Fall

Her body lay awkwardly, half of it laid on the carpet, the other half on the tile. Oratile was dead, strangled by him. His admiration of the weather was interrupted by the uncomfortable feeling from the hardness of his erect penis. He was almost finished with her. He mounted himself on top of her and grunted like a beast.

There’s something about Autumn. The gentle wind blows enough force to dislodge a frail leaf from it’s branch. In this gust of air, the stem gives way under the slightest pressure, almost as if it is desperate to let go. The leaf had taken a pale shade of lime; it was nearing the end of its life span. Alone in it’s descent, the fallen leaf dances in the breeze, swaying this way and that. The tip of the leaf zig zags wildly as it spins in the air. The motions are carefree, they imitate organised chaos.

The leaf is being watched. Light brown eyes dart about, following the motions of the leaf. It is satisfying to watch the leaf fall among a bed of already dead leaves. The pale lime leaf stands out from the bursts of amber, oranges and yellows. He too was unique like the newly fallen leaf. He believed he was gifted; he had an intellectual thirst that forced him to devour books cover to cover. He was well read and smarter than most people. He also had an unnatural curiosity to see how things worked, he liked to see how things worked and take a ‘peek under the hood’. He watched the falling leaves from behind the sliding door of Oratile’s living room.

Her body lay awkwardly, half of it laid on the carpet, the other half on the tile. Oratile  was dead, strangled by him. His admiration of the weather was interrupted by the uncomfortable feeling from the hardness of his erect penis. He was almost finished with her. He mounted himself on top of her and grunted like a beast. Once he was finished, he quickly left. Oratile was left alone, her lifeless body left exposed and used. But outside the seasons were changing and time was unaffected by the murder of a young Motswana woman.

Passion

To Laone, death came slowly and painfully just as Samuel had intended, the very way he had craved it. Samuel could not bear the thought of Laone ever getting close to or loving someone else. If he could not have him then nobody else would.

He lay there, almost still, almost dead. His body twitches involuntarily, showing minimal signs of life. Shattered glass adorns the floor like a broken puzzle. The broken window allowed in a breeze that lightly caressed the curtain, causing it to gently sway and dance. The sun, almost about to set, cast a myriad of shadows across the room. On the bed lay a shell of a person, Laone Radikgopo. From afar, you’d think he was sleeping, but what shrouded him was a fate more sinister than sleep. Laone lay there staining the mattress, bleeding out the life he once knew. His whole body was weighed down by the prospect of death. The world became a vortex of darkness, different shades of black weaving themselves together and eventually enveloping Laone into the security of nothingness. The flow of blood that had earlier erupted from the wound just above his collar bone was now barely a dribble. Laone’s other wounds were superficial: scratches bruises decorated his body. To Laone, death came slowly and painfully just as Samuel had intended, the very way he had craved it. Samuel could not bear the thought of Laone ever getting close to or loving someone else. If he could not have him then nobody else would.

In a dark room at the Segwane Hotel, Samuel stands in front of the mirror, his head bowed down. It’s early morning, although the sun is about to set on his life. The bathroom sink is littered with sleeping pills and he knows it’s now or never. Laone is dead and so is their love. Samuel’s head spun, wondering how he could ever live now that Laone was gone; if only he hadn’t ended it. He looks at his reflection in the mirror, he sees nothing. This reflected the state of his inner being. Nothing. 

The first sleeping pill he washed down with a glass full of contempt; contempt for the life he was handed, his homosexuality, his parent’s affluence, his obsession with Laone. The next couple of pills were followed by solemn regret. One after another, he swallowed almost every type of sleeping pill available in every pharmacy in Gaborone. They had different shapes, colours and tastes, they made his last act as a living man less mundane. When his sink was devoid of all the pills, he began gulping his bottle of Stroh 80 Rum. Slowly his mind and his taste buds, burnt by the alcohol, were overcome by a soothing numbness he had never felt before. With each passing minute, and with every sip of his rum, his pain slowly slipped away. Samuel slid down to the floor, his back against the bathroom door. His body goes limp as unconsciousness cascades over him. Samuel exists in a space and time where his soul has left our world but has not quite reached where Laone’s is.

Nobody saw the underlying tones of abuse that riddled the majority of their conversations. Nobody saw this because nobody knew that Laone and Samuel were lovers. In his mind, Sam saw Laone as his and only his, a paradigm that transcends homosexual relationships and seeps into any romantic coupling. Constantly they would fight, Laone incessantly reassuring, Sam never assuaging. The toxicity would have been seen had their pair-bonding not occurred in a perpetual veil of secrecy. 

They had found his body when he missed checkout. John Doe, late twenties, black. An ambulance was called and he was taken to Princess Marina Hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival. Police were called and they identified him as Samuel Motswakae. His body was wheeled off into the morgue, then his parents were called. On the other side of Gaborone, in Bontleng, the neighbours had noticed the broken window. They had broken down the door and found Laone in a pool of his own blood. Life had long left him. The two lovers became a part of a culture dubbed “passion killings”.