The Next Day, Amanda’s House.
David was seated at the dining table while Amanda prepared breakfast. She had been throwing him curious looks all morning but chose to focus on her task while she waited patiently for him to bring it up but he remained quiet.
“Here you go.” She said, placing the dish on the table before him.
He glanced up and smiled briefly in acknowledgement but he looked absentminded. Amanda watched silently as he dug into his meal, when he was halfway through she decided to bring the matter up herself.
“David, what’s going on?” She asked.
He paused with his spoon midway. “I can’t tell you right now.”
If he had looked up at that moment, he would have noticed the glint of frustration in her eyes. She was quickly becoming tired of being left in the dark about many things. At first, she’d tried to trust him and ignore how he always kept things to himself but she also wanted that transparency between them.
“What’s the matter with you? You never tell me anything, you’re always secretive yet you expect me to keep putting up with this?” Her voice rose with each sentence.
“You don’t need to know everything!”
There was a brief flash of hurt in her eyes and she sucked in a quick breath before turning away. He’d never raised his voice at her before. She got up without a word and left the table. Her temper was one thing she had tried hard to keep restrained and God help him if she should release it. David looked up as she left the table. He knew he should go after her but he didn’t want the episode to repeat himself. He sighed and pushed the empty plate away. She didn’t deserve his outburst after what she did for him the previous night. Minutes later, he went to search for her hoping she had calmed down.
“Amanda?” He called as he knocked on her room door but there was no response.
He pushed the door open and found the room empty but something caught his glance just before he left. It was the pistol she kept. He’d never seen it before and it surprised him. He had no idea she could even use one. His attention was drawn by movement somewhere in the house. He wasn’t sure what to do. Pretend he hadn’t seen the gun or ask what it was doing there. He heard voices; Amanda was talking to someone at the front door.
“He’s not here.”
David strained to hear what she was saying. Something about the tone of her voice alerted him.
“We don’t believe you.” A deep male voice answered, he had a thick Igbo accent. “Allow us to check.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t let you into my-”
She didn’t get to finish her sentence as she was forcefully shoved out of the way.
“You can’t just barge into my house!” Amanda followed after them.
David glanced at the pistol and made a quick decision. He knew very well how to use one ever since he was 14 and his dad had taught him. He picked it up and tucked it away before he quietly headed out of the room. When he got to the sitting room, he saw a huge man ransacking the room while Amanda was being monitored by another. Amanda’s gaze clashed with his and she widened her eyes in alarm, giving him a subtle warning but he crept even closer. Amanda shut her eyes in defeat as if she knew nothing good could come next.
“Whoever you are, please, leave her out of this. She has nothing to do with this.” David said, trying to reason with him.
“And if I don’t want to? It’s you we’re here for but the girl is a nice addition.” The smile he gave was enough to make Amanda feel sick to her stomach. Her hand slipped down to her back unnoticed but she remembered she had removed her gun after she changed out of her nightclothes.
“Don’t you dare touch her.” David said in a low tone.
“Or what will you do… boy?” The Igbo man asked.
The two men stared at each other for a few tense seconds before they sprang into action. David dove at him, fists first until he realised that his opponent was more of the machine type of guy. He ducked quickly for cover when the first spray of bullets was released. Amanda’s dining table was now nothing but shards of glass. David’s heart thumped rapidly in shock. That was too close. He only hoped Amanda’s gun was well-loaded because now, he had no choice but to use it.
Moments later, Amanda stared at the lifeless body lying on her living room floor. The man’s partner fled, threatening consequences of his colleague’s death. David had returned her gun and it seemed all his energy had been drained. He just killed a man.
“I don’t understand why he ran, I’m sure he was armed too.” Amanda frowned.
“He probably has to make some reports, these men were sent but I don’t know who sent them.” David said.
It couldn’t have been the Police. They would have made themselves known as officers. Amanda looked around her damaged living room, her eyes kept going back to the dead body.
“I can’t just leave him there.”
David nodded. “I know, I’ll think of something maybe I’ll-”
“No.” Amanda cut him off. “Your work here is done. I don’t know what on earth you’re involved in David and frankly, at this point, I don’t care to know. I want you out of my house.”
David felt his heart drop to his feet. “Amanda, please.”
“Now. Get out now!”
He stared at her not quite believing what was happening. He’d always thought it would be his financial state or maybe his chronic habit of tardiness that could possibly come between them. Or that one day she would wake up and realise that he didn’t belong in her social circle. But never did it cross his mind that she could think he was dangerous. He himself never imagined that he could be in such a position, being chased like a criminal. Or that he would kill a man.
“I don’t have anyone else Amanda.” He whispered.
“I’m sorry, David.” She whispered too, placing the gun in his hands. “I think you need to protect yourself out there from whoever’s looking for you. I have a couple of reloads to give you but that’s all.”
She returned with the reloads and gave them to him.
“So, this is it? It’s goodbye?” David said, looking down at the pistol in his hands. He couldn’t bring himself to look up just yet.
He sighed and raised his head. He felt the urge to hug her at least one last time but he knew it would only make it more painful for him. With a slight nod, he gathered his things together and walked out the door, feeling like he just cut out a piece of him and dumped it behind before he left.
The last place David wanted to be was back at his apartment which he knew was the first place anyone looking for him would go to and he was right. His place was a mess. Right at the door, he knew something was wrong. The front door lock was broken, making his key useless. He stepped in cautiously and looked around. The table was kicked over with one of the legs broken. The TV was broken and several other appliances lay in random places. He closed his eyes and sighed, he hoped those responsible for this wouldn’t be back too soon. He remembered the man’s threat at Amanda’s house and felt furious with himself. What if someone more dangerous went looking for him at her place? It would be his fault. No wonder she’d gotten rid of him. He kicked over a wooden stool out of anger and pain. His life was even more of a mess. He made his way in to his bedroom to see that it had suffered the same fate. As he was putting a few things back in order, he noticed a note on his bed.
You can’t run too far David.
He tore the note up into pieces before throwing it out the window since there was no trash can in sight but some movement outside caught his attention. Someone was moving around in the yard next to his. He frowned and looked closer, he was not aware that he had a new neighbour. He guessed life moved on without him, there were new additions to the neighbourhood. It had been empty ever since real estate agents termed it ‘bad luck’ seeing as the two previous owners had kept it only for a very short period of time after buying it. The first had a heart attack two weeks after moving in and the second had a fatal auto-crash that took his family with him.
A feminine voice floated over to him and it sounded like she was having an amusing conversation on the phone from the way she laughed in between bits of conversation. She kept walking back and forth, her shoes crumpling fallen leaves on the ground. How he wished he could live carefree like before, he almost envied this stranger. He shut his window and turned his attention back to the room and how to sort out the mess that was now his life.