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These Events (Chapter 4)

By Nathaniel Okolo

Thump! Thump! Thump!
Maxine could hear her own heart thumping in her ears, for God’s sake, this was ridiculous, was it not max she was going to see, so why all the nervousness.
Because you have not spoken to him in over five months that’s why, replied a voice in her head, well he choose that, not me, she retorted, still in her mind.
Steeling herself once more in front of the door to his room. All the courage she had managed to gather as she prepared for this meeting seemed to have deserted her, to think she had been planning this confrontation for two weeks, and she was still nervous was almost laughable. But ever since she had gotten James to finally spill the beans, she had never been able to regain the composure she had always prided herself on having in issues such as this.
Well, it’s now or never, she muttered to herself, and with that, she knocked tentatively on the door, when no response came, she knocked more firmly, still there was no response.
Realizing the door was ajar, she pushed it open slightly, then chiding herself for acting like a mouse trying to steal cheese, she pushed open the door.
All the steeling of nerves, and gathering of courage, could not have prepared Maxine for the sight that assailed her once she stepped into the room.

The entire floor of the room, the door, furniture, everything was covered in blood, and lying in the center of the room in a pool of blood was max, and he looked to be dead.
The first thought that came to Maxine’s mind weirdly enough, was how amazing it was, that the human body could contain so much blood, she wondered how possible it was that all in the blood in the room was max’s.
Then as though the veil were lifted from her mind, she realized with a start, that max was not moving, he appeared unconscious, and he appeared dead.
She stood transfixed at the entrance of the room for a few moments, then moving as if in a daze, fell on her knees, not minding that her dress, was slowly turning from its original blue to crimson red.
She cradled his battered head in her hands, his eyes were swollen shut, his lips which were once pink and full, was now filled with bruises, lips she had once fantasized about.
She was stuck in this trance like state of examining every inch of his battered body, that she did not notice when James walked in with his travelling bag slung over his back.
The sight in front of him took words right out of his mouth, there was max, lying in a pool of blood, and Maxine, kneeling down in that carnage, cradling his disfigured head in her arms. He could not believe what he was seeing, what could have happened? Surely Maxine could not have done this, surely not.
What happened, he managed to ask, from a mouth that was now devoid of moisture,
What happened to max?


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