“Are you going to say something today, or shall we continue with our usual staring contest?”
I grunt in response but I don’t say anything more. I expect him to follow my silence with silence, and then we’d continue that way as we had done before. But he breaks our usual pattern when he opens the file in front of him and starts flipping through it.
“Urg, these look really bad.” He says as he contorts his face in mild disgust, but he doesn’t stop flipping through the file.
“Did you enjoy doing this?” he asks without looking up from the file in front of him. I can’t see the content of the file itself, but I know what images he is seeing. I know them like I know my own name. I know them because they are permanently burned into my brain that I cannot close my eyes without seeing them play in my mind’s eye in 3D.
“I’m not a psychopath.” I manage to choke out even as I am transported back to that day and I could feel everything I felt that day all over again. The memories hit me in waves at different times, but in this very moment, it is like weight tied to my leg and it is dragging me down and under.
“Are you sure about that?” he finally looks up, staring pointedly at the handcuff around my wrists.
“I am not a psychopath.” I grind out slowly, still trying to keep my head above water.
“Well this file certainly says something entirely different.”
“Fuck the file.” I say coldly and I don’t have to see his reaction to know that my voice had been devoid of emotions…so cold…like a psychopath.
“In that case then”, he says slowly, shutting the file and focusing all his attention on me, “…you are going to have to give me something else to work with.”
“No.” I say, shutting my eyes to keep the memories out. So much blood. So much blood that I was beginning to wonder just how a person manages to keep all that in without some of it spilling out.
“It was a lot of blood, the pictures are very graphic.” He says grimly, making me realize I had whispered some words out.
“No, not that. That’s not what I was talking about.”
“There was another murder before this?”
“No.” I roll my eyes at the apparent confusion on his face.
“I’m not psychic, you know? If you want me to understand you, you will have to talk to me.”
“I don’t care if you understand me or not.” I shrug, and another memory passes through my mind briefly, one of my friends mocking me after I told them what had happened a night before. I quickly clamp down on that one.
“But you do. You see, I’m trained to read body languages and just now I saw a shadow pass across your face even as you struggled to maintain your mask of cold detachment. Talk to me, I mean, what do you have to lose at this point?” he looks pointedly at my wrists again and my shoulders sag. The tiny, bald man has a point.
“Okay. I’ll tell you everything.”
“I’ll appreciate that.”
“It all started at a friend’s birthday party two years ago. I didn’t want to attend, you see, but all my guys were going to be there and I didn’t want to be a spoil sport, so I went with them. A few minutes at the party and I thanked all the gods that I caved and attended the party.” Just like that, my immediate surroundings changed, and I wasn’t wearing a filthy prisoner’s uniform, neither did I have cuffs around my wrist and ankles. Instead, I was in a club with obnoxiously loud music and seizure inducing lights overhead.
“Guy, why are you sitting in a quiet corner looking like someone placed you on a time out?” Femi, one of my friends asked, teasing me.
“I have my drink, man. I’m fine.” I responded dryly, not in the mood for Femi’s hounding.
“Fine ke? You have been drinking one glass of wine all night and you say you are fine. My guy, there are a lot of girls here that will do anything to dance with you. Surely you have not been blind to all the looks they have been throwing your way?” He asked slyly and I rolled my eyes.
“Look, Femi, I’m not interested in all these jare. I just want this party to be over so I can go home.”
“Not on my watch, bro. Not on my watch. You are not leaving this place without talking to at least one girl…” He was saying something important, I’m sure, but I stopped hearing him as something that completely rocked my world happened.”
“Is this related to how you got here at all, or are you just messing around with me?” the therapist asks, and just like that, I was slammed back to my ugly reality again.
“Do you have somewhere else to be?” I ask angrily, a vein throbbing near my temple. He starts to say something, but something about my expression made him change his mind.
“No.” he says, looking properly chastised. “Forgive me for interrupting, please carry on.”
I give him a cold glare, close my eyes as I try to rein in my temper. Two deep breaths and I picked up the thread of my story from where I left off.
“Bro, bro, are you even listening to me?” Femi asked, waving his hand in front of my face in a bid to catch my attention, but I wasn’t really paying attention to him, and why should I?
They say that some people are a force in their own right, just by being. I have heard several variations of that saying, but I have never been able to put a picture to it, so it was just a jumble of words to me. But, sitting at that far away table that was facing the door at an angle that gave me a great view of anyone that walks in, I finally bore witness to those words. She walked into the club and paused abruptly as if she was surprised to see…well, people. The first thing I noticed was her grace- she moved like a dancer. No, she moved like water…I’m not sure that is right. Look, I’m not sure I have the right words to describe the way she moved, and to use just any word would be insulting to her, so I’ll just leave it. Just know that she moved like nothing I had ever seen, and every one of my senses locked in on her. I wasn’t the only one that felt it, you see. Such ethereal presence cannot go unnoticed by people, and that is probably why several other people stopped to stare at her, make way for her to pass through, and then stare some more. She wore a knee length red dress, and sky high red stilettoes, and her legs simply went on and on, and I remember thinking to myself that she’s a miracle in a dress. A miracle in a red dress.
To be continued….
Score: Cherry Wine, Hozier.
Image Credit: Playbuzz