February is special indeed… missed the first part? Just click HERE
Earlier today I got a call. From Anita. I was so shocked I could barely speak.
Hi Pinky. It could only have been her, that was the pet name she called me since the painting incident all those years ago.
This meant big brother in Japanese…from the manga cartoons we watched all those years ago. I am sure she began her conversation in this way so I’d have no doubt she was actually the one.
I racked my brain wondering if I was dreaming. A call from ‘family’ just wasn’t on the table anymore. I was the cursed one, robber of life, the black sheep, the..
Bro are you there? Please don’t hang up.
I guess you have been fine. Silence. Errmm. Pause. I just want to speak to you.
I didn’t have anything to say. I wasn’t sure what emotions I was dealing with at that moment – anger, joy, self-pity, relief?
I know nothing I say makes sense, but I am really sorry. I love you Vince and if it’s not too much to ask, I want to come and see you today.
Anita was a well-paid super model so I was sure she didn’t need my money. What else did I have to offer her? Why did she want to see me?
Are you there Vince?
Are your parents dead or something?
Our parents you mean?
No please. Today.
Truth is I had nothing against her, well maybe just a little. But she was still my baby sister and I couldn’t refuse.
You still have my address?
Sure do. Thank you.
You still like strawberry flavored ice-cream with noreos?
Growing up had not taken that away from me. I smiled.
She laughed then. I had missed the sound of that.
Will be there by 8pm then. I love you bro. Goodbye.
And she was gone.
I spent the greater part of the day wondering why she called out of the blue and what she really wanted. On one hand, I really didn’t care, I was sincerely glad at the chance to see her again. On the other hand, my gut feeling kept telling me something was wrong. Well, this much was obvious. I’d just have to wait to find out.
I hit the gym in the afternoon and took a long walk back to while away the time. My apartment block housed six flats, two on each floor. It was a dull coloured but neat place, which suited me perfectly. I don’t like flashy colours and I had a thing against disorder and dirt. It was a big thing. I also loved the location… it was at the very end of the estate and was relatively away from the noise and activities. It suited me perfectly.
Close to my apartment block was this narrow alley which I used all the time. Typically, it was isolated and residents were generally advised against passing there at night because of gangs and like-minded idiots who could cause trouble. We’d hear of the occasional mugging or even stabbing, and just shrug thinking thank god it wasn’t me.
I didn’t mind them anyway, and passed there as often as I could. Maybe I wanted trouble to find me or vice versa. I had encountered some bad elements there twice, but both times they were harassing some other poor soul and I minded my business and walked past. I knew one or two of them, but I had my code – mind your business and no one gets hurt. Somehow on each of these occasions, they didn’t bother me – maybe I was too ugly to have any worth to them, it mattered not to me.
Back home, I did all I can to make the time move faster. Cooked. Read a book. Did some work. Nothing worked, the time kept moving at a stubborn crawl towards 8pm. When the damn hour finally came, I had showered and was dressed in my plain black shirt and black slacks. Food and drinks were set and I sat by the window, anxious for the knock on the door.
8:15. 8:25. 8:26. 8:31.
I called then. But her phone was switched off. I was trained not to worry, but I couldn’t stop my heart from increasing its pace.
Anything could have happened. Traffic. Work. Boyfriend. Or she may have just changed her mind entirely.
I moved more out of instincts than the fear of the unknown. I ran down the fleet of stairs and walked outside the building. The streets were dimly lit but I could still make out everything. Nobody was about (as usual), so I was pretty much alone.
I walked around a bit and paused. Closing my eyes to calm my nerves. Nothing went wrong. She changed her mind because she didn’t think it was worth it. Didn’t think I was worth it.
I turned to go back in and it was then I saw it.
There across the road, was a splash of pink on the ground. I crossed in a beat to take a closer look.
I followed the trail and my heart stopped when I saw where it ended. My blood froze.