(Continued from The Butcher I)
Fredrick panics when Hannah’s body goes limp. Instinctively, he knows that she is dead. It has happened before, and now the curse is upon him again. He came to this place to escape from his past, but that past has now followed him here. Escaping from this town is an option. He has done it before, but he doubts whether he can replicate that feat again. Milka warned him not to entangle himself with another woman before resolving his insecurities. But he fell in love with Hannah, and there is nothing he could do to prevent this eventuality.
He decides that this time he will not run away. He will face the consequences of his actions head on, and with a little trickery, he knows he will prevail. He carries Hannah’s body and takes it to the bedroom. He tucks the body in bed and covers it halfway like someone who fell asleep while breastfeeding. He walks to the balcony, takes the charcoal jiko and fills it with charcoal. He lights it and puts it in the bedroom. This, in his grand scheme of things, will be the official cause of death.
Barack stopped crying a while back. He is seated on the floor, in a corner, furiously sucking his thumb. Fredrick picks him up and takes him to the bed, next to his mother. He removes one of Hannah’s breasts from under her clothes and tucks it into Barack’s mouth. It hurts him to have to kill his own son, but Fredrick cannot see alternative. If Hannah’s cause of death will be carbon monoxide poisoning, then questions will be asked if Barack is found alive.
Once that part of the plan is complete, Fredrick moves on to the second step. He goes to the kitchen and serves himself a plateful of food. He will abandon the food halfway through like someone who walked out in a huff. As he is eating, another idea crosses his mind. Police might suspect foul play and decide to do a post mortem. If they do that, they will discover that Hannah was strangled, and he will become the prime suspect. To avoid that eventuality, he comes up with a backup plan. He needs someone else to take the fall. He walks back to the bedroom and takes Hannah’s phone. He notices with satisfaction that Barack is already asleep. The boy will die peacefully in his sleep.
With Hannah’s phone, he decides to send a WhatsApp message to Adrian.
“Hey,” the wife snatcher replies almost immediately.
“Imagine Fred is cheating on me.”
“I told you that man is not serious with you. You should leave him. I will take care of you darling.”
“That won’t even be necessary. He has let me for that other woman. Imagine he has not even finished his food. He stood up and said he is tired of my drama and left.”
“Are you okay?”
“I am shattered.”
“Oh darling. I can only imagine the pain you are undergoing. I am coming.”
“Thanks Adrian. But you don’t have to come. I will be fine.”
“I insist. You shouldn’t be alone to deal with this mess. I am on my way. Where do you live?”
“I live in Nithi View Estate, House Number 1C. Don’t knock because my neighbors are snoopy. Just open the door and get in.”
That conversation was easier than Fredrick anticipated. He knows he doesn’t have much time, so he abandons his food, which was the plan anyway, and quietly sneaks out of the house, taking care to close the door so softly that it hardly makes a sound.
Fredrick calls Mike, his boda boda guy and asks him to take him to Chuka town. Mike finds Fredrick outside the gate. Fredrick explains that he has been “kicked out of the house by mama because she has found out about my side chick.”
“So where are you going?”
“To the side chick.”
The rider laughs.
“You are a hero man.”
“I can’t spend the night in the cold when another woman is willing to give me comfort. Does Hannah expect me to beg her to allow me back to the house? That will not happen. Soon enough she will discover that I don’t care and she will come begging me to come back home.”
“What if she doesn’t?”
“Then I will make this other one the official mama. Wait,” Fredrick says suddenly when they get to Mitheru market.
“Is there a problem?”
“I have forgotten my phone on the table. Will you take me back to get it? I will top up your charges.”
The man agrees and they turn back. Fredrick is crossing fingers that Adrian is already in the house. He actually has his phone with him, but he needs a witness to see that he was not the last person to be with Hannah. They ride back to the estate, and when they get there, he asks the rider to go and get the phone for him.
“Hannah won’t open the door for me. But if she hears your voice she will give you the phone,” he tells the rider. “She will not keep you at the door waiting.”
Mike agrees to go up and take the phone. He knows Hannah as a reasonable woman, and so what Fredrick is saying is actually true. Hannah is a very considerate woman and however mad she might be at Fredrick, she will not shoot the messenger. He goes up the stairs to the first floor apartment and knocks the door. He knows the door number because he has delivered items for both Hannah and Fredrick at the house many times.
Mike knocks the door twice and asks Hannah to give him Fredrick’s phone, which he forgot on the table. To his surprise, it is a man who opens the door. The man is dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.
“You can’t come here at night and start waking up people,” Adrian snaps. “Hannah and her son are asleep. Tell that butcher to collect his phone in the morning.”
Mike hastily goes down the stairs and explains what happened.
“So she kicked me out of the house and brought in her lover? And that guy has the audacity to come to my house? I will teach him a lesson,” Fredrick says and starts walking towards the house. But Mike restrains him.
“There is no point of fighting boss. If she has chosen someone else, and you have some else, I think you should part ways. But right now it is late at night. Let me take you to your other woman so that I can also go home and rest.”
Fredrick hops onto the motorcycle and the rider drops him at Marion’s house.
Fredrick has been dating Marion for about seven months now. When he gets to her house, he finds her watching a movie. She quickly warms the meal which she had prepared earlier. She always waits for him before she can eat. Fredrick has perfected the art of taking supper twice, once in Marion’s house and again at home with Hannah.
“I wish you would spend the night here babe,” Marion says after they make love passionately. This is her usual complaint. Fredrick sometimes stays here until late in the night, but he has never spent the whole night with her. “I would love to wake up and make breakfast for you.”
Fredrick knows that Marion desperately wants marriage, and he has been using that to string her along. She will do anything he says just to keep up the hope that he will marry her. That makes her the perfect alibi in the unlikely event that the police suspect him of murdering Hannah.
“I will spend the night here today,” Fredrick says with a smile.
“Are you serious babe?” she asks, raising her head from the bed and pivoting herself with her elbow so that she can look at his face.
“Yes I am.”
“What about that woman Hannah?”
“She found out about us and kicked me out of the house.”
“So you are just using me because she rejected you?”
“No babe, this is actually a good thing. She did not even kick me out forcefully. That house is mine because I pay rent for it. She just told me to choose between you and her. She dared me to walk out of the door if I love you more than I love her. I was eating but I didn’t even think twice about it. I walked out of the door and came here, leaving my food half-eaten.”
“So you are coming here to stay?”
“Yes. I will go to that house to pick my clothes tomorrow. I will do it when she is at work because I don’t have the energy for her tantrums.”
“Oh baby,” Marion says, holding him tightly. They end up making love again and then Marion falls asleep. Once she is snoring, Fredrick takes selfies. They are both naked and obviously in bed.
Those photos will be useful when it comes to avoiding jail time.
(To be continued on Tuesday)
Image by Pexels from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/ace-cards-hooded-hood-man-adult-1869825/
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