Web Of Lies – Episode 10
“Has he sent you the address?” Chilufya asked while stepping on the gas.
“Yes. He lives in Emmasdale behind bread of life church. Step on it will you,” Darren said.
“I am; can’t you see?” Chilufya answered upset. “What’s wrong with you today?”
“I don’t know who to trust.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Tell me Chilufya.”
“What should I tell you Darren?”
Darren didn’t know how to ask his partner. He knew that if he asked him the reason he was communicating with Fiona; he would risk the investigation. He had to play it smart lest he blows up his progress.
“Nothing man, I have not been feeling too fine lately,” Darren projected.
“I am your partner Darren and I know we don’t get along that much on a personal level but you can talk to me.”
How can someone be so calm knowing that they are somehow involved in the case they are currently trying to solve? Darren wondered and looked at Chilufya.
“We are here. Park the car over that side,” Darren instructed Chilufya.
“What if the person we are dealing with is armed?” Chilufya asked nervously.
“We’ll take our chances. Let’s go in.”
The dual climbed the fence as the gate was locked from the inside. They got into the compound which was surrounded by scrap metals.
“This boy lives alone?” Chilufya whispered as they crawled to the door.
“I think so,” Darren answered attentively trying to hear any voices from the inside.
“This house is big,” Chilufya said amazed.
“Shut up Chilufya,” Darren said annoyed. “Go around the back, I will try to enter through this door.”
Chilufya crawled his way to the back while Darren remained at the front door. He couldn’t manage to open the door. He went to the window and tried to see if there was anyone in the house but didn’t see anyone. He got his phone and texted Jeremy and waited for a few minutes. Jeremy didn’t reply.
“Where are you, boy?” He asked in a low tone.
Darren decided to go to the back and check on Chilufya. He silently made his way to the back and found a door which was opened. He entered the house and found himself in what seemed to be a kitchen.
“Chilufya.” He whispered.
There was total silent. The only thing he could hear was his heartbeat. He slowly walked to the passage and entered the living room where he found the broken TV on the floor.
“Darren!” Chilufya shouted from the other room.
Darren felt his heart miss a beat as he ran to the room. He felt it in his gut that from the way Chilufya shouted, things were not fine. He reached the bedroom which seemed to be Jeremy’s and found Chilufya standing holding his mouth.
“What is it?” Darren asked scared.
Chilufya only looked at him and pointed at the ceilings. Darren felt weak and defeated when he saw the young Jeremy hanging from the roof with his eyes widely open. He felt something in his eyes and when he tried to check, it was tears crowding his eyes.
“What a tragedy,” Chilufya said sadly taking out his phone calling emergency.
Darren stood there watching the young man hanging from the roof. They didn’t want to touch Jeremy. They went outside and tried to look for any signs of the intruder being around but the place was as clear as light. An ambulance arrived at the scene and the paramedics pronounced Jeremy dead.
“Can this be connected to Fiona’s murder?” Chilufya asked.
The question brought back Darren to life as he remembered his previous conversation with Jeremy at the station. He had told him to hide the phone. Darren quickly got up, got Chilufya’s car keys, ran to the car and drove off. He reached the station and ran to the laboratory and searched for the phone. He searched everywhere but couldn’t find it.
“Ahhh,” he kicked the table in fury. “He was so young, why?” Darren broke down.
The night shift officers heard Darren screaming from the other offices and came to check on him. They were astonished to how angry and emotional Darren was. He was uncontrollable.
“Sir how can we help you?” One officer asked.
“Screw yourself leech. You are all liars and pathetic. Why would you kill a young man with a promising future?”
They didn’t know what he was talking about. News of Jeremy’s death hadn’t reached the station yet. Chilufya arrived at the station and told everyone to back off and resume their work. He stood in front of Darren who was sited on a chair looking at the coat Jeremy used to wear. Chilufya sat next to him. The two sat on the chairs in total silence. Darren was trying to figure out what had just happened. He knew it was connected to the murder case but the latest suspect on the list was sitting next to him and was with him on the way to Jeremy’s house. He regretted telling Jeremy to hide the phone because only he knew where he had hid the phone.
“So you kicked the table?” Chilufya broke the silence.
“The other one is still standing,” Darren responded.
“It is because it’s mounted to the floor so you couldn’t have kicked it. You could have hurt yourself,” Chilufya joked. “It’s late. We should get going. I have called the chief and Jeremy’s next of kin.”
“Alright Chilufya. Goodnight, see you tomorrow.”
Darren left the station and went to his house. He couldn’t sleep. He had only two things on his mind: Chilufya’s involvement in the case and the sudden potential murder of Jeremy. He kept tossing and turning on his bed. He checked the time and it was 02:44. He needed to talk to someone. He grabbed his phone from the table and called Ayana.
“Hello,” Ayana answered in a sleepy voice.
“Hi Ayana. Sorry to disturb you but I didn’t know who to call,” Darren said.
“What is it detective?” She asked him.
Darren sighed and said, “I have just seen a young man hanged.”
“Aren’t you used to those things detective?” Ayana asked sounding fully awake.
“He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
“Death doesn’t decide who not to claim in a certain style detective.”
“I know but I sense some conspiracy here.”
“That’s the reason you are the detective Darren. You will surely uncover the mystery.”
“I don’t really know.”
“Stop being a sissy detective. I am going back to sleep. Call me in the morning.”
“Alright Ayana. Bye.”
“Bye detective. By the way, when are you inviting me to your place? You invited yourself to mine. Do you want me to budge in unexpectedly and find you with some woman?” She laughed and cut the call.
Darren felt easy thinking about Ayana’s words saying he would solve the mystery because he’s a detective. He put his phone back on the table and laid in his bed and off he drifted to the other side.
The chief sat in his office looking at Darren and Chilufya sitting in front of him. He had a file in his hands which he had just finished reading. He stood up and went to his window and stared at the beautiful mall opposite the station.
“Why do good people die young?” The chief sighed.
Darren and Chilufya were quiet.
“Jeremy was a young ambitious man,” The chief continued. “I guess you never know what happens in people’s lives. It’s such a tragedy that he committed suicide.”
Darren’s eyes were wide open.
“What did you just say Chief?” Darren asked uneasily.
“You heard me right. Jeremy’s death is suicide. The other detectives have confirmed that,” The chief answered.
“No sir. Jeremy called me saying there was an intruder at his house,” Darren stood up. “Right Chilufya?” He looked at Chilufya.
“Yes. Darren was at my house when Jeremy called,” Chilufya answered.
“Haven’t you seen the suicide note?” The chief handed Darren a note covered in a small plastic.
Darren read the note as quickly as possible.
“This doesn’t make sense sir!” Darren raised his voice.
“Be calm Darren,” Chilufya advised.
“The boy was killed sir. Didn’t the detectives see the broken TV?”
“Jeremy broke the TV on his own. Apparently, he had anger management issues. Take a look at this,” The chief handed a form to Darren. “That is from a therapist who was treating Jeremy.”
“No. I don’t believe this chief. Jeremy couldn’t commit suicide. I know how passionate he was about his job and life. He couldn’t do that to himself.”
“Are you challenging me Detective?”
“This is final. This is the information that will go the press. You’re dismissed.”
Darren and Chilufya left the chief’s office with Darren in total shock. He walked to his office and sat on his chair. He looked at the files on his table and saw the file from the coroner titled ‘Time and manner of death of Fiona Chibuye.’ He opened it and read that she died around five in the morning from ligature strangulation. He also read that she didn’t die the moment she was beaten but she died from shortage of oxygen in her lungs which was as a result of being strangled by a wire like instrument.
“A wire like?” Darren’s mind felt like it was about to blow up.
He remembered seeing Jeremy hanging from the ceilings with a strong wire around his neck. He immediately got up and rushed to the chief’s office.
“Chief,” He panted heavily. “The person who murdered Fiona is the one who murdered Jeremy.”
“Jeremy committed suicide detective,” The chief said annoyed.
Handing the file to the chief, Darren said, “Look at this sir. It cannot be a coincidence. Just when we were getting closer and Jeremy commits suicide? Tell me this doesn’t sound odd to you Chief. Tell me.”
The chief looked at Darren and coughed. “Detective, it’s obvious you loved the young man as a little brother and this is affecting your judgement. With immediate effect, you’re suspended till further notice. Detective Chilufya will continue with investigating Fiona’s death.”
“No sir. You can’t do that to me.”
“I have just done that. Now go home and rest.”
Darren was shocked as he walked back to his office feeling hopeless. This was truly his breakdown. He had never had such in a while. Jeremy’s death had affected him more than he could have imagined. He oriented the boy when he started work at the station. He loved his enthusiasm and attitude towards work. The station was filled with lazy officers who were just walking around doing nothing but whenever Jeremy was given a task, he ensured he completed it. Darren loved that about the young Jeremy. The only regret he had was that he never had time to know him.
“I am sorry man. I will be updating you on the case,” Chilufya said as he escorted Darren outside.
“Thank you. Keep in touch.”
“We have to attend the kid’s burial though. I will come pick you up once I found out where they are burying him from.”
“I will wait for you.”
Third suspension in his career, Darren never got used to it. The long hours at home and sleeping all day watching nothing on TV. The only difference about this suspension was that he talked more with Ayana on the phone. He got to know her on a personal level and they were getting comfortable with each other. On the third day of the suspension, Chilufya called Darren that he was coming to pick him up to attend Jeremy’s burial. Darren prepared himself. He wore a black suit and got his shades. Chilufya texted him saying he was near his place and should come out. After locking the door, Darren turned around and found Tatiana standing staring at him holding some plastic bags.
“I heard you were suspended. Thought of coming over,” She said.
“Madam what are you doing here?” Darren looked around.
“It’s Tatiana Darren. Open the door these are for you,” She walked towards him.
Darren opened the door and got the plastic bags from her. He took the plastic bags in the house thinking she had remained outside. He was putting some things in the freezer when he felt her behind him with her arms in his waist.
“Tatiana stop what you are doing,” He said firmly.
“It turns me on when you call me Tatiana,” She held him tightly.
“Stop it,” He broke free from her.
She snapped, “Are all men gays now?”
“What do you mean?”
“Apparently every man seems to be insensitive to a woman’s touch but a man’s.”
Darren didn’t know what Tatiana was talking about.
“Whatever is going on with you Tatiana, I have no clue. Please leave my house. My partner is outside probably waiting for me.”
“Is it a crime to want to be touched and worshipped like a goddess?” She cried. “My husband can’t even look at me or touch me but he’s busy with young men.”
“What did you just say?”
“Never mind,” Tatiana stormed out of Darren’s house.
Startled, Darren found Chilufya outside waiting for him. They greeted each other and drove to Leopards hill cemetery. They found a lot of people who had come to witness the burial of the young Jeremy. A lot of the people were youths of Jeremy’s age. The girls were wailing and the women too couldn’t be held. It was obvious that everyone was raggedly affected by the untimely death of Jeremy. Darren and Chilufya stood on the side lines as they watched the proceedings.
When everything was almost over, Darren saw two detectives from the station walking towards them. They reached where they were standing and one of the charged at Chilufya.
“Chilufya Mwansa, you are under arrest for the murder of Fiona Chibuye. You have a right to remain silent. Everything you say shall be used against you in the courts of law,” The detective cuffed Chilufya.
“Wait, what’s happening?” Darren asked the detectives.
“Your partner killed Fiona.”
© Brian Ngoma
To be continued