By Fungai Chingumbura, Zimbabwe:
Limits – we all have them. For better or worse we are defined as much by what we do as by what we don't do. Where do we draw the line? When does necessary evil stop being indispensable and simply becomes evil? I have a feeling I may just find out tonight.
My companions instruct me to drive to my assistant's house on the other side of town. The whole drive there, I glance furtively at the young child in the back seat next to my assistant. He has a look of resignation on his face; no fear and what appears to be a hint of curiosity. I wonder to myself what his mother said to him as she gave him over to these strangers. Did she say anything at all, or was that wave her only admission of the fact that she was almost certainly giving up her child forever. Maybe she didn't know? If this girl works at an orphanage then the young mother was most likely persuaded into giving the boy up. But no; I saw that wave and there was fatalism in it, a certainty of mortality even. I wonder how far she must have been in the ruins of poverty to make a bargain such as the one she likely partook in. How much did they pay her? How much is enough to sell your child to two paragons of depravity such as these?
We arrive at the house, a large stately building in one of the most affluent suburbs in the city. I remember then that my boss once told me that my assistant's family was extremely well to do and how he had even been introduced to the company he was going to sell to by my assistant's father. Apparently, my assistant took up this job as a means of showing he could handle responsibility. He obviously didn't need the money. We enter the house, my assistant's girlfriend leading the young boy by the hand. The kitchen is warm and has a sickeningly lemony scent. We segue to a passageway with decorations that are minimal. The walls, however, are decked with photos and portraits of the two murderous lovebirds in a series of suggestive poses. My assistant directs me to their living room and the girl takes the boy into one of the bedrooms along the passage way. He invites me to sit down and switches on the television before turning to me.
“We're in for a treat tonight boss man. That kid is gonna be our plaything. Imagine all that innocence…that naivety…it's all gonna be our meal for the evening.” He has that glint in his eyes that he always gets whenever he is feeling particularly smug about himself.
“The missus and I are gonna go first, but we'll let you have a turn. Watch some T.V. whilst you wait. Turn up the volume, it might get a lil' loud.”
He pats me on the leg and leaves the room. I hear the bedroom door close and lean forward on the sofa, staring at the television but not really watching. Are they truly going to do this? And they expect me to participate? No thanks. Little boys are not my taste. But, what can I do? I am powerless to stop them. Any interference on my part would immediately hasten my plan of extrication and I don't know how my two cohorts would react to me spoiling their party. The boy is a sacrifice that must be made, I tell myself. I have to find out if these people have told anyone else about me and if the boy has to go, then so be it. He's probably being spared a lifetime of pain anyhow, I reason to myself, not entirely sure if I even believe my own logic.
My reverie is interrupted by the girl sauntering across the passage way in her birthday suit. She returns with a carton of milk, but she doesn't pass by. Instead, she sways into the room. I feel my collar getting hot. This vixen is mystifying. She stands aside the television and I try my best keep my eyes fixed on the screen in an effort to concentrate on what the reporter is talking about. Its something along the lines of an athlete in court for shooting someone.(I think). My endeavor to maintain composure is shattered when she walks to where I'm sitting, leans over and whispers in my ear:
“Y'know, I like you. The first time I told my man what I'd figured out about you, he wanted us to go to the police, but I convinced him that we should keep it between us and see how far we could take it and I'm sure glad I did. You're going to be our path to so, so much fun. See, I know what I want and I know what he wants, but we don't know how to keep things clean like you do. You'll show us how to tie up our loose ends and who knows, you might even get some enjoyment out of it.”
She runs a nail polished finger along the side of my face and looks into my eyes, boring into my soul. The siren sits in my lap and brings her face incredibly close to mine. When she speaks, I can feel the warmth and sweetness of her breath on my face.
“After I'm done with these two boys, you might just be my next meal,” she finishes, huskily.
A wicked smile is adorned on her face as she strolls out of the room. I keep my eyes glued to the television, trying to suppress all the waves of sensation that she just made me feel. My mind wanders to what it would be like to be her toy. I catch myself for the second time that night. “She. Is. Your. Enemy!” I grunt to myself. Something inside me answers, asking if I'm sure about that. I shake my head free of these insidious thoughts and re-focus on the television, hoping to ignore my desires into non-existence. Then I snap back to reality. She just said that she'd convinced her boyfriend to keep what they know about me to themselves. No one else knows, which means these two are the only loose ends I have to tie up.
The reporter is still speaking about the jailed athlete and how at this point it is assumed that he attacked his girlfriend in a moment of rage and shot her three times. The reporter refers to it as a lover's spat turned terribly violent, with the direst of consequences. Her words set something off in my mind. Lovers fight all the time. People's passions often overcome them and they act blindly in moments of anger and do tragically regrettable things. I stand up and go to the kitchen drawers and find the sharpest cutting knife there is. As I pass by the living room, I hear the reporter speak of how everyone who knew the athlete was shocked by what happened and how no one could have predicted this. Yes, when people are captivated by each other, who knows what might happen? Two humans in fiery love are unpredictable, after all. And I happen to know two people who are just that in love…
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