Flash fiction

FATE OF KATHY

The loud voices from the other side of the house woke Kathy from sleep. It was another round of argument and name calling. Her parents were at it again. She had hoped that they will one day resolve whatever the clash of interest was but it didn’t look like that day will ever come. She covered her ears with her hands as the voices rose the more, trying however she could to wedge the words from stabbing her as she could literarily feel the words pierce through her system.

It was barely dawn when she changed into her gym outfit, grabbed her headset and made for her usual early morning jogging. It was the way she knew how to keep herself away from the tension that has long built up at home. The only way she could clear her head. Situations like this made her wish she was still in the University. How she missed hostel life now, even though she wasn’t a fan of it while it lasted. To her, anything was better than staying at home. The most annoying part was the fact that her parents have never told her exactly what the problem was.

Kathy strolled into the house lost in thoughts, the sweet Melody from Michael Jackson’s hit “you are not alone” caressing her ears with much inuendo. She was halfway up the stairs when she heard the shrill cry of her mum. She dragged the headset off her head with immediate effect and rushed down the stairs with so much energy for someone who had just drained herself working out. She traced the voice to the kitchen but it was no longer her mum crying, it was the other way round: her mum lay motionless on the floor while tears poured down her dad’s eyes.

Kathy was shocked. She stood staring, her mouth ajar with her two palms cupping a greater part of its opening. She stared from her dad to her mum, back to her dad. As she was finally able to focus on the blood that oozed out of her mother’s head, tears surged down her cheeks. Her mother’s cracked skull stared back at her.

It took her a few minutes to realize she actually had nothing to say to her dad. Nothing! Nothing, yet. She turned with immediate effect, rushed to her room, packed a few of her things and rushed out of the house. She was long gone before her dad realized that he was home alone.

Kathy made her way to the nearest bus stop and joined the first bus at sight. She was fighting to keep her sanity intact. She had her headset on with lucky Dube’s Crazy world blaring at the highest volume. She wanted to escape. She craved for the foul engrave of the memory to dabble away.

It took the shred voice of the bus driver to bring Kathy back to the present. He had obviously repeated himself over and over again and was beginning to loose his cool. The reason was evident: Kathy looked around but there was no one else in the bus. It was at that moment that she realized that she has no idea where she was.

“We have reached out last bus stop madam, please come down” he said again, staring at Kathy as though if she spent another minute in his bus she would contaminate it.

“Please where are we?” Kathy asked as she made her way down.

The driver gave her an even more horrifying look before muttering “Akwa-Ibom” state. “You have not paid me my money o” he added, his voice high this time.

Kathy stared at him for a while. She felt lost and confused. She couldn’t understand how she could move from Anambra state to Akwa-Ibom state within such a short period. She had been so lost in thoughts during the drive that she didn’t notice how long it had taken. Scribbling some naira notes from her purse, she handed them over to the driver and made her way down the street.

It was her first time in Uyo. She had always known it to be not just the capital of Akwa-Ibom but also a nice place to reside. As she kept walking, all she saw was the dark cloud hovering over her. Everywhere she looked, there it was. Even with the street lights radiating from all angles, she still couldn’t appreciate the beauty of the town. She neither knew anyone in Uyo nor had any idea where she was headed. She couldn’t remember passing any Hotel nor did she know the nearest place to get one.

It was the most grueling moment of her life. She could feel her world collapsing right before her. A grain of tear found its way down her cheeks and she wiped it off, determined to encapsulate the tears and mask her grief.

The sight of a restaurant was like a grey of Hope in her misery packed journey. She barely touched the food she was served when the news from the television stole what was left of her appetite.

“The sudden death of Mrs Regina Offordile, the wife of the millionaire business tycon, Chief Uzodinma Offordile who was found dead in her kitchen earlier in the day in a suspected home accident is under investigation. Her husband, Chief Offordile, the only witness to the scene is too traumatized to speak to us. The ware abouts of Kathy, their only child is unknown. A picture of her will be made available soon. Anyone who helps us locate her will be handsomely rewarded. Once again, we sympathize with the family.”

Kathy kept staring at the television. She couldn’t believe her ears. How could her dad do this to them, how could he do this to her? Even though she wasn’t there when the accident happened, she knew her dad propelled it. How dare he pretend to know nothing, making it look like she was on the run out of guilt? Now the police was looking for her like she was the culprit. In a matter of days now, her picture will be all over the place and her dad would have just succeeded in stealing away her freedom, the only thing she had left!