By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
Yolanda and her father, John are standing in the room by the door. George is outside waiting for them to open for him. Yolanda’s father is the one who called him, telling him that he needed help carrying some stuff in the warehouse but he was lying. It was a trap. As soon as he walked through that door they were going to hit him on the head with a pole and then tie him up next to Yolanda’s mother. Yolanda’s mother has been tied up on a chair in the middle of the room for hours now. Her mouth is gagged and her arms and legs bound. She has been reduced to a helpless spectator.
Yolanda and John have just had an argument. She told him that she knew about all the times her mother had cheated on him and he wasn’t happy. John had never taken betrayal very well and he couldn’t believe that his favourite person in the whole world, his daughter, had kept such a secret away from him for so long. It broke John’s heart and he was no longer sure if he should still be helping Yolanda but George was already at the door and it was too late to turn back.
As Yolanda opened the door, her mother, knowing exactly what was about to happen, tried to scream out to George and warn him but all she could muster was a loud moan. George walked in and as soon as he saw Yolanda’s mom, without thinking, he ran towards her wanting to rescue her. He didn’t see John, who was hiding behind the door and just as he was about to get to Yolanda’s mom, John hit him on the head with the pole. George was a big man so the blow didn’t knock him out but it knocked him to the ground. John then jumped on top of him and handcuffed him. With Yolanda’s help they put him in a chair next to Yolanda’s mom and tied him to the chair so he could barely move. At this point Yolanda’s Mom started freaking out. For the third time today she was convinced she was going to die.
John walked to his wife and removed the cloth he had used to gag her and he looked at Yolanda and said, “Okay Yolanda, they’re all yours now”.
Yolanda looked at her mom and then looked at George. The anger that was on her face before was gone. Now she looked broken. It was as if for the first time the reality of her mother’s affair with George had hit her. Before, she was angry at her and she wanted to kill her because of what she had done. But now she realized that she didn’t want to kill her at all. If anything she wanted answers, an explanation that might make her pain a little less. She was hoping her mother would tell her she had gotten it wrong and that her and George weren’t seeing each other or that it was all a bad dream. Anything to ease her pain.
She looked at her mother and George for a few minutes and then tears started rolling down her cheeks and it took her a while to compose herself and speak. Everyone was silent.
“Why?!” she said, through her tears as she turned to her mother. “Why would you do this to me, Mom? I’m your daughter! Your own flesh and blood! How could you betray me like this?”
Yolanda started to weep and her mom’s heart dropped. What had she done to her child? How had she managed to hurt her in such a terrible way? She wanted to reply her but she couldn’t find the words to say, which only compounded her guilt. Then Yolanda turned to George.
“And you George? What do you have to say for yourself?” she asked. “After everything I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me? I thought you loved me. I mean, we’re about to get married for crying out loud,” she said before bursting into tears again.
George then looked at Yolanda’s mom and was about to start speaking. Yolanda?s mom figured what he was about to say and she interrupted him.
“No!” she shouted at him. “Don’t George. Please?” she pleaded.
“No, Audrey. I’m going to tell her. If we’re going to die in here then she might as well know,” he replied bullishly.
“Tell me what?” Yolanda asked, looking perplexed.
“I’m in love with your mother, Yolanda. And I was going to leave you in the next month. Your Mom was going to do the same with your dad.”
Yolanda’s father, who up until now was quiet then burst out, “What?! What did you just say George? You want to what?” he screamed. He was livid and paced towards George. He got to George and grabbed him by the neck. “You son of a…” he said as he punched him. He then turned to his wife, who by now had tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Is this true, Audrey? Are you going to leave me for this piece of crap? Huh?” he asked, his face pressed up against Audrey’s such that she couldn’t breathe properly.
Yolanda’s mom started crying. “John, please understand,” she said through her tears. “It’s just, it’s just not working anymore.”
Yolanda’s father lost it. “Thirty years! Thirty years, Audrey! I have given you my life! Everything! And this is what you want to do to me? Are you serious?” he screamed walking up and down the room. Suddenly, he paused.
“You know what? No. This isn’t going to happen. Not on my watch. You belong to me, Audrey and I will not let you be with another man. Never! You’re mine!” he yelled as he took a gun from his pocket.
I’m going to kill myself.’ John said pointing the gun at his head. I’m going to end it right now. If you leave me then I’m going to kill myself, Audrey’ he said again.
“No, Daddy, no!” Audrey yelled. “Don’t do that please! Mom, please tell him you won’t leave him, please?” she said
Yolanda’s mom just kept shaking her head and crying. “I can’t baby. I just don’t love your father anymore,” she said.
George, now looking visibly shaken then added, “John, please don’t do this. Let’s talk about this. It doesn’t have to be like this. We can work it out.”
This made John even more angry and he walked up to George and said, “Work it out? Work it out? You’ve been sleeping with my wife for however long now and you want to work it out?! You know what, you’re going to go first!” he pointed the gun at George and shot him in the head.
The blood splattered onto Yolanda’s mom’s face and she began to have a panic attack. Yolanda was in shock and didn’t move.
John was now hysterical. He didn’t mean to shoot George. It had been an impulsive action but now he had so much adrenalin coursing through his body and he was angry.
“Who are you going to sleep with now, Audrey huh? Your stupid boyfriend is dead!” he yelled. Shaking.
He looked at George’s dead body in the chair and started pacing up and down the room. He had just killed a man. He was now a murderer and being a former cop he knew the consequences. He didn’t want to go down that road and he knew what he needed to do next so that that wouldn’t happen but he didn’t have the courage. After a few minutes he stopped and looked at Yolanda. His eyes were blank when he looked at her and his face alarmingly calm for someone who had just killed another man. It was as if he had resolved himself to his fate.
“I’m sorry, baby girl. I have to go now,” he said calmly as he pointed the gun to his head, took a deep breath and shot himself.
Yolanda started crying uncontrollably. “No, Daddy, no!!! No!!” she screamed, clutching at her father’s lifeless body. “No, Daddy, no!” she said again.
Her mother sat there, still tied to the chair, no longer crying but just staring into space.
Their lives would never be the same again.
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