WHEN TWO WORLDS MEET
Carol entered her room and slowly closed the door behind her, it had been a long day and she felt exhausted.
She threw off her flat shoes and her feet felt soothed when she stepped on her velvet carpet.
Carol felt her phone vibrate in her pocket jeans as she fell on her huge luxurious bed. She pulled it out and before she could answer, it stopped calling.
She jeered when she saw that the number calling was unfamiliar. Leaning over, she pulled the telephone from her side table and dialed the number. It called for a long time and when it was picked, all she could hear was clicking bottles and noises in the background.
No one spoke back. She banged back the receiver and placed the phone back on the table. This usually happened, so it did not bother her much.
Her bedroom door opened and an elderly woman peeped in.
‘Carol dear, have you taken supper yet?’
‘You should have waited up for your dad and I’
‘Am sorry, am just really tired’
‘It’s ok. Did you go to church?’
Carol sighed and shook her head.
‘Next time then, three Sundays in arrow, you should come for Bible study on Wednesday’
The door closed slowly behind Mrs.Mwambu. Carol leaned heavily on her pillow. She had intended to pray but well, as usual she had over slept .She woke up at eleven am and immediately received a phone call from Sheila to go out for swimming. She had accepted of course.
Carol felt empty all of a sudden. She grabbed her Bible that lay below her pillow and opened it.
Mrs.Mwambu looked intently at her husband as they had supper. She felt a little anxious of to ask him but she knew she had to, although his reaction would be bad.
‘Has Carol taken supper?’ he asked all of a sudden, startling her from her thoughts.
‘Yes’ she answered, taking a sip on her juice and getting a hold of her fork again.
‘Is it true?’ she abruptly asked him.
‘What is true?’ Mr.Mwambu replied her with a question.
‘What they are saying in the news…and in the papers, that you took a huge sum of money and are about to evict poor settlers from some piece of land’
He leaned back as though he had expected this kind of questioning.
‘Do you really think I did it?’
‘Explain to me the building of the house in Munyonyo, the shares in Bank of
‘The company in
made some very good profits’ Kenya
‘I thought you had sold it.’
‘I sold half of it to a very hard working and creative man’
She shook her head.
‘Trust me my dear, I might be a minister in today’s government but am not a thief like the rest of the Ministers. I did not take any money and am not evicting anyone from any piece of land.’
He sighed again, completed the juice in his glass and excused himself from the table.
Mrs.Mwambu was worried. She knew her husband like the back of her palm. He was definitely lying. He had embezzled that money and he was evicting helpless people from land. She said a short desperate prayer. This time she knew they would get him and he would pay dearly. She had to get a private detective to handle this for her, quickly.
She imagined it was the heat that had woken her from her sleep. As she turned uncomfortably in her bed, Carol realized she had had a terrible nightmare.
A faint noise made her open her eyes and look around her large bedroom. A cold breeze brushed against her skin and she turned towards her window.
Her heart pounded when she saw her curtain open and a dark figure come through it. She sat up in shock as she watched it jump on the floor and head for her.
Carol opened her mouth to scream but terror made her skip out of her bed to escape the stranger. The figure grabbed her and placed a wet cloth over her nose. Everything dazed and then there was darkness.
Mayi dragged her self through the dark plantation. It was cold and dark but she did not care, she was simply filled with misery. A sudden rush of a harsh wind made her shudder from coldness.
Her mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts but one was persistent, she had lost her little girl Sera and it hurt her so bad. Why? Had God abandoned them or had he forgotten? She had prayed so hard, the whole church had prayed, but little Sera had died.
The nurses in the small town had taken their time in examining her baby because Mayi did not have money. They said the child had a brain problem and that she had to travel to
for more medical check ups. Mayi did not even have the money to travel. One morning little Sera cried continuously .Mayi rushed her to the hospital but the little girl had died while the nurses where checking her. Kampala
Mayi stopped as these thoughts rushed through her mind. She felt the pain in her heart would chock her. The thought of the first time she had seen little Sera’s dead body, a thin two year old pale body, drenched in pain and uncertainty haunted her. She imagined the little girl expressing her disappointment to God for giving her Mayi as her mother.
Mayi walked off a little distance, the garden was so familiar, she had gone through it a dozen times. As she moved closer to her destination her heart beat faster, she was anxious of what she was going to do but felt it was her only solution. She approached a clear ground where two graves lay side by side. A child and a husband, all gone in one year, that was too big a thing for her to handle.
Tears of pain and hurt streamed down her face as she fell down beside them. She cried so hard as she had the previous nights. The pain was too much, she was so confused, how could she go on. Her husband was gone, her little angel died after and now…now they were taking the house from her. How could she survive, she had prayed and prayed but she saw no solution to the many problems she was facing.
The plantations that seemed to have grown quiet broke into a buzz as the wind increased suddenly. Drizzles fell as if in awe of all the sadness. They watered her but she did not seem to notice. She looked up at the dull skies and in desperation whispered,
‘It has to end today, all of it, I can’t go on…if you are there…do something before I end my misery’
She sobbed as she unwrapped the cloth she had been holding and pulled out a long sharp knife.
Carol awoke with difficulty, although she was not sure of what was going on, she some how knew it was not a good thing. As she struggled to open her drowsy eyes, Carol realized her whole body was in pain and her arm was firmly held. She looked beside her and saw a strange man, dark and thin with a clearly unshaven beard, he had a cigarette in his mouth.
The strange man held Carol with one arm and the other something that looked like a gun.
‘Jesus’ she cried out in fear, it dawned on her now that she had been kidnapped.
The strange man looked at her lazily and then away.
‘She’s awake boss’ he said to the man driving the car they were in.
Carol looked outside the window, it was dark, she had no idea were she was. Afraid, she said a quiet prayer and tried to think of what to do.
‘Take me back home’ she said out loud suddenly
‘You are going to be in trouble, my father …’
‘Your father is a thief!’ the boss had shouted
‘My father is no thief, you are the thieves, you will be charged with kidnap’
‘Shut that kid up Mwemba’
‘Keep quiet’ the strange man ordered Carol pushing her head with his huge arm.
She looked at the door next to him, it was open, she could actually push him out.
A phone rang, it was for the boss, he answered it. Carol quickly stretched out her free hand and with all her might pulled and pushed the door open. The strange man shouted and waved his gun at Carol. The boss who was on the phone out of surprise lost control and the car went on swaying from one side to another. Carol tried pushing the strange man out, he turned his gun and pointed it at her.
As Mayi lifted the knife up and directed it to her belly, a heavy thud followed by a loud noise that almost sounded like an explosion shook her. The knife in her hand fell and she stood up looking around, she wondered what in the world that was.
The first sounded like a collision and the second a gun gone off. If there had been a collision of a vehicle on a tree, then it had to be on the left side of the garden that is where her husband had planted the avocado tree. She rushed there.
In the increasing rain, the car looked shattered. Mayi hurried closer and peeped inside, She could see a girl and a man at the back seat, at the front she saw a man whose head lay helplessly an the steer wheel.
The girl moved, Mayi was confused but she still pulled the door open. The girl looked up at her, blood was oozing from her fore head.
‘Help…help me…I’ve been kidnapped…’the girl said almost in a murmur
‘Get me out of here …please…’
Mayi held her hand and tried pulling her out.
‘My leg is stuck’ the girl said looking to be in more pain.
‘Let me go get help’ Mayi said after realizing she could not do this on her own.
‘No …please don’t leave me, don’t you understand… I have been kidnapped…here, try pulling me out again’ the girl said giving Mayi her hand again. Mayi held the girl’s hand and pulled, finally she was able to come out of the car.
‘Are you alright?’ Mayi asked with concern.
‘We have to call the police…these men…’
‘Stop, where do you think you are going’ a brutal sound had interrupted the girl. The two Women turned towards the car, a strange man was crawling out of the shattered car with a gun in his hand, his face was covered with blood.
‘Let’s get out of here’ Mayi shouted. She grabbed the weak girls arm and they started running.
The flash of lightening and increasing thunder ushered in a heavy down pour and the two women ran as fast as they could with the sound of bullets that missed them narrowly going off in the air.
Mrs.Mwambu sat with a police officer explaining to her what had happened. The house was full of police constables and Mr.Mwambu stood in the dining speaking on the phone.
‘Why would anyone want to harm my precious child’ Mr. Mwambu said, clearing the tears that continuously drenched her face.
‘We shall find her madam’ the police man assured her.
‘Please, please try your level best’
As Carol lay in the strange unfamiliar bed, her heart was heavy with worry. Worry of were she was, if her parents would find her and how. Her whole body especially the forehead hurt. She opened her eyes slightly and looked around the small room. It had chairs and saucepans in the corner, shoes, a basin… she wandered how this lady survived in this one roomed small house.
Mayi who was outside came in and stood beside Carol. She bent over and felt her temperature by her forehead.
‘I should take you to the hospital’
Carol opened her mouth to tell her to call the police but she choked and the lady hurried to get her a cup of water. As Mayi hurried back, she saw two men coming towards her house. She knew them but with the circumstances she was in, she somehow knew they were up to no good.
She put the cup down and hurried to the girl.
‘Don’t make a single sound’ she whispered to her and covered her face.
There was a knock on the door and Mayi hurried to meet her visitors.
‘How are you Mayi’ one of the men greeted
‘Am fine Sam, Peter, how are you, to what do I owe this early visit?’
‘We are looking for some one…a girl’
‘A girl’ Mayi repeated, as if to make sure she heard well.
‘A young girl ‘Peter said again.
‘But for what?’
‘It’s a complicated issue; we have been given some information that you have a girl in this house.’
Mayi’s heart pounded.
‘What? The only girl I have in this house is Susan, my sister’s daughter. You know her don’t you?’
‘Why are you looking for this girl?’ Mayi asked quickly, to change the topic.
‘That girl ‘Sam said lowering his voice ‘is the key to ending our misery, they may not have to vacate us if we get a hold of her.’
Mayi nodded thinking through it quickly. If she handed the girl over, they would not evict her from her place. But the whole situation seemed hazy, like something was wrong some where.
‘Have you seen her anywhere, perhaps’ Peter asked Mayi.
‘No’ Mayi replied out loud.
She knew they would have budged in and searched her house but because they respected her, they left without insisting. Mayi hurried back to the girl as soon as the men where out of sight, she lifted the old blanket and looked intently at her. She should have guessed from the beginning, that familiar look, the look of Honorable Mwambu.
The girl looked up at the woman whose attitude seemed to have changed all of a sudden.
‘Are you a daughter of Mr.Mwambu?’ Mayi asked sternly.
‘…yes’ the girl replied in confusion.
‘I should have known this’ Mayi said standing and then pacing up and down.
‘Why, what’s wrong?’ Carol asked as she tried to sit up.
Mayi stood and looked at the girl as she struggled and sat up the wooden bed.
‘Your father is a thief!’ Mayi said with rage.
Carol leaned back on the wall, wondering whether she was going to survive this hostility.
‘My father is no thi…’
‘Your father has grabbed our land and is evicting all of us, this whole area’
‘My father can never do such a thief’
Mayi sat on a chair and then stood up.
‘All along, I thought I was helping a desperate person…’ Her voice choked as tears started rolling down her face.
‘Do you know what it means to be in a desperate situation young girl, do you?’
Carol was thrown in deeper confusion at the sight of the weeping woman. How dare she blame her father for bringing such pain and agony.
‘Being in a desperate situation is losing your husband in the mines as he’s trying to care for you and your child’
‘Am really sorry….’
‘Being in a desperate situation is…is losing your little daughter to a brain tumor’ Mayi interrupted as she cleared the tears that rushed from her eyes.
‘In the same year…and to top it all up, losing your land with a tiny house and you have no where else to go’
Carol was felt hurt as she watched the woman crying helplessly.
‘But my father is a good man…he would never do such a thing ‘Carol said, as if trying to reassure herself and the woman. Mayi stood up and walked to a corner where she searched a small bag and got a piece of paper. She went and threw it on the girl’s laps.
‘Carol opened and read it. It was an eviction letter giving the lady as well as other tenants a month to leave the premises. Signed below as the legal owner was Honorable Mwambu Joseph, her father’s name.
‘Minister of education and sports, Mr.Mwambu Joseph, is he not your father?’
‘He is ‘Carol said, obviously in shock. Tears welled up in her eyes. Her father was really a …thief.
‘Am so sorry…’
Mayi now felt pity for the young girl who sat there weeping.
‘Young girl, your father’s actions don’t make you the same with him’
‘He’s my father, he’s like my identity, I never thought …’
‘Don’t bother yourself about it, those men who were looking for you, they must be involved in the kidnap’
‘they must be…look ,if you just call the police, am sure my father is looking for me…am sure if I talk to him…he will change his mind’
‘I don’t blame you child, I will send Susan to call the police, I can’t leave you here alone’
‘You have to go, Susan can stay here with me’
Mr. and Mrs.Mwambu sat in the sitting room. Questions had been asked and a search had been on since the night of Carol’s disappearance.
An enormous phone call was made, the kidnappers wanted Mr.Mwambu to withdraw his eviction order of the Tembabule land and a token of a million dollars for putting the tenants on tension, and then his daughter would be released. He had two days to do this or else he would never set his eyes on his daughter again.
Mrs.Mwambu was in panic, Mr.Mwambu was in rage. How dare they kidnap his daughter. If they dared to harm her, he would destroy every single person involved in the land, whether innocent or guilty.
Investigations were on going and the tension was high. Then came another phone call at midday. A lady calling from Tembabule claiming that she had Carol, that some men had tried to kidnap her but they had escaped together. She gave them the directions.
‘Let’s go now’ Mr. Mwambu said, impatient to get back his daughter.
Mayi hurried back after she had made the call, she prayed hard that the girl was still there and safe. As she headed for the market, Mayi had seen Sam and Peter, they stood with a stranger. She had wondered were she had seen him.
Mayi only recalled when the shop attendant dialed the number the girl had given her, her steps fastened when she realized that the girl could actually be in danger. The stranger that stood with Peter and Sam was the strange man who had crawled out of the damaged car with a gun in his hand on the night of the accident.
Mayi now entered her compound and headed for her house, all of a sudden her door burst open, Sam and the stranger emerged holding the girl.
‘What do you think you are doing’ Mayi shouted.
‘You are a betrayer, you said you didn’t have the girl’ Sam said dragging Carol who was struggling.
‘Please…help me Mayi…don’t let them take me’
Susan ran from behind and got a hold of Carol’s waist, pulling her back. The strange man slapped her hard on the face, she fell back and started crying.
‘How dare you!’ Mayi screamed at the strange man. People started gathering because of the loud noise.
‘Mayi, just get out of our way this is for our own good’ Sam said almost pleading.
‘This is not right, you can’t make a young girl pay for her fathers faults’
‘Do you want to be thrown out in the streets the streets?’ Sam shouted back at Mayi.
The impatient strange man pulled out a gun from his pocket and pointed it at Mayi.
‘Get out of the woman or else I will shoot.’ He ordered.
Mayi knew he was capable of shooting, she could still not bare the two men taking the girl, she would rather die, what was there to live for anyway.
‘Go ahead and shoot, over my dead body are you taking this girl anywhere!’ She dared the stranger, moving closer to the gun.
The sound of a distant siren startled the strange man, Sam looked at him in shock. He let go of Carols hand and dashed into the crowd. A group of young men grabbed him and tied him up with ropes waiting for the police to arrive.
The strange man got a hold of Carol’s neck and put the gun at the side of her head.
‘Let that girl go, its too late for you, its all over’ Mayi said to the panicked man. The now energized crowd moved closer while the man kept shouting,
‘Not any closer, I’ll shoot!’
They over powered him in the end and freed the girl. The police arrived at the scene and arrested the two men. Carol stood with Mayi , thanking her for all she had done.
Mr.Mwambu came out of the police cars that had just packed and hurried to meet his daughter.
‘My child Carol …are you fine’ he said hugging her and then looked at her.
‘Am fine daddy, this woman saved my life’ Carol said turning to Mayi
‘Thank you lady, you do not know…’
‘Withdraw your eviction order, for all these peoples sake’ Mayi interrupted him.
‘Dad, I know what you have done, its totally unfair…and disappointing that you would choose to attain for yourself land illegally at the expense of poor people who have no where else to go.’
‘There’s nothing illegal in it’ Mr.Mwambu exclaimed.
‘How about the fact that Mayi could have chosen to hand me over to those criminals but she decided to do the right thing’ Carol added.
Mr.Mwambu looked at his daughter, at the woman and then at the crowd of spectators. His daughter he had come to realize was far more precious to him than any piece of land.
‘Fine’ he muttered.
A car packed beside them, Mrs.Mwambu came out and hurried to hug his daughter, tears hung in her eyes.
‘You do not know how much I prayed for you.’
‘Thank you mum, thank God for this lady, Mayi, this is my mother’
Mrs.Mwambu looked up at her and shook her hand.
‘Thank you so much’
‘I thank God, all this excitement has opened my eyes, there’s more to live for than I had ever imagined’ Mayi replied with a faint smile on her face.
‘You are the kind of woman the Ministers wives association has been looking for, we can work with you to put this place back in order’
‘That would be interesting Mayi said, quite excited about the idea.
Mrs. Mwambu held her daughters arm.
‘Your father has to account for what he did’
‘I know mother …he has to account…everyone at one point will have to account.’
Mr.Mwambu stood at a distance speaking on the phone. Two police men approached him.
‘Mr. Joseph Mwambu’
You have to come with us to the police station to answer a few questions about the transfer of the Tembabule land’
Mr.Mwambu was speechless, of course he had expected this. Finally, they had caught up with his game.