WHAT AM I DOING HERE…
What am I doing here?
She stands shakily in the hotel lobby, clutching the straps of her leather handbag and scanning the area for any sign of a familiar face. The room seems peaceful and placid almost as if to mock her current frame of mind. She notices the security guard eyeing her suspiciously and straightens.
“room 626 madam, enjoy.” the receptionist says with a polite smile while handing her a blue card with a paper tape stuck on it bearing the number 626 written in blue ink.
She studies the woman’s face taking in the smooth calm fairness of it, long lashes shaded calm big brown eyes and a straight small nose stood at the middle before a full, heavily painted, red lips. She didn’t seem like a killer but neither did he.
“Thank you.” she replies hastily and takes the card, walking toward the twin metallic doors with a yellow sign glowing ‘elevator’. She presses one of the buttons with a small upside down triangle in the middle and holds her breathe as a loud ding sounds through the entire lobby and the elevator doors open. She steps in and just as soon as the doors of the elevator shut, she starts to pace.
It washes through her then, like an icy wave, the shame, fear, resentment. She paces back and forth in the elevator as goose bumps slowly creep up her flesh. The elevator comes to a stop and she walks out to a hallway with rows of doors at both sides and number plates each one of them.
“623,624,25,26…” she stops staring at the door, her breathe coming in gasps, she looks from left to right as if expecting a savior, a Samaritan anything but facing this monster. She sobs as tears trickle from her eyes, slots in the key card, opens the door and walks in.
One month earlier…
“I always knew Robert would cheat on me, I just always had that feeling, that knowledge. you know,” Angela said staring down at the woman pinning a small golf ball on the ground.
“Then why did you marry him?” Laju said as she leveled her club close to the ball, eyeing her target.
“Because I loved him and I actually thought he would change,” Angela said frowning at the ring on her finger.
“Angela,” Laju said swinging the club and hitting the ball. “I don’t want to be the devil’s advocate or seem like the person that wants to steer you toward ending your marriage but my dear don’t bear what you can’t tolerate, you will only kill yourself before your time.”
“I can’t leave him Laju I don’t even know what I would be without him.”
“Stop it!” Laju shouted turning to look at her sister, her face filled with irritation. “Don’t ever say rubbish like that again he’s not your life’s blood. You love him, fine but dont make it sound like you need him to survive, you have a bachelor’s degree, a job and steady money flowing in your account, you do not need him to sur-” Laju stopped before walking closer to her sister and hugging the younger woman as she felt her shirt grow moist from her sisters tears.
“Laju, i just don-don’t know wh-what to do and i ca-can’t leave this marriage like this,” Angela said between sobs, her voice breaking off with each word.
“Do you want to seat inside the cart?” Laju said already staring her sister toward the small, three wheeled vehicle.They walked toward the golf cart each silent as they enter. Laju took a deep breath as she settled into the seat of the cart.
“Tell me everything,” she said staring at the windshield, her jaw clenched and her expression tensed. she didn’t want to look at her sister cry, it made her irrational.
“There’s really nothing to say,” Angela said as she looked away from her sister. She shouldn’t have done this in the first place, she stared at her sisters clenched fists and smiled. Laju was always her protector, more of a brother to her than a sister, she relaxed against the seat of the cart and tried to calm her nerves.
“I wanted to go to the market early so that on my way back I can go and see mama and even cook for her before I come home and rest. I ended up using one of Robert’s cars because I didn’t have fuel in mine but before I could start the car I remembered that I needed to return mama’s brown collar and so I went back into the house and put it in the boot of the car which was kind of wet so I decided to take some tissues Robert kept in his glove compartment and then I saw a phone.” Angela said her voice shaky. “It was one of Roberts old phones and I don’t know why I felt like turning it on but I did and soon I received a message on the phone the number wasn’t saved and immediately I clicked on it-“Angela broke off and took another shaky breathe. “She was naked spreading her legs open for him.”
“Oh my God,” Laju gasped and stared at her sister. “Are you serious?.”
Angela remained quiet as fresh tears fell down her face.
“stop crying hes not worth your tears I’m just sorry you had to go though that.” Laju said as she stared at her sister. “so what did the fool say when you told him?”
“I…haven’t told him yet.”
“What?” Laju said staring harder at her sister. “And when do you plan on telling,”
“I don’t want to talk about this,” Angela said as she wiped the tears from her face. “Please I just don’t.”
“Because!” Angela screamed. “I don’t want to hear him tell me that’s he’s sorry, I don’t want to hear his lies!” Angela said as she wiped her tears violently.
Laju sat there stared at Angela incredulously. “Do you need a drink?” she asked. Angela stared at her confused and she nodded. She watched Laju reach underneath the seat and unearth a bottle of chocolate vodka, she handed the bottle to Angela as she searched her bag and brought a roll of plastic cups.
“What?” she said staring at Angela’s shocked face. “You are going to benefit from it aren’t you?” She opened the bottle with expert ease, the kind of ease that came with countless practice. She poured half the cup for Angela and filled hers to the brim.
“Remember that night, when we were small and mama flogged me bitterly for drinking daddy’s gin.” She said as she took a sip off her cup. “Times like this I’m glad I survived the beating.” She said as she raised the glass and stared at it in the sunlight. Angela burst out laughing and wiped her eyes and took a sip also.
“Angela.” She said with a smile. “See how beautiful you are when you smile.” She said as she cleaned a tear from her face.
Angela smiled and looked down at her cup as she laid it in between her thighs. “Could I stay with you for a while, I need some time to clear my head and I don’t want to go to mama’s I don’t want her involved with this.” She said firmly.
“Of course anytime.” Laju said
“Thank you.” Angela said as she took her sister hand and griped it. “You should visit mama, she misses you a lot.”
“I pray so that she can sell me to the highest bidder,” Laju said as she took another sip off her glass. “Did you know the last time I went to meet her she and uncle Toju carried me to visit one of their friend’s son?”
Angela coughed out her drink in laughter.
“I swear the shame was beyond what I could bear and as if being there wasn’t enough embarrassment they started telling him of my accomplishments as if I was one priced goat.” She said as she heaved her breasts up as if in defiance. “I mean I know I’m not spring chicken but still I deserve some dignity.” She said haltingly. Angela laughed and patted her sisters back in consolation.
“And I though her teaching me the type of soup that’s good for child bearing was terrible.”
“It’s a lie!” Angela said laughing at her sister.
“I swear,” Angela lifted her hand.” she even took me to the market to select the spices.”
“Eh mama!” Laju said as both women laughed heartily. Angela stared out the window as she took the final sip from her cup feeling the taste linger in her stomach. ‘It’s a shame I don’t know how to golf, could you teach me?” Angela said staring at Laju with excitement blooming in her spirit.
“Ok but we have to set a limit because I’m getting tired,” Laju said as she lazily climbed out the cart.
“Ok how about forty swings and we are gone,” Angela said as she climbed after her.
“You said it yourself oh forty and we are done.”
to be continued…