Part 2 of Anisah & Sabrina was published in Issue 5 of Unread Magazine. Check it out for lots of autumn vibes and great articles.
Here is Part I of this short story.
Her heart was pounding in her ears and yet she felt like she could hear every leaf rustling in the wind and every footstep within a mile radius. Anisah was leaning on a wall on Zak’s street, carefully positioned so as not to reveal her accessory. She had a tracksuit on with her hood up. Adrenalin was surging through her veins and she struggled with all her might to stay as still as possible.
Just to the side of her leg was a metal baseball bat, borrowed from her cousin. She had her hand positioned in her trouser pocket, ready to move into action at the first sight of him.
Standing here now, she could hardly believe nor remember how she had reached this point. Violence was not her cup of tea at all, it was not her forte. She had to look away at the first sign of brutality or blood on television. Despite this, she was filled with conviction that she would do this, that this had to be done and had to be done by her.
It had been 22 days since Sabrina told her what Zak had done to her. And a day hadn’t gone by when Zak didn’t try and contact her or come to the flat. Everyday Sabrina was reduced to tears because of him. Everyday Anisah became more certain of what she would do to Zak.
She had wondered what she would feel like afterwards, seeing him bruised and bleeding. What she would feel a week or a year later. Would she be ashamed of herself, would she be riddled with guilt? She didn’t let herself think about now, though.
The fact that Anisah and Sabrina were best friends and had been living together meant that Anisah knew Zak’s routine and he was indeed a creature of habit. As that thought crossed her mind, Anisah couldn’t help but wonder if this was the first time, then she shuddered.
It was a Wednesday evening in December. Wednesday evenings, Zak always went to the gym without fail. He would finish between half seven and eight and after that, before they broke up, he would always go and see Sabrina. Not tonight and never again.
Anisah looked at her clock for the fifth time in two minutes. It was 20:06. She had been waiting for just over 45 minutes. Anxiety was beginning to set in as the waiting took its toll on her but another wave of adrenalin coursed her blood as she realised any minute, any second now Zak would walk down the street towards his flat. She took her hand out of her pocket and had her right hand poised around the handle of the baseball bat, ready to inflict her revenge that she was now hell bent on getting.
Zak had finished the same routine he always did at the gym and was on his way out of the changing room. Just as he was leaving, someone was entering.
“Zak, mate!” Toby, a friend on his course at university. He had never seen him at the gym before.
“You heading home now? I’ll be out in two minutes; I’ll give you a lift home.” He suggested.
Zak always walked home from the gym. He paused for a moment and then shrugged in agreement. That one small adjustment of his routine would change his life forever.
It was only a short drive to Zak’s flat from the gym so they decided to go for a cruise instead. They headed for the motorway. Toby was blasting music from his newly installed sound system and Zak was flicking through, looking for a better song. Finally, he found one as they joined the motorway, and he turned it up a little more. Love the Way You Lie reverberating through the speakers so loud, Zak could feel the vibration in his chest. They were both shouting the lyrics, banging their heads. Neither one thinking about their troubles or their responsibilities, just living in the moment. So immersed in the moment they were, that neither one of them noticed the lorry spinning out of control as it began to overturn, directly in front of them.
Anisah stood speechless, stuck somewhere between numbness and disbelief. She had wanted to see it for herself. So that she could believe that it was true and so that she could try to process how she felt about it. Zak had been in a car crash. The driver had died almost instantly. Zak had survived by the skin of his teeth but his life would not be the same. Life changing injuries, that’s what they call it, Anisah thought to herself. Paralysed from the waist down.
A week after the incident now, Anisah had come to see Zak in hospital. She had come late, hoping that he would be asleep and was relieved to see that he was. She stared at him carefully. Deep in slumber, unable to walk ever again – so very vulnerable. How times change. His vulnerability tried to pull at her heart strings and her sympathies but she didn’t have to resist too hard.
She felt no compassion for Zak, only for his family. She was not happy that this had happened to Zak, only relieved that it had prevented her from doing something she now realised she would have regretted, no matter how much she had wanted revenge.
When Sabrina had found out about Zak’s accident, she had been devastated. Anisah was annoyed and shocked at first but realised there had been love there before, no matter what had ruined their relationship in the end.
“I feel responsible.” Sabrina had mumbled, late one evening.
“For Zak’s accident?” Anisah asked, incredulous.
Sabrina nodded in response.
“Don’t be ridiculous, it was a freak accident!”
“No, you don’t understand. I kept praying…” Her tears caught in her throat, forcing her to pause. “I kept praying for him to get what he deserved.” She looked up, shame and guilt written all over her face.
“I prayed for the same thing, Sabrina, so that makes us both responsible. Anyway, you know God doesn’t work like that. Probably this is a blessing in disguise for Zak. Maybe now he will become a better person and become closer to God.” Anisah tried to reassure her friend.
Anisah and Sabrina looked each other in the eye and both hoped she was right.