Sunday morning at 5am, Kelvin burrowed his hand deep into his oversized coat and brought out the silky lingerie, savoring the familiar scent of hers – cocoa-scented cream and lilacs.
A few hours earlier he’d snuck into her apartment and stolen her underwear while she was away. The last few weeks had been a busy one for him, he had stalked her and discovered quite a lot about her. Her favorite restaurant, her social media accounts, her workplace, her clique of friends, and where she hid the key to her apartment – underneath the flower pot beside her door.
He poured a mug of coffee and carried it into the bedroom to stand at his window overlooking her apartment. He could make out two figures from her kitchen window, just beside the pantry. Her visitor was a familiar face to him, he had come across his picture earlier while skimming through her Facebook page and knew his details; Mark, a real estate agent, barely over thirty, a one-time divorcee. Was he just a friend? Or was he someone that meant more to her?
He seethed with anger as he visibly saw them hug briefly. He stood six feet tall, with an eagle’s wings etched deep around his eyes. He could no longer lay claim to the boyish brown hair that was once visible. Today, his curly hair was salted through with gray at just a few years over thirty.
He and Tara had carried on a “sneaking around” love affair, until a few months ago. It was then that he told her he’d fallen in love and wanted her to openly share his life with him.
She had tearfully explained that marriage to him was impossible. Her views on religion were different from his; she was a staunch Catholic and he was an atheist. She explained that she indeed loved him dearly, but she loved God more. She could not succumb to the thought of marrying an unbeliever, she had pointed out.
Avoiding his eyes, she’d told him she had shunned just the kind of consuming relationship he wanted because it might alter her single-minded focus on God.
He had gone on his knees and pleaded but to no avail. Angrily, he’d insulted her and driven off in a fury and left her on the sidewalk in front of her apartment building.
Still standing at his window, he placed the mug on a saucer and folded his arms. His eyes remained fixated on Tara’s visitor as they left the apartment.
A week later, he had trailed Tara’s visitor from a nearby cafeteria to his house. Upstairs in his sixth-floor loft, Mark had wearily thrown his clothes on the floor where he also littered his brown, leather shoes, and had gone to have his bath.
Kelvin waltzed in, on tiptoes, and moved to his closet which was adjacent to his bathroom. He could not tell exactly what he was hoping to find but his desperation had led him into a stranger’s home. He was still shuffling through his belongings when he came across a picture of Tara in a small golden locket. He felt his heart sink into his stomach. So he was right all along. She had moved on and found someone else to replace him, the thought of her in someone else’s arms vexed him.
Suddenly, he heard feet scuffle from the bathroom and he hurriedly closed the closet in a bid to leave, he accidentally hit his leg on a nearby stool and Mark rushed out and met him.
Mark’s eyes lit up angrily, “Who are you and how did you get in?”
He remained speechless as he glanced momentarily at the door as though wanting to make a run for it. Mark moved quickly to grab his phone on the bed and Kelvin lurched forward vigorously and severed a blow to his head. He began to bang his head furiously on the wooden edge of the bed and stopped when he noticed he was unconscious.
He looked at his blood-stained hands and a pang of guilt overwhelmed him. What had driven him to do something so awful? He was simply a man that fell in love and wanted to protect that love.
This monster was not him, he ascertained within himself.
He loved Tara and if he could not have her, no one else would.
© Uju Omeh