Romance

The Age Factor III-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from The Age Factor II)

The Nairobi County Police Commander is one of Silvia’s on and off lovers. She does not particularly like him but she knows from experience that having a senior police officer as a friend is advantageous in many ways. Besides, he is wealthy, no doubt because corrupt deals. Silvia has a photographic memory, and has his phone number off head.

She calls his number using Sam’s phone. Within no time, the commander arrives with a police contingent and surrounds the warehouse. One of the mistakes that Sam made was failing to blind-fold her. He had been under pressure: one of his colleagues was dead and another had been injured. As if that is not enough, the police were chasing him. He actually did a fine job losing the police tail. But in the process, he allowed Silvia and her photographic memory to master the route. She explains to the commander where she is without a problem.

The police come armed to the teeth, led by the County Commander himself. Even Silvia is impressed. Lust will lead men to do almost anything for women. The security on the warehouse is light. There is no illicit cargo being hidden at the place at the time, so there are no thugs guarding the place other than the old man at the gate. He is quickly arrested.

When the Commander and his officers arrive, they find Silvia huddled in a corner of a room sobbing softly. Her hands are handcuffed. There is no one else in the room. The commander removes her handcuffs and takes her to his car.

Sam and Jeff are found dead in another room, each with a bullet hole in the head. When the commander asks Silvia how they died and how she managed to use Sam’s phone to call she starts crying uncontrollably and talking incoherently. The commander lets the matter slide and takes her to Mater Hospital in South B.                                                                                                       

                                                                    *

Silvia is anything but forgiving. She had been willing to move on with her life even after the hell that Timothy put her through in the period that they had been living together. In a sense, she had even felt flattered that he had been so jealously protective of her.

But when Jared told her that Timothy planned to kill her, her heart was filled with wrath, disdain, contempt and every other dark emotion. She plans to not only bring him down, but also humiliate him. Evil schemes come naturally to Silvia, and by the time the county commander arrives, her resolve has been fortified.

                                                         *

Jared is sitting at the basement of Timothy’s house with the boss when he receives a text on WhatsApp. It is Silvia. She is informing him that their plan is already underway. The plan is audacious, but Jared has no doubt that Silvia can help him to pull it off. The kidnapping was the first part of the plan. Getting Timothy arrested for that kidnapping is part two. Getting him killed in jail will be the last act.

Many men make the mistake of underestimating Silvia, but not Jared. He has been sleeping with her behind Timothy’s back, and he knows that she is brilliant and daring. Few women would dare to cheat on an insecure brute like Timothy, but Silvia went ahead and seduced him (Jared), knowing too well that he is Timothy’s right hand man.

Jared knows that she will prove to be useful to his plans, but he also knows that she is dangerous. For instance, the way she tried to make Timothy jealous on the phone was unnecessary and reckless. It could have ruined their plans.  But he needs her. He is getting tired of licking Timothy’s boots. It is time for him to fly on his own. He will use Silvia to achieve his goals, but he will have to watch his back.

                                                                *

(A few days later)

Elizabeth is sitting at the edge of Richard’s hospital bed. Richard I recovering well and doctors are even talking about discharging him. But they want to observe him for a few days. Elizabeth comes to see him every day, but Silvia is yet to appear.

Elizabeth can see that Richard is hurt that his wife…or former wife, because the divorce is still in place, has not come to see him in hospital. Elizabeth is not sure whether Richard knows that his ex-wife is living with Timothy’s right hand man Jared. Timothy and his associates are now in remand, awaiting trial.

When the police raided Timothy’s house, Jared was nowhere in sight. Jared hid in Silvia’s apartment for a while, waiting for the police to forget about him. It turned out that the police were not even interested in him no doubt because Silvia used her police boyfriend to cleanse his name. Elizabeth has heard rumors that it is Timothy’ men who killed Margaret and injured Richard, but it is Silvia they were after. She has also heard and that Silvia occasionally sleeps with a senior police officer, and that it is this man she used to get Timothy and his gang arrested in a revenge mission.

The fact that Jared is living with Silvia does not make sense to Elizabeth. Why would Silvia openly date Jared at a time she is trying to win back Richard? Silvia is a difficult woman to understand.

                                                        *

Richard looks at Elizabeth intensely and she looks away. She saw that look on the day she almost became his girlfriend.

“I am a fool, Liz. You are the woman I should settle down with, not that traitor Silvia. I am sorry that I have hurt you over the past few days. I don’t know why I let Silvia get into my head. Will you give me another chance? Please, my love?”

Elizabeth looks at him sadly.

“There is something I need you to do for me,” Elizabeth replies.

 “Anything for you darling.”

“I want you to approve an amendment to the articles of the association stating that senior employees of the farm will only be appointed if the shareholders unanimously agree. If one shareholder objects to a name, then the name is rejected.”

“I agree.”

Elizabeth removes a bunch o papers from an envelope and hands them to him to sign. Richard signs the papers without reading them.

“So, what do you say about my request?”

“No, Richard. It is better this way. We are better off as friends and business partners.”

“Why? Don’t you love me anymore?”

“I do. But you still love Silvia. Do not even deny it. As long as Silvia is the love of your heart, I will get hurt if I get involved with you. So please don’t do that to me. Let us remain friends as we have always been.”

As Richard’s eyes well with tears, Elizabeth rises quickly to stop herself from crying.

“Let me fix you a cup of chocolate,” she says. She is determined not to get carried away by his handsome, teary face.  But why does life have to be so complicated? Why can’t she and Richard be happy together? She stirs the chocolate vigorously while fighting back tears.

                                                                  *

Jared and Silvia are working hard towards the same goal. They have already reached an agreement of sorts. Jared will inherit Timothy’s business empire, while Silvia will get the mansion. Timothy is in jail, but they know that is not enough to enable them to get the property. They need him dead.

The problem is that Timothy’s bail ruling is coming up tomorrow, and they have not been able to execute the plan to have him killed. They need more time. They both know that they cannot afford to have him walk free before they execute their plan. He may not be as bright as they are, but he is a hardened criminal kingpin with an instinctive ability to survive. If he walks free, he might even kill them before they hurt him. But if he remains in remand, they are certain that they can come up with a plan to get rid of him.

They are not worried though. They are certain that Timothy will be denied bail. The prosecution has a very strong case, and the judge has a reputation of being ruthlessly fair. Jared has already either killed or bought Timothy’s goons and has taken control of the warehouses where the drugs are stored.

Many people do not know the source of Timothy’s wealth, but the bulk of it comes from cocaine. Timothy enjoys listening to the theories about the source of his wealth, although he publicly insists that he is a legitimate businessman. He particularly likes the idea of his being a member of the illuminati. He thinks that that theory creates a sense of intrigue around him that would make people fear him.

The fear factor around him is real though; most people are indeed afraid of him. Even senior politicians, including Governors and senators are afraid of him. Jared doesn’t fear him, but he knows him well enough to appreciate the threat he poses. He knows he should get a plan to eliminate him altogether, and soon.

What Jared doesn’t know is that Timothy is making moves of his own from behind bars.

                                                                 *

Justice Simon Keria is having a quiet drink alone at Parklands Sports Club. The judge is a long-serving judicial officer, but he is disappointed because he will retire at the High Court. He had hoped that he would finish his 40-year judicial career at the Court of Appeal. He was in the first lot of law students to graduate from the University of Nairobi in the early seventies. He left for Dar el Salaam immediately after graduating to pursue his masters in law. He came back to the UoN as a lecturer.

He abandoned academia for judicial service in 1978 when he became a Resident Magistrate at the age of 29. He rose through the ranks slowly, becoming a Chief Magistrate in 2001. He was appointed as a High Court judge in 2008 at the age of 59. At the time, the retirement age of judges was 74 meaning he had fifteen years to climb one more step to the Court of Appeal, which was at the time the highest court in the land.

He was even optimistic of becoming the Chief Justice. Fifteen years is a lot of time. Having been stationed in Kisumu, he was an unknown magistrate in 2008, even though he was a Chief Magistrate. The only magistrate who regularly hogs the limelight is the Nairobi Chief Magistrate.

But his High Court appointment brought him to Nairobi, which is the epicenter of everything. He realized that if he made the right moves, he could become a viable candidate for higher office. Unfortunately, he was posted to the family division of the High Court where nothing dramatic happened for the year that he was there. He was then posted to Meru as the presiding judge in 2009. Then the Constitution was passed in 2010 and reduced the retirement age from 74 to 70. It also created the Supreme Court, meaning that the Court of Appeal is no longer the top court.

Now he is back to Nairobi, this time at the criminal division of the High Court. The criminal division of the High Court is rather prestigious in terms of the media attention it attracts, second only to the constitutional division. Justice Keria has appeared in the media several times already in the one year that he has been at his current station, and his profile has significantly risen. But judge Keria knows that that will not translate to much in terms of career advancement.

He is 69, with only one year of service left. Some of his colleagues are murmuring about filing a case to have the Judicial Service Commission compelled to allow the  judges appointed under the old constitution retire at 74. But judge Keria is tired and just wants to finish the few months remaining and retire to his rural farm. He is aware that it is possible to jump from the High Court to the Supreme Court. Justice Isaac Lenaola did it. But Justice Lenaola is a relatively young man. Nobody is going to appoint a seventy year old judge even to the Court of Appeal, even assuming his retirement age is reinstated to 74 years. Besides, since last year he carries a dark secret that he doesn’t want scrutinized. He just wants to retire.

The judge looks back at his career with some regret. The glamour that he had expected did not materialize. He spent most of his time in rural court stations. Some of his contemporaries who remained in academia are now celebrity dons. They are regularly appointed to taskforces and appear in the media regularly to give expert opinions on matters of national interest. Those in private practice are minting millions from their established law firms.

And what does he have to show for over forty years as a judicial officer other than hundreds of dry judgments that he suspects nobody reads?

“Hello judge,” a voice interrupts his train of thought. He looks up and sees a youthful lawyer standing at his table. He does not remember the name of the lawyer, but he does recognize the face. “May I join you?”

“Of course,” the judge says, pointing at the empty seat.

“I will go straight to the point judge. Tomorrow you are set to deliver a ruling on…”

“I don’t discuss cases that are before me, son. If that is all you wanted to see me about then this meeting is over.”

The lawyer smiles.

“You will make an exception in this case, judge.”

“Why would I?”

“Because I know things that you don’t think anybody knows.”

“Such as?”

“Such as the fact that you impregnated a minor at your last station in Embu last year. You quietly paid the family and the local chief to shut them up, didn’t you?”

The judge freezes. How would a Nairobi based lawyer know that? The girl had been his daytime house assistant. She would come to clean the house, do laundry and cook. With her large body frame, he had assumed she was an adult. He started making passes at her, especially over the weekends, and she was only too willing to play along. It did not take long for them to start making love. When she became pregnant, her family wanted him to marry her.

The judge is a widower and the idea of having a young, uncomplicated village wife appealed to him. All the family wanted was dowry. But then the village chief learned about it and saw an opportunity to make money. He disclosed to the judge that the girl was a sixteen year old class eight drop out, meaning she was a minor and that the judge had been defiling her.

The judge paid the chief a two hundred thousand shillings and gave the girl’s family half a million shillings to quietly settle the matter. The girl has since given birth but the judge has no contact with the family. But now it seems that the matter has come to haunt him in Nairobi.

“What do you want?” he asks the lawyer.

“Tomorrow you will give Timothy a cash bail of not more than ten million shillings. I believe that is high enough for you not to look compromised. But at the end of the trial you will set him free. If you fail to do either of those two things, you will meet him at Kamiti where he will gladly welcome you to life in prison. Do we understand each other judge?”

Judge Keria looks at the young man with disgust. This is the second time in his life that he is being blackmailed. The stupid chief in Embu was the first to blackmail him. He hates it, but he knows he has no choice. He will have to release Timothy, just like he was forced to fork out the money last year. So he nods slowly.

  [I intend to release this novella on Friday, so come prepared to purchase your copy at only 100 bob. See you all on then.]

Image Source:  https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-volcano-eruption-lava-4129533/

                                                                                        *

To purchase a copy of the second novella of the month of June, Madam General, you can follow either one of two ways:

  1. Digital Method. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-(https://www.maroncha.com/book-store). Select the book (Madam General). Add to cart, check out then pay. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
  2. Manual Method. Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264. Send us an email at info@sanctuaryside.com telling us your M-PESA name and the book you wish to purchase (Madam General). It might take us some time to process your order, but we will email your copy once we have verified your payment. If you are using the manual system and wish to buy my previous books, just log in to the bookstore (https://www.maroncha.com/book-store) and you will see all the previous titles. You can then pay for any of them.

Remember you can always inbox Sanctuaryside on Facebook or email me at info@sanctuaryside.com if you have a query or feedback.

 See you all on Friday.

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