BISI – THE OTHER WOMAN EPISODE 22
By Jon Doe
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 color.
“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. ‘Mom’ 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.
One heart beat, rapid in its rhythm, weak in its disposition holding at bay the silence that should have been. Somewhere, in the vastness of the cosmos, a star succumbed to the throes of time. Reluctance, fear and a host of timeless emotions were absent in its explosion, dazzling the blackness of space around it with never before seen splendor. Above a house surrounded by the earths growth, unseen by blackened clouds, a single starry light shone brightly and winked out of existence.
On the bed he sat, unable to look down at what he knew lay before his feet. His eyes were faded and dry, his lips without a quiver. Hands remained clenched in a fist, one palm feeling the bite of metal; the other an uncomfortable stickiness. In his chest his heart still pumped. Whether what it pushed was still red, one could only guess. Something broke within him, he couldn’t say what. Knees reached up to touch rib cage, fist blocking the world from his sight, body rocking back and forth for an unknown stretch. Feeling was lost, emotion tightly sequestered in a chamber of his soul he did not know he had. He was no longer Namdi, merely a shell that possessed motion and the most basic of thoughts.
Eyes opening to a world of grey, his body moved. Its goal the opened door leading to the bathroom, rose stems pushed aside unnoticed. As rug switched to tiles, his shoes crushed varying colored pills scattered around. In the silence they were discharging cannons, 21 in number, an unintended salute. He faced a sink, the drain unprotected, the counter top home to fallen empty and nearly empty pill bottles. Picking up a bottle he read the label, ‘Herceptin’. Tossing it aside, he picked up another, ‘Gardasil’; and another, and another, ‘Afinitor’, ‘Xeloda’, ‘Avastin’, ‘Fentanyl’. Fentanyl remained in his hand, a shake rewarding him with the rattle of a few pills. Setting it down carefully he looked up to see a mirror that had always been there. On it a faded heart drawn in red with two smudged words within.
A shell of a man watched him, eyes lacking the vitality of the living, replaced with an unseen smolder. On his sunken cheek was a red smudge, similar in color to the fingers of one hand, giving his face a fierce but haunted presence. Curly black hair that had lost its shine hung limply on his head. Reaching down he opened the faucet, the running water pure; And clean; And untainted; its sound eradicating the silence. The temperature fell within the room, sharing its displeasure at the breaking of the tranquility that had just been achieved. He felt none of it, his hand dipping beneath the man made waterfall. A closed fist opened in a bid to wash the foreign entity off the other, forgetting it held something within. The clatter of metal hitting porcelain was crisp and clear. Instinctively he reached out, grabbing the chain before it was forever lost in the labyrinth beyond the rim of the drain, the attached pendant familiar in its design. Into his pocket it vanished.
Over and over he scrubbed his fingers but the red specter remained. Giving up he attacked the smudge on his cheek, achieving similar results. He began to feel a phantom ache. One he could not afford to let breathe air. Without a word his fist struck out, its target the man who watched him. Inches away from the mirror his strike stopped. The Fentanyl appeared in his palm before disappearing into his mouth and down his throat. How many, he was not sure. Water soon followed. The ache faded, tamped down, returning to the dull grey it had once become. Turning, he walked away from the image, the rattle of connecting chains unheard.
At the door to the room he stood, holding the handle, unable to take the step that would leave it all behind. As grey as the world had become there remained a bit of color crumpled on the floor. Though he did not look, a corner of his mind knew she was there, or was it it. A corner he refused to visit for only destruction waited for him. Still he could not turn that handle. Having no other recourse he walked back. In a world of grey she lay there in vibrant color. Breathtakingly beautiful in unadorned splendor. Her image burned into his mind, never to be forgotten, to live on till his last breath. Grabbing the opened wine and glass from the table he walked out, the handle turning with no hesitation, closing behind him trapping a drawn breath.
To be continued