Remember me (II)- Short story

The story of fate and destiny

Chapter Two

The Message

Tara sat quietly behind the steering wheel. It was so quiet she could hear her own breath with ease as she tossed the bag into the passenger seat. She stayed still as though anticipating someone to knock on the car window, holding her breath while at it.

Nothing.

She then raised both hands as she inspected them for unusual signs or symptoms. She was hoping that the bottle didn’t carry spells that would disfigure her fingers. But her nails looked just as beautiful as she liked them to be.

Satisfied, she checked her face in the rearview mirror. Her red lips stuck out beautifully, bringing out the brightness of every day, both in their perky hue and the smile she flashed to reassure herself that everything was just fine.

To reassure herself, Tara turned to look at the empty back seat of the car, it returned her gaze with emptiness. She wasn’t expecting anyone to be there. Was she?

Then she started to laugh. First at her foolishness and then at her paranoia. What was she even thinking. It was only a bottle tossed to the shore by the waves. She blamed the psychological thriller she had been reading for her bizarre behavior that afternoon. It had cut her afternoon quiet time by half.

When she stopped laughing, she dried the tears that swelled at the corner of her left eye. It happened every time she had a good laugh, which was becoming rather frequent.

“What is inside the bottle?”

She fetched the bottle from her handbag. It looked harmless and slightly heavy. She eased it from her right hand to the left. Weighing and sizing it with both hands before tracing the bottle with her fingers. She turned the bottle on its head looking for inscriptions that could give any hint. She found none.

There was something inside. The amber color of the bottle made it quite difficult to notice. But when she put the bottle up against the sun, she could see the outline of several cleverly rolled pieces of paper and what looked like a lot of dried leaves and a coin. She shook the bottle to listen to the sound, but the coin tossed around the paper and made no clinking sound.

“Interesting. A coin.”

She fiddled with the cork as she tried to force it into the bottle with her thumb without success. Her thumb hurt.

She would need a wine opener. She had two at home. But this couldn’t wait till she got home. She was not leaving the parking lot until she could decide whether to throw the bottle and its contents away or to do whatever she had to do.

She had no clue what the latter part of that statement could be. Whatever she had to do!

She contemplated throwing the bottle violently at the tarred tarmac of the parking area but decided against it when she looked at the thickened glass.

She imagined the bottle bouncing off the tarmac straight at her face. Her lips would never remain the same.

“Ouch” she winced. “Not a chance.”

In a jiffy, she was out of the car trotting towards one of the kiosks that sold drinks at the parking.

“Please can I borrow your wine opener?”

The assistant looked at her curiously before reluctantly handing over a winged corkscrew, the type that would require one to wrestle with the bottle before the cork gave way.

She didn’t look enthusiastic when she mouthed “Thank you.”

But she went about her business quickly. She promptly set the bottle on the ground before turning the screw repeatedly. It took some effort, and it wasn’t long before she broke some sweat.

The moment the cork popped; she eagerly turned the bottle upside down in a bid to rid it of its contents. But nothing came out.

At least half the job was done, she returned the corkscrew to the assistant before hurrying back to her car. As she approached her vehicle, she admired the alloy rims that Levi had insisted he paid for when it was first delivered.

A woman of substance must use a car with style.” Levi’s voice echoed in her mind.

“He was at least good at something.” She smirked.

Instinctively, she walked around the car inspecting the tires and body paint for anything unusual. Of course, there was nothing unusual.

She eased back into the driver’s seat again, shutting the world outside as she turned the ignition and the air conditioning.

Now she couldn’t hear her breathing because the hum of the air condition drowned them.

With her fingers, she managed to pull out the pieces of paper in the bottle. Most of the pieces tore off as she struggled to pull them out. On casual inspection, they had no inscription on them and appeared to be of no relevance. But she was unrelenting until all the pieces were removed. Dried leaves, decayed pieces of paper and sand poured from the bottle into a polythene bag that Tara had cleverly kept to prevent the mess from littering her car.

She tried to sniff the contents by taking pockets of air into her nostrils.

On close inspection, one had an inscription, and it was in English.

Cocking her head slightly as though listening to the inscription rather than reading it, she soon realized it was an address.

No 17 Lawal Adeleke Street”

She imagined that the other pieces of paper were probably part of a letter written to the unknown recipient whose address was still legible.

There were some other unreadable scribbles that she couldn’t be bothered to decipher. Without much thought, she reached for her mobile handset from her handbag. Google map would show her where this street is located.

The app located the street somewhere on the digital map in Yaba, a suburb located on the Lagos mainland. It also indicated that the street was only a 20minutes travel distance away.The map also showed two other streets with a similar name in Agege, also on the Lagos mainland. They were further away.

She would only have to drive half-way through the third mainland bridge to get to Yaba.

She contemplated for a while. Her eyes scanning her windscreen in thoughts.

There was no way the coin could be removed from the bottle without breaking it. She would have to take a decision on whether to break the bottle or not later.

She wondered if she needed more to go on with. The address was just what it was, an address. No message.

Then she looked at the pieces of papers carefully unwrapping thickened layers of paper after the other to reveal an old passport photograph of a young woman, who by all means was all shades of beauty, concealed within the pieces of paper.

Tara stared at the picture of the woman and felt the need to take action.

She tapped the screen of her mobile handset and it started to speak.

“Take the next turn and you are on the shortest route to your destination.”

Tara started to drive.  

follow the story here.

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15 thoughts on “Remember me (II)- Short story”

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