The conclusion of Secret Lives. You can see the previous part here. Please share your thoughts about the story in the comments section.
Patrick twisted Jane’s hair into curls, softly. He loved its tough yet smooth feel between his fingers. He twisted the hair into little long strands, first doing it consciously then absentmindedly. In a few minutes, it looked like her hair a globe with trees sticking out.
Her fingers still clutched his back tightly and her warm face in his belly, breathing into, sighing into it, whimpering into it but never crying into it.
He moved his gaze down onto her, fingers still twisting the hair and sought out her soul. It was burried in her face in his belly. He wanted to look at her now.
The last ten minutes had come upon him like a demon would come upon a mad man. He had walked into his bedroom to find a stranger panting on his wife.
Today had not exactly gone according to plan. His Mondays never really did. They were like the Uganda Revenue Authority of days; they demanded more, placed tolls, and never backed down until he had been dried up.
He had left her in their bed, driving out at 5:30am to go to work. He had three back to back meetings from 8am until midday. 2 at the office, one at a restaurant. Nothing had been prepared during the weekend, he had still been tying up loose ends with the richer clients. Those who only found time on weekends with their families at discrete locations like Pineapple Bay in Bulago, Serena in Entebbe, or Cassia in Buziga.
It was during after Monday’s third meeting that it had happened. His shiny G Class Mercedes had crushed into a boda boda who had shot into his lane without warning.
“Dammit!” He had exclaimed, banging his fists onto the steering wheel.
It didn’t take long before a swarm of boda boda men smelling sweat and putting on faded yet heavy jackets surrounded his car.
“Oyo’omugaga tomuta. Avuga Benzi!” One had shouted.
“Haaaa, leero tulabe” Another shouted.
He had wondered what to do. Stay inside the car or get out and reason with the boda men? The bodas had began placing their excited faces on his car windows. Luckily they could see nothing. His car windows were tinted. However, a red eyed boda man had approached him from the windscreen and banged so hard on it he shook. There was a terror in the man’s face.
In all this, the injured man lay on the ground writhing. The other boda men were only interested in milking this man in a G Class.
He had remained in the car but placed a call to a friend in the police. He needed to survive jusy ten minutes, when his friend said he’d be there with the patrol.
At this point the engine had been running, he was hoping the moment he saw some space, he’d clear off! However the longer he had waited, the bigger the crowd had grown and the more their impatience had grown.
Jeers, insults were flying over. Time had never moved as slow as this. He had to thank the German Vehicle gods for the car. No one dared touch it. It was a Benz. A shiny Benz. Rumour had it that just the indicator could pay one’s son’s school fees for an entire year. These rumours had kept his scar scratch free in this accident plagued city.
He hadn’t seen the policeman coming. So when he knocked on the windscreen with a gun Patrick was shocked. It wasn’t his friend. It was a face he didn’t know. Gripped by fear, he had turned the window down to hear what the policeman was saying.
A hot waft of wind came in mingled with the smell of sweat, kavubuka and local gin. The policeman took him by surprise when he reached his hand inside the car, removed the keys from the ignition and opened the door.
What had ensued was him being dragged through a crowd of boda boda men who had taken opportunity to throw more insults as well as punches. The injured man had still not been helped. Patrick saw him from the corner of his eye, his breathing getting slower and slower. He wondered why punishing him was more important than getting the boda boda man to hospital.
“Why didn’t I take him though?” He had thought to himself.
Patrick was now approaching a police patrol car, still held by the policeman. In a moment he was being shoved under the back seats like a sack of potatoes, like a common thief.
“Yeeeee mutekeyo!” Someone had shouted.
“Balowooza bo bagendera mu Besigye taxis!” Another had added.
The floor smelled of vomit, rust, and cigarettes. Another policeman had stepped onto the patrol and placed his two army shoes at the side of his body. Kicking him and swearing. The engine was keyed and the car about to move when a “Besigye taxi” swerved in. Four men in shades and black police uniform had removed Patrick from the car and taken him to the blue van.
His friend had whisked him away quickly and dropped him at his house.
“Patrick, you’re not getting off. I will have to pick you up tomorrow. That man may be dead, and your car is still at the crime scene. There will be questions. Say bye to your wife tonight, tomorrow we figure it out. Say bye to her the way you know best.”
He spent a minute going through his pockets to find the keys to the back gate. The main gate only responded to cars. In that minute he had thought about how he had knocked a man down, how he could have been taken to jail or even killed. His friend had helped but it was a stay. He would have to face the law. It might be the last night he spent with his wife in their bed.
He needed Jane. Jane would hold him and make him feel better. He loved how her long arms encompassed him when they hugged or made love. How she’d say everything would be alright.
Walking into the bedroom had revealed the length of his wife under a stranger. Moaning. Whimpering. Things he never heard when they made love. It was then that the rage had overtaken him and he had reached for the stapler he usually left beside the wardrobe.
Right now he thought about his day, his wife, his day, his wife. She was cheating. How long had she been doing this?
His face still looked down at her as his fingers kept twisting her hair. He wanted to say her name, “Jane”, but he had no more words. He remembered his vows a hotness filled his chest. Strength began filling his hands. He moved her face away from his belly, gently . The hands began moving to her cheeks, caressing them; to her nose, wiping sweat dew off; to her eyebrows, moving his fingers across them like a painter.
She looked up at him and formed a smile of relief.
However, his hands began moving downwards, to her chin and then her neck. Strength filled the arms and he began pressing her neck. Her smile vanished and horror filled her face. She saw Patrick staring down at her mindlessly pressing. She began to cough and hit his back with her hands. His hands were becoming stronger. She was breathing with difficulty now, trying to get up and use her height to stop this horror.
However, she was failing. He kept on squeezing her neck until in one swift move he let go and slapped her across the face.
“I have already killed a man today. This is the second one. You could be the third.”
Jane was holding her face in dismay as she heard the words. However, he continued.
“Now, you will help me chop your Solomon up. Tonight we leave the country.”
Photo : 28dayslater.co.uk