DO NOT OPEN – Episode 4
© Brian Ngoma
Winter of 1995, Edinson had just engaged his girlfriend Lala, and was ecstatic. She was his dream girl; Everything that he ever wanted from a woman and he was grateful he would share his whole life with her. Well, that’s what he thought till the abominable happened.
Edison’s brother, Bwale was driving him to meet Lala. The two brothers were close and talked about anything and everything. Edinson grew up with Bwale and looked up to him as a role model. Married with one kid, Bwale was the perfect role model. They reached Lala’s place.
“Go, you will find me,” Bwale told Edinson.
“Are you sure you don’t want to say hi to her?” Edinson asked his brother.
“Next time, greet her for me but don’t take long. One hour and if you won’t be back by then, I’m leaving.”
Edinson smiled and got off the car with a big plastic bag. He walked to a small gate and pushed it wide open. There was no one in the yard. From the time he had engaged her, her family allowed him to reach the house as of African tradition. The last time he came, he found people but there was no one. He knew Lala was inside. She had assured him the previous week
“Hello sweety,” Edinson said happily as he walked towards her.
She didn’t respond but kept staring at the white envelope. As he reached where she was, he touched her shoulder and felt a somewhat strange feeling. What he didn’t see was that she had a machete on her feet.
Bwale had waited for almost two hours now and his brother wasn’t coming. When an hour had passed, he thought of giving him another thirty minutes but it was too much now. He wanted to leave but knew his brother wouldn’t make it home on time. He decided to disturb the love birds. He walked to the door and found it wide open. He shouted his brothers name but their was no response. As he pushed the door further, a white envelope flew out. He paid no attention to it but took a step further and was met with what could only be
Nikiwe closed the file whilst panting heavily. What in the world is this? She thought out loud.
“What?” Clarence was
“Jeez babe you scared me,” she stood up. “You don’t do that!”
“I am sorry,” He walked in and held her waist.
She smiled directly looking into his brown glowing eyes.
“It’s almost midnight now babe. Let’s go to bed.”
She wrapped her hands around his neck as he held her waist even tighter and pulled her closer. He smiled and she felt heat spread through her body. Damn him, Damn Clarence, she thought. It always felt like a first time.
His glowy brown eyes searched her. She never aged even a day. She was the epitome of sexiness. “You know it’s been a while ever since we….” He paused and looked around the study. “Did it from here,” he continued.
She wanted him. She didn’t know if it was because of the case and she wanted to get her mind off it. Whatever the case, this moment, she needed her husband to fill her soul with something other than work. Without saying a word, she slowly leaned over and pressed her lips against his. She felt his hands tightly and gently grip her waist, slowly lifted her up to the desk while their lips never left each others.
In a soft warm voice, she said, “Push the door.”
The next morning, Nikiwe woke up earlier than usual and prepared the boys for school. Her and Clarence watched each other as they dressed. They both couldn’t deny that last night was steamier than usual.
“That leather jacket looks good on you,” Clarence said while his eyes wondered over her.
She looked at him and then herself. She had on a collarless silk shirt in blush, worn under a soft leather jacket. “This is the jacket you bought, forgotten?”
He looked surprised. “Ohhh.”
She nodded her head, “Sometimes you can be …..”
He interrupted her by his laughter. “I’m just messing with you. Of course I know the jacket.”
She rolled her eyes.
“So the case you’re working on,” he said and paused.
Niki looked at him. “There is nothing to tell you babe,” she laughed. “Yet.”
“You know i enjoy your cases,” he said.
“I know but this one,” she paused. “I don’t think you will be interested in it.”
“Not today babe.”
An hour later, the couple finished preparing, had breakfast and both left for their respective works. Nikiwe arrived at the station. Whilst in the parking area, she reached for the file. Before she opened it, she thought of the 95 case. What happened to the girl? Why did she kill her fiance? And according to the witness statement, there was an envelope he saw that flew out of the house. She pondered. She opened the file and went to the 89 case and read something related to an envelope. Two cases, both have a mention of an envelope. Is it a coincidence? Then again, this was a time of letters. There were no phones. It must have been a coincidence. She flipped the pages and continued..
CASE 01_ WITNESS STATEMENT
Independence day of 2001, Chomba knocked off at 12 pm from his workstation at ZESCO. He hated his job. Despite the country being independent for thirty one years, the citizens standard of living left much to be desired. If it was upto him, he would have stopped working but he had a wife at home, pregnant. He had to care for her.
Saying goodbye to his workmates, he started off to his house which was a few kilometers from the substation. As he walked, he saw people celebrating Independence day drinking negligently. He shook his head pitying them in his mind.
Before getting home, he passed through a shop and bought some groceries. Satisfied, he left and reached his place. As he entered the yard, the wind blew off lifting all papers and plastics in the air. Dusty period? He thought. He walked to the door and when he reached, he felt his knees go numb. What’s wrong with me? He asked himself. He opened the door and saw his wife laying on the couch.
“Bana Junior I am home,” he said as he walked to the small kitchen. He put the groceries he had bought. “I am hungry,” he started checking the pots. He found some rice with chicken. He grabbed the bowl and started digging in. “How has been your day,” he shouted.
There was no response. Strange, Chomba thought. With the bowl in his hands, he walked back to the sitting room. Like he saw her when he entered, that was the way she was laying. He walked round the couch and when he saw her, he dropped the bowl on the floor. She was laying covered in blood with a knife deep in her baby bump. Chomba couldn’t believe the sight. He shouted for help. He carried her up and as he walked to the door, the window flew open and he saw a white envelope flying out of the house.
The knife in the baby bump sent chills all over Niki’s body. Her heart was rapidly beating she could feel the air becoming hot. “This is not a coincidence,” she thought. “Another envelope. There is something happening here.”
“Detective!” Ngoma banged on her driver’s seat window.
She looked out and he was pissed. She remembered the missed calls. She put the file on the passengers seat and got out of the car.
“Didn’t you see my calls?” Ngoma asked furiously.
“I did but…”
He interrupted her. “But what?”
“I am sorry sir.”
“I need to talk to you now,” Ngoma started off. She started following him when he said. “Bring that file with you.”
Nikiwe knew she was in trouble but why? She grabbed the file and followed him. On their way, she met eyes with Detective Senzo. His eyes weren’t on Nikiwe but on the file she was carrying. Apparently, everyone was looking at the file when they finally entered the station. From a distance where no one could notice him, with a bucket and a bloom in his hands, Ba Yaba smiled mischievously as he looked at Nikiwe passing.
To be continued