My brain was foggy as I regained consciousness slowly. What the hell had happened?
The last thing I remembered was entering Ruby’s house…oh my!
I rose to my feet wobbly. The room was dark so I couldn’t tell where I was. I groped around and found the light switch and turned it on.
The first thing I saw was Ruby lying face down on the bed. She looked weird.
“Ruby?” I called as I walked to the bed.
“Ruby?” I reached out and touched her. Her skin was cold. Stiff.
I realised she wasn’t breathing. She had no pulse.
I shrank back immediately. What had happened?
Ruby was…not breathing…? It couldn’t be! Was she…dead?
I reached out to touch her again but immediately changed my mind. It had just occurred to me that if she was dead, then someone had killed her. The same person who’d knocked me unconscious and dragged me into this room.
Oh my God!
I backed away from the bed as my brain registered everything that I was seeing.
And suddenly in the distance I heard a siren.
I panicked. A siren meant the cops…
Without thinking, I stumbled out of the room and bounded down the stairs out of the house. The siren sounds were closer and as I drove away from the house, I saw the police car ambling down the street.
It was when I was two blocks away from the house that I parked and leaned out of the car and vomited.
I was trembling as I drove to my house. The place I knew as home. Kemi.
It dawned in me that my life as I knew it was over. I’d just been at the scene of a murder…and I’d fled!
I’d just stepped out of the bath when I heard the doorbell ring. Who could that be? It was past ten and I wasn’t expecting any visitor.
I went to the door.
“Who’s it?” I asked.
“Honey, it’s me.”
Mo? Now, that was unexpected. I smiled as I opened the door.
As soon as I saw him, I knew something was wrong. He was trembling.
“Mo, are you okay?” I asked as I let him in.
He didn’t answer; instead he rushed inside and collapsed into a chair.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” I was worried now.
He looked at me and I saw something in his eyes that I’d never seen before. It was a look I couldn’t explain.
“Did something happen? Baby, you’re scaring me. Talk to me.” I knelt before him and took his hands in mine.
“Ruby.” He whispered. And then he started to sob.
I froze. What had happened again between him and Ruby?
“The police…she’s…dead.” He said when he was calm.
“What? What are you saying, babe?”
And it all came pouring out. The calls from Ruby, the visit to her house, being knocked out, waking up and eventually finding Ruby’s stiff body.
“Oh my God.” I sat back on my heels as the impact of what he’d just said hit me.
“What do we do?” He asked.
I could tell that he’d not recovered from the shock of finding a dead body, not just any dead body…a woman he’d once…er…had relations with. And I wanted to blame him for going to her house in the first place…
I knew it was time to take charge. I couldn’t fall apart while he was too.
I took him by the shoulders and shook him.
“Look at me, baby.” I said. “Tell me, did you touch anything in the house?”
“Uh…I…I can’t remember.”
“Baby. Listen you need to pull yourself together…you were at the scene of the murder…the cops would be there now, gathering any evidence they can…I need to know if there’s anything that would tie you to the scene.”
“But…we should call the cops.” He said blankly.
“Sweetie, you ran from the cops! You heard sirens when you were leaving! The cops are already there, if I’m not mistaken.”
“I still think we should call the cops. At least, that’s what good citizens would do and it would clear suspicion from me.”
I thought about it. Maybe he was right…
“Alright, get your phone and call.”
I watched him search his pockets.
“I…I can’t find it.” He looked at me, bewildered. “Oh…I remember, the battery died while I was driving to Ruby’s house. But, I can’t find it now.”
“What do you mean you can’t find it?”
“I…I think I was holding it when I got knocked out.”
“And you can’t find it?”
“Oh God…you know what this means, Mo?”
“You left something behind! At the murder scene! Oh God. We have to call the cops! If they find your phone there, you’re in deep shit.”
“Oh Jesus. Oh Lord…” he looked like he was going to puke.
“I’ll get my phone.” I rushed upstairs. I was shivering now. The fear had begun to seep into me.
I got my phone…and Mo made the call to 911, reporting the crime.
While he spoke to the cops, I let my mind think of what had just happened. Someone had murdered Ruby and had knocked Mo out. Why hadn’t that person killed Mo too?
As I sat there, I said a little prayer to God that Mo’s phone will go unnoticed by the cops and perhaps this ordeal will never come back to haunt us.
“Tell me baby; apart from your phone…is there anything that can link the crime to us?” I asked when he hung up.
“I don’t know.”
“You know. Think.”
I watched him massage his head with his hands and my heart went out to him. What had we gotten ourselves into?
“I…touched the…light switch…and…er…oh my God…”
“What?” My heart raced.
“I touched her. Ruby. When I checked for a pulse…”
And suddenly I saw our world come crashing around us…