“Don’t be scared my son. Come back,” I heard my mother’s voice as though from a distance.
“God is great indeed,” said a deeper voice.
My eyes flickered open again and I saw my father and mother standing over me. But I wasn’t under the marula tree, I was in hospital. The local pastor stood at the foot of the bed with his Bible.
“Where is she?” I asked.
“Hush, don’t worry yourself. I thought you were going to die, my child. You’ve been unconscious for two days. Why did you do it? Why did you try to commit suicide, ngwanaka? We found you by the tree. You hit your head on the rocks when you fell … there was a lot of blood …” my mother cried.
“Let him rest, Ma,” the Pastor said, stepping forward. “Everything happens for a reason. God has a purpose for him. I saw it in my dream last night,” he paused, staring at me with a wrinkled forehead. Gift, my boy, do you have any message that you’d like to pass on to us?”
I frowned. Everything was so muddled. Strangely, I could even feel Tebatšo’s presence in that ward.
“I think I know where Tebatšo is … That girl who …”
“Hai!” my father interrupted me, squeezing my hand. “I think you must rest, my boy. The doctor is coming to check on you soon. We don’t want him to think you’ve lost your mind, right?”
The doctor entered the ward before I could answer. He welcomed me back with a smile and started doing his work.
“He is lucky, he is going to be fine,” he told my parents, smiling. “Hey, you really scared us monna,” he continued, pressing the stethoscope on my chest.
After some time they all left. I fell asleep like a tired infant.
The next day my parents and the pastor visited me.
“Dumela, monna Gift. We thought we should bring along Tebatšo’s parents so that you can tell them what you said yesterday. I’m sure you can end the darkness that has been tormenting them for two years,” the pastor said, pulling back a chair to sit.
I felt my armpits getting wet. Should I tell them that Ledimo killed their daughter? What if none of it was true? What if it wasn’t a vision of what had happened what if it was just … My mind was clouded with doubts as I asked myself many questions. What if – what if?
“Look son. You don’t have to be afraid. O se tšhoge,” my mother held my hand with those words. “The pastor knows what he is doing. He saw everything in his vision last night,” she paused, grabbing my hand. He’s been praying for you since those two cow herders saved you in the bush.”
I looked down in shame.
“Just trust him, my boy. I think he is right. You have a gift … Just like your name says,” my father added.
I pulled my body up on the bed until I was nearly sitting. I felt cold and shivered just like when I was in that hut. Was she here? I looked around, hoping to see Tebatšo’s face, but there was nothing.
“I think I know where she is. I saw it in a dream. But I’m afraid she is no more,” I started, looking at Mr Lamola’s sunken eyes.
“We just want to find her body and bury her in peace. That’s all,” Mrs Lamola sniffed, wiping away a tear with the back of her hand.
I told them everything that had happened as I had lain there under the tree. Well, except for the fight I had with Ledimo. I didn’t even mention his name. I wasn’t sure you see …
Two days later, I got discharged from the hospital. The pastor called the police and together with my parents, Tebatšo’s parents and forensics, we went to the mountains. I was really scared. I didn’t know what I would find … the hut? Ledimo lying there … or had he run off? What if I was wrong? The pastor read the doubts in my eyes and kept on assuring me that everything would be fine. He said I should just believe in my powers and tell them everything, so I did.
Finally we arrived at the mountains. But I couldn’t see a hut, just a deep cave cut into the mountainside. I looked around for the old woman but she was nowhere to be seen. My heart pounded. Where was the hut? I asked myself.
“You said there is a small hut here?” one of the policemen asked, as the dog he was holding pulled on the leash, barking. He let it go and it immediately ran through one of the cave’s entrances. We followed it inside.
“I think it’s here,” I pointed at a spot where the bed might have been, imagining we were in the hut.
I went outside where the pastor and our parents were praying and singing hymns. I sat on the rock, wondering where the old woman was. Then I heard the dog barking inside, louder this time.
“We’ve found something!” one of the forensics shouted.
Everyone entered the cave, one by one. I was the last to enter. There were human bones in a shallow grave. I felt like vomiting and went out.
Tebatšo’s mother was crying, everyone gathered around her. Finally, the police came out with a body bag. I watched as they carried it back down to the dirt road where their van was parked. Could I have solved a murder with nothing but a vision? Was part of it real?
“Gift … I’m afraid I don’t have a choice but to do this now,” the detective said, handcuffing me. “You’re under arrest for the murder of Tebatšo Lamola, monna. Only the killer could have known where her body was.”
“What?” I wasn’t the only one to shout that. My parents and the pastor also joined me with dropped lips.
“You killed the poor girl and buried her here. Now your conscience is eating you and you say you saw it in a dream? Please … I don’t buy it. Is this why you tried to commit suicide?”
“But what about Ledimo?” I asked them. “Where is he?”
“Ledimo is with the Lamolas,” he said.
Nothing I said afterwards helped. I was arrested and locked up in jail without any mercy.
Tell us: Did you see this coming?