Alexis held Amara’s legs tightly immediately she placed him down as if he was afraid she would run and leave him in the hands of these gun-wielding people. Amara bent and reassuringly ran her palm over his head until he broke into a smile, heedlessly tugging on her dress. He did not look hurt or famished, only relieved. She looked up and all the three men had their guns pointed at Hassan who had his hands lifted in surrender. The air was thick with tension, and she felt a little bit hot under her dress. She swooped Alexis from the ground and walked towards the door while patting his back, but one of Abdi Hassan’s bodyguard pointed his gun at them and Amara took a step back. She looked at Alexis whose tired eyes innocently stared at the barrel of the gun like it was a toy he could play with. Her eyes wondered to Hassan as if to remind him that now was the time for him to put his plan into action.
“What do you think your sister, who happens to be my mother, will think when she knows you killed her only son?” Hassan asked.
“I did not get where I am in life or achieve what I have achieved by caring about what people think of my actions.” Abdi Hassan replied with a shrug.
“Really? And where are you in life, uncle? Because constantly shading innocent blood when things don’t go your way doesn’t sound like an achievement to me, is it?”
“Where is Masai?”
“I mean, what’s the point of all this? Even your wife couldn’t stand being with you after you turned out to be a cold killer as if dealing drugs wasn’t bad enough.”
“If your wish is to get killed, I will grant it to you if you don’t stop talking rubbish and instead tell me where I will find Masai.”
“Nathan, your son; my cousin, did not die proud of the fact that you were doing everything you could to save his life. Not when the ‘everything you could’ meant ending someone else’s life.”
Abdi Hassan’s jaw tightened, and he pressed the gun’s muzzle on Hassan’s forehead even harder. “Don’t talk about my son like that,” he growled. “He meant the world to me.”
Amara hoped Hassan had another plan because if emotional blackmail was all he got, none of them was going to walk away alive. This thought made her hug Alexis tightly and he placed his head on her shoulder before falling asleep shortly after. Time was flying. The air was chilly, and Amara was now feeling the weight of the sleeping Alexis. Abdi Hassan was growing impatient and irritable, speaking with a raised voice that made Amara fear it would wake her next door neighbour. She kept glancing at her neighbour’s house and the darkness in it made her sigh in relief since she knew the moment the lights turned on and her neighbour stepped out, the plot would grow even thicker.
“I need to put my brother to bed; he is tired!” Amara said, defiantly looking at Abdi Hassan.
“No one moves until I get what I want.”
“I am going in, shoot me if you want,” Amara retorted.
She was startled by her own guts and as she strode past Abdi Hassan into the house, she half expected to hear the sound of a bullet going off, so she sighed as she walked into her bedroom still in one piece and placed Alexis on the bed. She covered him with a duvet, kissed him on the forehead and walked right back outside to find one of Abdi Hassan’s bodyguard strapping Hassan’s hands behind him with a rope. She could feel Abdi Hassan’s eyes on her and she tried hard not to look at him, but she couldn’t help it, so she turned, and their eyes met. Abdi Hassan’s eyes were red with fury. He silently tapped his gun on his hips before moving forward to grab her by the throat. She flinched and tried slapping his hand away, but he was too powerful for her. He continued looking her in the eye while tightening his grip on her neck until she found it difficult to breathe. Involuntary tears rolled from her eyes.
“Let her go,” Hassan shouted. The bodyguard who was strapping his hands landed a blow so lethal in his lower abdomen that it froze him for a second before he groaned in pain. The man hit him again, this time sending him flying down on the floor and Amara tried to scream but her scream was stifled.
“You people think you can play games with me, huh?” Abdi Hassan’s voice was deep and jarring. “But I will show you that I am a man of my word and make all your lives miserable.”
He tightened his grip some more and Amara was going to pass out from lack of air, but he let go immediately a voice thundered, “Let Her Go Now!”
It was Masai.
He was standing on the staircase with clenched fists. Seeing him with raged eyes reminded Amara of the incident in the village where he came to her rescue when the sexually starved boys hoped to take advantage of her, blaming their lack of morals on her short dress, which danced in the wind exposing her beloved thighs. Seeing him like this reminded her of how that night, after he had saved her and escorted her home, she had turned and tossed in bed, wondering whether what she was feeling for him was love already or just infatuation. Her eyes dropped at his clenched fists, an indication that he was ready for war, ready to fight for her, and her heart melted with admiration and pride. She felt like a girl in the last scene of a movie being saved by the love of her life from bad people. Placing her hands on her chest, she mumbled the name ‘Masai’ underneath her breath and for a moment she forgot danger was still lurking.
“Look who finally decided to show up,” Abdi Hassan said, clapping. “I must admit that I now have a shade of respect for you for not running into hiding like a little chicken I have always had a feeling you are. Seriously, son, I admire this act of bravery.”
“I am not your son.”
“Well, I apologize for mistaking you for one, it won’t happen again. Anyway, as much as you’ve earned my respect for showing up to fight for your woman and make sure nothing happens to her, I still have to do what I came here to do, and that’s to take my kidney. Do you think you can let me do that, Masai? I paid for it, so surely, that won’t be too much to ask, right?”
“I will kill you,” Masai took a step closer.
“I wouldn’t be too sure of that if I were you.” He turned to one of his men and gestured with his head and the man swung into action, diving with a blow to Masai but Masai swerved to the right and he missed, the force sending him stumbling down the staircases. The other man did not wait for instructions, he went after Masai but Masai gripped his fist mid-air and soon they were both struggling to prove who had more muscles. Masai used his free hand to grab the man by the throat, a tactic he too was a master of and soon the man’s eyes were turning white, gasping for breath in vain. Still holding the man by the throat, he dragged him to where Abdi Hassan was and let go, the man falling on his knee. The other one was up on his feet. He came charging but before he could act on his fury, Abdi Hassan raised his hand and stopped him.
“This is a war you will not win,” Abdi Hassan said. “Now, we have wasted too much time already I suggest we all go inside, and I will cut you open, just like I promised your girlfriend here, and retrieve my kidney.”
He pushed Masai inside the house and waited till one of his bodyguards had dragged Hassan in too before turning to the bodyguard still on his knees. “I am not paying you to be chocked by a weak man, now stand or I will be forced to put a bullet through your weak bones, you nincompoop!”
“I-I am sorry, sir,” the bodyguard said, drawing in copious amounts of air.
Inside the house, Amara was clinging to Masai, willing him to do something and save them from this mess and he smiled, like he always did, and said, “I told you we will be fine.”
“Why do you keep saying that even though it’s obvious we will not be fine?”
“Because unlike you, I have faith in me,” he said, looking at Hassan who was seated on the floor. He knew it was foolish, ridiculous even, but Masai felt a little bit good that Hassan’s plan had flopped and now it was his plan that was going to save them. Had Hassan’s plan worked, he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself knowing that he had left the life of his fiancee in the hands of his number one rival. He looked up immediately Abdi Hassan walked in with his other bodyguard tagging him and smiled.
“Why are you smiling?” Abdi Hassan smirked, walking towards him, and ripping his shirt off his body. One of the bodyguards handed him a honed knife and he placed its sharp edge on Masai’s throat. Masai swallowed hard. Hassan struggled to free himself, but he was kicked by one of the bodyguards. Eyes widening in shock, Amara covered her mouth with her hand to muffle her building up shriek. Her head felt heavy around her neck and her knees felt weak. She took a step forward and touched Abdi Hassan pleadingly. He shrugged off her hand and gently lowered the knife to Masai’s chest, just over his heart and laughed. It was a soft laughter, but one filled with vengeance.
“I paid for the kidney, now it’s time to claim it.” He pressed the knife on his skin until it cut him a little and blood trickled out. Upon/On seeing blood, Amara yelled, but one of the bodyguards was quick to cover her mouth just like last time when they broke in.
“No one plays games with me,” Abdi Hassan said, aiming to cut deeper when they heard a knock at the door, which wasn’t locked. He turned to one of his guards and asked them to see who it was, but the door flew open before he could reach and a man in a black suit walked right in, kicking the door shut with his foot and landing a punch on the guard’s neck, one which made him pass out. The other guard let go of Amara and drew out his gun, pointing it at this intruder.
“James!” Amara shouted.
“Sorry I am late, I didn’t know your visitors will arrive early,” James replied, straightening his suit.
“And who are you?” Abdi Hassan asked.
“Have they harmed you in any way?” James was still talking to Amara.
“I am fine.”
“I asked, Who the fuck are you?” Abdi Hassan pointed at him with his knife, now coated with Masai’s blood.
“So rude of you to interrupt my conversation with a beautiful lady, old man, don’t you think?”
“I am sick and tired of your games. If you don’t introduce yourself right now I will—”
James slapped the knife out of his hand before proceeding to land slaps on his cheeks in quick succession. Hassan, who was still on the floor, saw the gun-holding guard about to pull the trigger so he tripped him over with his feet just as he pulled the trigger and the bullet missed James, digging right into the wall. The furious James bent down and threw punches at the guard while Masai tapped the now bewildered Abdi Hassan who turned to look at him and before he could see it coming, landed a punch in his jaw. Everything was happening fast. Amara sprang into action and untied Hassan who as soon as his hands were free, landed kicks in the ribs of the passed out bodyguard. James ordered Masai and Hassan to search Abdi Hassan and his men to make sure they had no other hidden weapons before proceeding to tie their hands together.
James turned to Masai who was now holding a gun and said, “Hi, I am James.”
“Nice to meet you, James, I am—”
The door flew open again and they all turned their guns at it before Masai shouted, “Don’t shoot!”
Amara immediately recognized the newcomer as the lady who was with Masai in the restaurant; the one he had claimed was a cop. She was in a white sleeveless top and black jeans, which was tucked in her black boots. She was holding a gun, pointed at James before her eyes dropped on the culprits on the floor and announced, “Oh, man, don’t tell me I am late to the party!”
Editor Credits: Nyarinda Moraa
You might be sensing the curtains are coming down, no? This was supposed to be the last episode but things happened and I decided we will have one or two more. We want a soft landing, no?