“People Just Like You” Series – Dolly Parton “You will never do a whole lot
When two friends set out for an evening of mad fun, they had no clue how the night would turn. They had no idea it was going to be the longest nights of their lives – one that would change their lives forever.
The two friends would soon learn that their pleasure will be their ultimate weakness and undoing.
The story is purely fiction. All characters are a creation of the author.
Her sobs came in waves, little ones at first, before breaking into screams of agony as she sat sprawled out on the motel lobby floor. Her short dress barely covering her surging breast and thighs as she wailed with reckless abandon. A loose plaster had come off her face and clear mucus ran down her nostrils as she cared less for her appearance.
The motel reception area was illuminated with a soft and welcoming light, as if it were sunshine in gentle pastel hue. But it couldn’t do justice to the image of the young woman, still with the sweetness of girlhood, screaming her lungs out.
It was barely sunup and she had an agitated throng of sympathizers looking on as her scream seeped into every facet of their skin. A good many of the onlookers cladded in their night wears and accompanied with an unholy agglomeration of stale perfumes, dried sweat, body odor and halitosis encircled her.
The crowd? – They were passersby, motel cleaners and staff, guest and their companions, drivers and even stray teenagers. Their looks burning through every inch of “yellow” skin she had on display with pity wondering why such a pretty lady was left in so much pain.
While curiosity got the better of half the crowd, many others were there for the gossip, if anything, to spice up their listless lives. Armed with their mobile phone- a piece of scrap held together by worn-out rubber bands, they turned on their cameras to create a poorly lit recording of the unfolding scenario. The video would offer them something to feast upon during their leisure. They lived for moments like this!
From the crowd came a rising energy to match their growing angst as the girl’s scream told of the anguish and regret within. It was like the “calling” in the scream of a child that awakens the hero to action. Every word she managed to utter stoked the embers of their rage. It really didn’t matter what she complained about, her gory sight told the story they needed to feed others and transfer their anger.
Her dress was covered in conspicuous splatter of blood right from her neckline to her waistline. Her hair disheveled like the aftermath of a vicious and unforgiving tornado, while her face was battered and swollen from what appeared to be multiple blunt impact to her face.
She wore her left eye lid like a prize, it was swollen and disproportionate to the rest of her face. She was an awful sight to behold and a total mess! Only the heartless would not seethe with rage.
No one could imagine that hours earlier she was easily the toast of the party and the cynosure of all eyes. But right there, the crowd took it in and let the rage radiate through their clenched fist.
“Where are they?” someone asked angrily.
From a few distance to the motel access gate, Collins could hear the muffled voices, some angry and some placating and he wondered what was happening. He was away from the motel barely an hour earlier and at the time he left, the environs was serene and calm.
He had enough time to change into a clean shirt and a matching blue jeans. He wasn’t going to look what he had been through. His body felt differently from lack of sleep. But he had to tidy the loose end. The night had indeed been a long one and he wondered if it had truly ended?
“What could be amiss?” he wondered
A draft of air hits his face, warm and with a tincture of sweat as he opened the access gate into the motel premises. He took foreboding steps as he approached the motel lobby where the raging noise he heard moments ago was only punctuated by the screams of what could pass as a wailing female.
Collins slipped into the crowd as quickly as he could. He wasn’t going to trade his anonymity for anything. A few tugs here, silent apologies there, he managed to meander through the throng of sympathizers to behold the unmistakable face of Bilkiss. Her black but now rumbled hair hugging her once beautiful face as she wailed and spoke at the same time barely audible enough for anyone to make out a complete sentence.
Collins had never been claustrophobic before, but in that almighty swell of humanity, he felt the panic rise in his chest. A frightened yelp escaped his mouth the same moment she turned to look at him.
As though in slow motion, he watched as she raised her right arm and pointed her index finger directly at him. Scores of angry eyes looked his way in micro-seconds and he knew he was in a lot of trouble.
If they moved he had to also and if his feet failed to keep up he risked being trampled underfoot and beaten to pulp. But there was no chance in hell he could out-run the crowd who were waiting to serve justice to whomever was responsible for the current state of the girl.
Years ago, he had watched a mob action on local television and had learnt that being aggressive would not save his skin. He had to be as meek and decisive as the moment would allow.
“Is that him?” Came another voice in the crowd seeking for confirmation.
Even in the bitter January cold he felt the warmth of all those bodies pressing in and the menacing look on their faces left nothing to imagination. He froze as he suddenly realized that attention had shifted to him. He could smell the blind rage as his feet failed to respond to the primal urgency to flee.
The first slap came from nowhere, it was lightning fast. A momentary seizure followed by a tinge of pain on his left cheek that left him staggering on one leg. The second one could have been a clenched fist as it left his tongue torn from a canine cut. Instinctively he held his head in his hand pleading for mercy. An argument broke out from nowhere into a tornado from the crowd as they were suddenly serious and blood thirsty.
“Wait wait wait…I didn’t do anything wrong” He screamed.
“Let him be. Let him speak” came an unknown voice from the crowd. It could have been anyone but he was grateful for that lifeline.
It was going to be his words against hers and she didn’t look like she cared much. She had stopped crying and dying waves of her prolonged sobs heaved through her chest. He bit down on his lip knowing for sure that this wasn’t going to be fun.
That moment there was hardly a single utterance in the thirty-something strong throng as they waited on his every breath.
He took a cursory glance at the reception. It was nothing like the one he had sauntered into in the middle of the night hours earlier when he managed to convince Bilkiss to rest for a few hours while he went about getting refreshed.
The motel that had once been the finest residence he could find at the time suddenly looked like there was no openness, no space as thick stale air laced with fear and anger hovered around the hanging ceiling lamps.
Whilst the lobby was overcrowded with sympathizers with streaks of sweat dripping from the faces of their faces, there was nothing warm or friendly about the looks they shot him. They wanted blood and he had only a few minutes to save himself.
He wished it was a dream so he could snap out of it.
“I did not abandon her here. I went to get a change of clothes. Her bags and personal effects are in my car parked out here outside the building. It’s the black Honda accord” He spoke as fast as his breath would allow him.
Then he looked down at Bilkiss.
“You are supposed to be taking some rest, why are you causing a lot of commotion this morning?” His voice was firm and accusatory. He seemed to have found a hint of confidence.
“Show us the car” a short man with heavy facial beards bellowed. His face had irritation written all over it.
The crowd allowed Collins to lead the way as they made way so he could pass through the exit door. They had enough time to look him over. His neatly ironed shirt, clean jeans, well-manicured fingers and super clean loafers oozed of sophistication. He left a trail of masculine perfume in his wake as he walked towards his car.
He held his cheek in his palm as the sting from the harassment hurt deeply. That was the third time he was getting his cheeks slapped in the last 4hours. Before then, they hadn’t been slapped in decades.
How fast things changed!
He opened the car door and brought out Bilkiss hand bag, high heeled shoes and the remains of the wig she wore the night before and handed them over to her.
At this time, half the crowd started to make their way out of the motel premises, they assumed it was a case of relationship gone sour or couples bitter fight.
The short man asked Bilkiss if the items she claimed had been stolen from her were the same ones the young man just handed over to her. She checked in the hand bag for her mobile phone, wallet and debit cards, they were all in there. Just as she had left them.
She answered in the affirmative. This time, the remaining onlookers disappeared just as fast as they had turned up. This was bad business for the “gram”
Collins tried to make out a face or two from the throng that had palms so thick that it hurt his cheeks with the thunderous slap. All he saw was men and women of all shapes scurrying away into the morning sunshine.
He looked at Bilkiss, his eyes pouring invectives his mouth wouldn’t dare utter.
“I am sorry Collins, I thought you had left me all to myself”
Collins had a flash recollection of the night before and his disdain for her dissolved in one instant.
“Let’s go to the room, you need to rest”
Please click here to read chapter Two
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