Michael opened his eyes and shut them immediately. The light of the sun streaming through the window seemed to send a million daggers into his eyes and re-activate the headache…which was far better than the migraine that had decimated his skull for days on end. Nonetheless, the headache was quite bad. Cautiously, he opened his eyes again and slowly sat up. It was not a dream, after all. He had done it. As memories of the previous days coursed through his mind, the tears quickly followed. God, he thought, I actually did it. How could this have happened, he thought to himself. Now, she was well and truly gone leaving him all alone. He had never felt so alone in his life – and all the chaos, all the madness, all the pain, all of it had started with a simple online chat...with Ola.
He had met her a month ago, randomly, as these things tend to play out. Work was over, but he had stayed back to cool off after the craziness that was his daily work routine. As Chief Strategy Officer of a medium-sized IT firm, he was always immersed in numbers and charts and endless meetings and review sessions and… It just had no end. Home was no better either. His baby was all grown now, walking around the house, grabbing at things, putting things in her mouth, poking fingers into dark warm places like electric sockets and underneath door hinges, while he shuttled between trying to finish some work on his personal laptop, keep an eye on her at the same time as he waited for the arrival of his wife, Linda. His work was hectic, but he was able to get home for about 7 pm on a regular day. Linda, on the other hand, was the Head of E-Business in the nation’s leading bank. Basically, getting home at 10 pm was normal even now that they had a child.
That evening, he had gone on Facebook to kill time briefly before heading for home. After checking out a few status messages and watching a few videos, he was about to log off when a message had popped up.
“Hi”. The name was Ola, though like many Facebook ‘friends’ he had no idea who this person was.
“Hi”, he responded, before going on to check the profile of this Ola person. Ola turned out to be female.
“I don’t normally do this, but I feel like talking to someone I don’t really know”.
Well, whoever this Ola person was, she could actually write properly and punctuate, which was fast becoming a rarity in Facebook chats.
“Ok…” he didn’t know what to say, but by the next line, he sat up straight.
“If a woman says, I want to kill my hubby, and then I am going to kill myself, what would you advise?”
He paused for a while, taken aback, then thought, heck, this is Facebook and random people…
“Michael, if that woman said she was going to do it tonight, what would you say?”
What the hell is this, Michael thought.
“Michael, what if that woman was talking to you right now?”
“Ola, whoever you are, I don’t really know you, and I don’t know what you’re going through. However, I know that killing anyone or killing yourself is not the answer. It is criminal and the repercussions are horrible.”
“I will be killing myself afterwards. My husband and I have no children and after the initial crocodile tears from society, everyone will move on. People are dying right now and the world has not stopped spinning. Or has it, Mike?”
“No, it has not, but…” he was groping at straws now. Why was it so hard to find the right words just when you needed them, “but there is an afterlife to deal with, Ola.”
Fact was, he didn’t know what to say.
“You don’t know what to say, right?”
Well, there you go, Michael thought to himself. The options were to leave her to God and hope to heaven she didn’t kill herself and her husband, if there was any truth to the story. Maybe what had convinced him were her pictures, several pictures of her and a guy with wedding bands, smiling like teenagers who had stumbled on a secret entrance to a candy factory.
“Ola, can I call you?”
There was a pause. For no reason, alarm bells went off in his head, but he could not put a finger on why. Somewhere, deep down, something in him was regretting his last statement, but it was too late now.
“I’m sorry. This is so strange, even for me, but here’s my number”.
He picked up his phone, stared at it for what seemed like eternity, then let out a deep sigh, and crossed the line, some mental line in his mind. He dialled the number. The phone rang thrice and just when he thought there would be no answer, the call connected, but there was just silence.
“Hello.” There was a pause. “Can I call you Mike?” The voice was business-like, but there was a soft husky quality to it.
(To be Continued...)
By J.C. Nova. Enjoyed this post? Like and SHARE!