Visit our Bookstore
Home | Fiction | Nonfiction | Novels | |
Innisfree Poetry | Enskyment Journal | International | FACEBOOK | Poetry Scams | Stars & Squadrons | Newsletter


Done for Love

a short story by Fungai James Tichawangana



Click here to send comments

Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques

"I love you!" She screamed struggling with the policemen who were holding her back. "I know you didn't do it. I know you'll be coming back soon. Remember, the wedding is in two weeks time. I'll be waiting for you..."

I felt the cold steel of the handcuffs round my wrists and heard them snapped shut. I didn’t look at them.

I was led out of the house towards the police car. On hearing the noise and seeing the police car some of the neighbours had gathered round the yard, and they stared on, chattering excitedly, seemingly delighted by the goings on. I wished they would mind their own business.

"Tell them it's not true!" Sharai was still screaming, "tell them you're innocent. I know you are. It can't be true."

I gave her a soulful look and didn't say anything. "No!" She cried out. "No! You did not do it. It can't be true!..."

I stopped. " Please." I said to the policeman leading me. "May I hug my fiancée Just one last time. Please." He looked at me, then at Sharai, who was following behind us, still being held back by two policemen and crying loudly.

I held out my hands so that he could unlock the handcuffs. He hesitated for a moment then he took out the keys and- freed me from the chains.

I turned and with outstretched arms and tears in my eyes walked towards the woman I loved. The policemen holding her let her go and she closed the distance between us in a fraction of a second.

I held her tighter than I had ever done before. Deep within my gut I felt a pain churn up. It wasn't the sharp pain of a stomach cramp or the dull spread out pain of indigestion or the acid pain of heartburn- but it was there. It rose up to my chest and I felt as if my heart was being twisted and torn apart.

My mind flashed back to my trip to Masvingo earlier that year. I remembered a knife. An argument. A sharp glinting knife. A fight. A knife covered in blood. A body on the floor. Flight.

Thomas. I had killed him. We had swindled some money, lots of it, from the company he worked for and he wanted a bigger share than mine since, as he said, the part that he played of writing the cheques to me was riskier than my part of just cashing them. You see, I did the accounts for their company and he paid me more than was really due to me as long as I gave him a cut- so I did. I needed the money. I was sick and tired of working for virtually nothing; of promising my fiancée things I could not buy her; of my dreams, and hers, being broken over and over again because ends were not meeting- so I did it, with Thomas' help. I made the money I had for all my life only dreamt of and I made Sharai happy.

I started doing things, you know, making progress in life. I managed to raise the deposit for a house and we got one. Sharai was ecstatic. We got furniture and stuff like that. Sharai was over the moon. It made me feel warm inside to see her like that. So I told Thomas I needed more money. He wrote bigger cheques to me, but demanded a bigger cut. I said no. We had an argument at his house. I was drunk. It happened. Sharai didn't know about it. You don't go telling your wife-to-be that you're a murderer- at least I didn't.

I heard her sob and came back to the present. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her, but I decided not to- it would only be a painful memory for her after I had gone.

As we embraced each other the chattering from the crowd stopped. There was total silence except for our sobs. For a moment I felt as if the whole world was crying with us. Then it was over.

One of the policemen said: "Okay, that's enough." I let go of Sharai but she kept on clutching onto me and had to be pulled away. "Good bye Sharai." I said, and closing my eyes, let them put the handcuffs back on.

"I love you Kudzai." She cried. "

"I-" I started to speak but didn't complete the sentence. Not daring to look at Sharai again, I let them push me into the car.

As the police car drove down the driveway, I caught one last sight of Sharai rolling on the ground and crying herself hoarse. I felt that pain again, and, lowering my head onto my lap, I cried like a little child.

I knew I would not be coming back.


Widget is loading comments...