Anita sat down demurely as Brume listened to his boss on his phone. She watched her husband’s face as different emotions ran through; shame to fear to pain to sadness to surrender.
“I wonder what he did that brought about this tongue lashing? For his boss, Barr. Lamido to be calling him from outside the country, notwithstanding his ill health and my husband’s accident, something big has happened.” She thought to herself, worriedly. She didn’t let her worry show though, because she was still mad at Brume. “i hope it has nothing to do with Sabine? The fool…to pull such a stunt and expect no repercussions. Did he think the law of karma was the title of an Indian movie?” she thought to herself, a face a mask of calmness.
The call ended and Brume sighed. He dropped the phone on the bed and looked at Anita
Brume; “Sabine reported me to my firm and asked I be withdrawn as a representative of the firm as regards to her family affairs. My boss has suspended me until he returns from his medical leave and proper investigation carried out into the matter.” He said quietly, his voice a murmur.
Anita nodded her head.
Anita: “nothing good comes from hurting another. You don’t win points, no bonuses, nothing. You feel only feel good for a moment then the repercussions come crashing. You stooped so low. Why didn’t you just break up with her the old fashioned way? Because you thought you had destroyed her womb. You are wicked Brume. If I should do the same to you because of your sterility will you forgive me?” she asked, staring him in the eye.
Brume: “please honey, I am terribly sorry. I was young and stupid. Please don’t say such things.” He pleaded, his eyes searching her face.
Anita: “I am here because of your health. I don’t want to seem insensitive. But the moment you are discharged from this hospital and you are back on your feet again, you won’t see me again. Just keep that in mind. Meanwhile find a way to make peace with Sabine.” She replied, firmly.
Brume stared at her and noticed the determined slant of her jaw, the cold gaze she gave to him and he knew then that he was losing his wife.
“What can I do? I am stuck to this bed.”
Mrs Ogbonna stared at her captors dumbly. The men always came to her with their face covered. The room she was in was dirty and unpainted. She had been placed on a tattered mattress that had seen better days. Her hands or legs were not tied but the gun the men carried was a suitable deterrent for her to keep her mouth shut and resist the urge to cry for help. Besides, she guessed that wherever they maybe, help will not come if she shouted herself hoarse. Her heart beat irregularly, her palm moist with sweat.
“Let this people say what they want o. please God let it not lead to rape or death o. let it just be money, God. Hey my grandson, who will look after him now? God, if I get out of this I will do a big thanksgiving. I will serve you better, give more to your gospel. Please God help me.” She prayed to herself and wept. “I hope Tochukwu is fine o. let nothing happen to that little boy or Sabine will just go mad.” She thought to herself as she watched her guard flip the newspaper in his hands. “My kidnap will probably be on the national dailies and national TV by now. God, please let me make it out of this place alive o.” she thought, fear clenching her heart.
The door opened and another of the masked men stepped into the room,
Lead Kidnapper: “Mrs Ogbonna, we need you to give us the pin to your ATM card.” He stood, holding a POS machine in his hand with her ATM card slotted in.
Mrs Ogbonna opened her mouth in shock. “how did they get my ATM?” she thought in surprise.
Lead Kidnapper: “Mrs Ogbonna!” the man said, raising the tempo of his voice.
She quickly gave them the pin and the man quickly typed it in. after some minutes, he nodded his head and walked out of the room. She looked at the floor in curious reflection “How did they get my ATM card?”
Pa Okolie was tired of Tochukwu. The boy had been crying for his mother and nothing his wife did seem to appease the boy. He had no little child in the house to play with him, all his children were grown and none of them lived with him. The boy refused to eat and even drink water. All he did was cry. It was becoming an irritation.
Pa Okolie: “Woman for God’s sake come and get this boy away from here before I do something stupid.” He called out to his wife in anger.
A knock sounded on the door as his wife ushered the sobbing Tochukwu out of the parlour.
Pa Okolie: “who wants to break my door?” he asked angrily.
Two men entered the sitting room and brought out their badges
Detective Ikenna: “I am detective Ikenna and this is my colleague, detective Jegede. We would like to ask you some questions concerning the kidnap of your late brother’s wife, Mrs Ogbonna.” He said as he and his colleague entered the sitting room.
Pa Okolie: “report that I made since 1914, you people are coming today. You guys are very fast o” he replied sarcastically.
Detective Ikenna: “information reaching us says you visited her some days before her disappearance. Can you tell us the content of your discussion?” he asked, ignoring Pa Okolie’s tirade.
Pa Okolie: “it was a family issue no concern of the police.” He replied coldly
Detective Jegede: “every matter is our concern as long as it has to do with the victim.” He replied quietly.
Pa Okolie sighed and told the police men the discussion he had with Mrs Ogbonna that day.
Dective Ikenna: “so you are not satisfied with the will?” he asked
Pa Okolie: “that is no will of my brother’s. I know how I sacrificed for him to be what he is today. The land given to me by my father, I sold so he could start his business. That was an investment, I expected returns and my brother is not stingy. You people are asking the wrong question o. you should be asking for the whereabouts of her daughter Sabine. Why would the girl leave her only child and rush off to Lagos? So that when this happen, she can have an excuse? Shey you people call it alibi? You should know if you are doing your research well, that her father disowned her for bringing embarrassment to the family. Yet her name is on the will. These are the questions to ask, not all this; where did you go? What did you eat? Who did you see? that you are asking me.” He replied hotly.
The policemen looked at each other, then after some other questions they took their leave.
Pa Okolie was asleep when his wife came to wake him up. He tried to push her off but she was insistent.
Pa Okolie: “what is it? What!” he screamed at her angrily.
Mama Onyedikachi: Tochukwu is missing.” She replied meekly.
Pa Okolie jumped from his bed in shock. All the vestiges of afternoon slumber left his eyes immediately.
Pa Okoliie: “how? Where? Jesus…No…no…no…” he said as he quickly got out of bed.
Pa Okolie: “where did you last see him?” he asked, his face filled with fear
Mama Onyedikachi: “I was at the kitchen making dinner. He was with me o, then he went outside. When I checked he was playing with Dumebi and the other neighbourhood children. When I called him to come inside, he was nowhere to be found.” She replied fearfully.
Pa Okolie: “this woman has killed me o. what will I tell Sabine? She is on her way to the village as we speak. Why will you leave the boy with strangers? What sort of woman are you?” he asked as he looked for his phone.
He quickly dialed his police friend and reported the matter to him. Then he wore a sandal and set out to look for Tochukwu. Mama Onyedikachi wrung her hand in fear
“I am finished o. if Tochukwu is not found, I am dead.” She thought to herself, tears welling in her eyes.
Mama Ogbonna: “you have my money, please let me go. I am hypertensive. I need my drugs.” She said.
The leader of the kidnappers looked at her quietly then turned back to watching the window. He had been watching the window all day, as if he was waiting for something. Suddenly, she heard the sound of a car as it drove up. The leader stood up and motioned for her to stand up then he led her outside the room. A cloth was placed over her head and she was shoved into the car and drove out of the hideout.
They drove for a few minutes. Mrs Ogbonna didn’t know where they were going to. She was sweating and her heart was palpitating in fear. She soon started begging the men.
Mrs Ogbonna: “I have money. More money. My daughter has money; she will give you money. Please let me call her, please.” She cried inside the cloth that covered her eyes.
The men ignored and they drove on. She kept on crying and pleading with her captors to no avail. She started gasping,
Mrs Ogbonna: “I can’t breathe… I can’t breathe” she moaned inside the cloth covering her face.
The lead kidnapper turned and looked at her. “hope the old lady is fine? Don’t want her death on my conscience o.” he thought as he watched her.
Lead kidnapper: “find some where to park the car.” He said quickly as Mrs Ogbonna grabbed her chest and moaned.
They stopped the car and came out. The leader went to the back and removed the hood from Mrs Ogbonna’s head and she looked at him in obvious pain. Her face registered surprise then she collapsed. The leader quickly called for help and they brought her out of the car. He tried to resuscitate her by pumping her chest with his palm but it was too late, she was dead. He placed his hands on his head and screamed.
Question: Do you think Tochukwu has been kidnapped?
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