Nakuru, Kenya; 2012
“Why do you balk out now?” I asked the voice that had been my hope for the past five years. “What? Have you been threatened? Talk to me.”
“I don’t want to ensanguine you any more than I have done.”
My gaze was on a framed photo of my mother on the bed stand that Omoutola had given me. “I’ve done all what I could for you. It’s like I am not much help to you.”
“Why do you say that?” I asked, my stomach muscles clenching.
“For years now I’ve been telling you this and that about your mother.” My gaze fell on the photo again. “I keep on shifting the posts anytime. I feel like I am not the right person to help you in this.”
A tiny disturbance rippled through me. Just at the mention of the word ‘mother’. “Why are you talking like that?”
Even though we were using secure phones, there was no mention of names with my contact in the Mossad. For five years now, since I started searching for my mother’s killers, her voice had been a constant reminder of my obsession. In my hunt for those monsters and answers I did not have questions for, I had run from one dead end to another, each time pursuing different trails only to hit another wall.
There was a long pause before she sighed heavily. All what I could make from it was fear.
“Because I think there’s more to this than your mother,” she said. “It could be much more than I initially thought.”
“What? You cracked the code and you did not tell me? What did you find?”
She didn’t speak for a moment. “Believe me; you don’t want to hear this.”
“I want to hear it, and from you. Do you think I don’t want to do it? I have thought of moving on and forgetting about it. But I can’t do that.”
“There’s a giant problem, and I don’t want to make it any bigger.”
“I told you I wanted to avenge my mother’s death. You promised you’d help me.”
“And now I’m asking you to forget it.”
“Why the sudden change of mind? What has happened to you? What have you found out and don’t want to tell me? Have you been threatened?”
“That’s not me,” she said. “I know you want justice for your mother. It’s not the kind of justice found in our corrupt system. You want the killers, natural justice. You won’t get that in a world where everything is political, national security and all that. I tried to look at it from an objective point of view. Then I started to dig, and think. I am sure you’d give up your mission for a greater cause.”
I could feel my chest tightening. Don’t despair, I told myself. The search had gone on too long for anybody, or anything, to step in and sway me. “I saw what they did to my mother.” A flash of Friday 13th April, 1990 appeared in my mind. “It didn’t exactly stop there.”
“But you had somebody to take care of you.”
“Father Augustine was heaven sent, a gentle soul.”
“As I said, this thing has taken an unexpected turn,” she was speaking fast, tersely. “In this kind of quest, you’ve to be very careful.”
“Damnit. Why don’t you tell me what you found out from the code?”
“The truth is the darkest place of all, and it doesn’t set you free always.”
“Why are you being so evasive?”
“You don’t have to come face-to-face with this to tear you apart. Hell, it might even tear both of us apart.”
My hand tightened on the phone. I drew a deep breath as I walked to the window of my bedroom. Outside, I could see the setting sun cast beautiful shadows on the lawns. At the far end of the lea, under an up-market umbrella shade, my foster parents held hands and kissed – cute couple.
“Nothing would tear me apart from knowing the truth and finding the senseless fiends who killed my mother.”
“There’s no way I could talk you out of it?”
“You promised, told me I could count on you.”
“’Yes, but things have changed. The stakes are high.”
I was beginning to see where all this was going. No, it couldn’t be. Never. I swore to avenge my mother’s death. Nothing would stop me, or lead me astray. That code must have had some answers, the answers, I was looking for. I asked hoarsely, “Liraz, who killed my mother.”
“You want a name?” I had gone against the rules by calling her by name, and worse still, her real name instead of her codename. “It’s a name that would blow your brains off.”
I was shaking. Whoever was responsible for my mother’s death was known. “Tell me. Tell me the name.”
“We should meet,” she said, and hung up on me.
Copyright ©Elove, 2012.