Exactly fifteen minutes to midnight, I drove into my yard. My three-year-old Mercedes jolted twice before it stopped abruptly. Embarrassed, I glanced at my guest to read her expression. I needed not to create a bad impression of myself this early. The wads of fake pounds I tossed at her on the dance floor were enough to convince her, I even slid extra into her purse. The local chief doesn’t fail to sell fake currencies for moments like this. I grinned.
“Here we are babe.” I winked, she smiled and put her face down. I got down and opened the door for her to step out. I wore the best of smiles.
“Beautiful eyes you’ve got,” she said. I flushed. My wife never told me that; she complements every part of my face, but the eyes.
“Rat eyes,” she termed them.
It was Friday and the neighborhood was mainly quiet and calm. Many travelled for weekends while a few stayed back for parties. I was in that number. My wife and son usually went to her grandparents’ place for weekends, which was a routine they didn’t fail to observe. I had no problem. All I did was to hang out with my colleagues at work, drink, and party and meet girls; but today was special. Franklin, my co-editor in the company had taken me to the Bleamer’s club, the most visited in the city.
“Trust me man, the girls are good,” he had told me on our way there. Eventually, he never lied because right beside me was one of the good girls he had talked about. I sucked my lips in excitement. We both held hands like newly weds and walked to the entrance, the black sleeveless gown she wore gave a fair display of her ample bosoms. It reminded me of my ex wife, Riano. Same voluptuous body, different colours. She was blonde and had a low cut; Riano wore long hairs and bleached her skin. How much I missed her, she died of skin cancer years back.
As I made to unlock the door, it creaked open. I turned the knob and felt the lock, it was not broken which could only mean the person had the right key. I peeped, but darkness covered the living room which was unusual. I just paid the electricity bills the previous week. I searched my pocket for my phone, it was shut down already due to low battery. I went in with her and locked the door after then. Slowly, I groped my way to my bedroom to get the torch. She followed closely.
Just before the door to my room, I stumbled upon a metal object. I bent and picked it and observed blindly. It was a pistol. I remember I owned none. It then dawned on me some armed persons had entered my house, possibly still around somewhere. I got scared then. I gripped the gun with both hands in fear. I never handled one, but I was sure I wouldn’t fail to pull the trigger should the need arise.
“Behind me,” I muttered. I turned the knob and pushed the metal door ajar. It creaked noisily due to rust at the hinges. Then I saw the stranger standing by the window directly opposite the door.
“Show yourself,” I commanded. The voice chuckled. I knew it was a female then, but the voice was familiar.
The lady faced me now but since it was dark, I couldn’t see clearly who it was. The gun was still pointed at her, as someone else entered the room with a bright light. I turned immediately and pointed it to that direction. I was quick to figure it was my ten-year-old son. His distinct full hair was a great clue, he then pointed the torch to the ceiling which lighted the room.
I turned and faced Tonaj my wife now, she wore the meanest look since I’ve known her. I have never been more ashamed of myself. I looked at her eyes, then my son’s. I knew I had not been a good man. Since our thirteen years of marriage, I had only caused her sorrow and bitterness. I took away love and laughter from her peaceful soul. I did not only abuse her physically, I force myself on her each time I desired to fulfill my selfish lusts. I tortured her emotionally by digging painful events of her past at every misunderstanding we had. She did have an awful experience growing up. Her father; an alcoholic coal miner approached them in the same angry and violent manner, hitting her mum at every slight mistake. This caused her mom to take her and leave their father and little home after years of enduring. She had just her.
They both virtually lived in the streets. Long misery cut short, I came into her life. I had always loved her, but I wasn’t sure if I still did presently. I wasn’t sure why. My attitude towards them had changed drastically. I knew I deserved her care no more. Just today, I brought a strange woman to our home again. Since I had lost count, I wasn’t sure the number of times I did. She did find out, but today, fate had caught up with me; I got caught red handed. She had set a big trap and I fell without a rethink.
“Shoot her,” Tonaj thundered as she came closer to me. She had just asked me to shoot the strange woman.
I wasn’t sure what I heard so I stared at her with the what-did-you-just-say look.
“You heard me right Paul, shoot her and end my sorrows,” she was in great rage now.
I didn’t know what she was up to. The lady guest still stood behind me and held me in fear. I knew then there was no way to convince Tonaj, her face said it all. She must have had a great time planning all this. I buried my face in my palms while the gun pointed to the ceiling. I had never been more confused.
“I love you Paul, this is for our own good,” she whispered to me and then gave me a lopsided smile. She stared at my guest in an unusual way and laughed loud.
She forcefully grabbed my hands and pulled the trigger. I didn’t see that coming.
“Piew!” I heard it, so fast and short it was. I wasn’t sure whom it was fired at, but I knew a bullet escaped. I felt the recoil of the gun. I saw my lady guest slump slowly on the bed. In teary eyes, I rushed and held her lifeless body while my wife and son walked out.
I carried the lady guest in my arms and patiently waited for the cops to take me away.
As they led me out in handcuffs to the Black Maria, I stared once more at my wife and son.
“Happy Father’s Day,” they said in unison. That was farewell. I closed my eyes and let the tear drop. She wiped it from my cheek and licked it.
“I’ll never forget you Paul.” She wept now. For the first time in my marriage, I regretted marrying her. Then again, if that was the best way to restore the peace I denied her, so be it. I was paying the price already. I entered the vehicle as I headed to my forever doom, few years in jail until my death sentence.