Romance

The Divorce III-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from The Divorce II)

“Why did you shoot that boy, Joe?” Swastika asks angrily.

“He was messing with our plans.”

“That plan is mine Joe. You work for me. Just because I allow you to sleep with me doesn’t mean I stopped being your boss. If there is anyone who is messing up the plan, it is you.”

“Believe me babe, I saw them…”

“So what? If she is sleeping with another man, then you should have told me. I would have known what to do.”

“I was only trying to help.”

“No Joe. You were jealous, which means you are in love with Camilla; and I don’t like that. You are mine. Camilla is just a means to an end. Is that clear?”

She is staring at him sharply, her eyes piercing into the depths of his soul. She and Joe have been lovers for many years, but Joe always feels inadequate around her. She has a way of making him feel small, even though she is the one who has a small body; Joe is a huge man. Her real name is Beatrice, but her friends and associates call her “Swastika” after the Nazi symbol. As one of her associates recently pointed out to another, Swastika has a heart darker than Hitler’s. Swastika is a nickname that Beatrice has fully embraced, and is proud to be associated with the Fuhrer.

Joe met Swastika almost ten years ago, but he remembers the day he met her as though it were yesterday. He met her at a pub in Westlands, where she was drinking alone. He was a petty thief and fraudster then, and lone, drunk women made easy prey. A woman drinking alone attracted him like a magnet, so he immediately made a move on Swastika. All he wanted was to make her so drunk that he could effortlessly have sex with her and later steal her valuables. He had already noticed her expensive phone and wrist watch. Swastika refused his offers of alcohol, but to his surprise, she agreed to go home with him even though she was still sober.

Joe had no intention of taking her to his house. He did not even have a house at the time. He was living with a girlfriend who thought they were getting married. Her name was Grace, and she had been waiting for him to propose for three years. Grace was so determined to get married to him that she had forgiven him twice when she caught him in bed with other women. The only contribution Joe made in Grace’s life was sex, and the occasional banquet of flowers that he gave whenever he needed something from her, mostly money, but also forgiveness the two times she caught him cheating. Grace paid rent for the house they lived in, bought food, paid utility bills, bought both their clothes and even occasionally (after receiving banquets of flowers and mind blowing sessions of bedminton) gave him cash to support himself.

Joe planned to take Swastika (she had told him that her name was Anne) to a hotel room, have sex with her, steal whatever valuables he could snatch from her while she slept and then leave at the crack of dawn. He would leave her to battle with the hotel’s management over the hotel bill. He had done that multiple times to multiple women, and he knew which hotels demanded payment on admission and which ones were less strict. He knew which ones had CCTV and which ones didn’t. There was even a woman who drove him to a hotel in her car, and before she woke up he drove away with the car in the morning, and later sold it to spare part dealers.  That was how he earned a living then.

On that particular day ten years ago, Joe took Swastika to a hotel in Westlands and they went straight to bed. He woke up at 4 am and stealthily got out of bed. He took Swastiska’s handbag and silently ransacked it. In there he found a wad of cash, twenty five thousand shillings in total. He took the cash, her gold wristwatch and her phone and slipped all of them into his pockets, and then headed for the door. But when he tried to get out, he realised that the door was locked.

“Return my things, Joseph. Then come back to bed,” Swastika had said from under the covers. He had been surprised. He had told her that is name was Duncan. How then did she know his real name? Full of masculine bravado, he decided to shake the truth out of her. After all, she was a tiny woman. He pulled the covers, and his surprise, he came face to face with the eye of a gun.  He nearly wet himself.

“Who are you?” he asked meekly.

“They told me that you are handsome and charming but a complete idiot, but I did not believe them. But really you are beyond stupid; you are totally brainless.”

That insult hit below the belt. Up until that moment he had a healthy ego. Thanks to Grace, he had always been able to present himself to the public as an established businessman, and he always thought of himself as quite intelligent. But he couldn’t quite challenge a woman with a gun, however physically small she was.

“What do you want from me?” he had asked meekly.

“I want two things. First, I want you to be my boyfriend. You might be brainless but you are actually quite creative in bed. It is no wonder that Grace is stupidly addicted to you.”

“You know Grace? How do you know so much about me?”

“That is not important. There is a second thing I want from you. I have heard about your reputation as a conman and thief. But these petty thefts…”

“Can you put the gun down please? You are making me nervous.”

Swastika smiled and gave him the gun. Joe was stunned and then he decided she was being too overconfident. She probably thought she had scared him. He pointed the gun at her.

“I don’t want your stupid lectures, so give me the keys to the door.”

Swastika laughed.

“You are beyond hopeless, Joseph. You think I would give you a loaded gun? That gun has no bullets, and I have a knife that I can use to slice your throat before you blink twice. Now sit down and listen.”

Joe obeyed.

“As I was saying, these petty thefts will land you in jail sooner than later. But if you work for me, I will help you become rich.”

“How?”

“By basically doing what you are doing. But instead of picking up women in clubs and stealing their money and wrist watches, I will connect you to wealthy women who will willingly hand over their property to you. You only need to blow them away in bed.”

“I thought you wanted me to be your boyfriend?”

“That is correct. You will be mine, but you will be prostituting yourself to these women for commercial gain.”

“What will be your take in those transactions? I am assuming that you will not be helping me for free.”

“You actually have some part of your brain that works. Yes, of course I am not helping you for free. You will be working for me, and whatever you get from these women will be mine. But I will pay you generously. However, if you try to double cross me either by falling in love with any of these women or understating what you earn, I will kill you. It is that simple.”

Joe worked for Swastika for seven years before she introduced him to Camilla. During those seven years, Joe acquired property and became quite wealthy because Swastika kept her word and rewarded him generously. Swastika’s mode of operation is simple. First, she would introduce him to a wealthy woman. Introducing her does not mean a formal introduction; these women have never met Swastika. What Swastika would do was that she would prepare profile of the woman, maybe a female MP, a celebrity artiste or a business leader. She would know the woman’s weaknesses and prep Joe on what he would need to say and do to make the woman vulnerable.

Swastika would know the social joints that the target woman frequented. She would use this information to tell Joe where he would meet the woman and how he would introduce himself. She (Swastika) would guide him on how to trap the woman into a relationship and how to get the woman to spend lavishly on him. When Swastika felt it was time to get out, she would show Joe how to engineer a break up. Joe knows that Swastika engineers break ups when she feels that Joe has started becoming fond of the target woman.

Three years ago, however, Swastika discovered Camilla, and fell in love with her profile. Camilla was just the perfect target, being a young woman with no living relatives and was in charge of a vast multi-million estate. Swastika changed her strategy and decided that she wanted a longer term engagement with Camilla that would ultimately put her (Swastika) in charge of the entire estate. The plan was simple: get Joe to marry Camilla and then kill Camilla. Since Camilla has no close relatives, Joe would be left in charge of the vast estate. Swastika would then make Joe transfer the estate to her.

Two problems arose from that plan. First, Joe made Camilla pregnant before they got married. That made the children the heirs of the estate. Although she has the heart of a devil, Swastika did not have it in her to kill the twins. So the plan was altered. Joe would go ahead and marry Camilla. They would manipulate Camilla into transferring the property to Joe. They would then kill Camilla, and Joe would transfer the property to Swastika. They would then get married and bring up Camilla’s children as their own.

The plan hit a snag because Camilla wasn’t to be as easily manipulated as they had thought. She refused to transfer the property to Joe, and even wrote a will leaving all of it to her daughters. Swastika decided to give her time, knowing that she would eventually cave in to emotional blackmail and at the very least make Joe a joint owner of the property. But then a few weeks ago Camilla caught Joe in bed with their domestic manager. As if that was not enough, Camilla found out that Joe had been stealing from her. They quarreled about it, and Joe slapped her. Camilla kicked Joe out of her house and threatened to file a divorce. Swastika felt like she could kill Joe. He was ruining the whole plan, yet she (Swastika) had become obsessed with the idea of owning Camilla’s property and adopting her children. But she couldn’t kill Joe, because she still needed him to make things right. Besides, and she hates to admit this, she loves him. For all his stupidity and recklessness, Swastika actually fell in love with Joe.

Swastika instructed Joe to charm Camilla back to his life. Following instructions, today Joe called her and asked her to meet him for dinner in a hotel n Westlands so that they could talk. Camilla told him that she was busy. But then he saw her in the same hotel in Westlands having dinner with another man. Jealousy got the better of him and he followed the man home and shot him.

Now Swastika really feels like killing him.

                                                                           *

“What are we going to do now?” Joe asks helplessly.

You are going to do nothing. I will take care of everything. I have already made arrangements for Camilla to be killed. In fact, she should be dead by now…”

“What about the will?”

“Your stupidity has left me no choice, Joe. The children will have to die. And since legally you are still Camilla’s husband, you will inherit everything. All you need to do is to show up at the offices of the lawyer when I tell you to and sign the documents transferring the property to me. And by the way, that boy Felix is still alive. You might end up in jail.”

“What? I can’t go to jail. You have to help me.”

“If you are going to shoot someone Joe, then shoot to kill. You don’t leave them alive to testify against you later. Your stupidity is costing me a lot. I will be forced to pay a doctor at that hospital to give that boy a lethal injection.”

(Continued Here)

Image by Free-Photos from  Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-woman-emotions-expressions-1149933/

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