NIGHT OF THE KIDNAP: 10:00 PM.
It was still a chaotic street, even when it was ten. Business was always a chaotic venture. One had to shout at the top of his or her lungs to advertise his goods. Another had to shout even louder so he could be heard. The moon had long ceased to appear although a couple of stars could be sighted, like tiny silver buttons in the darkness. Mama Lita was overcome by wariness. It was one of those days that she felt an irresistible weariness that made her adjourn her business prematurely. She decided to go home. This way, she mused to herself, was a better idea to surprise her daughters and buy them their favourite snack. She foresaw, in her mind how her girls would jump on her happily and singing how she was the best mother. Although Lita, she imagined was at work, she would at least persuade Nukwita to call her before she presented the gifts. Mama Lita closed her business and flung herself in the chaotic street. She guarded her handbag as firmly as one would, a precious possession. She was always on the look out for pickpockets, bag snatchers, and mean looking men who she suspected could be potential kidnappers. She made a stop at Rugabajo Supermarket. It was on very rare occasions that she stepped into a supermarket. Her last having been two years ago on Lita's birthday where she had purchased a number of snacks and gifts. She entered, ignored the eyes of the Supermarket employees who were obviously wondering what a woman who wore the badge of financial famine could buy in the mist expensive Supermarket around Kampala. Mama Lita scanned the snacks corner where several snacks were paraded and their price tags were pinned on each. She looked for a chocolate flavoured biscuit. When she found it, she was relieved. The price tag shook her with surprise. It was shs.10,000. Her love for her daughters was however more so she purchased two of the biscuits and headed homeward. The house looked deserted. The yellow light bulbs showed a clean house. It was closed and so were the neighbouring houses. It was quiet at this part of the ghetto. People, in this part were wary of gangsters who were common. No one dared to move out of their houses or rooms beyond ten thirty. The scenario did not appear strange to the good mother. She was full of hopes that she was going to really surprise her children. She knew that Nukwita was inside and Lita was to come in a few minutes. Her working hours had been reduced, as a safety precaution to ten thirty. It was ten fifteen, she knew by her small phone's screen. She knocked but there was no answer. She assumed that the little girl must have landed deep in sleep. She fetched her spare key and opened the room. The light was shining inside. It looked empty. She checker the beds, under the beds, over in the ceiling, in the bathrooms till she scouted... 'Ewoooooo!!!' with her arms over her head. Where could she be? With Lita? If yes, why had she not told her She checked and asked all her neighbours but none of them seemed to have seen Nukwita beyond five in the evening. Her heart started racing like leopard that had sighted a prey. Her blood suddenly became tense and her brain suddenly alert. The neighbours gathered around her rental. Some seemed to have come from sleep, others eating while a few appeared sweaty. Mama Lita imagined that those who were sweaty had been interrupted in the laborious process of child manufacture "Mama Lita." called an elderly lady. The worried woman looked on like a scared child. "Have you called her." "Yes. It was off and so was Lita's phone." This revelation sent murmurs vibrating through the crowd. Some whispering that both were kidnapped. Achayo, who was coming from her mysterious errands in her usual skimpy dresses looked at the gathered crowd as she neared her room. 'Achayo' called the same elderly woman for the first time since she started living within the neighbourhood. 'You saw Nukwita anywhere? " She shook her head. 'But as for Lita, she borrowed a dress from me. That's all I can say she closed the door, leaving Mama Lita gaming her mouth with a prolonged "Whaaaaaaaaatt!!" on her lips. The neighbours volunteered to go with her to the chips stall. Lita was absent as they had feared. The poor woman was almost fainting. What was happening? Had they been kidnapped or. "Have you seen Lita somewhere ?" Mama Lita asked the Lady who was beside Lita's stall. "Oh yes. She went with some one" "To where?" exclaimed mother. "I don't know. He went with her in a Mercedes Benz." Mama Lita fainted before the woman could complete the question. "Are you her mother?" 10:40 PM. Nukwita's head lay weakly on his chest, which only bore a few smooth hairs. She felt his arms around her shoulder. They were both tired and breathing heavily, like two over worked oxen. They were both still in the nude and the bed was warm. She wondered, how any normal bar could have a bed. "This was the best birthday gift ever given to me." she heard Philo's voice but did not answer. She smilingly nodded. "Are you asleep?" "Oh no." she said. "I am just thinking..." It was pitch dark and quiet in the room. What happened to the party, Nukwita did not know. What she knew was that she had been with Philo doing the do. "What thoughts?" Suddenly, she jumped up. "What is the time Philo?" "Ten. Why?" "Ten?" she asked in disbelief. Then she made to dress up as hurriedly as he can. "Why would you go now? " asked Philo, smoothing her body while she was busy dressing up." You'll go tomorrow " So much was Philo persuasive and tempting that Nukwita found herself again in his arms, emulating one of those sensual scenes in the movies. She wanted him even more than before. Philo removed what she had managed to put on slowly, and once again the two were in bed. This time not resting. Their hormones had flared up once again and Nukwita could feel like eating the human being alive. Thoughts about her mother were no more, only herself and her desires. 11:15 PM. Lita stirred painfully. She could feel sharp pains threatening to make her cry. It was dark and she could see nothing except the shapeless sons of darkness laughing at her. The ground below her was a cold floor and the walls were rough, gibing an impression of an un plastered building. She could feel them as HDR hands felt the walls. It was a tiny room apparently. Her hands felt a door. It was made of the strongest iron and she could not feel anything like a lock within. It was probably outside. "What did I do?" her mind asked itself. 'What did I do?' echoed her soul. She had been foxed by the businessman. She had declined to listen to Ber instincts, choosing to judge the book by its cover.. How did she make it up to this unknown place? She wondered. How! She remembered Mr. Dangote begging her to drink. She recalled, although very faintly how a handful of men in black approached Ber but that was all. She had heard, from the last stories of girls like her getting kidnapped. According to the stories, they usually have you a drug that forced you into unconsciousness. Was the drink she had taken a drug? She wondered and cursed Dangote inside her skull. Thoughts of her mother rushed into her brain like a hurricane. Is she sleeping.. How is Nukwita? Are they looking for me.. "Oh! Good old mother." she prayed "Oh Good old mother, God protect you." She was still weak. She lay back on the floor tearfully. What will happen tomorrow? Will she be killed? How will they treat her? Will she be taped and raped? Is it possible to bribe them,? Will her body be dismembered and dumped in a bush?? For the first time in her life, she thought of death. Religion says that there is somewhere another world where one went when they die. There, they start s new life as a whole new creature. It is said that in that life, the dead can come back to the real world as ghosts, spirits. Yes, she would become a ghost and haunt her killers and give their wealth to her mother... Sleep assailed her again as the last word in her mind echoed and re echoed "Death. Death.."