On Thursday I was glued to my laptop finessing the characters of my novel, ‘Miser and Miseries’, at home when my phone rang. I had spent the whole day at Gevin Technologies and a quiet evening was what I wanted. That’s why I don’t have a house-help.
I glanced at the caller ID. It was Gwendolyn. What now? I hit the connect button.
“Hi, gal. How do you do?”
“How do you do. I’ve missed you so.”
“Like we haven’t talked in the last hour.”
“You know me. I’m a hornbill. Or is it kasuku?”
“You tell me.”
“I know you,” I continued. “The excitement in your voice betrays you. What have you stumbled upon this time round. By the way, how is Mohammed Ali? It’s long since I heard of Jicho Pevu.”
“Hey, hey. Slow down, gal. One question at a time.”
“Go ahead and answer one at a time.”
“One, you won’t believe what I found out. Two, Moha is doing just fine. Rumour has it that he’s moving to NTV – but I did not say that. Three, Jicho Pevu is gonna blow your mind off next week.”
“Whao! And you kept that from me? Not good.”
“It wouldn’t have been news if I told you.”
It was my turn to chuckle.
“So, what have you found out?” I asked. “Or do I have to wait till next week for my mind to be blown off?”
“On the contrary. When we were researching on the next week episode of Jicho Pevu, I stumbled upon something that I thought might be of interest to you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Something you have vested interest.”
“And that is?”
Instead of answering, she asked me, “How soon can you get to our joint?”
“So many things. You know me.”
“If you don’t mind, six-thirty sharp. We can’t talk over the phone.”
“OOhh! I see. Someone is listening. You think and act like one of them, spies that is.”
“Blame it on the eye in the sky, or the bug in the back.”
“Ok, see you then.”
Gwen was already there when I entered Club Galileo’s exactly three minutes to the hour. She was her usual self – denim jeans, T-Shirt, flip-flops, her loyal ray bans plopped up the centre of her head clipping her blow-dried hair and chewing gum – devoid of makeup. She was at a table for two with a glass of red wine in front of her. Just so Gwen.
I ordered forthwith and once the waiter was gone, I delved into what had taken me there.
“So, what gives, Miss Reporter?”
“Mmmmh! Hold your horses, Miss M.E.”
It was during dessert when she told me.
“It’s about Frank.”
Just the mention of that name made my stomach churn. I felt like throwing up. She saw the expression on my face and knew.
“What about him? You very well know that Frank and I are worlds apart.”
“Yes, and that’s why I called you. I stumbled upon something that I thought might interest you.”
As I told you, the next episode of Jicho Pevu is about unsolved murder cases in the country, cold case files that have been stacked in the cabinets of ancient history. We’ve had even to bribe our way into secret vaults of police and justice systems in search of the forgotten cases. There’s one that came up, and I decided to leave it for you. It was Father Frank’s case file.”
“And why would you think I’d be interested? Fr. Frank can go rot in hell for all I care.”
“Of course, but trust me, you care more than you’d like to admit. In you I see a fighter, and you are, for just cause. That’s why I called you.”
“How do you mean?”
“Apart from that, everything about you was screaming vengeance that day you learnt the truth about Frank.”
“I wouldn’t dispute that premises, but that was then. The best revenge is forgiveness. I am moved on, Gwen.”
“On the contrary, that’s what you’d like to believe, but given a chance you’d jump ship. I know you. Then there is justice.”
“What are you not telling me?”
“Fr. Frank’s case files were fake. The original case file disappeared mysteriously on the second hearing of the case. Some statements and police reports collaborated and were pointing at him, he was toast. He was the killer. But someone did not want him on the dock, or behind bars. That meant there exists two case files – the original and the fake. The court uses the fake one.
“When I went through the file I came across one witness who did not stand out at first. It was the bishop’s cook. No one listened to him because he had moments of instability. Schizophrenia, that’s what they call it? His statement was dismissed, but retained in the original file. That’s the only thing that has stalled Fr. Frank’s case, and is holding justice back.”
“I still don’t get it. How do I come in here?”
“Simple. Vengeance, Shiri. A dish of revenge tastes best when served cold. Plus, you’d be killing two birds with one stone – you would be serving justice. Bishop Locati’s killers need to be brought to the book.”
I thought about what Gwen was telling me. True, killers and murderers should be served with justice. Nonetheless, doing it for vengeance, methinks, is being prejudiced. What would I gain? I had told Frank to go back to his filthy life. I didn’t want anything to do with him. Not ever.
“I have moved on, Gwen. I can’t do this.”
“You can’t, or you won’t.”
“I would be emotionally attached. That’s not how it should be.”
“You can remove the emotions from the equation, forget you ever knew Frank, and revoke vice as part of your job and duty as the media.”
Well, Gwen was a talker, and though I did not trust myself in doing what she was suggesting without getting emotional, I told her that I needed some time to think. As though undeterred by what I had said, she pulled out a folder from her reticule and put it on the table.
“In here is all what you need. Go, read it. The next hearing of his case is next week, Wednesday.”
Guess I had no option.
Copyright ©Elove Poetry, 2013
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