We had a plan of never speaking about Papa. It got difficult though because we always felt he would come and find us. And if he does, we would be ready to flee again. But our wings were broken and we had not yet awoken from the nightmare we were living in. We knew he was powerful, his people were powerful. I knew them all. And though I might have been a shadow, silhouetting in the hallways were they held meetings, I knew they came. And they never spoke to me nor my Mama. We just served them tea and went somewhere else. Their visits were alienating. We had no choice.
“Tell the court what happened during these meetings”, Moagi added on. He kept a pen in his hand the same way my Papa did, smoking his cigarette when he had come from work. I was wearing my sky blue formal shirt tucked into my pants. For a moment I felt I looked like my father. I was proud and ashamed all at once. I felt people talking about me, how young I was, how confused I was when I was only scared. They say those who testify are never safe. I heard this somewhere, someone told me. Back when I got scared to tell what my Papa did for a living. I had a spec of truth to it though because I was young, it was OK for people to easily ignore me. But this time, they needed me to speak and they were willing to listen. For the first time in my life, someone was listening.
These people had big briefcases with tons of papers inside. They wore gold rings and were apparently married. They never spoke off their children or wives, no! Just their plans. Once, I heard their laughter seeping through keyholes like smoke to me. Like the cigarette smoke they blew crafty into the air. I heard the red wines falling onto glasses and the cheers they made before downing all of it. They did this food-less celebration every Friday. For sometime, a lot of people kept asking me what my father does, and I, innocent and ambitious would say something like, “He is a businessman and I want to be like him when I grow up”. Of course it was before my curiosity took the best of me. It lead me to the tool shed in our backyard. And I knew who my father was. The information was all inside the shed. You wonder what was inside? I’ll tell you.
One night, I decided to sneak out of my room to feed my curiosity. I needed to know what was in that shed. I was not wearing any shoes to avoid being heard. Even though the floor was cold and the grass itched under my feet, I still went there. When I got it, there wasn’t anything much there just tools. The smell of wood lingered in the air and the iron roof was letting off some sweaty steel smell. The kind of coins being held on forever. You get the picture. I looked around in hope to find some secrets and instead they found me. Standing on top of them. They told me to step on and feel them suffocating from below. The creek kept on, with each step I made till I found the plank which was not on place. it felt as if someone saw me. And so I quickly knelt and my knee met an old nail. After observation I found it was a special kind of nail, it was a key to the plank. I wondered how Papa did not realize that I could come in here and open his life up. My hands became numb as when I attempted to unlock someones footsteps came prancing towards the shed. Luckily there was an old blanket in the corner, a few steps from me. I hid there in the dark though I could see the person from there. The threads were lose and tired and the color had faded. And the man? He was tall, with broad shoulders and his voice made the floor vibrate.
“Did you find anything?”, Moagi asked with a smile. I was scared though so, “No, I didn’t”, but I did. When that man figure came upon me and opened up the plank, I saw some lighting radiating from where I was. It was something like a jewel of some sort and a crescent moon shaped object which he held up and searched. I could not see what it was but from the grin in his face, he was pleased. I let out a sigh and he came towards me.