SUIT Etiquette – unspoken rules for wearing your suit “A gentleman is one who puts
-The losing Bet
Please catch up on Episode 6 here
The Losing bet
Stephanie squinted her eyes in the pitch dark, her brain felt like an extinguished fire. Once it burnt bright and she knew of happiness and light; now her mind is as dark as the room she had woken up into, subsisting on the burnt tinder of who she really was.
“What is this place?” she wondered as the chains on her wrist restrained her hand from touching her face.
She looked around the dark room only to make out shapes in monochrome as though a scene from a black and white movie. The silhouettes were already more discernible than they were only a short while earlier. She could now make out the chair and the high stool across the room.
The jingle of a bunch of keys by the door gave her some hope that the hordes of questions might soon find answers. The door swung open with the urgency that startled her. Two men walked in, one was a mysterious short man in an oversized coverall who stepped aside for a more recognizable hunk of a man that she was glad had come to her rescue.
Alex barked out orders the moment he was walked into the room.
“Take the stupid chains off her” In quick succession, her wrist were free of the shackles as the short man expertly unlocked the cuffs.
“What is the meaning of this and why was I in chains?” Her voice had an edge to it with her lips thinning out in disgust.
“Alex did you put them up to this? Do you think I am crazy or what?” The questions came in droves with her anger turned on slowly like a sodium light.
The slap on Alex’s cheek was a resounding one. Even her wrist hurt, but she threw a second one only this time, Alex was having none of it. He held her swinging arm mid-air while pulling her close to him in a swift move.
“Please stop this. It’s over now baby, that’s all that matters” Alex whispered ever gently while nudging his head at the short man to excuse them.
He soon wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, gently rubbing her arm. Despite the anger and emptiness in her stomach, it fluttered at the feeling of his body pressed against hers. She sank into the warmth of his side, appreciative of the simple gesture.
In the brief moment in Alex’s arm, she had a flashback with the face of her father as she fell backwards into the dining chairs in her home. His face had not aged one day, his eyebrows as straight as she remembered and his forehead almost a square. In his hands was a glass cup filled with whiskey and he looked so real. She could have sworn he spoke to her about calling the medics from the hospital. The hallucination was so real it sent her into a fainting spell.
She shut that thought out promptly and snuggled into Alex’s chest “We need to leave this horrible place. My wrist hurt” the sound of her voice muffled as his arms squeezed a fraction tighter and she breathed more slowly, her body melting into his as every muscle lost its tension to his masculine scent. His touch made the room strangely warmer, but she needed to get into the light.
Her voice had returned and she sounded just as he remembered. “Thank goodness” Alex thought to himself.
“I am glad you are back Stephanie. We need to leave at once. We have a lot to talk about” Alex’s voice had a hint of urgency.
They walked briskly out of the seclusion room with Stephanie gently caressing her swollen wrist while stealing a last glance at the room that held her captive for the last few hours. In that room she reconciled with her past, her secrets, her pains, her worst nightmares and her tribulations.
But now, she had left everything behind. Everything!
Danny knew something was not right as he stepped out of his home. He had just one clue to work with -a phone number on the mobile set he had found in his living room.
He had dialed the number several times, but it was unavailable. He recognized the phone number and he expected to hear the voice of his best friend at the other end of it. But he fumed as the call disconnected.
“If Alex was in constant communication with his wife without his knowledge then he must have found out about Julia’s illness.” He pondered.
He needed some evidence and confirmation of what was going on and how deep this ran. He hurried into his study and turned on the CCTV screen. He looked hurriedly through the recordings of his house and bedroom on the night of his attack and the morning Julia fainted. He couldn’t believe his eyes! Alex had ravished his wife with reckless abandon.
Burning rage hissed through his body like a deathly poison, screeching a demanded release in the form of deserved violence. It was like a volcano erupting; fury swept off his head like ferocious waves.
He stared blankly at the monitor screen and was suddenly consumed in a blinding wrath engulfing his moralities and destroying the boundaries of loyalty.
Alex had broken all the codes of friendship and there was simply no excuse whatsoever for this betrayal. Something had to give!
He made one last stop at his kitchen on his way out of the house and picked up a knife.
He hailed a cab. Destination? – Alex’s apartment.
Alex’s well laid out plans had fallen apart like a pack of dominoes even before it got into full swing. He wondered whether being love-struck had something to do with it. He liked to have his plans well thought through with back-up plans in the event of a comeback.
He had commissioned his old friend Jango to execute the easiest task he would ever get in his wretched life. But he was now convinced that Jango had lost his edge. Way back in the University, he was notorious for always getting the job done. No holds barred.
He had lost his touch certainly.
What Alex hadn’t realized was that though Jango was a legend in the underworld, he held sway only decades earlier. He had lost the swiftness, ruthlessness and the agility that created fear in the hearts of many. The drinks won. He had spent an awful lot of his years pleasing his urge for alcohol. All he had left to his name was the glory of his yesteryears forever etched in his memory out of which he recounted many stories of his exploits to impressionable homeless kids around his neighborhood.
Alex had no idea that Jango was as broke as a haint. Especially how much he needed the cash. In the end, for his troubles, they only managed to damage the car windscreen, side windows and break Danny’s head. Much to Alex’s mortification.
He was to make it seem like a car robbery gone wrong. Danny had no business being alive. Alex was utterly frustrated. He felt like throwing a tantrum but there wasn’t enough time to mope and rage. Slitting a man’s throat couldn’t be so difficult. He needed to activate plan B.
He had to finish what he had started.
Confident in the certainty of his plans, Alex spent the night in Danny’s house. But the woman he had made love to that night was not the Stephanie he knew. For the first time since their entanglement, she acted utterly strange. Delusional and confused. Her voice tone would change in one instance- a perfect semblance of his beloved Stephanie, and within the hour she would appear to be unresponsive and indifferent. Her alters had aligned.
She did not stop him. She was hallucinating as fast as a high speed train. Alex on the other hand was too consumed with the blood rush to his loins to figure out that his dear Stephanie had flipped.
He only realized this glaring change when she answered the call from the hospital that morning. He overheard the conversation while she spoke and realized that her default personality had returned. She was Julia. Stephanie was gone!
Alex knew he had to get Stephanie back somehow or all his trouble would be for naught. She needed to remain Stephanie- his love!
Stephanie was all that mattered and she was worth the crime of passion. He hadn’t imagined that he could find love in the arms of a woman he once dismissed derisively as conservative and offish. But here he was professing the emptiness in the world without Stephanie’s love.
Weeks earlier, he sought help from a local doctor in alternate medicine he had found on his hurried search of the internet. The doctor had claimed exclusive access to an unproven treatment for her condition. He claimed she was suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). He swore on his life that he had successfully treated similar cases over his many years of practice. The treatment would involve a combination of hypnosis and heavy doses of extracts from local herbs.
Alex met with the doctor a few days prior to Julia’s abduction. He had been totally surprised by his height, but impressed by his show of confidence. There was nothing short in that! All that was required of him was bring her over to the asylum and he would excise her default alter within 12 hours.
He gave Alex a lot of comfort. Nothing could go wrong he had promised. The cost of the treatment was prohibitive, but it didn’t matter as soon as he realized that Danny had woken up at the hospital.
Alex was desperate.
“I have got somethings to tell you Stephanie” Alex started to speak as he veered the car off the carriage way to a public park in Opebi.
He wanted her to get some air and a feel of the afternoon sun.
Stephanie looked calm and restful. Her skin pale from lack of sunlight and her voice patched. They had finished lunch at a low-budget restaurant while the other guest peered at her rudely wondering why she looked out of sort. Her hair disheveled and creases on her dress a telltale sign of the ordeal she had been through.
She felt the biting pain and soreness from needle pricks all over her wrist, inside her elbow and her arm. She couldn’t imagine how much drugs had been pumped into her blood making her feel so woozy. But the drugs she had been injected with had started to wear off. Her mind started to wander. Her hallucination was starting again.
“Where is Danny?” She asked. “I want to see Danny right now?” Her voice wasn’t Stephanie and there was nothing but seriousness in her request.
The car screeched to a halt a few meters away from the park as Alex starred at the expressionless face of the lady sitting right beside him. The one he had professed undying love to minutes ago.
The world suddenly turned into a blur, and so did all the sounds. The taste. The smell. Everything was just gone. He paused trying to hold back the strange feelings rumbling inside him but he couldn’t.
“What?” He blurted. His voice full of regret and a tinge of anger. The doctor had failed him!
He starts to dial Danny’s phone number.
He knew what he had to do now!
They had agreed to meet at the Park. Alex felt safe meeting in a public place. As far as he knew, Danny had no clue he was involved in the car robbery and attack and had no evidence of what had transpired between himself and his wife. He would have to count on his wife’s amnesia if he was to give this up.
He would claim that that he found her in a delirious state and tried to help. He figured.
He was not sure what he felt at this time. Feelings are like temperatures, attraction is warm, Curiosity is warmer and anger is boiling hot. Hate can torch, but it can also freeze. Love…, for Alex was now a temperature best left under neutral. His thermometer had gone the full cycle.
Final Episode for the Waste of Sin will be published next week – 26th August 2020.
Thanks for following the story and the twist and turns. As always please post your comments
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