Short Stories

Chronicles of Mafia III

The finale…

As a reader by now you are probably thinking that it can’t get more interesting than that, can it? Stop wasting your time, cause that’s where you go wrong. But I digress, let’s get back to the situation at hand. This lad had hitched a lovely lady somewhere and had managed to keep it a secret for so long. You probably know that the first stage of grief was just about to kick in. For those of you who believe that Kieran cannot be hysteric in any way, you are not mistaken.

This gentleman just kept on mesmerising me, at how especially he was taking the passing of his wife in his stride, or so I thought. Ayana was equally as shocked as I was. She stood there, juxtaposed, unable to speak. I kind of felt for her to be honest. They had been intimate on several occasions now, and a fondness had started blooming between them.

This was not going to be your ordinary, “Babe, I can explain moment.” No. Something was amiss from all of this, and I just quite couldn’t put my finger on it.

With his commanding aura, he instructed the lawyer and Ayana to get into the car. And in an instant, we were speeding down the freeway, on our way to what the navigation system informed us was the City Hospital. It was probably my own brain making up images inside my head, but I could have sworn I saw a couple of tears fall from his beady eyes, and stream down his chisel shaped face. He was hurting, and he needed to let it out.

“You guys are probably having knots inside yours stomachs at the moment,” he started, “but I need to let you know that it will be okay, that I am okay, and …”

his voice fizzled as he let go of the train of thought, and he let out a wild cry.

It was only 6pm, and yet I had seen enough to shake up my entire belief system. Don’t take the previous statement too literally, I happen to be a man who isn’t rattled into extremism.

After the Shaka Zulu manifestation of the first stage of grief, there was pretty much silence in the car for the rest of the trip. Everyone was left to their own thoughts, their own sense of wonder and bewilderment at the current transpiration of events.

As we pulled up into the driveway, Kieran pulled out his pager (I am equally shocked they work up to date) and called for his personal doctor. He then turned to us and seemingly began his justification for his current situation.

“I got married to my late wife when I was 24 years old. She was a little over 35 at the time. It was a business agreement between my family and hers. There was no love, no fondness, we basically had to show up for public events together, but we could live our own lives independent of the false bond that was our marriage. Over time, she became my friend, and business partner. We had planned to start our own clothing line, but after she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer two years ago, of priority was getting her treatment.”

He was interrupted by the presence of a beautiful lady standing next to the window. She smiled at us warningly, and directed us to go into the hospital to see the late.

I had never seen a dead body in my life, and I was shaking in my boots! What if it proved once and for all that ghosts were real, without a shadow of a doubt? We walked into the hospital corridor and into the office of the oncologist in charge (the lovely woman from the car).

“Kieran,” she asked,

“how does it make you feel, that you had been cheating on your wife with myself and this poor girl, Ayana, is it?”

“Hey! It takes two to tango!” he replied.

“But I am not the one who made a lifelong commitment,” she replied wryly.

The tension that loomed in the room was pretty high, and the pin-drop silence that followed her statement threw everyone in a shock. Did she not have any show, or space for emotions. I mean, her partner had just lost his wife!

It clearly depicted the nature of their relationship. Kieran had met his match.

“First part of fidelity is first of all making up my mind, a fundamental choice, a line I do not cross. No negotiations, no compromises. There is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and woman in marriage,”

she paused,

“you can lie to me all you want, but you loved that woman, and loved her with all that you could give.”

“The second part of fidelity is acting in accordance: sacrificing what needs to be sacrificed. It was Hector the Prince of Troy who said: All my life I have lived by one principle: fear the gods, love your woman, defend your country,”

she turned to look at me,

“and you Joe need to start practising that now more than ever, there is too much infidelity that is bogging down our society, and it is hurting families.”

You, the ready, weren’t ready for the turn of events? Try and imagine living through those moments, the adrenaline surges, the slaps, the blood boiling. I felt her words resonate in my mind, and it reminded me of a quote I had come across recently,

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” …

“Kieran had given up on his, and it was probably going to cost him his sanity, who knows? But I tell you the dreams Mrs. Kuban, so that you could assist me in identifying what perhaps may be wrong with my mental faculties. These dreams keep on recurring and I feel there is some subliminal messaging to it all.”

I sat up straight and faced her. She smiled at me and went ahead to say, “So this Kieran character, do you think he signifies your ideal …”

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