“You’re lying” She still had the gun pointed at his head
“Like I said earlier, you can choose to believe whatever you want. And uhmm, I see your leg is fine too, so there really is no need to go anywhere”
“You will take me wherever I want to go or you’ll be dead in seconds”
Zara was thrown aback by XC’s sudden outburst of laughter with a gun to his head
“You’ll kill me and think you’ll walk out of this camp alive? Oh, do you even know the way out?” He asked in a mockery.
Zara stepped backward slowly, hating the smile she saw on XC’s face.
“You foolish girl, look at what you’ve done to these women” XC said, pointing to the women sprawling in pain on the floor. He tapped them and gave them a helping hand, pulling them up.
“Women you have to try and get up, no one must know what happened”
The women crawled up holding several parts of their aching bodies.
“Get my bride ready for the wedding”
Kazim walked back into his cell to meet his roommate fast asleep, he sat on the bed and waited.
“I see you’re back was that your lawyer?”
“Uhmm, yes it was”
“Oh I see, so are they going to battle your case in court or what?”
Kazim had no idea what to say to him
“We didn’t get to talk that long, he is coming over”
“Oh better, I had a novice lawyer defend my case, he didn’t even care about the facts”
Kazim wasn’t ready for anymore stories so he pretended to be sleepy, yawning as hard as he could, he lay down”
“It seems you’re tired”
“Okay, I’ll just keep talking then, maybe you’ll hear me”
Kazim lay down but couldn’t sleep as this guy kept on with his story”
“I would summarize, this man promised to take care of my family, only if I changed my religion. We were Christians. But it seemed like Jesus was dragging his feet in answering our prayers. So, I told mum that I wanted to relocate for a better life for us all and I went with this man to his house, did the conversion, which seemed pretty easy, muttering a few Arabic words. And I was taken to be trained in a place the called the camp.
Kazim jumped from his lying position and sat up. Was this the same camp this man spoke of?
“I’ve lost count of how many lives were lost through my hands, but I kept on because my mother was having a better life. Unfortunately, the last assignment I did was in the house of a chief justice, it was a suicide bomb attack, and his house was close to the school he owned, so it was a double plunge. I took all the precautions but I failed. There was something about the look in his wife’s eyes, like she knew what I was. It was as if she used some unseen power to detect what I carried. She spoke to me in a way no one else had, I didn’t know when I started crying. I remembered the teachings of my mother.”
“Yeah, we were told some scrappy lies, that we would have a better afterlife, seven virgins, a river of beer, and all. And the money they promised to give my mum was in billions, how could I refuse”
“But how do you know they are lies now?”
“I know, I just know, And I’d rather rot here in prison than go that path again”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Let me finish. On the day of my court verdict, my mother was in that room. I had bought her a house and she was comfortable, I told her a man introduced me into sales of properties, until she got to know the real truth. It was easier for me to go to jail than see the look on my mothers face when the judge read out my crimes. The last time she came visiting, she said she had moved out of the house I bought, she couldn’t live in a house gotten from the results of murder”
Kazim was speechless, he didn’t know when a tear dropped from his eyes
“Now to your question. Why I’m telling you this, I’m not that man anymore”
“I’m saved and the joy and peace I have can’t be explained”
“I’m not sure I understand”
“I mean I have been…”
“Kazim!” An officer called out to him
“Your lawyer is here”
Kazim turned to the man beside him “I don’t even know your name”
“David” The man said as he handed him the book that was beside him.
“I’m Kazim, it was nice to meet you”
Kazim walked out of the cell, with the book in his hands wrapped in a nylon sheet. The ‘lawyer’ walked up to him and pointed to the door.
“Follow me” He whispered
“Who are you”
Kazim walked beside him and wondered why nobody questioned them on their way out. They got into the car and the driver that sat in front drove off
“We’re returning to the camp”
As they moved, mixed feelings clouded his mind, the joy of seeing Zara again, and the narrow escape he just missed. He could have run. He also thought of the few minutes when he had a roommate, David. That man was in the camp as well. As he thought about it, he picked up the book the man gave him, opening it slowly, he found a paper in between the pages, and it was a note from David. He wondered when this man had written the note
“I took one look at you and I knew you were in the camp, they’re probably going to come take you because you look like a newbie in assignment duties, but you need to leave those men, they will reck your life, this is a small map on the way out of that place, by the way, read this book, it will change your life”
Zara was at her lowest as the women began to dress her for the ceremony. Of all she thought about, Kazim was at the top of her thinking list. How would he come back to look her in the eyes after all he’s done to her parents. What would he think of her marriage. If she ever had a choice, it would have been him, well before she found out what he had just done. He was more than a friend, he was her only source of joy.
The women completed their work and she looked at her self in the mirror. The little bruises had been covered up and she had on a new dress, but she was in no way ready to be this man’s bride.
“You are beautiful my wife”
“I’m not your wife”
“Not yet anyway, I just got the call I’ve been waiting for, the leader has arrived”
To be continued, 8th April 2018
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