He knew her routine by heart. She’ll hit the snooze button five times while running her fingers on his back, shoulders and on his arms, drawing images that only she could see. She would plant tiny kisses on his neck then roll on top of him while getting out of the bed. This always made him grunt pretending that she is heavy yet she was half of what he weighed. She would chuckle. A minute later he would hear the hot water kettle come to life, her brushing her teeth, water pouring from the pot to a cup while stirring with ready to drink coffee.
There would be silence for about 7 minutes, and he knew she was on her phone checking out her social media pages. This would entail with giggles and chuckles, sometimes swearing and he knew whatever it was, he would find it on his phone, for she always forwarded them to him. Sometimes she got lost in the virtual world that’s why she had set a timer on how much time she would spend on her phone.
Ting! The timer would go off, and she will run to the bathroom, take a shower, apologize to him as she floods the bedroom by switching on the lights so that she can get dressed. He could hear her moisturizing herself, mumble as she searched for what to wear. Once dressed she’ll close the lights and head to the kitchen where the aroma of food would fill the whole house. Breakfast would be cooked, kitchen cleaned and then she would leave for work. She always stated that breakfast is the most important meal that she never has. She would reach the door and remember she hadn’t bidden him goodbye, rush back, gave him a kiss and run.
This was her, every morning on the weekday, for the last 8 months since they moved in together. But not today, something was not right. She woke up before the alarm went off. She didn’t touch him. No kettle was lit. The only sound he heard was water cascading through her body. She didn’t open the bedroom lights. Everything was being done in hush-hush and hurry. No breakfast was made. He couldn’t take it anymore and sat on the bed and asked her if everything was OK.
“Because you’re acting….different”
“Am I? Maybe it’s because am a little stressed. Don’t worry baby. I am OK.”
“Are you sure? Am here you know.”
“I know Hun. Give me a kiss and go back to sleep. It’s too early for you.”
As she leaned forward for a kiss, he pulled her on his lap. He could feel she was tense as he hugged her. She quickly got off his grip and walked out. He never felt anything like this. His heart was palpitating so hard on his chest, a thousand questions crossed hard on his mind, none of them with answers. He checked his phone to see if maybe she left him something in there, nothing. No messages, no memes, no gifs, no links to articles she always sent him. A hard knot twisted on his tummy and he was sure something wasn’t right.
“Hey, Hun. Is everything OK? with you? with us?” He texted her.
He expected a text back because she was a fast at replying his messages. Five minutes passed, each minute to him felt like a century. No reply back. “Fuck It, let me call her” he murmured to himself as he dialed her number.
“Mteja was nambari uliopiga, hapatikani kwa sasa. Sorry, the no..”
He didn’t let the automated message for an out of reach person to end. He jolted, ran to the bathroom, took a quick shower, dressed and ran out of the house, heading to her place of work. He kept calling her over and over, but she was not available. He knew her phone was fully charged for she always hordes the charger next to the bed. He tried to calm himself down, but it was like adding gasoline to the fire. He cursed like a sailor at the slow traffic, drove like a maniac whenever the truck moved. By the time he reached her office, he was in a foul mood, sweat shining on his forehead and hands shaking. He didn’t greet the doorman, took two stairs at a time, all the way up to the fifth floor, where her office was, instead of using the elevator.
“Hi, Cindy. Where is Layla?”
Cindy was the receptionist that he helped pick when Layla started the company.
“Good-morning sir. She hasn’t been to the office for two weeks. We thought you two had gone for a vacation together!”
His heart stopped for a second. He felt dizzy. Everything was twirling around him.
“Sir, are you OK? Come have a seat. I’ll get you some water. you don’t look well” Cindy said while helping him to sit on her chair.
She quickly ran to get water as she passed by Florence’s office. She popped her head on her door and said,
“Quick, Lewis is here, and he doesn’t look too good.”
Florence was Layla partner. They started this business together after years of friendship. Puzzled, she quickly followed Cindy. She found him in a state of daze, staring at nothingness.
“Lewis, are you OK? Lewis….hey” she snapped her fingers on his face trying to pull him back from the realm he had sunk in.
“Lewis…talk to me.”
He snapped back to reality, and when he saw Florence, he felt some sort of relief. Flo was Layla’s best friend, so he knew he would get answers.
“Where is Layla? What does Cindy mean she hasn’t been here for the past two weeks? What is going on?” he pressed.
“But I thought you went with her. She took a month off from Work. Last time I spoke to her, which was yesterday, she said that you two were planning to go for a vacation. What’s going on? Am confused”
“A month off work? But she has been coming to work daily! ” he said with exasperation Florence took her phone and dialed Layla.
“Don’t bother, she is mteja.”
“I don’t know what to say, Lewis. Am as confused as you are.”
He got his phone out and started texting her on her Twitter page but to his shock, He couldn’t find her account. He tried Instagram and Facebook, but her social media accounts were no longer available.
“What the actual fuck is going on!” He shouted as he showed Florence and Cindy what he had discovered.
Both ladies mouth were agape by the revelations. Layla was a well known social media persona and all over sudden, none of her pages were available on any social media platforms. He immediately called Layla’s brother and as he had presumed, he didn’t know where she was nor anyone in Her family. As he hung up the call, he consciously and devastatingly realized, Layla is gone and gone for good.
Via Nay Nay