Web Of Lies – Episode 12
Darren woke up determined to know Chilufya’s side of the story. It was the only thing standing between him and the mystery behind Fiona’s death. He woke up smiling thinking about the beautiful day he spent with Fiona the previous day. She couldn’t let him spend the night over. She told him she had work to finish and he would be a distraction. After getting done preparing, his phone rang. He stared at it with cow eyes smiling.
“Hey baby,” Ayana said on the speaker.
“Morning baby,” Darren said.
“It seems you are out of bed already. Anyway wanted to wish you a good day. Hope everything goes well today. Take care.”
Ayana cut the line.
Darren grabbed a last bite from his breakfast and headed to the taxi rank outside his wall fence.
“To where sir?” His driver asked.
He sighed and answered, “Kamwala Remand.”
Darren arrived at Kamwala Remand. He was welcomed with cheerful and booing from a number of inmates who saw him. He had put some of them in there. He imagined what Chilufya could have been going through.
“Detective Darren, a pleasure to see you sir,” an officer said with respect. “How may we help you sir?”
“I am here to see Chilufya Mwansa.”
“Chilufya Mwansa is on demand today,” the officer laughed.
Darren didn’t need to be told that there was someone who was either there with Chilufya or had left.
“Can i see him?” He inquired.
“Yes sir. Follow me.”
Darren found Chilufya sitted in the visitation hall with Marcus. They didn’t see him till he reached and stood right in front of them.
“Finally, some b****** has decided to join us,” Marcus looked at Darren.
“Watch your mouth idiot,” Darren pulled himself a chair.
Chilufya’s eyes were fixed on the table. He couldn’t look at Darren.
“How are you Chilufya?” Darren asked.
Chilufya looked at Darren. Darren wasn’t surprised seeing Chilufya all bruised up on his face because he was a detective charged with murder. Obviously, that didn’t fare well with the inmates.
“I can see the remand ain’t treating you well,” Darren cocked his head.
“Enough of the pity Darren. Chilufya here was about to tell me something before you interrupted,” Marcus smacked his lips.
“Let me clear something here before we start this reunion of ours,” Darren paused and looked at Chilufya and Marcus.
“What? Say it you’re wasting time,” Marcus said.
“I am not here to help on anything but to hear his side of the story,” Darren pointed at Chilufya. “Whatever investigations will be carried out after this, don’t count me in.”
“Fair enough,” Chilufya expelled his breath in a whoose.
“Tell us what happened. How did your number found yourself in Fiona’s phone? Not forgetting the chats on Facebook which apparently indicate that you threatened her,” Darren asked disappointedly.
Marcus nodded in agreement to Darrens question.
“Here goes everything,” Chilufya sighed. “It started some months ago. Fiona came to visit the chief at the station. Apparently, the chief was not around and she started looking for him in every office till she reached mine. She invited herself in and made herself comfortable on the chair. I didn’t know what to say to her because i didn’t know her. At first i thought she had come to report a crime but she told me she was looking for the chief.”
“Where was i?” Darren asked Chilufya.
“You were around locked up in your office,” Chilufya answered.
“Continue!” Marcus rested his chin in his palm.
“I told her to wait from the reception with Serena but she refused saying she liked my office better. I asked her how she knew the chief and told me that he was like a father to her. At first she didn’t tell me that she was the daughter of the Minister of Defense,” Chilufya crushed a paper in his hand.
“What happened?” Marcus probed.
“I allowed her to stay in the office. After some minutes we were talking and laughing. She was a good conversation holder.”
“Gross!” Darren said out loudly.
“Come on idiot. What’s wrong with you?” Marcus turned his head to look at Darren.
Ignoring him, Darren said, “What followed?”
Chilufya nodded and inhaled a deep breath and blew out slowly. “We exchanged numbers. A few weeks later, she would come at the station and come to my office. We started talking on the phone on a regular basis.”
“What about your wife?” Darren cut in.
“Shut the hell up Darren!” Marcus’s muscles in his face tightened. “Chilufya continue.”
“Well my wife suspected that something was going on but i refused,” Chilufya looked at Darren. “We started hooking up secretly.”
“Having sex right?” Darren asked.
“Are you dumb?” Marcus looked at Darren.
“I want details vividly,” Darren answered firmly.
“Yes sex. I was becoming uncomfortable because she was getting too close. I had my reputation and marriage to protect so i started ignoring her calls and texts. It took her a while to stop texting but she would call after a while. All in all i was firm, i never got back to her. The night she was killed, she called me crying telling me how much she missed me and every drama that was going on in her life. She told me about the sex tape but i was only listening i never said anything. It was noisy where she was and like i knew her, it was obvious she was drinking.”
“Where were you?” Darren asked.
“Home of course Darren. I was with my wife.”
“Does your wife know about this?”
“She doesn’t and i don’t know how to tell her.”
“You will have to tell her. If this case goes to trial, everything you have told us will probably be told in the court,” Marcus added.
“Assuming i believe you Chilufya, who could have wanted Fiona dead more than you? You had a motive. You were scared that she might expose you,” Darren attentively looked at Chilufya.
“I would never kill a troubled innocent girl,” Chilufya said defensively.
“You have said it yourself, you wanted to protect your reputation and marriage. That is motive enough to kill someone,” Marcus said.
“Trust me. I didn’t kill Fiona,” Chilufya said.
“What about the threats everyone at the station is talking about?” Darren asked.
“It’s just one Darren,” Chilufya answered nervously.
“I told her that i will do something bad to her if she didn’t stop bothering me,” Chilufya touched his head.
“Oh my God!” Darren stood up. “Do you realise the mess you are in right now?”
“Sit down down,” Marcus said with command in his voice.
“Don’t order me around you retired reckless son of a …….”
Darren unexpectedly received a kick on his left leg before he could finish his sentence. He didn’t know where it came from but it hurt so bad.
“What did you want to say again?” Marcus was on his feet.
“Did you just kick me?” Darren asked soothing his knee with his hand.
“You think it’s a ghost?” Marcus asked.
“You b******!” Darren wanted to stand but he was punched again. This time on the forehead and fell on the floor.
“I am more experienced than you fool,” Marcus looked at Darren digustingly
Two officers came in the room but stood on the sidelines and saying that fighting was not allowed. They knew all the three and were superiors to them so they didn’t want to disturb whatever was going on.
“You two should sort your differences. That is my side of the story. It’s either you believe me or not,” Chilufya said standing up while looking at the officer to take him back. “Know this, I didn’t kill Fiona. The real killer is out there. Should you decide to work together, let me know. I will assist you in any way i can.”
Darren was having trouble to stand up. For a moment he had blacked out. He didn’t believe Marcus to be so flexible and gymnastic. He was old. Way older than him but he still got it. He finally managed to stand up and leaned against the table.
“I will help you Chilufya but I’m not doing it for you. I will do it for your wife and children. You put yourself in this mess but your children needn’t suffer,” Darren said touching his forehead and checking if blood was on his hand.
“Fair enough Darren,” Chilufya smiled and was taken away.
Darren didn’t look at Marcus. He left the remand and went to the cab. Marcus followed him and stopped him before he could get in the car.
“Darren! We need to work together. I know the system better than you do i promise you,” Marcus said.
“What are you implying? That I’m an amateur at this?” Darren asked furiously.
“That’s your problem. You are full of yourself.”
“We are outside and there is no one here. Do you think i cannot beat you?”
“I just beat your ass inside. What makes you think you can beat me?”
“You caught me off guard,” Darren stood defiantly.
Marcus walked towards Darren. The cab driver came running at them and stood between them.
“It’s too early to be fighting,” he said.
“Darren Darren!” Marcus backed down and went back in the remand.
Darren got in the cab and was driven off to the station. The conversation he had with Ayana made him realize that he had to show that he needed his job back. He reached the station and met the furious Serena at the reception.
“Is the chief in?” He asked her.
She ignored him.
“Serena I’m talking to you!” He raised his voice.
She looked at him and pursed her lips like she had been chewing a lemon. Darren knew he wasn’t going to get anything from her. He went upstairs to the chiefs office. He knocked and the chiefs voice shouted to enter.
“Darren!” The chief yelled in excitment. With him was Xavier sipping on a glass of whiskey relaxed.
“Detective Darren,” Xavier acknowledged Darrens presence and stood up. “Sir i will let you know how the case will go, see you around detective,” Xavier left the office.
“Sit down detective,” the chief said.
Darren sat down.
“Two weeks? The station misses you Detective,” the chief said.
“You suspended me sir. Have you forgotten?”
The chief laughed and said, “A parent some times has to discipline his children. Isn’t it right detective?”
“I guess so. I need my job back sir.”
“That right there is what i need. Determination and persistent. I have been waiting for you Darren. I was almost disappointed that you didn’t come to claim your job.”
“I was waiting for your call sir.”
“Exactly what I didn’t want you to do,” the chief opened his drawer and took a badge and handed it over to Darren, “here you go detective.”
Surprised at how easy everything had happened. “Just like that sir?” Darren asked.
“Yes detective, just like that.”
What was the chief playing at? What was his end game? Darren asked himself. He didn’t expect getting his job back would be that easy. He stood up and thanked the chief.
“One more thing detective. I know Chilufya is your friend but he murdered Fiona. May her soul rest in peace,” the chief paused and looked at the ceilings. “You might be tempted to investigate more but we have a lot of other cases pending and waiting for your detective skills. Fiona’s case is closed. Are we clear?”
“Yes sir,” Darren answered hesistantly.
“The best detective,” the chief smiled. “Do me a favor, bring all the files concerning Fiona’s case we put them in the archives.”
“Alright sir. I will bring them.”
On his way downstairs, Darren couldn’t help it but think about the chiefs interest to close the case. The Chief knew how much Darren put into the case but what bothered Darren was the fact that the Chief didn’t seem to care how Darren felt about the case especially that it involved his partner. The chief was indifferent, Darren thought to himself as he checked the files in his drawers in the office.
“I can see you’re back,” Serena said standing at the door.
“Yes i am…”
“Don’t bother,” she left.
“What’s wrong with her?” He continued putting the files in order. He checked his drawers and found his notebook. He took a lot of time checking on the progress they had made on the case.
“I promised i will help Chilufya and i have also told the Chief I won’t temper with the case no more. What was i thinking?” He laughed at himself.
He decided to take the files to the Chiefs office. On his way, he passed through the stationery and printing office.
“Good to have you back sir,” an officer said.
“Thank you. Photo copy these files for me.”
The officer did as told and was done in no time. Darren went back to his office and hid the photocopied files in his drawers.
“The files Darren! The Chief is asking for them,” Serena said.
Without saying anything, he gave her the files and off she went. He sat in his office thinking about what Marcus did to him earlier that day. He hated his guts. Bored, he decided to visit club 101.
“Can i talk to the one in charge of center management of this mall?” Darren asked a young bartender he found.
“Who are you?” The young man asked.
Darren flashed his badge on his face. The young man got scared and took him to center management of the mall.
“Welcome sir, how may we help you?” The manager asked.
“Four weeks ago, two girls and a man came to club 101 and one of the girls was found dead the following morning. We haven’t been able to identify the man. Can you help me with CCCtv footage?”
The manager hesitated. He looked at Darren who maintained his gaze at him.
“What day was it sir?”
The manager left the office and took a lot of time before coming back. Darren was frustrated. He kept moving his feet exercising it as it was still hurting from Marcus’s kick at the Remand. The manager finally came back with a flash disk in his hand with a tag on it written 18th April.
“Here sir,” the manager gave him a laptop.
Darren watched the recording attentively. He would fast forward it and rewind it. He almost gave up when he finally found what he was looking for. He paused and could see Clarisa, Fiona and the stranger clearly. He got his flash disk and copied the whole thing. He called the manager to sit next to his side.
“Do you know this person?” He pointed at the stranger in the video.
The manager looked at the video and said, “yes this man works here.”
“Here? At this mall?”
“He works at pick n pay.”
Darrens eyes flashed. “So you’re telling me i can find him now?”
Darren hurriedly left the office and ran to Pick n pay stores. He was in luck, he found the man he was looking for. He found him cleaning the shelves whistling to a song in the store.
“Excuse me,” Darren said.
The man turned around.
Darren showed him his badge. Upon seeing the badge, the man took off running. Darren was in the mood. He had missed this, this was his job. He chased the man around the store but as usual, he couldn’t keep up with young and vibrant suspects. Everyone in the store was looking at the them. Darren increased his speed ignoring his burning heart. The man was running to the door when Darren saw him been tripped by a man in black who later disapeared in the crowd. He fell on his face and fainted. Darren rushed to him.
“Who did this?” Darren looked around checking the unconscious man.
“Say thank you idiot,” Marcus emerged from a group of people watching.
© Brian Ngoma