DO NOT OPEN – Episode 13
© Brian Ngoma
Nikiwe sat in her car at the stations parking lot Everyone she saw now, she recalled what Chipande’s son told her. What did Chipande’s son mean by what he said and who could that be? Enough with the thoughts, she snapped when she thought of the new found lead.
Chipande’s son mentioned that his father was onto something big before he lost it. He had found the most important piece of the puzzle. What was it? She reached for the small ripped book and started perusing.
The small book started with strange drawings of figures mostly of a woman. On one page, there was also a drawing of a man with his face facing down with a tear dropping down his cheeks. Whatever that meant. She went on and got to find the cases she’s been dealing with from the 1989 to 2013. That’s as far as Old man Chipande could go. She then remembered what Ngoma said about another young detective who took up the case but died under mysterious circvmstances. She figured he was the one who made notes on the 2019 case.
She searched some more and then found it;
Entry number? I cannot even count how many entries have made but all I know is that I have spent over 8,500 days from 1989 to 2013. I have followed this case from the time it happened to me to now. Through my informants, I have come into contact with new information regarding the envelope. Today I’m going to see the Informant and hopefully, find a new angle regarding this case. I really need to prove my wife’s innocence.
Nikiwe found herself sweating as she flipped the pages. She was really nervous. It was expected. As she flipped the pages, she found another entry.
Wife sick! Terribly sick. Prison has really taken a toll on her.
Nikiwe didn’t like where this whole thing was going. She needed that important piece of information. Where the hell was it? She vigorously flipped the pages.
I met the informant. Everything that I feared has been confirmed. Apparently, the first time the killings happened was in 1965. There had been over 3 killings of the same kind prior to what happened to me and my family. They were never just docvmented. I was the first one to docvment them till now. The informant gave me an address to follow to find the person who knows why this whole thing happens.
Mbereshi Mission Hospital
The informant gave me a name of a person to see.
A name and a location, Nikiwe took a deep breath in. She could tell that she was at the end of the small book. There was only one page remaining. She flipped it.
Wife dead. Case closed. No reason to pursue this anymore. If any other detective or person comes in contact with this, please visit Mbereshi mission Hospital. That’s where all the answers are. Of all the discoveries I have made, I have concluded that as long as that envelope will still be out there, the killings will continue. May God be with you.
14th March, 2013
Poor Chipande, Nikiwe closed the small book. This was it, she thought. She could only hope that whatever was at Mbereshi Mission was worth the journey. She had no time to waste. She was certain that tomorrow which was a Friday, she was traveling to Luapula Province. She then thought of the people Chipande’s son had talked about. It was time to find out who those people were.
As she walked into the station, her eyes were on everyone. Everyone was behaving their usual selves. She walked to the office and found the three detectives wrapping up the day. It was almost 5pm. She didn’t talk to them but studied them quietly.
“Is everything okay, detective?” Detective Boice asked Nikiwe.
She briefly stared at him and looked away. “All good.”
Senzo was busy staring at some papers on his desk. He didn’t even look at her when she entered.
“It had been a busy day,” Detective Manda said. “Let’s head out Boice.”
“Before you go!” Nikiwe shouted.
They all looked at her, including Senzo.
“Do you boys have anything to do with the case I’m handling?” She asked bluntly.
Boice laughed. “What do you mean, detective?”
“Is there anyone in this room who was involved in these cases?” Her voice quivering but defiantly looking at their faces.
“No, what’s going on?” Manda inquired.
“It’s late, let’s knock off,” Senzo stood up.
“Not too fast, detective,” Nikiwe also stood up. “Boice and Manda, you can leave now.”
The two detectives looked at her confused. They didn’t want to meddle in whatever business she had with Senzo. They left.
“What is this all about?” Senzo asked getting furious.
“I am going to ask you one question only, just one question detective. Who are you, really?”
Senzo didn’t respond. He stared at her for a moment and nodded his head.
“Who are you?”
He laughed and said, “I am Detective Senzo Kalolo. You’re going crazy, detective. Who do you think I am?”
“You’re hiding something. I just cannot figure out what it is but there is something off about you.”
“Well, there is something off about you too,” with that he grabbed his things and left.
Nikiwe was left alone with no progress. If it’s not Senzo, Boice or Manda, then who is it? She sighed and looked at her watch, it was almost 6pm. She needed to get home.
Outside, she met Ngoma and Ba Yama chatting. As soon as they saw her, they waved at her. She waved back and headed to her car. She was tired. She only wanted to get home now. She started the car and drove to the gate. Whilst waiting for the car in front to leave, she saw someone at the gate waving at someone in the station. Looking back, he was waving at Ba Yama who was sprinting to go outside. Ba Yama passed Nikiwe’s car and went to the man outside. She watched them greet each other excitedly. As she drove past them, she smiled at Ba yama who smiled back. As she drove away, she heard something.
“So, how is work, Siwale?”
The name rang a bell. She knew the name. Where had she heard or read it from? Her mind too tired, she blushed it off and drove away.
Clarence and the boys were home already. Clarence prepared supper whilst the boys told him stories about school. Like Nikiwe, he also listened attentively and laughed at the stories. “How’s the story going?” He asked Jackson.
Jackson looked surprised.
“Alice in Wonderland?”
“Ohh, it’s good,” Jackson replied.
“Just good? Come on man, you can do better than that. I want details.”
Jackson laughed and rushed to the book. “Some words are difficult to read but I underline them like mom said. This weekend, we’ll go through the words together.”
“Daddy I want a book too!” Zindaba shouted whilst pushing his motorbike toy.
“We’ll get you one too,” Clarence replied.
“I want the same one as Jackson’s,” Zindaba pointed at Jackson’s book in his hands.
“Okay Zee,” Clarence looked at Jackson. “Since mom is not home yet, why don’t you open the book so that I help you out with the words.”
Jackson smiled innocently and put the book properly in his hands. Clarence looked away as he checked on the bacon. Zindaba was busy playing with his toys. The kitchen was filled with a smell of Bacon. Supper will be delicious tonight.
To be continued