The sun had set in a red haze when I arrived at Namanga Secondary School where I worked as a night watchman. I was in very high spirits as this was my second week at my new place of work. Little did I know what the night had in store for me.
Immediately I arrived, I went to the main tuition block to clock in. After which I made the usual rounds. I went around all the eight buildings making sure making sure that all the windows were shut and all the doors were under lock and key. It was during this time that I saw the headmaster going towards his house. He was the only teacher who resided in the school compound. When I was satisfied that all was as safe and sound, I went behind the headmaster’s office, laid my rag on the grass, sat on it and started smoking. I had carried three cigarettes for the night. Before long I had drifted into a deep slumber. I could not tell how long I had slept when a shrill cry burst into the quiet dark night bringing me to my feet..
I sat up immediately the cry reached my ears. Keenly I listened, listened again. Then I heard it sounded like a woman’s voice. I could tell it was coming from the direction of the headmaster’s house. When it smote the air again I got up. Armed with a panga I sauntered towards the headmaster’s house. Knew well that help delayed is help denied. It was at the far end of the football pitch. In two shakes of a lamb tail, I was rapping on the headmaster’s gate. I rapped severally in vain for it to be opened. When the cry tore sharply into the night again, I jumped over the gate and landed with a thud in the compound. I got up immediately and took to my heels towards the door knowing very well that time and tides awaits no man. I was surprised that the door was ajar but the lights were out. I smelt a rat! Stealthily tiptoeing, I entered the house flashing my spotlight as I move. By this time the noise had stopped and calm had returned. Nevertheless, I knew something had gone wrong in our headmaster’s house.
“Sir, sir” I yelled as I went up to the staircase that led to the bedrooms. No one answered. When I got to the landing where the bedrooms were, I groped for the switch and put on the lights. Then I saw it. The main bedrooms door was partly ajar. With my panga on the ready I took two calculated steps and entered the room. When I got in. I could not believe what I saw. Instantly I dropped the panga that I had been carrying. It landed on the blood which was flowing towards the door. Goose bumps filled my body, the hair at the back of my head stood on ends as my feet wobbled like a plate of green jelly. There on the big divan bed lay Rachel, the headmaster’s wife, in a pool of her own blood. There was a gaping cut on her shoulder. Her neck was twisted towards the door. Her eyes were wide open and oozing blood. They seemed to be pleading for mercy. I was completely taken back. I stood stock still unable to move shaking like a leaf in a storm. It was then that I longed for the perils I knew to those I knew not.
“Hands up” a voice boomed in the doorway. With my heart in my mouth I obeyed the order to the letter. I knew I was a drowning man with no straw to clutch at. Two policemen and the headmaster stormed into the room.”We are arresting you for the murder of this lady”, barked one of the policemen as he picked up the panga, his Adams apple bobbling up and down. I could not believe my ears. I tried to explain to them that I had just answered her distress call and that I was the watchman of the school but all my expectations fell on deaf ears. They did not want to hear a thing I said. It was then that the two policemen frog-matched me downstairs and out of the house.
Knowing better not to cry over spilt milk, I played along. When the door was finally shut behind me, I knew it would never be the same again.