Mr Lanre: “will you open your mouth and talk before the security men take you away?”
Kidnapper: “Sir, please have mercy on me. My leg dey pain me, no allow me die like this. This na the first time wey I dey do this business and I promise say I no go ever do am again”.
Mr Lanre: “I am a man of my words, my word is my bond. So I give you my word, tell me who sent you and I will allow you go afterall you didn’t harm my daughter in anyway. If you don’t, I will make sure that you languish in jail, it is a promise”.
Kidnapper: “Okay, sir. I go talk, he saw the expression on the face of Mr Lanre and he knew that he meant business. “Na, Florence bring the deal come”.
Mr Lanre: “Florence, who is called by that name? are you sure you are telling the truth? None of my relations and domestic staff bear that name”.
Kidnapper: “Na her name be that. She said she was with you people when your daughter called to tell you where she was standing and where you would pick her. She told us to hurry and pick her up before you got to her and she was the one who said we should demand for 10 million naira because you can afford the money”.
Mr Lanre: “It was just I, my wife, my twin and the driver that was in the car that day. Wait a minute, my daughter’s friend was there with us in the car, she had followed her home from school. Florence, yeah, that is her name. But she looks so innocent, how can she do a thing like this? No, that is not possible” he turned to the security men who were waiting for him to finish talking with the man so they could take him away. “Take him away, I need to get to the bottom of this, I don’t believe this guy. I will see you at the station tomorrow”.
Kidnapper: “Ah, oga have mercy on me. I have told you the truth, you promised me that you will not press charges if I tell you the truth, you said you are a man of your words, abeg pity me. Police go show me pepper for their station”.
Mr Lanre ignored him and got into one of the vans with Maya who was beginning to feel dizzy. The other van returned to the station with the kidnapper.
Florence was getting jittery in the house, it had been more than hour since she was updated by the kidnappers and she wondered what the problem could be. She had tried to reach them but their number was switched off, this was not surprising because she had told them to switch off their phones so as to avoid their calls being tracked. Naya noticed her getting restless and she was wondering what the problem was.
Naya: “what is the problem with you? You haven’t been yourself for sometimes now”.
Florence: “What, me? She?” she asked suspiciously, she had thought that she had been concealing her acts well, she was therefore shocked that her restlessness had given her away.
Naya: “Don’t lie to me, I know you very well and I know when you are restless. So, what is it? The way you are even acting, one would think you are anxious about something”.
Florence: “I am just worried about my mother, I heard she is feeling feverish”. She lied.
Naya: “oh, I am so sorry to hear that. Don’t get too worked up, she will be fine”.
Florence: “I guess I will have to rush to Suleja to see her since it is obvious that your sister is no longer coming home today”.
Naya: “Why this suddenly and how are you sure that my sister will not return home today? Anyway, wait for my father to return home so that he can instruct his driver to take you home and give you some money. I am sure your parents would be needing some provisions and you would have to take your mother to the hospital, you need money to do that”.
Florence: “Don’t worry, just bring whatever money your father gives me to school, I will get it from you there”.
Naya moved closed to her and threw her hands over her shoulder. “Why the rush? You were so excited about meeting my twinny, so why are you rushing out before she even gets here?”
Florence: “I don’t understand the way my body is doing me, let me not come and stay here and hear that my mother is dead”, she lied again. She disengaged from Naya’s hold, took her bag and left the room.
“And where are you going with your bag?” Mr Lanre who was just coming into the sitting room asked Florence who became too startled for words”.
Florence: “I…wr, erm…”
Mr Lanre: “Yes, can’t you talk?”
Naya who heard her father’s voice from her room ran down the stairs and screamed when she saw her twin sister standing behind her father.
Naya: “Oh my God, Maya is back, thank God! I missed you so much twinny? Hope you are fine? Hope those kidnappers didn’t hurt you?” she asked as she hugged her sister and turned her around.
Maya: “I am fine, no they didn’t hurt me. I will tell you everything that happened, just allow me rest a little and freshen up, then we can gist all night”.
Mr Lanre: “Naya, who is this?” he asked pointing at Florence who wished that the ground would open and swallow her.
Naya: “Ah-an, daddy. This is my friend and roommate now”.
Mr Lanre: “What did you say her name is again?”
Naya: “Florence, now daddy. What are all these questions about? This is not the first time you are meeting her”.
Mr Lanre: “You call this devil a friend? You should be glad that God revealed her true colour to you before it became too late”.
Naya: “I don’t understand you, sir”.
Mr Lanre: “Your friend here is the one behind the kidnap of your twin sister”.
Naya: “Oh my God! No, this is not happening. She was so looking forward to meeting Maya. Florence tell me this is not true”.
Florence: “I am sorry; it is the work of the devil. I had so many financial challenges and I was tired of depending on you for everything I need in school. I wanted to make some money for myself so that I can move out of your room in school so you can have your privacy”.
Naya: “And the best way was to kidnap my own sister? God! What did my family ever do to offend you? Have I ever complained to you that you were inconveniencing me in anyway? Was I not the one who asked you to come in and live with me when I saw the way the girl you were squatting with was embarrassing you? If you have financial issues, why didn’t you talk to me or my parents about it?”
Florence: “For how long will I continue to bother you with my problem? Do you know how inferior I feel standing beside you in school? Everyone knows I am from a very poor home and that without you, I won’t survive. When I got in here and saw the way you live in affluence, I had to act fast to make some money of my own. The worst thing that can happen to anybody is to be born into a poor background where you will constantly be an object of mockery and reproach among your peers”.
Maya: “You mean this is your friend? Is this the type of friends you people keep in Nigeria? Oga o. Let me do and go back to where I am coming from abeg”.
Mr Lanre: “That you were born without a silver spoon is not enough reason for you to embrace crime. In fact, I was born without any spoon in my mouth at all. I rose to the position where I am by prayers, hard work and dedication. If these worked for me, it will work for you too”.
Florence fell on her knees and held on the feet of Maya and Naya, wetting them with her tears.
Florence: “Please forgive me, I will never do this again. I am sorry, it is the work of the devil. Please don’t persecute me for the sake of the friendship we share. I know that your father listens to whatever you tell him, please plead with him on my behalf”. She pleaded amidst tears.
Question: Is her repentance genuine? Do you advise the Lanre’s to forgive her and accept her back?
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