“Frank is my shadow? Tall, male, smiling Frank…….Nkosi’s look alike…….is my shadow?”
“When you heard yourself speak, did you believe yourself?”
“No….who ever you are……can you hear just how crazy your story sounds?”
“Ok……so we have established that Frank likes me, he wants me to like him back and therefore, he has turned me into a shadow and trapped me inside this wall. Great strategy! I am really starting to warm up to him now. Then……….he turned himself into a woman so he can pretend he is me and no one looks for me in the meantime. However there is a twist….Frank is actually a woman’s shadow so he is a female shadow, that becomes my boyfriend’s look-alike in human form…….then turns into a female that looks like me……….did you hear yourself…..did…”
“Actually….all that is true….but to clarify….”
“Wait wait wait…….is that why Frank always has an odd feminine……thing…..about him?”
“Well I guess so..”
“Right…..there are only two shadows! That’s you and Frank! So are you the one who grabbed Becky and was whispering warnings…….”
“Yes yes….I was trying to warn you. I knew Nkosi was in danger. Ask yourself why Frank looks like Nkosi when he is in human……male form.”
“I am a little lost!”
“Frank has been watching and falling in love with you every day for a whole year…”
“See that’s how long I have been living here. I have always had a shadow. When did he….she wake up and discover that it loves?”
“No he hasn’t always been your shadow. Just only since you’ve been here.”
“I’m getting there. Just listen to me Wonder please! Frank became your shadow. A living shadow. He watched your every move for a whole year. Then I guess he just got to a point where he wanted to make all his fantasies come true.”
“Yes. He has wanted to become a part of your world so badly. When you came along it became an even greater obsession. Wonder….he will have you at any cost. He would get rid of Nkosi in the hope that he can make you forget him. That is why he looks so much like Nkosi. In his head, that is what will make you accept him”
“Ok you are scaring me now! Nkosi came up, never came down and was not in here when I got up. Where is he?”
“He is safe. Well he was when I last saw him. He just managed to survive Franks last attack. I’m afraid Frank is getting rather desperate.”
“Attack? What happened? This night is such a nightmare. You know my friend is fighting for her life as we speak. I don’t understand it all. Well Frank helped me then….”
“Frank does nothing to help anyone but himself.”
“But he helped carry her into the car….”
“Ask yourself why he was there.”
“Argh….I’m tired of asking myself questions. How do I get out of here? How do I get to Nkosi? How do I get rid of Frank? I am worried Becky might not make it. I have to go back and see her.”
“Becky was stable when I last checked on her.”
“You’ve seen Becky?”
“I am her shadow remember. I can get to Becky in seconds. I was with you at the hospital. We spoke but you wouldn’t recognize me right now. Anyway….listen lets plan how you are going to get out of here….”
NKosi: Why is the door closed now? He is probably in there.
Manager: Then we need to be very careful. What…wait….don’t…..! We should have discussed our strategy before you knocked.
Nkosi: Discuss! All that talking we did whilst you were preparing all your little bottles and things. What was that?
Manager: Come now Nkosi!
Nkosi: Wonder! I told you to stay in the car. Why are you up here? You can’t be here.
Wonder: Come in. I came up coz you had been gone too long. Oh you found the manager! Hello. Terribly odd time to be awake now isn’t it?
Nkosi: Who can sleep during a night……morning like this? You changed your outfit?
Wonder: Oh is he coming in too?
Manager: Hmm! I am not leaving, I just got here. You seem so relaxed now.
Wonder: Ok! Suit yourself!
Nkosi: Did you see him?
Wonder: Oh! I doubt he’ll be back.
Nkosi: Ok look I came for my license so lets leave. We are going to my place now. I’m really surprised at how relaxed you are now.
Wonder: Well maybe lets brave it and stay a little. I’m sure it’s safe now. The sun will rise soon anyway.
Manager: Nkosi we stay right here….
Wonder: Ok why are you here?
Manager: Why are you?
The light came on all of a sudden and we could see into the lounge again. Well, I could! Surely Becky’s shadow could see in the dark. I could hear talking. There was an odd female voice which actually resembled mine. Then I heard my darlings voice. I cannot describe the joy I felt,…the relief! Nkosi was alive, and hopefully unharmed. I heard the managers voice as well. Great! He had help! Now all I needed was to see them.
Franks female version of me walked into my view slowly, leading the two men further into the lounge away from the door. I longed to stretch my arms out to Nkosi so badly. I wanted to massage his shoulders, run him a lovely hot bath, get him something fresh to wear and make him something warm to eat, then hold him till he slept. He looked like he needed it so badly. It was killing me not to be able to get to him…..tell him I am ok and walk out of the cursed flat and never look back. I needed to call out to him.
“Wonder hun….he can’t hear you. Frank on the other hand can.”
“Oh baby….I’m so sorry.”
That is when I noticed that ‘Frank’, was staring straight at me. He walked slowly towards the spot in the wall where we were, with the two men behind him staring at him with a clear mix of emotions clouding their faces. It was as though he could actually see into my eyes just as I was able to see into his/hers. The coldness I had seen in the afternoon and during his face off with Nkosi was there now but more intense. It brought on a chill I had never experienced before. Things had just gone dark, and were about to get darker.
He stopped dead in his track all of a sudden, still with his eyes fixed on mine. Then he made very slow movements with his female arms, lifting them above his head, swaying his torso in an exaggerated dance. With a swish of his hip, he turned and faced the side, his eyes never leaving my gaze. All this while, as he began and ended his little dance routine, I was forced to mimic, as would a shadow. Then he looked away and all of a sudden I was free again, no longer under his control. How did he manage to have so much power over me? To believe that this thing thought it loved…..! It was such a frightening thought.
“You have to warn Nkosi.”
“I’ve already briefed him. He knows about Frank and what he is. His run in with him showed him first hand what he is dealing with”
“But he has no idea the woman he is talking to is Frank”
“He has Jika with him! He doesn’t know it, but he couldn’t have chosen a better man to be here with right now.”
“Jika…who is Jika?”
“You call him Jika!”
“Yes…good old Jika. The man who can tame a thousand demons and summon the devil with a sprinking of dust.”