An ordinary rope twisted in no complicated fashion. Done in a simple knot, one end made around the other through the loop in the middle.
“It has to be good and tight…”
And then silence when he was done; as the subliminal dread of anyone perchance happening upon him as he tied it, waning with the steady progress that he made.
The low chair was nearby, and would be brought close to be stood on. It could easily be called a stool, but it had a backrest.
“An odd little thing” Chioma had always called it “…A cute, odd little thing”
Chioma had gone, taken away from him by another man. All that remained was her voice.
Her hauntingly beautiful voice.
He remebered how they had first met. He had smiled because she told him to, and she held the camera up to their heads as she placed hers beside his and stuck her tongue out. It still remained strange to him that he had kept the picture in his wallet all those years even though he had forgotten her name as soon as she had told him.
The second meeting was unplanned. They had bumped into each other and she had recognised him, calling him by his name. He picked up the conversation as naturally as though they had agreed to meet, and not as some person he had met on a group resort trip only once, some three years before. Before she introduced herself he had not even remembered her; which was strange because he was never one to forget a face.
Not with his line of work, never.
Chair set, rope firm. He took the hand written note off the table.
“Alright, its time” he said
“Please… It was an accident” the rough looking man said
“I know” he replied “but you drove away”
“I… I had no choice” the man spluttered “If I had stopped the mob would have lynched me”
He gazed impassively as he led the man to stand on the stool and casually placed the noose around his neck.
“You were drunk” he said, tightening the noose.
Immediately, the man had guilt registered on his face. Guilt which was mixed with amazement.
“How do you know all these things?” the man asked “Who are you?”
“That doesn’t really matter either way” he said “What matters is why you killed yourself, which you have clearly stated in this note”
He put the note in the man’s shirt pocket
“You forced me to write that, you devil” the man sobbed. He looked quietly at the man.
“I know” he said
He kicked the stool from underneath the man’s legs and watched as he grasped at the rope in a vain attempt for respite. Soon, the man’s hands dropped as he began to twitch. Body shaking, hands flapping at the hips, toe jerking.
“You know we’ll always be together” Chioma had once said “…I’m not going anywhere, and neither are you”
He remembered that there had always been so much love in her eyes whenever she spoke like that.
“…even if you say you’re going, I’m not going to let you. You know this…” she would say, as she pulled close to his ear and nibbled it, following with a kiss on his cheek as he glanced at her from the side of his face, a tiny satisfied smile beginning to form across his lips.
“I know…” he would reply