Alex, a journalist, falls passionately in love with Ranna, a gifted photographer. The place, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, spoke to my imagination. Ranna and Alex not so much. But after a while I got intrigued: what has Ranna been hiding, why are all her former boyfriends dead, and who is the mysterious stalker she is talking about. Just like Alex I sometimes had enough, but I kept reading all the same.
'It's a longer story than you can possibly imagine.' She bites her lower lip, as if overwhelmed by emotion. 'Anyway, it's in the past.' Her voice grows softer. 'Let it go now, please.'
A light blinks on in my mind as two seemingly unconnected thoughts connect. I trust their origin. They come from that place deep inside where sometimes you just know.
'The man who called the other night? Our first night here. It was him, wasn't it?'
Her eyes dart past me, toward the bar, the door. She says nothing.
'What are you talking about?'
'The first time we were here. The call while we were walking home. The one you didn't want to take.'
'What about it?'
'Was that him? Was he the one who hurt you?' I try to take her arm again, but she steps away from me.
'I'm going home.'
'I'm sorry I was late.' She makes a half-hearted attempt to smile, turns away.
Dumbfounded, I watch her retreating back as she fights through the Hardings crowd, slips through the open door, and melts into the warm, unremitting rain.