Inside the questioning room, wrists cuffed to the table, I listen to the two detectives on the other side of the glass divide until a female voice joins in. Gbemi. The one I have been waiting for.
“Aren’t we just a terrible bunch? She says. “So we arrested a lady just because we found a few other ladies chilling in her basement?”
They laugh, and when I laugh too, they stare in at me. I wink at them. I see their growing confusion; I shouldn’t be seeing or hearing them through the soundproof partition.
“I’ll speak to her.” I say aloud, relishing the shock on their faces. She heads in first, the men following. Inside, they stare at the mirrored glass. I can see the question in their eyes- How did I see that a female had joined them?
Gbemi appears to decide it’s a coincidence, because she asks the men to step out. I wink at them again as they leave me alone with her. This was the reason I had allowed my arrest in the first place.
“Gbemi.” She introduces herself.
“I know”. I wink at her.
“You’ll speak?” she asks.
“Can I touch your skin?”
Her eyebrows jerk up in surprise and reluctantly, she obliges.
I run my palm up along her outstretched hands, up till my index draws slow little circles on the start of her shoulder. She withdraws.
“You’ll speak!” This time she doesn’t ask.
“I feel uncomfortable in my own skin so I change skin weekly. I have been cool with my acquired skins until I saw you on television, skin glowing like a fine dress I should have.”
“You’ll take my skin?” She sneers but there’s a slight quiver in her voice.
The light goes off and we’re plunged into darkness for a moment. There’s a quick scuffle but when the light comes on, all seems normal with Gbemi.
The detectives come into the room hurriedly and examine the situation.
“The crazy girl had squashed her fingers out of the cuffs and attacked. I had to put her down” Gbemi explains, the trio staring at the girl lying in a pool of her own blood.
“I’ll go get help. ” She offers, and winks at them before walking away.
The door closes. Both detectives shudder in fear, each knowing who that wink belonged to but too afraid for the life of them to call it out.