Blood Lives Here – Episode 16
© Brian Ngoma
Hunter knew all too well that every decision comes with its consequences. He made a deal with the Patel’s to get rid of Ludo but he didn’t hold his end of the bargain. Despite this, Hunter was no man to be intimidated by the Patel’s. As a matter of fact, they were out of the picture for him because he had finally got what he sought; The manuscript. As soon as he got home, he printed the whole thing out and went into his carnage backyard and treated himself to some reading. He never remembered when he had read like that but he was determined to finish the whole thing.
Dawn came. Hunter was done. His eyes were even more darker than ever. He threw the manuscript on the floor disappointedly. What he was looking for, he didn’t find. One thing peculiar about the manuscript was that it talked more about everyone but the only person Hunter was after; Nalishuwa Hamuumbu. He got up and felt his legs, back and neck ache like he had run a marathon. He felt dizzy and sat back in his chair. He looked at the manuscript again and nodded his head. He thought about the amount of time he had wasted reading it.
“It wasn’t all that bad,” he sighed. “What did I expect? It’s just a book,” he touched his head.
He gathered some strength and stood up. He went to the main house and cleaned up. He had even forgotten about his phone which he left in the living room the previous night. He got it and found several missed calls from Naveen. He cleared the notifications panel and threw the phone on the couch. No sooner had it hit the cushion, than it rang. He picked it up again and answered.
“Hello friend,” Naveen said chewing something.
“Yes Naveen,” Hunter put the phone on speaker.
“Did you do it?”
Hunter was silent.
“Yes I did it,” Hunter lied.
“I knew I could trust you. I’ll send the manuscript over. You have done me a great favour man, it’s a win win kind of thing. I’ll get what I want and you’ll also get justice for whatever it is you are seeking.”
“Bye then old friend. Keep in touch.”
Whatever the Patel’s were planning, it was big. Hunter could tell from Naveen’s voice and it seemed like Ludo’s elimination was the first step. He thought about what great danger Ludo was in and she was also a very important accessory to his plan. Not finding what he needed to find in the manuscript, he needed her more than ever because she was the only one he knew close enough to the Hamuumbu’s.
Ludo woke up to her parent’s voices which seemed like they were arguing. It had been a while since they argued. For some days it had felt like things were back to normal but judging from the angry voices, everything was still the same. She got out of bed and went to take a shower hoping the argument would end but with each minute, it escalated. Ludo decided to intervene. She went to their bedroom door and knocked.
“What is it?” Joe yelled and went on. “Who is there?”
Ludo didn’t know what to say but just stood still at the door. She sat on the door for some minutes while her parents were still at it. She heard the door knob turn and stood up. Her father had opened it and was standing there with a suitcase.
“Dad what is it?” Ludo asked feeling her heart pound.
Joe bowed his head.
“Where are you going?” Ludo inquired.
“Business as usual Ludo. I’ll be back soon.”
“This doesn’t seem like a business trip dad.”
“It is,” Joe kissed Ludo on the forehead and left.
Ludo entered the bedroom and found Zamiwe on the bed wiping tears. She walked to the bed and sat beside her.
“What is it mum?” Ludo asked.
“It’s nothing Sweetie,” Zamiwe replied. “How did you sleep?” Zamiwe asked changing the topic.
“I slept just fine till you guys woke me up. What was that all about?”
“Don’t worry about it it’s nothing.”
“Did dad just move out?” Ludo asked her mother hoping for a no.
“Yes,” Zamiwe broke down.
Ludo moved closer to her mother and consoled her. She wasn’t surprised. She knew this day would come because her parents were only good at arguing. It was like arguing was the only thing that kept them together.
“He’s coming back, isn’t he?” Zamiwe asked Ludo. “He can leave me but he cannot leave you.”
“He always comes back, he will,” Ludo answered.
She left her mother in the bedroom and went to prepare breakfast for the both of them. Nancy had not reported and Ludo wondered what had happened because Nancy never missed a single day at work. She had breakfast with her mother in bed. The two talked, joked and caught up. Ludo only wished she could tell her what was happening.
“Let’s visit Mrs. V,” Zamiwe said. “I’m not going to work today and you obviously have nothing to do.”
“By the way, did Mr. V get back to you about your manuscript?”
“No he didn’t. These things take time mom.”
“Okay, go in your room and prepare.”
Ludo and her mother went to the hospital but didn’t find Kate. They talked to the doctor and were told Mr. V’s condition had not changed but he was still stable.
“You said you visited Kate yesterday, did you find her home?” Zamiwe asked after the doctor had left.
“No I didn’t. I knocked on her door but she didn’t come out. I could tell that she was inside. I think she just needed time alone.”
“Perhaps but I’m worried about her. Go and check on her again. I’ll remain here.”
“Mum with this heat?” Ludo complained.
Ludo went to Kate’s house. This time, she found the yard had been cleaned thoroughly. She felt relieved and knew that Kate was fine. She walked to the door and knocked but there was no response like the previous day. She checked the key hole and saw that there were no keys and the door was locked. She called her mother and asked if Kate had reached the hospital but her mother confirmed that she hadn’t.
“Maybe she has gone to school,” Ludo told her mother over the phone.
“Maybe. Come back here we stay for a while and go back home.”
“Alright mum. On my way.”
“Don’t take took long, i don’t like hospitals.”
Sited at the reception of Triple E group of companies headquarters was Kate with her shades on reading a magazine about the company. Looking at how busy people were, Kate could tell that this was definitely a company not to mess with. From the magazine, Triple E group of companies had their hands in almost every business; Real Estates, Hotel and Lodge Management, Transportation, Clothing, Motors and Electronics just to mention a few. She was regretting ever going there because she knew she stood no chance at all with these people. She stood up and headed for the door. As she was about to reach the exit, she saw Elise and Erica walking towards her, she quickly turned around avoiding their eyes. She recognized them because she had done her research. In the little time she got some information from O’Brien, she knew everything about the family that was public and nothing pointed crime to them. They were protected and that was dangerous, Kate thought to herself.
She stood still as Erica and Elise passed her and stood some meters away from her. She wanted to walk away but Erica mentioned Ludo’s name in their conversation which caught Kate’s attention.
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on Ludo,” Elise warned Erica. “What you did was enough.”
“I wonder why you’re even protecting her. You even know what damage she’s bringing to us,” Erica said. “If we are not careful, our enemies will attack when we least expect it and don’t you forget that Naveen is in the country.”
“Enough, I’m aware of all that. Ethan will take care of Naveen.”
“Mom!” Erica touched her mouth.
“Don’t worry, he won’t be killed but will be dealt with accordingly if he tries to mess with us.”
Erica got worried knowing what her elder brother was capable of.
“You still have feelings for Naveen??”
“I love Jean.”
“Are you sure? Isn’t Jean someone who just makes you forget about the world you are in?”
Erica didn’t answer.
“I need to work. Go work as well,” Elise told Erica.
“Whatever,” Erica left Elise standing.
Elise noticed that someone was staring at them and eavesdropping to their conversation.
“Excuse me!” Elise shouted looking at Kate.
Kate dropped the magazine in fear. She quickly walked to the exit door and got out without looking back.
“Security!” Elise shouted.
Kate ran as fast as possible. The heels she wore fell of. She felt like someone was following her. As soon as she got outside the fence, she stopped a taxi and got on it and told the driver to step on it. Immediately the taxi started moving, a man came out of Triple E premises running and looked around. He then went back inside.
“So Ludo is also caught up with them. They found her. Poor girl,” Kate thought out loudly panting heavily.
“Pardon,” The cab driver said.
“Oh sorry, I’m just thinking out loud,” she checked if there was a car following them.
“You keep checking behind. No one is following us. That man went back inside. What did you do? Am i helping a thief?” The driver laughed.
“No,” Kate laughed too concealing her nerves. “I went to check on my husband. I suspected he was cheating on me.”
“Ohh that’s a relief because from what i hear, the owners of that company are not people to mess with me. Anyway you are safe no one is following us and i hope your husband is not cheating on you.”
Kate exhaled and smiled. Ludo was her next mission. She needed to find out what was happening with her and she was determined to find out that same evening.
Ludo reached town and was passing through some boutiques and thought about Melanie. She hadn’t heard from her for days now. It was true she didn’t like her but she missed her annoying ass. Walking slowly, she felt someone following her. She turned around but couldn’t see anyone she knew. She started walking again this time, faster. She felt a hand on her hand.
“Easy,” Evan stopped her.
Ludo turned around and was surprised.
“Are you following me?” She asked him.
“No NO No,” he answered defensively. “I was in that boutique and saw you. I came for my suits.”
“Oh that’s good. Bye then!”
“Wait,” he held her hand again.
“Stop it with that!” She pointed at him.
“I’m sorry. Grab a coffee with me,” he told her.
“I don’t like coffee and I’m busy,” she said.
“Ice cream then.”
“I said I’m busy and aren’t you supposed to be at work killing people or something?”
A few passers-by’s looked at the two in shock but they just thought it was sarcasm at play.
“Today is my cheat day and I feel like I didn’t say thank you enough for what you did for me that night and this coincidence hmmm,” Evan smiled and went on. “Please let’s have ice cream, please,” he begged her.
Ludo looked at her watch and said, “NO.”
Evan’s face turned sad.
“Sorry but I have to go,” Ludo started off.
As she walked in the streets she saw a tall dark man wearing an all-black suit and thought of Hunter. Hunters words then lingered in her head;
TO BETRAY, YOU HAVE TO BELONG
She quickly turned around and ran back to Evan. She found him about to enter the boutique.
“Hey you,” she called him.
Evan turned around and smiled at Ludo.
“Change of heart?” He asked.
“Not really, I have just realised that I have free thirty minutes before i get to where I’m going.”
Evan laughed and told her to wait for him at the counter as he got his suits. They went to the nearest eatery and ordered some ice cream. What was supposed to be a thirty-minute friendly date, turned to hours. Ludo looked at Evan and thought to herself why he was referred to as Brains, he was really intelligent. The way he talked and argued. He wasn’t that bad after all, she told herself.
“Snap out of it,” she said out loudly.
“Excuse me,” Evan said.
“It’s nothing, I have to get going now,” Ludo stood up. “Thank you for the ice cream,” she smiled at him.
“Let me take you home,” he also stood up.
“No I’m fine. As a matter of fact, I’m not going home I’m going to the hos……” She stopped realising she wanted to tell an enemy about Mr. V.
“Where are you going?” Evan asked. “I can take you there.”
Ludo refused for Evan to drive her. They left the eatery together and Evan kept insisting to drive her.
“No. Bye Evan,” she turned around and bumped into Melanie.
“So this is what you have been doing to me Ludo?” A teary Melanie asked. “I thought you were my friend.
“Melanie!” Ludo blared. “Where did you come from? This is not what it looks like,” Ludo said.
“I saw how you guys were talking to each other. I was watching you.”
“Where you following us?” Evan touched Melanie’s shoulder.
“I’m not talking to you Evan,” Melanie removed Evan’s hand from her shoulder.
“We just bumped into each other and we were talking about you, isn’t that right Evan?” Ludo looked at Evan.
“You see?” Ludo told Melanie.
“Is that true Evan?” Melanie turned around.
Evan didn’t answer but looked at Ludo expressionless.
“Don’t play with Ludo. Her boyfriend will kill you, he’s fierce.”
“Boyfriend?” Ludo asked.
“Yes that bearded guy,” Melanie answered. “Isn’t that your boyfriend? You forgot you told me that.”
Evan’s face read shocked.
“Bearded guy?” Evan asked.
Ludo didn’t answer.
“Yes,” Melanie answered. “He’s fiercely handsome and you wouldn’t stand a chance against him,” she frowned.
“I’m leaving now,” Ludo left feeling her heart out of place.
What if Evan had remembered what happened that night? She reached for her phone and went into her address book and found Hunter’s address. She got into the taxi and went to his place. She got to Hunter’s place around 6pm. She found the gate unlocked. She entered and forgot to push it back. She reached the main door and knocked. There was total darkness but she wasn’t afraid. A curtain flipped. Some seconds later, the door opened. Ludo entered and found herself in the living room.
“What do you want?” Hunter asked in the dark.
“We might have a problem,” Ludo answered looking for a light switch.
“Just find a seat young girl,” Hunter growled.
“I can’t see.”
“That’s the all the purpose.”
“I’m leaving if you are not switching on the lights,” Ludo said.
“Are you telling me you came all the way here to go back because there are no lights?”
“Yes,” Ludo headed for the door and opened it.
“Wait. Come back here, sit down,” Hunter switched on the lights.
Ludo left the door and went to sit down.
“What is it?” Hunter asked her looking away.
“I said we might have a problem,” Ludo answered.
“Ludo what is happening here?” Kate asked standing at the door. “Who is this man?” She pointed at Hunter.
Hunter quickly got up startled and angrily looked at Ludo, then Kate and then back at Ludo. His eyes burned with Betrayal as he clenched his fists and his eyes turned dark as night.
To be continued