Hi guys! As promised, here is the beginning of Alma’s story in the Interracial royal Romance.
“How did it happen?”
Alma was standing in the middle of the living room staring up at the portrait hanging on the wall. This was the hundredth person who had come up to her with that same question. She stared on as tears spilled as she thought about the night her life had taken a drastic turn.
She closed her eyes, the memory coming back to her as clearly as reliving the horror.
Alma and Kevin walked towards the movie theatre in downtown Nairobi. It was almost eleven o’clock at night and Alma had snuck out for the sole purpose of enjoying this evening with her boyfriend. Kevin had something else planned after the movie.
Tonight was the night their five year relationship was finally moving to the physical phase. He had it all set up, the roses, the wine and her favorite chocolates. They had thought about going straight to the main event, but they wanted this night to be perfect, and dinner and a movie was the start of a perfect night.
Alma rubbed her sweaty palms over her jeans. The movie was coming to an end and the twenty year old virgin was getting nervous.
“Are you alright?” Kevin leaned in and asked.
“I’m fine.” But it was obvious that she wasn’t. She tried to pull her sweaty hand away but he wouldn’t let her. He gave her hand a couple of squeezes that made splotchy noises because of the sweat but he never let go.
“I love you and sweaty hands will never make me not want to hold you.” He leaned down and kissed her exposed shoulder.
She was swimming in his brown eyes and diving in his sweet words, forgetting where they were and not noticing the small crowd that had begun to form around them. She hung onto his hand as they walked through the alley. There the dark shadows began to take shape, rippling away from the light and taking the form of men.
“Babe, I don’t think we should have used the shortcut.” The edgy nervousness in her voice was hard to hide.
He held her closer and tighter and said in a hush tone, “Just try not paying them any attention. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”
She was trying his strategy but when she heard the stampede of feet rushing up to them. She knew there was nothing she could do to stop what was about to happen.
Kevin stopped and pinned her against the wall and shielded her with his body. He knocked the wind out of her but it was the only way he knew how to protect her. She grabbed the back of his jacket and buried her face in it. He didn’t look scared but with his body as close as it was to hers, she could feel the flattering thuds of his heart.
Alma didn’t look up, she just listened and waited.
The four men were challenged by the position he took so they closed in closer on them. They were only a few feet away from them when they each pulled out their weapons. The silver of the machete gleamed in the moonlight and caught Kevin’s eye.
“Don’t look.” He said to Alma and she didn’t.
“Why are you keeping her away from us?” She heard one of them say in Swahili, in the midst of three other grumbling ones.
“We don’t want any trouble. Just tell me what you want.” Kevin was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, as if he was getting ready to attack. .
“We want her.” The man’s words slurred as he emphasized ‘her’.
The guy with the machete took a step closer, resulting in a defensive response from Kevin. He tried to advance to him but Alma held him back, holding on desperately onto his jacket.
“Let go of my jacket.” There was a tone in his voice that she had never heard before, “I want you to run.”
“No,” Alma cried. She wasn’t going to leave him here alone. She was terrified and she didn’t know what to do or where she would run. “I want to stay here with you.”
Kevin pulled his shoulder away so hard that a nail broke from the force. She yelped and lost her grip on his jacket and one step at a time he created a gap between him and her. She pressed her body back against the wall secretly hoping that it would open up and swallow her whole. His fingers balled into fists at his sides as he moved around and she followed. Soon all four guys were staring straight at them and behind her. She followed their gaze and sighed with relief- she had a way to get away. But she couldn’t leave him. She refused to.
“Come with me.” She held onto his hand but he pulled it away.
Without breaking his concentrated stare on the four men, he shoved her back then roared, “Go!” He glanced back at her for a second then in a sweeter tone of voice he said, “I love you. Please go.”
The gentle look in his eyes was enough to convince her. She turned around and ran as fast as she could. But then she remembered that she never said that she loved him.
Alma glanced back. She saw the silver machete raised in the air then brought down with great force. When it came back up, there was no glint, no silver just blood. She waited for a couple of minutes but she didn’t see Kevin get up.
Slowly she pedaled back before she turned around and ran. The sight of the blood seemed to have given her a boost. She was in the downtown part of town and she was sure there was a police station in the area. She didn’t stop running. She bumped into people, fell but got back up and kept running. The tears welling up in her eyes clouded her vision but she never stopped until she saw the blue cabin with red and yellow stripes- the police post.
Alma stood in the middle of confused police officers and civilians then shouted, “Help me!”
“How did it happen?”
The questioned pulled her back to her immediate reality. She turned and faced the blurred face and, answered in a whisper, “Just look forward. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t attack you.”
Alma’s mother held her by the shoulders and led her out of the room full of mourners. She couldn’t handle seeing her daughter in a vegetative state. She hadn’t said a word after Kevin’s death until that day of the funeral.
“Let’s go home.”
Alma didn’t resist. She let herself be led out the house but she came across another picture on the closed coffin. Kevin was smiling at her and she couldn’t help but smile back. Shaking her mother’s arms off her, she took as step towards the picture, until it was a breath away from her face. She lifted her trembling fingers up to his face, and traced out his eyes, nose and lips. Closing her eyes she memorized them and slowly his smiling face came alive in her, his laugh echoing in her ears mind.
Since the night of the murder all she saw when she pictured him was blood on a machete, and now she could see his smiling face.
“He’s so beautiful.” She whispered. Then quickly, her mother whisked her away.
Alma wasn’t allowed to attend the burial. Her mother thought it would be too scarring for her. So when her mother left her in her room, she climbed out of the window and began walking towards the cemetery. She covered ten kilometers but when she finally got there the burial was over. She roamed around the freshly dug graves and finally found the one she was looking for. Alma lay next to the grave draping her arm over the flowers and the mood of soil.
Alma tossed in her sleep as the night of the attack played in her mind. It was like a rerun she couldn’t turn off. She woke up in terror covered in sweat, and then she realized she was back home. The grief hit her once more, part of her hoping that the dark could swallow her whole. She knew she was being punished for being the one who survived so she decided not to.
Alma got up and marched into the kitchen. She pulled open the top draw and there she found what she was looking for. She picked up one knife and the gleam it gave in the moon light reminded her of the one that was used to kill Kevin.
She put her hand on the counter top, wrist up and one by one she sliced open her wrists.
Finally she felt like she was being set free. She went outside through the back door, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Alma leaned against the wall and breathed in the night air as the cold breeze gently blew past her, carrying her with it.
This marks the end of the prologue. Stay tuned to find out when this heartaching romance will be published. You don’t want to miss out!!!