Pa Okolie: “I gave the woman the opportunity to redeem herself but she sees me as an old doddering fool. She thinks because of my age; I have lost my fangs. I will let her know that I am still a man. She will see.” He muttered to himself angrily, as he waited for his lunch.
His wife came in and met him murmuring about the supposed slights he had received from his brother’s family. She looked at him as she set the food on the table and shook her head.
Mama Onyedikachi: “my husband, this one that you have started talking to yourself concerning this matter so, I hope you are okay?” she asked, irritated at his behaviour.
Pa Okolie: “woman go and do whatever it is women do when they are not poking their noses into what is none of their business. I don’t want to have to look at your wrinkled face while I eat.” He retorted hotly.
Mama Onyedikachi bowed her head and walked away. Immediately, Pa Okolie dialled Onyedikachi’s line and told him to come to the house. They needed to talk. Mama Onyedikachi listened from the door and her eyes opened wide at hearing what they wanted to talk about.
“I have to be there to listen in on this meeting. This man is up to no good and he wants to involve my son in it. That I will not allow, not while I am alive.” She thought to herself determinedly as she listened.
Jude’s bodyguard, Samuel, came and picked up Jessica. As they drove on quietly, she thought of how to approach him with her plea.
“I don’t know the man o. I don’t know how he would regard my questions. Hmmm…well, no harm in trying.” She thought to herself, worriedly.
Jessica: “erm…sir. How well do you know Jude?” she asked, calmly
Samuel: “well, I have been with him for three years. So I know him as much as I can know anyone who is private, I think.” She replied.
Jessica: “were you a policeman or in the military before this job?” she asked, curiously.
Samuel: “madam why all these questions?” he asked, looking at her through the rear view mirror.
Jessica: “I need your help. I wanted to ask Jude but I feel he will still ask you, so…” she replied.
Samuel: “what is the problem?”
Jessica: “I need to have somebody followed.” She said quietly.
Samuel: “that man from the other day?” he asked and Jessica nodded her head.
Samuel: “okay but you will have to speak to my boss about it first.” he asked as they drove to the entrance of the restaurant.
Jessica: “Okay. I will give you the details after my lunch with Jude.” She replied as she stepped out of the car and walked into the restaurant.
Jude was already seated at the table when she got in. he smiled when he saw her walk in. she smiled back and took her seat.
Femi sat with Tunde at bar he worked at. He was drinking with worry written all over him or anger even. “Nothing is going as planned. Sabine seems to know about the setup. Brume must have been blabbing his big mouth. I am losing my leverage. I need to get back from under. I know what to do.” He thought angrily.
He turned to watch Tunde wipe the bar with a wet dish cloth. The bar had not yet opened fully. He was there because he was a friend and a regular since he came to town.
Femi: “guy, I need some boys to do a job for me.” He said, studying the grains on the bar top.
Tunde: “what is the job?” he asked, walking close to where Femi is seated.
Femi: “kidnapping; a quick grab and ransom.” He replied, looking intently at Tunde.
Tunde: “how much?” he asked quietly, picking a glass and started polishing it.
Femi: “40 million naira.” He replied, sipping from his glass of beer. Tunde nodded his head and picked another glass to clean.
Tunde: “who is the person?” he asked, mentally calculating how much will come to him from the job.
Femi smiled knowingly and sipped some more beer.
Jude stared at Jessica as she told him her tale. How she had failed a friend and sold her friend out just because of N200,000 and how it was now coming back to haunt her in the person of Femi.
Jude: “that was a sad tale. We all make mistakes. I have made my own share of mistakes, so I can’t judge you. So what about this your friend? Have you and her settled your differences?” he asked after listening to her story.
Jessica: “well…she is willing to let bygones be bygones but it comes at a price. I think she wants to nail Femi once and for all. This is why I need your help. Not your help really, but your bodyguard’s. We need to have him followed.” She replied.
Jude: “you have to be careful. I believe Samuel will know someone who will be able to fulfil such job description. You guys can discuss it later. Lunch is here.” He replied as the waiter came with their food.
They settled down to eat, while Samuel, Jude’s bodyguard sat at another table eating his lunch quietly.
After they had finished eating and were sipping orange juice quietly, Jude decided to tell Jessica is own tale.
Jude: “I was lost once. I did everything and anything. I was high most times, so some stuff I did are blacked out of my memory. I pushed drugs, slept with older women, robbed people, did anything just to get paid. I had strings of girls on my speed dial. I had wild friends too, really bad lots, they were.
When I had the accident that put me on the wheelchair, I was been rolled into the hospital, my eyes blurred with pain. As I entered, my eyes caught the gaze of this beautiful girl. She was in pain, you could see. Her eyes were full of it but in those eyes I saw sympathy, I saw mercy, I saw hope. I recognised that which was broken inside me in her eyes and from then on I vowed to live a life that will bring smiles to the face of people. I vowed to use every means within my power to bring succour to the helpless and in the process atone for my past mistakes.
I see in you that same brokenness but in your story, you do not tell me why you are the way you are now. You cannot say that your mistake with your friend was enough to change you. What did you lose?” Jude asked quietly, staring at Jessica.
Jessica: “I got pregnant for Femi and in the bid to remove it, I lost my womb as well.” She replied quietly.
Jude stared at her silently then he sighed. “I knew something was off. I knew she couldn’t be perfect. I knew.” He thought sadly.
Mrs Ogbonna was trying to sleep when she heard a noise outside. She got up from her bed and peered through the window to see what the furore was for. She saw the gateman on the ground by the gate. She had sent the driver and her security to take Tochukwu to a kid’s park located at Umuahia. Her arthritis was acting up, so she couldn’t go with them. She was expecting them anytime soon.
She immediately rushed out of the room to see what was going on outside. She rushed into the sitting room to meet several men wearing masks. They quickly grabbed her before she could scream for help and threw her into the trunk of a car already waiting in the driveway and drove away.
Jude got to his office worried. He called Samuel into his office and asked him how far he had gone with getting information on Femi and monitoring Jessica’s movement. Samuel informed him that he will be hearing from his guy anytime soon. He was waiting for his call. Jude nodded his head and sat back on his chair.
“If I was my old self, that Femi would be done with by now. I thank God for his presence in my heart.” He thought to himself as he turned to his desk and tried to work.
Sabine was getting dressed for her meeting with Femi when are phone rang. It was her uncle, Pa Okolie.
Sabine: “Good evening sir.” She greeted politely.
Pa Okolie: “Good evening. I will not waste much of your time. Your mother has been kidnapped. I don’t know what is happening in Lagos that made you leave her and your son alone in the village.” He said, excitedly.
Sabine: “Jesus! Where? How? Where is Tochukwu? Where is my son?” she asked, fear gripping her heart, cold sweat beading her forehead.
Pa Okolie: “he is with me. You have to come to the village now.” He replied with a commanding tone.
Sabine ended the call, her head reeling with confused thoughts.
“Femi! This smells like Femi’s handiwork. That man will die a horrible death if anything happens to my mother.” She thought, her hands clenched into angry fists.
She picked up her car keys and rushed out of the house.
Question: Do you think Femi is involved in Mrs Ogbonna’s kidnap?
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