The soldiers had combed the entire area where the robbery took place at but they found nothing. They had to return to base with the sad news of not locating the syndicate group. The syndicate group whose name was unknown became a headline in most of the Television news stations. They government kept promising the people they would do their best in fishing them out of their hideouts and the ladies rescued but the people knew more than believing in such promises. Many people came out to give accounts of their ordeals in the hands of the masked men and how many of them had lost sisters to this nefarious group. The government could no longer fold their hands so more soldiers were deployed to the part of Niger state where they mostly carry out their activities and the search began in earnest.
She had told her mother in law about her transfer to Abuja but she said nothing. When she made up her mind about going, she told her the day she was planning to leave but she also said nothing. She called Lanre to inform him but he did not pick his calls as usual. She left a text for him still he said nothing. She wondered if he was under a spell or how well could one explain such a sudden change in a person?
On the day she was to leave for Abuja, she packed her things and went to announce to her that she was leaving.
Nkeiru: “I am leaving ma” she announced leaning behind the longest settee in the living room, looking nervously at her mother in law who concentrated on the TV pretending not to have heard her. “Mama I said I am leaving” she increased the tempo of her voice.
Iya Lanre: “Leaving for where?” she feigned ignorance.
Nkeiru: “For Abuja”
Iya Lanre: “What is happening in Abuja and why are you just telling me?”
Nkeiru: “But I told you” she opened her eyes wide in sheer disbelief at her words.
Iya Lanre: “Who did you tell? Hope it’s not that you’ve gone mad? I said what are you going to Abuja to do? Are you having an extra marital affair?”
Nkeiru: “Mama I don’t like the way you are talking o. How can you ask me that kind of question after I already told you I got transferred? Or I might even call it a promotion since my salary was increased. I am not having an affair anywhere. I am only going to work” she replied trying to curtail her anger.
Iya Lanre: “You are not going anywhere and that’s all”
Nkeiru: “I have to leave now, I am running late for my flight”
She made to turn and leave but she snatched the bag from her and dropped it on the table at the centre of the sitting room.
Iya Lanre: “I said you are not going anywhere. Who will be here to take care of me? You want to abandon me to run after some man right? Asewo omo oshi. You will have to kill me first before I can allow you to step out of this house” she said contumaciously, daring her to take one step towards the bag.
Nkeiru: “Mama why are you doing this to me? Are you trying to make me go mad?”
Iya Lanre: “It is your father who makes people go mad. Iyalaya baba e. I said you are going nowhere” she tied and untied her wrapper, dancing on one leg like a jealous co-wife.
Nkeiru: “I am trying to cater for myself. You know Lanre has stopped sending money to me. He isn’t even talking to me and you want me to stay jobless? Who will take care of my father?”
Iya Lanre: “That one is your problem. All I know is you are my son’s wife and I will not let you step out of his house on some asewo mission. Get back inside now!” She pointed her fingers towards her room like a dog trainer.
Nkeiru: “Mama please…this is really important to me. It is not like I will stop being his wife. It’s not like he is around, or if you want, I can get you a house girl but please let me go” she pleaded.
Iya Lanre: “Stay there and be wasting your saliva. Why do I need a house girl when my son has a wife? You can stop being his wife for all I care but for now you are still his wife so get back inside before I open my eyes. Shameless woman, trying to run away from her responsibility as a wife. Oloshi”
Nkeiru let out an exasperated sigh…
They both paid Pete a visit one evening after work. He wanted to give him the good news about her pregnancy. Lucy was also there, they brought out the best wine in the cellar and had a toast. Pete was also thinking of getting married to Lucy for real. He saw how in love his friend was with a wife he was supposed to be planning how to do away with already and became uncomfortable all of a sudden. He called his friend into the bedroom, leaving the two ladies to their drunken chit-chat. They used Yoruba to communicate just to be on the safer side.
Pete: “Guy I noticed something…” he said in his spattered knowledge of Yoruba language.
Lanre: “What? Spill it out fast jare” he asked impatiently, eager to go back to his wife.
Pete: “Hmmmmm…are you in love with Anna?”
Lanre: “Well yeah, I love her and she is carrying my baby”
Lanre: “She is pregnant. Three weeks gone”
Pete: “Wow…You shouldn’t have done that now. You were supposed to play this smarter than this. Have you forgotten you are supposed to divorce her then go get your wife?”
Lanre: “Please spare me the story about my wife. I no longer have anything to do with her. She can as well just go back to her father’s house. I have finally found my place in the world and I will not trade that for anything. I feel sorry for NK but since she does not have a child for me, she can easily move on with her life. Seriously, I don’t want to lose Anna”
Pete; “Do you know what you are saying? You want to jilt a woman who stood by you through thick and thin? Have you forgotten your origin just in two years of staying here? What on earth is wrong with you? Don’t forget that not all that glitters is gold, how much do you know about Anna?”
Lanre: “To be sincere, she is just like Nk, she is everything I need in a woman except that she is more fertile. See I thought hard about this and it is the best I have come up with. I am only in pursuit of my own happiness and nothing more”
Pete: “Does that mean you want to divorce Nk?”
Lanre: “Divorce? No! Maybe but not now. I need to be sure I want to let her go first. I loved her once anyway”
Pete: “When was the last time you called her?”
Lanre: “Well I can’t really remember. I am just not into her anymore…I am sorry man but can I just go back to my wife, she must be wondering what is taking us so long by now” he left his dazed friend in the room and went back to the siting room where Anna and Lucy had already slept off.
Pete: “You are really callous. I don’t want to call you son of a bitch for your mum’s sake but you are a fucking jerk” he called after him but he ignored him. “Shit! This is my fault. My fucking goddamn fault. And now there is no going back since she is already pregnant. Nk I am so sorry…” he paced around and paused at intervals to stare into thin air.
She felt someone slap her face mildly in a bid to rouse her from her self-inflicted slumber. She opened her eyes slowly fearing the worst until she saw him looking down at her, probably wondering how he was going to get her out of the dirt fast enough.
Erica: “Oh my God! I thought it was you who got shot. I saw someone aim a gun at you while you ran towards me. Hope you are okay? Are you really fine?”
Boss: “I should be asking you that. Are you fine?” he asked, picked up a shovel and started digging dirt from the pit.
Erica: “I am fine just a little stuck. But what of the person that was aiming a gun at you?”
Boss: “My men took care of him from the back…” just then, they heard booming of guns from afar again. “Oh my God! There seems to be a rebellion going on. I need to get you out of here fast before they get closer to us” he said and started digging with more vigour. He shovelled dirt after dirt off and tried lifting her out but she was still stuck. He had no other option but to keep digging. It got to a point he started using his fingers when he heard the gunshots coming closer to them.
There was already two factions in the camp, one loyal to Boss and the other loyal to Locust. Audu and the rest of the men fought with all they had but Locust’s side seemed quite determined not to lose. Bodies flew here and there as they pushed towards the woods where Boss was still struggling to exhume Erica from the earth. What they wanted was for him to watch her die and then kill him. When Audu saw that his side was losing the fight and more men kept falling by his side, he dropped his already empty gun and fled to the woods to warn Boss of the imminent danger they were in.
Boss heard the sound of feet running towards them and turned around sharply with his gun pointed towards the intruder. He saw Audu running towards them with his throat in his hands.
Boss: “I will try to draw you out now, I sense more danger coming…” he said facing Erica who nodded sharply, afraid a bullet might blow his head off soon. She prayed in her heart that he would be able to draw her out before the danger he was talking about rears itself up.
Question: Will he be able to pull her out before they reach them? Which side will win this battle? Should Nk listen to her mother in law?
Stay tuned for Episode 19 (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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