She sat there, the bed missing the cuffs that had once held him prisoner. The bathroom door stood open, pill bottles violently thrown all over the tiles. Namdi held his place at the entrance to the room that had tested his will and found him lacking. To his left, a table held a vase full of rose stems, their petals absent. Above, an air conditioner kept silent, its services redundant.
"I wasn't sure you would come. If only I had enough time, maybe..."
A sad bitter smile faced a barren wall, in it a complexity words failed to capture. She did not turn around, her back being all Namdi would be given privy to. In her hand she held a pendant, the chain running along her neck.
"Time? It has to end Bisi, it's the only way she will forgive me."
"I once thought four months was more than enough; what wouldn't I give to double it... rather I prepare to curtail it."
"Wake up from the fantasy you've created, Bisi."
"When it was just me it didn't matter, but now your life is tied with mine..."
He moved forward, footsteps silent on the carpeted floor, his palm no longer empty. Her words left him confused but he did not dwell, shutting the door to his soul and steeling his heart. To the right was the table that had held his clothes. Only a glass and an open bottle of wine graced its surface now.
"She loves me."
"We love you..."
"Shut up!, Just, just, no more. I won't let you screw with my mind again."
"I only want you to see clearly, Namdi."
"You call this seeing clearly?"
A less than human grunt escaped from his throat, hand wrapping tighter around the vase, his position less than an arms length away. Bisi had still not turned around, her heart having so much more to give, her mind clouded with an aura of despair.
"There is something I need you to know."
"No more games Bisi, I don't have the heart for it anymore."
"Our fates are written before we even see the paths open to us."
"I alone decide my fate."
"Do you? Pause and think for a second, Namdi. We are merely pawns in the hands of..."
"I don't want to hear it!"
His roar drowned her out, arm swinging in a crude arc. The vase shattered against her head, blood seeping from a ghastly gash, rose stems in the air around her. On the bed she fell, the sheets taking its time to adopt a new colour.
"I wa...nt to liv..e Na...mdi... I wis....h to liv..., for, for..."
Her words slurred, her consciousness stubbornly holding on, so much more she had to say. She struggled to push herself up from the bed only to fall back down.
"She wants you dead."
Fingers found her neck, feeling the bite of a chain, achieving what she could not. Muscles bulged, lifting her off the sheets and slamming her against the wall; squeezing, cutting her ability to draw breath.
Bare feet hung suspended, unable to reach the floor. Weakly they kicked, hitting Namdi's shin to no effect, his eyes misty red, mind filled with blood lust. Red dripped from her hair, caught by the cuffs of his sleeves. Fingers reached up to pry away his vice like grip, a futile exercise. There was an unwillingness in her eyes that had been absent the last time he had held her neck in his hands. An unwillingness that struck a chord in Namdi, cutting through the fog filling his mind, allowing for a moment of lucidity.
Soft brown eyes struggled to remain open. The room had long since faded away, replaced by a world of brilliance and nothingness. In the distance her mother called out, begging her to return or so her oxygen deprived brain told her. 'Mum,' she thought, an arm reaching out to run a thumb along Namdi's cheek, leaving a smudge before falling limply to her side.
Namdi's grip went slack, his spirit drained, her body crumpling to the floor.
Continued on next page...
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