It would have been a dark and silent night had it not been for the flashes of lightening and low rumbling of thunder. These forces of nature signified an imminent downpour. Faulks road was deserted as were so many other roads. This was not unusual as it was minutes to midnight. The increasing crime rate throughout major cities in the country had not left out Aba- the Enyimba city- people no longer kept late nights. The only road that could at the moment boast of any vehicles on it was Aba-Owerri road. It was the busiest and the only one that still had functioning street lights.
Lightening coruscated, thunder rumbled.
Presently a car drove into faulks road. It was a Peugeot 505 saloon car, its glasses wound up and headlights dimmed. It cruised rather than drove through the lonely road and halted in front of a freshly painted one-storey building. The driver killed the engine and emerged. He was wearing a dark sleeping robe which meant that he had gotten out from bed. It made him look shadowy. He wore a luminescent rosary around his neck. The combination of the gown and the rosary made him look like an apparition. Fortunately no one was present to observe. He locked his car and walked to the entrance of the building. He glanced furtively around him and fished out a bunch of keys from his robe. He felt for the right one in the darkness, found it and proceeded to unlock the door. He let himself in.
The room was dark, but dim shapes could still be seen. They turned out to be chairs-leather upholstery. They were arranged around a pedestal which was more like a centre table. The room had the smell of fresh paint and lavender. He didn’t give the furniture a look, neither did he think about the fragrance, but he headed straight to the door at the far end of the room, the darkness didn’t seem to hinder him. He knew his way about because he owned the place. He stepped into a passage. At the far end was a flight of stairs leading to the upper floor. At the opposite end was a door, he walked towards it. The door was special because it used a combination lock. He thumbed in the code and the door sprang open with a dull click. There was yet another flight of stairs, but they led down to another door. He descended the stairs and pushed the door. It opened with a creak, it was unlocked. He always left it unlocked.
Outside, an Owl hooted.
He was now in the room. A candle burnt low on a candle stand placed atop a drawer. It casted shadows. The room was stark, old wallpapers soft and dusty with age graced the walls. Apart from the drawer, other pieces of furniture included an old hospital bed at the far end of the room and a three-legged table beside it. The room was hot and stuffy because it had no windows. Plangent music which turned out to be the radio edit version of Bob Marley’s “No woman, no cry” played from an unseen recorder somewhere in the room. Strangely his voice was waspish which was quite ironical.
The room had a funny smell.
There were two spectacles of interest in the room. First was the three-legged table. It was covered with a red cloth. On it was a crucifix, a portrait of the Virgin Mary and two red candles which were unlit. The second was the hospital bed on which lay a naked woman. She was young, about twenty five and seemed to be sleeping. He walked to the bed and knelt beside it. He whispered “hey honey, hope I didn’t take long coming? Will join you soon okay? But first I have to say my prayers”. His voice was as soft as that of a dope peddler singing rock.
She didn’t reply. She didn’t have to. She was dead.
He knelt before the table, lit the two candles and then proceeded to pray the rosary. Two minutes and three “Hail Mary’s” later, he stood up and blew off the candles. He pulled off his robe and climbed into the bed beside her.
Outside, thunder rumbled and the Owl hooted again.
It started to rain.