LITA AND NUKWITA. ROOM 303: The worst Nightmare.
The clutter of metallic locks and the dangling of keys chased sleep away from Lita’s mind. She sat up suddenly, like a teenage boy caught masturbating by his mother. She glared into the blank darkness as her blood ran to and fro in large amounts and fiery speed in her heart. The keys dangled and dangled, making her even more frightened. In this kind of place, it was impossible to tell the time unless you had a watch with you. But even you could not be very sure that the watch was correct. The building was all dark, lacking windows and ventilation.
When the door finally was a jar, she let out a ‘Holy Jesus!!’ shriek as she hugged the corner of her room, as though by some miracle, she would disappear into it just like she had seen ghosts in Ugandan movies do. A bright ray of white light had been flashed onto her as soon as the door opened.
‘Finally!’ she heard a deep masculine but familiar voice exclaiming with a mixture of surprise and wonder. It was followed by a reverberation of malicious laughter that reminded her of an evil witch.
She continued to cling onto the wall wondering where she had heard the voice before. It could have been in her childhood when she heard the voice. . It was not of Mr. Dangote, who in her mind labelled her as a ‘son of Satan. It could be one of her mother’s debtors. She could not be sure. She however dared not look up at the man, who judging by the ambience was not alone.
‘Hello young girl ‘calmly called the voice almost as a father would call his favorite child. Her mind immediately flew into confusion. Here was a man who had probably kidnapped her. He was perhaps the chief of evil men like Mr Dangote and just seconds back, he was laughing at her in pungent malice. Now he was as gentle as an angel. When she made no reply, the man’s patience immediately vanished and ordered that the disobedient girl must be roughed up and brought into ‘Room 303’. She was immediately roughed up and handled like a chicken thief. The powerful arms of four men struggled to maintain their grip on the limbs of Lita who, with all her strength struggled to free herself. The whole scenario surprised the man who gave the orders. It was like one of those scenes when holy priests were carrying a demon possessed member of their sheep to the altar of exorcism. They passed through a dimly lit corridor on which both sides stood firmly locked metallic doors.
She could not clearly make out the faces of her captors as she was engrossed in the laborious efforts of freeing herself. She did not mind when her dress was almost torn to rags. Survival was a priority. She was suddenly dumped, like an unwanted bag of rotting lumonde on the floor of yet another room. The only difference being that the room was wider and dimly lit by a yellow light. She felt her backside ache as it was the first to land on the tiled floor, followed by her back and head. ‘Is this room 303?’ she wondered after she was locked in and if it was, what was so special in room 303 as she could see almost nothing except a little darkness. She was still pondering on this when she heard a movement in one of the dark corners where the dim light could not caress. A tiny shadow slowly moved and then stopped. Her hairs erected on her back. Sweat started dripping on her forehead. She could barely move as she feared this would attract attention from the figure in the corner she imagined must be a man eater, a female cannibal, a rapist or a demon. She could hear her heart thumping as her blood froze.
After a minute or two, the figure again shifted, this time crawling unto her. Lita shouted in fright as loud as her lungs would go. ‘MAAAA-MEEEEEE!!’she cried as slowly, the figure came out into the light in a crawling manner. It managed to dign to her that she was of no danger.
It was an extremely thin frame of a girl who, it appeared was starving. The eyes were frail and looked her appealingly. She was naked except for a tiny rag that tried to conceal her womanhood. The breasts rubbed the floor as she crawled nearer to Lita. Lita’s heart was still thumping, although she had accepted that the figure with her was of no danger, she had never seen it all her life. ‘I am sorry for scaring you. ‘she began as she sat up, with a mighty effort within Lita’s arm length.
‘Who are you. What are you? ‘asked Lita after she had gained some breath. ‘I am a victim like you.’came the reply. Her voice was diminished and sounded like she was about to bite the dust that she came from. Her chest, Lita could see was rising and falling fast. Her socks like breasts sagging with it, like two dry polythene bags glued unto her. ‘You MUST escape.’said the girl. You cannot manage what is in Room 303.’ She looked like she was in her twenties like herself although starvation had peeled off her sin. Her mind seemed to function like clockwork. She had heard her captor ordering that she be put into room 303.
‘Is this not room 303?’ she asked finally. A deafening silence fell upon the room. Lita could hear the loud thumping of her heart, the temperature becoming hotter and warmer. The girl shook her head. ‘Where then, is Room 303?’asked Lita with curiosity. ‘It is in this building. This is just a room they keep you before they take you to Room 303.’
‘But what is in Room 303?’ ‘The worst nightmare of your life’ came the reply. The girl, like Lita had her back resting on the wall. Her eyes never looked at her but instead looked into the open dim lit space, as though in another world. ‘Sometimes they could amputate your limbs, sometimes drag out your kidneys. It may be your eyes to be removed, or slice off your nose.And if you are lucky enough, you will be raped several times before they let you go.’ A deadly shiver ran through Lita’s spine. ‘These amputated parts are sold off to God knows where. Then they get that much money and masquerade as reputable businessmen. Sometimes you could be sold off as a whole, as a slave or a harlot.’
Lita almost screamed when suddenly, the door opened. The noise shocked the girl who fainted. Lita could not see the faces of the inhumane creatures who carried he girl way. While she was being led out. Lita thought she heard her voice saying ‘You Must Escape!’ The door snapped shut again as Lita tried to devise her escape plan. She did not want to end up like the girl who looked like a suffering ghost. She did not want her kidneys plucked out, or her heart or anything. She had to escape.
. . . . .
Upon her discharge from the low grade hospital she had spent the night, the mother of two could not rest. She immediately flew home first thing in the morning. She was extremely relieved to see Nukwita sleeping like a log/ She did not bother to ask her where she had been the whole night but immediately woke her up and hoped that Nukwita knew the whereabouts of her sister. ‘Where is your sister?’ ‘I do not know Ma’ she said sleepily.
Mama Lita’s spirits again froze. Nukwita begged to know what the problem was. Her mother explained that she had disappeared yesterday. ‘Whaat!’was the response. Together, they flew to Nansana Police Station and reported Lita missing.