“Gbam Gbam!” the bang on the door came running into Christopher’s ears. He was busy preparing something to eat in the kitchen. The kitchen looked really amazing. Clean and in order. He walked to the door still having his apron tied around his waist.
“Who is there?” he asked, reaching for the knot before a response came. He was surprised to discover Susan standing at the door. For some seconds, they stared into each other’s faces.
“Can I come in?” Susan eventually broke the silence looking all serious. She pushed her way in before Christopher granted her the permission. She sat on one of the couches. It was her first time of stepping into Christopher’s house. But she just had to.
Christopher’s eyes followed her, still in shock to have her in his house when everywhere was already dark and quiet. He had never thought she would again trust him to risk such a visit. What she had come for, he would get to know after he had checked what was on fire.
“I need to go check what is on fire.” Christopher said excusing himself. He walked as fast as possible into the kitchen, leaving Susan who could not help but stare at the beautiful furniture and nice decorations Christopher had in his sitting room. The only thing that was missing was a perfect portrait of himself. Maybe he would do that after he had gotten wedded, she thought.
Christopher was in the kitchen smiling all to himself. His imaginations were given him a pleasant moment and though he was standing right in front of the food, it started burning. The smoke kicked him out of his imagination, triggered his hand to put out the fire from beneath the pot. While he was still trying to take care of the smoke, he heard Susan scream. He ran quickly to the sitting room, scared of the unknown.
Susan was standing on the couch, still screaming. She was not the courageous Susan who had entered the house a few minutes ago. Christopher stopped halfway, unsure of what to do next.
“What is the problem?” he questioned, refusing to move close. He was also scared.
“Snake. Snake.” Susan shouted, still jumping on the couch. Christopher looked in the direction of her gaze. What she called ‘snake’ was lying under the table.
“Oh… That is no snake.” Christopher said, beating his palm lightly against his head. He went to the object and picked it up. It was as good as dead but had the precise form of a snake.
Susan relaxed, perplexed about the whole drama. She was still seeing a motionless snake. “Did you say it is not a sake?” she asked, breathing heavily.
“It is a snake made of rubber.” he laughed, putting it around his neck. The broken plastic from her husband’s office flashed back in her mind.Albert was right to have instructed her against saying a thing to anyone, she thought.
“And where did you get that from?” she noticed she was starting to sound like she was interrogating him. She quickly asked that he threw it to her, smiling. She cannot afford to make any silly mistake, she thought, catching the snake. It looked real but felt fake. Any other person would have mistaken it for a real snake.
“Well, I just started learning how to design things like this for children. This is the first one I was able to design successfully.”
“Wow.” she acted along, still examining the toy in her hand. “But this is motionless, right?” she asked, trying to get more information. Christopher walked to the table, picked a remote, and pressed a button. The snake started to move immediately. Susan dropped it on the floor out of fear. She stared at it, as it exhibited the features of a real snake.
“Wow! You’re a genius.” she confessed. Christopher punched another button and the snake stopped moving.
“Can I get you something to eat?” he smiled, happy to be praised by Susan.
“And what are you cooking?”
“Yam and some vegetables.” he winked.
“Of course.” she smiled, following him with her eyes as he disappeared. She removed the plastic from her pocket immediately. It was not a coincidence, she thought. She must never let him suspect she knows anything. Christopher’s emerging footsteps brought her back into reality. She quickly kept the plastic in her pocket, smiling as he appeared with a tray of yam and vegetables in one hand and another in the other hand.
He placed one on a stool in front of Susan, and the other one was for himself.
“This food is delicious. You’re a great cook.” Susan smiled swallowing some of the yams.
“You can say that again.” Christopher smiled. “So, why are you here?” he asked.
“I was feeling lonely at my place, so I decided to come to have the company of a friend. Is that too much to ask for?”
“Of course not. You’re always welcome here.” Christopher replied, looking all happy. He couldn’t believe Susan would come visiting him, and she just called him a friend. Even the worms in his abdomen rejoiced with him.
“How is Dave doing? I had plenty of work to do today since I’ve added his job to mine. I couldn’t make it to the hospital this evening.”
“I was at the hospital but the doctor wouldn’t allow me to see him.” she explained.
“But why?” Christopher asked, looking disturbed
“He has gone crazier.” she lied, bursting into tears. Christopher quickly walked up to comfort her. “I must confess that I’m tired of this.” she said, still weeping in his arms.
“Things would sort themselves out.” Christopher assured her. He wiped her tears with his top.
“I must go now.” Susan tried to break free from his warm embrace, walking towards the door and shutting it behind her. A perfect time for her to escape.
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