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The Innocent Murderer Part 1

The Innocent Murderer Part 1

“Yes, I did it.”

Gabriel pleaded guilty in front of the whole court. Not that he was proud of it. He did it still. He was a murderer.

“Murderer!” shouted his older stepsister. She skipped out of her sit, but her brother grabbed her hand. Her name was Petunia. She was naturally aggressive. Two years back she almost served time for attempted murder. She had wanted to drown her drunk husband in the bathtub.

Thank heavens he was lightheaded. It all ended up in a divorce and she took nothing with her. Even their little princess preferred drunk daddy to Macho Woman, her mother.

In her exact words, “sir, I don’t want to go with mommy. She will kill me one day.” She told the social welfare officer at one point when they were investigating who was fit for custody. In the end, her husband won and hired a nanny. Well, the nanny was now her stepmom. Some chemistry happened.

Gabriel was the only child his mother bore for his father. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to hold his son in his hands. One morning he stepped out for a jog and met his fate along the way. He was hit by a car just outside his gate and breathed his last.

According to family customs, his younger brother would take over from where he left. After mourning the deceased, he would become the father of his brother’s house. They call it “Kugara nhaka” in Shona, and his brother’s wife was now his.

Sadly, it wasn’t a question of love. Agnes, Gabriel’s mother was forced to accept Abhero as her new husband. Although unhappy, she was bound to the laws of the house. Even her parents forbade her from raising a voice against her in-laws. She was on her own.

They sent Jorum six feet under to rest at last and left him to join their ancestors. His chapter was closed and the show had to go on. It was Abhero’s turn to play mukoma’s drum (brother’s drum). As childish as he was, he wanted to take over and be respected as the father of the house.

Agnes on the other hand was open-minded. She was against this arrangement and wanted out all of it. Abhero was hellbent on making a wife out of his brother’s widow.

“You’re going nowhere,” Abhero swore in her face.

All she wanted was peace. At least some time to recover from the loss of a loved husband. Time to nurture the pregnancy and raise a healthy child.

To be continued…

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