The steady tap-tap of a leaking faucet intruded into her thoughts every other minute. It felt like it was forever, but she forced herself to think and realised that if they had grabbed her shortly after she left work, it would have been just a few minutes to midnight. The drive had taken a while, and they had stopped several times. She couldn’t really see where, they had bound and gagged her, then thrown her into the back of the Landrover, banging her ribs against what she deducted was a spare tire. Each time they stopped, there were low pitched conversations before the rover started again.
Eventually they had gotten here. She had no idea where ‘here’ was. They had pulled her out of the car, one of the men yanking at her arm brutally. Another pair of hands had taken hold of her, his voice harsh and brutal to his companion, his hands gentle and warm against her upper arm.
“Ken hedra. Yeqwem medreb aqetlek ada kent ayeda’eh.” She didn’t know much Arabic, but she had learnt enough in school to make out what had been said.
The boss. By the time she was pushed into the humid dark room, she knew enough to make out who it was that had sent for her. He had to be quite pissed off if he would send his goons out to abduct her.
The man who pushed, no, ushered her into her jail cell, quickly slashed at the bindings that held her hands behind her torso. It happened so fast, she almost didn’t realise it had happened. By the time she did, the door was closing. She laughed softly, before the door closed her in. And she knew that minute pause between her defiant laugh and that final sound of the closing door meant that whoever had guided her to this room, telling her in clear Swahili ‘to be good so she would not get hurt’, well, he knew that she knew.
It was an old house. She had no idea which one, for the boss was known to have several old homes dating from the colonial times. The long drive had not yielded much in the way of clues, but she knew that her location was a bit deeper into the country than the main town of Mtwapa. Only problem was, the boss, well he had homes as far up the coast as Malindi, and as far inland as Mazeras. Her olfactory senses were muddled up by lying close to the dusty floor of the rover, so by the time she was ushered into the room, she still hadn’t been able to figure out if the location was close to the ocean. She was beginning to think not. If she could hear the tap tap of the faucet, surely she could hear the roar of the ocean if it was close enough.
The silence fought with the tap tap not too long, she knew it was not too long, even thought it felt like a long time. But the muezzin confirmed it for her. She huddled up against a wall, and listened as the sound of men’s footsteps woke up the world before it had even napped.
She wondered if the boss would join his men for the fajr prayer at the mosque, or whether he would pray in his inner prayer room like he usually did when it was not the holy month of ramadhan.
He obviously did not think having his men grab her right out of the street a crime, or he would not have dared violate ramadhan. He was a good man, not pious, but faithful to his worship.
And she loved him almost as much as she resented him.