I tossed and turned for the umpteenth time. It was still 4 in the morning. I was waiting for dawn by baited breathe. I had requested a day off at work. Joanna and the diary was all that I could think of at the moment. What really happened that night? Is she innocent? Was she framed?
“krrrrrrr…” the alarm buzzed just as I was drifting off.
“urghhh” I cursed and shoved the blanket aside. I switched off the alarm clock and lumbered off to the bathroom.
“krrrr…” It was my phone. I rarely received phone calls so early in the morning. Furthermore, the nature of my job didn’t accommodate emergencies. I mean, not that stocks Could bleed to death…could they?
“Hello,” I muttered anxiously.
“Hello John…you need to come over right now!” I recognised Hannah’s voice on the other end of the line. Whoever said Gas pedals couldn’t complain hasn’t befriended my Sedan.
I was met by Hannah at the door. She looked haggard and so was I.
“ Joanna is missing. She must have slipped away after her 3.am shots. The police are on their way down. I thought I could show you something before they arrive.” Her tone had shifted from the normal husky and sarcastic to that of concern.
We headed to Joanna’s room. The place was an assault to the senses; artificial lighting and a strong smell of antiseptic. The diary sat softly on top of the desk. I slowly reached for it. The ink was still fresh. I gently sat on the bed and flipped to the first page.
Love at first sight is real John. It really is. It was on this day that I had met William. It was a quaint deli. The ones thronged with either geeky students or journalists covering boring stories. It had a panoramic view of the Uptown stores. It was in this bizarre of places that I met the love of my life, or so I thought. He was a gentle guy, he even asked before joining me at the table. Who does that? Well apart from Canadians. I barely touched my food afterwards. I had no idea it was going to be one of our many rendezvous and nights out.
We had chosen this day to break the news to you. I knew how special it was for us. I had planned everything to perfection, for just the three of us. William dropped by early as agreed. He helped me with the deco and even setting the table. Effing sweet, right?
When I was in the kitchen fetching the cake, I heard a loud cry emanate from the living room. That was William’s voice! I was terrified! I ran to see what had happened. My brain stuttered for a moment from what I saw. A heavy feeling engulfed my stomach and my legs whimpered. William was lying on the floor, a knife in his stomach. Beside him stood a woman alien to my eyes. She looked too shaken to be the one responsible. Blood had carpeted the floor. He alternated between soft groans and heavy breathing. I felt lightning cruckle through my veins and time slow down. I didn’t know what to do.
Suddenly, the woman dashed off! I saw her car plate as she sped off and later learnt from Richard that she was actually engaged to William. Yeah, Richard was well aware of this whole escapade but respected my benign neglect of not acting on it.
I hurriedly went back, reached for the phone and in a shaky voice, dialled 911. They promised to be fast. I swear they did. William seemed to be worsening by the minute. I couldn’t just stand and watch him slip away… So I removed the knife, applied pressure on the wound and pulled him close. His hands which were clutched to the delicate silk of my dress slowly losened grip. I watched him grow pale by the minute John. I heard his heartbeat grow faint by the second. He drifted away in my arms. Helplessly. It was then, that the police stormed in. It was a little too late. It had already rained and poured.
I mourned the death of someone I loved either in chambers or within the confines of a cell. It was a harrowing experience. I thought I’d run insane and worse still I couldn’t utter a single word. The doctors said it was something about not dealing with grief the right way. But tell me John, tell me, is there a right way really?
How do you balance between being mad at your beloved who’s no more and being hurled in a courtroom for charges of murder?
After much contemplation in the aloofness of my cell room, I made the decision not to tell the story. I had suffered enough for the both of us. Why should another woman, go through what I already went through, all for someone who’d played us both. It wasn’t worth a fight. Telling my side of the tale to the court, and hence the public was not an option. At least, not for me. It would have sounded like another sob story from another crazy woman, especially now that I had already pleaded Insanity. I would have ended in the same place anyway, only with a more bartered conscience.
So No, it’s not that I don’t appreciate all the effort you put. It’s not that I didn’t trust you enough to tell you the story from the beginning. I did brother…I did. It’s just that you were hurting enough and already in a beleagured position.
I am off to a place I am yet to figure out. A place where no one knows me and my wounds would be invisible. I hope my exit from this incarceration gives me the freedom I so much desire. The kind of freedom that only comes with being a radical. Well, I hope to speak soon, I hope to see you soon. When the sky is tahitian and the moon less reluctant, when I’m no longer a fugitive of both love and grief, I’ll be back.