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Abena burrowed under the covers as darkness began to fall. She had checked the locks on the doors a thousand times petrified of what could happen to her. Her mother hadn’t returned home. Abena knew if she didn’t return after six thirty she’d be back in about a week. Abena knew nothing of her mother’s business. It didn’t concern her. After all she had other things to worry about.
She shivered as the leaves on the tress beside her window rustled. She had closed all the curtains trying to hide but everywhere she turned, she could see him staring at her. The door bell rang, and Abena jumped trying not to scream. One thing Abena knew for sure was that she was not going to answer it. There was no way she was going to answer the door. The door bell rang again and Abena instantly ducked under the covers shivering not with cold, but with fear. Then the questions began to surface. What if it was her mother outside? No it couldn’t be her mother. Her mother always had the key but what if she had lost it? That got Abena out of bed. She quickly put on her warm slippers and ran out of her room towards the front door. But she stopped. She froze in front of the door. What if it wasn’t her mother? What if it was some creep who wanted a piece of her? Everyone wanted a piece of her and she was through with it. She turned around and went to the kitchen. There she took one of the frying pans and went back to the front door. If it was a creep, she’d be ready for him. Abena reached for the key. She knew she should hurry with what she was doing because there was a storm outside, but she also wanted to take her time and hope whoever was at the door was not a creep.
She opened the door with the frying pan in attack mode. She shrieked when she saw a tall figure swaying in the wind and panicked. It was not her mother. Her mother was short, not tall. She swung the frying pan at the person’s shoulder as he tried to come in. The figure tried to block the blow but Abena got him. She swung the frying pan again and again not caring where it hit the person.
“Abena what the fuck are you doing?!” Abena stopped and her mouth flung open. There she was standing in the middle of a rain storm hitting her friend with a frying pan.
“Oh my gosh Hua.” Her hand flew to her mouth. “I’m so sorry!!”
Hua snorted and ran into the house before the door slammed shut in her face. Abena hurried after her. She had gone way too far with the frying pan….but it was for a good reason. Abena closed the door behind her and shivered with cold. She was drenched and the small curls that were beginning to grow back were now straight. Hua was in the bathroom inspecting her shoulder. Water droplets fell to the floor from her soaked clothing. Abena knew she’d get a cold soon if she didn’t change out of her clothes. She was about to go and get a heater when Hua noticed her through the mirror.
“What the hell did you do that for?” she asked rubbing her sore shoulder.
“I thought you were someone else.” Abena said guiltily.
“Like Mr. Isa?” Hua scoffed and turned around “He’s dead Abena. He’s not coming back.”
Abena wanted to jump and cry for joy but she cowered away from Hua. The way she said it didn’t settle with her. Hua’s picture perfect personality just seemed to evaporate in that split second. Abena didn’t remember ever telling Hua about Mr. Isa.
“How do you know about him? I don’t remember ever telling you about him.”
Hua threw her hands in the air “I don’t know but I’m sure you murmured in your sleep.”
“I do not murmur in my sleep.” Abena wanted to say but decided to keep quiet. “I’ll go get the heater.” She left Hua and went upstairs to get the heater. Hua turned around and frowned. She looked at her reflection on the mirror and grunted. The image it reflected back was a lie. It portrayed her as an innocent. She was a drug lord’s daughter and a hit man. What a nice combination!! The first rule was not to let the truth slip one bit and she had succeeded in doing that.
“Hua the heater has been set up for you to get warm.” Abena called out from the lounge room.
“Okay.” Hua went to the lounge room and sat beside her. Abena shuffled to make room for her. Both girls sat together in silence not knowing what to say.
“I came to see if you were alright.” Hua said softly.
“I’m fine.” For some reason, Abena didn’t want to talk to Hua. She was tired. The adrenaline was gone and she couldn’t be fucked starting a conversation. Hua wouldn’t be able to drive home in the freak storm. She lay down beside the heater and closed her eyes. Hua got the hint and smiled.
“Goodnight.” Abena nodded and drifted off to sleep.
Hua sighed and left Abena’s house. She needed to leave. She quietly shut the door and sped away from her street across the slippery road.
Abena woke up early that morning and was worried when she couldn’t find Hua anywhere.
“Hua!! Hua!” she called out, but no one replied. She then found a note on the fridge saying “gotta go girlie, my dad’s just come back home. Xoxoxoxo Hua.”
Abena sighed with relief and threw the note in the bin. She went into the bathroom and removed her shirt. She ran her hand along the sharp zig zag line where they cut her open. It was rough with scar tissue. Abena turned to her side. The stab marks were still there, serving as a harsh reminder of what happened. She touched her chest, trying not to sob. She had survived, Paio had not.
She sank to the floor, trying not to cry. She took deep breaths in and out in order to stop herself from crying. No, she couldn’t cry. She knew Paio wouldn’t want her to cry. She giggled softly at the thought. She had only spent an hour with him and knew what he’d do.
Hua stopped the car outside Paio’s house and cranked up the music. She ran her fingers through her hair and applied some lipstick. She turned off the speakers and rang the door bell. The door was opened by Paio’s father.
“Hello young lady.” He said as he gestured her to come inside. Hua smiled and entered the house.
“Is Paio home?” she asked. His father nodded and called out his name. Paio came down and smiled stiffly when he saw her.
“Hey.” He ran his hand through his silky black hair and Hua smiled.
“Are you free?” she asked.
“Err…Urm….well…” he looked around trying to think of an excuse.
“Will you go out with me?” Hua butted in. Paio wanted to say no. He wanted to turn around and run from her. He wanted to tell her to leave him alone. She had already taken the one he loved. She wanted him. Paio could see it in her eyes. He wasn’t stupid. He saw the way the green colour of her eyes dissolved into a misty blue shade. He looked at his father for support, but his father was motionless. His face blank. Paio wanted to groan. Why was it that when he needed his dad, he had to turn away.
“Yeah sure. I’ll go get my shoes.” He said and left the room. Hua smiled with self satisfaction and ran her hand through her hair again. Her heart skipped a beat when Paio came back ready to go. He had put on a leather jacket over his brown shirt and he looked dazzling.
“Ready to go?” she asked.
“Ready.” It took all his common sense to stop him from rolling his eyes. “Bye dad.” He said as he walked out the door. His father smiled for a brief moment. Paio’s heart sank. He liked Hua. He thought she’d be good for him. Paio shook his head. His father was wrong. Hua was a bitch. A fucking bitch who cared for no one but herself.
He wanted to sleep as she chatted happily about her oh so perfect life. Not that he listened, he thought about Abena, trying to block out the memory of her crying in the hospital room. He remembered her smile, her laugh and the way her brown eyes brightened when she was excited. He sighed dreamily as he thought of the way her lips widened when she smiled happily.
“We’re here.” Paio returned back to present. They were outside a food store.
“What are we doing here?” He asked.
Hua turned to him, her eyes flashing sharply “We’re here to get some ingredients for our lunch.” Paio felt like cowering away. He nodded his head in agreement. Both of them got out of the car and entered the shop.
Abena was walking through the confectionary aisle when she saw them. She saw Hua holding onto Paio’s arm. She felt her world begin to spin. Hua had told her Paio was dead. Hua had told her Paio was never coming back. He had been killed by Mr. Isa. It was Paio. No. maybe it was someone who looked like Paio. Her hands began to shake. It wasn’t Paio. It couldn’t be Paio. Then she saw the scar on the side of his neck. She dropped the basket. It was Paio. Hua had lied to her. The fucking bitch had lied to her. Paio was alive, and was now in Hua’s arms.