To mark the tenth anniversary of her addiction to cigarettes, she decided to stop smoking. It was a cold summer evening and she was getting ready to go out when she made that decision. Narah was going through all her clothes, she was throwing clothes around the room, still smoking what she thought would be her last cigarette and not caring that ash was falling all over her clothes. She had the habit of wearing most of those only once anyway, expensive dresses with glitter on them, jewellery that shone in the dark just like the lights in the streets do, she was trying to find the most suitable cloth to cover her fit body.
It was her intention to be the most sophisticated woman in every room that she entered, and it had nothing to do with the clothes she wore. It was his intention to decorate her so she could be the most beautiful woman in any room, and it had nothing to do with the brains she had. The disparity was obvious.
Narah was thinking about him on her way to the restaurant, especially about how handsome he was and how did not matter at all. One might wonder why those two people were together. The answer is simple – because he was able to give her the one thing that she could not give herself – laughter. And she gave him the one thing that sadly he could not obtain himself – an ego boost, something that he could only obtain from the beauty of the woman walking next to him, sitting next to him, talking to him.
The driver left her in front of the restaurant and as she entered she could see him already waiting on their preferred table.
He greeted her with the usual kiss and pulled her the chair, took her coat, and everything seemed perfectly fine from afar. They talked about work, they also talked about their plans for the upcoming holidays, he made her laugh, he admired her beauty and the gap seemed to have shrunken to a crack now. Until one particular moment in which the following happened:
‘I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something, for quite some time now’ he begun.
‘What is it?’
‘Where is it?’
Her eyes froze as she pulled her chair back a bit and rested her hands on the table.
‘Because sure as shit it ain’t with me.’
She kept quiet and now put her elbows on the table, and rested her chin on her palm, she kept staring into his eyes with the coldest of looks. Her legs were crossed underneath the table and the heel of her right leg, the one which was on top, was touching the ground in equal intervals.
He also kept looking at her.
Soon enough, he knocked her legs underneath the table with a kick. Her whole body dropped to the table, as close to the half-eaten food as for her necklace to drown in the teriyaki sauce.
‘Hmmm’ she moaned intensely, still saying nothing.
‘Narah, where is it?’ he pounded on the table with his fists, some of the cutlery fell off the table.
Everybody in the restaurant turned to them, wondering what the problem was.
‘It’s fine, people, keep on with your dinner.’ Narah said in a loud, flat voice.
He took the restaurant napkin that protected his legs and started playing with it in his hands.
‘Look how clean it is, we must dirty it’ he said and looked into her eyes again. She smiled. Then he quickly threw the napkin behind her neck and pulled her toward himself. Her necklace approached the teriyaki again, but this time did not touch it.
She kissed him and slowly escaped his clutch. Just as she was up on both her feet, he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back, twisting her arm behind her back and pressing her against his body, his other hand slowly touching her midriff, when the waiter approached and the other people in the restaurant were restlessly talking to each other about what to do.
‘Sir…’ the waiter approached.
‘Move back, boy.’ The man said in an angry voice. The waiter stepped back scared.
Narah laughed ironically, still in his clutch. People in the restaurant continued whispering in each other’s ears, and most of them had already taken their phones out to make videos. But nobody did a thing to prevent what was about to happen.
Narah tread on his toes with her heel, using all the strength she could in that moment. He screamed and let go of his grasp. Then she turned to him.
He punched her in the face, making her lip bleed, and herself – fall to the ground. She dried her mouth on the outside with her palm and whipped it on her long, perfectly tanned leg, while still on the ground, on her back he was crawling backwards. He leaned over her and she spit the rest of the blood in his face. People in the restaurant also kept moving back as if to make space for the action to happen.
He got her by the wrists and pressed her arms back, while looking at her face, but no anger was present there, it had been substituted by pleasure. He smacked her face with his head. She moaned in great pain. Then he took a knife from the nearest table, unluckily for her it was a meat knife, and he started cutting her thigh slowly on the side.
‘Where is it?’
She screamed again in great pain.
‘It’s not in the leg, you dumbass.’ She finally spoke, her mouth full of blood again and her forehead purple.
He then cut her dress at the front just to uncover her breasts and begun slicing off a piece of skin just from between her breasts. She kept whimpering in pain and by now, half of the people had left, most of them had gotten out when she spit in his face.
‘Oh, there we go.’ He started pulling something from underneath the skin that he had sliced off. Something positioned just perfectly on the sternum, it was a gold plaque with the word ‘loyalty’ engraved on it.
‘It’s reserved for someone else.’
‘Oh, so there is a queue for it?! Ha, did you hear that, good people, there is a queue for this woman’s loyalty. Oh, I understand.’ The man said in a loud voice, patronizing her, then continued ‘Well, good luck in finding it in the world once I sell it.’ He grinned mockingly with his perfect smile, pulling the plaque from her chest as the blood was making its way between the rows of glittering stones on her black dress.
She just smiled. He got off of her with the bloody plaque in his hand. Once on his feet, he cleaned the plaque with the white napkin.
‘Told you we had to dirty it’ he said and turned his back on her, heading to the door. What he failed to note was that Narah had gotten up on her feet, still in her heels, walking steadily as if no harm had been done to her.
‘Hey’ she shouted at him. He turned back around and the same meat knife flew toward his neck, hitting the jugular and damaging the carotid artery. He fell slowly on the ground, bleeding out. Then, she headed toward his dying body, reached to his inner pocket and took his cigarettes out, took the plaque and stuck it in her bra.
She went out of the restaurant and stood just in front of the door, lighting a cigarette. Sirens could be heard and they were fast approaching.
‘Damn, I gotta stop smoking.’ She said to herself taking a huge drag of the cigarette.