The Red Tape

Sitting behind the wheels, the gentle rhythmic humming from Ade’s car engine sounded distant, He stared blankly at the waves as they trashed against the shore before him.
He struggled through the choking claustrophobic feeling which engulfed him. The car air conditioning did little to ease the suffocating air.

He just needed some air.

Where did he go wrong?

The night before, it was a shouting match. The screaming, the yelling! It had gone on for days, weeks, months even. Somehow, they were drifting apart. She said she needed some space. He too needed more space. But she needed to go with the kids, their kids.

Those kids, his kids! His pesky mosquitoes and adorable butterflies fused in one!


Dropping them at the airport, she didn’t say a word. She grabbed her box, and the children’s things and waited aloof, but tensed as they high-fived daddy. He watched her from the corner of his eyes. She looked so beautiful, like the first day he met her. He wanted to grab her, kiss her, he wanted to tell her he was sorry, but no… he won’t be the first. He could see the tears well up in her eyes as they walked towards the departure. Little Tamara waved. “See you soon daddy” she shouted excitedly. Ade raised his hand as he watched them disappear from sight as the final boarding call echoed through the speakers.

It was at the club he heard the news. There was an explosion mid-air, the tower couldn’t locate the plane. There were no survivors. He puked on himself.

Their rooms echoed now.

Today, he was at her favorite spot. Staring at the waves, he dug his feet into the fine sand and in resignation he walked towards the beckoning waves. The angry waves scolded him, flogged him, punched him … then he heard her voice.

“Daddy!” Looking back, he saw Tamara or was his mind playing tricks on him? And then he saw her. He could tell her figure even in the dark. 

‘I didn’t go, she screamed amidst the tears. “I couldn’t leave”.

Three life-guards ran towards him, he had crossed the protective red tape, and was in the danger zone. He turned and saw the waves and realized he could not swim.