Naya and Florence set out the next morning to her home, it was a two hours drive away from where their university was located and it was taking a long time before the bus got filled, Florence who was anxious to meet Naya’s family was already getting impatient.
Florence: “babe, I still don’t know why you didn’t allow your father send his driver over with one of his cars to come and pick us”.
Naya: “is that necessary? That would be like wasting double petrol if you ask me. Imagine the driver driving here and then driving us back, it’s not as if we cannot find an alternative means of transportation here”.
Florence: “That would have saved us the stress of waiting here for this bus to get filled. In fact, I have an idea, why don’t you just pay for the remaining space in the bus so that the car can move?”
Naya: “I will do no such thing. That is wasting of money, I will rather take that money to the orphanage or give it to the less privileged”.
Florence: “Okay o”, she continued fiddling with her phone. Florence was from a poor background but she had the ambition of making it to the upper class of the society. She spent more than she could earn and in most cases she had to sleep with older men so she could afford to meet up with her taste for designer things and comfort.
They arrived in her house which was located in the high brow areas of the city. Her parents were just about settling down for lunch when the girls got in.
“hello, mum and dad, I have missed you two so much”, Naya said and ran to her parents who hugged her affectionately.
Mrs Lanre: “welcome, oko mi. How is school? You are almost an hour late, I was worried something terrible had happened to you. You look slimmer compared to when you left home for school. I am sure you have not been eating well as much as I asked you to do. You need to add more flesh before you go back o”.
Mr Lanre: “iya ibeji, won’t you allow the young lady sit down before you push her down with questions?”
Naya: “daddy, mum can so worry herself ehn”, turning to her mother, she said “mummy, na lekpa dey reign now o, so allow me to remain like this”.
The couple turned to Florence who was standing behind Naya awkwardly. She had met Naya’s parents several times when they had come to drop her off in school but this was her first time of coming to their house. She was surprised at the beautiful and well furnished house that she was in. She had also seen lots of cars parked at the garage of the house and she was wondering why Naya was living such a simple life in school despite the fact that her parents were very rich.
Mrs Lanre: “Welcome, my dear. How are your parents?”
Florence: “they are fine, ma”.
Mr Lanre: “Alright, join us at the table, dinner is served”.
The two friends joined the couple at the table with the cook standing at attention, ready to attend to them.
Maya boarded British Airways to Nigeria. She was supposed to take the flight directly to Abuja where her parents lived but she had been told that Nnamdi Azikwe international airport in Abuja was undergoing renovation and so they had to land in Kaduna before they would be conveyed to Abuja. The flight from London to Kaduna was very smooth.
When the plane arrived from Kaduna airport, there were taxis to convey passengers to Abuja but Maya declined because she had heard a lot about the ancient city of Kaduna. She wanted to catch a glimpse of the city and then come to Abuja by train, she had heard her Nigerian friends in her social media platforms narrate how the train was so good it could be compared to the ones abroad. She wanted to experience it for herself, so that she could also talk about it.
She took a cab going to town from the airport and went to the prestigious central market, the market she heard was one of the biggest in Northern Nigeria. She was holding her box and her handbag where she kept her iPhone 7. The driver dropped her close to Leventis roundabout which was just opposite the market and she walked into the market dragging her box behind her. She was surprised at how big the market was, she didn’t know that such a big market existed in the northern part of the country. She was walking around and in more than one situation, she tried to start up a conversation but most of the traders were speaking Hausa, a language she didn’t understand. After some minutes, she left the market and picked a cab to the train station at Rigasa. When she got in, she was told that the train had left the station and another was not due to leave till 5pm. She checked her time, it was just few minutes past 2pm, she couldn’t comprehend what they meant by her having to wait for another 3 hours before she could board the next train.
Maya: “so what you are telling me now is that I won’t see a train to Abuja right away?”
Station receptionist: “na so, aunty. Train never tey wey e leave and the next one go leave by 5pm, you fit sit down here wait for am”.
Maya: “you cannot be serious. I should wait here as if I don’t have a place to go. Nigeria is such a backward country, mehn. In the UK, you have trains moving like every minute. I mean what is so special about trains that one has to wait for almost 3 hours for it?”
Station attendant: “no vex, aunty. E never tey wey this train thing start to dey work again. With time we go get enough train. This government dey try walahi”.
Maya: “Oh fuck it”, she was getting angry. She saw the way the attendant cast her a shocking glance, she also saw other people turning to stare at her in the reception, she remembered what her father told her about using the ‘F word’ in public places in Nigeria especially in the north and she picked her box and ran out of reception.
She picked a cab that took her to the popular Abuja junction located in the southern part of Kaduna, there she boarded a car going to Abuja. She noticed that they were taking too long waiting for the car to get filled. She got impatient and called the driver from where he was eating at a local buka table close to his car.
Maya: “Driver, can you just come and start this car for God’s sake? This city is so hot, I can’t take the heat anymore mehn”.
Driver: “aunty, no vex. E remain 2 people wey go full the car so that we fit go. Na because na afternoon, passengers no dey too dey in the afternoon”.
Maya: “Just fuck it and get behind the wheel, I will pay for the empty spaces”.
Driver: “okay, aunty. Make I eat finish” he began to eat in a hurry. Maya got infuriated and when she heard a private vehicle shouting “Abuja Abuja” across the road, she got down and took her bag.
Driver: “aunty, come now I don finish eat be that”.
Maya: “Just forget it, I am going to follow that car”.
Driver: “No try am, na one chance vehicle be that o. It is not advisable to move in cars that are not from the garage and registered” he called after Maya who ran into the private vehicle without talking about the price. Two men and a lady were in the car when she joined them. She reached into the back zip of her handbag and reached for her iPhone, it was not there, she checked and rechecked every corner in her bag. She remembered that the last time she had seen it was when she got down from the taxi and walked into the market. It could only mean one thing, a clever petty thief had dipped his or hand into her bag and removed the phone while she was squeezing her way in between the crowd in the market. She was still thinking of her phone when she felt the man sitting close to her tap her, she turned round and saw him holding a sharp knife, the other man on the other side covered her mouth and the driver diverted into the bush. She wanted to scream but the hand covered her mouth securely and she knew she was in big trouble, if only she had listened to the driver.
Question: Will she escape? How will her parents contact her now that her phone is missing?
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