NEed YOu LIke A HEart NEeds a BEat.

Suzanne descends the stairs quietly, and when she got to the end, her face slowly lit up in anger. She couldn’t stand the sight of them cuddling and laughing in her sitting room. 

She hissed softly and walked to the veranda; she turned off the generator’s fuel tank and tiptoed up, back to her room. 

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry about this,” Jack apologized to Tonia as he reached for his phone and turned on the torchlight. 

She chuckled, “It’s all right there’s no reason to apologize. It’s late and I should be leaving,” she stated. 

“I’m very certain that I filled the tank with fuel. I don’t know what might have gone wrong. Are you sure you don’t want me to check it out?” He persuaded. 

“Don’t worry. You can do that later. I’m leaving now,” she said smiling. 

“Fine. Then I should see you off,” he said. 

She picked up her handbag and made for the door while he opened it for her to go through. 

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning,” he told her and she placed a kiss on his lips. 

“Suzanne, Suzanne,” Suzanne heard her name and she slowly arouses from her sleep. 

“Yes, what is it?” Can’t you see it’s midnight?” She asked him yawning. 

“Of course I can,” he replied. 

She scornfully looked at him. 

“Did you tamper with the generator when Tonia was here?” He asked her. 

She hisses and tried to go back to sleep. 

“I’m talking to you,” he yelled and dragged the duvet from her. 

Suzanne sits up, “I did, so?” 

He chuckled, “You’ve gone totally crazy.”

Surprised, she looked at him. 

“Listen to me, Suzanne, this should be the last time you’d ever try something like this again. I’m warning you and I wouldn’t do it again. The earlier you understand there is nothing between us anymore the better for you and me. Good night,” Jack said and stormed out of the room before she even got the chance to speak. 

Tears rolled down her cheeks, she snorted and laid down.

She drove into the restaurant’s parking lot, got down and goes into the restaurant. She walked over to the table. 

“So you guys are having breakfast without me?” She startled them with her question. “Tonia, weren’t you just in my house yesterday and this morning you guys are having breakfast without me.” 

“Jeez, Suzanne are you okay? Did you get any sleep last night?” Jack asked as he tried to get up to touch her. 

“You sit down there and don’t stand up,” Suzanne ordered. 

“Jack, is she okay?” Tonia asked. 

Suzanne giggled, “How can I be okay after you spoke to me like that last night?  Like you’ve been doing to me for the past twelve days.  Can anyone get any rest after hearing that?” Suzanne asked Jack. 

“Jack if she wants to have breakfast with us, then she should go ahead and sit because if she continues like this, I’ll be forced to leave,” Tonia verbalised. 

“You’re not going anywhere you bitch,” Suzanne said as she pulled out a gun from behind and points it at them. 

“Oh my God,” Tonia screamed in fear. 

“Suzanne, what are you doing?” Jack asked. 

“If you do not put down that phone, you’re going to be the first person I kill. Abi, you dey craze. I said put the phone down,” Suzanne yelled at the cashier who gently put the phone down with shaky hands. 

“Good girl. Now if any of you makes any stupid move like that again, I’ll kill you,” she threatened. 

All the employees nodded in fear. To Suzanne’s advantage, the customers in the building were only but a few. 

“Jack, why are you making me do this? This is not me.”

“Then put the gun down,” Jack told her. 

“Shut up,” Suzanne thundered. She exhaled, “This wasn’t what you promised me. You told me it was going to be us forever. No one else.”

Tonia looks at them in amazement. “What’s going on here?” She asked. 

“I warned you. I told you that this wouldn’t turn out great but you insisted. You told me you’d always love and care for me. That you’d protect me no matter the cost,” tears streamed down her cheeks as she spoke. 

“Jack you told me that I was going to be your everything,” she smiles. “And now you’re with her and you just expect to pretend like there was never an “us”? You changed so much and I don’t like it.” 

“Suzanne, I grew up this past month,” Jack told her. 

“But you grew up a long time ago. You’re twenty-seven or am I mistaken?” She asked him. 

“No, but I grew up and I have come to understand so many things that I didn’t before. You have to calm down so I can explain to you, my sunshine.” 

“Don’t call me that. I’m not your sunshine, I became your darkness the day you fell in love with her,” Suzanne vocalised and they both turned to look at Tonia. 

“Wait a second. If I’m hearing all these correctly, Jack you’ve been having an affair with your little sister?” Tonia asked as she came to the realisation of what was happening. “Oh my God. What a day!”

Suzanne snorted, “You know what? I’m going to end this.” 

“No, you won’t. We can talk this over. Please let’s talk this over,” Jack begged her. 

Suzanne smiled, moved over to him but Jack leaned backwards. 

“I can’t live a life without you being in it with me. I love you so I’m going to give you what you want because I want you to be happy,” she told him as she leaned on him and stared deep into his teary eyes. 

The gun went off and Tonia screamed. 

Suzanne expired as she fell but Jack caught her, “No, you can’t do this to me.”

“I can,” she said with difficulty as she touched his face with her blood-stained hands. 

“No. You are my happiness. I was doing this to keep you safe from the abomination I lured you into. I am not and was never in love with Tonia, I only wanted to move on from what we created to protect you. You’re my light. Suzanne, why did you do this to me?” Jack confessed amidst tears. 

Suzanne smiled whilst her hands slowly dropped from his face. 

“Nooooooo,” Jack screamed as she died in his hands. His worst fear had come to reality and he couldn’t save his only sister. What would life have in store for him? What was he without Suzanne, his best friend? And most importantly, what would he tell his parents? 

Tonia was torn between feeling pity and disgust as she left the siblings and the terrified employees, who were making calls already, in the building. 

Shift

I tried to control my emotions as she, with nimble fingers poured tea into our cups and served our toast. My solicitude over her grew as I couldn’t digest all I had just seen minutes ago.


Two hours ago, I had seen my mother dressed to leave the house and it was surprising because I and my siblings never get to know she left the house because she never told us whenever she wanted to go out even if it was to get something for the house and for that reason we never knew when she left the house. Ever since our father transited to the other side, we became a dysfunctional family.


Today I woke up early and was just in time to see her serve breakfast and leave almost immediately dressed for work and that surprised me. I could swear my mother rarely went out talk more of working and that always made me wonder how she had enough money to take care of us or go out to buy stuffs if at all she had the money.


“Maybe she wanted to do some shopping,” I said to myself and then I saw our cat run from the other side of the dining table to the kitchen. In a bid to play with it, I followed it to the kitchen and I was paralyzed by what I beheld.


It slowly transformed to my mother, pulled her hair back and tied it. She turned around to see if anyone was looking, and when she was convinced no one was looking, she smiled satisfyingly. As she walked toward the kitchen door, I found the bodily capacity to flee and hide under the dining table. She walked to my elder sister’s room to wake her up and immediately I ran upstairs to pretend I was still sleeping. After some minutes she came to me and my brother’s room and as usual she woke us up sweetly like we were always woken up in the mornings. Now I understood why mum was sweet in the mornings and harsh in the evenings; even if we didn’t talk much, she tried to make us feel good in the morning. I pretended to sluggishly wake up.


“It’s time for breakfast sweeties. Wash your mouth and come down to have your breakfast,” she said smiling.


“Okay mum,” my younger brother said as he hurried to the bathroom to wash his mouth.


I didn’t get down from the bed and I could feel her stares piercing into my body so I looked at her.


“What are you waiting for, young man?” she asked me with a stern look.


I grudgingly got down from the bed and walked to the bathroom. I opened the door to peep as she left the room.


“Clement, aren’t you going to eat your breakfast?” She or should I say Cat mum asked me.


“I will,” I said forcing a smile.

With my shaky hands and a mind cognizant of what was happening, I picked the cup and brought it to my lips but I couldn’t drink out of it.


I looked up from the cup to look at my bother and sister’s face, oblivious of what was happening, they cheerfully ate their breakfast. I was torn between telling them what I had seen and keeping quiet because I deemed our cat was a sweeter mum.