CHAPTER 13: AN INTRUDER IN THE HOUSE
Bampe returned to his home that evening and was welcomed with a group of angry demonstrators outside his gate. They held placards asking him to leave the neighbourhood, to go die in hell, to not be a stain on their children and so on and so forth. Mama Queen was their leader and as her name suggested, she looked like a queen and their mother. As Bampe pulled in, she shouted,
“Here he comes, the stain in our community.”
The whole gang came to his car shouting and chanting. Bampe swallowed his pride and kept driving through them until he entered the gate. They followed him inside but he quickly ran into his house and locked the door after him. They behaved maturely and didn’t destroy anything else, but his name and face were never going to get a facelift to be liked at all in that community and far. Mama Queen had also called the police. They came later, broke into his house and took him to the station. They dismissed the demonstrators and assured them that he was never going to be a problem to them. They held him at the police station for four days, torturing him as they asked how his kind had sex. One day as he and other prisoners were being taken to the fields for community service, he escaped, run through fences, through the ghettos and walked to Boza’s. No one was at Boza’s. His copy of the keys to Boza’s house was at his house. He went around the house and broke the kitchen window, passed his hand through the broken window and opened the door. He entered through the kitchen door and went to the guest bedroom, his former room and slept.
Kangye came home first that evening. She went on as she had always done when she came back home. She put her phone on the kitchen counter, continued to the bedroom, took a shower, dressed up and come back to the kitchen. She picked up the remote and turned on the TV, poured herself a glass of cold apple juice from the fridge, and right before she could take the first sip, she decided to first open the windows to get a breeze of cool air in the house. She stood up, walked to the window and right before she could reach for the window, she noticed the broken glass, with a few blood stains. She got nervous, scared and confused. She couldn’t gather the courage to continue to open the window. She walked back to her phone, she dialed Boza’s number. Boza didn’t pick up the call. Now she started trembling. She felt like she was in a horror film where no participants survived. She tried calling again. But there was no answer again. She then thought of running to the door and get out of the house, but she wasn’t sure she could do it without alerting whoever was in the house. She even thought of calling the police, but then she remembered the corruption with the police and stopped. She finally got the courage to call, who is here? She heard no answer. She tried checking in the living room and the kitchen. She couldn’t find anyone. She tried her detective skills she had got from the movies, to follow the blood, but that’s where it stopped, on the window glass. She couldn’t remember to see if there were any footsteps in the neatly kept house.
Meanwhile Boza arrived home as Kangye was playing detective. He opened the door with his key. From the inside, Kangye was shaken with a quiver. She thought it was the intruder coming back in when she saw the door handle turn. She was so scared she almost peed herself. Her heart was racing and knees could not hold her up.
When the door opened, Boza entered. She saw him and suddenly got the energy to run to him. Boza had known Kangye loved him and he loved her too, but the too much affection, even inside the house had died in their first two weeks of staying together. They had each got too busy or too tired to run into each other’s arms, play around the house or even hold each other’s hands. Boza got surprised that Kangye was being so romantic. He never knew what she was running away from. He hugged her tight, with his briefcase still in one of his hands. He then wanted to go for a kiss to reciprocate the romantic gesture she had showed him but Kangye instead turned and looked back and pointed at the kitchen Window.
“See Boza. Look! Our house has been broken into. I tried calling you and you didn’t answer. What’s wrong with you? I could have been killed inside here. Look!” she said very rapidly without giving him a chance to speak or answer any questions she just asked. She pulled him to the kitchen to show him clearly what had happened to the glass window.
Boza asked Kangye to calm down so he could track whoever had entered the house. He put his briefcase down on the kitchen table, went to the cabinets, picked a knife, and like a ninja ready to fight, he started searching the house. Kangye stuck to him right behind him almost like he had been fastened there with the best quality super glue. They went to the sitting room, the master bedroom, the bathroom and completely didn’t mind about the guest bedroom.
“No one is here. Maybe it was a bird.” Boza tried to comfort his girlfriend.
“I hope so.” replied Kangye.
“Now I have to go to Bampe’s....” Boza said and right before he could add another word, Kangye reminded him she wasn’t gonna stay in that house alone.
“Would you like to come with me?” asked Boza to which Kangye answered with an immediate and emphatic yes. Boza then sat down on the stool next to the kitchen counter and said,
“But I am too hungry. Maybe we first eat something.” Kangye then pulled out a fork, a cup and got out some eggs, broke them and started beating them in the cup.
“I don’t know what’s happening with him. I haven’t seen or heard from him for almost a week. I even called several times and at first there was no answer and then total silence.”
“What did you do to him?” asked Kangye.
“Nothing.” answered Boza, looking so concerned.
“Why would he ghost you then?” asked Kangye as she turned on the gas.
“I don’t know.” answered Boza. The more questions Kangye asked, the sadder Boza looked. She saw that he was missing his friend. But she never understood why he cared for him deeply. He had been his closest friend for so long. He had known him not to do things like ghosting. So this time when he couldn’t be reached, Boza got concerned. He actually feared something bad could have happened to his friend.
The omelet didn’t take long to make and Boza was soon eating and complementing his omelet with a glass of cold apple juice that Kangye had poured for him in a glass.
“But if I find him I may have to stay the night.” Boza uttered as he munched on his food.
“I can’t stay in this home alone and neither do I want to be a third wheel at a friend’s catch up sleepover. Plus the guy’s house has only one bedroom” said Kangye.
“Can you drop me at my house?” she asked.
Kangye had a house that the bank had given her as a staff member. Ever since she had met Boza, she had not slept in it most of the days of the week. Boza had stayed over at the house with her before she had moved in with him and so he knew the house well. He agreed to drop her off. She then asked him to accompany her to the bedroom so she could pick her purse and a change of clothes for the following morning. Boza didn’t object, he himself had not taken his own briefcase into the bedroom and it still lay there on the kitchen counter. Kangye trusted Boza so much. She never even for a second contemplated there could have been another woman that he was going to cheat on her with. The two went to the bedroom. But as they walked to their bedroom, Boza heard their footsteps and whispery called,
“Boza, is that you?”
Kangye couldn’t immediately hear the call but Boza heard it. It was light, weak and almost like a dying echo. Boza wasn’t sure he had heard the call and so he let Kangye enter the room and he walked back to the guestroom door. He opened the door, switched on the light and saw Bampe in bed.
Bampe had entered the bed without even taking a shower. He had not even removed his dirty clothes he had worn for over four days while he was in a police jail cell. He looked feebly ugly and terrible. His whole body looked like he had been fed off to mercilessly greedy organisms that were eating him from the inside. He looked like he could fall with just one blow from a baby trying to blow of a candle.
Kangye realized that Boza had walked a step back and so she followed him. She saw the thing Boza was seeing and she cried. She had known Bampe to be a healthy person, smart and clean all the time. But the picture he was in that day was one she had never or would never have painted him in.
Boza was confused. He wasn’t sure to be happy for seeing his friend or get sad for how he looked. The two rushed to the bed, hugged him in turns starting with Boza. Boza asked what had happened but he never answered. He only asked for food and Kangye didn’t wait for her fiancé to repeat it. She ran out of the bedroom to the kitchen leaving them inside. She even forgot that she feared an intruder could still be in the house. Boza tried to ask again but Bampe just kept quiet. He also decided to keep quiet, stay with him and he would finally open up to him just like he had always done when he had had issues.
Kangye walked in with an omelet and a glass of mango juice. Bampe ate and drank the juice all in less than a minute. Kangye looked at Boza as if try to ask him without words if she needed to make more. Boza nodded in agreement and Kangye picked the plate and walked out again. Boza, who had been sitting on the bed, got up and asked Bampe,
“Would you like to take a shower?”
Bampe nodded in agreement. He helped him out of the bed and led him out of the room. Boza thought of taking him to the guest bathroom but then stepped back and led him to his and Kangye’s bedroom. He walked him through the room and led him to the bathroom. When Bampe was inside, he came to the dresser, opened the drawers and picked a towel and took it to him. He came back out, walked to the kitchen with his face full of worry. He wasn’t sure what had happened to his friend. He was angry. He was sad. He was happy to have seen his friend he had been worried about but then again sad that he looked that way.
Kangye asked him in a very sad whispery tone,
“What happened to him?”
“He didn’t say.” answered Boza. He looked up at the ceiling and washed his face with his dry hands like in prayer to the most high. He rolled a few tear drops down his face and asked,
“What happened to him, God?”
Kangye looked at his man shed a tear. She saw him be vulnerable for his friend. She had never seen Boza like this. She just looked at him unsure of what to do. Finally she came to him and hugged him. They hugged for some time and then she asked,
“Can I give you space? I can still go to my house and let you two catch up.”
“It’s okay. I will drop you there” Boza suggested
“No need. It’s still early I can get a ride there.” Kangye also suggested.
Boza didn’t even agree to Kangye’s suggestion. Kangye just picked her phone and made a quick phone call. She had put some rice boiling. She signaled to Bampe where the sauce was and that he needed to warm it. A car soon appeared in their compound and she just picked her phone and got out, with nothing else but the clothes on her back and her phone. Before the car drove off, she told Boza she would call him.