By Aaron Aroriza:
Jack is a rough bearded, dreadlocked, stocky young man with a deep voice that must have Jim Reeves smiling in his grave and muscles that should make Golola of Uganda rethink his verbosity. When he moved into the apartment next to mine, the first thing that came to my mind was that I had gotten a weed smoking, overeating, crime savvy, loud music banging ganja-man for a neighbor. His girlfriend, a pretty girl with an innocent look, a heavenly smile and the voice of an angel was the exact opposite of Jack – the only reason I put off my plans of moving to another apartment.
It wasn't long before – with the help of my biased mind – I got the golden chance to prove my assertions. That Friday evening I had had not too little to drink. When I reached home at around 3am, I stayed in the car a little longer listening to Tupac Shakur's 'life goes on' which was playing on the radio when I parked. By the time the song ended, my life had gone on into a peaceful slumber.
I awoke moments later to screams in the car that had parked beside me while I slept. The fear driven adrenaline sobered me up and I immediately made out two fighting silhouettes in Jack's car. The words “you are killing me” sent a thrill down my spine. I instinctively reached for my phone and called afande Dixon, a police officer at our neighborhood police station that is five minutes' drive from our apartment. Dixon assured me he was coming immediately. He and I clearly have different definitions for the word 'immediately'. He showed up with his team forty minutes later.
Two officers with their guns drawn knocked on Jack's car telling whoever was in to come out. At first there was silence and the officers decided to pick the lock. Just like I had told them, they found two naked bodies nervously bundled up together. Neither body was a dead one.
I first met Dixon in primary when I had joined the new school. I had been scribbling things on my desk when a cocky small boy came and snatched my pen. I had watched a lot of wrestling and thought this was my chance to show my skills. I stood on the desk and lunged at him with a flying kick. I missed him and came crushing onto the floor like a sack of potatoes, twisting my ankle and spraining my arm. Dixon, the biggest boy in class offered to carry me home on his back. He was to later introduce me to his two tight friends one of whom was the small boy who had snatched my pen. Soon we bonded and became the four most notorious rascals.
He walked to me with a mischievous smile on his face and told me the two people had only been killing off their lust. But he was going to take them to the police station just for the fun of it anyways.
Jack's girlfriend, awoken by the commotion that was taking place outside, came out after some time, perhaps after seeing the police officers and confirming that it was safe to come out. 'Jack, what's wrong?' she asked, in a tone so devoid of accusation. She was a naïve angel – that girl. Jack froze.
Suddenly, without knowing why, I wrapped my arms around Jack's partner in crime – the one who I thought he had killed and stroked her cold shoulders. It's that subconscious act that saved Jack. His girlfriend – the one he lived with, looked at me with concern. “Is your girl friend okay?” she asked. I just nodded not knowing what to say. Afande Dixon, who had been watching silently, pulled me aside and asked me what was going on. I begged him to let the matter go so we could save Jack's relationship. He shook his head smiling, patted me on the back and signaled his officers to leave. “I hope you finish off the killing job your friend had started. I won't arrest you for the crime,” Dixon made his last remark feeling all witty.
It was coming to 6am. When Jack and his girlfriend went into their apartment, the girl that had been snuggling against my shoulder suddenly became the stranger she had been. Without saying a word she swiftly found her way outside the gate and I closed it behind her feeling cold again and drawing up ideas.
Unfortunately, Jack's girlfriend was to die in a terrible accident a year later, just a few weeks after their introduction.
But Jack has never forgotten the day I saved his day and every hero's day, he gives me a 'Jack Daniels' medal. “Keep walking”, he always says – something I haven't been able to do after any of those medal ceremonies since I am on Johnie. Jack Daniels really knows how to mess up those tough brain cells.
Now Jack has solicited the services of Dixon because he found a gang of 'four thieves' rummaging my bedroom. He says they've already burnt my Koran, my copy of The Davinci code, my two books on fengshui and vastu-shastra. It's the smoke that alerted him.
Since I have to get back home as soon as I can, Rita has offered to give me a ride in her car – a rav4 (they say those are the cars men in my country give to their side-dishes as a sign of appreciation for their exceptional services in bed – services their official wives seem to suck at). Dixon the rascal is in for drama today. First he will be surprised to see me with Rita and then he just won't believe my Milly story.
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