It was the distant crow of a cock that roused Paul to the morning of Valentine’s Day.
He tried opening his eyes. It seemed like a huge task, absolutely impossible. He could feel himself mentally trying to lift his eyelids, but it still remained shut, felt like it was glued together. And then he realized with a start that they were glued shut – with a masking tape. He made to move his hands, to lift them up so he could tear away the tape from his eyes, but those too were immobile, strapped to his back by masking tape as well.
What is going on? he thought, feeling a niggling of uneasiness trickle down his spine.
Then he heard a sound – a whisper of a movement in the room, one which made him freeze. Was someone in the room? He turned his head around in the direction of the sound, his ears straining to make up for his enforced blindness. He didn’t hear the sound anymore. Was he imagining things? He tried to remember.
Of course, someone was in the room, he thought as recollections flooded his mind. He’d had a guy over from the club last night; quite the looker, and boy, was the sex amazing. What was his name again? Busola… Abbey… Kehinde – yes, Kehinde.
But what is going on? And where is Kehinde? He thought as he felt about the bed with his unbound legs, taking note of the fact that he was naked, his penis shrunken from the coolness of the temperature in the room. He struggled slightly to tear apart his shackled hands, but all he managed to do was cause the tape to tear at the skin of his wrists and bruise him.
He stopped straining and remained still, trying not to let panic overwhelm him in the darkness that shrouded him. But it was hard; his heart was starting to beat fast as his panic bloomed. Paul was startled to realize that he was becoming afraid. It just wasn’t a feeling he was familiar with – that came with the territory of being a big guy. Paul was heavily-built, visited the gym regularly, and did his best to look toned and fit, from the long runs he took around his gated community to his healthy diet. He was not a narcissist, but by God, he was a good-looking, buffed man, and there was no way he was going to be scared in his own home.
Wait – was he even home? Of course he was; he could perceive the familiar smells of his person and things in the room, and his body and bed still carried lingering scents of sex with Kehinde from last night.
Then he heard the sound again – the whisper of movement, much clearer now, as though someone was walking about on the parquet floor of the room.
“Who is there?” he choked out, feeling his heartbeat pick up a faster pace. “Who the hell is there?! Look, Kehinde if this is a joke, it is not funny. Come and untie me this instant. Kinky is not my thing!”
“Yes, I know. And I’m sorry to do this to you, but you promised.”
The voice that answered him wasn’t the husky drawl that belonged to Kehinde. It was however a voice he recognized, one that made his heart stop for a second, before picking up an even faster beat. It couldn’t be! He was not even supposed to be in Lagos. He’d travelled to some obscure town in Arondiziogu, in far away Imo state, and shouldn’t be back in town for another two weeks.
“Ikenna…” he said haltingly. “Is that you…? What is going on?”
“You promised, Paul…” The voice of the other man came to him from the darkness. The young man he’d been in the most volatile, off-and-on relationship with for the past year. “You promised, and I believed you. After everything, you still cheated on me.”
“It’s not as it seems, Iyke…” Paul said in protest, his tongue slipping out to moisten his suddenly dry lips. “It was just a onetime thing, and it meant absolutely nothing. Wait, what did you do with Kehinde? Where is he, Iyke…” His blood curdled as he reiterated, “Where is he?!”
He heard movement, the slap-slap sound of Ikenna’s feet on the floor as he walked toward him. Then, he felt his hand on his face as Ikenna picked up one end of the masking tape bound over his eyes and ripped it uncaringly from his face. Paul winced as the tape peeled off, taking with it follicles of his skin and hair. He blinked rapidly before opening his eyes, and letting his eyesight adjust to the soft light of the morning in the room.
And to the gruesome mess in the room. He gasped, recoiling inwardly when he took in, first and foremost, the blood. God, there was so much of it, splashed about on the floor and on some furniture. It seemed too much blood to be from one person, and for a millisecond, Paul thought some of it must have come from him as he mentally ran a quick check over his body. No, his body hadn’t been breached. All that blood must have been from –
“Kehinde…” he croaked, when he saw the body that lay on the ground beside an upturned chair. That body that had arched so energetically during their raunchy session last night now lay still, slashed and broken, arms flung out, head turned to an unnatural angle so that Paul could so the grotesque mask of death on the face.
“Kehinde…” he gasped. “Oh fuck! Shit, Ikenna – Shit! What the fuck have you done? What the fuck! You’ve gone way too far! How could you do this!”
“I promised you nothing!” he yelled at the other man, anger suddenly blooming in his chest, battling for room with fear. “Yes, we were an item –!”
“An item!” Ikenna cut in with a shriek, his eyes blazing. “We were not an item, Paul! We were in love!”
“Fuck that!” Paul fired back. “Fuck your love! I told you it was over, you needy, crazy bastard!”
“You always tell me it’s over, and then we eventually work things out! It’s because of our love –”
“I don’t love you anymore, Ikenna!” Paul yelled, straining forward and against his bound hands. “When I told you it was over, this time I meant it. I’ve had it with you! You want things I cannot give! Not see my friends anymore? Who gives his boyfriend such an ultimatum? How could you ask such of me, Iyke? I might have loved you once, but I’m done being made to feel like shit whenever you fucking think that any guy I smile with, I immediately want to screw. You were the only one, you are the only one…”
“SHUT UP!” Ikenna screamed. “If I’m the only one, then who is this slut?!” He jabbed a finger at the dead body on the ground.
“I told you we were done –” Paul began, suddenly weary.
“And I told you to hold on, let us work things out one more time! I told you I’d be back soon from my hometown, that you should wait. And you promised, Paul! You promised! But you couldn’t keep your promise! You tell me I’m the only one, but who is this whore you have lying on my side of the bed? The side I have laid on for one year now. To always wake up right beside you, in your embrace, to your dick every morning. You ruined it all, Paul, you broke your promise. And now, this slut has paid for it. Look at him, Paul! He could not even put on his briefs after your romp. The slut wanted more. Well now, he has gotten more. Look at him, Paul! Is that ass better than mine? I SAID, LOOK AT HIM!”
Paul flinched away from the maniacal expression on his boyfriend’s face, and felt his gaze slide once again over to the lifeless body on the ground, to the immobile face with widely-staring eyes that spoke of the horror Kehinde had endured in the last moments of his life. And he felt a wave of guilt flood him. He brought this upon the guy. If only he had come home alone, if only Kehinde had not been dancing so seductively at the club, shimmying about in twists and turns that acted like a siren call to him, staring at him from across the crowded room with smokey invitation, with eyes that seem to bore into him and instantly give him a boner.
It was supposed to be a simple mission. Not to be lonely on Valentine day, to hit the club on the night before, have a few shots and maybe come home with a nubile body. A guy to fill the empty side of his bed, the side Ikenna filled up quite nicely. A guy to take home and fuck his brains out – nothing more. How could he know that there was a crazy boyfriend waiting in the wings?
Tears pricked his eyes as another deluge of guilt swept over him. His earlier rage dissipated, and he felt a huge wave of sadness and persistent fear. “Oh, Ikenna,” he began softly, “you have to know I never meant to hurt you. I am sorry. All this has nothing to do with us. It’s just… you were becoming too much, asking for too much… What was I supposed to do? I’m sorry, baby. Please untie me, and I promise I’ll make it right –”
“You can’t afford to make another promise now, Paul,” Ikenna cut in nastily. “Look where the last one got you. I may still love you, but it does not mean I’ll fall for all that bullshit again. You’re a liar, a filthy, cheating liar!” His face was contorted with his unrelenting rage, and spittle flew from his mouth as he screamed at Paul.
Paul knew in that instant that this Ikenna was not the Ikenna he once loved. This one was conflicted, murderous, and a psycho. Boy, he sure knew how to pick ‘em. “Look, Iyke…” he tried again, feeling the rising of his panic. “I still love you… Come sit here, look me in the eyes and believe what I’m saying…”
Ikenna advanced once more toward him, and Paul felt hope flare in his heart.
“I love you, baby…” he said softly. Untie me, you bitch! He snarled silently.
“You promised, Paul…” Ikenna responded, his resolve seeming to wilt.
“I know, and I’m deeply sorry. Just give me the chance to make it all up to you…”
He licked his lips one more time, and his gaze flickered from Ikenna to Kehinde’s lifeless figure on the floor. It was just an instant, but it was all Ikenna needed to understand the true intent of his seeming remorse. He suddenly lifted his left hand, the arm he’d kept behind him all through the time they’d been yelling at each other. And he swept it swiftly forward, the strike moving with deadly precision.
And Paul let out a bloodcurdling scream. The pain that speared into his groin, fountaining upward all over his body was indescribable. Ikenna had gone for his penis with the knife he’d kept concealed behind his back, and with one quick swipe, it was no more. His dick was gone! In its place was his blood, crimson and abundant, streaming out in small spurts over his thighs and onto the bed.
He screamed, “I’ll kill you, Ikenna! I’ll kill you. You’ll never get away with this! I’ll kill you! You’ll fucking pay!” He bucked forward, his bound hands and the pain buffeting his insides making his movements clumsy. “I’LL KILL YOU, YOU BASTARD!” he raged, meaning every word of it.
Bloody knife in one hand, dismembered dick in the other, Ikenna stared at his lover with eyes as cold as the Antarctica, and uttered the last words Paul would ever hear. “You promised, baby. Never break a promise. Here’s to the Valentine.” And he struck again.
Written by Colossus