(Continued from The House of Judah III)
Audrey has her own faults like every other human being, but being stupid is not one of those faults. She knows that this family is planning something wicked against her, even though they are treating her nicely. After the death of the Senator, she was whisked away from his house and brought to this other mansion, which she has learnt belongs to Lamb’s uncle, Lion. She was told that the family needs privacy as they plan on how to announce the Senator’s death to the world. Nobody blamed her for the death; to the contrary, Benjamin’s wife consoled her and said she understood how traumatic the experience of someone dying in her arms was. Benjamin’s wife is the one who brought her here, and quickly left with Lion and his wife. That was around 3.00 am.
It is now about 11 am. Lion’s two sons have already left to join their relatives at Benjamin’s house, leaving Audrey alone with their daughter Tamar. Tamar’s two sisters are in the city, although they had confirmed that they would attend the wedding tomorrow. Tamar is a sweet woman of about 32 years, with eyes that seem to be eternally sad. She has been asking Audrey questions about her life, but although Audrey’s instincts tell her that she can trust the girl, her answers are guarded. But Tamar has also been giving her advice and insights into how life will be in the House of Judah.
“If I were you I wouldn’t marry Lamb,” she said at one point.
“Why? Your cousin is a fine man.”
“Yes he is. Lamb is actually the only person I trust in this family. It is not about him, it is about the family. This is not the kind of family you want to marry into.”
“For starters, this is a prison. Once you are in, you cannot get out. Those of us who were born here have no choice, but you brides and grooms have a choice of staying away from this family. Secondly, our family has weird sexual practices. Of all my close male relatives, Lamb is the only one who has never raped me. My father, brothers, grandfather, uncles and male cousins have all at one point or another forced their way with me. Benjamin-that is Lamb’s father-was the worst. He is the one who broke my virginity when I was twelve years old. You are lucky he died last night, because I can assure you that he would have tried to rape you.”
“He already tried to rape me last night.”
“Your uncle got his heart attack in my bedroom. He was trying to rape me.”
“You need to get out of here.”
“Why? I am sorry, I did not mean to offend you…”
“You have not offended me, Audrey,” Tamar cuts her off. “I want you out of here because they will kill you. They will blame you for the death of Benjamin and then kill you.”
“I swear I am innocent, Tamar. I did not do anything.”
“I believe you, and that is why I want to help you,” Tamar says as she sends a text message on her phone. “Come with me.”
Tamar locks the house and leads Audrey to her car. They leave the family compound and drive to the family’s primary school. Tamar parks right in front of the administration block. They walk up a flight of stairs to a door marked “Headmistress”. As they pass the small reception, Tamar greets the receptionist with a smile.
Tamar opens the door to the inner office and finds Lamb waiting inside. Lamb hugs his cousin warmly and then holds Audrey tightly in his arms. He stares into her eyes for a few seconds before he lifts her chin up and kisses her deeply into the mouth.
Tamar coughs twice.
“It would be my pleasure to leave so that you two of you can fulfil the lust of your flesh, but we have urgent business to conduct.”
Lamb releases Audrey.
“I know cuz. I am sorry, I couldn’t help it.”
“No need to apologize. I totally understand. But the reason I called you here is because I think Audrey is in danger.”
“Yes, they have already told me that she has to die. I have to get her out of here somehow. I have spent the whole morning mauling over this and I still haven’t gotten a solution.”
“What? Who wants to kill me? I swear I did not kill your father, Lamb.”
“I know, babe. The leaders of the family, basically Lion and Lord, are only using you as a scapegoat. They are blaming you for my father’s death, but I have a feeling they had a hand in my father’s death. What exactly happened last night?”
“After you and your sisters left…”
“You finally caved in to your sisters’ demands?” Tamar asks.
“They insisted on following me to my house. I couldn’t say no. But my chief nether organ saved me because it refused to rise to the occasion. So I told them we would make love in the morning after I rested. But I woke up at 2 am and started working, knowing they wouldn’t pull me out of the office. Before they woke up, mom called me to tell me that Father was dead.”
“And here I thought that my brothers are disgusting. Your sisters are worse.”
“What are you two talking about? Your sisters wanted to have sex with you?” Audrey asks,
“Basically, yes,” Tamar replies. “As I told you earlier, incest is a common practice in this family.”
“That now makes sense. When I begged Lamb’s father not to rape me because I am Lamb’s bride, he said “my son’s wife is also my wife.” I thought that was weird, but now it makes sense.”
“What happened next?”
“As I was saying, after you and your sisters left, I went to my room and left your parents watching TV. After some time, I heard a knock on the door. I assumed it was your mother, so I opened the door while still in my nightdress. But when I opened the door, there stood the Senator wearing only his boxers and vest. He pushed me to the bed and that is when I started pleading with him. He wouldn’t listen. He removed his clothes and my nightdress and started fondling me and saying all that nonsense about how good he is in bed. Then suddenly he started breathing heavily, which was weird because he hadn’t really done anything. But I have heard that some people climax after foreplay, so I thanked God for letting me off easily.
But then he started foaming in the mouth and then collapsed onto the bed. I raced out of the bedroom while naked and called your mother. She was in the bedroom and I didn’t know which one it was, so I stood at the corridor and shouted her name. She came out and asked what the problem was and I explained it to her. She didn’t ask why I was naked or what her husband was doing in my bedroom. Instead, she gave me a bathrobe to wear and told me to go back to the room. She went back to her bedroom and came about fifteen minutes later. She left her husband dying on my bed and took me to Tamar’s father’s house.”
“She did not call a doctor?”
“If she did, then she called him after she went back to her bedroom. But by the time we left the house, no doctor had arrived.”
“Doesn’t Dr. Elijah live two houses away from your father’s house?” Tamar asks.
“He does. If Mother had called him immediately he would have been in our house in less than two minutes.”
“I think your mother was involved in the murder.”
“I do too. Audrey you did not carry your handbag right?”
“Yes. You told me that I would be provided with everything I need.”
“Correct. Yet they are claiming that they found pills of Viagra in your handbag. Mother must have put Viagra in Father’s food or drink. But I don’t get why. Father wanted to be President, and although Lord and Lion were opposed to it for obvious reasons, I thought that the idea of being the First Lady of the Republic would make Mother happy. She loved being the County First Lady, and I know she would have been elated to become the country’s First Lady.”
“Your Mother knew your father wouldn’t become President because Lion and Lord would never allow it. She had a different ambition.”
“She wants to become Mother Superior.”
“But Father is not Lion and so would never have become Lord. And even if he were, he would need to be alive to become Lord. How does killing him help her to become Mother Superior?”
“It clears the way for her to marry my father. The two of them have a relationship that goes beyond casual sex. Although he is Lion, the anointed son of the family, my father has always secretly believed that your father was more successful than he is. I mean, Benjamin was this high flying CEO of the family enterprise before he became a successful politician. To rub insult to injury, you, Benjamin’s son, became Lamb ahead of my brothers. My father wasn’t so much opposed to your father’s stab at presidency because he was worried about the exposure the family would get. He was just jealous of your father’s success. He was convinced that your mother was a key ingredient in your father’s success. And in a sense it is true. Your mother is more ambitious than my mother.”
“Your mother has way more decency than my mother.”
“True, but Father doesn’t care about decency or such.”
“That makes perfect sense. Mother kills Father by giving him an overdose of Viagra. If our assumption is correct, then Lion will kill your mother so that he marries my mother.”
“Audrey will take the fall for your Father’s death and maybe mother will die of some fictitious disease or an accident.”
“We need to save not just Audrey, but also your mother.”
“The first step of saving them is getting them out of the Village. This is what we are going to do. Since my father and your mother don’t know that I know Audrey is supposed to be killed, I will drive out of the Village with her. You go and find Mother. Tell her you have a surprise for her and convince her to get into your car. Drive out of the Village and then you can call me and find out where Audrey and I are.”
“That sounds like the perfect plan. But we shouldn’t use our phones near the Village. When you leave the Village, drive all the way to Nanyuki. There is a small hotel there called Grey Mountain. I will find you there.”
Marion watches in silence as Tamar, Audrey and Lamb walk to the school gate. Tamar and Audrey get into Tamar’s car and drive away. Lamb looks around the parking lot, but Marion knows he can’t see her. She is in a tinted car, and the car is not hers. It is Elijah’s, and it is blending in perfectly with the other cars in the parking lot. Finally Lamb gets into his car and drives away.
“Lion, we have problem.”
“After Lamb left the meeting at my house, I followed him. He came to the primary school to see your daughter.”
“You know how close those two are, Marion. I swear if they were not cousins they would marry each other.”
“The problem is that Tamar came with that girl Audrey. They have had a lengthy meeting, the three of them. Tamar and Audrey have driven out together in Tamar’s car, and I have a feeling they are leaving the Village. Lamb has left alone in his car.”
“Don’t worry beautiful. I will take care of that. You continue watching your boy.”
Tamar and Audrey drive out in silence, each of them lost in their own thoughts. Tamar is so distracted that when they approach the inner gate, she doesn’t notice the flicker on her dashboard warning her that the sensors have malfunctioned. She is forced to apply emergency brakes to avoid crashing into the gate.
“Someone must have seen us and figured out that we are fleeing. We are trapped in here,” she says gloomily.
“If they have figured out what we are up to, then we are all dead: me, you and Lamb.”
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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/vectors/cry-eye-crying-depression-sad-6681054/
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