My hand was bandaged, same as the right side of my head and the hair had to be completely shaven to accommodate the plaster. Mum called Ruth to fill her in on what has been happening. Ruth kept calling all day, checking on me.
Sandra called much later to know when I was coming over but was met with the sad news. She came down to my place in an impetuous move. All my plea couldn’t refrain her. She rushed into our sitting room just when mum was about leaving after attending to me. Mum recognized her and was able to add things up to know she was the reason for last night’s brawl. But she returned Sandra’s greetings with an artificial hospitality, while fixing a stern look at her while her attention was on me, and then a warning look at me before she made for the exit.
“sweetie, I’m sorry,” Sandra said, as she sat close to me, not waiting for mum to completely leave.
I looked towards mum whose warning face caught mine. She shook her head regretfully before stepping down the stairs. Sandra was too engrossed with her seeing me in this condition that nothing else mattered much.
”why would you get involved in a husband and wife fight, Mike?” she asked.
“I thought I should help, he was strangling her,” was my response.
“…and, did you make any police statement?” Sandra asked.
“not yet, he and his wife pleaded with mum and paid for my hospital expenses. The wife has been begging us not to take the case to the police,” I answered.
“what a stupid wife,” Sandra hissed.
She took out her phone and started dialing a number.
“hello…Ibrahim. Please send five of your heavily armed boys over to mamaika avenue. At number 2 Dali street…Yes, behind the filling station, the street there…Yes…You will see me waiting outside…Yes…okay. Thank you,” then she hung up.
I turned and looked at her but she was overly raged that she didn’t bother to look at my face anymore. She just stood up without a word to me and went out. I followed her, trying to reason with her but she didn’t look at me let alone say a word. She went outside my gate, got into her car and drove off. I was left standing, looking behind her zoomed off car.
I quickly went to mum to report what was cooking. She was in a dilemma of what to do. Whether to like the idea or hate it. I was restless also because I know what I saw in the hands of those soldier guys.
“mum what should we do?” I asked.
Mum still didn’t say anything. She was as worried as I was but hers was tamed.
Suddenly, the woman beater came into the compound and walked straight to his flat. I tried Sandra’s number again but she wasn’t picking up.
“are you calling her?” mum asked.
“yes,” I replied.
“leave her alone! See what that idiot did to you.” she looked at my injuries.
“He has been dealing with his wife for long now, let them teach him a lesson.” mum said, obviously finally making up her mind.
We sat impatiently anticipating Sandra’s arrival.
“you said that girl is married?” mum asked.
“no! she’s not,” I replied.
“but Ruth said you told her she’s married…” she added.
“she told me she’s married so as to test my love for her…” I tried to explain.
“what kind of test is that?” mum interrupted.
I ignored her and continued. “But recently she told me the truth. She’s not married. She’s even planning on sending me abroad.” I said, so as to divert mum’s attention to a positive news about Sandra.
“serious?” mum’s face lightened.
“yes!” I replied.
“what does she do?” she looked worried asking this question.
This question caught me off guard, because I too didn’t know what she does, but I can’t tell my mum that I don’t know so I thought of a snappy lie.
“she’s…She’s…Into…Into…” just then I was rescued by cars stopping in front of our gate.
Mum stayed put while I went outside to check. I saw a military van with eight able bodied soldiers. Sandra was in front of them. On seeing me She commanded in a military tone.
“Mike! Show us that bloody civilian ignoramus! Show us!”, she ordered.
She seemed to have assumed someone else’s identity because she wasn’t the soft hearted fragile Sandra I used to know. I was surprised that I was scared of this new personality of hers. So, I humbly led them to his apartment.
They broke into the house, descended on the man first before dragging him out carelessly. He was already bleeding by the time I saw them towing him into the van. Sandra walked with all confidence and authority into her car.
“Mike!” she called from her car.
Her tone startled me so I turned towards her abruptly.
“get into the car!” she commanded.
It was like her tone hypnotically made me run into her car. The whole place was in a complete ruckus as spectators clustered and passersby stopped to view the happenings.
Mum ran out shouting my name when she heard Sandra called me. But she was too late because we were already off before she got outside.
To be continued…