NOT GUILTY: 8-10
A man would do anything to save his own family, even if it means working with his enemy. I tried sleeping last night but I was so troubled that I couldn’t even get an eye shut thinking about what Rita said to me. Ever since I became a lawyer, I never had one of my clients or none clients threatening to hurt my family. She was the first, now I had to risk my job to save them. I loved my wife and children. Nothing else matters at all if I had them. I couldn’t imagine my life without them.
‘Babe, are you okay?’ asked Grace waking me up from my reverie.
I quickly got up from the bed and walked to her. I hugged her so tightly as if my life depends on her.
‘I love you so much Grace. You and our kids are the best thing that ever happened to me. Nothing bad will happen to you all as long as I am alive.’
‘Why are you saying that? Are you in trouble?’
I laughed briefly. She always worries about me and my happiness. This woman is a gift from God.
‘I can’t express love to my wife,’ I said.
‘I love you.’
‘I love you too and nothing bad will happen to us. God is in control.’
She made me cheer up a little before we went to take a bath together. We had breakfast together and I had to drive the kids to school before going to work. Grace was running late and so she couldn’t take them.
I later drove to my workplace and I was a bit late. I walked through my assistant to my office and she told me that someone was waiting for me. I slowly opened the door and my guess was right. It was Rita sitting on my chair as if she owned the place.
‘Don’t you have something else to do besides stalking people?’
‘I am only stalking you because I need something. Have you done what I asked you to do?’ she said getting up.
‘You said 48 hours.’
‘I changed my mind. You never know what someone might do in that 48 hours. We doing it now.’
‘I have some people watching over your family right now. Just do the damn job and you are a free man. I won’t bother you again,’ she said with a hint of serious in her voice.
She sounded different from the Rita that came in my house last night. I sat down on my chair and took out my laptop from my bag. I switched it on and began editing the will. She was standing right behind me making sure that I was doing everything she asked me to do. After that she is the one who forged her own husband’s signature.
‘It’s done. Now leave me and my family alone.’
‘You still need to read the will.’
‘Find someone else to do it. I am done working for you. In fact I was only employed by your husband. I am sure you can find your own lawyer. I just risked my job for you and because you threatened to hurt my family. Can you kindly leave my office. Please!’
She walked out without saying a word. This was far from over, I was going to destroy her. I promise I was going to make her pay for her sins. I still had the original will with me and I needed to put it somewhere safe.
I finally got what I wanted. To be honest I kinda of felt guilty for threatening Harris. He was a good man and didn’t deserve any of that from me. I hope he was going to forgive me because I had put his job at risk. Anyways I had told him to put everything in my name and maybe give Jason’s mother half a million. I am sure it was going to be enough for her and the rest of the family. Since Jason had refused to read the will, I asked one of my friends to help me find the best lawyer in town. I was supposed to meet with him that afternoon. I met him and we discussed what he was suppose to do. I was glad when he didn’t ask me questions that I had no answers to. Being asked 21 questions was the last thing that I wanted. I wanted to get this over and done with. Move on with my life, forget about Jason and his existence in my life.
So the lawyer came in the afternoon and everything went according to plan. He read the will and of cause the family members were shocked but I put them in their place when they tried to debate with me. They never supported or did they helped him build the company. I was always there for him and even preferred to give him the money instead of helping my grandmother who wasn’t feeling well at that time. Now tell me, wasn’t I fair enough to just give my mother-in law the money? She deserved it after all. Anyway they all left in disappointment, I bet they thought that the house was going to be theirs. It was for my children and I. None of them deserved to live in that house. I bought the properties and did the decorations. I loved that house even though it held good and bad memories.
The day that I finally cat walked inside my husband’s company was when I felt like a boss. The world revolved around me and I couldn’t careless if they were gossiping about me. That afternoon I gathered them all in the hall to introduce myself. If I knew that running the world as a lady was this perfect, I would have killed Jason a long time back ago.
‘There is no need to introduce myself. You all know me from TV. My husband’s death made headlines. May he soul rest in peace,’ I cleared my throat, ‘Now I want to make it all clear that I am not doing any changes in this place. I know most of you wouldn’t want to be bossed around by a lady. I won’t be heartless to you all but treat you with respect and love. Any questions?’
A lady raised her hand.
‘We hearing rumors about retrenchment.’
There were murmurs in the room.
They all kept quiet.
‘I am glad you said rumors,’ I said walking around ‘that is a lie and I am not planning to remove anyone from the company. We all have families to take care of. Isn’t it? I won’t be that heartless. My last words are let’s work together and always remember the man who started this company. Let’s honor him. Thank you!’
They all clapped their hands as I walked out of the room. If my husband did it, no one was going to stop me. I was going to change the company’s name to mine.
I didn’t know that he was married and would have never guessed. I loved Jason with all of my heart and even gave him my body. Janet lied to me when I first met his brother at school. She told me all the good things about him and left the part that he was married. When that woman walked in on us making love and he started apologizing to her my heart ached. I had been lied to and make matters worse she framed me for his death. I could have simple said that I was not guilty but she threatened to hurt my little sister. My little sister was my weakness and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her. I had to plead guilty even without fight. It was useless to fight because all the evidence pointed right back at me.
Anyway it had been a month since I last saw Karen and I heard she dropped out of teachers college just to study law. Life is unfair sometimes, I could have been the one finishing off my law degree but hear I am locked in this cell. I was sitting on the bed at the hospital waiting for the results. The prison guard was waiting outside my room. I hadn’t been feeling well for the past few days. One of my friends at the prison was with me. He finally walked in with a big smile spread across his face.
‘Doctor Miguel. What are they saying?’
‘You are pregnant!’
‘I didn’t hear that correctly. Did you just say..’
‘You going to be a mother Kate,’ said Letwin excitedly.
*_To be Continue..
I had just come out of the hospital and on my way back to the prison. My heart aches because of the sad news that I had received. I would have been happy if I was still living at my flat, having access to my medical aid, eating healthy food bathing everyday and having a good night sleep. Any mother to be in my condition might have been putting on a sad look on her face just like I did.
Letwin tried so hard to cheer me up but I wasn’t interested. She was a mother of 2 girls and do loved her children. She kept telling me how blessed she was to have them in her life, how wonderful and great it felt to be a mother. I didn’t want my child to grow up in that horrible place were people get killed everyday because of a tooth brush or she had simple refused to give her the body lotion. A horrible place with murders, child molesters and abusers. You all think some of these crimes were are for men but not anymore, even women mistreats men out there.
We soon arrived at the prison and Doctor Miguel was very much concerned about me. He kept asking me if I was going to be alright. He was the prison daughter. I was actually the youngest one in that prison. At the age of 25, some of my young adult were busy with school or graduating and I was here locked up with something that I didn’t do.
Fights are hard to avoid, that really was the worst part. Being stuck with all these aggressive people all the time, having no control whatsoever. I remember one time when I first got here, a woman confronted another lady at my table where we were eating. It happened so fast, I was still sitting there when another girl had to pull me up and away from the fight. I saw why soon after because a different girl who had nothing to do with it caught fist right to the face and had a broken eye socket or something. She was rolling on the ground screaming and crying until she got taken away by the COs to go to medical and then to segregation for fighting.
For the meantime no one ever tried to fight or start anything with me, but I never gave them reason to. I stayed in my cell a lot of the time and just read. I didn’t talk about anyone in there, good or bad. I just tried to stay positive and listen more than I talked. I actually got the nickname “smiles” even though I was probably the most depressed and anxious person there.
How was I going to raise my child in that place? Most of these doors cells were not locked that anyone can come in and kill you. First, you are sharing a room with 60-70 other women, many were rowdy young jits. You better figure out how to get along with those in the bunks closest to you no matter who they are. Second, so OK there is a TV room but don’t think you are going to have any say about what’s on TV. A prison is pretty noisy place most of the day and evening. Next time you find yourself at some kind of event with an audience of 60-70 people many of whom know each other pay attention to the noise level in the crowd before the event starts. It’s going to be pretty noisy with that many conversations all trying to compete with one another for attention. Now imagine that amount of noise all day every day with a TV blaring in the next room and some guys playing dominoes, chess and cards laughing, cursing at each other’s moves in a friendly way and yelling at the TV especially if there is some sports event on, noise is inevitable. Most of the women come across as you might meet on any street. As I got to know them I found myself looking at somebody I was having a casual conversation with and asking,
‘What is this woman doing here? What kind of major crime could she possibly have committed when she seems like an OK woman?’
Most women would rather not discuss why they are there nor do they want to know why you are there unless and until you become close friends.
‘So have you thought about a name?’ asked Letwin as we sat as a group with the other older women I got along with.
‘I haven’t because I don’t know the gender.’
‘I will write down some few names for you maybe I might be the Godmother. Who knows?’
Letwin had become one of my best friend. She was the loveliest person I had ever met and protected me from the bad ones. She was an ex soldier and was framed for being in position of marijuana and cocaine. I remember the day she broke down telling me about her story. Why she was in that place? She was just adorable and even showed me pictures of her little girls.
‘I am going to protect you in here. I promise.’
The rest of the day we weren’t doing any activities and I spent most of it sleeping. I missed Karen so much and hoped that she was doing well. The man she came with the other day, he looked like a good guy. I just prayed that he was taking good care of her. Not forgetting my grandmother who passed away because of me. Honestly I blamed myself for her sudden death. I didn’t know that Jason was married to a psychopath, that woman had me destroyed completely. Now I was going to give birth in jail and probably have those people take my child away from me.
A month later I walked inside the hospital with the guard. Doctor Miguel was already waiting for me. I had been experiencing pain and hardly slept most of the time. Luckily I found favors in the eyes of the warden. That woman was heaven sent, she treated me like I was her own daughter. She the one who asked the guard to take me to hospital. He had this big smile spread across his face, happy to see me I guess.
‘Miguel,’ he corrected, ‘I will bring her out shortly,’ he said looking at the guard who nodded in agreement.
We walked inside and he closed the door.
‘How are you Katty?’
He is the first person who called me that. The huge smile didn’t leave his pretty face. The guy was cute.
‘I am just not feeling well and not getting enough sleep. Pregnant woman experience insomnia?’
‘It’s normal but when you thinking too much. Let me check your blood pressure and see if it’s normal.’
I sat nervously on the bed as he did his things. I was silent and so was he.
‘Your blood pressure is high. Do you want to talk about it?’ he finally said sitting beside me on the bed.
I cleared my throat and didn’t even know where to begin. What if I don’t want to talk about it?
‘Let me show you something,’ he said as if he had read my mind.
He took out his phone and showed me a picture of a woman pregnant. I didn’t know that he was married.
‘She died giving birth. My daughter’s name is Catherine. She is 7 years old but act like she is 20,’ he said with a laugh, ‘I blamed myself for her death. I am a doctor and should have been there to save her when they couldn’t perform the operation well. I almost quit being a doctor but my mother told me not to. So then I decided to come and save more women in this place, the prison. My wife would have wanted this,’ he put back his phone, ‘I don’t usually talk about my wife because I still recall the night I heard about the sad news. But such is life and I had to move on. Katty,’ he held my hand, ‘I know you going through a lot. You still young and being a mother sometimes is quite scary. If you don’t take good care of yourself. Who will? I know you not ready to talk but always know that I am here for you. I am also a therapist.’
I laughed in tears. Don’t even know why I was crying, maybe of his story or mine that I couldn’t tell him. Miguel was polite and told me that it was just a normal pain that I was experiencing. He told me so many stories that for the first time I felt so happy and promised him that I would take good care of the baby and myself.
*_To be Continue
I got into my car and drove out of the prison hospital. I had a hectic day and only wished to get home safe, take a bath and help Cathy with her homework before resigning to bed. Working at the prison hospital wasn’t easy but I was happy with helping the women that were in need. It was my decision to work there after I lost my wife and promised to help these women. The doctors were so careless and let my wife died. I was hurt but then at the end of the day there was nothing that I could do to bring her back to life. I had to accept that she was gone and left me a beautiful angel, my daughter who was a constant reminder of her mother because they looked alike. I loved Cathy with all of my heart. She was my happiness and my laughter when I was sad. I told her about Nicole. She needed to know what kind of a woman her mother was, loving and caring.
Honestly when she died, I didn’t think that I would be able to move on with my life. I had been living with this woman and we shared everything. Sometimes I would forget that she is not on the bed, she won’t come to the bathroom while I am having a bath and she won’t have breakfast with me. With her absence in the house things were not the same. Sometimes I found it hard to believe that she had left this world. I would hope that she would wake up and we celebrate our newly born baby. But then one day I looked at Cathy. My Nicole was still here with me. She left me something to remind me of her, that is our daughter.
After parking my car, I got inside the house and found my mother with Cathy. She immediately got up and ran to me. I scooped her up.
‘I missed you dad,’ she said smilingly.
‘And I missed you too my queen.’
‘You look tired.’
‘I am tired my baby,’ I said putting her down.
‘Then you should go and bath. Nena helped me with my homework.’
‘Thank you mum!’
‘Let’s go brush those teeth,’ said my mother taking Cathy’s hand, ‘daddy has to go and have a bath. Zoe isn’t feeling well.’
‘What’s wrong with her?’ I asked concerned.
Zoe was my maid.
‘It’s that time of the month.’
‘Ohhhh,’ I said looking away, ‘she will get better soon.’
I walked to the bathroom. Most women had trouble with their periods and Zoe was just one of them. I had stay long enough to make her feel comfortable talking to me when faced with such kinds of things but she was very shy to talk about it. I was a doctor after all.
I finished bathing and changed into my pajamas. I had just closed the door when I saw mum getting out of Cathy’s room.
‘She refused to sleep when you hadn’t arrived. She kept saying, I have to wait for my dad first,’ she said as we walked to the dining room.
‘She is a sweet girl.’
‘Let me dish up for you,’ she smiled.
My mother always visited us, well only to check up on Cathy. She gave me my food and I said grace. It was sadza (nshima) with okra. I know it’s kind of traditional food but I so loved it especially cooked by my mother. After I finished eating, I washed my plates and joined my mother in the living room. I knew she had some few questions to ask me before we call it a night. She was watching Lockdown, a South African drama played by women in prison.
‘Is it because you the warden, you watch these kind of stuff?’ I asked with a smile sitting opposite her.
She switched it off and turned to look at me. Something was bothering her.
‘How is Kate?’
I don’t know why my mother loved that prisoner. She actually asked me to take good care of her and tell her every detail about her pregnancy. She felt responsible for her.
‘She is thinking a lot. Her blood pressure was very high today but I made her cheer up a little.’
‘Good, I don’t want her to stress that could harm the baby,’ she sighed.
I was afraid to ask her questions but I needed to know why she was so fond of her. I know my mother very well and from the look on her face, something was definitely wrong. Could it be that Kate reminded her so much of my sister who committed suicide while in prison? I just sat there studying her face when she had it on the floor.
‘Does she remind you of Monica?’
The words had already come out of my mouth without a warning I couldn’t stop them. She slowly lifted her face up. I was right, she was doing all of this for Monica who was wrongly accused for murder and ended up committing suicide killing her unborn child in the process. My mother felt responsible for her death and now the same thing would probably happen to Kate but she was strong.
‘Kate is a very strong woman mother.’
Apparently, Kate had broke down in my mother’s office and told her the truth. She was framed and pleaded guilty for something that she didn’t do. My mother had promised to get her out of the place risking her job in the process. I tried to talk her out of the situation but she wouldn’t listen.
‘I can’t let it happen again.’
‘Mother, Kate is not your daughter. She is just a stranger.’
‘Who told you that you get to call someone your daughter by blood only? I see Monica in her. A young lady who had the potential to be somebody in life but had all her dreams and hopes destroyed by someone else. I will get her out of that place,’ she said getting up.
I knew that there was nowhere to talk her out of the situation. I too felt pity for Kate but I promised myself that I won’t get too attached to my patient but my mother was making it hard for me. She always booked appointments for Kate to be checked up on. I finally went to sleep for tomorrow was going to be another long day at the prison.
‘Damn it!’ she shouted throwing the water glass at the wall.
Just when she thought things were getting back to normal she receives some news from the female guard she was currently paying at the prison to give her some information on her enemy. She clenched her fist in anger and felt like killing someone. The employees were looking at her from the windows and all looked aside when she turned to them. They were all afraid of her. She locked her door and grabbed her phone. She needed to do something about the situation. The only kids Jason left were hers. She wasn’t ready to welcome another child of him born out of wedlock.
‘She is fucken pregnant!’
‘Calm down babe.’
‘Don’t tell me to calm down mum. I am going to kill her in that prison.’
‘No more deaths Rita Hagar my daughter.’
She recently told her mother that she was responsible for his death. Her mother was her best friend and would obviously help her out.
‘Do you want me to come back to the country?’
‘No, mum. Your health matters the most. I am sorry I didn’t mean to yell.’
Her mother was still in India getting treated.
‘No, it’s okay. You are my daughter and whatever you did, you were trying to protect your family. Don’t let this girl rule your life. She will probably have a miscarriage.’
She stopped pacing and smiled. Her mother had just brought up a brilliant idea. She didn’t need to kill her but the baby. She had access to the prison, just a drop of poison in her food would make her lose the baby.
‘Thank you mum. You awesome.’
‘Wait, what are you going to do?’
‘I will talk to you soon,’ she quickly hanged up and grabbed her car keys with a smile.
She drove her car in high speed to one of her scientist friend that she knew. She needed something that would make her never fall pregnant again. When she arrived, the doctor was attending to some patients but since they were friends, he took her to his office and instructed her to sit down. She came up with a story that she used to make him give her the drug poison. It helped, Tim already had a soft spot on her. He always loved her but she chose to marry Joshua who mistreated her. He blamed himself for easily giving up on her. She deserved better, he would tell himself. He had never loved anyone the way he loved Rita.
She walked out of his office later one just after a quick session. She needed to give him something for appreciation. Tomorrow she was going to end it all. She smiled as she started the car.
To be Continue.