Rule number one of the jungle: Never look back. Jacob made the one mistake that almost cost him his life. Even the best forget the rules sometimes especially when they’re being chased by an angry mob armed with stones and large sticks. Jacob, a once-promising policeman, had found himself in the same position as the people he swore to remove from the streets. But was it a case of mistaken identity or was the mob after the right person?
Let’s go back to where it all started. Sunny stuck out like a sore thumb in the cluttered and dilapidated marketplace. Her pure white dress was already stained by droplets of mud but she didn’t seem to mind or notice. The shoes she was wearing were the only thing that somehow blended with the environment. You could hardly see their original colour under the mud stains.
Despite the attention she was attracting, she walked confidently around the market stalls chatting with the tall, slender man next to her.
“Let’s check here.” He said pointing at a kibanda where a group of men were enjoying their midday meal.
“Habari zenu (How are you?).” The man greeted them but was met with silent nods and confused murmurs. “We’re looking for Janet.”
From his authoritative poise, they could instantly tell that this was no ordinary man.
“Polisi, polisi.” They whispered amongst themselves referring to the man.
Some attempted to leave the kibanda but Michael’s men were already standing by the door. They had been following the pair stealthily to not attract attention but it seems Sunny didn’t get the memo.
“Anitwa Mama Hakim (She’s called Mama Hakim),” Sunny spoke up but Michael jolted her back before she could say anything more.
“I know Mama Hakim.” One of the women who was seated behind the counter volunteered to the policeman.
“Follow us, madam,” Michael instructed her and the woman did as she was told.
“Watch the business.” She told one of the girls then removed her leso and followed the entourage.
“You didn’t have to be so rude.” Sunny protested. “I told you to let me talk when we got there. What will they think of us now?”
She turned back to look at the heavily built woman who was struggling to keep up with the pair.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered to her then turned to Michael. “Can we at least slow down? I have been walking for three hours without a break.”
“It’s been thirty minutes and that’s why I made you change your shoes. I don’t know where you thought you were going dressed in a white dress and heels.”
“You said to dress casually. That’s my casual wear.”
“We’re almost there. Just hang in there.” He said gently. That was the first time Sunny had seen a somewhat soft side of him.
He then pointed to one of his men and instructed him to get the car to a certain location. A black SUV with tinted windows was parked right in front of them and the slender but surprisingly strong man bundled the two ladies into the back of the car and then sat in the front. The car drove off leaving a cloud of dust that left onlookers in a daze.
“Is that a policeman?” One of the bystanders asked.
“I don’t know but did you see that fine girl that entered the car?” Another asked.
“Yeah. She must be an escort. Why would they arrest her?”
The crowd laughed and dispersed as soon as the excitement settled.
“Do you know why you’re here?” Michael, who had now changed to a crisp navy blue suit, asked.
The market woman shook her head but the policeman’s stare down made her open her mouth.
“Mama Hakim.” She answered in a timid voice.
“What do you know about her?”
“She’s one of the market women.” She replied a bit more confidently but the man’s bloodshot eyes instantly instilled fear in her.
“She hardly comes to the market anymore. We were also looking for her.” She added as a junior policeman wrote down what she was saying.
“Janet or Mama Hakim is a wanted woman and any information you might have will help us find her.”
She was quiet as she processed what the intimidating man had told her. As they expected, the woman was more than willing to talk about the mysterious Mama Hakim. Sunny had stayed outside the room the whole time but could hear bits and pieces of the interrogation. After three hours, the woman was finally allowed to leave but not without warning.
“You better keep this to yourself and if you see anything, call me immediately.” The policeman said briefly but the message was heard loud and clear.
She nodded then dashed out of the room and police station without looking back. Sunny followed her closely behind trying to catch up to her until the woman stopped at the bus station.
“Thank you for your help.” She said, handing her a folded Ksh 1000 note. “This is your bus fare. Do you mind if I took your number?”
“Of course, madam. Can I ask what Mama Hakim has done? I know she’s a bit strange but she was always friendly with us.”
“Let’s just say, she has something that belongs to me.”
“So, has she done anything wrong?”
“No, she’s not in trouble.” She lied.
The truth was Janet was a hardcore criminal who had stolen from Sunny and her husband. They had hired her as a nanny shortly after Sunny welcomed her bundle of joy. Everything was going great and Sunny grew fond of Janet. However, she didn’t know that she was secretly plotting against the family and when they let their guard down, she struck.
That night, Sunny and her husband went for a gala dinner where her husband was being honoured. It was the first time she was leaving the house since she had the baby. While they were away, Janet ransacked the house taking anything of value. She then got to the master bedroom where the safe had been left unlocked. She took everything including their 3-month-old baby.
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