. Online chats didn’t deliver.

Finally that evening, he summoned up courage and drove to her apartment.
He knocked and knocked but she didn’t open the door. Her car was parked in the compound and he also saw her clothes on the laundry line. He was sure that she was home.

But that evening, as she watched him totter away through her window, a small sense of forgiveness penetrated Grace’s heart. She remembered her promise – that she would stand by him through all times. Though she had made it without knowing what his crime was, but she couldn’t easily take it back now.

 She dropped to the couch, folded herself up and began to think.

He was not a murderer, she reasoned. Just a scared teenager, with an evil elder brother. But a body was thrown into a river, a human body and for over eight years he kept quiet. Grace heaved a deep sigh.

Finally, she came to a conclusion. He would go and seek for atonement and she would stand by him all through it. And then when everything was settled, they would live together.

It was late already so she would visit him in the morning.

But that same evening, an evil thought crept into Alex’s mind and he started seeking alternative ways to find release for his torture. As he browsed the internet for the quickest way to end one’s life, Grace read a book on Brand Management.

As Alex drove out that night to go and look for junk, Grace turned off the light in her room and lay down to sleep.

He was a Lagos boy, he knew where to go. He also knew how expensive those things could be so he went along with extra cash.

He also needed to buy enough stamps of the smack. As the online article directed, if he took four to five stamps before morning, his body would even forget to breathe and it would all be over sooner than he’d realize it.

Best of it all, it’d be all smooth and painless. The much-desired relief.

4 comments:

  1. Wao, i guess am wrong. Keep it up,Dan don't no ow to register on ur blog my email is adetitigold@gmail.com
    sekinat

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Sekinat.
    All you need do is click on the 'Comment as' box, select Google Account and log in.

    ReplyDelete

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