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EPISODE 18

This is the confession to a crime…a crime of vendetta.

I have always had a series bizarre imagination from my childhood; the practice of delivering a message through rather extraordinary means never failed to impress my being. The ancient practice of slipping a little boy into a fortress from a rather narrow roof to steal treasures, hurling a bottle into the sea with an important message in it, or writing coded words on tissue papers and placing the papers into water after use––this would dissolve the paper and the message would never be retrieved, writing in codes, symbols, hieroglyphs and cuneiforms––all these are quite intelligent and clever in their own different ways. The acts thrill me so much that I decided myself to adopt one of these kinds of amazing courses––writing my confession in pieces of papers and pinning these manuscripts to the legs of a pigeon––a carrier pigeon. Some people would see this as a romantic feat in the extreme. But I know not how far the bird may have travelled with this confession, it could either have carried it miles further off than my current location or this confession may just be lying on the ground of the next street. That, I’m afraid, will remain a mystery even I may not be able to unravel. The likelihood of this confession getting to the doorstep of my recipient is indeed slim, but it’s a chance ‘we’re’ willing to take. This document may fall off the bird’s feet into a thick uninhabited forest and be lost forever, or it could fall to the hands of someone who may have no idea about the significance of what nature has presented to his palms. Nonetheless, I should let the reader here know that this confession is meant for the hands of Detective Georges Lot alone. If, however, you found it––kindly refer it to the aforementioned detective or rather submit it to the nearest police station. The next paragraphs hitherto would be the confession of all the circumstances that led to the unsolved mystery behind Cain Martins’ murder––yes, it was actually a murder. And this is a direct message to the detective. I assume, of course, that he got hold of this rather lengthy note. Although, this is a confession to the crime which had already been committed two years ago, I am still forced by my guardian to scribble out the truth down on papers for the knowledge of everybody involved in the affair, or rather those who believed that every door of the investigation had been unlocked. The truth is, there is still one door behind the unlocked doors which still stays locked.

There exists a popular anecdote that where there is smoke, there is fire. And where there is fire, something’s certainly got to be burning. Fire never erupts all on its own, its existence is birthed from something burning––without a burning object, there’s definitely no fire. But sometimes, we stare so long at the blazing fire that we take no notice of what is burning. However, in the affairs concerning the mystery behind the death of Cain Martins, some parts of the truth have been explained––but not all. The body that was found outside the gate wasn’t placed there by Richard Philip. The truth is, Richard’s explanation of how he came about the body was barely the smoke, the police officer’s confession was the fire, but what was actually burning is yet to be explained. The burning object began with Angela.

Angela was only fourteen when she was brutally raped.

Ashamed and scared, she told no one. When she later discovered that she was pregnant, what she did to herself after this discovery was downrightly horrible. She wanted to secretly terminate the pregnancy in her own biddings, because she didn’t want anyone to know about the misfortune that had come her way––most especially her parents, for she knew not how she would cope with their rage if they discovered the truth. As a naïve young woman of fourteen, she took stupid and reckless steps to get rid of the pregnancy.

She didn’t at first take seriously the constant headache, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pains that afflicted her. Her horror came when her period refused to surface. It was then that the meaning of the afflictions she’d suffered occurred to her. She knew no private doctor or nurse to consult about her predicament, so she decided to self-terminate the pregnancy, with total disregard for her own wellbeing––she was bent on crushing the seeds germinating inside of her––the seeds of the monster that had raped her. First, she began by punching her own belly, hoping that the actions would rupture the developing foetus. She would clench her teeth hard, shut her eyes tightly and would not be able to control the tears that flooded her face as she painfully hit her own belly with her fists. Within the first week of her discovery she’d done many things she’d heard about; the simple methods of pregnancy termination; she’d mixed a fistful of salt with water and gulped it down, she’d squeezed lime into a cup, added crystallized alum before she swallowed the sour mixture. She ate raw pepper, drank alcohol, starved herself––she would go for days in an empty stomach, all in the bid to flush out the congealed blood inside of her. But as much as she tried to rid herself of it, the pregnancy remained intact; she felt it growing in her day after day. She and the baby in her endured the nine months of self-imposed emotional violation and physical suffering. Not until the ninth month that it was discovered by her parents that their daughter had been pregnant––it was when she tried to get rid of the pregnancy the hardest way she could that her father got to know the truth. Angela had shut her eyes tightly as she’d always done, believing that this would definitely resulted in the miscarriage she so desperately craved, even if her life could be threatened and she might not be able to conceive ever again in her life––she threw herself down the long flight of stairs. And instead of having a damaged pregnancy she ended up with broken bones and concussions. She had fainted even before reaching the ground floor as she rolled like a ball down the steps of the concrete staircase.

She woke up on the hospital bed, and the first person she saw was her father. At that instant of seeing the sadness in her father’s eyes, emotion had taken control of her and she could not help pouring out all what had befallen her––how she’d been raped on her return from school and all what she had done to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a baby boy after two days of her diagnose. Because of all what she had done to herself, complication set in her childbirth, she had lost a lot of blood and suffered hypertensive crisis, low-blood pressure, violent seizure, eclamptic convulsions––after the delivery she could barely breathe. She knew she was dying, her father knew it too. She demanded to see her baby. With the infant in her arms, she looked at the baby for a brief moment, gazed upon her father for understanding and then looked directly at the boy she was carrying. This time, she looked at the baby much longer. What she said thereafter was the last word she ever spoke.

She named the baby Abel.
I knew not the real story behind my name until I turned twenty-eight, when my grandfather turned over a jar of glue onto my seat and made me sit for hours as he told me how my existence came about. I was not shocked, neither was I angry because from my earliest youth I have discovered that my existence revolved around a pillar of mysticism. You see, there was another angle to the triangle which led to the death of Cain Martins. What you need to know is that my mother was raped by none other person than the cruel Cain Martins himself. My mother, the easy-going innocent schoolgirl was brutally molested which made her do some horrible things to herself––things which eventually claimed her life. The anguish her demise caused my grandfather was almost unbearable––I understood exactly the kind of raw hatred he had for the man who had caused him so much sorrow. I knew what needed to be done––justice must be served. It was only when I assured my father that his daughter’s death would be avenged that he stopped himself from ending up in a nervous breakdown. Therefore, it took me three years to find the man who had assaulted my mother, and when I saw Cain Martins, I understood fully the reason behind my mother’s attempt to get rid of the pregnancy. The Cain Martins I saw was a monster not only in mind but also in looks. His countenace could make a vampire faint with fright. How did I come to find my monstrous father?

From the year 2000 that I heard the sordid tale about my birth, I’d been reading the papers. Although, the chance of finding him in this populated country was really long a shot. I read all the dailies; I scrutinized every obituary, searching for the name Cain Martins––the name my mother had managed to tell my grandfather before she died. The name was quite an unusual one––especially in this part of the world, which left me wondering why parents in their right minds would name their child ‘Cain’. I also began to suspect that my mother had named me Abel for this reason. I consulted the Holy Book and meditated daily on the Book of Genesis. In the Bible, I found out truly that Cain and Abel were relations, they weren’t father and child as in the case of myself and Mr. Martins, they were actually ‘brothers’. Above all, what worried me in the story was Cain killing Abel, and I could not easily assume that my being named Abel was only coincidental––and my evil father named Cain was out there somewhere. I was afraid that if I stayed idle and not act fast, fate might take a wrong turn leading to my father hunting me and killing me, hence repeating the affair in the book of Genesis. Although, of course, there is nothing in my personality that suggests I have any fondness for sheep. As a matter of fact, I abhor animals; I guess that is one trait I share with my deceased father. I hate pets as much as I hate wild animals. I have much more hatred for people who keep dogs or cats or monkeys, I can’t imagine myself having an attachment to animals like squirrels, snakes, rabbits, mice, toads, chameleons, worms, beetles, spiders, fish, centipedes and ants. The zoo isn’t my favourite tourist centre, neither would I deem it fit, after a hectic day, to travel into the forest for a relaxation.

However, adding to the fact that I detest animals from cradle, I have always believed that God do not exist. I strongly believe that religion is only a solace for feeble-minded people who lack the bravado to meet eye-to-eye the challenges inherent in our existence. I have nonetheless nothing but scorn for those who refuse to face the fact that the universe is without god, and man’s existence was nothing but nature’s biological accident. I despise every man who goes down on his knees to humble himself before an imaginary god of creation; Methodists, Catholics, Baptists––even Muslims. I imagine those who were initially clean of religion coming down again to share in this sick delusion, eventually slipping off the path of sanity and diving into the pool of superstition. Believing in the half-baked, dreamy promises of an afterlife with togas, harp music and Saint Peter in flowing white robe and viciously banging down his gavel for order over the screams emitting from the dungeon they call hell.

I’m afraid I’ve been digressing off the reasoning behind this note. Reading papers after papers, I was looking for my father––it was a jolt of which it took me some hours to recover when I realised that my father owned the popular Kane International. I was skimming through the papers one Thursday morning when I came across his name. Although Kane International is among the African leading companies, I knew not the name of the man who owned it until that morning. Even when I saw the name ‘Cain Martins’, I was still having a doubt if he was the same man I had been looking for. And because Cain is not a common name, because this owner of Kane International is not as popular as his company name, because I had no other promising lead on my research, I decided to work on the only hunch I had. That was in 2006––when I was thirty years old. My mother was raped by her schoolmate, which prompted me to continue my hunt from there. I dug deep into Cain Martins’ past from the internet. I found out the high school he attended. He actually attended the same school as my mother. I still could not believe it that the public figure was my mother’s rapist. To curb any doubt that might be building from within me, I decided to travel down to St. Joseph’s Secondary School to find out the record of the old school’s alumni––I searched the names of those who passed out in the 70s––I found his name there––alongside Michael Kish they passed out the same year. There was no other Cain Martins in all of the school records. Cain Martins, the Managing Director of Kane International, was actually the man I had been searching for––he was the monster who raped my mother. He was my father! The revelation almost made me welcome the decision of killing myself.

As soon as I knew exactly who I was looking for, I told my grandfather about him. We planned meticulously how we were going to carry out our revenge, we decided that my grandfather should go and live with this monster. He was a retired soldier and he’d worked many times before as a security agent. So, applying for the post of a gatekeeper under Cain didn’t pose much problem, his experience and blunt countenance convinced Cain that he was the perfect man to watch over his house. Yes, ‘my grandfather is Eze Chima’––the father of the girl Cain had raped. Cain was living alone at the time my grandfather was employed––but a few months thereafter, he came home with a lady. If we weren’t careful, the arrival of this new lady lady would thwart our plan, so we therefore deemed it fit to bring this lady into our confidence. Finding out about her history and discovering what blow faith had dealt her too through Cain, my grandfather showed her much affection by acting much like a father to her. He made Abigail like him. Every time Cain paid Eze his salary, Abigail was always there to add more to the money. It was an added merit to us when it became obvious that there wasn’t an iota of love between Cain and the lady. Of course, we didn’t allow Abigail to know who we really were, most especially me; she knew me not at all. We took our time––we looked into Cain’s past some more, I read the papers voraciously, we succeeded in connecting some past events with Cain. In our investigation, we came to find out about how Cain came to be a wealthy man––all that had happened to his first family. We discovered about his delinquency. We dug and dug and dug until we also stumbled upon the circumstances that surrounded his marriage to Abigail.

For three years, we gathered all the evidences detailing every evil my father had done. I visited the Bedlam, as you know, it is the most extensive library in the whole of the country, and in that library they have back issues of newspapers dated to almost half a century past. The exercise took a little bit of my time, because the first couple of pages of most of the papers were devoted to advertisements of coffins, houses for sale or rent, cures for private diseases, abortifacients, restoratives for lost manhood, and Indian jinxes. I counted back numerous years, lifting off the first five years’ worth of paper before beginning to scrutinize and voraciously reading the headings of these papers. I sat in the library for ten straight hours; poring over the papers and gathering enough evidence to stake the vampire in the heart––his conspiracy with the doctor to murder Abigail’s father, the brutal way he killed over a hundred innocent people aboard a plane in order to get just two people out of his own way––all these horrors we collected, with evidence to back them up. We certainly knew that we could not kill him then––at least, not yet. He was still too powerful for us to take down. So, we decided to make it a household murder––a kind of murder even the best detective in this country would not be able to solve. A kind of murder which would occur at the face value––before we kill him, we would have brought into his notice all the evil acts he’d pulled, he would see nemesis staring solely at him in the face. We’d give him the taste of the horror he’d unleashed on poor innocent souls that had been unfortunate enough to encounter him. I was the eyes and ears of my grandfather; although he wasn’t the most educated man––he still possess astonishing ways of making foolproof plans and alibis. We started our plan by firstly letting Abigail know the state of mind of her husband. The record of Cain Martins having been admitted into the psychiatric hospital in 1978 was with us––we made copies of the file and, through my grandfather, were able to place the copies where Abigail would easily come across them, we believed that information about Cain’s mania would help our cause. However, I was interested in knowing the kind of woman Abigail was, so I began tailing her everywhere she went, I knew the time she went out because my father always supplied me first-hand information about her movements; he would call me on phone every time Abigail drove out of the compound. Often more than one time she’d caught me following behind her from her rear-view mirror, but I didn’t mind at all. I knew what she was thinking––she thought I was someone employed by Cain Martins to watch her movements, and I on the other hand, never gave her any benefit of doubt.

Let me come down to the night Cain was killed. It wasn’t really the night we planned to make him pay for his sins. The day before––that was the sixth day of August that year; I had confronted him with the truth. I had written a letter stating the result of his Molest during his days in the secondary school. My grandfather had delivered the letter to him. Foolishly, he believed what my grandfather had told him––that a stranger had demanded to see him when he was not around, and that stranger had dropped a letter for him. He never suspected that his gatekeeper was in the plan to prosecute him. In the letter, I let him know everything, and the fact that he had a son alive somewhere. But the letter was not addressed, instead, it was signed with my mother’s name––Angela. This made on him the effect I had planned, I wanted him to believe that the hen had come home to roost. Cain thought immediately that the letter he’d read was written by the girl he’d raped. He knew not that his victim of that afternoon’s assault was no more.

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