Death.

Julie had just tucked the kids into bed and was cleaning up the dishes. It was quiet. The kind of quiet that eats you up. Nothing but the clanging of the dishes could be heard.

She scrubbed them with anger, as if they felt the pain she did. She felt a tear fall from her eye. Then another. And another. And another. She could not hold the tears in again. She let go of the dishes and sat on the kitchen floor, succumbing to her emotions. She cried freely now, with no sound, just the tears flowing out.

She had been waging a war against herself for so long she forgot how it was to feel again. But today, today she could not hold it in, she had to cry.

A few minutes passed by and she composed herself, and picked up her phone to call her friend Ann.

“Do it,” she said with conviction. “Get me the men who can do the job.”

“Julie, I-”

“I am sure Ann,” she said in a calm voice. “I mean it this time.”

*********************************************

It is eleven o’clock in the morning. Ann walks into Julie’s boutique with two muscular men, the kind who look like nothing but trouble.

Julie sizes them up and she seems content.

“Do you have any weapons? I would like to see them, just to be sure before I pay anything.”

One of the men, tall, dark with huge red eyes took a gun from his leather jacket and placed it on her desk. She did not react, no fear was in her. She picked up the weapon and confirmed it real. It was, after all, metal.

She reached for her drawer and passed on an envelope to the men.

“The rest of the installment shall be paid once the job is done. And I will need proof.”

The man reached for his gun and envelope, nodded, and walked off.

Julie was finally alone with Ann.

“Julie,”said Ann fidgeting.”I know things have been tough but are you sure this is the only way to solve it all?”

Julie smiled. “You know nothing Ann. You, and your perfect job, perfect children and husband…you know nothing at all.”

“True Julie, I may not have gone through what you have first hand but I know others who have gone through the same as you and with time, have managed to find forgiveness in their heart…”

“If it were forgiveness or counselling I needed, I would’ve gone to church. What I need is no more suffering and pain in my life. And you, you are supposed to be my friend…”

“I am your friend, and that’s why I want to make sure that the decision you are making is the right one-”

“Right or not, it’s the only decision that will give me the peace that I deserve.”

*******************************************

Job was at his local pub, Njuguna’s, and as always, he was about to leave his entire pay slip there. He was merry, with Mary in his arms.

It was about midnight and everyone was tipsy and merry.

Two strange men walked into the pub and everyone went silent. Their presence was felt but that did not deter them from walking in, surveying the room and identifying a place to sit. Once they ordered a round, everyone went about their own business.

They talked among themselves before asking one of the bar maids to approach someone on their behalf.

Job was surprised and very cautious of the two. They did, after all, look like very dangerous men.

They told him about the plot, the money, the anger. They told him they were undercover policemen and he need not worry.

They told him what he could not believe. That Julie, his own wife, wanted him dead. He wanted to punish her, beat her, and at the same time, he could not understand what kind of hate she had that she would wish him dead.

He turned to look at Mary. For the first time in his life, he felt that he had made the right choice being with her.

He agreed with the police, he would comply with whatever they said.

***********************************************

Mid day on a cold rainy day. Julie was in her boutique. It was a slow day, no customers came by. Then she saw them, the two men, with a paper in hand.

She stood up, with the anticipation building up in her. She knew, from the look in their eyes that they had done it.

She did not wait for any communication but instantly grabbed the bag from the man’s hand and tore it open.

In her hands she held her husband’s jacket, the one he wore last, with blood stains on it. His identification card was there as well, just so to confirm they got the right man.

She sighed and sat on her chair. It was done, he was dead. No more infedility, lies and debts, she was free of him for good.

She opened her drawer and took out another envelope, fatter than the previous one. She did not even look up at the men as they counted the money, she was staring at the jacket, full of mixed emotions.

He was dead.

“This is the full amount for killing your husband, we have no more debt,” the man said loudly.

“Shh!” she hissed. “Someone may hear you. Yes, the job was done. Now go, we have no more business.”

“Yes we do,” said the man reaching for something in his back pocket.

Hand cuffs. He said he was the police. He said she was under arrest for the attempted murder of Job Kariuki. He said that she would be locked away for a very long long time.

She was dazed, in shock as she was escorted out of her shop. Despite the rain, the vendors still had time to stand out and watch her shame.

In the police car, her friend Ann sat, with head down, full of shame.

As she entered the car, she could see him from a distant, with that woman in hand. They were watching her, laughing at her in their heads.

A tear drop left her eye.

It was all for nothing.

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