The night was dark and the deem streetlights seemed to have no effect on the unapologetic darkness of the night.

Step by step they walked. One, unaware of the others. Six feet’s walking but only 2 were heard. ‘Jack’ he heard. Tacitly, he spun around but there was no one. A cat ran across the road and bashed into a trash can. Shocked, he moved towards the trash can, gently tilted it downwards and a rat jumped out and unto his face.

For a moment, he was traumatized. And so, when later he got back to his apartment and turned on his TV, he called up Eri, “i felt someone was following behind me this evening. Was it you?” He asked because it was her thing to tease him and trouble him but when she said “no, i haven’t left home since i came back from work. Are you okay?” he knew she wasn’t the one. Maybe he was hallucinating, maybe just maybe it could be his anxiety from work; those sad moments when his boss had told him he was being lazy at work and couldn’t keep up. Yet, he felt something wasn’t right. There was a shadow hiding behind the curtain. He threw himself off his sit

and rushed over. But there was nothing behind the curtain. He turned off the television and for a moment he missed his wife; that Lady who caused him nothing but pain. Once, before she finally filled for a divorce, she had thrown a glass of wine at him and smashed their wedding photos on the floor complaining he was lazy and a poor man. Indeed, he was. At least his boss had just confirmed also that he was lazy. He pulled off his faded jeans and threw his almost tattered shirt on the bed and then, collapsed unto it. If at all his wife were to be here, she could have nagged at him, telling him how disorganised he was. He didn’t want to miss her neither did he want to pick up her call but he did and when she said “something is wrong and…” he threw the phone on the bed, the call still on and his wife still speaking over the phone. Why was she calling him now?

She was still on the phone when he rushed over to the kitchen and began slicing some yams to fry. He hadn’t put the phone on speaker, he didn’t want to hear her nagging but he wanted to know she was at least talking to him. So he placed the phone at a corner and continued chopping some yams. Then a sudden sound startled him. It was the sound of a gun. So he rushed over to the sitting room and peeped through the window. There was no one there.

He began fidgeting. He rushed back to the kitchen to dial the emergency line. It was then he noticed she had cut the call. He felt bad; he shouldn’t have ignored her that way. Yet, he remained troubled; the fear that he had heard a gun shot and he was the only person living in the house. He dialed the emergency line but it was unreachable. He called Eri “babe…I heard a gunshot in my compound. I think someone is following me” “hold on babe. I will be there soon” she said and ended the call. He could trust her words. He could trust her that she would be there with him. Although he doubted he loved her as much as she did because there was a part of him still yearning for his ex wife, a part of him still gushing about her bright eyes and her pearl shape with her charisma like that of a goddess. He knew from the first moment he had set his eyes on her, his ex wife at a festival at Olay street that she was the one. And when she agreed to be with him forever, he thought it will last but no one can tell.

But Eri was the type of girl that would go for what she wanted and he was a lonely man rejected by his wife barely 3 years after their marriage. And Eri was chasing him and by the law of nature, he was going to accept to escape depression. And so he did. He would flaunt her each time he came across his ex wife at the mall. Once, he introduced eri to his ex wife to be provocative. Although he didn’t succeed because she snubbed, he felt an awkward ease; at least she knew he had moved on. That notwithstanding, he felt as though Eri was a kind girl, the girl every man would want to have. The girl that brought peace into a mans life. She was always yielding to everything he said. And if in fact, conflict reared its ugly head, she would be the one to call to fix it. She was always just a call away. And so, when she arrived at the door, earlier than expected;10 minutes post call, she rushed into his embrace, asking him if he was alright, if anything had happened to him as though he looked like he was hurt. This was something his wife wouldn’t do. She wouldn’t have arrived as quickly as Eri did. She wasn’t outwardly caring but if ever she guessed he was hurt, she would nag and then cornily look for possible bruises on his body. Later, she would call 2 doctors to do a thorough check while frowning her face like she did not care. Indeed, he preferred that to Eri’s outward show. Maybe he was not used to it yet. If ever he and his ex wife had an argument, he would purposely lose because if it ended in his favour, there was going to be a whole week of anger tantrums which sometimes he provoked

Provoking her in her spirit of rage was what he engaged in each time he won debates. Then when she begins her teary screams from frustration, he would hug her lightly till she began to laugh. He knew quite well her anger wasn’t to be taken so seriously; at least not the anger periods she had after debates. But Eri was different, he felt as though she was hiding her true self. She was like a perfect woman and he couldn’t understand her.

So when Eri sat back on his chair, asking him about the gunshot, he thought about how he had ignored his ex wife’s call.

That same night, as he walked Eri back to her car, assuring her he was going to be fine, he saw a figure submerged by the dark night, it was as if it was sitting and laying its head on his car door. So he pointed his phone touch at the darkened space and behold, the figure was his ex wife. He shouted and rushed to his wife. He held her in his arms in disbelief. Never did he imagine that his beautiful love would be in his arms, lifeless. He wailed and in his minds eye were memories of their good old days. Her phone was laying on the floor when Eri reached out to pick it but he pulled it out of her hands. It was then he realised the phone has been smashed and he caught sight of a bullet on her neck. It hit him in momentum that the bullet he had heard was not an attack on him but on her

For 2 hours, he sat, staring at his ex wife. He should have done more for her. He should have defeated his laziness but he didn’t and now he will never see her again. But he will cherish their memories. Eri had stayed back comforting him but had left after some hours. He was still at the same spot, bereft of emotions when a sudden memory stifled him; it was the memory from the night. He had remembered someone had called out to him in the dark when he was returning from work. Those footsteps…maybe they were hers or maybe not, he thought. But when he recollected the voice calling ‘jack’ he knew it was her. Why was she following him? What was she even doing here when the bullet hit her? Why was she at his house? He questioned himself. Then he struggled to pull her off the ground. There was something on her palms and he read “ERI” in capitals. What did she mean by writing that? He thought and then, in a sprint with his newly awakened vision, he called Eri,it was unreachable. It was her, she was the reason why his wife had followed him. Maybe she wanted to tell him something about Eri. What was that? He thought.

The next day, he called Eri once more and a woman picked “hello do you know this person, she left her phone on the chair at Mariana airport sir. Mind getting it for her?”

It was then he realised she had fled the city. Now his questions had been answered. Indeed, she killed his wife, why else did she show up at his door almost immediately after the call?He wished he had picked the call. He wished he had listened to what she was trying to say. Maybe she was calling him to save her.

When he sat back at the sit at Mariana police station, he was speechless listening to the police man report Eri’s case “she had kidnapped your ex wife 2 weeks after your divorce. Indeed she was stalking both you and your wife all this time and when she discovered you both had divorced, she jumped in. I think she felt you still cared for your wife but still she is a stalker, a dangerous one. Her case has been raised by many. I guess your wife escaped and wanted to inform you so she decided to seize her again. Maybe those were the feet’s you were hearing behind you that night. She might have seized her again at that moment. That’s why she called out to you. Maybe your wife escaped again and ran to your house. That was when she might have made a call to you but like you said..”

” I didn’t pick” he completed. Perharps, that was when Eri shot her and the call ended. He swore he wouldn’t leg Eri go. He wouldn’t be lazy this time. She was going to pay but the question remains, where is ERI?


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