Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Faith and I went to pay our last respects to Edith at Star Mortuary here in town. She will be interred at her family’s place in Nyakach at the weekend. I walked beside Faith to help keep her emotions steady, but she kept breaking down most of the time and the people we travelled with to the morgue would not even help me pacify her.
In fact, I overheard one woman in the group saying to another, “This is bad. For her to have killed her fellow workmate is unforgivable before God.” I knew she was referring to Faith, and I wondered where such bitter sentiments came from. I wanted to turn to the woman and ask what else she knew about the murder, but decided to hold myself together. It was not my onus to ignite a probe in the middle of a mourning.
Later that afternoon, I sat down with Faith in her house to discuss a few things. She was still overwhelmed with emotions and I surmised it was not the right time to ask about the gossips.
“Tiger is saying he is clueless about the events sorrounding Edith’s death. Is that so?” I asked.
“How could I know, Mrs Argwins? He is entitled to his own opinion,” Faith replied.
“That’s true. Are you planning to be a witness in Edith’s case?”
“No. I’m even planning on taking an alibi. I hear her family’s planning to bring me to book over her murder,” she said tearfully. “Just imagine it, Your Exellency. Murder? How could I… how could I murder my workmate, my associate, my best friend? Does it make any sense at all?”
“No. It doesn’t. I’m also wondering why they’d think that direction. There was a gang, a missing mobile phone, the report and statement you made… why would they think you did it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Not making sense at all. And, I’d advise you against taking an alibi – it’d ruin everything. It’d sound like you’re trying to hide something ’cause you had already made a statement that you were present when and where she was kidnapped.”
“Yes, it does make sense that I shouldn’t take it, but then they are going to use my presence against me, I hear. What should I do? I can’t even afford a good lawyer.”
“I will help you out. Our family lawyer can handle this case. We will see to it that you don’t get entangled in this warfare when you didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“Oh sweet jeez! You’re going to help me out, Your Excellency? Oh, I can’t find enough words to express my gratitude,” she said smiling thinly.
“Don’t thank me yet, the war is not over until we find redress for Edith’s murder. And Faith dear, I know this may not be the time to, but allow me to ask you one last time. Are you sure you’re not hiding anything from me?”
“Your excellency, what would I? You had already asked be about that. Is there anything you’ve been told contrary to what I know?”
“Nothing. I’m just asking to ensure we’re on the same page.”
“Absolutely nothing. I’m hiding nothing from you.”
“Okay. Well said. Then let’s put this storm behind us.”
“Thank you. But… why are you pulling yourself into this complicated matter, Your Excellency? You don’t have to. It might turnish your reputation. “
“I’m already in it. I told you how Tiger warned me not to talk to the two of you? And, you were my best friends at Moderncare. I want to know what’s going on.”
“Okay. But don’t drag yourself into it so much. Don’t let the snake bite you.”
“Which snake? See, I knew you were hiding something, Faith.”
“No. It’s figurative. I mean, if they know you’re following up on this case, these gangsters who killed Edith, then they might pursue you down to the least inch.”
“Mmm’h… okay, let me take it for that. I’ll try to be cautious.”
She wanted to prepare me some tea, but I declined, saying politely that I had another engagement elsewhere.
When I came back home, I found Harriet seated at the porch crying helplessly. Immediately she saw me, she stopped crying, ran to me and colled around my waist. “Mama,” she heaved.
“What’s the problem, my baby?” I asked.
“Tiger frightened me.”
“Tiger! Where’s he?”
“He’s gone. I found him seated right here at the porch.”
“Holy shit! Was that rogue really here?” I asked, anger taking control of me.
“Yes. He said he was now going to be my father. I’m scared, Mama. Where’s Baba?”
“Mnh! That bulldog’s too much now. I suppose it’s high time he saw my real self. Your father is travelling to some place, baby. Wait here, let me talk to the gatekeeper.”
I left her at the porch and went straight to the keeper. “What’s this you’ve done to my daughter, Kennedy?” I began to bawl out at him. “I told you not to allow that rapscallion in my homestead, and you did!”
“Soree, Maam. I did not. He come then ask me, allow me in, but I refuse. He said, okay, then he jump fuu, made somersault tup taa and fall inside like this – tup! Then I see he is with this thing police carry. This thing which have fire.”
“A gun? Jeez! Did he… across this high wall and electric fence up there? You want to tell me he could jump that high, eeh?”
“Yes he could. He jump like this: hurrr voom, and within flash, taa – he is down here. Heee! I thought like me I was dreaming, Maam.”
“Okay. I get it. That man’s a real demon and I will handle him properly, I promise.” I then walked away feeling both resentful and afraid of the occurrence.
Jennie I’m frightened. What if Tiger jumps into the compound at night and kills all of us in the house? I do not even want to think about it.