by Nwosu Ikenna Godfrey
He wanted to hold her hand and stroke her hair; kiss her fore head and tell her everything will be fine. That he’d be right there when she comes out. But he knew everything was far from fine. An arrest was minutes away from him, and death sentence was weeks away. Perhaps she knew too… her face was folding its fineness into creases of worry and her eyes were losing their glow to a cloud of tears that gathered. This was the last time he would see her.
He started to speak, but stopped. He started again but his mouth shut against the words.
‘Take care’, he finally managed and turned away immediately. He would not witness the tear drop from her eyes.
Take care. It sounded like goodbye. She was wheeled away into the theatre.
* * *
All Joe wanted at the supermarket was the money. But then, Mary had the most beautiful smile to give – a smile that was gospel. When Joe got to the counter and was about pulling a gun to rob the supermarket and Mary flashed him a smile, the memory of the crime he came to commit was instantly erased. He just stared and in those five seconds of awe, her face filled his memory. When Mary asked what he wanted, he just turned and left as swiftly as her smile came, leaving a stunned look on her face. Joe was feeling like he had been shocked as he was leaving. But he did come back after a couple of days, drawn more by attraction than by courage, and asked her out.
Mary was slender. Her lips, a luscious pink, were ever ready to part in a smile. Her large saucer eyes gave a glow to her face. Mary was an angel, Joe’s angel.
That, the day Mary smiled at him, was the last time Joe ever carried a gun, until illness struck and she needed a heart transplant. There was no available donor; there was no money. But a surgery could be done to keep her heart valves working for a while.
Joe swore to get her to undergo the surgery. So, he picked up his gun again. He went back to the supermarket, and with no Mary to stun him out of his mission, he pulled off the robbery. But he got unlucky. One of the customers in the supermarket tried to play hero as he was about to leave. And in the scuffle between them for the gun, a shot rang out, and the man dropped dead. Joe had to get to the hospital before the police got to him.
* * *
“You know this surgery is just to buy her a few weeks. She still needs that transplant.” The doctor made to go into the theatre.
“You will do the transplant now doctor.”
He spun around. “I told you we don’t have a donor yet.”
“No way I’m going to kill you man. I know this is difficult for…”
“Look, our blood types match and there’s a good chance I’ll be a good match right? Joe interrupted him.
“Still I’m not taking a heart from a living healthy person.”
“I’m giving you no other choice doctor.” And then he pulled a gun and shot himself on the neck.
By the time the police tracked him to the hospital, Joe’s heart was beating in Mary’s chest.