“Yes polo! Yes polo!!
The Police station Raggedman was dragged to was like all others packed with people, either coming in with complaints or selling one food item or the other. The polo seller is a particularly persistent one, coming back every few minutes to ask if anyone has changed their mind about buying.
“Yes polo! Yes polo!!
A tall figure steps out from a closed-door behind the counter with the seated desk officers. Approaching Red was a displeased-looking Boom with another uniform man who looked to be in charge of the station.
“Have you taken the statement of the victim and witnesses?” The officer with Boom addressed those at the counter.
Turning towards the mate and the victim, Boom allowed his colleague to attend to his duties while he settled the elephant dancing in his head. Both Red and the female passenger had been left behind after Massa had to go drop off the other passengers; that man would joke with everything but his money.
After holding gazes for what felt like an election term, Boom asked, “What is with you, your boss and your bus always falling into trouble like a classic William Tabgo tale?” (if you are yet to read One Week, One Trouble, then please do so).
Red watched the confused policeman with an equally confused face. “Bah e bi one bus wey my Massa get oh Boom”.
“Don’t play the dumb bus conductor now Red. You understand me well!”. Boom boomed.
“Bah boss hah! What you wan make I talk you? e bi everyday thing soor” dropping all pretence, Red tried reasoning this unnecessary chatter. “E no bi me demma do this time” pointing to the young lady still seated on the bench at the entrance.
Feeling ashamed, Boom looked at the young woman who suddenly was now someone else. A certain station tomboy defending herself from an arrogant male.
“He will pay for his misdeeds”. Boom’s conviction was strong as he sat close to the woman without touching her.
Sad eyes looked on ahead with no indication that she heard those words of encouragement.
“I promise on my uniform he will not escape the law easily”.
“Because all the men who were reported so far have paid for their crimes”. The passionate policeman did not know how to reassure this woman now.
“Am giving you my assurance-“ Boom tries anyway but she cuts him off.
“736, less than 49% seek help and unknown.
“What?” Even Red wore a confused look with that ramble.
“Statistics” she went on, now looking from Red to Boom and back again. “That is the number of females who fall victims and the number out of those times they get justice”.
Boom was composing himself to say more when she continued.
“Society has reached a certain point of normal when an incident of women abuse occurs and no one is overly shocked or surprised when perpetrators are set free and then the victims are usually to blame. It is not fair but it is the state of affairs”.
Listening to the passionate talk of the broken woman gave everyone at the station a solemn pause. There is just something about her demeanour and eyes that touched even the rowdy prisoners that were making noise against the cell bars.
Muttering curses under his breath, Boom clenched his fist so tight as if he imagined punching an enemy. “Better not let me catch that Sule around the pack again”.
Red heard that. This is the reason Sule has been acting the way she does recently. Right now even though he was itching to fulfil Boom’s thoughts all over his face, Massa will not spend a kapre to bail him out of arrest.
Another time, Red promised himself as he watched Boom walking back and forth.
Things went back to helter skelter. Ramlat, the lady of the hour, picked her things preparing to leave but red stopped her.
“Ah sister, wait eh. My Massa go reach here rydnow”.
Giving the kind young man a small smile, she thanked him. “The world needs more of your type Red, but I’m headed uptown”. She gently reminded, giving Boom one last nod before disappearing out the door.
Left with no other distractions, the air suddenly felt tight around the two men even the clatter of the Police station did nothing to quell the unease.
“Have you seen Sule of late?” The veins on Boom’s neck as he waited for a response will slice an apple clean.
Massa saved the day because the response Red was about giving would have been his get in jail card.
Bounding out of the station like his behind was on fire, the mate barely made it onto the moving bus before his impatient Massa drove off without him.
“Next time you will walk!” Massa spoke while zooming along the highway.
To be continued…….new episode every WEEKEND. Subscribe to receive notifications. Leave your comments below.
By Jamila Abdul Wahab Follow on Twitter @activetvgh