Loose Ends (IV)- another short story

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Do you love crime fiction? Then this story is all you ever wanted.

 

Start the story from here.

Karo

Since the incident with the calabash, Karo had become apprehensive. The feeling of anxiety had become a kind of background noise, as though it were traffic on some unseen road. She barely slept that Sunday night as she tossed and turned on her bed till it was dawn. Even when the heavens opened its bowel in the dead of the night to cleanse the earth, it did nothing to assuage the despondent feeling.

When she rolled out of bed in the morning, she drew in a sharp breath of wet air before sitting bolt upright. Her mind was unsettled, and her puffy eyes bore the weight of her insomnia. But the moment she tried to get off her bed was when she felt the overwhelming urge to puke.

After retching the little she managed to eat the night before, she wondered what got her. Something didn’t feel right. She washed her face with water from the wash hand tap until she felt a bit better.

She reached for her mobile phone, lost within the rumpled sheets, in the hope that she would read a message from her boyfriend. It’s been almost 24hours since she spoke with him.

There was nothing from him. Just eerie silence.

The moment she felt the urge to retch the second time was all she needed to use the pregnancy dipstick to confirm her suspicions.

And the result? It was the undoubtable two clear lines!

Karo did one of her half-smiles, “When it rains, it pours!” She declared as she sat on the toilet seat in shock.

The tears that were always beneath her eyes poured out effortlessly, ensuring that she had no use for her eyes just as her vision blurred in plain sight.

“Oh my God, what do I tell mum?” Her body rattled violently as waves of sobs died in her breath.

This was suddenly becoming one of those days that she wanted her boyfriend to be there for her, as she was already starting to think that he was but a passing stranger, until her mind reminded her what was real and what wasn’t. He was her reality.

“How is this even possible? “She asked no one in particular. “But I used the morning-after-pills within 24hours. How is this even insanely possible?”

“How? How?” She cried until tears stopped flowing down her cheeks and all that was left was her heaving breaths and the steady droplets of water from the mouth of the wash hand basin tap, that she hadn’t closed properly.

After she summoned the strength to get off the toilet floor, she decided, it was time to pay her man a visit at his office.

******

Dara

The buzzing sound of houseflies was like that of a relentless music instrument playing without rhythm from the fingers of an amateur. Two elderly women had been cleaning Dara’s apartment all morning. They swept, scrubbed, mopped, dried, and sprayed scented fresheners all over the rooms.

Yet, the flies buzzed, especially around the kitchen where she had dumped the pizza delivered to her. It was inconceivable that she would touch it with a ten-foot pole, let alone eat it.  She sat down on the sofa, dejected, and lost in thoughts, chewing on what was left of her fingernails.

Occasionally, the whiff of the putrid stench of the fecal matter would interrupt her thoughts. She wondered if it was her mind playing tricks on her or perhaps the smell lingered. She asked the two cleaners several times that morning if they could perceive the faint smell of feces, but their response was the same.

The house was free from anything remotely close to that offensive smell. “Every where is fine now ma.” they declared.

Since the incident, her brain felt like it had been on a treadmill, putting logic and rational thoughts to the scenes that played out the day before and asking questions she had no answers to.

There was no doubt that someone was out to hurt her. But who? And why?

Felix, her next-door neighbor appeared top on her suspect list. Every time she attempted to put a name to the suspect, his name was top on her list. The list that had only his name.

When she moved into the apartment several months earlier, Felix offered a strong helping hand with her furniture, helping her settle in and getting the apartment ready.

It was his painter that repaired the cracks on her walls and finished the walls in satin paint. It was his electrician that fixed the broken wall switches and the lamp holders. It was his carpenter who repaired the hinges of her toilet door and the broken shelves in the kitchen store.

There was no way she could have settled into the new place if Felix hadn’t been such a kind, considerate neighbor.

Felix was a single, somewhat average looking guy with an incredible set of white dentitions that shone like many stars when he smiled. And he smiled pretty often.

 Sometimes Dara wondered if his teeth were natural. They looked too perfect and unbelievably aligned to be true. God was certainly partial when he carved out his smile. It didn’t help that he was so modest with it that it made Dara like being around him.

There was a softness to his appearance, a kind of warmth married to a shyness. It was the look of an honest soul and in that moment, she knew she had found a special friend.

The first few weeks after she moved into the apartment, Felix was her most frequent visitor. He was an IT programmer and helped set up her desktop computer installing applications for music, for her email, her online games, and chats. His interest in her well-being was genuine and Dara was glad about this. It felt really good to have someone dote on her.

But their friendship took a romantic turn one evening when they kissed passionately. It felt so unplanned, yet it happened. It lasted for all of 3minutes. The intensity of the kiss was blinding and breathless. It felt like something they had both been longing for but had been in denial. Their breaths had seized the moment his skin touched her arm and she melted into his soft lips within seconds.

Dara didn’t let the moment get very far; she stopped him in his tracks. His eyes were shut when she asked him to stop.

“No, please stop.”

Felix eyelids blinked several times before he returned to his senses.

“Why?” He asked as soon as he caught some air.

“I don’t want us to ruin this beautiful friendship that we share.”

“But you want this, just as much as I want it too Dara.” Felix’s voice had a hint of plea, his eyes still dreamy from the warmth of her swollen lips.

“I have got a boyfriend that I really care about. He paid for this apartment, and he is very jealous.”

Silence filled the moments that followed.

Felix left her apartment door ajar that afternoon and never spoke a word to her ever since.

He had been avoiding her in the driveway, when he took out the trash or when she stepped outside the fire escape, that the two kitchens shared, to cook. He stopped texting her, pulled down the curtains to the windows that faced her apartment and never checked in on her.

It felt like she suddenly never existed. Dara took it in her stride and moved on.

They hadn’t spoken for a few months and he had already started showing signs of aggression. She would come home sometimes to meet her trash can knocked away from her kitchen door. Other times, strange emails would pop up on her computer with incoherent messages. The sender was always unidentified. Dara suspected it was Felix handling the rejection badly, like a sulking teenager.

Now he had the guts to send someone to deliver the nasty pizza package to her apartment.

“Was this some kind of silly joke?” she muttered.

She dialed her boyfriend’s number for the umpteenth time that morning, and the answer was the same.

“The number you have called, cannot be reached at the moment, please try again later.”

The anger, it’s been there a while, boiling and receding, desperately seeking an outlet. But as soon as the seething resentment finally reached the boiling point, she got off the sofa and marched up to Felix’s kitchen door.

The door swung open at her twentieth rap on the steel door. Irritation was written on Felix’s face the moment he saw her.

Two quick slaps were followed by a barrage of invectives.

“How dare you do such a disgusting thing, Felix. What sort of jealousy would cause you to demean yourself like this? I thought you were a much better and refined man. And then you think you can get away with this?”

Bemused, Felix tried to speak. “Dara…” His left palm caressed his cheek.

“Don’t ever call my name. You don’t get to call my name ever again, not after what you have done. What have you gained from this despicable act? Did this restore your ego? Did it make you feel better? Are you fulfilled now? You have gotten your pound of flesh!”

“Dara, you need to stop raising your voice.”

“I would scream if I have to. Don’t tell me what to do with my voice. Do you think I am a pushover? You haven’t seen anything yet; I will go to any length to see that you regret everything you have done. Bastard!”

Dara walked briskly away from him, cursing as she shut her kitchen door behind her.

***

Please continue the story here

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9 thoughts on “Loose Ends (IV)- another short story”

  1. Pingback: Loose Ends (III)- another short story – Akin Akingbogun

  2. Bits and Suspense here and there. Love it!

    Sammy is a serial cheat?
    How is he keeping it all together?

    How did Sarah know Dara’s order though?

    Looking forward to how it all unfolds

    1. Wondering how Sammy is a serial cheat & still keeps it all together, look no further he’s a Yoruba demon (LoL)

  3. Pingback: Loose Ends (V)- another short story – Akin Akingbogun

  4. Adedamola ilori

    Lol@ this ‘her brain felt like it had been on a treadmill’… I can imagine what was going on in her head… Poor Felix had to take the brunt of the treadmill exercise. Nice one Akin!

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