“When will you be back from Jos? It’s almost four months now”, Sandra asked after picking the call.
“In two days time my dear. The project will be completed tomorrow and as soon as am done I will be on the next flight to Lagos”, Larry replied. A small mischievous smile crossing his lips
“Huh! But I thought you said it would be tomorrow?” she said angrily.
“I’m sorry dear. There was a slight delay. Please don’t be angry, okay”, Larry said.
“Hmmmmm. Alright, not a day more, okay!” she said
“Yes Ma, not a day more, I promise and babe”
“Yes!” she answered
“I have a surprise for you”, Larry said
“Really! Oh dear! What is it?” she asked excitedly. She was so ecstatic.
“It won’t be a surprise anymore if I let the lion out of the cage”, He said
“ Plssssssssssss”, she pleaded.
“Nah! Be patient. As the saying goes, the patient vulture gets the most decayed carcass”, he said giggling
“Me! Vulture! What kind of analogy is that?” she asked.
Both of them started laughing over the phone.
“Have you had dinner?” she asked. There was no reply
“Hello – hello – hello, are you still there?” she asked
“Oh! I am”, he replied
“What happened to you?” Sandra asked worriedly.
“I am sorry. I was thinking about something”, Larry said
“Hmmmmm. What about?”
“Do you really want to know?” Larry asked
“Stop teasing me and tell me joor. Plssssssssss”, she pleaded.
“I was thinking about how much I love you and what I would do without you”. Larry knew that she would be blushing right now. He knew the effect that four letter words had on her anytime he said it to her.
“Sweet heart, I know”, her voice was low and husky
“Cupcake, you can forget every other thing, but don’t forget that I love you with all of my soul, body and spirit. Please don’t ever forget”, he said it with so much conviction and emotion.
There was a pause. “Sweet heart, I hope, you are not crying?” Larry asked. He knew Sandra well. He could feel her heart beating softly over the phone. Sandra was a very emotional person and tears easily came to her anytime she got emotional.
“No I am not”, she said and sniffed her nose. Larry just smiled. It was a good thing, that she was unable to see it.
“I love you too”, she finally managed to say
“Good night dear”, Larry said and cut the call.
That conversation was two years ago and it was the last conversation he had with her. He came back the next day, instead of the day after because he wanted to surprise her but he was the one that got the surprise instead. And what a surprise it was because as he opened the door into his exquisite apartment, the first thing that caught his eye was a beautiful well designed invitation card. He wanted to ignore it but the card seemed to have a voice of its own. It called him back and Larry obeyed. As he picked it up and opened it he realized the air around him seemed to be choking him up. The illumination in the room was turning grey. His vision became blurred and hazy. He staggered and it was the settee that gave him balance. His body became a fountain and his eyes became a shower as it rained profusely. He got up and walked groggily to her bedroom and realized that the room was just the way it was. Everything was intact. Even the necklace that he sent her on her birthday was still in the case untouched. Sadness turned into anger and rage as he began to destroy all the clothes in the wardrobe, shredding them with skill and insane vigor. He was mad and filled with insane thoughts. Kept pacing and fuming. And abruptly he punched the flat screen into smithereens. A red stain, appearing on his fist. The tears came back and he found himself staring at the mirror that was by her make-up stand. He gave it a hard stare and the image he saw taunted him.
“You are a fool. You thought you were enough for her? You thought she loved you? Fool! Fool! Fool!”
He shook his head rigorously as if trying to wade off something.
“I thought you had learned from your past mistakes. First it was Tinuke, later it was Cynthia, Funke, Ebiere, Ifeoma and now, Sandra. History repeating itself but in a more dramatic fashion”, the image in the mirror said.
“But, Sandra was different. I believed she was different. I-I-I.”, his thought could not be completed
“Here we go again. The stupidity in you is speaking once more. All this while, you didn’t realize that she was playing you. She was a good actress and I am surprised you were this dumb, that you could not see the role that she was playing”, the image said. “Fool! Fool! Fool! It concluded.
A lot was going through his head and the conclusion to all his thought was that Sandra was a bitch but no matter how hard he tried to hate her, his love for her was quenching that hate. And he hated himself for still having affection for her.
He looked up at the mirror and the image was grinning at him. There was this sinister smile that appeared and then seconds later it turned into a grin. Seconds later it started laughing at him, “Fool! Fool! Ha-ha-ha-ha. Fool! Fool! Fool! Ha-ha-ha-ha Fool! Fool! Fo-ol” The mirror chattered into pieces as his fist made contact with it. The red stain became more profound on his fist. He stared at the paste on his fist.
Droplets of the liquid kept dropping on the marbled floor. He was in pain but he wanted to feel physical pain. He couldn’t take it anymore. He knew he had to stop blaming himself for loving again. He had to stop having regrets that he gave his heart once more to another woman but he didn’t have the strength to live with his hurt; this pain that was choking him up. The pain was threatening to stop the beating of his heart. His heart was bleeding and he was dying slowly and wanted to stop the pain. He wanted relief. His gaze went to the drawer. Something goaded him to open it. He obeyed and lying in the drawer was several containers of drugs, painkillers, sleeping drug, anesthetics and the likes of it. She complained a lot about pains and being a pharmacist, she knew and had the powerful painkillers to use. She had them in abundance , so he realized. And then an evil idea occurred to him. A sinister one and he believed that was going to bring him relief. He took it with both hands without any second thought. His family will mourn for him and they would move on with their lives. Larry rummaged through the drawer. He brought out two containers and read the label. One was labeled Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone was the name of the other one. These were two powerful painkillers. He went to the table sized fridge that was in the room and brought out a bottle of water. He opened the containers and looked at the content. He could not describe the colors of the drugs. He wished the drugs were going to be sweet because he hated drugs but right now it was a matter of necessity. Swiftly the fist container went to his mouth and he put as many tablets as possible into his mouth. The water aided him in swallowing it. He did the same with the next container and he washed it down with water. The containers fell to the floor and slowly, he dragged himself to the bed, waiting for the sun to set. He lay on it and he perceived her essence. It was all over the bed. That sweet scent of her that he had become so use to, it was so strong that he thought she was by his side.
“Its better this way”, he thought to himself. His vision started to become hazy and a sharp pain pricked his abdomen. He winced but he was ready for it because no pain could be worse than the one he still felt. As darkness started to take over he wondered what he would tell his dad when he went to the other side. He wondered what his dad would think of him. Would he scold him for being a coward and ending his life because of a woman? Or he would welcome him with open arms into his presence. His thoughts were becoming less lucid. In all of these, he had not spared a thought for his friend, his best friend, ‘Kunle’. Now was the time.
“Kunle, I pray with all the might in me, that you rot in Hell with your wife to be Sandra. His light went out.