Nene walked around with her broken heart, but she was not ready to give up on Najim just yet. She would get to the root of the matter but that was after she went to see her father. Wale was putting out word in secret places to look for her mother and sister, and she was holding on to the hope that they were alive and they would all be together when this was all over. She believed that it would end soon. She was determined to find the person or people pushing the country to war and expose them for who they truly are. She believed that with Wale’s help, she could achieve it.
Wale: “So, you are going to see your father. Make sure you find out all he knows about this. Having information is the key to winning this” he said, as he applied the body paint which he had applied to her body the day before when she went to see Nabila. The paint had the same skin tone as a fair person and when it dried, could stay on for 48 hours before peeling off. Wale had it ordered online, and he seemed to have used it before. He looked at her sad, expressionless face, and wondered if she would be able to go forward with her plan to find out the truth. He had been in her position many times; in pursuit of truth, sometimes one could find out things that we wish we never knew.
Wale: “Are you sure you are up for this?” he asked.
Nene: “I am” she replied curtly.
Wale: “You could find out that your father is the real enemy here, are you ready for that possibility?” he asked carefully, worried that Nene might be offended.
Nene: “If my father is the real enemy of the country’s peace, I will move forward and expose him.” She replied, glaring at Wale.
When the time came for them to begin their journey to Abuja where Kuje prison was located, Wale received a call. Nene’s eyes had gone to the phone when it rang, just before he turned to the phone, and she had seen that the caller was Nabila. Wale took the phone to the balcony of the room where they were lodged to receive the call.
When he came back into the room, he saw Nene holding the bedside lamp in a defensive way. He didn’t realize she had seen who was calling him, so he was startled and puzzled about her defensive stance.
Wale: “Is something the matter?” he asked looking at the lamp in her hand.
Nene: “Why are you helping me? Are you really helping me or helping the enemy keep tabs on me?” she asked in a slow way that emphasized every word. She did this when she was trying to have a calm head.
Wale: “Who is the enemy? do you know who the enemy is?”
Nene: “For starters, Nabila. She took away the love of my life, and is trying to frame me for murder which didn’t even happen” she said and saw Wale gasp.
Wale: “It is not what you think”
Nene: “It is damn well what I think. You have been in communication with Nabila. Did she send you to me, to keep tabs on me and know what I find out?”
Wale: “Do you really think that evil of me? I agree I should have been forthcoming about how I found out you were still in Kano, but I would never hurt you, not even remotely” he said and went ahead to explain that he did not know she had fallen out with Nabila, when he asked Nabila of her whereabouts. That Nabila told him she was still in Kano and that is why he wanted to help. He also told her that Nabila called to find out if he was in Kano, and he said yes because he knew that any of his friends could have told her about his visit to Kano, and when she asked if he had met up with her, he said no.
Then he brought out a gun from his pocket, in the twinkling of an eye. Nene moved away and raised her hand to shield her face. She waited for the shot that never came.
Wale: “You don’t trust me, and if this will make you feel better. Have it, you won’t shoot to kill, but you can disarm me and make your escape. If you feel at any time that I am a danger to you, use it” he said and handed the gun to her.
Nene: “There is no way I am taking that. What are you doing with a gun?” she asked, ignoring his outstretched hand
Wale: “There was no way I was coming into this hot zone unarmed” he replied, while Nene stared at him incredulously. She was thinking that there was more to Wale than she knew.
Nene was interrupted by the buzz of her phone, it was a Facebook message from her fake account which she used in communicating with Nabila.
“Guess what, Nene’s sister is dead. Her body was found among the dead people catalogued by emergency response. It is not in the news yet but it will be soon. It is a major victory for us. One of the daughters of the murderer of the president is dead. It will throw Nene into confusion and she will make a mistake that will make us catch her” the message read.
Nene: “No, no, it is not true” she whispered and then she broke out into a loud shriek. Wale dropped the gun and rushed to her. He grabbed the phone from her and read the message.
Wale: “What exactly has come over Nabila” he wondered aloud. Nene plopped on the bed and began to weep.
When Nene’s post about the death of Najim and herself being the culprit hit the internet, the Hausa Youths rose again. They went burning any house that belonged to the Igbos. It was believed that the State government aided them with names and records of Igbos who lived in the state prior to the crisis. Nene’s mother’s fabric store did not escape the torching. The goods that she had left behind hoping to come back to them, when all was good again, were all destroyed. But she didn’t know this because she was hiding with a group of Igbos and trying to survive.
Nene travelled with Wale despite the bad news she had heard. After crying her eyes out, she had told Wale that they needed to leave immediately. It hurt her that she would never see her sister again, but she pushed the pain to the back of her mind, and set her heart on her task which was finding the truth.
Her bravery earned her more admiration from Wale. He knew she was an extraordinary woman, which was the reason he fell in love with her even without meeting her. But he didn’t know that she could still push on amid the deaths of loved ones and fear of the future.
Throughout their journey, she remained quiet, she just stared into space, but Wale knew that many things were running through her mind. Their journey to Abuja was through back roads and villages, and the driver was someone Wale trusted. He wished that there was a way to share her pain, but how could he when she was not letting him in? Wale’s phone rang, and he received the call. When he was done with the call, he saw that Nene had not moved since. He shook her, and then she turned towards him, with dreamy eyes.
Nene: “I wish things would just reset back to how they were. I wish that Nabila never became who she is now and Najim did not betray me. I wish my father was not in prison, and my sister did not die. I wish for some many things, but I wish for peace” she said so sadly, that Wale felt her sadness.
Wale: “I just got off the phone with a source, said there is a house where people are camped. Igbos that could not go back to their homes are hiding together. I was thinking when we got back, we could check the place out, perhaps your mother would be there”
Nene: “Oh really” she asked anxiously, as her sadness lifted. The prospect of seeing her mother again had brought back light into her eyes. She impulsively hugged Wale. She thanked him for being more of a friend than anyone had ever been to her.
In Kuje prison, Nene’s father was being forced to write a statement agreeing to the assassination of the president.
Nene’s father: “I did not kill the president. Even if you kill me, it still would not change the fact that I know nothing about the death of the president.” He said lisping, through bruised swollen lips. He had lost a few teeth and his hands were blistered. But these physical evidences of torture were nothing compared to the emotional torture he was going through. He had no idea where his family were, or if they were even alive. It was a nightmare.
Question: Would Nene be reunited with her mother, and would she be able to meet her father without being caught?
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