Thu. Jul 11th, 2024

HURDLES

 

_37_

 

“There are those who have done nothing to deserve their predicaments….and those

 

who deserve a beating that just never comes.” Mubanga

 

It has been three days from the time I was brought in and no one has come to make any charges against me so the case is being dropped.

 

‘You know this is not over yet right?’ My lawyer asks

 

‘I know.’ I respond getting my things from the counter

 

I smell like a pig and all I want to do is go home and take a shower.

 

He gives me a lift and drops me home, I notice the place looks deserted and I am guessing Cassie hasn’t been here since and all the workers left.

 

Immediately I switch on the geyser and wait for the water to hit up whilst I go to the kitchen looking for something to eat. I go through the fridge and pantry but there is nothing.

 

 

Lucky for me my account still has some money so I order with Orange Delivery Services then hit the bathroom.

 

The only person that can fully appreciate the power of a bath is someone that has stayed away from water for a while, as I stand under the shower, I can’t help but imagine how it must be for people who don’t have access to water everyday.

 

I get my phone and try to call Mum when done but it is not going through, dad’s as well so I call Valerie.

 

‘Vashawn, why didn’t you tell me to come and pick you up?’ She says

 

‘I didn’t want to trouble you besides I had someone to bring me home.’

 

‘Oh shame, I would have loved to be the one to pick you.’

 

I smile wordlessly

 

‘I was trying to call mum and dad but their lines are not going through.’

 

‘Oh, they left the country the very day you were arrested.’

 

‘Left the country?’

 

‘Yes.’

 

‘And went where?’

 

‘They did tell you they were relocating right?’

 

‘I just didn’t think they would.’

 

‘Why? Because you were behind bars?’

 

I sigh

 

 

‘Vashawn the world doesn’t revolve around you, as blunt as this may sound you made your bed and you are going to lay in it.’

 

‘I hear you.’

 

‘Anyway how did the case go?’

 

‘Katuta didn’t show up so there was no case against me, the judge had to drop it.’

 

There is silence from her end

 

‘You are thinking?’ I ask

 

‘I am worried, I mean won’t he show up again from God knows where to bring back the case?’

 

‘Until then I am a free man.’

 

‘And Cassie? Anything from her?’

 

‘She was arrested yesterday and is by Lilayi police.’

 

‘Let me just eat something I need to see her.’ I say

 

We say our goodbyes then I drop the line and wait for the food, once it is brought I devour it like the hungry man that I am and in no time I am done.

 

I grab my car keys and drive to Lilayi police, I hate doing this but I just need to face her and see if at all she is remorseful for the things she did.

 

‘Good morning Officer.’ I greet the officer in charge at the reception

 

‘Good morning.’ She responds without even looking at me.

 

She is busy pressing the remote and I look at the TV screen only to see its Zee World.

 

‘What do you want?’

 

‘I am here to see an inmate.’

 

‘Visiting hour is not until 14hours.’

 

I look at the wall clock and it’s only 10AM

 

‘It’s really important that I see this particular person.’

 

‘Rules are meant to be followed, you are the same people saying the police is corrupt when you don’t want to do what we want.’

 

I sigh as another officer walks in

 

‘Ba Banda this remote is not working.’ The first officer complains to the short fat man that has just walked in

 

‘Let me see.’ He responds getting the remote from her

 

‘Have you heard, the new inmate that was brought yesterday is sisters to that ka chick.’

 

‘Which one? The one who thinks she is better than everyone else?’

 

‘The very one, honestly if any one didn’t know any better they would think she only came here on purpose.’

 

‘I thought the same too, anyway she is by the clinic being attended to.’

 

I don’t even have to hear more, I rush to Lilayi Clinic and ask the nurse in charge about the inmate who was brought in. She is a little hesitant but after giving her a few notes she takes me to the ward.

 

‘I am only giving you twenty minutes, the cops will be back by then.’ She says

 

 

I go inside the ward and stand there as I look at a sleeping Cassie, she looks pale and she has lost some weight. I really don’t know what has been done to her but this is not like the woman I know.

 

‘Vashawn.’ She says with a startle when she opens her eyes

 

‘Yes Cassie.’

 

‘What are you doing here? You are supposed to be in prison.’

 

‘What happened to you?’ I ask instead ignoring her question

 

She swallows really hard

 

‘It’s nothing that I can’t handle.’

 

‘Cassie this is me.’

 

‘Vashawn please leave.’

 

‘I am not going anywhere until I know what happened to you.’

 

She removes the bedsheet that is covering her lower bottom and I can’t believe what I am seeing.

 

‘What happened to you?’

 

‘Wrath of a woman mourning her dead child.’

 

I shake my head not getting her

 

‘I am lost there.’

 

‘It’s Catra.’

 

‘Catra did this to you? But why?’

 

She looks away

 

‘Why would she do this to you?’ I ask again

 

Just when she opens her mouth to respond the door opens

 

‘Sir you have to leave, the officers are here.’ The nurse tells me

 

I really want to stay and get more answers but I know I have to leave in order to protect this woman’s job. Once out of the ward, I call her to the side.

 

‘Can I have a word with you.’

 

‘Sure.’

 

‘What happened to her?’

 

‘Sir I am sorry but that is confidential information.’

 

‘How much?’

 

‘Sir I can’t.’

 

I remove five hundred kwacha and force it in her hand

 

She folds it nicely and puts it in her pocket.

 

‘I don’t have all the information but all I know is that the inspector general of police brought her in, apparently she killed her son and was on the run. When she was brought in she had that cut but it was already stitched.’

 

‘Then why is she here?’

 

‘That’s where it gets interesting, another inmate who was brought in for a crime that we are not sure of beat her up.’

 

‘Do you have a name?’

 

 

She looks away

 

I remove two more notes.

 

‘Catra.’

 

‘Thank you.’ I respond then walk out

 

I don’t know what to think or feel, if indeed Catra did this it can only be because of the child that she lost.

 

I drive back to the police station vowing if I have to spend everything I have bribing these people I will do it as long as I get all the answers I need.

 

‘You are back?’ The Officer asks

 

I remove five hundred kwacha and put it on the table.

 

‘I would like to see Catra.’

 

She looks around, gets the money and puts it in her pocket then asks me to follow her.

 

She leads me to an office and tells me to wait.

 

A few minutes later the door opens and closes, Catra is brought by the officer. ‘You have ten minutes.’ She says then walks out

 

I stand there and we look at each other none of us saying a word.

 

‘What do you want?’

 

‘What have you done to yourself?’ ‘Vashawn I don’t owe you an explanation.’

 

 

‘I know you don’t I just want to know if it’s true.’

 

‘What? About Cassie? She hasn’t seen anything yet, I will make sure the both of us leave this place dead.’

 

I look at her in disbelief

 

‘Leave Vashawn, the same way I came in here without a crime is the same way I can get you in if you want to. I hope you get to sleep better at night knowing that you partly contributed in all this. I want you to always remember that you left a good woman for trash like us, that we ended up killing each other because of you. Vashawn I hope you sleep better at night after all this is said and done and do write our tribute, I bet the world would love to know how you brought us here.’ She says and opens the door for herself

 

I feel hot tears roll down my cheeks, I don’t know what I am feeling but it is far from anything nice. This is all my fault and here I am still free.

 

..

 

 

 

 

 

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