Time for Justice




Danny stepped through the doors of the courthouse into the bathing flashes of cameras. He felt ‘immortal’ as he stared down at the reporters from the top of the stairs. They were like a colony of ants, buzzing and scrambling for his attention. The clicking and buzzing died down and he braced himself. The big lips lady from channel 5 news would lead the attack, her bright red lips curved cynically as she stretched forth her mic. It was old news that she didn’t like him, but he really didn’t care.

“Do you think it’s right to release a man that is obviously guilty of murder?” lips spat at him

“My client has been found innocent by the court, or are you saying that our judicial system is flawed?” he said and smiled sweetly at her.

Danny knew his demeanour berated the press people more than his actions did. His smile and cockiness made headlines more times than the impossible cases he won did.

“What then do you say to the family of the victim that was mutilated; do they get any justice or comfort at all?” asked a nervous looking boy nerd, from one of those cable networks. Danny couldn’t remember the name.

Dany looked into the camera in front of him and smiled. He knew what he was about to say would make the headlines. He paused for effects and then put up a straight face.

“I advise them to get a good lawyer next time”

With that he pushed through the reporters and trotted down the court stairs into the back seat of his Mercedes Benz.
****


Back at his office, Danny was welcomed by an enthusiastic secretary; she beamed like a newly installed traffic light.  

“The phones have been ringing off the hook” she smiled, “Mr Jazz asked that you call him once you get in”

Danny nodded and went into his office. He had known Mr Jazz would call, it was his ritual to congratulate Danny after every win. Jazz was one of his oldest clients, he kept Jazz and his boys out of prison, and in return, Jazz made sure he could afford any device he desired.  At 75, Jazz was as bad as they get; he was involved in every dark and shady business under the sun. Danny chuckled, no wonder he was a good lawyer. He settled into his chair and swivelled with his eyes closed. He would call back Mr. Jazz, but first he had to perform his victory ritual.



He took a set of keys from one of the drawers in the table and walked to his book shelf. He pulled out two encyclopaedias and revealed his safe. He unlocked it and drew out a fat file, meticulously flipping through, he stared at the pictures attached on the top right corner of each page. When he got to the last page, he pulled a picture of the guy from the case he just won from his pocket and pinned it on the paper. It was the 267th page, making it 267 people he had kept away from prison or the electric chair. He was good, so good he amazed himself.  He chuckled, he believed that people went to jail only because they didn’t have a good lawyer, and they deserved it because they were not willing to pay for his services.

Danny’s Ipad on the table chimed and he strolled over to it. He picked it up, an email from his ex-wife. He sighed. That woman was a thorn in his flesh. The message was yet another promise that her God would strike him soon for all the evil people he freed. He sighed. The woman was just a fanatic and had never been able to separate business from sentiments. He scrolled down his mail box and found messages similar to hers “You are the son of the devil…” to “Holy Ghost fire burn you…” and “God will punish you, …” He laughed at the curses, as always. He never worried about the threats, because they were from the wrong side of town. The people whose threats he feared were those from the side of town where people like Jazz ruled. Thinking of Jazz, Danny reached out and took the phone…

                                                                               ****

The old beetle’s song Danny used as his ex-wife’s ringtone barged into his dream and woke him up. That song used to be his favourite, now it only brought a dreadful feeling. He had married Angela when they were still at Law school. She was sweet and agreeable but somewhere along the line, they turned into Tom and Jerry and waking up by her side became like chewing a tablet of chloroquine. Divorcing her was the finest decision of his life The  phone rang for the fifth time in a row and he groaned into his pillow, he should just block her number, why the hell had he not. Why was she calling now? To make sure he had seen her E-mail? To give more warnings from her God? He had made the front page of ‘Daily News’ and the caption had read “the devil’s advocate” he had smiled when he saw it, it was an apt description, very apt but he knew it would infuriate his ex-wife the more. Maybe she was calling to pray for him. He sighed again and reached for the phone

“What do you want?” he asked putting a thousand bucks worth of irritation into his voice.

“Queen… Queen was…”

“Queen? What happened to her?” Danny’s heart had stopped beating as he waited but his ex-wife sniffed into the phone.

“Talk to me woman” Danny bellowed leaping out of his bed like a thousand volts of electricity had been passed through the mattress.


Queen, the only sign that there had been any good in their marriage was in her third year at the University. He secretly planned to hand over the firm to her, after he had sanitised it of course. Danny’s world revolved around Queen, she was the one sun in his sky, the only freshness in his putrid air, and the only thing he valued more than power. His heart slammed against his rib cage as Angela’s voice came haltingly over the phone

“Queen was attacked last night… we’re at the hospital…” Angela sniffed nosily “they don’t know if she will make it”

Danny’s vision narrowed, the image on the mirror in front of him started moving backwards, further and further away, it was only when he saw the swirling ceiling fan did he realise he was falling backwards. He gave into the blackness that was trying to embrace him, calming the fire drill on full blast in his skull, he could not hold unto the light.

“Danny, Danny… are you there?”


Angela’s voice was even further away than the image on the mirror. He tried to talk but the darkness enveloped him.
                                                                                    ****

“There were no witnesses, but we retrieved some semen sample from your daughter’s body”

Danny wanted to reach across the table and smack the detective across the face but he knew he was not very popular with the police and they would readily book him for assaulting an officer. He clutched his hands under the table and tried to keep his cool.  

“According to the doctor’s report,” the detective continued “She has three broken ribs, a busted knee and a crack in the skull. It suggest a gang rather than an individual”  

“Oh my god” Angela cried beside Danny

She began to sob and Danny reached for her hand but she slapped them away and covered her face. The swinging door distracted Danny from the image of his daughter being gang rapped, an officer entered, accompanied by a foul smell of garlic and sweat. Danny almost gagged and wondered how the detective could allow the officer with his odour that close. As the officer whispered, the detective stared at the picture and then at Danny. Danny shifted uncomfortably and got a stare from the officer. Leaning forward, the police detective handed the picture to Danny and Angela

“That’s the guy she was last seen with; they left the club together that night”

Danny stared at the picture of the ruggedly handsome face, the lips turned up on the right side in a permanent sneer. The searing ache that took over the pit of his stomach felt like someone kicked him between the legs. He doubled over and let out a muffled groan. The detective paused but continued without changing the subject.

“The problem is that he has an alibi. It’s his uncle, one Mr Jazz, an associate of yours I believe” the policeman said flatly, glancing at the tortured Danny without an ounce of sympathy on his face, “he said they spent the night in his apartment drinking.”

Danny stared at the portrait; the face was imprinted on his mind together with the 266 others in his secret file, if he remembered correctly, this one was on page 17.

Danny could feel the Detective and Angela’s eyes on him, they should go ahead and say it already, it was his fault. The silence in the room was as loud as a marching band; he dared not raise his head from the picture which he studied like it had the answer to world hunger. He could imagine the newspaper headlines tomorrow reading ‘Dog bites trainer’ or ‘you can’t escape Karma’. He imagined big lips accosting him with her crew to devour his carcass…

“What have I done?” Danny muttered under his breath, “What have I done?”  

“You will pay for this Daniel” Angela’s sobs had been replaced by a steely resolve that assured Danny that big lips was the least of his worries.

“What do we do detective?” she turned her attention on the policeman

“We will do our best Ma” the hollow words of the Detective echoed off the office walls
                                                                            ****  


“I said I want to see Mr Jazz” Danny insisted. He didn’t care anymore about the bulge hanging on the belt of the statue that stood in front of him; it was likely a .45 pistol. “I have been sitting here for over three hours, I can’t wait anymore.”  

The expression on the man’s face must have been painted, because apart from the intermittent blinking of the eyes, noting else moved. The sound of the sliding door next to the large bookshelf drew Danny’s attention and he spun around.

“Why are you raising your voice in my office?” Mr Jazz dressed in a Polo sports jacket on plain white slacks walked into the room flanked by two bodyguards.

“I’m sorry Jazz” Danny stumbled over his words, “but I didn’t understand what you meant on the phone… I told you that my daughter is in a coma at the hospital and the culprit is one of the clients you brought to me… I need to know where he is”

“First of all, it’s Mr Jazz to you” the smile on his face a sickening contrast to the cold deadness in his eyes, “two, you seriously don’t expect me to give up my nephew? I’m very sorry about your daughter, but you know that family is everything”


Danny wasn’t sure whether it was the air-conditioner or the look in Jazz’ eyes, but something was chilling the room very fast.

“What do you expect me to do?” Danny was practically whining now

“Well Danny, you do what you always advise everyone else to do” Jazz beamed “get a very good lawyer”



                                                                          

image courtesy of salvatore vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net 



                                                                          

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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