The water trickled down slowly over his body as it occurred this was the last shower in camp. It was soothing to think of leaving but scared to face what awaited him out there after being in war for the last eight months. The alarm went off loudly down the hall…time to leave.
David had been gone for months without much of a phone call or a letter. He was a father now to twins and had no idea about the bundles of joy awaiting him back home. She had managed to survive all alone praying vehemently for his safe return every day and always dreaded news on war fearing for her husband’s life. Last week the mail had dropped and David was finally coming home-coming to his twins.
A felicitous life she had, having her husband endure a war and come back to her. Finally she could have the family she had dreamt of since childhood. They had met in college and hit it off. He was the first and only man she had ever loved intimately despite coming from an abusive father figure and a worn-out family. David had understood her upbringing and showered her with the affection she had so much yearned for when growing up.
They had a simple happy wedding which was more than enough for Anne. Having been jobless for a while, David had finally been recruited and sent oversees in the height of rising terror attacks in the country. Having found out about the twins immediately David left, the loneliness left as the growing belly kept her hopeful and happy.
Last time he checked, he had a beautiful wife who had been so submissive. He had yearned for her the first few weeks but with the violence around the images had just faded. Had she waited for him or has she fallen for the first guy who thought could save a damsel in waiting? Was she still alive or probably wiped off the face of the earth like the many women and children who had gone down in combat action with some been dead out of his uncontrollable action. Would she ever guess of the countless women they had raped as their sexual urge got the better of their once intellectual minds that knew better than exploit weakness of any woman. He quickly brushed off that thought which eight months would have left him feeling disgusted but now he had an evil grin remembering the sexual gratifications he had so much enjoyed. Anne had no idea of the beast she was eagerly waiting for as the letter had said.
The bus came to a sudden halt. He looked outside the window and home at last. Was he excited to be back or was it just the only place he could be now that the war was over. The lights were on and soft music – that was their wedding song playing on the stereo. Reunion time….
The night was calm and the happiest for Anne for the longest time since she could remember. Her David was back home although acting cold she had ignored the abusive remarks he had made since he got home…he would get past the trauma and be back to the happy man she fell in love with.
Anne had been working as a secretary in Oleo a big fashion company in the country. Her boss had picked her out of pity when she saw the designs portrayed during her interview and made her the personal assistant. Being a busy business lady, Gwenyth had few friends and shared all her problems with Anne who always had time to listen. Sometimes she wondered if Anne really loved listening to her issues or is it that she thought it came with the hefty allowance job description.
Recently she had found out her boyfriend of seven years was actually homosexual completely unattached to her curvaceous body. She had thrown him out in the middle of the night then drove over to Anne`s place where she got drunk and sobbed all night with Anne by her side. She admired Anne who despite not being as rich, she had two adorable children and a loving husband as Anne always praised him.
Anne had to leave for work. Having her husband back, she woke up early, prepared his breakfast and set it up beside the bed for when he woke up. The kids she dropped off next door to a stay-home mum who loved attending to the twins. After 8 months she was sex-starved but last night David had made no effort to touch her despite her buying the latest trendy lingerie in a hope to impress. Kissing them goodbye, she brushed the thought away hoping tonight would be different. Today her moods were high and sang the whole drive to work.
Gwenyth was in her office looking at the latest unreleased issue of Oleo magazine. It was evident she was impressed at its making but the pain of losing the love of her life was overwhelming. Anne pitied her as she brought her coffee. She would have to help her boss move on.
They had produced better quality and definitely tantalizing beer since he had been gone. David smiled as he opened his fifth can. He heard some children crying next door and his mind shifted to the toddlers he had seen in his house the previous night. He remembered Anne telling him to tell his kids as he stormed off into the bedroom. If the kids were his, what were they doing at his neighbor`s or that was the real father.
Angrily, he rushed towards Dorothy`s apartment and kicked it open only to find the kids fast asleep on her lap. She smiled as if to welcome him back but he had no time for niceties. He grabbed the girl first and then the boy and hurled them to the floor. Dorothy screamed as the kids hit the floor and yelled. This turn of events was shocking. Why would David hit his own kids or was he…was he drunk. Judging from the smell and bloodshot eyes the best thing was to get the children away from him. The thought was cut short by a blow from David that sent her sprawling to the floor. She tried to rise up but David had already picked the children and was walking out. She dialed the hospital and drifted into unconsciousness.
Anne was impatient at the traffic jam ahead. She had been called by another neighbor to inform her of what was happening. Right now the safety of her kids was of utmost importance and had pleaded with the other woman to check up on Dorothy. Anne had heard of post traumatic syndrome but never thought it would occur to her sweet loving, gentle David…she hoped against all odds that he wasn’t suffering from it.
The kids were safe but had not eaten or changed since the incident that morning. David was fast asleep with about 15 bottles of beer lying around. She attended to the kids fast till they fell asleep from the exhaustion of the day`s escapades then made dinner for two and went to sleep in the kids bedroom. She could not sleep next to a man who could strangle her in her sleep.
Life was bound to be better or that was she once always told herself. Since the incident David had used all his savings on alcohol and withdrew all the funds in their joint account. Months passed by and life became unbearable. The beating increased everyday as he demanded all her salary leaving little barely enough to cater for the kids, rent and her own maintenance. The car had to go and so were the high fashion clothes she was used to buying. He had refused to look for work and spent his days drinking.
Anne`s life had taken a wrong turn. She was devastated, tired and hopeless. Whatever she had done to deserve this was definitely not her choice but she would not let her children suffer too. She would take them out and find a family to adopt them. She had done found a nice couple who despite being rich, would also love them. Something their father lacked.
Gwyneth was worried about Anne`s performance which had deteriorated over the past few months. She had considered firing her but couldn`t as Anne had been there for her too. She had tried helping but work always got the better of her. Today she would visit Anne and find out what was going on in her life. Recently she had found out Anne had moved to a slum and sold her car. Gwyneth hoped the dwindling performance of the company was not to blame and the general reduced salaries of her employees.
Anne wanted to go home and pick her children to drop them at their new home. It was noon and she knew David was sleeping so it was a perfect time to sneak in and take them. She caught glimpse of Kelvin the company driver and asked for a lift. Kelvin was fond of Anne and had even tried to court her but she had refused his clean intentions as she was married. Company cars were strictly for business use only but this once for the woman in front of him he would not mind bending the rules a little. They got in and left for Anne`s.
Lovemaking had always been fantastic but the past few months he had raped her continuously despite her screams. He had hit her when she refused to submit or do whatever animal-like act he insisted on in bed. He would leave her sobbing and cleaning the blood from the bruises he had inflicted on her every time. He was an animal and whatever had happened during the war had changed him to this.
David watched as Anne alighted the car and walked over to the driver`s side smiling. They talked excitedly and the car left. His mind was in turmoil as he thought of his wife. His ‘property’ with another man was infuriating enough. He had failed to give her a high end life so she had turned to selling herself to rich men with big cars. Today she would have to face him.
Anne entered the house and shocked to find David standing with the children in his hands near the window. The children were obviously uncomfortable with the strong hands clenching them. He started talking of how cheap she had reduced herself to and how unsure he was of the kids` paternity. Anne was in shock as she awaited his reaction and feared for the worst. She turned to grab anything that could be a weapon and on turning back the children were dangling from the window screaming helplessly. This was enough to send Anne to paranoia and she started abusing him with anger building inside. She had to get them out of danger and deal with David later, this time for good.
Gwyneth pulled over to the new address to find a crowd gathered and all looking up. She followed suit and what she saw filled her with tears and fear. She fumbled in her pocket for her phone and called the police and as she looked up the children were no longer there. Their cold lifeless bodies were strewn all over the pavement. The drop from the fourth floor was enough to break their skulls and have everything spill out into a bloody mess. She didn’t need to be told that those were Anne`s twins. She had to find and get Anne from danger of the murderer of a husband Anne thought had.
Reaching room 423 was a hustle with the decapitated building unsafe for human habitation. A man lay on the floor, blood oozing softly and unmoving. From the photos she knew that was David and the knife next to the body was enough explanation of what had happened. The sobs were coming from the bedroom where she found Anne on the floor crying frantically. Gwyneth stood there knowing Anne`s life was as good as over after what had transpired in this little establishment. She threw her arms over Anne and embraced her tightly and closed her teary eyes. Paradise turned hell. Life was simply not fair and at this it was definitely harsh to others. All she could was joining her friend and the tears kept streaming down.
While reading this story I know you may have wondered who the guilty part in this story is. David served his country dutifully in war and got post-traumatic stress syndrome which led to his lost touch with humanity or do we blame Anne who bore the pain of continuous rape and abuse for months without looking for help. Do we also blame Gwenyth for not caring about what was going on in her friend’s life? Comment on the story and let’s decide who the guilty party is.