(A few of you, dear readers, have told me that you are unable to use the new system of payment. I established that system and simplified it as much as possible to ensure that you can get your book immediately you pay.
However, I know technology can be frustrating and that is not reason enough for you to miss out on your copy of a novella. If you are completely unable to use the two digital systems that are outlined at the bottom of this post (even after asking for my help) you can still use the old manual method. Send Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a DM to Sanctuary Side on Facebook (It is not a good idea to DM my personal Facebook account because it might take months before I read those messages).
Getting a copy after you buy manually might take a few hours because it depends on my schedule, but eventually you will get it (usually within 24 hours). Thank you for your patience and continued support-Edward.)
(Continued from Torpedoed by a Male Charmer III)
Being in a police cell is frightening. The place is dirty and dark, and full of rough women who are hurling insults at each other. I was afraid that I would be attacked, but the lady officer assured me that none of the women in the cell were hardened criminals. The majority of them are drunk and were picked in illegal beer dens; two are the sellers of that illegal beer. Two were caught fighting over a man at Sodi market while one was a house help who had been caught having sex with her employer’s nine year old son.
None of the women in the cell has been accused of assault (the two fighters will be charged with ‘breach of public peace’), robbery, manslaughter or attempted murder; I am the only one in that cell who will face a murder charge tomorrow. In other words, I am the only ‘hardened criminal’ in that cell.
When the officer puts me in the cell and locks the door, I cower in a corner. Right now I should be in my warm bed, not on the cold floor of a police cell. For the first time in a very long time, I think about God and my faith. I shouldn’t have neglected my faith. But the truth is that ever since Danny came to my life, my faith shrank. I abandoned the Christian Union and only started going to church when I came to Sodi. But even then, I only go to church because everyone does. At least all the women in the village do.
But now I am acutely aware that I need God. The officer said that I need a very good lawyer. But where will I get the money to hire one? I could take a loan from my Sacco, but my Sacco shares are tied up in a loan that I took to construct a house for my parents.
For the first time in many years, I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had not gone to the University. It is true that I would not have enjoyed the comforts of life that I have enjoyed in the past few years, but it is also true that I would not be facing life in prison.
I would be a tailor in Zolote, married to my dear Vincent. Vincent was my first boyfriend. We started dating after I finished form four, but we broke up because he started suffering from low self-esteem when I joined University. Okay, maybe I did not treat him too kindly because I was madly in love with Danny.
Growing up, I always thought that I would be married by a calm and hardworking man like my father; a man who would not have much in terms of material wealth, but who would offer me stability. He and I would journey through life together, enduring poverty with the calmness and indifference of our parents and grandparents before us.
My husband would probably be a carpenter, just like my father. At the time, I thought that carpenters are more skilled than masons and plumbers, more responsible than truck drivers and less domineering than primary school teachers (everyone else was out of my reach so I didn’t bother think about them). Driving a nail into wood, making joints and applying varnish require some level of flair that masons do not have. Besides, what beats preparing boiled arrowroots for a man smelling raw wood and sawdust? As he told me how he nearly drove a nail into his finger, I would be very amazed because that very day I would have nearly stitched my hand with my sewing machine. Together we would thank God for his protection.
Perhaps I subconsciously knew that carpenters are not better than everyone else. I was just a little girl who thought that her father was better than everyone else. Nonetheless, I knew one youthful carpenter that I liked. His name was Vincent. He was the leader of our youth group and I liked his devotion to God. Plus, he was a very hard working man. I think he liked me too because he always asked me to take minutes during our youth group meetings, and to prepare snacks during youth retreats. He often said that I would be the youth secretary when I finished school because the then secretary was not serious about God.
I don’t know why I have been thinking about Vincent, but he has been dominating my thoughts since last night. Wherever he is, he must of course be married and with children. It is now morning, and we are served breakfast. I am starving, because I refused to take the supper that we were served yesterday.
The breakfast that we are served is horrible. The tea is too thin and lukewarm, and the two slices of bread are stale. But I take them anyway. Thoughts about Vincent are slowly being pushed away from my mind because of the anxiety about my court appearance.
At 8 am, we are loaded into a police truck and taken to Shava Law Courts. I thought we would be taken straight to court, but we are taken to court cells instead. At eight thirty, a police officer calls me and tells me that my lawyer wants to speak to me.
I am tempted to tell her that I do not have a lawyer, but I decide against it. Maybe Carol and Jacob hired one for me, assuming that I have money to pay. I decide that I will be very forthright with the lawyer about my financial situation.
I am led out of the cell into another room, where I meet a well-dressed lady of about thirty five. She is beautiful and classy.
“Hello Elosy,” the lady greets me warmly. “I know we have never met before. My name is Grace, and I am your lawyer.”
“Hello Wakili,” I reply. “I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I know Carol and Jacob had the best intentions in hiring you. But the thing is, I cannot afford your services.”
“Who is Carol and Jacob?” she asks, looking genuinely surprised.
“You were not hired by a doctor called Jacob and his girlfriend Carol?”
“No. I don’t even know who they are.”
“So who hired you?”
“I can’t say. But you will know that after court. Just rest assured that I have been paid so I will not be asking for anything from you.”
I am shocked beyond words. I cannot imagine who could have paid my legal fees-and if looks are anything to go by, this woman is not cheap.
“So what is going to happen today?” I ask her.
“Today you are going to take plea.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that the charges are going to be read to you, so that you can either plead guilty or not guilty. You are going to plead not guilty.”
“But I killed the man.”
“You are not being charged with killing the man. You are being charged with murder.”
“Isn’t that one and the same thing?”
“No, it is not. Simply speaking, when you commit murder, it means you planned to kill someone. So it is not just about killing, it is also about the intention of killing. You had not planned to kill Charles, had you?”
“No. It all happened so fast. He was trying to rape me, and I thought he would kill me. So I defended myself.”
“Good. So today you are going to say ‘not guilty’ alright?”
“Sure. Then what will happen next?”
“I will ask the judge to grant you bail so that you can go through the trial from outside prison.”
“That will be so nice. Will the judge agree?”
“The previous judge would have agreed. I don’t know about this one. He is new. He has just been promoted from being a magistrate so I really don’t know him.”
“I cannot stay in prison.”
“Relax, Elosy. I am going to do my very best to get you out.”
The courtroom is packed. I have never been inside a courtroom before and I find the place intimidating. I look around looking for a familiar face. I spot Carol and Jacob near the back. They are sitting next to my parents and a man who looks vaguely familiar but who I can’t immediately place. I can feel tears stinging my eyes when I see my parents. They look broken and defeated. I have been their source of pride, and now I am facing jail term.
The clerk bangs the table and the judge enters. He is a tall lanky man with a stern face. The clerk reads names from files then hands the files over to the judge. All the women who I spent the night with, except the one who allegedly was having sex with a child, plead guilty and they are all handed fines of less than a thousand shillings. I wish my case was that straight forward.
When my name is called, I stand with shaking legs. Grace also stands and introduces herself, then sits down again. The charges are read to me and I timidly say ‘not guilty.”
Grace immediately springs to her feet.
“If I may my lord…”
“Are you asking for bail?”
“Yes I am, my lord.”
“I do not have the time to listen to an oral application. File a written application and I will listen to your oral submissions in twenty one days. I also want a pre-bail report to be availed to me before then.”
“But my lord…”
“See you in twenty one days, Ms. Grace. Next case please.”
As Grace sits down, my mouth becomes dry. I am not a lawyer, but I know I will spend at least twenty one days in jail.
[End of the free part of the story. To read the whole story and find out what becomes of Elosy, follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella at only Kshs. 100]
Image by Phuon Nguyen from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/man-worker-buckets-salt-sunset-5557864/
To purchase a copy of the second novella of October, Torpedoed by a Male Charmer, you can follow either one of three ways:
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If you are completely unable to use the above two methods, you can still purchase your copy manually. The only disadvantage of this method is that you will have to wait for a few hours before you get your copy. But eventually it will come.
- Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264 and send an email to email@example.com (or DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook) stating your MPESA name. Use the name of the book as the subject of your email. If you send a DM to Sanctuary Side on Facebook, kindly also include your email address). I will send your copy once I verify your payment.
Remember you can always DM Sanctuary Side on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a query or feedback. The next story starts on Tuesday. See you then –Edward.