“Really?” XC asked, looking at the scratches all over her body with a lot of questions in his eyes
“Yeah, I actually fell terribly on my way here, but I just had to make it here to see you”
“And you seem to be limping”
“Me? Limp? No, it’s just slight pain from the fall” Zara stuttered
“Okay, let’s talk in my house”
“Uhmm, I was thinking we’d talk better in my room. You know, I don’t want any of the other commandants to suspect, you know they’ve been trying to get me to choose them for a long time”
XC looked away, thinking for a brief moment, and then he nodded
“Okay, your room then”
She took one step in an attempt to follow XC, and screamed in pain as she fell to the floor.
“What’s the problem?” XC said in panic as he moved over to her to help her up.
“I think I broke a bone or something” She managed to whisper out as she held unto her ankle and groaned in pain. XC looked over at the ankle at discovered it was red.
“This doesn’t look good, we have to take you to the clinic”
“There’s a clinic here?”
“It’s not here, it’s out of camp”
Zara bent her head and smiled
“Out of camp you say?”
“Yes, and you better not get any funny ideas, cause if you do, that leg won’t be the only thing that’ll be broken”
Kazim had no idea what to respond to the question that stared him in the face. Truthfully, he had no idea who he was, his memory of his background, family and everything basic was wiped out, but he remembered clearly everything he had been trained to be, and who he had been told he should be was the only thing in his mind. What would he say…
“So sir when are the other guests arriving, I was told there was a ceremony happening here”
On the notepad, he wrote instead
“It would be in your best interest if you don’t know the details about me. But just know you have to corporate with me, if you want to stay alive. This is not a threat, it’s an appeal”
“What!!!” Zara’s mum screamed before realising, she probably shouldn’t have.
“Uhh-mm, I me—m—eean yeah, we, we were to have uhmmm” She couldn’t put her words together any longer
“We cancelled the ceremony, we decided to have it just between us” Zara’s father took over the conversation. “Being the tenth year and all, we wanted to keep it between us”
As he spoke, Zara’s mum did the writing, with shaky hands, she wrote
“We are begging you, Zara was our only child and she was the world to us and we lost her, we have some money in the room and that’s all, there’s nothing else to give. So please, just let us know what you want from us, and go in peace”
Tears streamed down Kazims face as he read the note, did they think he was an armed robber? Oh well, he was worse.
“Oh yeah that’s really good. It’s great to take time out to remember a loved one that was lost, so I understand, it’s just that my office probably didn’t know about the change of plans”
And on his notepad, he wrote
“I am not here to take money from you ma, I am not an armed robber, The truth is I was sent here to do something I have realised I can’t do, kill you both”
“Ewwooo! Whaattttttttttt on earth did we do!” Zara’s mum screamed
Covering her mouth from screaming more, Zara’s dad cut in sharply
“She’s just asking what we did to be privileged to host a representative of the government”
Zara’s mum placed her hands on her head and fell from her seat to the floor, forcing herself not to scream out loud
Zara’s dad picked up the notepad that had fallen from his wife’s thighs, and wrote
“It sounds to me that you don’t intend to follow the instructions you received. So tell us what to do”
That was when it occurred to Kazim that he hadn’t actually thought of what they should do
Zara laughed, pretending to find what XC said funny.
“I have nothing planned, and my leg’s probably broken, how can I run, trust me”
“I don’t need to trust you. I’m not letting you out of my sight”
He carried her from the ground and walked to his apartment.
“I thought we were going to my room”
“No, we’re going straight to the clinic, we have to make sure your leg is okay, so you can be ready on time for the leaders arrival”
“What’s my business with the leaders arrival”
“You don’t know? For our wedding ofcourse”
“He will wed us today” XC said, smiling and showing off his dark brown teeth. Zara felt her stomach churn at the sight of him. She had been running from one fire, and had just walked right into another, what had she gotten herself into.
He carried Zara into his building and laid her on the chair facing the window blinds, it was a large parlour with just a couch and a table, the walls carried dull paintings and the couch smelled of semen. The stench tormented her but she knew she couldn’t get up, so she inhaled and exhaled through her mouth, as she let her mind travel far for a moment, was she on the right track out of this place or had she gotten herself deeper into this situation.
The landline in the room rang and XC moved over to his table and picked the call, it was CC.
“CC, what’s going on”
“Tell me where you are, we have to see urgently”
“Uhmm, I’m busy, is it really urgent?” He didn’t want to tell CC, he remembered what Zara said about the men trying to get her.
“Yes, it’s really important”
“I didn’t ask about the importance, I said is it urgent!”
“Yes it is! The leader says we must show him the traitor when he arrives”
XC couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. He knew Zara was most likely the one he was to show the leader, but he also wanted her as his last wife.
Breathing out loud he said to CC “Meet me in the commandants bar” It was just two building away from his own.
Zara, pretended to be asleep as she listened in on XC’s conversation. He was leaving her alone. “Ooohh, it’s Christmas day for me” She thought as she gave herself a high five in her mind.
Waking her up, XC told Zara he’ll be just in front of the door for a few minutes.
“When I’m back, we’ll head to the clinic and be back in time for the leaders arrival. She nodded as she watched him lock up all the windows and doors before stepping out.
As soon as he was out, she jumped up out of the bed, absolutely nothing was wrong with her leg.
“Game time baby”
Kazim just stared at the people in front of him, thinking of what to do
“Oh, you have both been wonderful citizens, it was just a random selection by the government sir.”
On the notepad he wrote
I have to figure out a way to get both of you out of here, before this entire building will blow up.
“Uhmm, thank you to the government for this privilege”
We can jump out from the back of the fence. But you haven’t said who you are. And why we should believe you
“Sir, so tell me about your work, what kind of job do you do?
Sir, in your best interest, the less you know the better, I will explain when you are both safe, right now I can’t think straight.
“Excuse me, I just want to use the rest room” Zara’s mum said as she got up, she couldn’t believe what she was reading, panic stricken, she walked into the corridor towards the rest room before making a turn towards the master bedroom.
“Okay, my work? I’m a lecturer in the university, I teach human psychology”
When my wife is out we will leave through the back door.
“Oh that’s great sir. I can’t imagine how hard it has been for you all these years, teaching young ones and remembering your little girl”
Okay, air, please keep the conversation going, I really don’t know what to ask you anymore
“Okay, tell me about yourself, you look like you are of age, any woman in your life?”
Kazim hadn’t seen that question coming.
“Uhmm, wow, that went deep very quickly. I uhmm, I love someone, but it’s complicated”
Sir do you mind checking up on your wife, we are running out of time
“What’s her name?”
Okay, I’ll check on her, quickly
Kazim shifted to the edge of his seat, this man should go and check on his wife and stop asking him these questions, how the heck was he supposed to say the woman’s name”
“Sir, don’t worry about her, it’s not something I like to talk about”
Zara’s dad got up and went searching for his wife, she wasn’t in the rest room, he walked into the master bedroom and found her, seating on the bed crying profusely.
“We have to leave” He whispered
She got up, wiped her eyes and held his hands, whispering back
“Hope he hasn’t gone yet, in a few more minutes. The police would be here”
To be continued, Sunday 11th March.
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