IT HAD TO BE DONE

“So where do we go from here?”

“I for one, either hell or heaven. Do you think I am fit enough for heaven?”

“No, but again you still have a chance. You do know all you have to do is ask for His forgiveness. Just humble yourself before him. He is always waiting for you to reach out so that He can pull you out of the muck.”

“Really, anyway I will hold onto the superstition that whoever kills you carries your sins thereby cleansing you. In this case it is you.”

“Haha…our childhood was fun. I don’t see that helping you in anyway. May be you’re too afraid to let go of the guilty as it makes you feel more human. You shouldn’t be doing that, you are not supposed to do that. It is beyond your capability to be human.”

“I guess I no longer need to be human, that feeling of weakness, hopelessness and the idea of lack of control. I am on my way to be something else. Why did it have to be you?”

“That is a choice you made long ago. It is something you’ve been driving towards for a long time. You cannot run away from fate. Once it shines its fangs on you, you brace yourself for the turbulent attack.”

“Why didn’t you point me to a different direction? Why did you let me sink while holding your hand?”

“I grew tired of your bullshit. I grew tired of your view on life, it was myopic. Maybe even bigger than us but still not of our time, but I grew tired. I had to grow up for the both of us.”

“Still Caleb, you could have helped. You ought to have done something.”

“Hey man it was your life and you chose what to do with it. I was just there as an escort, as I escorted you towards your greatness or your death. So here we are.”

Collins took in a deep breath before shifting his weight to the right. He had a knife stuck on the left of his bowels like a pig. Blood was clotting after oozing for quite a while. His breathes were growing shorter by the minute. He smiled at Caleb who looked at him in disgust.

Caleb sat by Collins under the shed of the tree. The river was flowed slowly and silently as if in deep thoughts. He understood that this was going to be a pre-meditated murder and as Collins took his finals breathes, he saw his exit of the free world. Caleb smiled at the birds in the air, at the quiet river and looked at the stupid face of his best friend. Indeed he was dying.

“Collins, why did you do it? Why did you choose to disrespect me in such a manner?”

“I didn’t choose to disrespect you, you had lost her the moment you married her. I just showed you the inevitable. Talking of the inevitable, am I dying for real?”

“Yes you are. It is over. You could have informed me, talked to me…mundu khu mundu.”

“I tried that. I did. All you saw ahead of you was marriage, settling down and the constant poor flow of life as you waited for death. I asked you to build an empire as early as we could but you saw her at the corner of your eyes and as we moved along she became the bigger picture. Now look at the picture stained by bastards and adultery. This is not what you planned for. The unexpected becomes beautiful at its own time.”

“Remember college. Good old days. The first times you had firsts of many. You were the king of the world, strutting around campus like the owner. Sleeping around like you had a target to achieve. I thought you had to abandon that as we went out of college. “

“I was planning to drop all that but habits built are destroyed and not abandoned. I failed to destroy mine. Don’t mind me asking, how did you manage to stay faithful to her? How?”

“I did it as a punishment for everything I had done back then.”

“Hahaha, do you know how foolish you sound? You should have kept the jig up. She did you dirty but it is over now.”

“Yeah it is. I have no other way, I have no options. It had to go this way. One thing though, we failed to honor the bro code, “brothers before sisters.” Here you are bleeding out like a stuck pig. Forgive my anger.”

“Was that anger or a preconceived plan. You brought me here and had to do what you did. I forgive you for everything, maybe you were acting out of anger. The pain of seeing what you loved getting used and dumped. I can’t way I am sorry because I am a victim here.”

“You’re the victim? You, who in my absence decided to bring a child forth into a world you won’t father it. The victim is the little man growing in her womb right now. We, Mary, you and I are drivers of misfortunes. We chose this path and we deserve what’s coming no matter the consequence. So chin up and smile, embrace the pain and hug the sweetness as it lasts.”

“I am willing to accept my mistakes if you are willing to accept that she was not meant for you.”

“What you did was not a mistake, it is not entirely unheard of but it should have happened so close to home. It should not have been you but hey, you did it anyway.”

“Yeah but still you have to accept that she was a burden in the making.”

“So they day she came home after a long weekend away at work during the bomb threat at their work place, she was with you, right?”

“I guess so. When was that?”

“And you just go on with the insults. She came home smelling unusually homely. I guess that was the day she conceived the child. Life is beautiful.”

“Indeed. If I was to live, at some point the truth was to come out or maybe you could just have hated the child from the word go, or just divorced her with no apparent reason. After all you were never meant to be.”

“Talking of what’s to be, are you okay going to hell. We both know, adultery is a sin and in the few minutes you left on this wretched earth you’re wasting explaining to me how Mary was not my best suit.”

“She had to go and the best way to show you was well, to show you.”

“Listening to you talk, I can still feel the greatness I felt as I inserted the knife into your bowels, it was a relief. You are so wrong about her. If I divorced her knowing very well you were the father, would you’ve taken the responsibility or were to watch the child grow from a far the way He does with human, watch him suffer. Don’t you see you ruined everything, a perfect good marriage, a perfect friendship? How many years have you thrown down the drain?”

“Around 10 or fifteen, I cannot count in my current state. Are you going to be okay Caleb?”

“Yes, I am human and that comes with adaptability. I have to be malleable to fit in the current situation.”

“So when are you calling the police or you ought to walk to the police station.”

“I already did. I am sorry it had to come down to this. Whatever is on the other side, embrace it maybe this time you can reincarnate into something worthwhile or maybe stay a ghost and haunt my sleepless nights. Whatever you do, be the very best. Don’t carry the pain along with you. Let go of the guilty. Remember it was I who chose to gut you open.”

“You resorted to advice a dying man. If I become a ghost then we’re going to be unstoppable. Be patient and watch me work. Reincarnation is something I don’t believe in. It is just a way of humans coping with death. All I am toying around is the idea of a God or a Satan. “

“All the best my friend, it was real while it lasted. I may take care of your kid when I come out or maybe he will be taking care of me. Life has funny ways. See you some other time Collins, if we ever meet don’t pass me by…be it heaven, earth or hell. Let’s ride it out once again.”

“I won’t my friend. I can see it coming. They say while dying your whole life flushes in front of you. All I can see is a vast emptiness. A white emptiness. Is this a manifestation of my brain or is death this awkward? I am dying Caleb. This is all on you.”

Caleb allowed him to lean closer on his shoulder as he tried to soothe him.

“Let go of the worries, embrace the unknown change. It may be worthwhile.”

Police sirens could be heard from a far. An ambulance was on the way too. Caleb stood up, laid his head on the trunk of the tree. He listened for his pulse on the neck. As weak as it was, Collins was a fighter. His breathes were now shorter and shallower. He had to gasp for air.

Caleb looked at his hands shook his head, he shouted, “Mary, look at what you made me do.”

The cars came in hot raising dusts as the Police officers jumped out before they were packed. This was his day. He was going to get an escort.

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