One could hear the soft hum of the air conditioner, the only other sound apart from the rhythmic drip of Namdi's blood hitting Bisi's nightie. Her lips trembled, the rest of her body below his fingers motionless. Leaning forward, he kissed those trembling lips, an exquisite taste he had not experienced filling his mouth. His loins ached. Bisi's eyes flashed open, a passionate hunger burned away the initial fear, not dimmed an iota by the pain in her head. Her hands reached to circle round his neck even as his fingers crushed her throat making it hard to breath. Legs lifting, she wrapped around his waist, thighs spreading, pulling him onto the bed, above her, between her. As he fell forward, a twist of her torso put her on top and his back on the bed. In this position they remained, the pressure Namdi exerted on her neck not diminishing.
They made love with a savagery more beast than human. Candle light painted shadows of their intertwined bodies on the walls. Cries of passion erupted with complete abandon. There was no inch of her skin that had not felt his lips. Her fingers buried in his hair, her ecstasy beyond her wildest imagination. Spasms racked her body. Toes curled, back arched, her head thrown back, they reached the peak together, body crumbling on top of his.
Water cascaded onto a distraught Namdi, his mind clearer. With a sponge, he scrubbed his body, toiling to wash off her scent. The force exerted reopened his wounds, tinging the bath water a coppery red. Still, he could not get rid of her touch. Guilt crushed down on him, a mountain of immense weight. A bottle of soap found his hands. Popping the cover, he doused his body in desperation, his hands getting a generous amount. If he could only get clean again. A simple golden band slipped of his finger. As it fell, Namdi's hand shot out to catch it. He missed, feet slipping, body crashing to the surface of the bath. In pain, he could do nothing but watch the band disappear into the open drain, despair settling in his heart. He gnashed his teeth, cursing the world, cursing his creator from the depth of his soul for all his anguish. His mental state could not take any more shock. Water from the shower still fell on him, rinsing, a waterfall quietly beating him into submission. Aching muscles kept him still.
“The liquid drug she injected me with should have left my system,” Namdi thought.
A righteous anger bubbling within him. If she hadn't drugged him, none of this would have happened. Zainab would understand, he told himself.
Like a white hot knife through butter, her name seared through his brain. It felt like he had not said or thought her name in forever. In a panic, he looked for a clock. With a sweeping glance he saw nothing but a large amount of medicine bottles on the bathroom counter.
"Where did she put my phone?"
Gritting his teeth, he stepped out of the bath determined to excise this tumor. Opening the door he saw Bisi on the bed. Sleeping peacefully, her white nightie stained a coppery red. Hate blazed in him. He climbed on top of her, pinning her to the bed, both hands reached for her throat and squeezed.
From a dream Bisi woke up unable to breath. Her face slowly turning purple, her hands struggling to pry Namdi's hands away from her neck. A fruitless endeavor.
"You did this! If you hadn't drugged me I would have never slept with you! Zainab will understand."
Namdi uttered these words to Bisi but more to himself. He had to believe for his sanity. Bisi could feel death approaching, an experience she was not a stranger to. Hearing Namdi, her hands dropped to the side and she began to laugh. A silent laughter expressed through her eyes and mouth. She uttered a single word.
"Pla... ce... bo!"
Namdi froze, his mind crumbled, strength left his hands, freeing her neck. Coughing, struggling for each breath, Bisi delicately rubbed her bruised throat as she talked.
"Nothing but... a... vitamin solution."
Namdi got off her, walking towards the table where his clothes were, his movements mechanical.
"I freed you Namdi, this is who you truly are!"
One foot after the other he got his trouser on, the phone in the pocket unnoticed.
"We need to live as we are while we are alive!"
Without buttoning up his shirt he wore his suit.
"I love you Namdi, from that first moment I saw you. I know you felt it too!"
The door closed behind him, another petal shaking loose from the rose in the vase. Somehow he made it to the exit. Opening the door, a dark sky greeted him, a light shower falling. With glazed eyes, Namdi stepped into it, feet bare.
Continued on next page...
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