The last word

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His breathing was heavy they were almost pants as he ran down the road.
Houses flew past him and he didn’t notice the monotony of the red bricked roofs as he went past. White earphones dangled from his ears running all the way across his chest into a device strapped on his bicep. He was sweating, profusely, and his gray sweat shirt with ‘Michigan’ boldly written across bare witness to his labored steps. The sun was barely out he loved the peace of the mornings – the chirp of birds – which he never heard because he mostly had loud music ringing in his ears urging him to push the extra mile. He was almost done as he turned the corner down the street where a red sports car was parked. That was Martha’s house – most times she would be at the window to wave him along, today she was wearing white negligee holding a steaming mug of coffee. She always loved coffee with two sugars and a dash of cream. She lowered her head into the cup raisin her eyes. They twinkled and seemed to invite him over, Martin smiled and kept going up until the last house in the street. A blue picket gate and dull orange walls made it stand out. It was home. Letting himself in he ran up the steps and opened the door heading straight for the shower.

The hot water ran for a while until the bath was filled with steam. A lithe figure stood at the door watching as Martin’s silhouette went through the usual bath motions.

“Are you going to stand there or will you join me?” Martin asked.

His head peeping out the glass door smiling with soap on his head and shoulders. The lady smiled and let the bathrobe slip to the ground as she walked towards Martin. Her silky caramel skin accentuated by the hanging steam giving her an aura of mystery.

“What do you think?” She asked walking towards him.

Martin didn’t answer as she planted a soft kiss on his lips pushing him back into the mystery of the steam.

***

The red sports car glistened in the sun as Martha hooted. Martin walked out of the house in a navy blue denim shirt and brown khaki pants. Standing at the door was Ruth, she pecked him on the cheek and waved at Martha before shutting the door. She didn’t like this car pooling business, she wasn’t against environmental conservation, but why did it have to be with a beautiful woman. Martin took leisurely strides up until the blue picketed gate and swung it open gracefully. He had an unusual gait in his walk and was whistling cheerfully.

“Someone got it good” chuckled Martha

Martin just smiled and waited as Martha slid over to the passenger seat. He got into the drivers seat, adjusted it moving it back. Martha was a bit short. He settled in and started the engine revving off the drive way into the main road.

“Did you tell her yet?” Asked Martha sure now that they were out of Ruth’s hearing range.

“No, I need time.” Replied Martin in a rather curt tone.

“How much time?”
“I don’t know, just time.”
“Soon it will be evident. I won’t hide it”
“I know.”
“So when?” There was a sense of urgency in her question.
“Soon.”
“Stop the car.”

Martin looked at Martha. He noticed her red lipstick for the first time since he got into the car. He also noticed her red skirt that exposed her brown thighs. He noticed the black heels caressing her angel soles and her well shaped calves. He noticed the low golden brown blouse with a ribbon like pattern at the collar. He noticed the dazzling golden loop earrings dangling from her ears. He pulled the car to a stop by the side of the road and turned to face Martha. Unfastening his seat belt; he put one arm over Martha’s chair and turned in to face her.

“I’ll tell her, tonight.”
“What do you think she’ll say?”
“I don’t know. What can she say?”

There was a pause before Martha reached for his face and slowly slid her hand across his rugged face.

“It’s a girl. We’re having a little girl.” She whispered

Martin for the first time was dazed. He always had a response for everything. But he was silent. Martha thought he probably didn’t hear her and she repeated the statement this time louder and more excited. Martin feigned excitement as he started the car.  He wasn’t sure if he was so keen on keeping the baby or leaving his wife. He let out his frustrating on the gas pedal as he hit it and sped off.

***

She sat on the blue carpet at the edge of the bed. Her legs curled up to her chest with her face buried in her hands which rested on her knees. Tears were streaming down her face. Next to her was a huge stainless steel knife with a black wooden handle. She stared at it and a thought lingered in her mind, an evil one. She looked across the room and saw her phone with the screen shattered and different parts strewn across the floor. The words from that message still pierced her mind and sent searing pain through her entire being. She shook when she thought of it.

‘We’re having a baby, me and Martha. A baby girl :)’ it read.

Her hands trembling she picked up the knife and slowly hid it under the mattress.  She wiped off her tears and waited until she saw the lights from the red sport car illuminate her bedroom window. The sounds of doors opening and closing filled the room and the clink of Martins boots agaj st the cobble paved way made her heart race. The car pulled out of the driveway and went she heard as Martin let himself in making his way up the stairs. She got up and dabbed a little but of cologne on her neck and turned off the light.

***

“Please don’t do this.” Martin begged

Ruth stood over his limp body wielding a knife dripping with blood. Her eyes were wild with vengeance.

“Call her!” She shrieked
“Tell her to come save you!”

His eyes were hazy, his eyeballs kept rolling up into their socket. He was losing consciousness. 

“I hope you enjoy your ride to hell.” She whispered before stabbing him in the chest.

***
The morning was chilly. A few people were present. Ruth was in a black dress and grey trench. She had on equally black stocking and black heels. Standing next to her was Martha. She was holding her hand offering comfort as the body went into the ground. Her tummy hurt, like the baby was mourning the death of its father.

Know one could understand why Martin had been attacked in his own house. The police found no evidence against Ruth – she wasn’t even a suspect. Her alibi stood – she was out shopping. She let a tear roll down her cheek. She held Martha’s hand tighter.  In her other hand she had a bottle of unopened water.

“Thirsty?” She asked Martha
“I could use some” she whispered as they walked away from the grave.

Ruth handed her the bottle of water with a subtle but wry grin. 

“Here, it’s sparkling. Definitely good for your tummy.”
“Oh you noticed?”
“Ofcourse, I have a woman’s eye.”

Martha didn’t notice that the bottle didn’t let out gas when she opened it.  Gulping down mouthfuls of the water she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and whispered a thank you. Ruth walked into her car and drove off.

“Thank the devil you bitch.” She sneered.

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