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Do not open episode 2

DO NOT OPEN – Episode 2
© Brian Ngoma
Silently studying their cases, the detectives didn’t talk to each other. Nikiwe on the other hand hadn’t been @ssigned a case. She was busy arranging s£nzo’s files. She could feel his spiteful eyes on her as she jolted down some notes. She never un-derstood why he was so upti-ght with her. He could have chos£n any other detective in the room but her. She pitied him because to her, at the end of the day, it was all about bringing justice to the society. She looked at her watch and it was almost lunch time.
The other detectives, Manda and Boice stood up in re-adiness to go and gr-ab a bite. They looked at Nikiwe who smiled at them motioning she was good. They didn’t look at s£nzo for they knew he would just say something stupid. They left s£nzo and Nikiwe in the office.
“What’s so difficult in preparing my files?” s£nzo asked impatiently.
Nikiwe looked at him and sighed. “Here you go, detective.”
He stood up and walked to her table and whilst trying to gr-ab the file, he noticed a pile of files on her table. “What’s that?” He asked.
“I don’t know and don’t care.”
He tried to gr-ab the file but Nikiwe st©pped him. “I thought you didn’t care.”
She gr@bb£d the file. “Boundaries, detective, boundaries,” she looked at his desk.
“If you knew about boundaries, you wouldn’t have taken up my case,” He started walking back to his desk.
“Say it, detective!” She almost yelled.
“What!”
“Whatever it is you have against me.”
He stared at her for a brief moment and nodded. “I don’t have anything against you, Detective Nikiwe. I don’t.”
“Then why are you so upbeat with me?”
s£nzo didn’t say anything but left the office. Nikiwe calmed down as she re-moved a bowl from her bag. Opening it, she smiled as she thought about how lucky she was to be with Clarence. In times where he knew she was tired, he would wake up early, prepare the boys and prepare some lunch for her. She missed him and called him.
***
Walking up and down in Bwana Ngomas office, s£nzo was agitated. “She had the guts to call me an upbeat. That damn woman!”
“Control yourself, detective,” Ngoma said. “She’s right, isn’t she?”
“What do you mean sir?”
“Let me ask you a question s£nzo,” Ngoma stood up. “What do you really have against Nikiwe? I don’t see any problem with her. She’s as h@rdworking as everyone else.”
“Why does everyone think i have a problem with Nikiwe?” s£nzo yelled in a high pitch voice.
“Is it because she’s a woman?”
“Are you calling me a S-xist?”
“I didn’t say that, but are you?”
“That’s bullsh*t!”
Ngoma looked at him and sat down. s£nzo and Nikiwe started serving at the same time. With different backgrounds, they all worked tirelessly and very h@rd to get where they were. One thing that everyone never un-derstood was s£nzo’s bitterness towards Nikiwe. It was obvious despite him denying it all the time.
“So why are you here s£nzo?” Ngoma inquired.
“You @ssigned her a new case, what about me?”
“New case?”
“Yes Sir. I saw a pile of files on her table.”
“Maybe those are old cases of her.”
“No, I know how she puts her files. That one is new.”
Ngoma suspiciously looked at him. “I see. All in all, it’s none of my business and much less, yours s£nzo. So, leave her alone.”
Ignoring what Ngoma said, s£nzo said, “It had a big question mark on the cover.”
“What did you say?” Ngoma abruptly stood up. “Where is detective Nikiwe?”
“What’s wrong sir?” s£nzo asked.
Ngoma left the office and trekked to Nikiwe’s office and found it deserted. s£nzo joined him. He looked at his boss who seemed confused and scared. “Everything alright sir?”
“How did she get the file?” That was what Ngoma could only manage to say. “Who gave it to her?”
A knock on the door startled them both. They both turned and saw Ba Yama standing at the door. “I’m here to clean.”
“Did you see detective Nikiwe?” Ngoma asked.
“She has just left.”
“Did you by any chance gr-ab a file from the storage and mistakenly brou-ght it here Ba Yama?”
Ba Yama looked at Ngoma for a while and responded, “No sir. Is everything okay?”
Ngoma t©uçhed his head in defeat. “God help us all.”
***
Nikiwe drove her car into the supermarkets parking space. When she talked to Clarence on the phone, he told her that the boys needed some crayons and books. She decided to go and buy there and then as she didn’t have anything to do other than quarrelling with s£nzo. She sat in the car for a while and stared at the file beside her. She didn’t know why she carried it but she did.
She gr@bb£d it and put it on her l@ps. Before she could open it, her phone rang. It was Ngoma. She decided to ignore the call. Obviously, the childish s£nzo had ratted her out, she thought. She put the phone away and set her eyes on the file. Dusty and old, seemed like it hadn’t been opened for years and that was true. She observed it for some seconds and as she wanted to fl!pit open, there was a ban-g on her window. Two street women were fighting and one of them ban-ged the other’s head against the car.
Nikiwe got out of the car and separated the women. They were angrily yelling at each other. Onlookers helped contain the women. One of then was stubborn she almost hit Nikiwe who slightly missed her punch and pinned her down. She showed her the badge and told her to contain herself otherwise she’d be locked up for indecent behaviour. The woman begged her claiming it wasn’t her fault; the other woman stole her customer. Nikiwe didn’t want to inquire further. She warned the two women to stay off each others throat. They made peace and walked off still inwardly bickering at each other.
Getting the things she wanted, Nikiwe went back to her car. She loaded what she bought in the trunk and got in the car. She checked her phone and found several missed calls from Ngoma. She put the phone away and gr@bb£d the file, and as soon as she fli-pped it open, the wind suddenly blew she had to roll her windows up. That was strange, she thought. Ignoring what had just happened, her eyes were set on the file. It re-ad;
CASE 89’_ Witness statement
To be continued

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