Romance

The Divorce IV-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from The Divorce III)

Camilla is wondering why all the people around are looking at her strangely.

“Are you alright?” an older gentleman asks.

“Yes I am. Why do you ask?”

“You are either a witch or a deity. There is no way you could have gotten out of that car alive.”

The man points to the side, and Camilla recognizes the wreck of her car on the side of the road. Slowly, her memory, which must have been blocked by shock, starts flooding back. She remembers seeing the lorry gunning straight at her. She remembers closing her eyes when the head-on collision seemed inevitable.

But apparently, the driver of the lorry swung it to the left right before the impact, but that had not been enough to prevent the crash. Camilla’s car had apparently hit the huge lorry’s tire at an angle and was sent spinning in the air, crashed into a tree before finally landing upside down on the side on the road. The otherwise sleek Mercedes Benz is now crumpled like a piece of paper.

Camilla does not remember getting out of the car. She must have been in a daze.  But she now understands why people are looking at her strangely. She has not only walked out of the wreck, but she is unharmed, save for a few bruises on her hands caused by glass shards from the shattered windscreen and windows.

The accident has occurred along Ojijo Road, near Parklands Sports Club. Camilla had been rushing to MP Shah Hospital from the CBD. The lorry had obviously been coming from the opposite direction. Two police officers from Parklands police station, which is a stone-throw away, have already arrived at the scene. One of the officers approaches Camilla.

“I am sorry about what happened, madam, but I am glad that you are fine. I would like you to come with me to the police station so that you can record a statement. After that you may consider going for a medical checkup just to ensure that you do not have any internal injuries.”

The officer is a very young man, but very warm, courteous and personable.

“Sure officer. I will do exactly that.”

They walk together to the police station and Camilla records a statement. She remembers to call her insurance company to inform them about the accident, and even though it is at night, the call is picked.  She then walks to MP Shah Hospital. The police officer accompanies her, ostensibly to help her get help quickly, but she can see that he is smitten and he wants to score romantic points. Camilla is taken through a series of tests, before she is finally declared healthy. By then, it is late at night. The officer insists that she has to grab something to eat, and he predictably offers to help her find an eatery. Camilla doesn’t have the emotional strength to tell him off.

“Can I have your number?” he asks halfway through the dinner. Camilla expected that request to come, so she asks him to give her his number instead, and promised to call him after everything had settled down. After dinner she excuses herself and goes back to the hospital. Security officials refuse to allow her to see Felix, and not even Agnes’ intervention helps. She is forced to leave for the night, so she hails an Uber and promises Agnes that she will be there first thing in the morning.

                                                                   *        

Swastika is furious when she learns that Camilla survived the accident and that her guy was arrested. She knows that he will not incriminate her; he is just too smart for that. Besides, he doesn’t even know her personally. He knows that Swastika is the ultimate boss, but he has never met her. Swastika is furious because she knows that somehow he messed up. There is no way on planet earth that woman would have survived a head-on collision with a five-tonne construction lorry. Most likely he did not hit her straight on, which would explain why the Mercedes was sent flying off the road.

But why? He would have nothing to gain and everything to lose by messing up with her. He would have gotten paid very well if he had managed to kill Camilla. All he had to do was to park the lorry at the petrol station just opposite MP Shah Hospital and wait for a call instructing him to start moving. That, he did. He saw the silver Mercedes and he recognized it because he had been given its registration number. All he had to do was to switch lanes and crash it head on. Due to the sheer size of the lorry, he wouldn’t get hurt, and the lorry would only suffer minor dents. If the police got involved, Swastika would take care of them. All the driver would tell them is that his brakes failed. For that simple assignment, he would walk away with a million shillings.

On the flipside, not going along with the plan would have painful consequences for him. He may never have met Swastika, but he must know that people who mess with her die very painful deaths. Swastika decides that the best way is to get him out of police custody and have him thoroughly interrogated. She would have loved to interrogate him herself, but with the police involved, she wouldn’t want him to see her face, just in case.

“So what’s next?” Joe asks. He is relieved that Camilla didn’t die, although he wouldn’t dare let Swastika know that. In his own twisted way, he fell in love with Camilla and doesn’t want any harm to befall her.

“I will turn tables on that woman Camilla. I will have her arrested and charged with drunk driving.”

“Was she drunk? As far as I know Camilla has never tasted alcohol.”

“It doesn’t matter. Evidence can be fabricated. It is not rocket science.”

“Fantastic idea. If she is in prison, then we can forge documents and take over her property.”

Swastika looks at him darkly.

“You are getting on my nerves, Joseph.”

She only calls him Joseph when she is mad at him.

“Why? What have I done now?”

“You are making it too obvious that you are in love with Camilla. But to answer your question, no, she is not going to prison. She will die in the police cells. This puppy love behavior you are exhibiting is the more the reason she has to die.”

                                                              *

Camilla wakes up early. She showers and then makes a cup of coffee. By now she is convinced that Joe is behind her woes. Yesterday’s accident looked innocent, but Camilla is convinced that Joe had a hand in it. What she doesn’t understand is how exactly he knew where she would be at that particular moment. For him to have sent the lorry to hit her, he must have known that she would be using Ojijo Road at that particular moment. But how would he know? There is only one way: tracking her phone.

Camilla had just been about to hail an Uber, but she changes her mind. Who knows what devices Joe has planted in her phone? Maybe Joe has planted one of his thugs nearby with the Uber app on so that if she hails the taxi he is the one to respond. She has to be smart if she is to stay alive. She switches off her phone, removes the battery and leaves it on the dining table. She hopes that is enough to throw them off-track, although these days you never know.

She owns another car, but it is a manual car. It is mostly driven by her farm manager, but he always leaves it in her compound at night. He says his home area is not safe. Camilla was taught how to drive a manual car by her grandfather, but she has not driven a manual car since her grandfather died almost ten years ago. She is anxious, but she will have to drive the pickup.

At 6 am, she leaves the house. She tells her house manager to tell the farm manager to take the day off. She hops onto the driver’s seat of the Toyota Hilux double cabin pickup truck and sighs deeply. Then she starts the engine and eases the car out the compound. She pleasantly realises that the whole business of stepping on the clutch and changing gears still comes automatically to her.  She has not forgotten, even after all those years.

                                                                     *

Camilla is at the Ojijo Road/Parklands Road roundabout at 6.30 am. She is stopped by a police officer there, and he slides into the front passenger seat of the pickup.

“Is there a problem officer?” she asks.

“There are developments related to last night’s accident.”

“What developments?”

“My boss will explain shortly.”

The police officer shows her where to park inside the police station. They walk in silence to the main building where they are met by another police officer.

“Are you Camilla Weye?”

“I am.”

“You are under arrest for causing death by driving under the influence of alcohol.”

“What? I wasn’t drunk, and nobody was hurt yesterday.”

“I am sorry madam, but those are not the facts we have. You were drunk yesterday, and you killed a passerby.”

“Nobody even administered an alcoblow test on me so how can you say I was drunk? There is a misunderstanding somewhere. I am the lady with the Mercedes who was hit by a truck last night…”

“I know who you are,” the police officer snaps. “You can tell the judge what you have to say. But for now I will have to lock you up.”

“Can I at least make a phone call?”

“Sure,” the officer says with a sinister smile. Then Camilla remembers. She left her phone in the house, with the battery removed. The officer obviously knew that, and that means he is working for Joe.

(This is the last free part of the story. To find out what became of Felix and Camilla, follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella for only Kshs. 100)

Image by Marcojean20 from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/alliance-marriage-divorce-casal-4261357/

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The next story begins on Tuesday. See you all then.

 –Edward.

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