DO NOT OPEN – Episode 5
© Brian Ngoma
“How far have you gone?” Ngoma asked his fingers crossed.
Nikiwe couldn’t comprehend the question. She raised her brows.
“2001, if that’s what you mean sir.”
“How did you get the file? Who gave it to you?”
“I found it on my desk.”
“That file,” He looked at it in Nikiwes hands. “It’s not supposed to be touched or delved into.”
“What do you mean?”
“It was locked away for some reasons. The cases in that file are mysterious. We locked it away to protect everyone.”
With an expressionless face, Niki asked, “What are you protecting people from?”
“You are on case 01′ I am sure you have figured out some anomalies, haven’t you?”
Nikiwe didn’t respond. She didn’t want to believe what Ngoma was insinuating but it was obvious. There was something peculiar about these cases. She was not a superstitious person, never been one. In her line of work, logic was the center of her cases. She believed in arranging and ordering all the tiny pieces of a case which would build a solution at the end. Anything other than this, she didn’t even consider it. However, these cases had something which would forever challenge her beliefs.
Interrupting her thoughts, Ngoma said, “I suggest you stop now. It won’t do you any good. These cases were buried and done for. No one can solve them!”
“Why? I just can’t seem to figure out why these people killed the most important people in their lives. Why, sir?”
“All those questions have been asked before, Detective Nikiwe. You are not the first one to come into contact with those files.”
Nikiwe wanted to say something when Detective Senzo badged in. He looked at Ngoma and then at her. “Can I speak to you alone, sir?”
Nikiwe knew that was her cue to leave. She stood up with the file in her hands.
“Leave those!” Ngoma ordered her.
She defiantly looked directly into his eyes and he knew what was coming. “These files found themselves on my desk,” she paused thinking carefully of what to say next. In her mind, she was at conflict of whether to leave the cases be or pursue them but to what end? “Whoever wants them will find them on my desk.” With that said, she left.
As soon as she left, Detective Senzo sat down. Something was running up his mind. Ngoma could sense that. They both sat in silence for a while when Senzo broke it. “So, the officers are talking.”
“That file with Detective Nikiwe?”
“What about it?”
“They are saying it has some mystery to it.”
Irritated, Ngoma sighed. If he had the power to transfer Senzo, he would have done it a long time ago. Then again, Senzo was a brave detective despite acting like a child on most situations. Like a father trying to get rid of his son, Ngoma asked, “What do you want Detective Senzo?”
“I want it.”
Ngoma laughed. “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” He gave up on Senzo.
With a serious face, Senzo responded. “If i was kidding i wouldn’t be here Sir.”
“What’s your deal with Nikiwe? Everything she’s onto, you just want it. That file is not going to anyone. By afternoon, I’m retrieving it from her.”
“But she just challenged you about a minute ago. You’re too soft on her sir.”
“Detective!” Ngoma stood up. “Excuse me, I have a lot of work to do. It’s too early to be getting on each others nerves.”
Senzo stood up and nodded. He then clicked his tongue and left the office. Ngoma sighed as he grabbed some paper work. He then remembered a time in the past when that file brought nothing but misery to the detective who handled the case the first time. He only hoped history wasn’t about to repeat itself. He could only hope.
Meanwhile, Nikiwe sat comfortably as curiosity got the better of her. After sipping on some hot coffee, she flipped the file and read;
CASE 07’_ WITNESS STATEMENT
Seventh month of training as a police officer proved to be very difficult for young Joe Sinkebu. This is not how he had planned his 2007. Jobs were scarce, this is the only thing you can do, echoed his sisters words. Being the youngest between the two, he had no option but to go for training. His parents were excited when he left seven months ago. Finally, they had given them a break to visit their families. Joe Sinkebu couldn’t wait to go home. He packed a few of his things and called his sister to come an hour earlier.
As promised, Joe Sinkebu found his sister waiting for him just outside the camp. He was so happy to see her he couldn’t help it but ran towards her and embraced. It was at this moment that he realized that he was still a kid, despite being 28. They got onto the car and had a lot to talk about. They talked about everything from when Joe Sinkebu left home.
“You know I am happy that you’re finally becoming an adult. We spoiled you too much,” Joe Sinkebu’s sister sighed. “And your voice,” she laughed.
“Don’t you dare talk about my voice,” he frowned. “You exiled me to a life of misery and hardship. I will never forgive you guys, especially mom.”
“I know you’re enjoying but you have lost a great deal of weight.”
He looked at himself and nodded. “We eat twice a day if we are lucky. It’s tough out there,” He looked behind the passengers seat and noticed a white envelope. “Do people still write letters in 2007?” He laughed.
Bufwebe laughed too. “I just picked it up when coming to get you. Can you believe it? There’s something written on it ati DO NOT OPEN ai?”
The two siblings laughed out loud as they drove to town. Before they headed home, they visited the malls to get Joe Sinkebu some clothes as the ones he had on stank. It was a breath of fresh air for him. Six months on a camp with strangers was too much to bear.
They reached home around 8 pm. Joe Sinkebu’s parents were very happy when they saw their only son. They both agreed that he looked more grown compared to how he was six months ago. They had dinner as a family as they listened to his stories which he termed as misery.
“Save the stories for tomorrow Joe,” his father said and looked at the watch. “It’s getting late we all need to get to bed.”
“Your bedroom is prepared,” Joe’s mother added.
Bufwebe whined. “For Joe Sinkebu you do anything,” she rolled her eyes.
“He’s my last born child,” she laughed.
“Whatever,” Bufwebe stood up. “Goodnight, I have to get some things in my car,” she left.
Joe stood up too, cleared the table and went to his bedroom. Like he had left it, he smiled. His mother was the best, he thought. He called some of his friends that he was back and looking forward to seeing them the following day. After locking the door, he went and made himself comfortable on his bed.
The door badged repeatedly and Joe Sinkebu was awoken. He wondered what that could be. He shouted who was there but no one answered. He felt his heart race and remembered one of his trainings but this was no drill. There was an intruder in the house. He felt that. He checked his watch and it was 01:33 am. He heard footsteps leaving his bedroom door. After a few minutes he heard a scream of terror.
Joe Sinkebu got off his bed, unlocked his bedroom door and rushed to the corridor. He saw his mother on the floor being dragged back into her bedroom by unknown figure. He rushed to her aid but the door slammed on his face. He kicked it but it was too hard for him. He ran to his sisters bedroom but couldn’t find her. He ran to the store room, grabbed an axe and went back to the bedroom and started hitting the door. It broke but he was too late. His father and mother laid in a pool of blood whilst Bufweme was looking down on them oblivious to what had just happened.
“I am sorry Joe Sinkebu, I don’t know what got over me,” she wept.
Before he could say anything, all the windows in the bedroom bust open and some piece of papers flew out. Amongst the papers, Joe Sinkebu saw the envelope that was in his sister’s car earlier.
To be continued