The woman stared at Brukeme with fear in her eyes. She kept staring at the mark on his arm.
Woman: “I asked you a question. Where did you get that mark?” she asked, pointing the gun back at him.
Brukeme’s eyes widened as a shadow covered him. Another masked person had joined him.
Second Kidnapper: “where is the child?” he asked. It was a man.
Brukeme: “what child? There is no child here o.” He replied, his voice shaking. He could feel urine trickling into his boxer short but he was too afraid to care.
Second Kidnapper: you think am a fool?” he asked, pointing the gun at him.
Woman: “hey hey, wait I will get to the root of this.” She replied, placing her hand on top of the gun.
Second Kidnapper: “you think we came here to joke, ehn boy?” he asked, angrily shoving the woman away.
Brukeme shook his head in fear. The stink of bitter sweat and urine filled the cramped space of the car.
Woman: “I am in charge of this operation. Let me handle this.” She said angrily, moving back to stop the man.
Second Kidnapper: “you are in charge of nothing. Look for the child, she is around here somewhere.” He said and pulled the trigger as the woman screamed and dove at the man in anger; her gun held as a club.
Brukeme jerked as the bullet tore through him. It felt like he had been hit with a heavy wood. Air rushed out of him as he slammed back into the seat. He laid staring at the car roof as he bled into the car seat. I was going to be a father. I was going to have a family. I need to tell Fidelia that I am sorry.” He tried to get up but a wave of dizziness hit him. Tears gathered in his eyes as he slipped into unconsciousness. He could hear the sound of sirens as darkness descended. “Police…she is under…” he passed out.
The woman stood up on hearing the sounding of sirens and the screeching tires of police vans. The bus drove forward and turned in a screech in a bid to escape the police cordon but it was too late. The kidnappers on realizing the failure of their attempt started shooting at the police. The woman dove back into the car. She checked Brukeme for life and felt his pulse still throbbing. She caught her shirt into strips and tied the shoulder injury, fear in her eyes. When she was done, she quickly crawled under the car and saw the girl under it crying. She sighed, and drew the child close to her.
The second kidnapper got AK 47 rounds slamming into his chest in quick succession, even as he raised his gun to shoot at the police. Two more kidnappers went down, including the driver of the van, who dropped on his steering wheel pressing down the car horn continuously. As soon as he fell, the rest kidnappers surrounded their weapons and laid on the ground with their hands behind their heads. The police rounded their weapons and placed handcuffs on their hands.
A policeman got to the car and Brukeme was quickly rushed into a van and taken to the nearest hospital. The woman crept out from under the car with the child and she was immediately cuffed and thrown into a van with other members of the gang. She sat there in the van remembering where she had seen that birth mark before. Her face was not resigned. It was worried and angry.
Fidelia was in her father’s room reading when the sound of sirens hit her ears. She peered through the window and she saw Brukeme being rushed into the hospital. The novel fell from her hands and she took off without a word. Her father stared at her in surprise.
Fidelia ran to the entrance and she stood there in shock as Brukeme was brought in. She started crying as she saw the blood all over him. This was someone she had been with some hours ago. The police pushed her out of the way. He was placed on a stretcher and his hand was cuffed to it. When they had passed her, she ran back to her father. She told him breathlessly what she had seen. He told her to calm down and wait for the doctors to attend to him. There was nothing she could do but pray.
Fidelia could not sit still. She got up and went out to the hospital reception. She went to the nurse on duty there and asked her if she had an idea of what happened. The nurse told her she heard the police say he was a suspect in a kidnap case. Fidelia stood still in surprise. “Kidnap! Please don’t tell me that the father of my unborn child is a criminal. Then it would mean that he had a hand in the robbery at our place. I am finished o.” she started crying again. She placed her hand on her head and started walking back to her father’s hospital room.
On the way, she saw Voke, who had come out too, to find out what the noise was all about. She told him what the nurse had told her.
Voke: “do not jump to conclusions. He might have a legitimate reason for being there. You know Nigerian police, they will arrest even a person selling recharge card as part of a criminal gang, if they need to. It is the way they operate. Just be patient and you will get the full gist.” He told her, consoling her.
Tega dropped his phone and quickly rushed into his office. He brought a key that hung on a chain around his neck. He pushed his chair away and removed the square patch of rug. He opened the safe and stared with his mouth wide opened at the empty safe. “The bitch! She smiled at me and lied to my face. She took everything. What do I do?” He got up from his knees and staggered as he heard the sound of sirens. He peered through his curtain and saw policemen jumping down from their vans. Both customers and workers were being rounded up quickly. He turned around looking for where to hide but found nothing. He brought out his gun, then he quickly rushed to the back door and opened it. He rushed down the stairs as fast as his bulk would allow him. As he burst out of the rusted door at the back entrance, he fell straight into the arms of two burly policemen of the SAS unit. He crumpled in their arms, screaming his innocence.
One of the policemen kicked his legs from under him and as he fell to the ground, handcuffs were placed on his wrists. They picked up his gun and dragged him up, and jacked him along, as he cried.
Tega: “guys come let us reason like gentlemen. I am a business man; you cannot treat me like this. What have I done wrong? These girls are all above eighteen years…” he stopped short as he received a stinging slap on his cheek.
SAS officer: “when you get to the station, you will know what you did. For now just shut up.” He said.
Tega felt the ground open. “What had happened? Who had betrayed me? Ashley! That bitch! After everything…” he thought as he was pushed into the van to join a badly bruised Dele.
Stella entered the police station with her heart beating rapidly. “I was warned o. Lisa’s mother warned me o. that Brukeme or what is his name…when the police are done with him, I will start my own. He does not know who he is fucking with. Me, Stella…he never know.” She thought as she burst into the D.P.O’s office, in a flurry of falling head tie and wrapper.
Her daughter was seated meekly on a chair, drinking juice and watching a movie on somebody’s I-Pad. She rushed to her and hugged her. The child wriggled from her mother’s arm and started telling her what happened with the sign language. Stella wept as she realised that her instincts about Brukeme was right. She got up and turned to the D.P.O
Stella: “Desmond, were they caught?”She asked; her eyes cold.
D.P.O: “oh yes. In fact it was one of the criminals that gave us the identity of the girl and told us to call you.” he replied.
Stella: “someone I know?” she asked, her eyes opening wide,
The D.P.O picked his intercom and ordered for someone to be brought in. some minutes later, the door opened and Ashley entered, her wrist handcuffed.
Stella got up from her chair in shock. She opened her mouth to speak but the words could not come out. She stared at the person she considered a friend. Someone she thought she could help find peace and happiness and she felt her heart break.
Ashley: “the world is not a good place now, is it?” she asked, smiling sadly.
Question: Ashley has failed her friend. Do you think she participated in the kidnap because of greed or for a better reason? What do you think of the mark; Ashley had seen on Brukeme’s arm?
See Episode 22 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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