Celestine told me to follow her after talking on the phone with someone she called ‘Protocol.’ She did not even explain to me why I was dead according to CNN. Straight away I knew I was dealing with extremely dangerous, well-connected people. ‘Protocol’ exists only in government and intelligence agencies.
I followed my nemesis through a tunnel-like bank of what passed for holding cells. Was this Guantanamo or what? My attempts at starting a conversation were futile as Celestine was intend on taking me to this protocol person without offering what I was into, even a girl-to-girl thing.
At the end of the tunnel, she stopped in front of a steel door, looked up at what I instantly realized was a CCTV camera and said, “This is Celestine delivering your pizza.”
Now what? Celestine was a pizza girl? Obviously not. And I was the pizza? I doubted that.
A voice boomed from speakers overhead, “Celestine, what’s the colour of the sky?”
“Azure is my favourite, sky is blue,” Celestine answered.
“Enter your password, Celestine,” the voice commanded.
A touch screen keypad appeared on the door and Celestine keyed in some digits then the door flung open to a room full of people, all young, with headphones, all talking (in tongues) incoherently behind computer screens. A giant super mainframe computer screen was at the far end of the room above a platform.
“Celestine, Goldie is expecting you,” a ridiculously handsome guy with traces of Indian crossbreeding a generation or two back called out.
“Thanks, Kapil,” Celestine told him.
Guess I was right about the guy.
“Come on,” Celestine told me.
Monitors on either side of the hallway to wherever Celestine was taking me showed people at work from what I thought to be each part of the compound – some in what looked like a class, gym, library, lab, others outside in the field playing, swimming and training.
By the time we reached this Goldie’s place I already had an idea of what was happening here if not where I was. However, the answer to my unanswered questions lay in wait for me when the doors to a spaciously well-furnished office opened.
Behind the ornate desk on a high back executive chair sat the person I had not seen for over ten years, and she hadn’t aged even a day. For a moment, I stood transfixed, a time that my mind broke the record speed of light and travelled thirteen light years back in time.
Thirteen years ago, my class teacher and gym instructor, approached me with an offer I couldn’t turn down – the offer to get my parents’ killers and avenge their deaths. How the heck she knew so much about me I did not know because when I insisted on knowing who the hell she was she told me that the less I knew the better because “The truth is complicated.”
At first I was dubious, but Miss Williams knew more about me than was on the files, even about Uncle Uche.
Miss Williams was a Kenyan-born Israeli bundle of beauty. She joined the Greensted International School, Nakuru, when I was in the tenth grade. She taught languages (Spanish, French and English) and was a certified gym instructor.
From the very word go she was too much into me, helping me wherever I seemed to slug, especially in the gym. I was not doing Spanish, but she convinced me to do it in addition to French.
At the gym, she started a taekwondo club and she enlisted me and others who wanted to join, but she was more into me than others.
By the time I was in the twelfth grade I was the most vicious girl on the prowl in Greensted, a First Dan Black Belt. We graduated on my sixteenth birthday. That night, after blowing the sweet-scented candles on my Miss-William’s-special birthday cake, she called me to the staffroom. She was the teacher on duty.
“Folami,” she began. “You don’t have an idea of what you’ve got, but it’s a weapon you can’t afford to lose. At sixteen, you are old enough to make your decisions. I don’t want to bring this up again, Folami, but it’s a reality you can’t run away from – your mother.”
Just the mention of the word mother made me flinch, but she convinced me it was the right thing to do. “The blood of the victims must be washed away by the blood of the killers,” she told me.
I was not into that, but after three hours of arguments and counter-arguments I found myself accepting what she was telling me.
“You are versatile, your dexterity is incomparable, and you are intelligent,” she repeated her taekwondo training mantra again. “Remember, the truth is complicated, and painful.”
Those were her last words. The following day she was gone. I never saw her again until this moment at her office.
“Miss Williams?” I said, shocked. She looked the way she was ten years ago, not a single strand of hair out of place.
“Folami, sorry for this burgeoning shock, it couldn’t have been any better. However, welcome home.”
This was home?
“Celestine, you can leave now,” Miss Williams said.
Copyright ©Elove, 2013.
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