Kande unflappably waited for the Chief to give him audience. He had devoted his life to this case and now all he needed was the Chief’s signature on the papers. He could clearly see through the faint brown blinds that the Chief was still on phone- having one of those long conversations letting out small chuckles that petered into deep sighs. Leaning back, he placed his feet on the desk showing off his glittering black shoes. They looked glossy and matched with his black suit in which he was clad. A beer-bellied, broad shouldered man with half-moon glasses and a prestigious mustache.
The morning light shone brightly through the window behind his seat and filled the room. Kande pondered whether he should knock or wait for the Chief to notice him. He shifted his body to the left putting himself in the catbird seat. The Chief beckoned him to come in. He gently opened the door with a brown envelope clutched to his chest. He bit his lower lip as he sailed toward the chief’s table and mellowly placed the envelope on top of the morning newspaper that hadn’t been attended to.
“Sire, I got the letter you asked for.” Kande said with a slight bow. “The DA and the Central Bank, I have their signatures on the papers also.”
“Then I guess you’re here for my signature.” The Chief said as he lowered his glasses to his nose.
“And what did your brother say?” The chief continued as he rummaged through a stack of files for a pen.
“I’m ready for the consequences Sire.”
“You’re ready for the consequences. Ugh.” The chief said as he sprout from his chair. “There are reasons- there is a reason while we decided to close this case son. We don’t go about excavating grounds to look for buried mines. And do you know why we don’t do that-.”
The Chief looked with half squinted eyes at Kande in silence. The silence in the room only broken by the sound of a faraway hooting car.
The chief scrawled his enormous signature on the papers and after taking a second look at everything he handed them over to Kande.
“May the odds be in your favor son. I expect you to do the right thing. Think about it.”
Kande tucked the signed papers into the brown envelope and sealed it. He grabbed the black valise and threw the black jacket over his right shoulder. He sighed as he left the busy police station with a grin on his face whenever a fellow force-mate looked at him. Liberty and Justice. These words were engraved on every wall of the police station in golden colors. They meant so much to him that he was ready to risk everything.
As he sat in his car he reminisced about the Chief’s words but he was particularly struck by one line.
“And what did your brother say?”
Kande’s brother Mpuma was in charge of the police taskforce all over the Southern City. Kande had to seek permission from him before reopening an old case.
‘You have to be sure about this Kande. If you’re wrong, I cannot cover for you this time. I also have people I report to. In case this doesn’t go in your favor you know what comes next. Any slight error, how trivial it is can cost everyone at Southern City Police Department. And that includes you and I. I’m not above the law.’
Kande had all the required documentation to reopen the Oseku case. Oseku a billionaire accused of deploying beggars on the street and setting up care homes for his own benefit. Many referred to him as a scoundrel who took in orphans from the poor districts and set them on the streets to beg. The deal was that he would feed and give them shelter but they had to work for it. At dawn they would make their way to the busy spots of the city to beg. When the night set in the little ones had to return to their master to dispense their daily collection from which a pittance was given to each.
He also had a couple of care homes for the less fortunate that received a hefty sum of donations. But these were the homes that sheltered the ones that toiled daily along the streets. Some even used to sing late in the evening for the exhausted city workers a talent that saw them collect more money. And as such these street beggars went by the name the evening soothers. Those that didn’t meet the agreed daily amount were kicked out and left to starve.
But all the allegations lacked evidence until three years ago when one of the evening soothers, a girl advanced in age presented herself at the Southern City Police Department. She had been denied entry to Oseku’s care homes saying that they don’t know her. The evening soothers even had identifications to ensure that only the registered ones accessed what was allotted to them. It was perceivable that this was some kind of business with small children disguised as beggars. She explained everything from the oath they took to pay allegiance to their father whom they only saw once every Christmas. They were taught to love him and look upon him as their savior but what they were never told is that anyone above 18 years of age was no longer eligible. It was that fateful day that this girl decided to seek refuge from the police.
Kande and his partner Mahail were tasked to look into the girls allegations. They had to collect evidence before proceeding with the persecutions. Kande had to go undercover on several occasions as a donor in order to tour around the care homes. Once he had spent the entire day taking pictures and notes of everyone that came into contact with the evening soother. That was when he spotted a common figure of a rat faced fellow with a furtive look and grizzled hair. Clad in a brown dust coat with leather boots, he beckoned the scattered evening soothers to follow him. Striding to the outskirts of the city, they flocked into a white vile lurking van and off they went. Armed with enough evidence from the daily visits to the care homes Kande and Mahail were ready to proceed with the findings to the Chief. For on several occasions Kande had interviewed and recorded some of the workers and the orphans in the care homes.
A week before the Oseku trials begun, Kande and Mahail were involved in a nasty accident. Mahail died six weeks later for she had sustained grave injuries. Kande spent one and half years in coma. The accident left him with a fractured skull and an amputated hand. Many thought he had lost his career but his brother helped him get back to work after one year. Kande had to work in Archives for he was deemed unable to continue field work.
Eight weeks later he had ventured into the records room where he landed on a box that was labelled the evening soothers. It was then that he decided to pursue the case again. But the evidence box contained nothing of what he had acquired three years ago. The recordings and interviews were erased and the only picture he found was of their car crush with Mahail. It caused him much pain and wondered why no one ever pursued this case. That was valuable information lost. It cost his partner a life and left him crippled. Someone should have been able to carry on. Without this evidence he had to start again. A tedious process with so much opposition. He still had a chance to honor his partner’s death by having justice served.
Life is unfair my dear friend. Even with the signed papers and search warrant to reopen the Oseku case, Kande couldn’t have justice served. A week after he had gotten the necessary documentation to pursue this case tragic events had occurred in the city. A city that once had the evening soothers and beggars they were nowhere to be seen. Not even the care homes that used to house the orphans. It was all over the news. The sudden disappearance of the evening soothers and the abandoned care homes.
Without these core features there was nothing Kande could do. He had lost twice to the same enemy. In peace and silence the evening soothers had left. Their life and memory a sad impression on those who knew their struggle. For Kande, something valuable was missing mysteriously for the second time.