Saturday, 25 June 2016
Nkiru’s mother stared at her in fear, she didn’t want to believe that her daughter was running crazy.
“Nkiru!” She called but Nkiru was staring at the beach as though lost in thought.
“What can we do Prophet? What can we do?” Nkiru’s mother screamed.
Sam saw his wife standing beside her mother, she looked sane so he hurried to hug her.
“I missed you darling...” He said.
Friday, 24 June 2016
Tina didn’t wait for morning, God had blessed her with a second chance at escape and she was ready to run. She rushed into Bello’s room and found him lying on his bed.
“Are you okay love?” She asked.
He shook his head.
“My tummy...” He complained.
“I’ll get you some drugs okay....” She said as she dashed off to get him the medicine.
With the help of the housekeeper she gave her son the medicine and he lay down to sleep. She quickly ran to her room and packed her bags, as she had brought in the bags she had placed in the car earlier before her husband’s wife had taken her son. She threw in the clothes into the bag and went to Bello’s room to pack some of his things. The housekeeper was about to leave so she came to inform her.
“I am leaving madam.” She said. “Are you going somewhere?”
The housekeeper was an elderly woman with children, and Tina had hired her from one of her friends who was relocating with her family and didn’t need her services anymore. Tina knew she owed it to the housekeeper to be honest with her.
“I am leaving with Bello for good and if we successfully leave this place, we won’t be coming back ever again.” She said.
The housekeeper stared at her in surprise at first but later nodded in understanding.
“I don’t have anyone that’ll need your services but I need you to keep coming to take care of the house for a few days so that people think we are around.”
“I was wondering why you paid the domestic staff salaries two days ago, I now understand.” The housekeeper said.
“Do you approve? I know that I’ve made up my mind to leave but I'd like to hear your thoughts.”
“From what the nanny told me in confidence, Alhaji’s wife has been taking all the kids her husband had out of wedlock. She only had two daughters and somehow, she was able to acquire two more. I was wondering when you’d open your eyes and leave with Bello or lose him too.”
Tears fell from Tina’s eyes.
“You didn’t tell me...”
“How could I have? I am just an employee and if I had said anything, I might lose my job.” She said. “But I am glad that you are leaving with Bello...he’s such a good boy and he’s mind has been poisoned so much against you.” She said.
“Thank you...I’m glad you approve.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll cover things up here, I’ll tell them that you both travelled briefly...and that you are set to return in a few days. In this way, they won’t look for you and instead, they’ll wait for your return.”
Tina hugged the woman.
“How can I thank you?”
“There’s no need for thanks, I am a mother and I know what it means to separate a mother from her child.”
Tina nodded, the housekeeper helped her pack more of Bello’s things and soon, Tina was placing a sleeping Bello at the backseat of her car and in no time, she’d left the house for good.
“How can you question me about a boy who’s kidnapped? Are you mad?” Henry’s wife screamed at the officer that was questioning her.
“Could you please answer the questions, madam?”
“I will not answer any questions! I need to call my lawyer, I know my rights!” She screamed.
“Yes, you can go ahead and call your lawyer but it’s advisable that you answer the questions or you might be facing bigger charges in court.” The officer said.
“Look at this stupid thing! Do you know my husband? Do you know the kind of influence he has? Have you heard of the name, Henry Peters?” She spat. “Henry is my husband and he is very influential and rich too. You’ll be locked in your own cell as soon as I make a call to him.” She said.
The police officer looked at her and shook his head. She went ahead to make the call.
Layode and Henry were in the DPO’s office as they hadn’t wanted to be seen by Henry’s wife.
Henry’s phone rang and after a second ring he picked.
“Henry...can you believe where I am?” His wife screamed.
“Where are you?”
“At the freaking police station, such insult!”
“What are the charges?” He asked.
“I don’t care about any bloody charges, I need you to call your police friends to have me out of here this second and I need this officer who’s been asking me useless questions, chained and locked up!” She shouted.
“Can I call you back?” Henry said.
“Okay...please call them now.” She said and hung up.
Henry looked at Layode and said.
“They are questioning my wife, and she needs my help, I wish I feel so terrible about it but if she had a hand in Femi’s disappearance as Elijah claims, then she has to face the full hand of the law.” He said.
“I just need my son back.” Layode said. “I don’t know what they are feeding him, I don’t know what they’ve done to him.” She said sadly.
“Nothing will happen to him...” He said quietly.
Elijah was brought into the room where his madam was held and as soon as she saw him, she froze.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Madam, I have told the truth...” He said.
“What truth? Are you raving mad?” She asked.
“They asked questions and I had to tell the truth, I had sent you Layode’s house address.” He said.
“You sent what to me? You must be crazy? Who is Layode? What are you talking about?” She asked.
The police officers looked at the two of them and shook their heads.
“There’s no need trying to deny it madam, the police has sent some of their men to the office to take the phone from Angela, the girl I gave it to. The backlog of messages are in there, thankfully I didn’t delete any of them.” He said.
“You must be mad!” She shouted. “I have called my husband and he’s sending his police friends here now! I can’t be involved in this rubbish.”
Elijah looked at her in surprise and asked.
“Didn’t you see the boss? He is here in the station with Layode.”
“He what?” She gawked.
“He knows about all of this...” He said.
She stared at her phone in alarm, she knew she was done for.
“Madam, I suggest you start talking.” The police officer said.
“I...” She started in fear.
“Talk!” The officer demanded as the second officer led Elijah out from the interrogation room.”
“Please....I’d like you to know that it’s not my doing, it was all Elijah’s idea...” She said in fear. “He told me to ask some people to kidnap the boy.”
“Where is he? Where is the boy?”
“I...I called someone I know...” She started.
“Madam speak up and stop wasting time, that little boy could die and if he does, you’ll be charged with murder.”
Her eyes widened in fear as she quickly filled the officer in with the details, handing over to him the phone number of the man who’d kidnapped Femi.
Femi was lying on the ground, he hadn’t eaten in days because he couldn’t keep the food down, he threw up again and the men in the room hissed.
“Can you imagine ehn? Let’s kill this boy ooo...” One of the men shouted.
“I am calling his mother in the next one hour, she should have gotten the money ready by then. If she hasn’t, we’ll say goodbye to the boy.” The man who’d kidnapped him said.
Femi clutched his stomach and winced in pain.
To be continued on Monday.....
Ogonna thought she was going to die, she felt woozy and very tired, as soon as the cab driver dropped her off at the gate to the house she used to share with Ebube. She knocked at the door and found that the lights inside the house were still which showed that Ebube was awake.
“Who is it?” Ebube’s voice called out from within.
“It’s me...” She answered.
“Yes, it’s Ogonna...” She said.
Ebube opened the door and she launched herself into her roommates arms. Ebube stood there holding her close in confusion.
“Ogonna, are you okay?”
“I am so sorry...I can’t believe it took me just one ride home to realise all my mistakes, I’ve been too desperate, too overbearing and most of all I haven’t been too content with what I have.” She cried louder.
Ebube broke the hug and quickly closed the door.
“Ogonna, I am sorry too for not standing beside you and for not being true to you but I had to stick with the right thing.”
“Yes you did and you were right to...” Ogonna said sniffing and wiping the tears from her eyes with the back of her palms. “I am sorry.”
“It’s okay...” Ebube said.
“I went to Gbade’s house and I saw Morayo, she looked so good and she was stepping out when I was going in. She told me that she’d moved on.” She sniffed. “I went to the house to see Gbade and all he could tell me was that our being together was a mistake and that he’s trying so hard to get back with Morayo. Even when I begged that I spend the night there, he refused. I can never have him....ever!” Ogonna said.
“Can I make you some tea, you look really pale.”
“I just had an operation...what do you think? I didn’t even wait to heal but dashed out to see what I could salvage from my union with Gbade. A union that was fake from the very beginning, a union that was never meant to be. I learnt my lesson the hard way and I lost one of my tubes for it.” Ogonna said.
“Don’t cry, please don’t...you can start all over.”
“I’m not starting all over, I’m done with men for a long time to come. I really need to learn to love myself. Honestly, today, when I stood before Gbade begging him to take me back for doing absolutely nothing wrong to him, I realised that I deserved better. I now realise that I would have been miserable with him. He loves Morayo very much but bitterness has eaten so deep into him that I doubt he can forgive himself.” Ogonna cried.
“Shhh...don’t cry please...” Ebube said, holding her close in her arms.
“I need to beg Morayo’s forgiveness or this wrong that I have done to her might affect my life. I need to talk to her...can you help me?”
“Sure...I can and Morayo’s totally cool. You can talk to her whenever and she’ll understand.” Ebube said.
Ogonna nodded and hugged her friend, she felt so much peace.
Nkiru was fast asleep when the door was pushed open, her mother and Sam stormed into the room and glared at her.
She stared at them clutching the bag of prayer items and blinking guiltily.
“You...you selfish girl! You good for nothing woman! You swine!” Her mother hurled at her. “How dare you leave your sister at the beach while you are here with the items for cleansing?”
“Mummy...I...” She started.
Her mother walked up to her and gave her two sound slaps against her cheeks.
“Look at the time! It is almost two am in the middle of the night. I've spent hours on the road searching for you! I went to the house and looked for you! I sent your brother to your office complex at this ungodly hour to look for you! I called Sam asking for your whereabouts and he told me that his son said you had come into the house and locked yourself in the room! May God punish you if anything happens to your sister!” Her mother screamed.
“What cleansing are you talking about? Where is my wife?” Sam asked.
“Will you shut up? Don’t you dare talk rubbish as though you are interested in your wife’s welfare. It is your philandering ways with women that brought this curse upon her. You dared to make advances on her sister. You dared to sleep with Nkiru.”
“Me? I never made advances to Nkiru, she made advances to me. She chased me around this house swearing that she won’t rest till I make her mine.” Sam said.
Nkiru flew into a rage.
“May God punish you Sam! Pathetic pig! We both fell into each other’s nonsense and I regret it with my whole heart...” Nkiru spat.
“You liar! You chased me, you hunted me like a lioness...” Sam said.
“Hey will both of you stop this rubbish? Ihuoma is lying at the prophet’s place dying, and Nkiru has the items to help her but she’s here talking rubbish.” Her mother shouted. “Come let’s go to the beach, Nkiru!”
“Mummy I’m scared...I saw someone...he said something to me that made me scared about this cleansing exercise.” Nkiru cried.
Her mother gave her an extra two slaps on the cheeks.
“You are mad! Raving mad! You put your sister into this predicament and you will bring her out of it even if it’s the last thing you do!”
Sam stood there and stared at mother and daughter, he was clueless of what they were talking about.
“Sam, take us to the beach now!” Nkiru’s mother said as she grabbed Nkiru’s hand with one hand and dragged the bag with the items for the sacrifice in the next.
Sam nodded, he had no idea of where they were going but it was almost two thirty am and he knew he didn’t want them venturing out on their own.
Ihuoma lay on the ground, the prophet and his followers sang and clapped, Sam, Nkiru and her mother stood by the side watching what was happening.
“Go to the back, tie your white cloth and come out here. The cleansing is about to begin!” The prophet ordered Nkiru.
Nkiru nodded and disappeared round the back while her mother took the other white cloth and helped Ihuoma up and to the back to change.
In twenty minutes they were had already changed and they both knelt on the sand before the prophets and his followers. The night was so windy as the waves roared loudly as though threatening to send them out of its abode. Nkiru kept remembering what the man in the bus had said to her and kept wishing she could stop thinking about it. The prophet lit all the candles and placed them around in a circle so that the lights from the candles enveloped them. Nkiru was surprised that her sister could kneel especially as she mostly preferred to lie down.
The prophet and his followers sang and danced around the circle of candles, they poured oil everywhere and clapped so hard. Nkiru kept startling at everything, she shivered when the wind blew so hard it threatened to snuff the candles which surprisingly didn’t put out. She watched as the prophet and his followers sang and danced around till her vision blurred and all she could see were lights moving about in circles.
Nkiru’s mother watched her daughters in tears, Sam stood there and stared at the prophets wondering what was going on and how the prophet and his followers could help the situation at hand. The dance was getting too long and he was tired of standing so he sat on the bare ground, raised up his knees and placed his head on it as a cushion for support. Nkiru and Ihuoma’s mother on the other hand was so tired of standing but refused to sit, she intended to stand till the cleansing was over
Suddenly, there was a loud clap of thunder and it was as though the foundation of the earth shook. The prophets and his followers shouted in triumph as they kept dancing about, singing and clapping, soon, a heavy rush of rain fell to the earth, soaking everyone to the skin. Sam woke up with a start once the rains fell on him, he was very scared, his watch read four am in the morning and the rain was so heavy that he had soaked up in a matter of minutes. The rain didn’t deter the prophet who kept screaming and shouting while his followers did exactly as he did. Sam peered into the circle, the candles had gone out and he could see two feminine frames within the circle, he sighed in relief, at least they were still alive, he thought.
Suddenly, just as the rain started, it stopped and the prophet and his followers' dancing and singing, came to a halt. He addressed Nkiru’s mother.
“It is done! Come and take your children...it is done!” He said.
Nkiru’s mother, drenched from head to toe, ran over to the circle and started to weep. Ihuoma stood up and stared around, she was wondering why she was here.
“Where am I? Mommy! Where am I?” Ihuoma asked.
“Oh my God! Thank you God! Thank you!” Her mother screamed as she hugged her tight.
“You have been saved!” Her mother wept with joy.
Ihuoma looked at her sister who was still kneeling on the ground.
“What is Nkiru doing here?” She asked.
“Don’t bother about that.” Her mother said. “Nkiru! Nkiru!” She called out.
Nkiru didn’t stand up, she looked up at Ihuoma and her mother with glassy eyes and said.
“Powers don’t mix....beware or you could fall the victim....remember, it’s a life for a life...” She said in a murmur.
“Nkiru! Are you okay?” Ihuoma asked worriedly.
Nkiru repeated what she’d said before, her mother walked up to her and shook her.
“Nne, it is time to go home...” Her mother said.
“Powers don’t mix...beware or you could fall the victim...remember, it’s a life for a life...” Nkiru repeated.
“What is happening? Prophet! My daughter!” Her mother screamed.
The prophet took one long look at Nkiru and said.
“The cleansing has been done, everything done against your daughter has been sent back to the sender and unfortunately, the sender is also your daughter.”
“No! Nooooooo! Nkiru!” Her mother cried.
“Powers don’t mix...beware of you could fall the victim...remember, it’s a life for a life...” Nkiru repeated.
Morayo had been woken up by the girls who were so thrilled to see that she'd slept over in their house. She shot up from the bed in alarm and glanced at the clock.
“What time is it?” She asked.
“It’s morning!” Mofe smiled jumping on the bed as though it was a bouncing castle.
“And guess what? We are on mid-term break whoop whoop!” Mo screamed bouncing about with her sister.
“I need to get to work, the day is already bright, I’m sure it’s well past seven am.” Morayo said wondering how she’d overslept.
The girls stopped jumping and faced her.
“Aren’t you staying home with us? Daddy’s staying home with us...” Mofe said.
Morayo located her wristwatch and looked at the time, it was seven twenty-three, she almost screamed. On a normal day, she woke up at five thirty am, jogged around her estate and was back by six-ten after which she prepared for work and was out of the door by seven.
“I have to go to work.” She said.
“Awww...c’mon! Daddy has to work too and he took the day off. Please take the day off too.” Mofe begged.
“Take the day off? Why? What happened? Is there any reason why I should take the day off?” Morayo asked in confusion, as she wondered why she had to take the day off work.
“I’m sick.” Mo said slumping on the bed.
Morayo smiled and placed the back of her palms on her head to check her temperature.
“You are not sick, you silly little girl.” Morayo giggled.
“It’s real...I’m sick and I need you to stay with us.” Mo said with pleading eyes.
Morayo stood up from the bed and knelt down to say her prayers.
“What are you doing?” Mofe asked.
“I’m about to thank God for a beautiful day.” Morayo said.
“Really? Can we thank Him too?” Mofe asked, mimicking Morayo and falling on her knees beside her.
“Sure...we can thank the Lord together.” Morayo said with a smile.
The two girls knelt down and clasped their hands together, smiling mischievously as Morayo prayed.
Kolade loved to cook, he had woken up very early to bake bread and he was about serving it for breakfast with fried eggs and beverage. He finished with the preparation and took the food to the table and went to look for his kids. They weren’t in their room, so he went off to check on Morayo, he pushed open the door and what he saw warmed his heart. Morayo and his kids were kneeling beside the bed in prayer. He smiled and joined them.
Kolade’s mother perceived the aroma coming from the kitchen so, she hurried there only to see no one at the kitchen. She headed to the dining room to see the food set on the table and decided to go and see if her son was with his daughter’s, she was on her way to the kids room when she heard voices coming from the room just beside the sitting room and she walked in to see a family praying together . She was glad, her son had finally found someone and she was sure that they’ll be happy together.
The Season ends tomorrow.
Thursday, 23 June 2016
Henry’s wife was lying in the comfort of her bedroom when one of the maids hurried up to her room and knocked at the door.
“Who is it?” She called out in an irritated voice, she had called Elijah to no avail and she was already getting pissed as a young lady kept answering the calls, informing her that Elijah was out with his boss.
“It’s me madam.” The maid said from outside the door.
Promise arrived her destination and was soon settled into a very nice hotel, normally the first thing she’d do as soon as she got to a new place was to pray but she found that she couldn’t and she was sure that God was quite upset with her. She shrugged, anyway she was doing these things for His kingdom and to draw more people to the faith so, she was doing a good thing. Gift had taken her to the airport and that was it, she didn’t come with her on the trip and she promised to come pick her up once she returned.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Ego sat at home and waited impatiently for midnight, the clock seemed to be so slow as it was still some minutes past three pm.
“What is wrong with this clock?” She asked aloud.
She heard her doorbell ring and kept staring at the clock, the bell chimed again and she hissed, ‘where is that maid?’ she asked herself. Soon she heard footsteps approach her room and the door opened to reveal a distressed-looking Tina.
I was asleep when I heard the loud pound at the door, I yawned and stretched as I glanced at the clock on the wall, it was seven am in the morning. I looked at the bed I had shared with Bidemi but she wasn’t there, ‘wia Bidemi go na?’ I asked myself as I yawned again. The pound at the door came louder and harder, I hissed and stood up from the bed and walked over to answer the door. I opened the door and a man rushed into the house, almost knocking me off my feet.
“Who you be?” I demand.
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Layode wrote her statement at the police station, she had answered a barrage of questions and was already beginning to feel tired and dizzy. She hadn’t slept in days, not since her son got missing. She sat on one of the benches in the police station waiting for Henry to be done with the DPO. He soon emerged from the office within and walked up to meet her.
“You look pale...” He said. “Perhaps you should go home and get some rest.”
She shook her head stubbornly.
“I won’t leave till I’m sure they’ve found my son.” She said.
“Let’s leave them to do their job, they don’t have a lead yet but they are on it.”
Layode started to cry.
“I am scared that something bad might happen to him, Femi is a brave little boy but he gets so scared too...” She said.
Henry sat down beside her.
“Let’s go somewhere for lunch.” He said.
“I’m not hungry...”
“When was the last time you ate?” He asked.
She looked at him and looked away, she couldn’t remember when last she ate.
“You look like you need some food and a lot of rest.” He said.
“Don’t you understand? I can’t rest or eat till I’ve found him.”
“That’s a stupid move, what if he’s found and you’ve died of starvation? C’mon, don’t be stubborn.”
She looked at him and sniffed, then she nodded.
“Okay...” She said.
They both stood up and headed out towards the car. Elijah was roaming about the premises, he looked worried.
“Sir...” He said as soon as he saw them.
“We need to get to a good restaurant around here...” Henry said.
Elijah nodded, his hands shook uncontrollably, he had tried looking for a phone booth around the police station but to no avail as the vendors only sold recharge cards and he didn’t have his phone with him.
“Yes...sir...” Elijah said.
“Are you okay? Elijah, you look unnerved.” Henry said worriedly.
"I'm...fine...sir.." Elijah stammered.
Layode looked at Elijah and saw that he couldn’t meet her gaze, suddenly something in her snapped and everything started coming back to her. Elijah’s lies to her that she’d meet the boss at his house, and later, his calls to inform her that the boss had instructed him to bring her to the office.
“Elijah...you called me and told me that the boss asked you to bring me to his office this morning and I sent you my home address.” She said then addressing Henry, she asked. “Did you ask Elijah to come and pick me up at my residence this morning?”
“No I didn’t...” Henry said.
“Me? Told you what? When? What are you talking about?” Elijah asked with a hint of fear in his eyes.
Layode angrily brought out her phone and opened the text message box, she handed the phone over to Henry.
“I sent Elijah my home address on Saturday because he told me that I should send it to him so that he can come and pick me up on Monday. If you never instructed him to pick me up from my home, who did? And why is it that shortly after I had sent him the text message, my son disappeared?”
Henry’s eyes widened as he stared at Elijah. Elijah had fear and apprehension written in his eyes as he stared at his boss and Layode.
Tina packed her son’s clothes into a duffel bag and zipped it close. She had sent the nanny away against Ego's judgement. Did Ego really think she’d commit murder? She couldn't kill the nanny for eavesdropping or for being a mole all along. All she did was let her go and she had made her swear to keep her mouth shut.
She had spent the night hatching her plan to escape with her son and her plan was going to work, she was sure of it.
Bello had left for school that morning and as soon as she had dropped him off, she had made some phone calls to some of her cousin in Calabar, who was willing to have her come and stay with her family for a few days. She had enough money in her bank account, she had enough cash on her and she had planned to drop her car off at Ego’s place then have a private car service drive her and Bello to Ibadan and from there, she’ll take a flight to Port Harcourt, lodge at a hotel there for the night and after that, take a flight to Calabar and stay with her cousins. She would have taken a straight flight from Lagos to her destination but she was scared that Chief might trace her through the airlines and somehow find his way to them.
She discreetly took the bags she’d packed downstairs and opening her car door, she placed the bags in the booth and shut the door. She was dressed casually in a jeans trouser and a denim top which she paired with comfortable sandals. She used a turban to cover her hair and didn’t wear any makeup or earrings.
She got into her car, kicked the ignition to life and drove out of the estate, heading to her son’s school. His school dismissed pupils at one thirty pm and she didn’t want to be late.
In less than fifteen minutes, she reached her son’s school, parked her car and headed towards the school compound. The bell rung loudly for end of school and she sighed in relief. The gate man opened the gate and she stepped in.
“You’re waiting for Bello, am I correct?” A child minder asked.
“Yes...” She smiled.
“He should be out of his class soon.” The child minder said.
Tina nodded and waited, she glanced at her wristwatch and looked up to see Bello hurrying towards the gate. She smiled but froze when she saw a woman follow him behind, it was none other than Hadija Fatima.
Bello hurried to meet her.
“Big mommy is taking me for ice cream.” He said.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen, we’re going home.” She said.
Hadija Fatima walked up to them.
“Tina...” She said.
“Good afternoon Hadija. I hope you are well?”
“I am taking my son to the ice cream place.” Hadija said.
“He just told me and I don’t want him to go to the ice cream place.” Tina said stiffly, angry that Hadjia had referred to Bello as her son.
“It’s not in your place to give me permission to be with Bello or not.”
“I am his mother.” Tina said in anger.
“I am his father’s legal wife, married by law...” She stressed.
“Well, your marriage to alhaji has nothing to do with my son.” Tina said.
Hadjia didn’t reply, she turned to Bello and said.
“Come my darling, let’s go for ice cream.”
Bello smiled and took her hand, Tina grabbed her son’s other hand.
“I said no!” Tina screamed drawing the attention of some parents who had come to pick their kids.
A bulky man walked up to them, he was Hadjia Fatima’s body guard, he whisked Bello up in his arms and strode off with him.
“Did you just say no to me?” Hadija Fatima hissed.
Tina hurried after the bodyguard who had Bello in his arms and was already out of the school gate and headed towards the car.
“Give me my son! Give him back to me!” She screamed.
Hadjia’s bodyguard opened the door of the car and placed the boy inside and shut the door, while Hadjia Fatima entered the car. Tina watched helplessly as the bodyguard joined in and they zoomed off.
She walked over to her car and started to cry, her plan was slowly falling apart. As soon as she stepped into her car, her phone rang, it was Alhaji.
“How dare you insult my wife and disrespect her?” Alhaji screamed at her.
“I didn’t insult her besides she took my son!”
“Hadija has been telling me that you are emotionally imbalanced but I never believed it.” He said.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean that you won’t be allowed to be close to Bello again until you prove otherwise!” He said and hung up.
To be continued tomorrow....