yellow dead end sign during day time
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     It actually felt worse than a dead end.

Zahar was pacing the hospital corridor, impatiently waiting for the doctor.She had just gotten terminated from her probation and it was not even 90 days yet.She had barely worked for 14 days when she was unfairly discharged.

    That was the least of her problems. At least for now.

Malik had outdone himself this time.She had already called the police and the evidence in the hospital better match her accusations.The relationship was over,so much for staying for the kids.She was still their mother and father anyway, what difference did it make? Shut the public, she was 32 and did not need someone still telling her what to do She had sacrificed a lot for others and no one seemed to give up anything for her.

       Oh Lord, please keep him alive. 

“For Ethan” the nurse called out. Zahar immediately rushed to the office. Her heart was racing faster than Usain Bolts’ after a race,she  did not want to hear it but she needed to. “I am Ethans’ mother.” She immediately saw it, the flash of sorrow in the nurses’eyes. Her son was dead. 

                 How do you plead?

          Her life couldn’t be getting any worse.

“What are you talking about? You have all the evidence you need, what more do you want?”

“We need irrefutable proof Zahar. I know how you feel, but you must be patient” The lawyer said,her voice almost a whisper as they left the tension-filled courtroom.She put her hand on zahar’s shoulder and gently squeezed it reassuringly, “He will pay”, she said with a trace of anger through her clenched teeth. 

    Amanda did NOT want to leave Zahar standing there as torn as she was, maybe she should ask her if she would like to go home with her. Or maybe not, she is a client and that’s it,you do not sympathize with your clients,law school taught her that.Besides she has a lot to do to make sure that man goes behind bars.

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Zahar walked back home.Just when she thought she was going to be able to afford a car, the world came crashing. Just when she knew it was getting better because God had finally noticed her, everything slips through her fingers as if she is allergic to goodluck.They said do not ask God any questions,so she won’t. She needed to increase the security around herself and her home now,as soon as she could afford it, Laaya will need it.

He had to act fast

“Thank you for getting me out of there, baby”The voice on the other end of the line made a small sound of acknowledgment. “We should not be on the phone too long, they might start tapping into it, proceed with the plan.” the voice continued swiftly but precisely. A beep was heard and he put the phone away. He slowly made his way to the makeshift kitchen looking around for a bite. There was a moulding piece of sandwich on the stovetop,he picked it up wrinkling his nose while catching a whiff of the musty odor.His stomach rumbled and he could not order food online because it was already late, and he had no food anywhere.He looked at the sandwich , picked it up unwillingly and closed hs eyes as he took a bite.He thought of a time when he’ll be free on a beach sipping cocktails with his lover.

Laaya did not understand why her mum was home.”Aren’t you working today mama?” Zahar scratched her head as if looking for a suitable answer for a six year old. “Mama is on holiday.” Thats literally all she could come up with and that should be enough for an inquisitive child such as Laaya. It was already tough having to explain what happened to Ethan and then now? “But we are still in school!” ” Honey your school program and my work program are not the same thing. Finish up your cereal,you need to get to school” She was already late, plus she did not have a car. Well, she used to borrow the neighbours car, but she had not refilled the tank last time she used it, so she was ashamed to ask again.”Come on Laaya, we do not have a car today, you better hurry up.” Laaya looked at her mother with wide eyes “No car?How will I get to school?” “Walk baby, thats what those legs are for.Now get up lets go.” She needed a job, she had already applied to 101 different companies in the last few days and no word from anyone.She remained positive and expectant.

Mr.Everard watched the two ladies from a slightly open curtain in his living room.He had always watched them from the moment she moved in to the apartment with that weird looking fellow. He has not seen him nor her son in a few days now,he wondered what happened to them.He felt sorry for Zahar,she was so hardworking he does not know why she was living with that weirdo,not that he wanted her in anyway for himself.He wanted to help her,like now,he could have given her a ride despite her not refilling his tank last time.The little girl hopping away with her little unicorn backpack and pink sneakers,she was adorable.He watched them long enough to see the figure in a hooded jacket creep right out of the corner and follow them.

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Help me.

Zahar was drifting in and out of consiousness.Her daughters screams kept waking her up,she felt helpless and hopeless.She tried to move but her limbs were tied and she was blindfolded too.”Laaya! Laaya! where are you?Are you alright?Talk to me baby!” Tears were running down her cheeks when she heard no sound,”If you have hurt my daughter you will not get away with this! Why do you blindfold me,show yourself if you are not afraid!” The abducter spoke, but the voice was muffled so she could not make out if it was a male or a female.”I will torture you till death,and your daughter is probably dead because I fucked her to a pulp.” Zahar could not believe what she had just heard,her heart sank,her whole life was a joke.”You are a pathetic moron and you will rot right here on earth.” A distinct wave of willpower to fight possessed her and she sat still waiting for the killer. She heard a shuffling of feet and tried to sit as still as possible as the person neared her she bit a gloved hand as hard as she could,she suspected they wanted to inject her with something lethal. A knock to her head blackened her out as the last thing she heard were police sirens.

“Where is my daughter?” She thought she was dreaming, oh my God her baby Laaya,why God,my little girl.”Calm down Ms, she is fine and in recovery.” “I need to see her.” “Of course you will once you can feel your legs” What is this nurse talking about ,Zahar thought to herself.She tried to get up and something was wrong. “What’s happening?” Panic had set in, fear, she almost immediately broke into a sweat,her eyes filling up with tears. “Do not worry we are working on getting your muscles functional again.In your semi-consiousness it seemed a poison was injected into your spine,Thank goodness it did not affect your brain.With constant physiotherapy,I believe you will get back on your feet again.In the meantime,we will bring your daughter to you.”

The judge adjourned the case again.

Mr.Everard watched her wheeling out of the courtroom in anger,her lawyer following her closely.He did not understand why the lawyer was not exactly trying to fight for her client when she had all the proof.Her recent attack could have been more than enough motive. The only good thing they did though was detain that weirdo.He walked out of the courtroom into the afternoon sunshine,he let it warm his face a little before heading along.

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“We are building this Zahar.Can you not see that he has been detained finally? That is a step?” “Who bailed him out in the first place?He does not have that kind of money for bail.” Amanda mouth twisted into a forced smile “That has nothing to do with us.We need to focus on proving his guilt.Have the forensic experts come up with anything yet?” Zahar shook her head, her mind in a million places.She did bite the killer pretty hard and is sure she left a mark,but it was through gloves so the forensic experts could get no blood or anything.They did not check Maliks’ wrist,maybe she should suggest it. She just did not want to believe that he is the one who attacked them and raped her daughter.Oh my God,Zahar,why are you with this psycho,your value is more than that,you do not need anyone to make you feel like you are worth something to someone.What has motherhood reduced you too?Being a parent was not supposed to make you a slave to someone else because you are trying to raise your kids in a two-parent environment.WHO ARE YOU?

She was having a bad day at work. She was usually discriminated upon and always never understood.Her coworkers lied against her and she could not defend herself.The die had been cast,nobody believed her.She always felt like the rejected stone-The girl at school who could not fit in,the odd co-worker.Her manager called her and told her to go home, that is the end.She just decided to walk home so she could think,because she was tired with all that was going on in her life.She thought of her kids, she smiled, it quickly faded away when she thought of her partner.Malik. She does not know how she got pregnant for him a second time.She was probably depressed or totally delusional,because that is the only way she could have actually had sex with that moron.She still feels she was raped because they have not had sex ever since she found out she was pregnant.She did want to have an abortion,but her daughter was already 5 and she just wanted another kid.She remembered the abortion she had before Laaya,that was the best decision she had made.She had no money,no roof over her head and no family.She polished herself years later before meeting this wolf in sheeps clothing called Malik.Zahar was so lost in thought she did not even realise she had already gotten home. Oh that was a short one hour walk,she thought disappointingly.

Her four month old was crying and she wondered why.The door was open, she slowly walked in “Malik?” No one responded, she went over to the crib and picked up her baby.He screamed so loud she had to drop him immediately.Her heart started beating uncontrollably,he had no fever why was he screaming. He kept on making noises like he was in discomfort.She noticed he was not moving and she immediately called the hospital. She called the school, that she will be late picking up her daughter because she just had an emergency.Before she left, she went through the closet and realised that some of Maliks’ stuff were gone. ‘the son of a bitch’ she cursed.

“For Ethan”,the nurse called out.It had been over four hours and she was tired and afraid.The doctor came out “I’m sorry Ma’am,all his limbs were completely fractured,and from the xrays we can assert that it was intentional.We have already called the attention of the police to the case and we have all the evidence of all the fractures.His ankles,his knees, his wrists and his elbows. You can come and see him now, we sill start the bone reconstruction process immediately you will just need to complete all the paperwork” Zahar held her tears before entering the intensive care unit to see her little boy.He was bandaged all over and seemed asleep.The doctor noticed her apprehension and quickly took her hands in his “He is fine.We are helping him ease the pain with medication and he is getting fed through other means.He is safe.Just make sure that whoever did this does not get away with it.”

Save my children God, that is all I ask.

The defense stood up and walked over to the side of the defendant giving them a contemptous look before going on to say “My client Malik is as innocent as he looks.A good father and a loving partner.These false allegations laid against him are all in a bid to separate from him.She lost her job,your Honor,came home with all that anger and dismembered her 4month old son who is now receiving treatment at the St Mary’s Health Centre.All the exhibits were already tendered,we can show the court one more time on the screen.”

Zahar clenched the wheelchair in anger as she watched pictures of her bandaged son on the screen.How can this asshole try to accuse her? He had been trying to turn it around from the beginning of he trial,trying to make her look like the monster and Amanda was not defending her or trying to prove it was Malik. She needed a miracle.

Your Honor, we have a witness.

Was this the light of God shining on her? Had God heard her prayer? A witness for the plaintiff?Who was it? She put her hands together waiting as the person got into the witness stand and swore the oath.When the view was clear,Zahar could not believe her eyes.

“From your witness statement,you say you saw the defendant leaving the building right before his partner came in from work on that evening.” the defense began with the cross-examination.The witness nodded. Amanda shifted a little uncomfortably in her seat, Zahar asked her if she was ok and she said she was fine and she is happy this witness came at the right moment. When the witness mentioned that he is the one who called the police when Zahar and her daughter were attacked after he had followed them to see where they were taken to and that it was Malik who fracture the childs limbs, raped his daughter and partially paralysed Zahar’s legs, Malik got up from his seat and started scraeming at the top of his lungs. “He is lying, I did ot do any of this.I love my kids and my partner and would never hurt them.He is just a neighbor that has been wanting to sleep with her.”

Mr.Everard knew that coming here to testify will not be easy, but he loved Zahar and her kids and he could not let that criminal get away with it.Considering that this was the last trial, then the verdict he picked up his bag and all the evidence he had and walked up to the courtroom. He watched both of them with disgust,they will not get away with this, he had pictures of some of their meetings which he tendered in and as the cross-examination continued he watched the accused and his accomplice sweat in fear.Horror was plastered all over Zahar’s face.

“Amanda,you will have to be taken into custody.The proof we have here against you is overwhelming. You bailed the defendant out anonymously,but it was traced.You have been secretly visiting the defendant, and even while he was with his partner you were his lover.You have beenfalsely representing his partner in the hope of setting him free so both of you can elope together.Do you deny any of these allegations?” The judge asked her. She stood there not saying a word,Zahara banged the table,tears streaming down her eyes,a lump in her throat “How could you Amanda?My children?If you wanted the bastard why did you not just take him,or kill me and leave my children out of this?”

“Order!Order in court!” The whole crowd was chattering, the unexpected revelations shocked everyone.There was silence in a few seconds then the judge spoke.”The circumstances of the case have obviously changed and regarding the circumstances of the plaintiff I will pass my verdict.”

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It had been a tough year for them,but a better year considering that Zahar had more autonomy over her legs now, and Ethan was getting better.The doctor said he will need another year to gain full control of his limbs. Laaya on the other hand was still traumatised and refused talking for over 9months. The government lent Zahar a hand by giving her housing and a job.She saw Mr.Everard everyday because he was her angel, Malik will spend the rest of his life in prison,she told the judge not to put him on death row.She wanted both of them to stay alive and suffer.God came through for her and she was so grateful.She kissed her kids goodnight, turned the lights out and went into the living room. She picked up the newspaper with the headlines “PLAINTIFF’S LAWYER FOUND TO BE DEFENDANT’S LOVER, EXPOSED BY WITNESS NEIGHBOR.” She put it down and smiled.