It lay there, sprawled lifeless on the wet, narrow, walking pavement of the small lawn in my back yard. A small red beak, shut eyes and black feathers. There must have been a struggle as there were feathers scattered around the still bird. Blackbirds gave me the creeps for reasons that had everything to do with creepy Hollywood movies. Why in front of my door? Could this be a bad omen for the day? I buried those thought lines almost immediately. My God! I was getting too mystical for my own good. Whatever had happened to the creature was very well plausible. After all, there were quite a few felines in the neighborhood.  I gave it a little nudge with a foot as I didn’t want a startle. It failed to respond to stimuli. I returned inside, got a hand brush and its perfect partner, and emptied the dead creature into a weedy patch by the fence. 
The first rays of sunlight after last night’s light rain gave the grass a glittering feast. It is going to be a good day, I thought cheerfully. This morning’s weather forecast confirmed it. It was a bank holiday and Edna and I had decided to go alfresco, with the dogs of course. It’s been many months since business or fate had brought us together and we’ve grown quite close in that time span.
And it just wasn’t because of the dream and its mystical consequences. We actually did connect on a wide platform. Dreaming had become natural now. Weird dreams, irrational dreams and even a wet dream that I wasn’t too proud of, but they were all regular dreams not uncommon to humans.  However, I hadn’t had the dream in a very long while now. Edna had said it was normal and that what came next would be a manifestation of the dream. Although hope still crawled like a slug in my memory, I wasn’t half as bothered as I used to be.   I returned to my living room and checked the wall clock. Adrien was expected to pick me up in another hour and fifteen minutes.  I was ready for him. Casual was my dress code for the day: Purple short-sleeved top, blue denim pants, and blue snickers. Some braids fell behind the white face cap on my head. What do I do to pass time? After a little mental rummaging, it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked through my photo album in a long while. Photos and corresponding memories of my past bounced in and out as I turned the pages. Akin and I were on page seven.
At some point in the day, he would be having a meeting with his lawyer. He had decided to break things off with his undeserving wife. About time, if you asked me.  The doorbell rang and I instinctively knew it was Adrien.  He was on leaning against the car when I opened the door. ‘A fine afternoon to you, Sumbo’ he said, white teeth flashing. 
‘Hello Adrien,’ I responded, giving him a kiss on both cheeks. I was glad we were on a first-name basis now. He looked good in his red baseball and black pair of aviator glasses. They complimented his blue short-sleeved shirt and red three-quarter shorts. Baseball man, I thought fondly. He was even more radiant today and I intended to find out, though I had a pretty good guess of what or who was responsible.
I’m ready when you are,’ he said.
I’ll fetch my purse and we’ll be on our way.
The journey to Edna’s was unusually traffic-free so far. I followed through on satisfying the curiosity about Adrien’s glow. He had finally picked up courage and asked out Mimi, the pretty lady that worked in the manicure salon. She had said yes and they were going on a date tonight. I was happy for him.  We reached our destination in good time. Edna was immaculately dressed in her typical floral attire but looked rather poorly as came down the stairs, her two faithful dogs following. Butch and Betsy still hadn’t warmed up to me but Currie dashed down to welcome me. She gave me her trademark circles-around-my-legs greeting, wagging like a pup pumped up on adrenaline. 
It appears you aren’t feeling too well,’ I said.
A bad case of hay fever,’ she said and sneezed, wiping her nose with a handkerchief. ‘I’ll be all honky-dory in no time.’
‘I’ll make you a cup of tea and we can chat,’ I replied. ‘We don’t have to go out.’
Don’t be absurd.’ Edna stifled a sneeze.
You are going to the fair and there is to be no negotiation. Besides Currie would be heartbroken if you cancel her trip because of some silly hay fever. I’m not sure Betsy and Butch would be joining you though.
Her unyielding eyes told me the decision had been made long before I arrived. But I was determined to make her the tea. I found it quite surprising that she didn’t have a stay-at-home maid to cater to all her needs. She had a Do-It-Yourself orientation. In fact, only Adrien lived in the estate. Other staff came from their respective homes on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 
‘Gold Blend or Earl Grey?’ I asked.
She smiled. ‘Earl Grey.’ 
Hello Tubor, so are we still on for today?’ the voice on the other end of the line asked. I had progressed considerably well under a short time, thanks to my colleague at work. Well, I was neither Nadal nor Murray, the tennis gurus, but I could hold my ground on the tennis court and put a decent spin on a ball. ‘I wouldn’t miss it,’ I replied. ‘Same venue, same time.’
‘See you in a bit.’ And the line went dead. After settling an empty mug in the shared kitchen cupboard, I fell into the worn-out brown sofa to tie the knots of my running shoes. As the process began, I mulled over how my life had changed in seven months.  My visa had been renewed for another two years on the Post-Study Work Visa scheme so I could do as many hours as I wanted. I had secured a customer assistant role at another retail outlet in Peterborough, making it necessary to leave Cambridge. It was hardly my dream job, but the pay was better than its predecessor and it looked better on my resume.
Furthermore, I was something of a man-whore: more than a few ladies had shared my bed.  One thing was constant, though. And everything else seemed to be a means of ameliorating its effect. I needed all the engagements to drain me out so as not to be destroyed by it. But hard as I tried, I was only human and all I had was time. I couldn’t run away from it. The memory and guilt of Beatrice’s death were mine, and at this rate, till eternity.  I realized the shoe knotting process was completed. It was time for a run. 
Adrien had just driven off, leaving me and Currie in front of the large green park where the funfair was holding. A lot of people were up and about. Food tents of different international origins did a horizontal line a few meters away from the entryway, their respective aromas filling the air. There were competitive games, rides, happy squeals and a lot of circus music everywhere. I stopped in my tracks to witness a fascinated audience huddled around a battery-powered roly-poly clown with a big red nose juggling four balls. Currie was excited, tugging her leash, wagging and barking wildly. I went down on a knee and tried to unleash her. Her tongue lapped against my cheek in frantic appreciation. 
Easy now,’ I chuckled, ‘or I won’t be able to unhook you’. She didn’t listen to me but I managed to achieve my task. She danced around my legs in gratitude, barking madly. I figured that was her cue for us to begin our adventure. I wiped a wet spot from my cheek with my palms. ‘Let the tour begin.
A few feet from where we now stood was Crazy Mouse, a ride that spun people on their seats, steadily increasing velocity after completing every circle. I had been on something similar and I wanted to relive the adrenaline-pumping experience. So I strode up to the attendant and was just about to ask if dogs were allowed when he interrupted me with a grunt and said: ‘The sign is pretty obvious, isn’t it?
and pointed to a wooded notice board to my right. 
Someone’s grumpy,’ I said and patted Currie’s head. ‘No Crazy Mouse today.’

Currie didn’t seem to mind as excitement was clearly written all over her face. I could hear the sound of an ice cream truck and decided to have some ice cream was a splendid idea. ‘How about some ice cream, instead?’ I asked. That was all I needed to say as Currie bounded in the direction of the ice cream truck. Suddenly, I had a premonition that sent my heart racing.

Kreate is a budding Nigerian writer with a flair for fiction. Writing for him began sometime in secondary school where he dabbled in poetry and plays. He has authored two self-published short novels. He is a banker and lives in Surulere. Read more interesting pieces at KREATEATALE