WHO AM I? – EPISODE 8
© KingWax Oluwadamilare
Fredrick took the wheels after the constant glitches of my gory past kept on flooding my eyes with tears, causing me to veer off the road two more times. Fredrick spoke softly and it didn’t took long before I confided in him. We made many stops along the highway and made love in the car, on its trunk, twice as much we stopped.
He didn’t flinch or appeared to be surprised when I told him about the millions in the truck. He only smiled and made me understand that he’s handled more than that until he had to flee for his life.
I was asleep by the time we arrived at a highway motel. I woke up the next morning in fear. I was Unclad. The realization of being duped dawned on me when I found myself, alone in the bed. I knew it was a mistake to have told him about the money- now, he has absconded with it, I thought to myself.
I clamped my head in my hands and the coldness of my scalp against my hands reminded me of my wig. I quickly scanned the room, left and right and I found it, carefully hanged on the coat hanger. My clothes too. I just hoped he paid for the room before he left, lest I be harassed by the receptionist. I didn’t want to cry- my body ached and I was very weak. My mind went back to the cash I stashed inside the cistern at Henry’s house, but I was sure I would be caught, if I made such a move.
Slowly, I dragged myself from the bed. No sooner had my feet touched the ground, I slumped on the polished floor. The realisation of being an idiot made me cry. Now, I had to look for a way to escape into Mexico and start a life in penury.
‘My bag, my bag.’ I mustered the strength to talk.
At the thought of ‘penury’, I realised that I had some fifteen thousand dollars that I put in my handbag, to cater for my spending while I move, so I won’t be opening the suitcase. Strength came to me, suddenly, and I ran around the room, looking for my bag.
‘Thank God!’ I whispered as I found it, tucked right inside the wardrobe.
I opened it immediately and there was my gun, my Jewries, my hydrofluoric jar, my phone (switched off), three hundred dollars and…
‘My car key!’ I screamed as I pulled that out.
The fifteen thousand, careful wrapped in a brown envelope, was gone. But a quick calculation of my Jewries could fetch me at least, seven thousand dollars, if punked. I wrapped myself in the bathroom robe and ran downstairs to where my car was parked. I disarmed the car alarm as I approached it and opened the trunk with the car key. My heart beat very fast as I approached the opened trunk. I was sure I wouldn’t find it there- Fredrick would have stolen it, but I proceeded anyways. I moved slowly but steadily until I realised that I was fooling myself- the trunk was empty.
I kicked the car tyre in anger and went back upstairs. Wearing a frown of anger and rage, with a broken toenail and a throbbing toe, I started to pack my bags. When I was done, I grabbed my car keys and made to exit the room. As I held on to the door latch, I took one last glance around the room. My eyes caught my reflection from the window glass. I released the latch and moved towards it to have a proper look at my sorry self. I took my time to cry.
‘Cindy, you are a fool.’ I told myself. ‘Lucy was more committed and wouldn’t have been such an idiot!’
I braced up myself and left the room. As I approached the reception, I was prepared to be confronted.
‘Ma’am.’ The receptionist said as I approached her.
‘I know.’ I quickly said. ‘How much is your money?’
‘Two hundred dollars, Ma’am. The guy said you would pay.’
‘That’s what I intended to do.’ I managed a smile and counted the money and paid without a tip.
‘Thank you Ma’am.’ He smiled. ‘Do come next time.’
‘Oh… I will.’ I lied.
I was eager to leave, so I walked faster. I got to my car and started the engine. As I shifted the gear, there was a knock on my window. I couldn’t believe who was smiling so broadly at through the glass. I rolled down the window.
‘Going without me?’ Fredrick beamed.
My heart leaped. I was frozen. Some minutes ago, I felt I would shoot him on sight, but now, I wasn’t sure.
‘I go get us some breakfast.’ He raised the paper bag to my face. ‘Some groceries for us.’ He smiled.
I was still silent, thinking this was a dream.
‘And hey,’ he took out the brown envelop that contains my fifteen thousand dollars from his back pocket and showed it to me, ‘I took this along. You were dead asleep and I didn’t want those thieving hotel attendants sneak in and steal your money. I left so!e three humdreds dollars in case i was late and you needed to order something while I was gone- did you see it?’
I just froze there like a statue, didn’t know what to say. My hands on the gear stick, my eyes stuck on him.
‘Cindy, what happened?’
‘Fredrick…’ I muttered, close to tears.
‘What? You coming or what?’ He smiled and started going back to the hotel.
I killed the engine and quickly followed him. I wiped my tears and was ashamed of myself. Then I remembered my suitcase- he must have it too.
I entered the room just when he was unpacking the food.
‘Fredrick, you could have woken me.’
‘No, I couldn’t. I just wanted you to sleep. You were so tired.’
I went to him and held him with all the love within me. ‘Thank you.’ I said.
‘You were gonna travel without your money?’ He smiled and turned to face me.
‘My money? Oh…I thought it was in my trunk.’ I lied.
‘Seriously?’ He said, softly.
He pushed me away, gently and moved over to the bedside. He raised the bed cover and crawled underneath, only to pull out my suitcase. I felt like a fool.
‘I know what you thought I did, but I am not like that, okay?’
‘Don’t worry about it, Cindy, I would have done the same.’ He stopped me before I explained nothing. ‘You want to count the money?’ He smiled.
I was weak. I started to cry. Fredrick came to me, held me close and assured me that everything would be fine. I had no hair, so, he was content with running his hands through my scalp!
…To be continued
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