Usurah helped me put on a new outfit in silence. I crossed the living room that was outside my bedroom, and open the door that leads to the central yard. The wind was chilly, so the sun felt good against my face, but I couldn't fully enjoy it because I was thinking of why I was being called.

The first person I saw was Kabir, standing beside a new Land Cruiser that I was seeing for the first time. He was showing Habib something on the car, and when our eyes met, he winked at me. I frowned with my lips tight. There were a few guards in the yard and they were all staring at me for whatever reason, so I quickly sped past him.

Not more than twenty metres away was the building where Uncle Kabir's living room was. My hands were shaking as I reached for the handle of the heavy glass door. I push it back—

There in the middle of the room, is Uncle Kabir, or known to others as Sarki Kabir. And he's pacing. He knows I've come, but he doesn't look up to acknowledge my presence, which makes my hands shake more. Oh, please, let this be something else. Please.

I stand with my feet rooted in what used to be my father's favourite place in the palace. But since he got killed, I haven't been in here more than twice. I look around and notice something new about the place. There it was. A new 65" Samsung Curved TV on the wall behind him. My eyes popped.

He was using my father's money to buy all these things that even my father didn't buy when he was alive, though he had the money. I instantly got mad, and tired of waiting in suspense that I cleared my throat.

He's still looking down and pacing, which exasperates me, and I say with an unexpected lot of confidence, "I'm here, Uncle! What do you want?"

He looked up, and surprised me with the expression on his face.

He had this sad look, and what seemed to be... Is that pity in his eyes?

"Come, Shakina," he gestures towards the leather couch. "I just got a report in from my guards about your mother."

"What about my mother?!" I asked, standing up, my attention alert.

"She passed away, Shakina. She was in an accident on her way from Timbuktu, and both she and the driver died."

A silence followed, and I felt a big hallow down to my heart. My lips go apart, and I try to make eye contact with Uncle Kabir, but it seems that he's avoiding me. I try again, and the same thing.

"You're lying to me," I say.

"What? Shakina, you know I cannot lie to you. The guards that went out last night said they crashed into a truck that was carrying..."

My eyes well up, and my lips quiver.

"You didn't have to kill her," I say in an audible whisper, and then louder, "You really didn't have to kill her." I stand up, picking up my skirt, and rushing toward the door.

"What are you talking about Shakin—"

I open the door and from there I scream, with hot tears running down my cheek. "I know she made a mistake and was wrong, but you had no right to kill her!"

He started to say, "Stop accusing me of..." but I got out and slammed the door behind me. I run across the yard to where my room building was, ignoring the look and whispers from the guards in uniform. I heard Kabir get out of the Land Cruiser and his footsteps behind me.

I enter my building, and he does too, holding onto my arm and stopping me before I close the door.

"Let go of me, now, you son of a b*tch!" I say, trying to shake my hand free, but his grip is tight. I wipe away angry tears with the back of my hand. I look around; where are Habib and Usurah when I need them?

"Listen to me, Shakina. I don't like whatever my father told you, so listen—"

Of course I don't.

"You are bullsh*t!" I sob, and stump my fist into his chest. "Your father is bullsh*t!" I sob again, and fall on my knees.

Kabir knees beside me still keeping a tight grip on my arm. "Shakina, let's just get married like my father wants, and forget about all this."

"Eww, you're my cousin."

"So? Habib's mom and your dad were kind of like cousins." He moves his fingers under my chin to hold my head up to face him, but I shake it vigorously out of his hand.

Then unbelievably, he grabs my face with one hand and presses his lips tightly to mine.

"Uhm," I struggle to pull away. Using my free hand, I exerted all my energy and slapped him across the face.

"You're an idiot, you—you pervert!"

He stands on his feet, his palm holding the side of his face where I just hit, and the stony look on his face makes me shiver.

We stare at each other coldly, till he breaks the silence.

"I know your little secret, Shakina—Kina Moore." He waits till he sees the satisfying reaction on my face. He half smiles, "Maybe I'm not so idiot as you think."

He turns to leave, but I stop him with this question. "What's your father gonna do anyways?" Because I am bold, because I am not scared, I tell myself.

"Well... I think you know my father better than I do now."

And he's gone. 

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Hey wonderful readers. There was a bit of drama in this chapter, but brace yourselves 'cause more's to come! I know this part feels like a whole 'nother story and you're probably thinking, "What does this have to do with o2L?" Just wait, it'll all make sense later :)  

Please vote and comment if you liked this chapter! 

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