Bez caught his wife’s eyes in the mirror. She was giving him one of those dirty looks he knew all too well. This is new, he thought, checking out the skin-colored lingerie Dera had on. She really meant him this morning. And damn, was she looking like a 7-course dinner. The smell of her perfume drifted to his nose, causing a certain physical reaction in a certain part of his body. Now, all he could think of was the last chapter of the Kama sutra they…
“Bezaleel!” Dera called, bringing back his attention.
“Did you say something?” he asked, swallowing as he turned to her. There was a caught.
She inched closer to him and with her knee, brushed him ‘accidentally’ across his groin. He flinched as she broke into a seductive smile.
“As I was saying…” She had her hand on his chest now. “…I just need two minutes of your time.” This was followed by the batting of her lashes.
He grabbed her tenderly below the waist. “Now, I’m offended. Are you calling me an indomie man?”
She threw her head back and laughed. “Well, we can make it five then.”
His meeting with the board members was in an hour. It would be a miracle if the gods of Lagos smiled down at him and let him escape the usual morning traffic. Right now, he was doing all he could in his resolve not to tear away the piece of fabric separating him from paradise. This one na better punishment o.
“See Dera, tell the people that sent you, you did not meet me at home. I gotta go.” He kissed her and picked up his leather bag from the bed. He looked at her from head to toe and licked his lips. “I want to meet you in that when I get back.”
“We’ll see about that,” Dera teased.
“I hate you. And Happy 2nd Anniversary.”
“I hate you too,” She blew him a kiss as he grabbed his car keys and rushed out.
The house was filled with the aroma of assorted spices. Dera had taken her time to prepare a special dish for their anniversary dinner. Being a chef at one of the best restaurants in the city did have its perks. Bez had an upcoming pot-belly to show as proof. Speaking of Bez, he should be down already. He never took this long in the bath except for when….She smiled and brushed the thought away.
“Honey, dinner is served!” she called out, placing the ice bucket on the table. Rose champagne for two. It was going to be a great night!
Bu then, there was no response from her sweet lover. Was he up to something? With a scowl on her face, she took the stairs two at a time.
“Bez?” she called out as she stepped into their room. He was nowhere in sight. The bathroom door was partly open. From where she stood, there was no sign of him in there either.
“Are we playing hide-and-seek now, Mr B?”
She turned to leave when a faint trickle of water drew her attention. He didn’t turn off the tap properly again. It seemed this old habit of his would never die. And she was tired of nagging him about it anyways.
“Bez! Quit playing and come out of the shadows!” she called out as she approached the bathroom.
“This was when you found him right?”
“Yes,” she sniffed. “My husband was submerged in the bathtub. He loves to hold his breath under water so I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Then I…” Her throat clogged up as she tried to fight back the tears. “…I touched his nose and…and he wouldn’t respond.”
In that split second, she knew something was wrong. She pulled him out of the tub and tried to perform quick CPR on him. When he wouldn’t respond, she called the emergency line and went back to trying to resuscitate him. Five minutes in, she knew he was gone. But still, she hoped. She carried him to their bed, stripped and lay on top of him. Maybe my body heat would warm him back to life, she thought. This was where the emergency responders found her some thirty minutes later. It took six hands to pry her away from her husband’s cold body.
They hit her with questions and she answered them in a haze. They suspected he had a heart attack while he was in the bath tub and may have drowned in the process. But that was difficult to accept. Bez had perfect health. He had no underlying disease and went for full body check-ups quarterly. As they took him away, she broke into heavy sobs. She was ready to wake up now as this had to be a nightmare.
Only that it wasn’t. Bez was gone for real. Investigations were carried and his death was ruled as accidental, absolving her of all suspicions. But…she was guilty. She did kill her husband. Earlier that day, she had gotten sleeping pills and transferred them to one of the empty containers that used to house his painkillers. He must have taken those by accident before getting into the tub, slept off and then slipped under the water. An oversight on her side that had cost her greatly. She took solace in the fact that he didn’t get to experience the horrors of drowning.
At his funeral, she wore under a trench coat the same lingerie she had worn on the morning of his death. She could picture him smiling down at her in approval.
“This wasn’t how we planned it, Bez. But thank you for leaving a piece of you behind.” She placed a hand over her belly, kissed his headstone and turned to leave.