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Dream Murder 2

He could not tell when he got home, but he must have as he he remembered waking up in the middle of the night to pee. His wife slept peacefully beside him. There was no point telling her that just thinking of her had caused him to faint in the office. He shrugged and still sleepy he went back to bed and tried to pull the cover let over him. When he heard the deep sarcastic laughter, he sat up in sheer terror.
There was no one in the room yet he was prepared to swear that a male voice had just laughed in the room. He rubbed his eyes and snapped on the bedside lamp. The room was peaceful, his wife Kike seemed to sleeping peacefully curled up facing him in her sleep.. He stared at the face and wondered why he was so frightened of her. She is just as frightened as I am But he still turned away and resolutely closed his eyes. Maybe I really should think of going to church more often he concluded.
Seemed to have quietened down for a few days and Bode felt peace return to his heart. He even took Kike out on a lunch date about a week later and Arike walked up to their table. Bode was pleased to see her and happily introduced Kike to Arike. Kike invited her to join their table and all three shared lunch making jokes and generally had a good time.
Two days later, Arike paid a surprise call at his office and they chatted.
“You look radiant” Bode observed as he gave Arike a smiling once over.They had always being friends and colleagues. Arike was promoted to be the business manger of their bank and had been transferred to Kaduna when the bank merged with another bank. Kike used to tease that Arike was a better financial expert than him and he would laugh and shrug. Arike got married six months after he did to Kole his best friend who worked for Fortune Oil and gas.
“How is my best friend”, Bode asked now
“Fine I think”
“Don’t you know”?
“I left him in Port Harcourt two weeks ago. remember?”
“Yikes, he is back in that hell hole of kidnappers”?
“It is the oil city and money literally flows on the streets”, Arike laughed
“No wonder you look so wonderful, you have been spending my friend’s money”
Arike laughed and pulled her chair close, “I have a question for you”
“Yeah?”
“What is wrong with Kike”?
Bode stared and clenched his hands under the table, but his expression was still genial
“Wrong? How?”
“Something is wrong and I can sense it”.
Bode looked out the window to gain time for his emotions to stay under control then looked at Arike shaking his head, “I really have no idea what you are talking about. What do you mean”?
Arike gave him a long look and sighed, “well something doesn’t seem right but I can’t put a finger on it either. I just feel something”.
Bode smiled and pretended to be very amused, “You women are always searching for things that does not exist except in your pretty heads”.
Arike laughed. “I know one thing that exist anyway. Kole and I are expecting a baby”.
“Wow!! Congratulations! When?”
“Hey whoa hold your horses, haven’t told your friend yet, just coming from the doctor for the confirmation. Think you can come over to dinner tomorrow night. I am telling him tonight. As my best friend wanted to let you know besides I can’t keep such news to myself. You are going to be godfather by the way”.
Bode laughed and opened his drawer, then closed it again, “You are not going to be drinking alcohol now are you?”
Arike protested laughing, “Bode!, the pregnancy is only six weeks old. I don’t feel any symptoms nor anything. A glass of wine would be harmless”.
They shared a glass and chatted over clients, office and Arike left.
Bode drove home in that happy exhilarated mood,instinctively gave his wife a hug and a kiss.
Kike gave him a look ,sniffed and wrinkled her brows.
“I can smell pregnancy around, have you been talking with a pregnant client Bode? The smell of the foetus is strong on you”.
They both stared at each other in mutual horror as Bode slowly collapsed in a chair shivering with dread.

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Dream Murder

He did not want to go home. He stared at the table in front of him as the shadows gathered, the hustle of the city slowing down as the night hawkers set up. He sat there as the sounds around him changed in tones and volumes. Why bother to go home he asked himself, should he maybe go to the police?, and tell them what? He shuddered and slouched deeper into his chair. At least he should make some attempt to put on the light. He could always go see the pastor, he told himself, or well one of these miracle churches where they would promise him release… from? his wife?

No pastor it is not about divorce. She is giving me everything I ask for. Good food every time I ask for it . Right figure, you know the type of figure that seemed to have- no don’t even think about it.

His skin crawled and he knew he was afraid. Should he tell his mum? ‘I told you she was the wrong color, didn’t I?’ , his mother would scream at him and then suggest they go ask the ancient one, or she would suggest a village wife as antidote.
What would he tell the police? They had seen worse maybe. So his story wouldn’t be anything new— except maybe raise a laugh.

Was he really frightened? He really didn’t believe that, did he? But then, did he dare to say it to her. He also felt jealous. She had described the affair so well that he was not so sure he should not actually head for the divorce courts. He should give Ade a call. He imagined Ade’s smile and he cringed, for he also remembered that his friend had been skeptical when he had come in excited that he was going to marry Kike.

He tried to remember that party Kike told him about. She had acted like a normal lady. You know quiet, respectable, married lady. As always, she had not said much either, just kept to her corner and stayed close to him. What was the conversation at that party? Not much-er, okay, yes, he remembered. Jide had come over. Did he notice anything in the handshake he gave his wife? Jide, bland Jide, who they all teased because he never seemed interested in women. He looked and acted as if he was happily married.
Jide wasn’t his particular friend so he never really could say much about him.
It was always the odd hello and sometimes they politely asked after each other’s spouses. He tried to remember if he had ever introduced his wife or if the pair exchanged pleasantries. Kike always seemed to have a frown on her face anyway.
He had no way of knowing the man had the hots for his wife. Thinking of him as his wife’s dream lover sent cold chills down his spine…the thought nagged at him…, her dream lover? I’m going crazy. But what the hell was the man doing in the dreams of his my wife?

That is right, he mocked himself. Was he to report to the police that his wife was having an affair with a man in her dreams?

He was not going to give the same reason to Ade, that he wanted to divorce his wife because she had a lover in her dreams and had been dumb enough to tell him.
He shifted in the chair, knowing he was afraid to admit to what had frightened him was not the explicit love making she had described but what had happened. It was not the dream lover but his wife. He was afraid to go home because his wife. He searched in the drawer for the bottle of whisky and took a shot. He did not feel better. You know give a man a knock on his head and the man wakes up with a headache, or carry out a threat to stick a knife up his entrails and the fellow winds up dead the next morning. What happens if I dream of her or she comes to me too in a dream? He shuddered. I mean if I am going to die I had better do it as a man. Had she marked him too? How do you pacify a witch? He heard that such people do not like eating bitter meat and he shuddered.
Am I married to a witch? Go home to your loving wife he told himself and the phone rang with the special ringtone he had allocated to his wife. He jerked as if he had been stung and stared at the phone not answering.

“I hit him in the head with a stick and he called me the next day to say he had a headache. Why is he having the same dream as me, and why is he having a headache when I only hit him in the dream?” his wife wailed plaintively

He had stared at her as she asked that question, her eyes wide and worried, tears filling them as she gave the final sequel to the story. He could not ask her if she had enjoyed the lovemaking in the dream, or if Jide was better than him. He swore at himself in self pity.

“I warned him not to bother me again because next time I wouldn’t just hit him with a stick I would come with a knife and stick it up and kill him,’ were her final words and he remembered how he had backed away. His tentative phone call to Jide, how his throat went dry when it was picked up by a stranger who said Jide was found dead on his bed with blood on his lips. He came to work in a daze.

The phone rang again, it was his wife calling, the janitor knocked on the door as he crashed to the floor.

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