Tears couldn’t seem to stop flowing from my eyes. Why would they when Baison had told me the first fruit of my womb was responsible for the death of Angie? There was no way I was buying such crap!
As I shed floods in Baison’s backseat, Curtis tried his utmost best to console and comfort me but I was way too shattered to budge.
“Ali,” said Baison as he drove us to the police station. “I’m really sorry the killer turned out to be your son.”
“My son is not a murderer,” I retorted in a voice so hoarse I didn’t recognize it as mine. “You hear me, Baison? My Fred isn’t capable of murder, my intuition tells me so! There’s a mixup somewhere and you people are just wasting your time on my son because he’s innocent.”
“I can understand the need and obligation to support your keen come what may.”
“Baison, if you have nothing soothing to say then I suggest you shut the hell up before I pluck out your teeth and tongue using a pliers!”
“Calm down,” Curtis whispered, rocking me back and forth like I were a baby. “Calm down, my love.”
“Don’t you tell me to calm down, Curtis. These lunatics have apprehended my son and locked him up, heaven knows they are treating him like a criminal in there!”
“Shhh, everything will be alright. This is just a phase which will come to pass too.”
There was silence in the car for a few minutes but Baison being Baison, he opened his loose mouth once again.
“Dee mentioned Fred might have Bipolar disorder.”
I opted to ignore him hoping he’d just shut up once and for all but no, he still kept on talking.
“According to Dee, Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder which is associated with manic depression. It causes periods of depression and elevated mood. During periods of elevated mood, an individual may feel abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable. Individuals often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences. During periods of depression, there may be crying, a negative outlook on life and poor eye contact with others, this often leads to one committing suicide. The disorder is curable via psychotherapy and it’s rare so Dee isn’t really sure Fred has it.”
“And what is that diagnosis by your lovely pregnant girlfriend supposed to insinuate?” I irritably asked Baison. “That my son is capable of murder? Well screw both you and that class A b—h Diana!”
“Easy on the language, honey.” Curtis curtly said. “And Baison buddy, please do us all a favour by shutting up.”
“If you insist.”
“Thank you!” Curtis exhilarated.
Upon arriving at the police station, I demanded to see my son, it was Helen and Sibajene at the reception desk but they seemed hostile towards me tonight.
“Sure, this way, please.” Helen nonchalantly said as she led me to the visiting room. “You can take a seat.”
Curtis and Baison had remained at reception so it was only me in the room. Skeptical and half hoping this was all just a nightmare, I sat.
Helen brought with her a shirtless and badly beaten up Fred. He had a black eye and several wounds on his face and chest.
I impulsively sprung to my feet. “What have you animals done to my son?”
“What we do to people of his kind,” Helen nonchalantly replied. “And please make it fast cause you’ve only got fifteen minutes.” she turned to leave but paused, “Don’t try anything funny, officer Zulu cause we’ve got lots of policemen guarding the police station ever since we brought this criminal in.” with that, she cat-walked herself out of the room.
I rushed to hug Fred but he winced even before I could come into contact with him.
“My entire body’s sore, mother. These heartless people are forcing me to admit to a murder I didn’t even commit,” he said in a husky tone.
More tears ran down my face. After both of us were seated, I finally spoke up, “Fred, I know you’re innocent, my sixth sense is literally screaming this at me but I need to hear the truth from your own mouth,” I paused to take a deep breath. “Did you do it?”
“Kill my stepmother?” Fred calmly asked, leaning closer. “Mother, look me in the eye and tell me you believe I’m guilty.”
I did as told and all I could see was a void in my son’s eyes. There was so much sorrow and emptiness in them. “No.”
“There,” he leaned back in his seat. “You have your answer. I swear on my own life I have nothing to do with stepmother’s murder.”
“I believe you, sonny.”
“Thanks, mother. But I think you need to get me out of this place before I’m crucified for a crime I didn’t commit while the real culprit roams the streets scot free.”
“I’ll try everything in my power to get you out of this place, Fred. There’s no way I’ll sit by and watch my son’s life get ruined all thanks to sheer injustice!”
“I demand to know what evidence you people have which is valid enough for you to lock Fred up and beat him to a pulp as you’ve done!” I slammed my hands on the reception desk. Sibajene and Helen recoiled.
Baison and Curtis rushed to get a hold of me but I warned them not to. “Hell knows no wrath like a woman scorned,” I told them. “So if you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep away from me, Baison and Curtis. And to you Helen and Sibajene, start talking before I bring this police station down with my fury!”
“There’s been a lead on Fredrick or Logan or whatever his name is on being Angie’s murderer ever since she died,” Sibajene blurted out.
“And nobody bothered to inform the chief of police? That being me?”
“We couldn’t inform you because this is your son we are talking about,” said Helen boldy. “Lest you tip him off and smuggle him out of the country. But one thing is for sure, justice must be served.”
Sibajene was saying, “We found your son’s hair samples in one of the late Angela’s many wounds. How the hair got there, that’s still a puzzle to us. Plus we also received an anonymous call informing us the baby the deceased had been carrying was Fred’s. We did a DNA test and boom, Fred was the father. Officer Zulu, we now have a motive as to why your son could have murdered his stepmother, to hide the abomination which was going on. All that was left was for us to locate your son and being the fool that he is, he booked a lodge using the Logan Meleki ID and that’s how we caught him.”
My head instantly started pounding. I couldn’t take all this, not in my condition. I let the tears fall for minutes before finally wiping them.
I faced Baison. “Did you know all this?”
He bowed his head and shamefully nodded in agreement.
“And you didn’t bother informing me?”
“I couldn’t, the superiors up at the central police department made us promise to keep you in the dark. I wanted to inform you, Ali. I really did but I couldn’t risk getting fired, could I?”
I hadn’t realized I had come with my badge and gun until this minute. I took off my badge and unstrapped my gun and then put both of them on the reception desk.
“What are you doing?” Baison inquired.
“What does it look like to you?” I retorted. “I’m resigning. For years I have worked for the police force with such a passion. I can’t believe all of you had the guts to stab me in the back,” I sniffed and wiped a tear. “I feel my services are no longer needed here so I’m resigning. I ought to be kept abreast of all the ongoings no matter what but no, I feel I’m just creating a crowd here.”
“Ali,” Baison held my hand. “Please don’t make hasty decisions.”
“I know what I’m doing, Baison. Curtis, let’s go.”
In spite of the late hour, Curtis and I managed to find a taxi which drove us home.
“Sibajene mentioned an informant,” I said to Curtis once we were in my bedroom. “Tell me the truth and swear on our unborn baby if need be. Was the informant you? Are you the one who informed the police Angie was carrying my grandchild?”
Curtis placed his hand on my belly. “No, Ali. I swear on our little one it wasn’t me.”
“Why do I believe you?”
“Because you know I’m telling the truth.”
Him and I embraced and I wept on his shoulder.
For the coming one month, I was really depressed. There had been one court hearing which had been adjourned and from the look of things, Fred could end up being sentenced to life imprisonment. Bob seemed as shattered as I was and mostly, he was spending quite some time over at my place so that we could find a lawyer who’d prove Fred innocent but so far, we weren’t getting anywhere. Curtis was also supportive in that he was ready to hire any lawyer no matter how expensive the lawyer might be.
Monde showed up at my place one day and literally forced me to go out with her.
“You spend almost all the time locked up inside your house,” she said as she drove me to God knows where. “wallowing in misery. My God Alicia, can’t you see how much weight you’ve lost? This is not good for either Fred, the unborn baby or you. I’m hoping you’ll cheer up after meeting who I’m taking you to. There’s this fortune teller in Kabwata, she’s really good at what she does. Let her read your palm and foretell your future maybe then you’ll relax.”
“What if she has bad news for me?”
Monde shrugged. “Then brace yourself for the bad news too.”
I wasn’t really for the idea of paying a palm reader a visit but Monde could be quite persistent so I had no option but to go.
We arrived at the house in Kabwata and Monde parked her car by the roadside. We entered the yard.
“This doesn’t look like a witch doctor’s house to me,” I said to Monde in a low tone.
“Sshh, she’s not a witch doctor but a fortune teller.”
Monde softly rapped on the door and it was opened by an elderly lady with so many bead necklaces and bangles hanging round her neck and wrists I almost turned to go back. The air around this woman screamed, ‘creepy!’
“I can see I have clients today,” she smiled, warmly. “Please come in.”
Monde literally pulled me into the house after seeing how hesitant I was. The house had modern furniture. The elderly lady led us to a dining table where we all sat.
“I’m mama Makasa. Which of you wants her palm to be read?”
“My friend here,” Monde hurriedly spoke up.
Mama Makasa smiled once again. “Give me your right palm, dear. There’s no need for you to be afraid of me, I’m not a witch. Palm reading is a gift or curse as some may call it, which runs through my bloodline. Almost all my forefathers were fortune tellers like me.”
I heaved a deep sigh and handed her my palm. Mama Makasa began caressing it with her pinky finger and then shut her eyes. Then suddenly, she went into a trance and began saying things about my past that only me knew about. If I thought she was a fraud, I was convinced otherwise when she mentioned that due to stress, there had been a year in which I hadn’t had my menses for seven consecutive weeks. Oh boy, I had told no one about this, not even my doctor.
Mama Makasa was saying. “I see darkness in your life, but it’ll come to pass. As the love of your life says, it’s only a phase. Your son has been wrongly accused of murdering his stepmother, the boy is innocent. The real murderer is someone close to you, I can feel them. They are so evil they can go to any extent just to quench their thirst for evil deeds.” she then abruptly let go of my hand and gasped. “That’s as far as I can go.”
“Mama Makasa, would you happen to know if my son will be vindicated? As in, will he be found innocent in court?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t tell. But your son’s life is in grave danger so you should prepare yourself for the worst,” she ominously warned. “Anything can happen. This world is full of injustice so anything can happen to your beloved son.”