“Hello.” There was a pause. “Can I call you Mike?” The voice was business-like, but there was a soft husky quality to it.
“Yeah, sure. So tell me, Ola, what is the matter? Is this some sort of joke or are you actually planning to, er, you know, kill yourself and your hubby? I mean, you guys look great in the pictures and…”
“Mike,” she cut in, “I loved my husband, but there is nothing left anymore. I have decided I am tired of late nights at work just to stay away from the beating and abuse. I have decided I am tired of the lies and infidelity. I have decided I am tired of the endless insults from my in-laws because my man will not stand up for me. And yet, I am stuck because I cannot divorce him. I would rather die than divorce, but in my head, the marriage is over.”
“Ola, I am not a marriage counsellor or some sort of expert, but I do know that there are always ways to resolve these things. Why don’t you try something unusual, like show up unannounced at his workplace with a gift, just to…”
“My husband is not working at the moment. A part of him really hates the fact that he has to depend on me. My job does not let me get home on time, and when I get home late, I get a beating”
“Wow. That’s tough. Why don’t you, er, you know, work out something with your boss to allow you get home earlier?”
“I have tried but it is a bit difficult at this time because we are coming close to the end of a financial year, and I am the Head of Strategy, so we…”
“Oh, really. I am actually into Strategy for my company as well”
“That’s nice. What a coincidence! Now, I bet you understand what I mean, especially when you have to handle concerns for a fairly large firm. I work with Blu-IT. Just started with them fairly recently.”
“No way!” Michael exclaimed, “I work with IT-Corps. Gee, you guys are our fiercest competition. Your head office is just down the road from ours, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. Interesting”
“Well… what can I say?”
There was a pause, and then she said.
“I know this might be asking a bit too much, but can I see you, Mike?”
“Er,” more alarm bells went off in his head again.
“I mean right now.” She said quietly. “I can be at yours in two minutes or we can meet at Grubz. There’s just so much I want to get off my chest and…” her voice trailed off. This was all happening quite quickly, but for some reason, he could not put his thoughts together.
“Please, I just need someone to talk to, have one more last decent conversation before I put it all behind me….for good.”
That had been several months ago, but the events of last night would not be forgotten for a long time. He groggily got up, trying to block out the memories of what had happened at that fateful meeting as he walked slowly into the next room. Linda was gone, that much was certain, and all he had in the world was the person he cared for more than life itself.
The headache pounded at his temple and for a split second, waves of nausea and vertigo almost knocked him off his feet, but he walked on toward the crib, towards his little girl.
She looked so peaceful as she slept, dreaming of things he would never know about. He had always been fascinated by the peace that shrouded her anytime she slept, the locks on her beautiful hair, the rosy pallor of her cheeks, which seemed a bit dull this morning, the gentle sound of her breathing, her chest rising and falling softly as it was not doing today.
As it was not doing today?
He frowned and leaned over to touch her – and then froze as it dawned on him that was her cheeks were cold to the touch.
“Hilda! Hilda!!” he cried, and gathered her up in his arms. No, not now, now today, he thought. This could NOT be happening. He shook her gently, then laid her down and pushed gently a few times against her chest.
“Hilda, my love, please! Hilda! I beg you! Hilda!” Then he was calling 911 and screaming at the top of his lungs, pleading with whoever was on the end of the line to come as quickly as possible.
I stood with Moriel, watching the scene unfold, unable to do anything about the grief that was playing out before me. Then the ambulance came, and the attendants rushed out, and the equipments were put in place, and the body was placed on a stretcher, and the stethoscope emerged and the doctor listened for a heartbeat and examined the child. It was at that point that the doctor sadly took one look at Michael, walked over to him, and without a word, put a hand across his shoulder. It was at that moment the man totally broke as the coin finally dropped.
His only child, his daughter was dead… Gone.
The rest of us had watched her go about 6 hours ago, and had known that in this instance, there would be no miracle to bring her back. The sheet was pulled over the remains of the little girl and Vlad, the masseur who had worked on this poor man for most of the night, stood behind him now and did what he could do to soothe his soul. Yet, I knew that what he needed the most at this time was the love that would come from another who loved him, another who would stand strong with him – but at the moment, there was no one.
And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, with shaky hands, Mike finally got his hands on the phone, dialled a number and we all heard him say:
“Ola…hi, it’s me.” Another sob, wracked his being before he spoke again. “I need you…”
Moriel, Vlad and I looked up almost at the same time, as a vile presence could suddenly be sensed not far away from where we stood. And there he was, one of the chief strategists of our Enemy, Azazel, standing on a rooftop, not far from where we were, observing the scene unfold before him.
Then he took one look at Michael, threw back his head, laughed out loud – and then he disappeared from our sight.
(To be Continued)
By J.C. Nova. Enjoyed this post? Like and SHARE!