Blood Lives Here – Episode 12
© Brian Ngoma
Suit and Tie; Nobody wore it better than Evan. Whenever he had a meeting, he ensured he wore his best suits. He stood in front of the mirror and sighed heavily. The meeting with Mr. Jackson from Bank of Zambia was a very important one. He knew his mother had put a lot of faith in him. He smiled and said, “I’m called Brains for a reason.”
He left the house and drove to Bank of Zambia. As soon as he reached, he called Mr. Jackson.
“Hello sir,” he said.
“Evan,” Mr. Jackson responded.
“I have arrived. Driving in right now.”
Evan got surprised.
“We are meeting from Cairo apartments. We’ll be having a brunch meeting. Meet us here at 11am.”
“Yes Evan. You’ll find us. Don’t be late,” Mr. Jackson cut the call.
Evan wondered who the third person was. Initially, the meeting was between him and Mr. Jackson. He reached Cairo apartments at exactly 11am. As expected, he found Mr. Jackson waiting for him in the lobby.
“So i was surprised when you said ‘we’… I thought this meeting was between the two of us,” Evan said nervously sipping on his tea.
Mr. Jackson didn’t say a thing but look at his tablet. There was something about Mr. Jackson. He was mysterious. Among all the people Evan dealt with, Mr. Jackson made him nervous and uneasy. Everybody in the business circle knew that he wasn’t an easy man. He was a serious man.
“Let’s finish our tea,” Mr. Jackson put the tablet on the table and looked around.
“Ok,” Evan chuckled.
Evan texted his mother telling her that there was something wrong with the deal. For a moment, he thought it was a set up but then again, that would also put Mr. Jackson in trouble. Elise didn’t respond and Evan regretted texting her. That showed how he relied on his mother. He cringed thinking about how weak that showed him.
“So our man is here,” Mr. Jackson exhaled standing up.
“Where?” Evan asked.
Mr. Jackson extended his hand.
Evan turned his head.
“Mr. Jackson!” Naveen exclaimed.
Evan felt his stomach turn.
“Mr. Patel,” Mr. Jackson said. “There is a seat.”
Evan looked at the two confused.
“Evan,” Naveen looked at Evan.
“Naveen,” Evan said. “I didn’t know you were back in the country.”
“Iam back,” Naveen smiled wickedly.
“Let’s get down to business,” Mr. Jackson interrupted the reunion. “So here is the deal. As you both know, i cannot deal with both of your companies but i have assessed and evaluated them and i have come to a conclusion.”
“Wait Mr. Jackson,” Evan stopped him.
Mr. Jackson looked at Evan irritated, “Let me finish Mr. Hamuumbu. We don’t have time.”
“Go ahead,” Evan gulped.
“Thank you. As i was saying; I have done my homework and truthfully saying,” he looked at Evan. “I wanted to deal with Triple E group of companies.”
Evan didn’t like the sound of that. He began sweating.
“With all the drama surrounding your family company, i have opted for the Patels,” Mr. Jackson said.
“Drama?” Evan asked adjusting his tie.
“Yes Evan. There is so much going on in your family which can put all of us in problems right now; too much spotlight. That’s the reason i don’t want to take the risk.”
“I don’t understand,” Evan said.
“The manuscript Evan,” Naveen added. “Cut the crap. Acting like you don’t know a thing.”
“How do you ….” Evan stopped.
“Everybody knows about it,” Mr. Jackson said. “Now if you can excuse us Mr. Hamuumbu.”
Evan didn’t need to be told that he was dismissed. He got up feeling weary. As soon as he stood, he felt dizzy and leaned against the chair.
“Are you alright Mr. Hamuumbu?” Mr. Jackson asked.
Evan didn’t answer. He walked straight to his car. He looked at his phone and found several missed calls from his mother. He switched off his phone and drove out of the hotel.
Erica was waiting patiently for Mr. Mpundu at Palmwood Lodge. She had talked to him in the morning and he booked a room and told her to wait for him while he dropped his wife at work. She knew how important persuading Mr. Mpundu was. She couldn’t fail especially that Naveen was in the country. She knew that from that moment on, everything she did would be scrutinized.
She heard a knock on the door. She knew it was Mr. Mpundu but why knock? She wondered. She walked to the door and opened it. She couldn’t believe who was at the door and what he was doing there.
“Jean!” She shouted. “What are you doing here?” She looked in the hallway before pulling him inside. “Are you now following me?”
“You can’t continue doing this Erica,” Jean said. “You know i love you but this is prostitution at it’s highest level.”
“You have to leave please,” she begged him.
“We are leaving together.”
“Why do you keep doing this Erica?”
“I thought we agreed about this. This is my family business. I do what i can to sustain it.”
“Why do you do the dirty stuff?”
“Everybody does the dirty stuff. Evan does the dirty stuff in suits as a disguise. Ethan, you don’t have to talk about it.”
“Run away with me.”
“And go where?” She rolled her eyes. “As soon as i disappear, my accounts will be frozen and we both know I’m the only one with money here,” Erica said forcing back tears. “Leave Jean,” she pushed him towards the door.
Jean didn’t say anything. He left her in the room with a sad face. She cried thinking about how she treated him. Why didn’t he leave her? She wondered.
She composed herself and applied makeup.
The door opened and it was Mr. Mpundu. He walked in with a straight face with his eyes searching everywhere. He put his briefcase on the table by the door.
“Hi Mr. Mpundu,” Erica got up and walked to him.
Mr. Mpundu looked at Erica suspiciously.
“What is it?” She asked him.
“We cannot go ahead with this.”
“I came to tell you in your face.”
“You are probably tired,” Erica tried to remove his jacket.
“Don’t touch me,” he pushed her. “And why should i be tired, it’s only midmorning?”
“What’s going on?” She asked.
“So they call you Jezebel?” He looked at her disgusted.
Erica didn’t say a word.
“So according to the book, you’ve had several sexually transmitted diseases fifty women combined,” Mr. Mpundu shook his head. “How do you leave with yourself? You’re worse than the original Jezebel.”
Erica’s eyes fumed with anger.
“Tell your mother that i will get my goods from somewhere else. I still have respect for the old man. You are ruining what he started,” Mr. Mpundu stormed out of the room leaving Erica laying on the bed confused and disoriented.
“Monday’s are boring,” Ludo said watching Nancy washing the plates. “I can help you though.”
“For the 100th time, I’m paid to do this. Just sit and tell me stories,” Nancy said.
“I don’t have anything to tell you Nancy,” Ludo whined and went on. “As a matter of fact, it’s you whose supposed to tell me ghetto juices,” Ludo said.
“Nothing interesting happened last weekend,” Nancy shrugged. “Just some random girl who was caught cheating.”
“That’s unfortunate. I’m bored,” Ludo complained.
“Go and sleep Ludo. Boredom is contagious,” Nancy laughed.
“Get out,” Ludo laughed looking at her phone.
“What is it?” Nancy asked.
“Look at this,” Ludo showed Nancy what she was looking at. “Imagine this man posted a picture of himself and his daughter and captioned it ‘The fruit of my womb’.”
They both laughed hysterically.
“I didn’t know men have wombs too,” Nancy blurted out.
“Crazy world it is,” Ludo put the phone away. “Stupidity reigns supreme these days.”
Ludo was trying to make conversation with Nancy to forget what happened over the weekend. She couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Jabulani and Hunter. She couldn’t figure out his deal yet but he was interested in her manuscript. That’s the only thing she knew about him.
“What are you thinking about?” Nancy asked her.
“Nothing. Just some stuff,” she answered.
“Your mother told me that your friend spent the night here on Saturday.”
“Yes she did.”
“You two are close eh?”
“No? Why?” Nancy asked defensively. “Your mother doesn’t like her. Don’t tell her i told you that.”
“Don’t worry i know that. Who likes Melanie anyway?” Ludo frowned.
“Isn’t your phone ringing?,” Nancy asked Ludo.
She had put her phone on vibration.
“Ohh,” she reached for it and answered. “Hello.”
“Ludo,” Elise said on the other side.
“Are you busy?”
“Yes,” Ludo hesitated.
“Seems like you are not. Come out I’m parked outside your house.”
Elise cut the line.
“Who was that?” Nancy asked.
Ludo had her hand on her mouth.
“Is everything okay Ludo?” Nancy asked concerned.
Ludo snapped out of it, “Everything is fine,” she left the kitchen.
She went in her bedroom and changed. She got the laptop from her bed and went outside. She found Elise’s car parked outside as told. She went and found Elise on the driver’s seat.
“Enter,” Elise instructed her.
Ludo entered the car and found Mr. Nalishuwa Hamuumbu in the backseat with his eyes only moving while his body was still.
“Hi Mr. Hamuumbu,” Ludo waved at him. “Driving yourself?” She asked Elise.
“My driver is nowhere to be found and I don’t trust nobody to drive me.”
Ludo’s heart skipped a beat.
“I don’t know where he is,” Elise said worriedly.
“He will be back. Perhaps he’s taking a break.”
“No employee of mine go on a break without telling me. Something is wrong,” Elise said thoughtful.
Ludo kept quiet.
“I can see you have my things.”
“Yes. Everything is in here,” Ludo looked at the laptop.
“Well good,” Elise started the car.
Ludo got nervous and asked, “Aren’t i remaining?”
“From the look of things, you are doing nothing at home and obviously bored. Let’s take my husband to the hospital,” Elise looked at ludo. “Okay with that?”
Elise drove to the hospital. Ludo observed how Elise held her husband. It was obvious she loved him. Ludo just couldn’t put together why these people were bad. She had spent the previous day reading her work all over again. If what they say was true concerning the manuscript about being about them; they were bad people and Ludo wanted nothing to do with them. As soon as she got her laptop back, she had planned ghosting on them. She didn’t care about their threats because they would have what they wanted from her.
Ludo sat in the waiting room while she played with her phone. She looked at the watch on the the wall and it was 17:43. She knew she had to go home. She stood up and checked any sign of Elise and her husband.
“Looking for me?” Elise asked from Ludo’s back Wheeling her husband. “We can leave now.”
Ludo felt relieved.
They went to Elise’s car. Before Elise could start her car, her phone rang. Ludo watched Elise talk on the phone. Elise’s face gradually went from smiley to horrifying. Ludo knew something was wrong. Elise didn’t say anything and started the car. She drove in silence to her house. Ludo didn’t dare ask anything. They got to the house and found Evan and Erica waiting for them.
Erica and Evan didn’t seem friendly at all. They looked at Ludo as if they wanted to rip her throat out.
“Do i need to be here?” Ludo asked scared. “I can come for the laptop tomorrow. And it’s late, my mother has already texted me several times,” she smiled nervously.
“Sit down!” Erica yelled at Ludo. “This dumb stupid girl had the audacity to write about me and my private life,” she fidgeted.
Evan was drinking Whiskey from the bottle and looked untidy.
“What Happened?” Elise asked looking at the both of them.
“She happened,” Evan pointed at Ludo. “Can we just kill her already?”, He threw the bottle and smashed it on the wall.
Ludo got even more scared.
“Be clear!” Elise shouted.
“Let’s talk in your office mom,” Erica said. “After this, i doubt if you’ll ever want to see this girl again.”
They all stood up and went to Elise’s office and locked the door behind them. Ludo was shaking. She had never seen Evan and Erica that angry before. She thought about running but she knew she couldn’t make it to the gate. She thought about Calling her parents but she couldn’t, lest she involves them and put them in danger. She opted to wait.
Elise came out first. Ludo could tell that she was furious. She walked to Ludo and grabbed the laptop from her hands and smashed it on the floor. Ludo watched in terror.
“Where is Ethan?” Elise shouted.
“I don’t know,” Evan and Erica answered at the same time.
Kent got out of his car feeling good about how productive his day had been. Finally, he had found a good writer with a good read. He was happy and thought about the prospects. He had texted his wife about the good news. As he walked to the door, he whistled his favorite song. He got to the door and just as he was about to hold the handle, he heard a movement behind him. He quickly turned around and there was no one.
“Anyone here!” He asked stepping away from the door.
He could not hear anything but the sounds of the night. He turned around to face the door and bumped into Ethan.
Kent stepped back scared.
“Who are you?”
Ethan didn’t answer.
“What do you want? I have some money in my wallet,” Kent got his wallet from the pocket. “Here, take everything in it.”
Kent wanted to scream but Ethan tactically grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him, closing his mouth with his big palm. Kent tried to shake himself off but couldn’t. Ethan drugged him to his car while he kept resisting. As soon as they got to the car, Ethan got the car keys from Kent’s pocket and opened the doors. He pushed him inside and got in closing the doors.
“Help!” Kent screamed.
Ethan looked around the tiny space of the car and thought it perfect for a beating. He moved himself to Kent and clenched his fist. He punched him in the face deeming him unconscious with the first punch. He grabbed his head and banged it against the wheel repeatedly until blood oozed out of Kent’s nose, ears and eyes. Ethan looked at the unconscious Kent and spat on him. He got out of the car, dusted himself and left the scene.
To be continued