NOT GUILTY: 15-17
Kate was sitting in her room and the pain had got worse. She didn’t know where Bambie was or did she come to visit her that morning since their last conversation yesterday. She was going into labor but then she had no idea. Like the pain she experienced in prison when Doctor Miguel told her that it was nothing , she thought maybe it was normal and it will end soon. She got up from the bed and her water broke. She started shouting out for help.
Pancake upon hearing this, she made the man to stop beating Bambie who had betrayed her. Her mouth was covered with blood. She had been beaten very badly. She waited for Pancake to get out of the room before speaking.
‘Abdul, I know you don’t want to do this. Please let me go.’
‘Shut up Bambie. How can you betray the woman who helped you?’
‘I thought maybe she would be different after getting out of that place. She is evil. You need to help me out. She is keeping a pregnant woman as a hostage for goodness sake. Don’t you have a heart?’
Abdul looked at her. He had fallen in love with Bambie but he wouldn’t betray Pancake.
‘What if she hurt my mother?’
‘She won’t hurt her if she is dead. Get me out of this chair. Please!’ she said pleadingly.
‘I can’t betray her Bambie. I am not like you. I am not brave at all.’
‘But you were beating me up, a while ago.’
‘I didn’t want to do this,’ he honestly said.
‘I know you love me Abby and you care about me a lot. Can you just let me go? I promise nothing bad will happen to your mother.’
She had been tied on the chair. Abdul began pacing up and down thinking what to do, he was undecided.
‘We running out of time,’ she said keenly.
Abdul sighed and began to untie her. Once he was done, Bambie hugged him.
‘I am sorry for hurting you like that. Honestly I didn’t want to beat you up. She f..’
‘I know that she forced you,’ she cut him short, ‘she controls everyone’s mind. I am not mad at you and I forgive you.’
‘I love you Bambie.’
‘I love you too,’ she smiled and they kissed.
‘We need to…’
‘Yes help Kate.’
Bambie grabbed the knife which was on the table and followed Abdul. Pancake could be heard from the corridor talking to Kate.
‘You need to help me Pancake,’ she said rolling down on the floor while Pancake sat on the bed smoking.
‘What if I just let you die with your baby?’
‘You don’t have to do that.’
‘Then what do I have to do with you pretty lady.’
‘Help me,’ she begged.
Pancake laughed but stopped immediately when she had some noises. She got up and was about to walk out of the room when Bambie appeared with Abdul.
‘I knew that you had a soft spot on her,’ said Pancake, ‘Damn you Abdul!’ she shouted.
‘I love her and would do anything for her,’ he said with so much confidence and courage.
‘Kate, are you okay?’ asked Bambie as she knelt down on the floor.
Abdul was still pointing a gun at Pancake.
‘Bambie, you came for me,’ cried Kate, ‘what happened to you and your hand? You are bleeding.’
‘Its nothing. We need to get you out of here. We need to get you to a hospital,’ she said softly, ‘Abdul you need to take her to the car.’
‘What about you and her? She will hurt you,’ he said his eyes on Pancake.
‘She won’t hurt me. I will be there shortly.’
‘Take the gun.’
She refused to take the gun. Abdul lifted Kate and carried her outside to the car. Bambie closed the door and turned to look at Pancake who sat back on the bed.
‘I knew you would betray me one day. I regret bringing her with me. What did she promise you?’
‘Yes I have got a very dark past but I am not a killer. Yes you saved me from that drug lord but I didn’t sign up for this.’
‘I saved you from them because I wanted you to take over when I am dead. I saw something in you and I knew you were the perfect candidate for this job.’
‘You wanted me to sale girls of my age sis,’ she said it out loud.
‘Its money and I was trying to make a living.’
‘To sell other women? That’s not even a good job. You know I wanted to be a doctor one day. I had dreams.’
‘Oh please. What dreams! We can make lot of money with her. There is some lady I am supposed to be meeting up with. A very successful woman. She promised to give me a million if I hand Kate to her.’
‘I won’t let you do that,’ she took out the knife.
Pancake got up and walked to her. She stepped back.
‘You want to kill me? Then do it.’
Bambie kept moving back until she was against the wall. Yes, she had killed before but because it was all for Pancake. Pancake had taken care of her. She didn’t want to end things this way. She loved Pancake like she was her own blood sister. Tears streaming down on her cheeks. Pancake was now so close with her. Standing in front of her.
‘Do it!’ she shouted.
Bambie almost did but dropped the knife. It was still in her hands.
‘I can’t do it,’ she honestly said, ‘I didn’t know that it will be this hard killing you. I am not happy with what you doing.’
Pancake quickly hugged her. She had her knife at her back. Bambie felt it, she felt that Pancake wants to take something out and quickly plunged the knife into her heart.
‘I am sorry. I am so sorry,’ cried Bambie still hugging Pancake.
She let her go. Pancake looked at the knife plunged into her heart and finally sat down on the floor. Bambie quickly ran to her. She knelt down on the floor and took the sheets.
‘I will stop the bleeding,’ she sniffed.
Pancake placed her hands on Bambie’s cheek.
‘I am sorry.’
‘No, I didn’t want to hurt you.’
‘Shhhhh I have done so many terrible things but I loved you. You made me happy in so many ways. You will be a good doctor one day and he is for keeps.’
Pancake smiled and took his last breath. Bambie cried out loud holding Pancake in her arms. When Abdul heard her cry, he ran back inside the house and saw Bambie holding Pancake.
‘We need to go,’ he lifted her up and walked out with her.
They took all the money and accessories. They got inside the car. Bambie sat at the back with Kate.
‘We can’t drive at the hospital Bambie. Remember she on the run,’ said Abdul his eyes focused on the road.
‘Drive to this address.’
Abdul took the paper.
‘Who is there?’
‘Where did you get this?’
Bambie chose not to reply and just smiled. Abdul drove the car in high speed.
‘What are you thinking about daddy?’ asked Cathy as she sat with her father in the living room watching Zootopia, ‘Is it about the woman in the news? Kate!’
Miguel looked at his daughter with surprise.
‘You have been eavesdropping?’
He knew that she was telling the truth. This was all about Kate. He couldn’t sleep at night thinking about her. The police were useless. He blamed himself for not being there for her.
The worst part his mother had decided to resign just after being suspended. They found out about her close relationship with Kate from the other prison guards and she was a suspect in their prison break. She had worked for years in that prison and quit her job. There was nothing left for her.
‘I know that you care about her.’
‘Daddy I am old enough to know these things. You need to find her and stop making me worry. I hate seeing you sad daddy.’
Miguel just smiled and hugged his child. She was too young for her mature behavior. Minutes later he had someone banging on the door. It was a loud bang. It was around 8pm when he asked Cathy to go to her room.
When Cathy ran to her room, he walked to the door and slowly opened it.
Abdul just badged inside followed by Bambie.
‘You need to help her,’ said Bambie.
Miguel was too shocked to ask questions. Kate was bleeding. Miguel asked them to follow him to his private hospital room upstairs. He kept everything there after his wife died hoping that one day he will save someone else. Abdul placed Kate on the bed.
‘Bambie, please stay. You too Abby,’ she said when they were about to walk out.
The two came back. Bambie held Kate’s hand.
‘You need to push,’ said Miguel.
Kate tried pushing but she was too weak.
‘I am tired.’
Miguel was sweating profusely. Memories of his wife dying on the birth bed made his heart beat. What if he wasn’t able to save her. He needed to.
‘I know you can do this Kate. You are a very strong woman and you will be a great mother to.’
Kate nodded in agreement and squeezed Bambie’s hand while pushing. Screams and cries were heard. Little Cathy was busy praying in her room.
On the other side Karen had felt that her sister was in danger. She awoke Craig and they started praying together.
While Rita spoke in tongues using black magic. The witchdoctor had told her that Kate was about to give birth. She saw everything at the wall while chanting in her room naked with the witch doctor. The room started shaking.
‘What’s happening?’ asked Rita so loudly.
‘We are losing the battle. She is heavily guided.’
‘No do something. Make the baby die.’
The witchdoctor tried but was failing to.
‘It’s a girl,’ shouted Miguel after 3 hours trying to help Kate.
Kate cried. Tears of joy and happiness. Bambie hugged her and Miguel handed the baby to Abdul to attend to Kate. Abdul who was busy crying. He felt so proud of himself for saving Kate from Pancake. Bambie walked to him.
‘Don’t cry. You will be a father too someday.’
The two stood with the baby in the room while Miguel cleaned up Kate. Cathy smiled at Kate when she noticed her standing at the door. Kate smiled
Cathy stood at the door peeping. Her father had told her to let Kate rest but she wanted to see the new born baby. Bambie and Abdul had gone out to buy some groceries for the baby. Pancake’s body had already been found. Miguel was preparing something to eat for Kate. He was so excited that he was able to save her life and that she was safe.
‘Cathy,’ called out Kate as she noticed her standing at the door.
Cathy hide her face.
‘You can come in.’
She slowly walked inside. She was happy that she didn’t tell her to go away.
‘Come sit here,’ said Kate showing her the empty space just beside her.
She was breastfeeding her little princess. The joy she felt inside when she held her for the first time. Now she had a reason to fight for her innocence. Cathy sat beside Kate and held the baby’s tiny hand.
‘What’s her name?’
‘I don’t know,’ responded Kate.
She had failed to come up with a name.
‘Do you have a name?’ she asked Cathy.
Instantly Kate loved the name.
‘Jasmine it is. What does that mean?’ she asked.
‘*Jasmine* – any of several shrubs and vines of the genus Jasminum chiefly native to Asia. A girl who might not have the biggest [self esteem], but she has a big heart. She often puts others before herself, and enjoys being herself. Others might tell her she’s ‘weird’, but she takes it as a compliment. If you need someone to talk to, go to her, she’s the most honest, trustworthy person out there. She’s the best person to find in a friend, and she’ll also put everyone else above her, but to the extreme. Don’t ever mess with her friends. She’s got a dark side under that sweet and innocent face, one that only comes to play when you mess with her friends. Jasmine Rose,’ said Cathy.
Kate was shocked at her explanation. She was young yet intelligent. Kate decided to name the child Jasmine Rose. The two sat together talking. Mostly Kate was laughing and less talked Cathy didn’t give her a chance. She was very talkative. Miguel found her in the room and scolded her but Kate made him stop, she was enjoying the company. The three sat together in the room adoring little Jasmine Rose.
‘Thank you,’ said Kate looking at Miguel who sat beside her on the bed.
‘You are welcome.’
There was an awkward silent.
‘I will excuse you two,’ said Cathy.
They both laughed and Miguel felt that he needed the space. He cleared his throat once Cathy was out.
‘I am sorry,’ he apologized.
‘For not being there for you like I promised. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about you. I blamed m….’
Kate cut him short with a kiss and Miguel retaliated.
‘You are forgiven,’ smiled Kate after breaking the kiss.
‘You know how much I love you right?’
Kate smiled. She knew how much he loved her. She looked at her daughter and back at Miguel.
‘What now? Pancake kidnapped me and now I am a fugitive. I can’t stay in this house forever,’ said Kate.
‘I will make sure that you don’t go back to jail. Its time you fight for your innocence.
Miguel told her that he will try by all means to make sure that he is out of that place. Minutes later they were joined by Bambie, Abdul, Letwin and Miguel’s mother. Kate was very happy to see the two women. She couldn’t believe that Letwin had faked her own death. Letwin told Kate that she had met Karen and Craig. She wanted to see her little sister and Letwin promised to bring her that afternoon. If only she knew that it was her last day in that house and will not get the chance to see her sister.
The new maid had heard everything and asked if she could be excused. She walked out of the house with a big smile spread across her face. The 1 million was hers. She took a taxi to the police station. The woman on TV was staying with her boss. She told the driver to drive faster. When she arrived at the station, she asked to see the detective assigned for the case. When the detective came in his office. She told him everything and left no detail. It was all about the reward and she needed it. Whether the woman was innocent or not, she didn’t care. She left the station with the detective and some police officers to Miguel’s house. The detective immediately texted Rita letting her know that they had found the place where Rita was hiding. Rita was extremely happy upon reading the message and quickly asked the detective to text her the address. She couldn’t wait to see Kate being arrested again. She had been waiting eagerly for this day that they finally put her back in that horrible place.
Back at the house, they all sat in the dining room trying to come up with a plan. Kate sat silently while Miguel held Jasmine Rose in his arms.
‘I know you all trying to help me out but I can turn myself in,’ said Kate.
Her eyes on Miguel who didn’t want her to go back to that horrible place.
‘You can’t go back to that place,’ said Letwin as if he had read Miguel’s mind, ‘if we can fight this, you can be placed under house arrest.’
So many questions ran through her mind. All these people were willing to help her. She didn’t know what she did to deserve such kind of treatment from them, from strangers. Just as they were busy discussing Kate’s case, the maid badged in the house with the detective and the police officers. It had been 2 hours since she went out and no one had actually noticed her long absenteeism.
‘There she is,’ she said pointing her long finger at Kate.
‘What’s going on here?’ asked Letwin.
Kate knew this day would finally come and she wasn’t scared. She remained calm knowing very well that Miguel would take good care of her daughter.
‘You have been keeping a prisoner in this house. A fugitive, most wanted dangerous criminal in the country. I should arrest you all for..’
‘They didn’t do anything wrong,’ said Kate cutting him short. ‘Take me away.’
She handed herself to him.
‘Please take care of my daughter,’ she said to Miguel.
They all stood quietly when Kate was being taken away. Cathy called out her name running to her but was immediately stopped by Abdul. She didn’t want Kate to leave. Her father would be sad. Rita watched from a distance as Kate was being driven away in a police van. Already the journalist stood at the police station waiting for Kate to be brought in.
Kate told the detective that she had not escaped with Pancake but had been kidnapped. She had managed to escape and drove herself to Miguel’s house. She didn’t mention Abdul and Bambie in her story. She chose to protect them and let them be unknown.
‘When you arrived at the house, I was about to turn myself in.’
She told the Detective that they were innocent. Kate was taken back to Chikurubi Maximum Prison.
Karen had just arrived with some good news when she was told that her sister had been arrested again. She wanted to share the good news with her. They had managed to get the papers from the judge. Kate was going to be able to fight for her innocence. At least the judge hadn’t changed his mind even after Kate had been re-arrested. Karen decided to visit her sister the next following day. They all promised her that they will support Kate.
They think that they will outsmart me but never. I know they are all trying to save her but I will make sure that she will plead guilty. I had received a letter from the court stating that Kate wanted to fight for her innocence. I was going to find myself a good lawyer and destroy her again.
Someday you may be called as a witness in a court proceeding. You may have seen a car accident or witnessed a crime, or you may be directly involved in a trial just like I was. The lawyer had warned me to stay cool. To not let the strange and formal environment of the courtroom upset my composure. Be myself and stay as relaxed as possible. I tried to act calm while waiting to be taken inside but I was pretty nervous. Imagine entering the courtroom as a fugitive and a murderer. Something that I never wished for since I wanted to be a lawyer. He had told me so many things about being in court.
Court business being a serious matter and dressing accordingly. He told me to be attentive, to not lounge and slump. Sit upright in my chair and be alert. Listen carefully to every question. If I don’t understand something, I should ask to have it repeated as many times as necessary. I shouldn’t answer a question that I don’t understand answer directly, thoughtfully and truthfully.
No matter which side called you, be polite and courteous to the Judge or the lawyer asking the question. Hold my temper and never argue with the person questioning me. Answer only the questions being asked and if it cannot be answered by a simple “yes” or “no”, then answer in more detail, but stick to the question and don’t go beyond it. Answer only what you know or saw yourself. Do not speculate or guess. If you do not know the answer to a particular question, just say so and wait for the next question. There is no need to apologize. Speak clearly, don’t mumble or be vague. The court reporter must be able to record every word. Each juror needs to hear the answer. Speak in a clear and confident tone of voice. Always tell the truth, every court case is a search for the truth, for what happened. As a witness you are under oath. You are expected to tell the truth always, to the best of your knowledge. The penalties for untruthful testimony are severe.
‘You going to do well sis,’ that was Karen.
Craig was helping me out and had told me all of these things. As I listened to him attentively, I couldn’t stop myself from trembling. Nervous to see the woman that had me thrown in prison. The woman who threatened to hurt my blind sister if I didn’t plead guilty but no more I was ready to fight for my innocence. My daughter needed me and so is my little sister. I had all the people supporting me praying for my freedom. I also needed to fight and tell the honest truth. I know what I did was wrong sleeping with Jason. If only I knew that he was married, I wouldn’t have gotten involved with him. I should have stayed away.
‘Thank you for everything,’ I said to Miguel while breastfeeding Jas.
I had been allowed to be with them before the trial begins and also breastfeeding my baby. The guard was standing outside waiting for me. I had been allowed to dress formally and not put on my prison guard uniform.
‘Anything for you,’ he responded gently squeezing my hand.
I had asked Karen and Craig to excuse us. I needed to have a private conversation with him.
This man was heaven sent. Taking care of my daughter as if she was his own.
‘I am nervous,’ I honestly said.
‘Don’t be. We are all here for you and everything is going to be alright.
This was my dream and wishes. After I am found innocent I just wanted to start afresh. Finish off my law degree and do sociology or psychology. After what I experienced in prison, I wanted to write a book. Half of the women in that place were innocent, wrongful convictions. They spent a time in prison for crimes they did not commit. Condemning the innocent makes a mockery of justice, robbing men and women of dignity, relationship, time, opportunity and freedom. Wrongful convictions also endanger the public because locking up an innocent person means the real culprit walks free. If Rita killed her own husband, I am sure that he wasn’t the last or the first.
I finished breastfeeding my baby and handed her back to Miguel since it was almost time for me to go inside and meet my fate. I know I had no much evidence to defend myself but I just prayed to God that all was going to work out well. Have my freedom and move on with my life.
Never was I going to let her walk out freely. I was taking my time trying to look good in front of the judge. I didn’t put on much make up but made myself look like a still grieving widow. I even looked for my black dress that I had put away. I wore it and sighed deeply standing in front of the mirror. We had ups and downs in our relationship but he wasn’t suppose to disrespect me in that way by dating a student and sleeping with her. I had seen her daughter and oh how I always wished for a baby girl but instead I had 2 boys. I never regretted having those beautiful sons of mine with him. Children are always a blessing from God. It’s just a pity that their father was not worth the man or half the man my dad was. Speaking of my dad, he died with blood cancer.
If he was still alive, he would have helped me get rid of Kate. You know I made a really big mistake that night, I should have just killed her. Framing her for that murder is something that I hadn’t planned but I wasn’t going down for it. She made this for herself, she should have known better not to mess around with my man.
Anyway I finally walked out of the house to the driver who was waiting for me outside. I needed to be driven to court. He opened the car door for me protecting me from the journalist who stood outside my gate ready to bombard me with useless questions. Questions like,
‘What will happen if she is found innocent?’
Who was going to be found innocent? I made sure that I gave enough evidence to my lawyer. He was a well known lawyer in Canada. I paid billions of dollars to make him come back home. As for Kate, I had done some digging about her lawyer. It was his first time to be in court. The kid had no experience or whatsoever. They were going to lose and that was a fact. The previous night I hadn’t slept as I kept tossing and turning on the bed thinking about her. Why did he choose her? Was she more beautiful than I was? I had 2 sons with him but still he chose to cheat on me and that hurt very deeply.
Anyways we arrived at the court and thinking that I had escaped the journalist. I saw them standing right outside as if though they were waiting for me. I was glad that my 2 bodyguards helped me to get inside without those bastards ruining my outfit. You should have seen me walking inside the courtroom. I did put on a good act shedding uncontrollable crocodile tears. I am the one who lost a husband and my children will have to grow up without their father. Everyone was sympathizing with me and I certainly convinced them that I was still hurting. Minutes later she walked in handcuffed and wearing a black suit. There was eye contact but I quickly looked away.