(Continued from A Game of Traitors II)
Rhoda fights back tears. She is determined not to cry any more.
“I will,” she tells Beatrice defiantly. “I do not even intend to spend the night in your house. I am heading to the police station.”
“Yea, good luck with that,” Beatrice says, rising. “My husband owns all the cops in this area. There is nothing you can do.”
“I am pregnant,” Rhoda blurts out as Beatrice approaches the door on her way out.
Beatrice whirls around.
“I said I am pregnant for your husband.”
“You are going to flush out that baby.”
“I thought you Christians are against abortion?”
Beatrice walks back to the edge of the bed.
“Tomorrow I am going to call the principal of your school and tell him you are unwell and that you are in hospital. My husband’s driver will take you to a clinic in Messa where they are going to flush out that brat, and nobody will ever know.”
“I thought you wanted me to be gone by morning?”
“Don’t test my patience Rhoda.”
“And if I want to keep my baby?”
“Let us just say Kasida has people whose job is to deal with people like you. These men will pick you up and you will never be seen again. You think my husband is rough in bed? These men will do things to you that will make you wish you were never born. And when they are tired of you they will kill you and burn your body to ashes.”
“And how do you know this?” Rhoda asks with a straight face.
“How rough these men are in bed.”
Beatrice slaps her twice. Her face is now contorted into a cold snarl that sends a chill down Rhoda’s spine. Rhoda knows that Beatrice is speaking the truth; last year, a local hair stylist who was rumored to be pregnant for Kasida disappeared one evening on her way home from the salon. She is yet to be found, a year later. Some people said that it was Kasida who made her disappear; others defended the man of God fiercely, suggesting that the girl had eloped with a boyfriend. Being a church girl, Rhoda was in this last category. She defended the chairman of her church. But now, after three months in his house, she knows better.
“Don’t mess with me Rhoda. I will ask for the last time; do I tell Erastus to prepare to take you to Messa in the morning?”
Rhoda nods slowly. There is a lump on her throat. Death would be welcome at this moment. But she had rather face the knife of a quack abortion doctor than be gang raped by monsters in a forest. Why is life so unfair?
Beatrice smiles and starts to walk away but changes her mind. She walks back to the bed.
“I have a better idea. You are right; as a Christian abortion doesn’t sit well with my heart. What is going to happen is that you are going to say that the baby you are carrying belongs to Mitwa. You will say that he has been defiling you every evening when you take food to him, but you were too scared to speak up until today.”
“No, please don’t make me do that! What has Mitwa done to you? Please spare him. I will abort the baby as you wished before.”
“I don’t want to you to kill the baby okay? I have a bone to chew with that boy Mitwa, and you will help me. Besides, I know you usually stay in his room for hours after you take his dinner. So the baby is probably his, and you are just blaming my husband because he is wealthy.”
“You know that is not true. Mitwa is a born again Christian. We are usually studying and nothing more.”
“Are you in love with him? He needs to be taught a lesson; he needs to learn not to mess with school girls. I am going to call the police now. When they come, please co-operate. Remember my husband has the police officers and their bosses on his payroll. And he also has some other very mean people on his payroll; people who can hurt you seriously. So stick to the script.”
Mitwa is fast asleep when the police cars come into the compound, sirens wailing. He does not hear any of it. He wakes up with a start when someone kicks open the door of his cabin. The cabin is a simple, two room structure. It has a sitting room and a bedroom; the sitting room has an old sofa set and a wooden table that he was given by Kasida and his wife. There is a bookshelf where he keeps his books and a small TV that Beatrice bought for him. The toilet and bathroom are in a separate structure a few meters away from the cabin.
In the bedroom, he has a 4×6 bed and new bedding that were also purchased by Beatrice. When he first arrived, Beatrice went out of her way to ensure he was comfortable. That meant a lot to Mitwa, a total orphan who had never experienced love in his life. But as time went by, he realized that Beatrice’s love for him was not motherly; she wanted to have sex with him.
Mitwa’s cabin is isolated. There is a live fence on the northern side that separates it from the imposing mansion that is the main house. On the eastern side, there is a brick wall that separates the Kasida farm from the murram road. On the western and southern sides, there is a banana farm that occupies about half an acre. The cowshed is on the extreme western side, while the rest of the farm extends southwards after the banana farm. In total, this farm occupies six acres, although the Kasidas have other farms.
There is a gate on the live fence that allows one to move from the main house to the farm, which is also the one used to access Mitwa’s cabin. The isolated position of the cabin allowed Beatrice to access the cabin frequently without raising suspicion. Anyone seeing her would assume she was headed to the farm. Mitwa is a neat young man and keeps the cabin very neat. Beatrice would spend hours talking to him in his sitting room.
Mitwa was okay with this until she started making sexual advances. She would insist on sitting next to him on the sofa. Then she would start putting her hands under his clothes. Mitwa became very uncomfortable. One day she unclasped her bra and tried to get him to fondle her breasts. That is when he gathered courage and told her off.
“I am sorry madam, but we cannot do this.”
“I have told you many times not to call me madam. Just call me Beatrice. And why can’t we do this? It is just a little harmless fun.”
“Because we are both born again Christians, and you are a married woman.”
“Come on Mit…”
“I am sorry madam but no. We can’t do this.”
The change in Beatrice was immediate. She suddenly became hostile to him; and from that day onwards she publicly demeans him for no reason at all. But Mitwa has always taken it in his stride, and tries his best to have minimal interaction with her.
Mitwa cannot think of a reason why the police would break into his house. He has not done anything wrong.
“Officer, what is the matter?” he asks the officer who is yanking him out of bed. Instead of giving him a response, the police man slaps him twice then drags him out of bed. Mitwa is naked except for his boxers.
Beatrice is an accomplished actress. She sheds a bucket-load of tears as she describes how horrified she was when her daughter told her that the man she took in as a son had been raping her for months. In fact, she tells nobody in particular, this very evening her daughter was raped; and as if that is not enough, she is pregnant.
“My sweet daughter has been impregnated by a rapist!” Beatrice wails dramatically while standing outside Mitwa’s cabin. She is holding Rhoda like a baby; tears are rolling down Rhoda’s eyes. Kasida is standing some distance away, a wicked grin on his face. As Mitwa is led out of the cabin in handcuffs, Beatrice becomes even more dramatic. Rhoda lowers her eyes to avoid meeting Mitwa’s gaze.
When Mitwa is loaded into the police van, Kasida starts his Range Rover and follows. His wife is sitting at the back with Rhoda as they head to the police station. Kasida cannot help smiling at the creativeness of his wife. He likes Mitwa because the boy is so hard-working. But if that girl Rhoda is pregnant, then this is a brilliant solution to the problem.
Mitwa is confused. He cannot believe that this is happening to him. Is Rhoda really pregnant? In all their conversations, she has never mentioned a boyfriend. He knows that she was coerced by Beatrice to testify against him, and he doesn’t have to think too hard to know why Beatrice would want to frame him. But never in his wildest dreams would he have thought that she (Beatrice) would want to destroy his future just because he refused to sleep with her. If he had, he would have left her home a long time ago.
Mitwa is not naïve. He knows the kind of influence that Kasida wields in Sodi and even Shava town. He will probably use that influence and his vast financial resources to corrupt the system and ensure that Mitwa is jailed. So as the police officer throws him into the cells, Mitwa is aware that he will not taste freedom again for years.
(Continued Here. If you wish to join the Sanctuary Side WhatsApp group, kindly text 0105571156. If you wish to purchase a copy of any of my other 33 novellas, follow the instructions below.)
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