Katie’s Heart

For seven months, eleven days and thirteen hours, all Stan had tried to do was revive a ghost town. Since the first day he stumbled upon it, he found himself drawn to its strange silence. It was covered in a maze of dilapidated buildings whose dusty doors continuously hinged in pain.

During the day it was battling to hold on to dreams and hopes that were slowly drowning into a twilight zone while at night it froze from its troubling past. Its history was marred by struggles against inequality. It was haunted by violence committed against it by those it trusted to lead it. Instead Stan saw a town that was beautiful, brave and broken all in one . That was six months ago.

Five months and two weeks ago, he then took it upon himself to learn the town’s once cherished love songs. He wanted to remind it of the warmth upon which the streets were founded upon but darkness was slowly settling in, such that it could not be revived by the technicolour beats of its own songs.

Four months and twenty-one days ago, he read it English stories that made it aww years ago in the magic of the words of its favorite authors yet it stared blankly at him with eyes full of empty sockets. Two months ago, he began first with lighting a candle in a glass and left a note inked in a quote to imbue her. She saw it and for the first time her face wore a faint smile. He did not stop there. He then bought a dozen of different colours of rose flowers and spread its petals. Her lips began to gain colour. He went ahead and bought a violin and played her his favorite song ‘Tell Me That You Love Me’ by Victoria Justice feat Leo Thomas III:

The situation turns around
Enough for me to figure out
That someone else has let you down
So many times I don’t know why

But I know we can make it as long as you say it

So tell me that you love me
Tell me that I take your breathe away
And maybe if you take one more
Then I’ll know for sure
That there’s nothing else left to say

One month nine days ago, he woke up to the sound of her voice that could get angels to open up the gates of heaven singing the other half of the song:
Waking up beside yourself
And what you feel inside
Is being shared with someone else
Nowhere to hide I don’t know why

But I know we can make it as long as you say it

So tell me that you love me
And tell me that I take your breathe away
And maybe if you take one more
Then I’ll know for sure
That there’s nothing else left to say
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thirteen hours ago, Stan could be seen leaving the boutique with bags in his hand. He whistled tunefully as he walked over to his car. His heart was in a euphoric state and his eyeballs shone whiter with joy. He was a knight in shining armour. He had stumbled upon a broken woman whose tears spoke of a dark, broken heart but now his efforts finally made a huge statement the way a tailor does with torn fabric and the woman of his dreams had agreed to go out with him on their first date.

He imagined how exquisite she would look when he went to pick her up. He had dreamt of this night and he wanted it to be perfect for her. So he left work early to do some shopping. He bought her a black lacy bare back chic couture dress, a pair of open nude stilettos, a silver embellished Loresho clutch bag and a matching set of emerald jewellery. He strolled his mind through plans for the evening.

They would be going for dinner at hotel, then he would drive her to the ferry to watch the fireworks at F2. Then they would go back to his place and have drinks as they sat in the balcony through the night cuddled in each others arms getting lost at the sight of the gazillion twinkling stars in the beautiful silent sky.

As he fastened his seat belt, he checked the time on his watch. Oh no he was running late! He hurriedly put in the keys and ignited his car speeding off down the road. After twenty minutes of driving up the slope, he was waved down by a patrol officer. It was when it dawned on him that he had been driving past the required speed. This day wasn’t going so well as he had pictured it in his mind. Fortunately, it was his buddy officer Bob.

“Hey, there my friend!” He greeted Bob in unusual excitement.

“Ah! Stan, so it’s you! That’s why the car seemed familiar. You’re in an unusual hurry today, and excitement too…”

“I have a date this evening buddy!”

“Wow! The damsel finally agreed. I’m happy for you my friend! I know you’re excited but drive carefully. Better late than sorry. ”

“Of course of course. Here have this for your usual cup of coffee. And say hi to Anna, ” Stan slipped two thousand Kenyan shilling notes into his friend’s hand and drove off. It is good to have such friends. No unnecessary troubles. He chuckled to himself as he was driving away. He turned the radio on to search for a radio station that was playing some lovey dovey music.

He got one and it was playing a song he knew so he hummed and sang along to it. “A place to crush I got you, no need to ask I got you…mmm…mmm…I’m proud to say I’ve got yooouuu!…” He got to the junction and made a turn for the left. The signal began to weaken so he took off his eyes on the road for one second to reach for the radio knob. It was only supposed to take a second but the next sound he heard was his car crushing into something and he came to a sudden halt. The screeching sound of the car’s tyres and a loud wailing sound from a passenger nearby began attracting the attention of onlookers nearby.

Out of fear he sped the car out of sight and when he was sure that no one was following him, he slowed down to think. His heart was beating fast and loud, he could almost hear the sound of the blood rushing through the veins of his heart. His hands were sweaty and his tummy rumbled endlessly.

He took a few seconds to calm down and he got thinking. Should he go back? Should he just drive on? Maybe he should turn and go back to the mess he had left behind. No, his woman was waiting for him at home. He did not want to ruin this evening. She would surely not understand.

After all these months of trying to win the one heart his heart yearned for, he surely couldn’t ruin this for her. He also thought how bad he must look to the people now gathered at the scene of the accident. He couldn’t go back otherwise people would lynch on him. He conscience would surely torment him but he could bear it for tonight. The next morning he would set out to search for the victim.

The signal came back. A new song was playing but it was foreign to him. “Is sorry always better? Sadly, no. Regret is like a boomerang. You never know when it will come back…” He switched off the radio. It had gotten him into enough mess already. He picked up his phone and called her. It rang but no answer then it went to voicemail. So he left a message. “Hey hun, I’m on way to your place, not quite far away. I’m sorry I got late running some last-minute errands but I’ll be there in a few. See you in five”.

Around fifteen minutes later, he finally got to her place. He quickly parked his car, took the shopping bags and rushed into the flat. When he reached to her unit, he put down the shopping bags and knocked on the door. He noticed his hands had gotten sweaty again and he reached for his handkerchief in the breast pocket of his shirt. When he didn’t find it he searched for it in his trousers’ pockets but it wasn’t there either. So he wiped his hands on his trousers.

He knocked again on her door but no one answered. He pushed it to see if she was inside and the door opened but when he entered and checked she was not in. Where could she have gone to? He was puzzled. He took a beer from the fridge and sat on the couch and turned on the television waiting for her to come back. He then slumped into a siesta with the remote in his hands.

He was woken by the ring of his phone. It was her. He quickly pressed the answer button and a foreign voice spoke, “Hello, I’m I asking to Stanley? ” the caller on the other end asked.

“Yes, it is he. Who is this?”

“I’m calling from Medina Care Hospital. The owner of this phone was brought to this hospital two hours ago. You were the last person to call her and that’s why I called you…”

“I’m on my way!”

Stan rushed out of the room to get to the hospital. He couldn’t drive so he took a taxi. By the time he arrived at the hospital, his thoughts were already driving him crazy with worry. He couldn’t bear it if anything happened to her. He was instructed to wait for the doctor who was in the theatre. Stan paced up and down praying that his girlfriend would be okay. One and a half hour later, the surgeon came out to meet him to give him the news.

The surgery was a success but she had been badly injured so she needed adequate rest. He had to wait for a few hours before he could be allowed to see her. He went to a nearby florist and bought her a bouquet of roses. She always loved roses. When he finally got to see her, they talked for a while before she asked him to go bring the dress he had bought her. Half an hour later he was back with the shopping bags. He took out the dress and showed her. On her face shone a bright wide smile although he could see that she was struggling owing to the pain she was in at the moment.

“It is beautiful, ” She said when he held it out. He took her hand and kissed her affectionately. Before he could ask her what had happened, she suddenly went into a shock and the doctor and nurses rushed in to stabilize her. Stanley was asked to wait outside. It took a few nurses to pull him out of the room.

He watched through the glass as she fought hard for her life and the sight broke him apart. He couldn’t watch this any longer so he walked away and waited for the doctor to come out. When they came out, he could tell from their faces the kind of news he was about to receive next.

“I don’t get it doc…what happened in the first place?” He managed to stammer out a few words.

“She was involved in a terrible accident. An overspeeding car hit her along Mbaraki road, a few metres just after the Mbaraki junction. She was brought in by some good Samaritans. They said the driver hit her and sped off. For him/her to leave her there just like that to die, the driver must be one heartless person.

If only he had stopped and brought her to the hospital, we would have been able to save her. They said that they couldn’t get a car to get her to hospital in time and…” the lady continued speaking and crying but the words became fainter and fainter to Stan’s ears.

“Did they see the type of car that hit her?”

“Not really. They said all they saw was its colour. It was grey silver in color …”

“Noooooo!! I am finished! Oh God no!! No! No! No!” He shouted at the top of his lungs as he slumped onto the ground, put his hands on top of his head and groaned in pain. He cursed himself. He cursed the day she met him. He cursed the day he was born. He cursed himself over and over again.

The nurses tried to offer him words of consolation but he didn’t deserve sympathy. He took a taxi back to her place and when he got back is when he saw the note on the table near the fridge. It read, Hey dear, gone to Mbaraki Junction pharmacy to get some drugs for my migraine. I’ll leave the door open in case you arrive before me. Can’t wait to see you. Take care. Love you, Katie.

Stanley pulled the chair beside the table and sat slowly. As he read and re-read the note again, all seven months, eleven days and thirteen hours flashed before his eyes. The first time he bumped into her at the petrol station. He was refilling his car and she was refilling her gas canister. He had offered her a ride but she had turned him down. Every word she had said to him since that first day down to when she smiled when she said the dress was beautiful.

Each teardrop from his eye fell with every moment he recalled about her. After the last teardrop, a darkness began settling inside him. He had brought Katie’s heart back to life only to take it away. His eyes turned into a shell devoid of the warmth that once shone through them. Everything around him grew dark but it was heart that was affected the most by turning into the ghost town Katie’s heart once was.


About the Author

Joyce Nawiri is a lawyer, proud feminist, legal researcher, environment enthusiast and above all a female writer of fiction and poems. She finds freedom through writing as she gets to express her thoughts, feelings and prejudices through words. She draws inspiration from iconic figures like Stephen King, the late Nina Simone, Maya Angelou and Chimamanda Adichie. Due to her unique personality, she has earned pen names such as Inked_Indie and Rebel. She resides in Mombasa, Kenya. You can reach her at seniorideola@gmail.com

About Karo Oforofuo

I am a B2B/B2C Freelance Writer, Ghostwriter, Blogger and Online Business Consultant at violetinkcopy.pro. I am an Author and Story teller at pelleura.top

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