Kemi paced around her living room which she had managed to refurnish. She could not believe her son had been missing for two days and no one told her. She suspected Abodunrin, he could have been the one who arranged for the guys to kidnap him so he could extort money from his wife and her daughter.
She knew the kind of person he truly was since the day he absconded with her properties. He was an opportunist and a gold digger who had hidden his identity for so long under the guise of love. He wanted an easy money, he had always been lazy making her the bread winner of the family.
She was pained. She thought of calling the police to arrest and investigate him about the kidnapping but she thought about her son. He would reveal his secret to the whole world and she didn’t want that to happen.
She held a hand over her belly and thought of her child. “So I am going to have a child for the son of a bitch? That heartless and wicked man? Oh my innocent child, how I wish I didn’t struggle so much to have you” she regretted when sometimes, she felt herself pouring some of the hatred she had for the father on the unborn child.
She decided to switch on her television for the first time since she bought it and the first station that appeared on the screen was NTA Lagos.
They were having a Saturday night show, something piqued her interest about the show and she decided to have her seat and watch it even though she hated almost all the local stations.
The old man on the screen was talking about the story of his life with tear-streaked face. she looked closely at him and wondered where she had seen him before.
The man used his other free hand to tear off the tape that had been used to seal his mouth…
Sukanmi: “Please…please… who are you?” he whimpered frightfully.
A lady walked in carrying a rechargeable lamp which was bright enough to illuminate the room. He was able to see everyone in the room at last and was relieved to see the two men were wearing a police uniform.
1st Policeman: “We are police officers. The lady here called us that she noticed something unusual is happening here so we came” he replied.
Lady: “Yeah. I have noticed for some time now that those guys hardly come to this neighbourhood but they own this particular room.
Anytime they came, they always come very very early in the mornings and left late at nights. They are never seen outside not even to ease themselves.
I tip toed to the back this morning and heard them laughing and asking one of them to urinate into his mouth, to do this and that to him.
At first I was extremely frightened, didn’t know whether to call the police or not. Took me one hell of a time to decide”
2nd Policeman: “You did the right thing but you should have called us immediately you heard them. We would have been able to arrest them.
Now I doubt they will ever come back here again when they realise he has escaped. Please notify us immediately you catch a whiff of them again, they will be back. We will have someone parole this place from now on”
Sukanmi: “Please take me home. my wife must be so worried. No can I use your phone please? I heard them talking to her about some ransom they are to collect tomorrow from her. please we can use that to nab them” he said desperately.
One of the officers handed the phone to him and he dialled Suzan’s number immediately.
Sukanmi: “Honey please don’t shout. I don’t want anyone to know I am the one calling you” he said immediately she picked the call.
Suzan: “Oh my God!” she shouted but concealed her joy immediately when she saw Abodunrin walking towards her.
Sukanmi: “I have some policemen with me right now and I should be coming back soon but I will not. I want this guys to be caught. So tomorrow, act as if you have the money but don’t go with any money.
Some officers will hide and then nab the guys from there. But honey, please be careful. I wouldn’t be able to live if anything happens to you” he said emotionally. “And find a way to text the address they’d send to you to this phone number okay? I love you” he ended and handed the phone over to the officer without waiting to hear what she had to say.
She was elated but she acted otherwise for Abodunrin’s sake. That was the first time he’d ever told her he loved her. She wanted to scream and dance for joy but the bastard kept casting her suspicious glances.
Abodunrin: “Who was that?”
Suzan: “One of my friends. She was just asking after us” She feigned acute sadness.
Abodunrin: “Okay and don’t worry about Sukanmi okay? He will be found safe and sound”
Suzan: “Amen. Thank you sir” she said and walked past him into the corridor smiling.
She sprang to her feet when the man got to the oganja river incidence and how they had sailed the baby away in a basket due to the fear of him being killed by the people.
Kemi: “Oh my God. I found Sukanmi in that same river at Nnewi twenty six years ago. Oh my God! No wonder the man looked so familiar, Sukanmi is his exact replica. Oh God!” she paced around in the living room with her hand on her forehead.
Her temperature skyrocketed as her head began to spin. She slowed down a little bit remembering the doctor’s warning never to do anything which would make her blood pressure rise above normal.
She took deep breaths and turned back to the T.V. she quickly copied down the number they provided and placed it on the table, contemplating on whether to call the old man or not.
“I am about to lose my beloved son” the tears flowed freely from her eyes then. “I shouldn’t have switched on the television today of all days” she regretted in her heart.
He was taken to the police station since none of the officers were willing to have him stay at their place and he insisted on not going home. He was given food and water but then, he was unable to eat much since his insides had become accustomed to going without water and food.
At daybreak, the officer received the message from Suzan and they set out to the address they had indicated in the text. He insisted on going with them just to make sure his wife was okay. He wouldn’t let her go through all the trouble alone.
She was expecting to be asked to go to a very private place but when she got there, she was surprised to find out it was very crowde. People went about their normal day to day activities, hustling. She looked around just to see if there was any face looking suspicious but no one seemed to even be looking her way.
She leaned on a wall and waited with the school bag she had stuffed to the brim with books she had cut into the size of money just in case they were taking note of the shape of her bag. She didn’t want to live anything to the imagination.
After like an hour of waiting, a guy emerged from the crowd and started walking towards her, she stood upright with eyes looking as scared as a lamb being led to the slaughter house. He collected the bag from her without uttering a word and bolted into the crowd while the officers who were on mufti bolted after him…
Question: Will the kidnappers be caught that way? Will Kemi call the number?
To be continued…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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