“You have to see the chief now!’ Mwila walked to me the moment I stepped on the front door to the office building.
“Okey am going there now, calm down you look worked out!” I looked at him as I walked on without stopping.
“Yeah am not so sure what the hell you are doing, that woman you have taken home has the same face as your Natalie, open your eyes man” he pulled my shoulders. I turned to look at him and sighed before responding.
“What are you talking about man? I saw Natalie this morning and I personally pushed her to go and meet Cleo after she told me everything.” I argued
“Yeah, you saw her and the only thing you are able to identify her by are the clothes right?” he asked this time striking my thoughts too.
“Yeah, you have a point man, let me get to see the boss and I will talk to that woman locked up there. I will surely know if she is the one” I answered and walked on to the chief`s office.
Knocking softly, I noticed he was speaking on the phone and he raised his hand to allow me in. quietly I sat across him.
“Of course sir, I can assure you this is all over now, we have her into custody” the chief concluded his call and I waited stroking my leg on the floor I felt impatient being there. I was thinking through what Mwila had just told me and if he was right, then I had the enemy yet again in my house.
“Well, what really went down with these women Detective” the boss looked at me snapping me from my thoughts.
“Yes sir, like I told you briefly earlier on….” I went on narrating the entire story. The boss kept nodding his head and at the end of it he smiled pleased that finally we got that matter sorted out.
“I hate that a woman has dragged us this far, only glad we can finally put an end to it” he remarked as I stood to go.
“So how is Natalie, is it?” he asked before I could turn the knob to the door.
“A bit shaken up sir, but she will be alright” I responded and that said I walked out straight away heading to the cell block to have a check on the supposedly Cleo since now I was not so sure how who she really was.
‘open the cell, I need to have a talk with the prisoner” I ordered the officer by the entrance and he opened the gate to allow me in.
“oh God!” I shouted my heart stopping for a second seeing the body of the woman I came to see hanging up the ceiling dead.
“What happened? Oh s***!” Mwila shouted coming to a halt besides me.
“This is so ****ed up!” I yelled hitting the wall in anger.
“How did this happen? We just locked her up less than an hour ago and now she has committed suicide?” I asked no one in particular as I paced around the alley waiting for the officers to get down the body hanging with a tone shirt I could identify it as the same one she wore the time of her she was caught.
“No man, this cannot be the end of everything, Cleo cannot be dead man. I have to go and see that woman back at home. This is Cleo`s doing man and the more time I waste here, the more chances of escaping am giving that evil woman” I spoke my voice filled with anger.
“I know you are upset right now Theo given everything that has been going on and there is a possibility that Natalie is the one still alive. Take it easy and handle this with caution” he held my hand preventing me from storming out.
“You have always told me am blinded by her. You have been right all along am not going to let her get to my head this time around. Am gonna get her and this time God help me cause am thinking prison is too good for that b****!” I screamed walking away despite the plea by Mwila for me to wait till they took a test to ensure that woman is Cleo.
“Am not giving her another chance to fool me man. Wait here and call me after everything is done” I added as I opened the car door and started speeding out the moment I got onto the main road.
My phone ring and I looked at the Caller ID, it was showing Natalie’s line. I wanted to let it go unanswered but then realized if I was dealing with Natalie I would give myself away.
“Yes Natalie!” I responded a bit exaggerated tone trying to sound okey I could feel myself almost chocking.
“Hey love, am out of the house, I thought I might visit my son and mother first. I will come home before night time” she told me and I hit the steering wheel making the horn sound loudly.
“Are you okey?” she asked me after a moment of silence.
“****!” I cursed in my mind pissed that she was playing games with me.
“What is going on Theo? Is Cleo dead?” she asked and that moment I confirmed my suspicion was right.
“How did you know she is dead Natalie?” I asked trying to stay calm as I balanced the vehicle to avoid hitting into the oncoming cars.
“Um, no I didn’t Theo, just that I heard the hooting and cursing. You sound upset too.” She responded.
“Okey then see you later” she hang up before I could say another thing
“Dammit! She knows. Oh no, Theo, you cannot lose this time” I scolded myself. Realizing I didn’t even know where Natalie`s mother and son were exactly. I drove on heading home hoping I could find something that would lead me to where they were.
“If you had failed to capture her this time, this could have been the end of your career Detective” my mind recalled the words of the Chief as I walked to the house.
“We cannot have the same criminal slipping through your hands man, everyone especially the top guys could have questioned our capabilities and I for one could not afford that” he added.
I walked around the house, searching through all the things that belonged to Natalie. I then found some photos. In one of them was a dark and slim lady with round soft eyes. I assumed that was the face of the real Natalie.
“Am sorry i failed you lady. I wish I met the real you before, we could have been happy together” I spoke to the pic sitting down and for a moment mourn Natalie. My eyes shifted to another photo in which a boy of about 4 years stood in front of a jumping castle smiling. I could tell from his eyes that he was Natalie`s son.
“Well I have to protect your son Natalie. “ I sighed standing up.
Luckily through the papers I found together with the photos as an envelope and in it I found some money about K10 000. I supposed she was keeping it for her son and within the money was a small note in her handwriting.
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“Am sure if you reading this I must be dead. Am sorry yet again for the trouble I caused you. In my silence I learned to love you. My love for you might have emerged from the worst but it was the only true thing about me.
I contributed to ruin your life a great deal but here I am asking for you to help me. Now that am dead I will not be able to protect him, he is just a boy and so innocent. Please Theo, find him and save his life. I tried to hide him and my mother at the address on the back of this note to prevent Cleo from finding them but there is no surety she won`t get to them.
I love you. Till we meet again.
She signed it and my hand was shaking as I finished reading the note. Whipping the tears now falling my face, I rushed out to get the address.
“Protect them God. Give me this chance to save their innocent lives “I whispered a prayer.
Mwila was calling but I ignored his call concentrating on the road ahead.
“Am sorry not now man” I looked at the call when it came on again.
After 30 minutes of going round in circles in search of the address I found it. It was a small house within Chawama compound. I drove to the yard and as I approached the house, I saw a man standing there looking on at me. The moment I was a few steps from him he came forward pulling my shirt.
“Where is my wife you b******!” he yelled and before I could get a chance to protect myself he went on striking me hard blows across my face.
“calm down man, I am here for Natalie`s son and mother who the hell are you?” I asked trying not to hit him back.
“Am the husband to Shila and I have been told you know where she is and that you might have killed her already. You will give me back my wife right this minute or I swear I will kill you” the man spoke in his rage hitting me. A small crowd started gathering and an old woman watching on started calling me a murderer. Some gallant looking men and youths moved forward and started hitting me too. I tried to scream for a chance to explain what was going on but they were not letting me go.
I felt myself grow weak and weak by the minute. I could not see clearly as my vision was getting blurred so sure I was going to die at the hands of those men. I closed my eyes and moaned in pain as sharp pains ran through me. Some gun fire in the air scattered the men who had me surrounded and before I could take time to see my savior, I blacked out.