‘Segun! What on earth are you doing?’
Segun turned round to see Ada standing behind him in a short red gown, arms akimbo, a quizzical look on her face.
He gave a big sigh of relief grabbing briefly at his chest.
‘Ada, you scared the living daylights out of me!’
‘Hmm…you’ve been a bit edgy these past few days. What’s wrong with you?’
‘I guess I’ve been a little bit paranoid. Maybe it’s the stress at work’
He dabbed his sweaty face with his hankie. It was a deliberate move to hide his face. Ada was very good at reading expressions, especially if you were lying to her.
‘Oh you poor baby’, Ada cooed at him, caressing his face and planting a soft kiss on his lips.
Normally, whenever she did this, it sent electrifying charges of lust shooting through his body but today things seemed different. The kiss felt cold, her caress felt like tiny tentacles from some deadly parasite, and her grip felt like the shackles of death.
For a moment, his conscience had reared up its ugly head and beclouded his mind with tormenting guilt. He shook off her hands and walked hurriedly out of the bar. A battle was raging in his mind; two voices argued violently in his head.
Don’t tell me you’re going to run off and leave that chick all by her self! Don’t you see she needs you?But what about Shola? She’s been with you through the thick and thin; she’s your wife. Are you going to keep cheating on her?Who say’s you’re cheating on her? This is just a game that adults play. As long as you keep this affair a secret, things will go on fine!But you know secrets like this only end up being exposed. Someone may soon catch you at it.
Not if you stay away from where anyone can catch you. Beside’s you’re not the only one doing this, some of your friends are too.
But what about what this strange guy has been telling you? Haven’t you for once thought of taking him serious?
Duh! It only means you’ve not been doing enough to keep this secret a secret!
The argument seemed to go on and on. He stood outside the bar beside his car and held firmly against the car door. His mind was going into a mental staccato as he tried to make a decision.
Finally, he made one.
But only after he had turned to look towards the bar to see Ada cat-walking towards him.
The light from the bar shone through her diaphanous dress and he saw a silhouetted outline of what she would look like naked.
Suddenly, the voice that was encouraging him to continue with the affair became highly motivated and drowned out the other one that opposed the idea.
He couldn’t resist the allure from this woman. She reached deep into him like he had never felt.
Somewhere inside him, a faint voice yelled at him, that he was like a rat chewing on sweet succulent poison. He ignored reason and obeyed lust.
He took the puzzled Ada by the hands and drew her closer to him.
‘I’m sorry for barging out like that. Just needed some air’
‘And what on earth was suffocating you in there? My kiss?’
‘Oh come on…of course not. I was just stressed. That’s all.’
‘You’re lying.’ She had looked into his face.
‘Okay. I want you.’
‘You want me?’
She looked hard into his face then gave up.
‘At least that’s one truth you’re telling.’
She leaned forward and re-enacted her caressing and kissing ritual again. His eyes closed as he kissed back pressing her against the side of the Honda.
He opened his eye briefly and froze in mid-kiss.
Ada opened her eyes and looked into his. Their lips were still locked but his was beginning to tremble.
On one of the side windows of the car was the reflection of a familiar face – the strange man in the white African lace.
The reflection folded its arms and shook its head disappointedly.
Segun broke the kiss and turned round sharply but there was no one standing behind him.
He looked at the window again. It was blank.
He yanked out his keys, opened the car and ordered a confused Ada to get in.
‘Segun what’s wrong?’
‘Let’s get the hell out of here. I think someone may be spying on us.’
The hotel they chose was on the outskirts of the town; a long distance from their regular rendezvous.
Segun kept the details of his encounter with the strange man hidden from Ada. He didn’t didn’t tell her anything about it for fear of sending her into a panic. Ada might be a tough chick but Segun knew where her weaknesses lay.
By the time they had caught their fun at the hotel’s garden club – danced to the music under the creative maneuver of a enigmatic DJ, had a few bottles of alcohol and chatted with other fellow night crawlers – Segun had totally forgotten what happened earlier; his dread had been washed away by an endless supply of beer and switched off by the sensual touches of his scandalously sensual companion. He was having the time of his life.
The night was colorful and full of energy…just like the surroundings of the hotel…just like the room lobbies which were littered with fornicating couples getting ready for the night’s main course.
Yes. The night was colorful and full of life…just like the room Segun and Ada booked…just like the sex they had that night.
The night was full of life…until that moment when Segun rose from the bed, freeing himself from the hold of a sleeping Ada to go and take a pee.
There standing by the big draped windows, arms folded and shaking his head disappointedly stood the stranger in the white lace fabric.
Segun almost peed on himself.
‘What the hell are you doing here? How did you get in?’ He ranted in an angry whisper.
The stranger said nothing but just kept looking at him. There was a blank expression on his face that made Segun feel uneasy.
Segun slipped on his briefs and quickly got out of the bed. His mind raced on what to do.
He couldn’t fathom why the man was in the room. Things had obviously generated to another level. What was this guy here to do? Was it finally to kill him?
‘Please I don’t know what it is you want but I’ll pay you double of what you were paid just to let me alone’, Segun said. He had mustered strength to put up a bold act but was disappointed when he heard the way his voice sounded. It had fear lined up all over his tone.
‘Please…I…I promise I won’t do this again…I’ll p-pay you whatever…’ He knew he was making promises he wasn’t sure he could keep but that was a bother for later.
‘Sorry. Too late.’ It was the first time the stranger had spoken since he appeared and his tone sounded firm and dead serious.
Segun lost his nerve. He had never in life felt morbid fear at such intensity. He suddenly felt a strange cold gust blow through his entire being.
He had to do something. He couldn’t allow this guy attack him without fighting back.
His eye caught sight of an empty flower vase on the writing table a few inches away from where he stood.
Acting on his survival instinct, he went for the vase.
He never got to pick it.
His hands seemed to go through the vase.
He blinked several times trying to figure out whether it was the beer that was still holding his senses captive but found out that he felt perfectly okay, he couldn’t even feel the usual hangover that followed. He checked the clock on the table. The time read 3:30am.
Something wasn’t right.
Then he heard Ada scream.
He swung round to find out what the commotion was about and froze when his eyes settled on the bed.
Ada was jumping about on the bed and screaming.
On the bed partially wrapped under the sheets lay a man that bore a striking resemblance to him.
It took Segun two minutes to realize he starring at his own corpse.
‘Come on Segun. Your time is up. It’s time to go’
Your time is up. That was the only thing he heard as reality dawned on him. Anguish welled up inside him and he let out a blood curdling scream…a scream no one would ever hear.
He sobbed uncontrollably and tried to reach out for his body but found the whole room had begun to somehow moving away from his reach. He turned to the stranger for answers but the man in the white african fabric had transformed. He was glowing with amazing and beautiful radiance…but his face looked mean.
Segun felt a knowledge coming upon him – that this was the messenger of death sent to take his soul. At that moment he understood what the man had meant when he said he would end up hurting his wife badly – that he would end up making her a widow.
He screamed in anguish for the second time as the angel took his hand and led him away into a dreaded vast awaiting eternity.