“What?” Zara’s mother screamed as she watched Kazim being pushed into the police van, the space painfully too tight for his long legs. She ran back towards her house as she saw it go up in flames and would have gotten closer if her husband didn’t pulled her back just before she got to the gate, she fell to the floor sobbing profusely.
Zara’s father called the fire service
The number you have dialled is not reachable at the moment, please try again later
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” He cut the call angrily and ran to call on neighbours to help, thankfully his house was not built in close proximity to the the others so the fire hadn’t spread yet.
As Kazim sat at the back of the moving van, he saw the city for the first time, although he could only peek through the tiny opening at the back of the van, there were all kinds of buildings, tall and gorgeous, small and old, he saw some children in their uniforms and traders on the street. A tear dropped from his eye as he wondered what his life would have been like if he had grown up outside the camp. As he remembered the camp, he observed that the driver that brought him to Zara’s family house was nowhere to be found. When did he leave? Or better yet, why?
His legs were shaking vigorously as he wondered the story he was going to tell. Questions filled his mind, what exactly did Zara’s mother tell them, who did she tell them he was?
Zara lay still on the bed, pretending to be asleep as she heard the knob on the door turn slowly. XC came in and walked over to where she was, sitting by her side, he whispered
“If only you knew”
She tried her best to be still as his foul breath hovered over her nose. XC shook her out of her fake sleep and she was proud of how convincing her waking up skill was.
“How is your leg?”
“Worse than it was”
“Hmm, I can’t take you to the hospital anymore, so you have to get better on your own”
“What? How will I get better on my own?”
“I have an assignment to do here, so I can’t go, the leader will be arriving soon”
“So how are we supposed to get married with my leg like this?”
“Even if you’re lying down, we can still be married, sit up, let me clean you”
“I mean your wounds”
“Uhmm, don’t worry”
“You have to be clean and be prepared for the leaders arrival”
“But my leg really hurts”
“You will manage”
“What if someone else took me to the hospital, it mustn’t be you”
“Who will take you?”
“One of the new leaders, uhmm, maybe Kazim”
XC clenched his jaw as he heard the name. It didn’t take anything to decipher what she was planning. In fact he knew.
“Kazim? He is not around”
“Where is he?”
“Do you really want to know?”
“How badly do you want to know this” He looked at her and she recognized that look. That disgusting look of thirst for her that he carried ever since she knew him.
“No, I’m not going to do anything with you” She said, answering the unasked question
“Did I say anything, oh well, I like a tough start”
“Okay, I don’t want to know anymore”
“Oh yeah you know you want to” She knew he was right, she really wanted to know where K was, she needed him so much, it made her head ache. But this man in front of her disgusted her, she couldn’t let him touch her again.
“The information can wait; you can pick any other person to take me”
He got angry as he sensed she was withdrawing from him
“Oh let me tell you where he is, your precious K is out of the camp, and do you know what he went to do?”
Zara wasn’t sure she wanted to know anymore….
It was evening, and as they rode all the way to the police station, Kazim leaned over to rest his head. He still hadn’t come up with a plan, he was exhausted, and this had literally been the longest day of his life. A trillion thoughts crossed his mind and he was at a loss of which to ponder upon first. Zara, her family, the police, what the camp will do, what the driver will report, everything just took over and his head was aching like a war was going on in there.
“But I asked you to help me, is this the help I asked for?” Kazim whispered tearfully to his god, the one he prayed to at the hotel. “I am getting tired of this your dumbness, can’t you even show me a sign on what to do?”
He felt the car stop, and the back of the van opened. Stepping outside, he found that Zara’s mother had joined the second police car trailing them. Apparently, Zara’s dad had stayed back to deal with the fire at home. His heart began to beat very hard as he knew he had come to his end. Why did he open up to this people?
“Ma’am, please step into the office and write your statement”
Statement? What statement will they make now
The officer beside him pushed him roughly behind the counter
“I’m not resisting, so don’t push me”
“Hey shut up there! Imbecile, you think say na play we come play for here. You never see something.”
Twenty minutes later, Zara’s mother came out of the office and walked to him behind the counter. He couldn’t look her in the eyes, he was scared to death, and Zara looked so much like this woman, it was hard to see the tears all over her face.
“Just tell me where my daughter is, I am begging you. And I will try to make your punishment reduced” She whispered to him
He looked up at the woman, if only she knew he was not the one to be punished, if only she knew he was a victim as well, if only she knew he would give his life for her daughter, if only she knew………
“Ma’am, please, I want your daughter out of there as much as you do”
“Hey madam, wetin you dey talk with criminal. You wan adopt am?” The front desk officer said in between his loud groundnut chewing.
Ignoring the officer, Zara’s mum looked him straight in the eye “Out of where?”
“I don’t know the name of the place or the way to get there ma, I was just among…”
She spat on him and slapped him with all the frustration in her body
“Are you kidding me?”
The other police officers came and took her out of the place, leaving Kazim with his hand to his finger imprinted face.
“I’m very sorry ma!” Kazim screamed as she stormed out of the building, crying profusely
“Bros you see this sorry wey you dey talk for mouth? You never sorry yet, make oga come first, you go chop enough slap today”
The tears fell in random motion from Kazims face
“God, where are you?”
Zara stared at XC not sure of what he was going to say next
“Your friend, your beloved friend has gone to silence some people”
“I don’t understand you, silence who?”
“You don’t want to know the people”
“You’re right, I don’t”
“Hahahahaha, you think I don’t love seeing you hate him? Your dearest is out of camp right now, silencing your parents”
“No, no, no, you’re lying”
“Oh am I?” XC shrugged, laughing as he walked into his room, leaving Zara’s heart scattered in different pieces.
To be continued…………… 25th March 2018
Phew!!! Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to share. This is a journey that has put me in all sorts of feelings! Invite your friends to join you on this journey.
I love you for reading!!!!