He hid himself behind one of the many hibiscus flowers in the compound which the gardeners never failed to trim every now and then. He was not going to stay put in one spot like a useless idiot while his wife had been kidnapped. He watched the whole household trouping out probably to go search for him. His dad’s car, zoomed out of the compound in no time while Dave’s followed suite. They were probably splitting up in their search. He heard his mum’s voice, barking orders to the remnant of those in the house and began to feel sorry for her but he knew he had to do something. He had to find his wife, the one who had made him want to live again no matter how sick people thought or said he was.
He had listened to the conversation between his brother and Ada the day he asked her to marry him. He was on his way to meet her at the balcony when he saw the two of them standing and facing each other. He had tip toed closer so he could hear what they were talking about and when he finally heard his brother’s words, it was as if the earth had opened up to swallow him up. He realised Ada was actually feeling something for him, be it pity, love, or whichever one, he was still grateful for it. He was happy she didn’t agree to his proposal.
As he laid low waiting for an opportunity to present itself and thinking about that day, the driver stood by his side…
Driver: “The area is clear sir. We need to move immediately” he said in a very humbled voice.
Richmond: “Are you sure? I am scared” he said childishly.
Driver: “Do not worry sir, I have spoken with the gateman and since they all think you are missing already, he will not be in any trouble. Let’s go” he started walking while Richmond followed suite.
When at last they walked out of the gate, he heaved a sigh of relief and relaxed a little bit. The driver flagged a taxi and they hopped in.
She was discharged two days later and her dad made sure she behaved herself by setting his dogs on her. She followed him obediently without a word and that was how she found herself back at the house she had lived in all her life after so many months. She walked around the house, inhaling the familiar scent which seeped inside from the flowers outside. Things were not quite the way she left them and the place seemed to be falling apart too. She noticed her mum was nowhere to be found even though she didn’t even show up in the hospital to see her.
Her dad joined her in her room when at last she found her way there. She sat on her orthopaedic bed.
Henry: “How do you feel being back home again?”
Adaeze: “I feel like a captive and yeah I am a captive” she replied without even looking at him.
Henry: “You are not. This is your home and it should feel same. You were proving stubborn and that is why I did what I did. Please don’t give me more hard times than you already did. Why did you decide to come look for me after throwing me out of the house so blatantly? I became a cripple because of you and Abuchi. I guess you have already paid for your own crime, he will still pay for his, I promise”
Adaeze: “I guess you are still like this though. Just be careful cos karma is a bloody bitch. Don’t do it in such a way that we your children will be the ones to suffer for your misdeeds. Where is mum?” she changed the topic, it was beginning to irritate her.
Henry: “We are divorced. The woman in my life now is Patience, your aunty. Take it or leave it but that is the way it is”
Adaeze: “You are joking. I must really confess that you are joking. Please snap back to your senses and tell me you are bluffing, that mum has gone to the market or that she is at her restaurant. Say something” she yelled when he kept quiet.
Henry: “Your mum decided to abandon me when I needed her most. Your aunt was the one there for me, because of her I am walking while your mum was out there, doing whatever it is she does. We are divorced and I still don’t regret it”
Adaeze: “Dad what has gotten over you? Even if she abandoned you, did you try look for her after you started walking, why must it be her sister you had to choose?”
Henry: “Even I don’t know. We find love in the most unlikely places, we find love where we least expect, we find love in hopeless places. Rest a lot” he said and walked out of her room, closing the door behind him gently.
His words hit her like a bricklayer’s best brick on the head. She remembered Richmond and Dave.
“I have to go back soon, I have to find a way to contact them, I have to do something or Richmond might fall sick. God please help me out of this mess I am in. How can I be going from one prison to another? And thinking about it, who was that man who had an intercourse with me my first night there? This is really confusing, I should have opened my eyes or screamed or done something rather than just laying still. My life sure is messed up but I won’t let it remain this way any longer” she thought determinedly.
He refused to go home, his instincts, maybe childish or not told him her father must have a hand in her disappearance. He made the driver lodge them somewhere close to the house where he sent him to check the house out every minute of the day until one day when he returned to tell him he saw them arrive and Ada was with them. He sprang to his feet joyfully…
Richmond: “My wife…my wife is back. Let’s go and get her immediately” he jumped up excitedly. “I told you I have a good spirit and it doesn’t lie. Let’s go now” he said and started trying to pull the driver along with him.
Driver: “Which kind wahala be this now ehn? For the past two days I never see my wife just because of this boyish man who has decided to remain a boy and whose head cannot even fetch someone money” he was annoyed and he didn’t try to hide it. “Wait now. Let’s not rush, she might be in danger there you know?”
Richmond: “Danger? Then we should save her fast. I will be her prince like the cartoons I watch. That will make her love me more. I will fight all of them one by one like Jackie Chan” he imitated karate stance and smiled. The fact that she was safe alone was like a magic elixir to his troubled innocent soul.
Driver: “Hmmmmm okay o. don’t say I did not warn you o”
Richmond: “Yes you warned me, you warned me, you warned me” he sang along, skipping joyfully.
They knocked on the gate and one of the guys who had been keeping watch in the house opened the gate, they had been instructed to be on the lookout and if anyone acting like a little boy showed up, he should be abducted and taken to the uncompleted building immediately. Henry was still bent on having his revenge. The fact that the money was stolen just like that was still burning hot in his heart. He wasn’t going to let that go so easily…
Question: Will Richmond be able to save her from her captivity or is he in danger himself? What should she do to find out who had sex with her?
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