It’s been a hectic week but for once it didn’t really matter because everyone was looking at the perfect holiday – the Christmas weekend. Four non-working days is any employee’s dream and it certainly held true for Mark. He’d been swamped all week and had only just broken out from under the pile of work he’d been buried under. Still, he was one of the last to leave the office. Being the reliable leader he is, he prefers having so little to carry into the next weekend and this is not the weekend where he’ll want to take work home.
He finally left the office at 8:00 in the evening. When he got into the car he whipped out his phone to call his wife, Nonye. It’s been a while he’s checked his brother and he preferred he did so on his way home. Celebrating Christmas together would be awkward at the moment and he didn’t want to unsettle him yet. He’d put Nonye on speed dial so he only need to long-press one number.
“Ode, let your in-laws hear o. Be calling your husband homie. Rubbish wife”
“Hahaha, I’ll tell them I married some playful dude that likes to act like an uptight idiot at times.”
“Touché. Smartass oshi. Just wanted to tell you I’ll be a bit late tonight. I’m just leaving the office but I would be stopping over at Jerry’s place. It’s been a while since I visited and I’m feeling guilty, especially considering that I’ve only been over there twice, and he was discharged three months ago.”
“Okay dear. Send him my regards. It’s a good thing we’re not working tomorrow so take your time. I’ll wait up.
Mark drove over to Jerry’s place feeling burdened. They only had each other since their parents died years ago and had done pretty well. Jerry wasn’t married yet. His special case of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia ensured that the girls disappeared whenever he had a breakdown. The last one was particularly worse because the voices in his head convinced him to kill himself by speeding into the fuel pump at a filling station. It was the worst he’s ever had – an episode that kept him in the asylum for one year.
Once he found a suitable parking place in the estate Jerry lived, he got out of his car, walked to his brother’s apartment and knocked. Jerry opened the door from the other side and his surprise at seeing Mark wasn’t hidden.
“Whoa, look what the cat dragged down here,” he said as he moved to the side, allowing Mark to go in.
“Fool, which cat? You and your silly oyinbo writer expressions,” Mark said with a smirk.
“I feel sorry for you man, being a management consultant has made you a boorish snob. There’s beer in the fridge though. Want one?”
“Sure. So how has it been since I last visited?”
“You mean with my condition? It’s been great actually; I think I’ve finally broken through it this time around. I even met a girl but she’s based in Kenya,” Jerry tossed Mark his phone so his brother could see the girl’s picture.
“I’m travelling tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with her. Trust me, I wouldn’t have told you if you didn’t show up but as usual, you always know when something’s up. Warlock oshi.”
“I know bro, I’m awesome like that.”
An hour after the regular brotherly banter and catching up, Mark hit the road again and was already three minutes away when his phone rang.
“Hey dumbass, you forgot something – don’t let Nonye curse me because I didn’t send her gift.”
“Dang it! Good thing I’m not far away, no thanks you your yeye road. I’m coming.”
Nonye heard her husband park on the road side instead of his usual spot on their small driveway. He came in, kissed her on the lips, and handed over Jerry’s gift. He wasn’t saying much so she felt his encounter with Jerry had dampened his mood a bit. He didn’t finish dinner and went to bed soon after.
Was he just having one of those sharp mood swings he usually had? Sometimes she wondered who had the bouts of madness, her husband or Jerry. Or maybe he was just slightly tipsy and didn’t want to get her upset about him having too much to drink.
She worried too much.
Soon after, she worried that the car wasn’t safe where he parked. She’d parked there once only to find a broken tail light the next morning. Nonye got up, picked the keys and got out to park properly. As she climbed the speedbump in front of their driveway, the boot bounced open.
“This blasted boot. Told Jerry to fix it a week ago o!”
When she was properly parked, she went over to close it and felt something wet as she lifted the boot. She switched on the flashlight on her phone to look.
Nonye now had a reason to be really worried. Did he hit someone? Maybe that was why he was acting strange. But she was curious and her worst fears became real when she opened the trunk and found a body inside, face down.
She covered her mouth in fear, thinking her husband actually ran someone over. Holding the phone between her teeth, she turned the body over and the phone clattered to the ground when she saw Jerry’s lifeless eyes staring right at her. She tried to scream but it got caught in her throat. Who was in bed with her that night?
“Now I wish you hadn’t found that. You should have just left the car where I parked it.”
Nonye shrieked and jumped. She stared at the man with the voice exactly like Mark’s. That was when she realised she was staring at Jerry.
Mark’s identical twin.
“A few hours ago I used a cat expression on Mark. Now I’ve got another one that’s more popular. You’re one curious lady Nonye and you do know what they say about curiosity and cats yeah?”
That was when Nonye saw the silver glint of the kitchen knife Jerry was holding in the light of the moon.