Salim’s burial was a week after his death and it was attended by a few close family and friends; his class mates wanted to attend but his mother refused. She was not ready to deal with too many people. Biola was all too present throughout the entire process; she helped them with all the planning especially taking Mrs Adamu’s calls and taking condolence messages on her behalf.
They were glad to have her around but Amin wondered how she was dealing with Salim’s death because she showed no sign of sorrow and was able to take care of things as if she was paid to do so. Biola was shattered but she didn’t face it, she refused to believe what had happened and pretended that Salim was a complete stranger but her emotions would bubble up in time.
“Amin!” Mrs Adamu called her son who rushed into the kitchen “yes mummy” he answered “she is still sitting there, go and check on her” Mrs Adamu had just finished doing the dishes for the fifth time. Doing dishes helped relieve the despair within her; but after doing a set of dishes she would soon feel the avalanche of pain the moment she was done. So she will do the dishes again.
She had been in the kitchen for almost five hours and those hours she watched Biola who sat on the bench close the water; she didn’t tell them she was in the neighbourhood neither did she move an inch from the chair. Sometimes she acted hysterically, cried and threw stones viciously at birds close to the clouds as if they were responsible for Salim’s death and Mrs. Adamu watched her carefully through her kitchen window.
“Today is the fifth day she has come to sit there for hours… go and make sure she hasn’t gone mad” Mrs Adamu put all the freshly washed plates back into the sink and began washing them again. Amin did care about Biola and how crushed she was but looking at his mother rewash plates every day for the amount of time Biola sat on the bench outside made him confuse.
Who was he supposed to check on? His mother or Biola? He was reluctant to leave her alone in the house “go! go! go!” she yelled at him and banged the kitchen door in his face almost slamming his finger in it.
It was almost 9 pm and completely dark, the full moon made the sea look like great waves of crude oil; Amin approached Biola slowly planning to be quick about whatever his mother sent him to do. When he got to her, she looked completely normal borderline joyous but as they talked he gradually realized that Biola blamed herself for everything that had happened to Salim
“He came to see you that night?” Amin felt a surprising feeling of jealousy grab him, he had a feeling that Salim had a crush on Biola but he had no idea that his brother went for what he desired; he felt admiration for Salim as he had not been able to even give Biola the pearl necklace he bought for her months ago
“It’s not your fault… if he did not come to see you, he would have gone somewhere else, you know Salim… he broke his curfew often” Amin spoke, his mind in different places at a time, when he gained his concentration Biola was already walking away then he caught up with her
“What are doing?” she asked him “walking you to your car” “I mean… what are you doing? Why did you come to me tonight?” “mum… I … I wanted to check on you and make sure you are fine” Biola laughed at his reply “your brother is dead and you are checking up on me… makes sense” “C’mon B … you sit there every day after work till it’s dark” Biola stopped abruptly “nobody has ever called me that… B” she smiled and shook her head as they approached the expressway
“Where’s your car?” Amin asked and she pointed at a black coupe with her driver sleeping in the driver’s seat, Amin wanted to ask who it was but before he could Biola hugged him and he held her stroking her hair “I can’t believe he is gone” she whispered and came out of his embrace, for a moment Amin was lost in her hazel eyes and almost kissed her but he stopped himself as always “I think I have too much control” he thought to himself as he watched her enter the car and drive away.
“Where are you coming from?” Umar was upset, Biola ignored him and headed to the bedroom but he got up and pulled her back “I am talking to you” “where do you think I am coming from?!” Biola replied. Umar had become more angry and bitter since Salim’s death, he thought Salim’s death would bring Biola closer to him but it did the opposite and Umar didn’t know what else to do than threaten to report Biola to the police about all the crimes they committed together “do you think I care? You can do whatever pleases you, besides who would believe a bloody drug addict like you” Biola’s words made Umar punch her in the mouth loosening one of her teeth
“Look at you stupid girl… that boy died a month ago but you are not satisfied, you want to kill his brother too” Umar’s devilish expression appeared “what is that supposed to mean?” Biola walked closer to him in order to hear his reply correctly. He went very close to her and whispered in her ear “I did it… I crushed him with my car, left him to bleed to death and I enjoyed every minute of it”
“You bastard!” Biola screamed and tried to hit him but his hands were already clenching her throat “congratulations Biola, you have finally driven me crazy” he said and tightened his grip; his tears fell on her face as she struggled for her life unsuccessfully. Just before the life in her was completely drained she stopped suddenly looking into his vacant eyes and used all the strength left in her to hit his testicles.
The pain pulled his hands from her neck immediately and before he could think about his next move Biola was hitting him continuously with an iron rod, she hit him until she opened the back of his skull. As he struggled for breath he reached for her feet but she stabbed it with the rod and left him on the floor to bleed to death just like he had done to Salim.
Biola felt nothing, no form of emotion only voices in her head that she could not comprehend like an empty dark well with crying bats; she showered, dried herself and laid on her bed “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” she said repeatedly until she fell asleep.