She cried while shielding her face from the hands that were raining down on her. The hands. The smooth hands. Left and right. The one with the wedding ring and the one without. The hands.
In this low light they looked like they were turning into Werewolf hands. Hairy, strong, with very long and sharp claws. At least that’s what she saw. She could not make sense of the blue cotton sleeves that she had straightened earlier that morning before he went off to work. She could no longer recognise his face. The dark face that was usually always plastered with a smile was now glowering with madness. His thin lips were tightly gritted, saliva escaping from the corners of his mouth. His large eyes, bloodshot and focused on this one action.
Patrick was a man of a modest frame when he stood next to Jane. She was basketball height, he was the size of Lionel Messi, but at this moment he looked like Shaquille O’Neal towering above her.
The curtains were drawn, but a slit of failing daylight was able to cut through. They temporarily drew a yellow line on his cheek. The red curtains had been drawn for obvious reasons. 5:30pm was still daylight and that is exactly why they needed to be drawn, to keep the light out.
“Forgive me behbih!” She kept screaming. She felt like fighting back. She knew she could pin him down. One block and push and Patrick would have been sprawling onto the floor. However, the shame of being caught like this had disarmed her fighting spirit. And she accepted she would let the hands keep landing till he tired.
The hands. They had never been placed on her dark skin like this. Not this violently. Not this carelessly. The hands had always touched her gently. They had held her own hands like a dream as he slid the gold ring on her finger. They had held her chin softly as her lips were kissed for the first time. They had gently carved themselves round her waist as he carried her for the first time. When the tears had escaped her eyes for joy, these hands had wiped them away tenderly.
The leaves of the big mango tree outside the bedroom rustled as if some ghost was shuffling his hands in the air. She could notice because the hands had stopped raining on her. She looked up and saw him stagger into the settee across the wardrobe. He dropped the blood stained heavy duty stapler as he sat. Then he began, first to sob. The whimpers of a dog defeated by a bigger dog. Then his chest began to heavily rise and fall.
He was still in his blue shirt, black trousers and black tie. The uniform at his job. He was still smelling very fresh; their offices had air conditioning and he was the kind of guy who would check into the toilets every 6 hours to use his AXE spray. Today he had planned to go home early.
He looked at the stapler and his sobs turned into wails. Tears were rushing down his face. She was in the bed half nude, wiping her own tears off her face as she slowly moved away from the wet part; the wet part where the sheets were stained a deep red like that of Heinz ketchup. That is where the man lay. He was face down, with a deep wound to the back of his head.
She looked at the wailing man, Patrick, and the dead man and spoke softly to herself.
“Need to get rid of this body.”
She got up slowly, tracking the movement of Patrick to see if he would jerk up and hit her again. She managed to put her clothes back on, never stopping to think she was staining everything she touched red. The blue Lee jean and the satin top with a V-neck. She covered her mouth with her two hands joined together, when she started to see the full extent of the mess.
Patrick’s sleeves were partly covered in blood. The sheets now looked like the flag of Japan. The 6 by 6 bed only had one occupant, the man whose body lay lifelessly next to the soaked, now red, white sheets. His clothes were on the floor next to car keys with a wooden key holder imprinted with the words Psalm “21:6-7”.
“Baby, we need to get rid of the body.”
She repeated a little louder than before.
Patrick’s wailings died down, they sounded like a balloon that was quickly losing air with its neck held tight. He stopped completely to look up to her.
Their eyes met. Hers, fear and worry; his, confusion and anger.
“Baby, I’m sorry. We’ll talk about this but there’s a dead man on our bed. We need to get rid of him.”
“There’s an adulterous woman in this bedroom.” He barked sharply, almost jumping off the settee.
“And there’s a goddamn murderer barking at me!” She replied almost instantly.
The leaves of the big mango tree outside rustled again. That ghost was shuffling his hands in the air again. Silence filled the room.
After a few minutes, Patrick got up. Walked to the side of the bed and began to roll the body into the sheets.
“Help me here.” He spoke matter-of-factly.
To which she joined him until the body of the man looked like that of Lazarus.
The body in the sheets had just the previous day been shouting with praise in the city church, reciting loudly the verse
“Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.”
To be continued?