The Writers Voice
He saw the children run into the rain, and they began almost at once to dance, to play football. The ball was made from plastic. It floated as they kicked at it relentlessly. When the street became too swollen with rainwater, they abandoned the ball. They began to dance. It was a primitive, an innocent dance, totally without guile, without inhibition. It was a dance of movement and motion, devoid of design, something no choreographer could have orchestrated. Yet, it was robust and a delight to watch.
As he watched the children dance in the rain, he marveled at their innocence, the abandon with which they carried themselves. They were so removed from worries of any kind. So pristine and unblemished with lies and deceit they were. He had, as a child, danced in the rain like these children, but he never thought so much innocence could exist in a world were putting up a good façade, no matter how false, was as important as breathing. He turned from the window, the rain and the children. When did he stop dancing in the rain? When did he start living a lie? The picture was on a shelf in the sitting room. He looked at it. They were frozen in a permanent pose; their faces lit up with smiles as the camera captured that moment in life forever. It was their wedding day, the happiest day in their life, their wedding day and they had been truly happy. He looked at the photograph and he knew that somewhere, somehow they had lost something. The smiles, the laughter, they were all gone. Where did innocence go? He looked more closely at the photograph and felt guilt wash over him. There was pain in the pit of his stomach. He looked at Evon, his wife; her smile was infectious, full of radiance, an invitation to share. And was also hope in that smile, the hope of a blissful marriage. She had, with that smile, invited him to share her life and she had expected him to be a true husband and live true to his vows to her, vows made in the presence of God.
He turned away from the picture and back to the window. The rain had let up a little. The children were back at playing football. They had been married in a Catholic Church, a small affair that involved only family members and a small circle of friends. Life had begun beautifully for them. Evon had expressed lack of interest in the corporate world regardless of her possession of a university degree. Her father, an industrialist, had given her a stunning wedding present, a fully stocked supermarket. On his part, he had gotten a job with as a brand manager in multinational company. Life couldn't have been better; what with a good job, a brand new car and a beautiful wife. What more could a guy ask for?
But there are guys and there are guys. With the benefit of hindsight, he
realized that his wife had almost him to the glamour and trappings that came
with his job. Brand management is fun. That is if one concentrated more on the
social part and over looked the hard work and the long hours. It was the social
part that he had savored, and taste had intoxicated him and held him captive. Oh
Lord, how did I sink this, he asked the walls. He swished imagines in his mind
and went back the time he began to sink…
"Good afternoon, sir. Dayo…from the Agency sent me." She had long hairs that cascaded fell in luxuriant waterfalls to her shoulders. Her eyes held lots of magic; they were large and dreamy. Her lips were full and daring. She was beautiful to say the least but more than that, she had an enchanting presence, which was accentuated by the strange look in those dreamy eyes of hers. It was a dreamy, lost look that cast doomed aura about, creating an effect that was at once sexy and fragile. That what he was looking at was pure trouble in full colour was not lost on him.
"Do sit down", he croaked, completely bewitched by this girl that provoked
strange thoughts in him. What was happening to him? She was not the first girl
in skirt he had. Yet, she was in many ways different. She sat down as she has
been invited, using her left hand to straighten out her skirt before sinking
into the chair. It was an ordinary mundane gesture but it was enough to cast a
spell on him and drew him into a snare.
"I guess I like what I see. Tell you what. Come and see me on Wednesday; I need
to confer with Dayo before I make my decision."
He checked out a few other regular spots without success and went back to the
office. He was alone in the office at 2.33pm when Martin breezed in, luxuriating
in the after glow of his adventure. He draped his jacket over his hanger and
slumped dramatically into his chair and swung his legs onto his desk.
"Martin, I've been all the place looking for you. I went to Affiz and…"
"Your wife was involved in an accident!" He threw at him. He was disgusted. So,
this is what they have all become; a pack of hyenas slithering about, dicks
cocked, aimed and ready to shoot anything at the drop of the skirt. He walked
from his desk and the address he had down under Martin's nose. He was disgusted
and strangely scared. Martin took the piece of paper with a hand that was not
entirely steady. "A doctor called while you were… out; your wife is in critical
condition. She needs blood transfusion or something."
"Zino", Evon cooed, "I called your office and was told you were out for lunch". Such innocence; such open display of love. He could feel his soul reaching for her. "You did?" he asked.
"Yes, I did. And somehow I knew you would be home. So, I came looking for you."
"Hey, baby, what's troubling you? She asked again. "Tell me, Zino, you're
scaring me." Her voice was so soft it broke his heart.
"Oh…what happened?" Her feelings distorted as she mouthed those words. Guilt. Relief. There was no time to dwell on anything. When she called Zino's office and told he had out for lunch, for no reason she known he had gone home. Seeing him at home had frightened her; she could not think of any reason his being home at that hour. She feared the worse.
"There was an accident. She was badly hurt. She need blood…having lost a lot of
blood. A doctor called the office; Martin was out, I took the call. Apparently,
she had a rare blood type… and only Martin's blood could have saved her life. He
was not there for her…he was out…he was out on lunch break".
"I'm sorry Evon…I'm so sorry. I'll always be there for you…always", he said.
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