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John stood over sally’s body, and Shame! Shame! Shame! Was the mantra his mind kept saying? “What have I done?” He blurted out absent-mindedly. He thought he had changed, he thought he had lost his violence and demons with the war. But they were here tonight. The fingers that had squeezed flesh with vigour, now suddenly felt too numb. And the numbness brought a wave of memories he fought to keep at bay, but the same amount of liquor that helped to dull his senses, also weakened his defenses. He could feel himself, abstract travel down memory lane, to a time where he dreaded the man he was, he couldn’t see Sally anymore, another body had replaced hers, shiny blonde hair wasn’t sprawled on the floor of his bedroom anymore, flowing red hair covered his shoes.
Her name was Chloe. He remembered all too well, the southern drawl that accompanied every word she spoke, Chloe; full of life and every man’s evening delight at the Shining Star bar. Chloe didn’t earn her reputation by being humorous alone; she knew how to put her forever legs to good use. With those legs wrapped around a man’s waist at the store stocked with drinks adjoining the bar, he had a hard time remembering his problems or his responsibilities.
John remembered the first time he fed on Chloe’s bait, he was hooked. He couldn’t get enough of her. John had cooked up some story and fed his mother, about why he couldn’t come home from college that summer, he had spent the whole of his summer nights—not that he remembered going anywhere else by morning—in that bar a few walks from his dorm house. With summer over, Chloe meant to go back to her life of perpetual fun, and spreading the love amongst the male folks, but John would have none of that. He still remembered her cackle like laughter when he told her so, “we were nothing more than a summer fling”, she had drawled at him, and she had paid for it, he remembered the look of disbelief that had crept on her face when his fingers wrapped around her neck, but that soon gave way to fear, as he snuffed life out of her. Then there was that medical student, her name came to mind, Genevieve. She had been cheating on him with the college professor, the amount of arsenic he had dosed her latte with for a month, didn’t do the damage he had hoped for, but it was lethal enough to hospitalize her for the rest of the semester. The baroness who came after, wasn’t the type of girl he normally would frolic with, she wasn’t the fun sort, but being so young, yet titled, cause some tragedy befell her parents, was all the allure John had needed. He had taken her to parties, he had endured boring functions with her, till she decided he wasn’t sophisticated enough, he had no title, and he wasn’t a good match. Too bad she had an accident on her stairway and broke her neck. He loved all these women and countless others he didn’t want to remember their names on this night, but he had loved Sally more; if only he could go back in time and fix this. John didn’t overtly express his trust for God or any supreme being till now, as he sent a prayer up, “God please save Sally, I love her”.
Whether in answers to his prayer or a stroke of luck; Sally began to sputter. Coughing her way to life; as air forced its way into her lungs. His mind sneered at him for losing his John touch, he couldn’t effect death at a go anymore. But he quickly pushed the thought away, grateful for the chance to right wrongs. He reached for Sally but she recoiled frightfully. She makes to run, but her knees betray her, as they find no strength. Sally catches her reflection in the mirror and her hand instinctively moves to soothe her bruising neck, how she could possibly explain her way out of this, Sally did not know.
And news spread around Sugarplum faster than you could say stop. They had only recently stopped talking about her mother. John, sensing her fears, stepped out to get a shawl from his sisters’ room, they won’t notice it went missing; they had more than they could wear. Sally was alone. And for the first time since her parents died; she felt truly alone. Her father was a brute, and her mother a whim; but they never hurt her, at least not physically. But hurting her mother; her father loved. She could remember an 8-year-old Sally waiting up with her mother; her father was running late for dinner. He hadn’t come home apologetic, nor with flowers, he instead had come home drunken, violent, and a red-head on his arms. Sally had looked on, bewildered as her sweet father transformed to the monster that beat her mother up while the red-head cheered on. Sally would know some years later that; that had not been the first . . . nor last.
She had vowed to leave the man who hit her the first time, because there would be no last time if you stayed. Sally prided herself in being everything her mother wasn’t. Her mother though sweet was spineless and had stayed with her father till the rebel troop had raided their estate and killed him. Sally never understood why she claimed to love a man who dealt severely with her; the incredulity of it all had been pushed further by her mother taking her own life, after the death of Mr. Stone.
Monaleesaah is a black skinny writer and singer, who can be a substitute therapist, and can be baited and thus kidnapped with pounded yam.
P.s she loves, white, black and grey
Simply beautiful. The story has taken great form
Thanks for persisting till it did….. gracias.
Thin line between love and obsession. Don’t we all feel slightly obsessed at some point?!