The Black Widow Spider Part 3: The Russian Roulette

Short Story

The Black Widow Spider Part 3: The Russian Roulette

By Lawrence Kadzitche

 

As the two women sipped the wine while gossiping, Donovan was attending several meetings with potential sub-contractors. The sun was a red disc in the west when he finally left his office.

 

He was in high spirits. Things had gone far much better than he had expected. First, he had won the lucrative contract. As an icing on the cake, the amazingly beautiful woman had fallen into his lap like a god sent gift. Even the roads, usually congested with traffic at such times due the five o’clock rush hour, were drained of vehicles like on a Sunday afternoon. Was this happening or was it a sweet dream from which he would regret waking up from?

 

But it was not a dream. Sabina was real. From the USB flash drive stuck in the car’s stereo, he selected Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. Cause every little thing will be alright, he sang along, rise up this morning, smiled with the rising sun, three little birds….

 

Everything was already alright, he said to himself with a wet chuckle. He almost closed his eyes to savour the beauty of the woman he had met in the restaurant. But he was on the road. It wouldn’t do to be involved in an accident.

 

Arriving home, he found his wife waiting for him in the lounge. He was surprised that she was dressed in her favourite evening wear-a body hugging off shoulder floral print mermaid dress complete with a matching head gear.

 

“What’s the occasion, mama?” Donovan inquired with a frown.

 

“Hey, that’s not a nice joke, darling,” she countered. She gave him a brief hug and a peck on the cheek. “Go and change quickly.”

 

“Change?”

 

A shadow passed over her face. “Donovan, are you okay?”

 

“Yes, I’m fine, just very tired,” he responded.

 

His wife laughed. “But not too tired to forget our celebration dinner…”

 

“Dinner?”

 

His wife laughed again. “You forgot we’re going to dinner to celebrate the winning of the contract? I’ve already booked a table for two at the Calton.”

 

Then it all came together for Donovan. When he was on his way to sign the contract, he had called his wife to tell her the good news. “And let’s celebrate with dinner at a restaurant of your choice.”

 

But now that seemed like ages ago. It was as if it wasn’t him who had made the call. He couldn’t understand what had happened between leaving his wife in the morning and now. When he was departing that morning, she had been the most beautiful woman in the world. As always, he had hugged her and kissed her goodbye. But now he couldn’t find anything about her that he could call beautiful. Not her full body. Or her large eyes. Her nose now seemed too small in her fleshy face. He couldn’t understand why.

 

“Well, cancel the booking,” he said absent mindedly.

 

“What?”

 

“Are you going deaf?” he asked irritably. “I said call off the dinner.”

 

His wife stared at him with astonishment. “But why?”

 

“I told you I’m tired…”

 

“A hot bath should cure that, honey…” she said putting her hands on his shoulders.

 

Donovan pushed her away. “Even if I were not tired, times are hard these days. We shouldn’t waste money on useless outings.”

 

He strode into the bedroom leaving his wife frozen with shock. She couldn’t understand what had come over Donovan. She knew he doted on her, so what was all this about? Well, maybe he had had a bad day and the loving husband she was accustomed to would return after he had rested.

 

But the adoring husband never came back. As the days wore on, Donovan grew increasingly moody, snapping like a rabid dog at anything that came his way.

 

However, the Donovan who met Sabina that weekend at the prestigious Continental Hotel was not moody at all. Actually, he was buoyant, bustling with excitement. He was dressed to kill- in designer blue jeans and an untucked flower printed long sleeve shirt with straighter side seams and shorter body length.

 

He had been the first to arrive. When Sabina waltzed in, Donovan’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. The woman was something else. She looked like someone on a beauty pageant. Her shimmering red dress with sequins clasped her body like a stocking, revealing every curve and swell of her supple body. Her full lips, painted red, looked as inviting as a ripe red apple. Donovan rose and she melted into his welcoming arms.

 

“Girl, you are a goddess,” he whispered staring at her with open admiration the way a kid looks at a new toy.

 

Looking pleased with the compliment, she gyrated her eyes, pouted her lips and held them forward for him to kiss. With a groan, Donovan squeezed her into his arms again and their lips parted against each other, their tongues rolling against each other.

 

“I’ve booked us the presidential suite,” he said with a wink.

 

She closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue, “Then what are we doing here?”

 

Hand in hand and giggling like kids, they went up the stairs into the sumptuous room. Donovan had planned it to be memorable event. Expensive champagne awaited them at a side table. He poured two glasses.

 

“To us!” they shouted in unison as they clicked their glasses.

 

They settled into a settee, Sabina sitting on his lap. Donovan’s heart was beating fast, but he wanted to do it the right way. There was no need to hurry. Someone had said good things come to those who wait.

 

Sliding off his lap, she grabbed his glass and set it on the table. She stretched her hand which Danovan took and then stood up. She unbuttoned Donovan’s shirt and helped him out of it. Donovan did not need any further help; he unbuckled his belt, undid his zipper and his trousers fell to the floor. With trembling hands, he peeled off her dress and the two dived into the huge bed.

 

Sabina’s phone came to life just as they were to begin the horizontal tango, ejecting them out of their erotic passion. Her left hand still on his erect pecker, she reached for the phone. Her face darkened as she listened to the phone. When the call ended, she untangled herself from him and sat on the edge of the bed.

 

“What is it, darling?” he asked, propping himself on ne elbow.

 

Her answer was to sigh and cup her face in her hands.

 

Donovan slithered beside her. “Answer me, honey; a problem shared is a problem half solved.”

 

“I ordered some building materials from China,” she whined. “They have arrived but the amount of duty I am supposed to pay is absurd.”

 

Donovan laughed. “You got me, babe. No figure is absurd to your big kahuna.”

 

When Sabina mentioned the amount required, Donovan’s heart sank. But he had won a big contract and had a woman to impress. Pretending it was nothing, he picked his phone and transferred the amount electronically to Sabina’s bank account. Problem solved; Sabina again softened into his arms. He had thought he knew it all, but Sabina showed him he knew nothing about the lovemaking.

 

Hours later, exhausted, the two left the Continental, one a couple of millions richer and the other the same number of millions poorer. This became a habit.

 

Donovan fell madly in love with Sabina, showering her with money and expensive gifts. But this money was meant for work in the contract he had won. He started neglecting the work and even his workers went months without being paid. The result was that they produced substandard work and also stole from him. He rarely visited the work sites, delegating most of his work to his supervisors.

 

His cousin Jonathan tried to advise him. But just as he had brushed away his advice on the first day he had met Sabina, he let the advice fall on deaf ears. As such the company’s finances plummeted and the work fell behind schedule.

 

The woes facing his company did not spare his family. His wife did everything in the book to save her marriage but to no avail. After all, it’s common knowledge that when one is madly in love, he goes both blind and deaf and only follows what the heart says. At the end, she made up her mind and left. Donovan did not even try to stop her.

 

Now free of his wife, Donovan spent most of his time with Sabina who had also ditched her husband. She had thought Donovan would last a couple of months before he became bankrupt. She was shocked to see that Donovan’s sources of money were endless. It dawned on her that she had tapped into the elixir of wealth and began to entertain the idea of marrying him.

 

“It seems Donovan still has a couple of years left before reaching his sell-by date,” Sabina confided in Roz one evening as the two sat on the edge of the large swimming pool at Roz’s house.

 

Roz stared into her glass of red sparkling wine, her feet in the water. “Let me confess that I grossly underestimated the man, thought you could use him a couple of times then discard him.”

 

Sabina nodded her head. “I thought so too. But the man is a deep gold mine.”

 

“So, it seems,” Roz agreed grudgingly. “So, what’s your plan?”

 

Sabina took deep pull at her wine. “The divorce settlement from Gudumu wasn’t much. The man was but finished by the time we divorced. But with Donovan, things will be different.”

 

“How?”

 

“The man is genius at making moolah. Look at how he’s making more money regardless of how I spend it. My plan is to marry him, then pool everything together jointly. When we’ll eventually divorce, which will just be a few years from now, I’ll have a strong claim to half of what he has worked hard for all these years.”

 

“Brilliant!” Roz complemented her. “You may even grab the company!”

 

“That’s the main idea,” Sabina said with a wicked grin as the two women clinked their glasses.

 

Roz was silent for a moment. “Bina, are you sure you’re not playing Russian roulette with your life?”

 

“Are you kidding? The man is besotted with love. I just have to whistle, and he will come running like a puppy,” she paused and poured herself some more wine. “And, of all people, you my friend knows that any man crazily in love is the perfect target for a sucker punch.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yes, I am,” Sabina answered confidently. “There is no game of Russian roulette here. The dice is heavily loaded against him.”

 

Roz laughed, shaking her head. “I know. I pity men. If they want happiness in marriage, they should fall in love with eyes closed.”

 

With her mind made up to marry Donovan, she showed him complete love. Stories and pictures of their love life graced social media pages. The two become the epitome of true love.

 

Their marriage ceremony was the talk of the town. Everyone said that they had not seen such a lavish wedding in their lifetime. As per her plan, Sabina managed to coerce Donovan into accepting that all their bank accounts and property should be owned jointly.

 

“It’s done, Roz,” Sabina bragged to her friend Roz. “As from now, half of everything that Donovan owns, is owned by moi, Sabina.”

 

“You learned from the best,” Roz allowed herself a little brag.

 

“Yes, the best, Roz,” she agreed patting Roz affectionately on the shoulder. “And now let the game begin.”

 

What Sabina did not know was that the very love she was depending on to dupe Donovan was also going to be her downfall. And everything crashed one hot afternoon. They had moved into Donovan’s house and rented out Sabina’s mansion.

 

As if it was a set piece, everything crashed at the speed of a run-away cyclone. That day, as they sat on the veranda enjoying the morning sun, a big old-fashioned Mercedes Benz saloon followed by two big, battered lorries showed up unannounced. About a dozen young men who looked like thugs were in the bodies of the lorries. A mountainous man with the lineaments of a gorilla in an ill-fitting suit stepped out of the car accompanied by two men with hard faces of irredeemable villains.

 

The chimpanzee looking man shambled forward franked on both sides by the two goons. Sabina immediately recognised the ape man. He was Mguntha, an infamous loan shark in the city. She couldn’t fathom why the vicious moneylender had paid them a visit.

 

“Donovan, you’re way far behind with the settlement of your debt. I’ve added interest after interest, but you’ve reached a point where it is no longer possible for you to repay,” Mguntha said without opening pleasantries. “I’m here to confiscate all your household assets.”

 

The words shocked Sabina to the core. She looked at Donovan, expecting him to angrily deny the preposterous accusation but Donovan’s response was to fall to his knees before the accursed shylock loan shark.

 

“I need more time, Mr Mguntha,” he pleaded, his hands clasped in the way that is universally known to mean begging.

 

“It’s too late, Donovan. Your word is not worth anything now,” the ruthless usurer said, his face shining with unmistakable greed. He whistled and waved his right hand.

 

The horde of dirty dangerous looking young men jumped out of the lorries and invaded the house. Within an hour they had transferred everything from the house into the big lorries. Sabina watched with disbelief as the lorries drove away with everything they owned, the ancient Mercedes trailing behind them.

 

Sabina turned to Donovan and pulled him up by the collar of his shirt. “Donovan, what is the meaning of this?” she asked angrily, her eyes glittering dangerously.

 

“I’ve been borrowing money from him…”

 

“You’ve been borrowing money from him!” Sabina spat. “Why, when you’ve a big profitable business?”

 

“The business fell apart months ago,” Donovan said quietly. “The contract was terminated.”

 

Sabina looked like a cobra that was about to strike. “What do you mean it fell apart months ago when we’ve been living like royalty up to now?”

 

“That’s exactly what made the company collapse, your high life and endless demands for money. I didn’t want to disappoint you, so I resorted to borrowing. I borrowed from banks and when the banks could no longer lend me, I resorted to loan sharks…”

 

Sabina suddenly let Donovan go and sank into her chair. “You also borrowed from banks?”

 

As if in response, a double cabin Toyota Hilux pickup truck drove into the driveway. A tall and thin man slid out of the passenger seat. He was dressed in a black suit that looked like it was draped over a wire scarecrow. In his bony hands, he clutched an oversized briefcase. Two armed policemen spilled out of the backseat and followed him up the steps of the porch.

 

“I’m from the Sheriff’s Office,” the reedy sad looking man said taking some papers from the attache case. “This is a warrant issued by the court authorising us on behalf of the bank to seize this property and all other properties you two jointly own for unpaid debts.”

 

Sabina looked at Donovan for relief, but Donovan did not even look up at the sheriff officer. Somehow, she had hoped that Donovan would come up with something that would save their property. But the man sitting hunched in the chair was completely washed up. With a sinking heart, she realised that she had lost everything. She cursed herself for not seeing through Donovan’s game but then greed, like love, blinds and deafens. Blinded by avarice, she had forgotten that roulette is a game of pure chance and not skill. And with this foolish mistake, she had gambled away everything.

 

 

End

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Lawrence Kadzitche

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