If not for Pastor’s presence, I would not see Bisi. Despite that, we are moved from one location to the other until we are asked to wait. The wait ends up for two hours. I plead with Pastor to leave but he refuses. We’ve both not slept in almost twenty hours but he doesn’t complain. I am humbled by his genuineness.
When Bisi is led out to us, still in handcuffs, I am speechless by how badly she’s been beaten. I thought they didn’t maltreat female inmates. And she hasn’t even been charged with anything?
She sits on the rickety bench offered us because her legs are so wobbly she can’t stand without support.
“Pastor, how do we get her out of here, please,” I say when I find my voice.
Pastor brings out his phone. “Wow, it’s almost dead. But I will send a text message to an old school mate of mine who is now a lawyer in Ife here. He will meet us here.”
“Thank you, sir.”
He proceeds to send the text message. My phone’s battery is dead and I doubt any of the policemen here will let me charge. I pray his friend is in town, and sees the message on time.
In the meanwhile, I study Bisi. She is calm. It’s as if she’s finally where she wants to be.
“Have you eaten?”
She shakes her head. “I am not hungry.”
The mention of food reminds me I haven’t eaten either. “You’ll be alright.” She nods.
Pastor looks at us. “I have sent the text message. I pray the battery lasts for him to respond.” He pats Bisi’s knee. “Just tell the truth. It will set you free.”
We sit quiet till Pastor’s friend arrives about an hour later. Pastor’s integrity had allowed the policemen to leave Bisi with us.
The man Pastor simply refers to as Barrister is tall and slim, and dressed for court in white shirt and black trousers with his white collar still on.
He greets us both warmly. “The news is all over town. I was worried for you.” Barrister looks at Pastor. “I hope you are okay?”
Pastor smiles. “God is faithful. I am fine.”
Barrister shares his gaze between the three of us. “So how can I help you?”
I blurt. “We need her to be bailed. She’s innocent.”
“Well, we need to see the police report. It she’s in for murder, it’s a different ball game all together.” Barrister sighs. “I will talk to the policemen in charge now and get a true picture.”
Bisi moves closer to me and whispers, “Please can I tell you something, alone?”
I tap Pastor and repeat the request. The men stand.
“We’ll go and see the arresting officer,” Pastor says, and leaves with Barrister.
“Tisha, leave me here. Let the police do me anything they want.”
Her words hit me on the wrong side. “Of course not.”
“Yes, Tisha. Let me die here.”
“Bisi, don’t talk like that. I will get you out of here.”
She shakes her head. “Nobody fit find Ade. And Tisha Kenny is right. Na me tell Tisha Toro to come out.”
I notice she speaks badly when she’s nervous or scared. “Why did you do that? Why did you ask Toro to follow you? You knew what they were going to do to her.”
“I know knew.”
“So why did you tell her to follow.”
She shrugs. “Well, I no want leave here. Make I suffer for my problem. Tell Pastor to take the Barrister away. You too, go. Sir.”
She stands. “Yes. Sir.”
“Come on, sit down. What’s wrong with you?”
She smiles. The first time I will ever see her smile. And she looks so beautiful. I spot a dimple on one cheek and my heart fails me.
“Tisha Abbey, go home.” She walks to the counter and the police officer behind opens it for her.
What’s wrong with her? She wants to die here? I walk to the officer and demand he brings her back.
The officer laughs. “Criminal wey kill two people? Leave all these village girls o, bros.”
I rush out to find Pastor. They can’t be charging her for murder until they investigate. This is what I fear most about the system. Kenny says she talked and now she’s guilty of murder.
Bisi has to fight for herself. She can’t give up like this. And they have to find the animal, Ade.
Pastor and Barrister are outside the premises of the station, talking easy.
“Pastor, we have to—”
“Ah, Bro. Abbey, we were just waiting for you to come out.” Pastor frowns. “There’s a new development. Good news mainly.”
“Okay sir, thank God.”
“Toro is awake and has been talking a little. She has said everything that happened.”
I want to rejoice but the frown on Pastor’s face confuses me. “Thank God.”
“Bisi is guilty. She’s the mastermind of everything. The police has refused her bail until there is a court hearing.”