Web Of Lies – Episode 11
“Sir what would you like to order?” A waitress asked Marcus Chomba.
“I don’t feel like ordering anything thanks. I will give you a sign when I want to,” Marcus responded avoiding eye contact.
Marcus was steaming. With his hands tightly gripping a newspaper like he was going to tear it apart, his eyes were fixed on one section of the paper. His teeth were grinding on each other that the people who sat next to him could hear the noise. Despite the cold weather, he was profusely sweating that his handkerchief was soaked with his sweat.
“Our system always fails,” he vented causing people to stare.
He didn’t even care what people thought of him. What mattered was how angry, upset and disappointed he was that his long-time friend was locked up.
“Chilufya what have you gotten yourself into?” he touched his head.
At his age, a retiree who worked as a detective some years ago, he enjoyed working as a private investigator because it paid him well compared to working in the force. Marcus was drawn to complicated cases. He had a saying that the more complicated the case was, the higher the sum of money. He never liked investigating low life cases. Before Chilufya called him to come and help them investigate Fiona’s death, Marcus was in Malawi trying to investigate the mystery behind the missing children in Blantyre. He knew Chilufya before he met Darren. Marcus never liked Darren and Darren never liked him too. All the times they worked together, it was possible because of Chilufya who acted like a mediator for them.
“Sir, you are scaring other customers,” the waitress said scared.
Marcus looked at her and nodded, “Who is scared of me?”
The waitress was silent.
“You see? No one is scared of me.”
“You are talking to yourself angrily sir.”
Marcus looked around and all eyes were on him. He chuckled and stood up. He took another look at the waitress who was shaking. He walked closer to her and jutted his chin. She stood still like she had just seen a ghost.
The waitress squinted in a furtive manner and let out a scream that caused every macho in the restaurant to rush to where she was standing with Marcus.
“She’s fine,” Marcus laughed as he left the restaurant.
He could feel eyes on him as he went to his car. That made him feel proud of himself. He loved tormenting people especially if he needed information. He got into his car and got his phone. It had been two weeks since Chilufya was arrested and Marcus had just gotten back into the country. He knew he had to tell him that he was back but there was no way of communicating with him. The only person he was supposed to communicate with was the last person he wanted to talk to, Darren. He took a deep breath, dialled Darren’s number.
“Hello,” Darren answered.
“Hi b******,” Marcus said.
“The one and only.”
“Why are you calling me?”
“You have forgotten that you called me some three weeks ago?”
“Yes but that was Chilufya.”
“I am in the country now.”
“Go back to Malawi, we don’t have any work for you. The case was closed. The murderer was found,” Darren said bitterly.
“Don’t tell me you believe that your friend murdered that girl?”
“He lied to me and all the evidence pointed to him. What could I have done?”
“Do you trust the people at the station? That so called chief of yours and his minions?”
“Come on, what are you trying to say?”
“You’re stupid if you trust those people.”
“Chilufya is also my friend. Don’t forget he was my partner. Finding other people to blame won’t take you anywhere Marcus.”
“Darren I never thought of you as a weakling but you have just proven how much of an a****le you are.”
“Suit yourself,” Darren cut the line.
“This fool. I hope he’s also not involved in this.” Marcus drove off.
Two weeks ago.
“Chief, Chilufya didn’t kill Fiona,” Darren said on top of his voice.
“All the evidence points to him Darren you know that,” The chief said calmly.
“I know but there is something wrong chief.”
“There is nothing you can do Darren now. Your partner is a murderer. I know you tried to hide the evidence.”
Darren was surprised. How did he know that? He asked himself.
“I know everything happening at my station Detective,” the chief said as if he had read Darrens mind. “Now let’s leave this to the courts of laws. They will handle the case from here.”
“I know i suspected him too but he wouldn’t be capable of murdering a person. He swore to protect not to kill sir,” Darren said sadly.
“People are capable of many things Darren. Many terrible things,” the chief patted Darrens back.
Darren had just gotten back from Jeremy’s funeral where his partner was arrested. He went back to the station to talk to the chief but with no success. It was his word against the mounting evidence on Chilufya. Apparently, a replacement of Jeremy found the phone in Jeremy’s locker and took it direct to the chief who gave an order to arrest Chilufya.
“Where was the iphone found sir?” Darren asked.
“Jeremy’s locker,” the chief answered.
Darren told Jeremy to hide the phone but he didn’t expect him to hide it in his locker. Darren knew Jeremy was too smart to do that.
“Sir, when am i returning?” Darren asked the chief.
“Soon detective. In the meantime, rest. You have been through a lot. Jeremy’s death and the betrayal of your partner. You need some time off,” the chief grinned. “Fiona’s case is solved. You did your part.”
“What about our agreement sir?”
“You tempered with the evidence Darren. Give me one good reason i shouldn’t fire you?”
Darren was sweating. He regretted bringing up the topic.
“I am not firing you. You’re my best detective. You will be called soon,'” the chief dismissed Darren.
Darren went back home feeling like a failure. He suspected Chilufya but the day he went to his house, he knew that Chilufya couldn’t have killed Fiona. He wanted to find out more but with each day that passed, he was slowly losing interest in the case and started to believe that Chilufya did it. His interest for the case had faded and his eyes were set on pushing the chief harder for a desk job once he was reinstated.
“I am growing old for this s***,” He said after cutting Marcus’s call. “Who does he think he is?” He threw the phone on the table.
“Baby what is it?” Ayana asked from the kitchen.
“It’s no one love,” he answered.
Darren and Ayana had grown even more closer during the two weeks of Darrens suspension. They were spending nights at each other’s places. Darren had grown soft because of Ayana. He thought of no one but her. If anyone knew better, they could have said, he didn’t even want to go back to work.
“You were talking to someone baby and your voice sounded pretty upset.”
“Who is Marcus?”
“The private investigator me and Chilufya used to hire when we reach a dead end on a case,” Darren felt his heart become heavy when he mentioned Chilufya’s name.
“What does he want?”
“He thinks Chilufya is innocent.”
“I don’t know what he wants.”
“Maybe you guys should meet,” Ayana said coming into the living room with an already opened pizza box.
“I don’t want to meet him. The case was closed. Even if i get reinstated, I won’t be allowed anywhere near the case. What i need to do is watch and let the law take it’s course.”
“If you say so baby. You owe your partner a visit though. You have to at least hear his side of the story,” she sat next to him.
He was quiet for some seconds. Ayana was right, he knew deep down. He had forsaken his friend. It had been two weeks and not once did he go to visit him. Darren knew that Chilufya also had his side of the story.
“I will think about that,” he said. “Now come here.” He pulled her closer and lifted her to his laps.
He stared in her eyes as she stared in his. Darren never got used to looking at Ayana. Every time he did, he felt like he was looking at her for the first time. He held her waist and pulled her even more closer. He could feel her warm breath as she wrapped her hands around his neck. She smiled knowing she had him hooked. He kissed her like his life depended on it.
“Aren’t we eating?” She asked breaking from the kiss.
“We have the whole afternoon,” he kissed her neck.
She let out a moan.
“You drive me insane,” he said softly.
“I know,” she said clinging tightly to him. “Not from here baby, you know we are not alone,” she said in his ears.
He stood up with her still on his body with her hands around his neck and her legs around his waist. He carried her to the bedroom. In the bedroom, he threw her on the bed and took off his shirt. She laid on the bed looking at him come at her like a hungry lion.
“Baby the door is open,” she told him.
Darren closed the door.
Later that afternoon, Darren and Ayana were awoken by Ayana’s house help.
“Madam,” she knocked at the bedroom door.
“What is it Naomi?” Ayana asked annoyed.
“There is a woman outside looking for the sir.”
Ayana looked at Darren who had an expressionless face on him.
“Me?” He asked.
“Do we have another sir here?” She asked him sarcastically.
Darren got up and wore his pants and a tshirt. As he walked to the door, Ayana was behind him as she was also curious to know which woman had th audacity to come at her house and ask for her man. Darren got outside and found Chilufya’s wife with a baby on her back. He didn’t expect to see her. At least not till the case was in court.
“I am so sorry to have disturbed you Sir but i had nowhere to go. I have been looking for you everywhere,” she said.
“It’s fine. How can i help you?”
“Baby who is she?” Ayana asked coming outside.
“Chilufya’s wife,” he answered.
“Tell her to come in then.”
Darren invited her in. Looking at her, he saw that she looked different from the time he first met her. She looked old and dirty for her age. It was as if she had stopped taking care of herself. Ayana gave her a glass of water because she seemed like she needed one. Her lips were dry and white clumps of saliva had formed on her lips. She drunk the whole glass of water and handed it back the cup to Ayana.
“Another one?” Ayana asked.
Ayana went to the kitchen.
“Sir you know my husband is innocent. Help him please,” she was on her knees.
Confused, Darren stood her up.
“Please sir. He is your partner. You know him better. My husband couldn’t have killed that girl,” tears were flowing from her eyes.
“How i wish i can help but my hands are tied,” Darren said.
“Please Darren!” She screamed.
Ayana ran back to the room and found her on the floor. She looked at Darren surprised. She knelt before Chilufya’s wife and comforted her while looking at Darren disgustingly.
“He will help you,” Ayana said and went on. “Stand up you will hurt the baby.”
Darren stood motionless not knowing what to say. He didn’t want to object to what Ayana said because that would have caused more havoc. He watched Ayana talk to Chilufya’s wife calmly.
“Like i said, he will help your husband. Don’t worry. There is no better man for this job than him,” she escorted Chilufya’s wife to the door.
Ayana came back to the startled Darren.
“Why would you tell her that?” Darren asked furiously.
“Because that’s the right thing to do. You and i know that your partner is innocent. We just don’t want to say out loudly.”
Darren was quiet.
“So, it’s high time you stop feeling sorry for yourself, get off your ass and get your job back,” she said defiantly.
“I am waiting for the chief to call me.”
“Demand for it Darren!” She said and left him standing.
Darren sat on the couch. His thoughts were everywhere. He didn’t realize that he had sat on the couch for several hours. He knew Ayana was mad at him. He had his plan laid out in his mind. His detective critical thinking ability was slowly finding it’s way to his mind. His gut was telling him that Chilufya was innocent but he needed to find out from Chilufya himself.
“It’s time to visit Chilufya,” he said to himself. “If Chilufya claims to be innocent, that will mean that Fiona’s murderer is still out there and i have to find him or her. For that to be possible, i will need the help of that b****** Marcus,” he growled. “God why does it have to be Marcus?” He whinned.
© Brian Ngoma
To be continued