My nameâ€™s Albert and my honesty will be the death of me. Then again, my name is not really important, but the fact remains, honesty is a bitch and she is out to get me. That is, if the pounding in my head doesnâ€™t finish me off first… or whatever is on the other side of that door.
I look back toward the bathroom. The blood on the walls makes my gut tie itself up in knots.
The pounding on the door has not stopped.
The right thing to do is to open the door, but that would bring with it a barrage of questions. Answers for which even I havenâ€™t the slightest. I need to think fast.
I go to the bathroom and my eye catches a glance of the tub and whatâ€™s within. Itâ€™s all I can do to hold back my gagging.
The body in the tub is…more knot tying in my abdomen.
Whoever did this knew what he was doing, was thorough. But the question is, was it me? Did I do this? It seemed a little far fetched, but given my past, it would provide the answer that was proving elusive, that I too was evading.
Yvette and I had a history of sorts. The kind you read about in stories that tug at your heart strings and command a tear at the end when the boy and the girl live happily ever after. There was certainly not going to be a happy ending here. One of us had beaten the other to the conclusion of the story, and unfortunately, there was no joy when she got there. The expression on what remained of her face sent that point home.
Iâ€™d gone to school with Yvette. Weâ€™d sat in the same class, attended the same boring lessons and at the end of the day walked out of the same gate, each to their home. I didnâ€™t think of her in any way. I didnâ€™t think of her at all. She had short hair and had not quite achieved the full potential that puberty bestowed upon her subjects. I on the other hand, was going through that stage in every young boyâ€™s life where contact with girls is to be avoided at every cost. In a sense, I suppose you could say I lucked out. A couple of guys in my class kind of â€œgot thereâ€ before the rest of us and from the expressions that their faces beheld every evening after their â€œdiscussionsâ€ with the girls, we were missing out on something. We were young, but not stupid. There was no way â€œholding handsâ€ would produce so much glee.
I look at the body in the tub; the thumping at the door has been drowned out by the memories swimming in my head. In a sick way, it still holds a certain appeal. The sight of her flesh, even under the cake of blood still does things to me. It shouldnâ€™t, but it does.
Weâ€™d met a few years later. Well, â€œa fewâ€ is relative. It was likely five years or so. It was at church after fellowship. All the cool kids were doing it. It was cool to go pray. To meet your brothers and sisters and exchange testimonies, then go to the nearest bar and shoot pool and revert to our heathen ways. I dared to be different. The whole bar scene was not for me. And I was a lousy when it came to handling a cue.
I was standing at the top of the stairs that led to the church hall, in the middle of a conversation with a friend when I saw a beautiful brown girl sashay to where we stood. I was rooted to the spot. The complexion, the eyes…the breasts. Not too large to attract sexist remarks, but just the right size to make me forget where we were standing. In the house of the lord. If ever such a thing as the perfect body existed, it was there right in front of me. The lord giveth and he kept on giving this one. I was smitten.
She walked over to us. My heart skipped a series of beats. Any more and Iâ€™d be gone. She greeted my friend and all at once I started scheming, figuring I had the perfect back story should fate ever grant me another moment with her, â€œAlbert, we met at the church. Michaelâ€™s friend…remember me?â€
Then she turned to me, â€œHi Albert. Youâ€™ve grown tall.â€
I was speechless. The goddess knew my name. Knew me, a lowly mortal. To what did I owe this?
â€œYou donâ€™t remember me do you?â€ She didnâ€™t seem offended or anything. In fact, she seemed amused. She smiled.
I wanted to lie, to say I knew her from many a dream I had had. From nights spent sleepless thinking about her. I wanted to say something, anything that would keep her here. Make her mine. What I said instead was, â€œNo.â€ I wanted to go on and employ some damage control, but my tongue was tied. A moment ruined by honesty. Whoever said it was the best policy was spewing fertilizer.
The knocking at the door has stopped. The relief Iâ€™d expect to come sweeping in doesnâ€™t make it. I figure this should give me enough time to clean up this mess. Thereâ€™s only so much I can do.
I get the sheets off the bed and dump them in the tub, covering the body. I wipe some of the blood off the walls, leaving stains. Same difference. At least the room seems a little more innocent looking. If that makes sense.
I replace the beddings with the spare sheets that I find in the wardrobe. Quite classy this brothel, I think to myself.
Then the thumping at the door resumes.
I realize I have to open the door. Refusing to will not really help me when I start claiming I am innocent and spewing all that spiel. Wait, not claiming. Declaring my innocence.
I remember something a friend of mine told me he did when his landlady came to collect her money.
I drop my clothes and pour some water all over myself. And in that naked and wet state I walk over to the door. Closing the bathroom door behind me first. I should feel nervous but I seem to have the balls to do this because of the realization that doing this the right way might see me share a prison cell with some gay gorilla called Eugene.
The knocking on the door seems almost desperate now. I pull it open with force, yelling with mock anger, â€œCANâ€™T A GUY SHOWER IN PEA…â€ I donâ€™t get to finish the sentence. I donâ€™t have to.
The brown skinned person on the other side of the door is wearing the same outfit I am. And she has tears streaming down her face.
She begs me to let her in.
I want to say no. But the back and forth argument that may ensue will attract attention. Lord knows I donâ€™t need that.
She lets herself in and goes straight for the bed and wraps herself up with a sheet.
I shut the door and look at her. Marveling inwards at how fast things seem to be progressing from bad to worse…
She looks young. Probably in her teens. Sheâ€™s definitely a prostitute.
I sit down next to her, trying to put together the words â€œGo Awayâ€ in a more appealing fashion. Then she speaks.
She tells me how she didnâ€™t ask for this. That her life is a bitch. She tells me she was cursed by her aunt. She never meant to be a prostitute, but it was all that was open to her when she got here. I donâ€™t really need to know this. I have problems of my own, but I suppose misery does have a thing for company.
She looks a little dazed. No. High. She certainly smells like alcohol…and then some.
I donâ€™t want to get to close lest I get inebriated off her breath.
Sheâ€™s telling me she was with a client tonight who kicked her out without payment. A cop. Apparently the cop threatened to shoot her or worse if she did not leave the room. She did not even have the chance to get her clothes and thatâ€™s why she was in that state.
She speaks haltingly, like she is trying to find the words, but they wonâ€™t let her.
She offers an apology of sorts for banging on my door, but she explains that she needed to get out of the corridor before someone else saw her.
I mumble something about shit happening.
She stops sobbing a bit. Says she is really grateful.
I have bigger concerns than gratitude being extended from a whore. I look at the bathroom door, trying to figure out how I will get away from the mess. My eyes are still on the door when I feel her hand stroking my cheek.
â€œYou are… tired. I can make you joy.â€ She offers.
I push her hands away, gently. â€œNo thanks.â€
But she insists.
She takes my hand and guides it with her’s, a playful, albeit alcohol induced smile on her face. Her other hand is also taking its own journey. I am aroused. I find it odd that even with whatâ€™s going on, I can still get it up.
She lies down, pulling me on top of her and asks, â€œ Are you felling happy?â€
I wouldnâ€™t say happy as such, but I certainly do feel â€œsomethingâ€.
Then the door is slammed open.
â€œThis is the police, drop what you are doing and…