The skies growled and darkened, the clouds choked each other as they became swollen and struggled for space, it appeared as if the heavens were about to burst, A forlorn figure huddled to himself and pulled his trench coat tighter around him, Olami hurried on along the graveled pathway looking over his shoulder once in a while because he could not get rid of a tingling, eerie feeling that someone or something was moving stealthily after him.
‘Why, this night of all nights are the buses late and the huge delay on all routes ‘, he thought. All the same he hurried on wishing to enter the safety of his home as quickly as possible.
He could see the tall green building far ahead, this building (ugly and grotesque) stands out on the corner of his street and he had used it for years as a landmark to describe the way to his home for friends and family alike, he’d never been so happy to see it because it meant that he was almost home.
“Oh, pardon me!” His heart stopped several times over as he stepped aside for the man he bumped into while he was looking back for the umpteenth time checking the ‘thing’ TRAILING him. Did I see a shadow dive into that alleyway just now or is my mind playing tricks on me, he thought as he quickened his footsteps.
Finally home sweet home, he brought out his bunch of keys to open the door into the building, out of the blue a cold clammy hand swiped his neck as it settled on his shoulder. Olami froze and thought he’d died in that instance until he heard a raspy voice … “Help! H-e-l-p me”, the bony fingers dug into his skin as it grabbed his shoulder and held on tight. He slowly turned around and pulled up the now collapsing man, he was so frail and underweight; Olami pulled him up to himself and held on before he fell to the ground and at the same instance he noticed dark stains on his clothes and on the doorstep underneath their feet… these turned out to be blood.
The man was sleeping so peacefully on his sofa just like a baby, Olami sat opposite him and studied his features in detail, he must be in his thirties, his eyes were slits finely etched on his pasty looking, high-cheeked face. His nose was small but very well structured. He was of average height with very long legs, and then he noticed this swelling on his right foot, ‘what could that be’, he thought.
Olami’s thoughts once again fleeting, dwelled on the events of the night and how it was that this stranger came to be in this position on his sofa… he tried to call out for help as he held on to the now half conscious man on his doorstep, he made to call for help, the police or an ambulance in case someone was after him but the man summoned up all the strength within him and screamed out, “NO!”. Please don’t call anyone one, take me in and give me some water and a place to lie down my aching joints pleaded the man.
He then carried him inside and practically dragged him up the stairs to the first floor where his apartment is situated.
After slurping warm water from the cup that was brought to him, the man flopped back on the sofa, thanking Olami once again for cleaning him up wounds and all and taking him in despite the fact that he did not know him before now.
“There are a few questions” Olami said, “there are things I need to know” he asked him what the matter was and how it is that he got into such a state that looked as if it almost took his life. The now relaxed man moved his eyes swiftly all around as if inspecting the room, his right hand akimbo on his raised hip then his gaze finally settled on the man seated before him, his helper and ‘saviour’. He began his story.