Once Upon:Short story excerpt by Otatade Okojie

It was an ancient thought which arose him from a dusky sleep, the fear of living a life less satisfied, unfulfilled, dreamer with itching Bones. As Alex Rossi glared at the blue scape of Ocean his eyes dotting the fish which jumped out like ballerina’s a thought crossed his mind. Once upon a time, he had been a beast of a man, a flyer who made life itself afraid. He had been a champion of a man who set sturdy goals leaving not even the spine of them to Marvel at, yet the loss of his dearest had deconstructed it all. What makes up the foundations of a fortress of a man, this lion, this Kingsman, when his heart is in the other realm. It was that doctor and her lazy tone, the one with the Midnight hair, and the chestnut brown eyes framed by astute bookish glasses. “Suicide,” she had said, the word he wished was smoke in the air. There were days where the ache of longing made him glare at the cocktail of medicines on his desk, when he’d lay in bed for hours wishing he was curled up to her long aristocratic frame. Wishing he could watch her move like a shadow cat across the room once again, her thick Afro hair, her dimpled brown eyes, and the calm of her smile. When had she stopped smiling, when had he stopped listening, and how did she keep that secret for so long? He would take care of it, he would take care of all Sylvia’s messes, he shook himself out of the stupor, he would be great in memory of her and turn her foundation into something spectacular. The guilt had eaten him for years, of his affairs, her affairs, the projects they should have been fixing but when two broken glass people come together it can be a puzzle with missing pieces. Alex pulled the hood over his head from the white sweatshirt. Opened his yellow flask and just as he reached to take a sip of the iced tea he’d packed, he felt it then. The frame of a gun, pressing against the back of his head, and a silky voice transport him back to another reality. “Hello Alex,” she spoke , her Russian accent polished, the quiver in her voice barely audible,”Remember me?”

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