THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 34
All eyes were suddenly riveted on me, and all sounds ceased.
I felt like the drop of blood on virgin snow, and as I walked in Nicole extricated herself from the immoral grasp of the man and approached me, her eyes roving my face.
The look I gave her was stony and cold, and even as something pricked my conscience that I was beginning to behave like a silly little spoilt child I paid no heed to it.
The man followed her, his eyes also riveted on me, a quizzical smile on his lips.
He stopped right beside her and deftly put his drink in his right hand and put his left arm around her waist again.
She turned to look up at him, and in doing so she extricated herself from his grasp again. If he noticed her disapproving look he paid no heed as he transferred his drink to his left hand again.
He spoke, and his voice was deep and low to give a kind of sexy effect, and I wondered idly how many years he had spent practicing that false tone.
This must be our esteemed visitor. Introductions are in order, I presume.
Andrew Okai is my name.
He took a sip from his glass and held out his hand.
He smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.
I noticed that his eyes were an intense grey, and for a wild moment I imagined him with one of the uglies squirming right in his gullet, dancing in his eyes and sucking stuff from his nostrils.
I took the proffered hand and shook it briefly. I noticed how tightly he held my hand and tried to squeeze it.
He turned to the elderly couple and beckoned them over, but he still held unto my hand. I pulled my hand free and took a step back from him.
I didn’t like his perfume very much.
It reminded me of bird s***.
Nicole spoke quickly when the elderly couple joined our little group.
(in a rush)
This is Mr. Yaw Boat. He’s here to impart some of his great knowledge in evangelism to our congregation. Boat, please meet Mr. and Mrs. Okai, owners of Dash Systems.
I wanted to raise my eyebrows at the evangelism bit, but I felt too offended to react, and my face was dead-pan as I shook hands with them.
I had heard of Dash Systems – a powerhouse in space designs or something like that. I had heard some of their inventions formed the core base of some of NASA’s trusted spaceships.
Millionaires for sure, and that was why the lady behaved as if the world was one hell of a stinking package she could wipe her feet on.
Sorry about your father, young man. A mighty man he was. He hosted a seminar for industrialists once. I was quite impressed with him.
I began to say something adequate, but I realized his wife was still holding unto my hand, and I stared at her for the first time.
Her nose was down to earth now, and her gaze was like many I had seen on the faces of matured women who had wanted to use my body to satisfy impure lusts.
There had been some I had taken advantage of, and been paid well for it.
There had been some I had taken to bed because I had found them attractive and willing, and who had satisfied that hidden crave of every young man to be desired and seduced by an older woman.
Some had lasted for a spell, and the benefits had been mutual; almost all of them had been married women, though.
All that was past now, and as I looked at her I felt nothing but a sudden revulsion that made me pry my hand loose firmly.
Glad to meet you, Mr. Boat. Tell me, are you running Golgotha Heights now?
No, ma’am. Pleased to meet you too. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some food to eat.
I left them, but not before I had seen a little frown on the face of the older man at my apparent rudeness.
I kicked myself for behaving so childishly, but I was fast losing control of myself. Another moment in their company and I would’ve forcibly pried that oaf’s arm from around Nicole’s waist.
I sat next to the young Paul Anderson, and wasn’t at all surprised when Mrs. Okai lowered herself on the chair beside me, forcing her husband to sit on her left.
Nicole and Andrew sat beside Mrs. Anderson.
Nicole was facing me directly, and I had to keep a tight reign on myself from staring at her.
She was that beautiful.
The tall cold man in the beautiful tux sat at the foot of the table, alone, and I began to think that he would always be like that: alone.
It kind of suited him. He had probably spent most of his life being alone, and had grown up like that in his reinforced shell.
Pastor Anderson blessed the food, and from then I ignored everybody and concentrated on the best dinner I had eaten in years.
I had barely eaten home-made food since my old man bought it, and my hunger was a seasoning that propelled me on to attack the food that evening.
The others ate with finesse and decorum, but I dug down and tried to satiate my hunger the only way I knew how.
When my plate was empty I ladled more steaming goat meat gravy into it, topping it with soft sweet lobsters from another bowl. I forked more boiled yam from a shiny silver, and then I drew the whole load forward toward me.
A soft thigh pressed against mine, nudging me in a persistent sort of way, and I looked up with my mouth full to see that everybody was virtually staring at me.
Nicole looked amused, but I could see the look of revulsion on Andrew’s face.
Rosemary Anderson, for the first time since I met her, was smiling gently as she shook her head at me.
It’s always pleasing to see a real man eating.
She had obviously because seen my embarrassment and decided to speak to ease the tension.
Giggles went round the table as I reached for a glass of water to hide my uneasiness.
You cook a mean dinner, Mrs. Anderson. This is the best food I’ve tasted in years.
(beaming with pleasure)
Why, thank you! I don’t remember the last time my food was praised around the corners of this house!
Her husband feigned shock at that and said something funny.
Again the giggles ran out, and the moment of unease passed.
I suddenly felt pressure on my inner thigh.
It was Mrs. Okai’s left hand, probing hotly up my right thigh.
I was too experienced to jump or turn, but I knew Mrs. Okai was pressing a point home.
I reached down to pry her hand lose, and she pressed a piece of card into my hand. I took it and pushed it down the front of my trousers, again without looking at her and with the minimum of movements.
Soon they were conversing softly among themselves again, and I quickly finished the rest of my food.
I excused myself, telling them I wanted to take some fresh air outside.
The man in the nice tuxedo also pushed his chair back and stood up.
He walked quickly out of the door with a mumbled excuse, and climbed the stairs leading upstairs almost in a rush, leaving me staring after him for a moment.
There was something really odd about that man, something I couldn’t just put my finger on, but it disturbed me greatly. After a while however I forgot about him and moved out of the house.
I made a mental note to ask Nicole about the man.
I walked into the garden and raised my eyes to the cloudless skies. I fought hard for control as I recollected how close Nicole and Andrew had been together.
I grudgingly admitted to myself that they indeed looked good together, and from the snippets of their conversation which I had overhead they really were in love with each other.
Why then was I feeling so gloomy and so vacuous inside?
What were those strong emotions that I was feeling – emotions that drove me to the edge of madness as I imagined the terrible things I wanted to happen to Andrew Okai?
I paced the garden angrily, barely noticing the sweet flowers and the lush green grass underneath.
I stopped when I came to the end of the garden area and found myself faced with great trees that rose proudly into the sky, dark and strong.
Darkness spread into the trees, and suddenly I realized how alone I was, and how scary the trees could be.
I shuddered suddenly as I peered into the darkness of the trees. For one wild moment I thought I saw hundreds of multi –colored eyes in the trees, staring down at me balefully.
For a moment the angles seemed to shift, and I became aware of hundreds of hideous creatures slowly coming toward me, shuffling and making low growling noises in their inhumane throats.
Eerie dark fingers reached out for my throat, and evil mouths with ghoulish teeth opened wide to sink into me.
My breath caught as I took several steps backward, blinking rapidly.
Just a vast expanse of huge trees and darkness.
I turned and made my way slowly back toward the house, resisting the urge to glance over my shoulder and walk faster.
Soon I was in the fragrant garden where soft lights illuminated every blade of grass.
And then I saw them: Nicole and Andrew.
She had her back to me, and had not heard me approaching.
Andrew was facing me, and by the sudden movement of his head downward I knew immediately that he had seen me and was pretending otherwise.
Bruno was squatting near Nicole’s legs, wagging his huge tail happily. When the dog saw me it broke into a run, stopped beside me and rubbed his head against my knees.
I patted his head absently as I watched them.
Andrew’s head came down, and when their lips met in a tender kiss the fury and pain pierced me like a two-edged serrated knife being pulled out of my heart.
I wasn’t aware that my hand had halted on top of the dog’s head, or that I was trembling. I heard the low growl beside me, but I paid no heed to it.
My attention was focused on that dark head poised over her face, just like one of those uglies sucking stuff out of innocent victims.
At that point I finally faced the painful truth.
Nicole was suddenly an important part of my life. She was no longer a mere body made up of beautiful curves and contours to please a thirst.
She was not an object to be enjoyed and put aside disdainfully.
She was not like any woman I had ever met, and suddenly I was beginning to experience a whole lot of confusing emotions, and I loathed that man mauling her.
She was a pure goddess I wanted to do silly things to – things like sticking flowers into her hair; silly things like slowly lifting her up and spinning her on a moonlit summer night.
Yeah, crazy stuff like that.
She was suddenly more than just someone I wanted to know.
My heart thudded painfully as I watched them, and my jealousy was pure green, and because I had never experienced anything like it ever in my life, I mistook it for anger.
That was why I looked at the dog and whispered to him – no, commanded him – with a voice filled with authority.
Go get the b******, Bruno. Rip his guts out!
I turned away from them, preferring the eeriness of the forest to that kind of sight. I brushed a hand through my hair furiously. If that was what she wanted so be it.
She could have him for all I cared. That was all pretty silly, considering the fact that I had said or done nothing to make her aware that I cared that much for her.
Hell, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have anything to do with her now.
She was older than I was – well, just two years and totally negligible – but hell, I was a different breed now. I needed no emotional attachments in that department.
I needed to stay focused and…
It suddenly intruded into my mind that the dog was growling … not with pleasure, but with a real fiendish tone! Its deep voice was pouring with furious menace, and I whirled round sharply.
The hair was standing up like hackles on Bruno’s back. His ears were up, and his shoulders were hunched.
His great head was thrust forward, and although I could not see his face I knew it was full of hatred … and had the total look of a killer.
Go get the b******, Bruno. Rip his guts out!
Oh, Lord! Oh, no!
I had commanded it!
Even as I watched, horrified, Bruno began to inch forward, hunching his shoulders and gathering momentum.
Bruno…boy? Settle down, boy! Ease up, Bruno. Back off, boy!
I could hear her voice trembling with mounting horror, and I noticed that Andrew had moved slightly behind her, unintentionally – maybe – using her as a shield
The dog was maddened, and he did not hear her familiar voice. Bruno’s dark eyes were fixed on Andrew as his steps quickened.
His growls were almost inaudible now, reduced to deep-chest rumblings that were meaner and absolutely more frightening than the loudest of barks.
Andrew screamed with sheer terror as he turned and began to flee.
Run, Nicole, run!
Bruno! What’s the matter with you, boy? Settle down!
The dog was not making any sound now. Its head was down, its eyes fixed on its target, its steps now a full-blown flight, measured to that of its prey, ready to pounce and bring it down.
Fear crystallized in my veins, and my arms pumped as I took off after them.
Andrew was shrieking now, a maniacal prolonged sound that jarred the nerves. The dog swerved round the trembling body of Nicole and bore down on the hapless man.
Andrew was looking over his shoulder as he fled. The house was in sight now, and I could see people rushing out unto the back porch, drawn by the man’s screams.
And then Andrew slipped and went crashing down.
Bruno leapt, front paws extended to grip and rip, huge mouth gaping open and dripping, ugly teeth ready to maul.
Andrew rolled unto his back, and I saw his face fully, and the expression I beheld was one that no human being should wear.
It was look of terror so stark that it twisted his features into that of a gargoyle. His hands came up, feebly trying to hold that beast back.
I commanded, my voice high as I feared that I might be too late.
The dog landed on Andrew’s chest and knocked the air out of his lungs.
I finally got to them and reached out blindly, ready to tear him off the man’s body, but Bruno’s eyes were clear now, and all the evil had gone out of its body.
It was wagging its tail happily now.
THE FEAR FACTOR
The dog yawned greatly, regarded the screaming face of Andrew with his head cocked to one side, obviously confused, and then bent and tried to lick the man’s face.
Get off me get off me get off me GET OFF MEEEEEE!
His hands beat feebly at the great dog’s chest.
Bruno regarded him for a moment more, then decided the squirming man wasn’t his kind of play. He bounced off the man’s chest, bounded up the stairs, wagged its tail at Anderson, and then he disappeared inside.
I reached down and pulled Andrew to his feet. He had gone into some sort of temporal insanity because of his fear, and he still jabbered and slapped at my hands, his face wet with tears and sweat.
I shook him hard, and his teeth rattled, and he became still.
You’re okay, man.
Suddenly I was thrust aside and Nicole was there, greatly distressed.
Andy! Oh, Andy!
I heard Mrs. Rosemary Anderson asking the question, but without a word I walked past them straight to my room.
I closed the door and leaned on it, and allowed the tremors to grip my body as reaction set in.
I had almost killed a man.
In my moment of tantrum I had innocently whispered foolishly, and it had almost caused the death of a man. I hadn’t meant it! I had been jealous and the pain had been bad, and maybe I had meant it, but I didn’t mean it to come true!
How was I to know that my words would have that evil effect on the dog?
What the hell is happening to me now?
I slowly slid to the floor, covering my face with trembling hands.
What the hell have you done to me, Lord?
The door opened inward sharply, its progress impeded by my body.
Go away! Just go away from me!
Yaw! Cut it out! Come with me, boy. There are things for you to do!
I got to my feet and stepped backward as the door opened all the way.
We faced each other, and then I saw what was hidden deep in the soul of Pastor Paul Anderson.
His face was gaunt now, devoid of all contrived emotions.
His soul had been bared, and now he had no control over the lines of his ashen face. The man facing me had lost all pride, and what I saw reflected on his face was terror and helplessness.
Behind him, standing ashen-faced and trying hard not to wring her hands, was his wife, looking equally agitated as her round dark eyes sought me out, seeking for a comfort that I couldn’t give.
Slowly I put my own fears aside as I came to the full realization that I had come to another crossroad.
I could just pick up my small bag and leave them right there; I didn’t know what life I would live after that act, but I had a feeling that it would be comparatively better than the one I would be forced to live if I stayed with them a second longer.
Anderson took a deep breath, and I noticed that for once he could not meet my eyes. His gaze was fastened somewhere along the lines of my chest.
Come with me, Yaw.
He turned, and headed down the corridor.
I hesitated for a moment, but like an aged hawk that had sighted a lame chick the woman swooped down on me and grasped my right hand in both of hers, flooding me with her fear and desperation, trying to pull me along.
Oh, please, please! Please!
She was a nice person, and I had no doubt that I was going to be very fond of her if I stayed in Portville. Presently, however, her behavior sickened me, and I was immensely irritated by her.
They were living in a world of acute fear, and they had allowed it to rule them. By her desperation she was also slowly dragging me down into that cesspool of terror, and I didn’t want that one bit.
With an effort I disengaged my hand from her wet ones and followed Anderson.
The library-study was located at the end of the hallway on the second floor.
It was immense with tall bookcases glistening with fresh-looking publications in paperbacks and hardbacks. Each section was elaborately labeled in stylish white lettering on red metal plates.
The rugs on the floor were rich and lush, the curtains thick and stretching from floor to ceiling. Tables and chairs, each housing a desktop computer, were placed at vantage points of the study.
A beautiful aquarium was against one wall, immediately catching the attention of anyone who entered, and giving a serene restful quality to a room which otherwise might had seemed a trifle severe and unwelcoming.
A large mahogany desk stood in the centre, a huge elegant swivel chair behind it; it was surrounded by five high-backed chairs, and this dominated the other furniture, claiming a prestigious position as the throne of the king.
There was a musty kind of odour in the room, as if it lacked fresh air. I surmised that the curtains were rarely drawn.
On the ceiling was an array of little lamps encased in partitioned glass enclosures, throwing a warm bright light on everything in the room.
Anderson was lowering himself into the swivel chair when I entered. His wife quickly went to him and sat on a low chair beside him. Unconsciously they reached for each other, their fingers intertwining and holding fast, her free hand gently soothing his upper arm.
I stopped in front of the desk, regarding them awkwardly, feeling like an intruder witnessing a particularly intimate and private moment.
For a long time we were all silent, and I noticed that they did their best to keep their eyes off me, preferring instead the intimacy of their private world as they stared at each other with little sad smiles and gentle rubbing of each other’s hands.
After a moment it got to me, and I coughed politely.
Anderson looked up, startled, and gestured quickly to one of the high-backed chairs.
(in a rush)
Do sit down, Yaw! Sorry, forgive me. I was miles away.”
Before I could speak there was a sudden movement behind him, and I looked up.
A man materialized behind Anderson, seemingly out of nowhere. So profound was the moment of unreality that I took an involuntary step backward.
I realized that the man had been in the room all along, his wine shirt blending perfectly with the heavy maroon curtains.
He was a tall man, and very old at that.
He was walking with the aid of a cane. His aquiline face was much wrinkled, and his cheeks were hollowed out. Green veins stood out angrily on his wrists.
He was not wearing glasses, and his eyes blinked rapidly as he entered the zone of the lights.
He was wearing dark slacks that were inches short of his slightly-swollen ankles.
His eyes watered quickly and he pressed a huge stripped handkerchief to the corners of eyes.
His silver-grey hair was surprisingly long, falling gently to his shoulders. His eyebrows were an overgrown white, and I wondered briefly if he ever groomed the hair on any part of his body.
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
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