He switched on the machine for the second time. His eyes fixed unto my fingers, as they raked the the table top like a patrol of the English Queen’s guard on a changeover routine. He sat down and frowned a devil’s cry.
” let’s start all over….No , No ” he shook his head ” let’s get right to the point”
” I’ve told you already , I’m not the murderer. I have no idea what’s happening here. ” I shouted as sweat broke from my palms and feet.
His judgement was unprecedented and inhuman , there wasn’t enough proof for my detainment , and I hadn’t committed any crime , he wouldn’t believe me though.. My heart leaped and fear gripped me .
My pulse hiked but my resolve was a peaceful water body in motion.
Detective Jethro, as Gabe called him , checked the lie detector machine at his disposal and shook his head.
” Its either this machine is malfunctional or you are professional lier”
He tapped the instrument and unfused the entire connecting ends..He pulled out the flap of adhesive wire on my chest . His arm, in anger , jammed the surface of the equipment and sent it crumbling like a pile of jukebox on the table.
” You are going to tell me” He barked as he pushed the chair behind and erupted like a volcano ” And you will do just that. Where were you on the day of the attack? Why did you suggest or intend evil for the victim?
” I did not do such ”
” Oh yes, you did ,Mr Andrew, we have witnesses. ” He paused ” What connections do you have with Katherine , why did you insist on being acquainted with her , even when you knew she was married?
He was indeed brimming hot as coal and unleased the fury of the dragon on my once- strong will and brave heart.
I trembled . This man had a thing for fright night and zombie movies. Where would I begin with answers ,and how?
His words made me remember my uncle, his anger made me visit a lost memory of a dark night.I saw it clearly
. That night , a bottle fell from the fridge compartment, a bottle of gin. The noise woke up the entire household. I was behind the incident, the culprit.
” you naughty little devil” My uncle ‘s voice had called as he walked right out his room and towards me like a bulldozer.
” Why ?– what have you done? ” he continued and stared blankly into my adolescent face. I was only fifteen then.
” I was only reaching for a bottle of water” I began with fear ” My arms mistakenly-”
” Come here, ” he pulled me on the ear lobe ” you devil. So after i locked you up in your room , you still sneaked out. You are a demon. I will teach you a lesson this night”
He dragged me on the floor and I swept along with my knees like a mop. ” Uncle ,I’m sorry . Please i was just thirsty. ”
” And you wanted to steal water from my fridge.” His eyes pierced a gaze as he dragged me along.
” Now you have broken my gin bottle.” he continued ” You want to kill me eh? Just how you did your parents . You devil, so you want to stab me in my sleep, eh …. Fool. I will kill you first ”
He picked up a sharp scrap of the gin bottle and I jerked . I was afraid.
” Now get up and stand against that door ” he pointed to my room’s door.
His brown teeth, probably recoloured by ogogoro ( local gin) and road side foods. The means to no end where he squandered my father’s wealth, pending when I became of age.
” Please ” I begged for mercy at the hands of this green brain monster.
” Even water you are not entitled to, ” He slapped me hard ” Not until you confess. The fire that took your parents, you started it. You turned on the gas cooker and lit a matches. I know you did . You are the the culprit. So stop begging me, confess your sins ”
A drunkard became a priest overnight? I wondered as I shook with pain and fear, awaiting my fate.
“I don’t know anything, please” I begged .
I was innocent but only if he would believe me. All I ever asked for, was to be loved. my parents had passed two years on, and I was stuck with this stupor monger – he craved to be drunk every minute possible.
” Keep quiet . Wizard . ! “He slapped me again
” This will teach you a lesson ”
He took my arm and suddenly, the door to the left creaked and a voice came “Daddy? I’m afraid , There is a monster in my room. Its making me to -”
” Elisha , go to bed . If the monster bite you , you bite it back. Just close your eyes and sleep.”
Little Elisha-, he was just 6, locked the door behind him.
He too ,was a victim of cruelty as his mother died when he was still a baby and he was forced to become anorphan even when his father was still alive – he barely even took care of the little boy.
My uncle’s eyes were still fixed at Elisha’s door , when I broke away from his grip instantly.
” Crook, you stubb-” He said as the tip of the broken bottle sliced into my skin like an art work being outlined. It ran down my left arm from the elbow.
“Arrghhhhhh… !!! ” I cried for mercy and blood gushed like a tap that went awol, I lost a lot of blood and I became dizzy .
I fainted afterwards and found myself in a hospital the following morning.
After a week, I was discharged and and I tried to recover.
My uncle died four years after that incident by his bottle of gin-He was drunk and tried to harm me again even threatend to cut off my tongue if I kied or denied any allegation laid against me. But this time he fell accidentally, while chasing me in the parlour and went chest flat on a broken bottle which pierced through with excruciating slice.
In his last breathe and struggle he asked for something very unusual.
” I need a glass of water” he said ” please —just a cup ”
I hadn’t given him any. He died within a two minute range.
” Why did you do it ? Detective Jethro’s voice brought me back to the present.
” I need a glass of water ” my eyes locked up with his and I bit my lips in pain.
Having heard that , he scoffed and so did Gabriel who had been silent since the interrogation started . Gabe, got up form his seat and I predicted correctly . He came right towards me and raised his fist.
” Idiot” he yelled ” Do you think we are playing games here?
I jerked and slightly tilted my head backwards
His arm was caught mid way by the police officer who was very firm and muscular.
” This is my investigation” Jethro said .
The detective turned and smiled at me, but the next thing I saw was a thundering and boneshattering blow to my nose . Pain engrossed my wind pipe right from the nose bone and breathing became laboured. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced and to think it came from a single attack.
” let’s begin again — the last time though ” he said and sat down.
The doctor smiled at me . His eyebrow moved joyfully at ease and in accordance with his will.
Mimi brought out a launch pack of rice and some pudding . She dished it out to everyone in the room. I sat up and my head felt like a heavy load which had no balance.
” Easy now ,be careful ” The doctor said as he grabbed my arms softly” gently , okay .”
When I had regained a little strength, I thanked him casually but he kept on smiling like he had hit Jackpot. Then suddenly, he became serious and checked my heart pace with his stethoscope.
He checked my pulse and when he had concluded he folded his instrument and wrapped it proudly across his collar bone on both sides .
” How is she doing ? Maxwell asked from a corner where he sat.
” She is fine, should be out of here in a week, but- . ” He paused , ” I’m sorry to say that ,it’s practically logic to note : some things would take time to heal. Like the bruise on her forehead ”
Everyone looked at me.
” What happened to her baby ? Papa asked. He had been quiet ever since they came. Maybe lost of words of something.
He came forward , his well kempt hair and beards showed maturity. He brushed me slightly on the arm and I felt loved again .A feeling I hadn’t experienced in a while.
” Due to the stress and trauma “the doctor began ” She had lost the baby. But her womb is perfectly intact, should heal with time too.”
” So she can still have babies? ” Papa asked rhetorically.
” Yes , why not. …okay, I have to leave now , I’ll be in my office ..”
The doc. turned to the door, twisted the handle , my eyes went ,focused on him. He turned around for the last time and smiled again. Whatever he had in mind, he must have felt so happy to see me fine and healthy. I owed him my life.
” Doctor , ” I managed to call out ” Thanks for saving me. For everything , I’m grateful ”
” That’s my job, ” He grinned and winked ” no need to thank me, thank God who gave you a second chance ”
He left and shut the door briskly.
Mimi sat next to me, brushed David gently on the head . He had been in my arms ,on the bed all along. He was quiet , and had alot on his mind. What could it be? He didn’t say.
” where is Gabriel? I asked. ” Mimi , where is my husband”
She smiled and smirked her lips like a flare gun.
” Uhm, he is with the police ”
” What happened ? , ” I became frantic ” why would he be with the police? What did he do?
Mimi opened her eyes and gazed at me with surprise. ” No… No , Not that he was arrested or something. He is fine.
” Mimi,tell me. What is it?
” Andy got arrested for murder”
The name Andy brought pain. I knew he hired the men that attempted my life, but who did he kill? I wanted to know!
“who did he kill?
Silence ruled the entire room and i noticed eyes moving and signs being exchanged.
My mother began ” My dear, some things are best left the way they are, just relax and regain your strength first”
” Tell me somethig—”
” He is being interrogated ” Maxwell chipped in.
Since everyone was quiet and I knew something to be wrong, but they didn’t say, I changed the topic and asked questions on more personal matters.
” When will I be discharged ?
” Not anytime soon” My dad said ” Your life is in danger. Everyone you know , except us” he looked round the room, then continued while standing ” Everyone one of them, thinks you are dead”
My eyes popped out of their sockets…
She threw the glass on the floor, infuriated and her eyes radiated hatred.I couldn’t care less, as I chew the gum in my mouth like a rat’s brain. I picked up the broken handle of the tumbler and kept it on the table.
” If you want to stab me, go ahead ” I said and crossed my legs.
Kemi’s contenance changed and I noticed she would do just any thing to see her man, freed. Well I’d do even more for Gabriel.
” Dami , you have to stop this madness. ” She said with anger ‘ why would you set Andy up? This was not part of the plan.”
I smiled and sipped my juice . I looked at her again and then to the glass table which reflected my real face- Hatred.
I knew it would get to this point . I never expected Kemi to fall for someone she barely had a single info about, except the little I had given her, but eventually it happened . It was supposed to be a decoy and a planned strategy. But now she had really messed up and complicated issues .
Ahhhh! Kemi and Andy in love ? I wanted to scream the thought out loud.
” Falling in love was not part of the agreement.” I said as she still fumed .” So don’t give me the terms of agreement or plan”
” You have to turn yourself in to the police. Leave Andy out of this, you succeeded in your plan. But I can’t allow you put someone else in the blame booth. ” Kemi blurted and I spilled juice unto my dress in shock.
” Turn myself in? For what ? Blame booth, what do you mean?
I shook my head .
” You just have to come clean and -” she said until i cut her in.
” You think you can just barge into my house and command me on what and what not to do? Huh? ” I said and stood up” how dare you?
Kemi became a bit calm and she tried to say something .But I wouldn’t let her.
” You disappointed me ,Kemi, why?…A simple task of ruining everything for Kate. Very simple task, yet , you just couldn’t do it.Instead you fell stupidly in love with her second choice man.”
” Andy is not a second choice man, he is more tha-” she blurted.
” Kemi Joe what happened? you have grown cold, ” I cut in again ” Why? Andy has turned you into a silent vineyard. You let love take over logic.”
She suddenly picked up the broken tumbler and faced it right at my chest. Her eyes radiated, and her breathe increased.
” Let’s see how cold I am when I rip out your heart and feed it to your own dogs . Im sure they are eager to taste their wicked mistress’s heart.
I shook with fear, what happened to my friend ? Why did she suddenly turn against me. It was a mistake to involve her with Andy.
” you won’t stab me…Kemi….you know you won’t* I was very shaky band afraid .
‘ Yes I won’t ” she said as she rubbed it along my chest line and then she dropped it on the table. ” Because I found the true meaning of love- its so amazing and I would do anything for it.”
She walked out and her shoes trampled on the shrapnel she had created with each bottle piece braking into more tiny pieces.
” what will you do? I gasped for air , and stood almost lifeless.
She had really scared the hell out me.
” You don’t wanna know ”
Kemi didn’t even turn to look at me ” Goodbye Damilola AKehinde. ” she continued ” Stay lonely forever or better still kill yourself , since you at good at it”
She cat walked her pretty a-s and waved her right arm in the air.
i watched in disgust and betrayal as she zoomed off with her Honda accord , my gate was left wide open.