Beating The Odds – Episode 10
© Brian Ngoma
From where Kani was laying, the boots drew nearer. His eyes were unwavering on the boots. He could take anyone down but not a cop. Those security guards he beat were just mere people: With no combat training at all. This one was a different story. He removed his watch because that’s the ony thing he thought he could use at that moment. He looked to his right and threw it that it made a noise. He turned his eyes to the boots. They stopped and turned in another direction. From a distance, he saw two officers coming his way. He crawled to his left going under Gregs car. He looked at the officers and they were at a slight distance from him. He crawled his way to another car. He did the same till he reached the last car in the parking lot. There was a barrier: a wall fence.
He knelt calculating his chances of climbing the wall fence. He knew once he was on the edge, his cover would be compromised. He didn’t care about that, his mind was on Veronica, he had to tell her what had happened to Greg. They had to leave.
Knowing he had no weapon the cops could consider him armed and dangerous, they wouldn’t dare shoot at him and who would ever shoot a defenseless minor? He comforted himself. He breathed in and out heavily hearing the voices nearing where he was. He ran three steps, jumped and reached for the edge of the fence while panting heavily.
“There is he!” a police officer shouted.
He pulled himself and threw his right leg on the fence. He couldn’t look back. He managed to bring his whole body on the ledge. As he wanted to jump to the other side, a gunshot froze him. His whole world turned still, he felt like he had been shot.
“Don’t you dare move,” a police officer yelled. “That was a blank, my friend there won’t hesitate he will take you down. Get down now!”
He recognized the voice, that was the detective who came the other day. Regardless, there was no way he was getting down. He knew the detective was bluffing, he wouldn’t shoot him. He figured that the reason Greg was shot was probably because he drew his gun.
“Detective Boadi don’t let him out of your sight,” another officer shouted.
“Young boy get down now,” Boadi said slowly walking to the wall fence. “Get down we talk about this. It doesn’t have to be like this for you too, look at him,” he pointed at Greg.
Kani could clearly see Greg on the ground from the wall fence he was at.
“Come down, we talk about this,” Boadi added.
Kani saw the policemen all standing wondering what he was going to do next. It was obvious they had heard of him. He looked back at the detective and grinned. He let himself go and fell on the other side of the fence.
“Son of a……. !” The detective inhaled a sharp breath with his hands on his head. He called his other officers and they all rushed to the other side only to find a mark of the small boy on the dirt. They looked everywhere but they couldn’t see him. “Search everywhere,” the detective shouted. “He’s around these areas.”
From the rooftops of the store across the road was Kani looking at the officers search for him. He looked at the angry detective as he kicked the dirt. Satisfied that they didn’t see him, he slowly turned around and tiptoed on the roof. He reached the edge of the roof and saw a bin on the ground. He jumped and landed on the waste that softened his impact. His body felt like giving up but his determination was stronger. He still heard police voices shouting from a near distance but he managed to dodge them. He didn’t use the road, he opted to use the woods.
It was now dark and scary but he didn’t seem to mind. The distance to the house was a long one. He kept going, he knew the woods all too well. That was his playground. He reached and before he could get into the yard, he waited and observed. After being satisfied, he ran as fast as he could to the door and kicked it open. “Veronica!” he shouted. There was no response. He called her name several times but she wasn’t responding. He went into the living room and found her sited watching the NEWS and on the screen was Gregs body. “Veronica,” he softly called her. “We have to leave,” he said.
“They killed my husband,” she said.
He walked round to her and saw her face. It was terrible. Her make up had been washed off with tears, Her eyes were swollen. “Let’s go,” he said. He looked to her right hand and she held a gun.
“Iam not going anywhere Kani,” she said. “Leave my son. Iam sorry for this life we gave you, you deserve better. You still have a chance at life.”
“I am not leaving without you mom,” he said. That was the first time he had called her mom.
“Oh my son,” she cried and held his hand. “It feels good you calling me mom.”
“Let’s leave please,” he begged her.
“No you have to leave,” she refused. “Go now!” she yelled. “They will never find you. We don’t have any records of you here. We burned everything, go and start a new life.”
“No,” he cried. It hurt him more than anything. Why was he the only one losing people? He had no one. He didn’t know where to go to. The life he had made with Greg and Veronica was enough for him. He didn’t see himself with other people. Who would take in a thirteen year old boy with no past? “I am not going,” he said. “Let’s face them together.”
The police sirens could be heard outside. She looked at him. “Listen my boy, there is so much to live for out there, go and find your purpose. You have a mother and a sister.”
“Mayi and Tasha,” he said under his breath.
“Go now!” she yelled pushing him.
He looked at her; she was right. He walked to her, hugged her and sobbed even more. A knock on the door jittered him. He got out of the house using the back door which led him to the backyard. He ran to the maize fields and disappeared in them. As he ran tirelessly with the corns hitting his face, he heard gunshots. He fell to his knees and wept. He cried so hard that the sleeping birds were awoken. He finally managed to get himself up and started running again. After running for what seemed like forever, he reached the end of the field. It led him to another house where he found a family gathered around a bonfire having fun. As soon as they saw him, they all became scared and alert. He stood looking at them panting heavily in need of water.
“Who are you?” the man asked.
He couldn’t get his voice out he only pointed at the water. A young girl grabbed a bottle of water and handed it over to him. They all watched him drink it like he had never drank water in days.
“Where have you come from?” the young girl asked.
He finished the water in the bottle and dropped it while keeping his eyes on the family. He wanted to say something when he was interrupted.
“You guys should watch the NEWS, there is a boy on the run from the police,” the boy paused after seeing Kani. “Who is he?”
Kani looked at the man and saw him reaching for his phone while everyone stared at him like a monster. Have i become a monster? He asked himself. They all stepped back even the young girl who had given him the bottle of water. He knew he had to get away. Before the man could even dial his phone, he was gone; back in the fields.
He kept running until he reached a road. He looked to his left and right for any signs of police cars. He knew he had to keep as far away as possible from the road. He crossed it and went into another field. He ran past five houses not knowing where he was even going. By the time it clocked midnight, he was so thirsty and tired he decided to take a break. He found a good spot away from the road and sat crying. He couldn’t stop thinking about his foster parents and what tragedy had befallen them. Everything was so great, why did this have to happen? He was comfortable with the life they had given him. He didn’t know anything about family but Greg and Veronica were his first ever family who made him feel adequate. He laid down and drifted to sleep.
Around 2am, he was awoken by a distant sound. He listened attentively and heard a car swerving not far from where he was. The swerving sound kept getting closer and closer. In no time, he saw the car at lighting speed drive on the road. He was surprised at the speed at which the car had passed. He stepped onto the road and saw the car go. He wanted to cross the road to continue his run when he heard a bang. He knew the car had hit into something. That was none of his business, he thought.
“Help!” a female voice cried.
To be continued