Malcom and Kaylah: “Lovebirds?” they said in shock.
Nadia: “Oh sorry, I had meant to break it to you after you are rest, since it is already out. I have evidence to prove that you two are lovebirds, that you Malcom disvirgined your sister”
Kaylah: “Nadia, what are you saying, is that the welcome you would give a friend who was kidnapped?”
Nadia: “Get down from your high horse already. So, you have been banging your brother, while appearing like a good girl. Think of what the world would say if i publish this”
Malcolm: “What has Kaylah ever done to you?”
Nadia: “I am going to be the one asking the questions, not you” she said with a toothy grin. Malcolm pulled Kayla to himself, but She latter pushed him away.
Kaylah: “Leave me alone!” she yelled.
Nadia: “It is too late to be doing all that now, ok. Now listen up, if you don’t want me to publish your love letter to the whole world, we will make a deal”
Kaylah: “I am not making any deal with you. I didn’t know you were this poisonous” she said as a single tear tickled down her eyes. She turned and went upstairs. Nadia watched her leave, and then turned to see that Malcolm was not standing at his position, he was in her face. Before she could say ‘Jack’, his hands were tightly clasped around her neck.
Malcom: “What will stop me from just killing you right now?” he shook her head vigorously.
Nadia: “If I don’t come back, there are people who will publish the letter to the media” she choked out.
Malcolm contemplated just choking her to death, and damning the consequences, but he was not a killer. He released his hands and moved backward. Nadia’s neck had the mark of his hands around them, and her eyes were filled with tears. She picked up her purse and hurried away, from the house.
The next day, Kaylah and Malcolm locked up their house and flew back to Lagos. Kaylah had wanted to stay back, so she could search for Stinger, but Malcolm had insisted that it was not safe, as every militant in the region might want to have a go at her because the huge ransom money had been paid.
Immediately they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed airport, she saw a man reading a Newspaper in the lobby. It was the picture of Stinger splayed on the front cover that had caught her eyes. She rushed to the man and snatched the Newspaper away from him, to the man’s amazement. She read the news on the front page and slumped on the nearest seat. She read that Stinger had been arrested and would be transferred like a top security criminal, to Lagos maximum prison, kiri kiri. She held the paper to her face, her eyes were filling up with tears as she read.
Malcolm came closer and read the news, but he was confused by his sister’s reaction to it. The man demanded for his paper, and Malcolm began to apologize, explaining that she was kidnapped by Stinger and his group, she was released after twenty billion was paid. But Stinger had been caught because he gathered a group of tech guys and they had traced the money as it left his account to the off shore account, and from there they had followed the money till it came back to Nigeria. He told them that Stinger had been apprehended at the bank. The people who were listening began to applaud. Malcolm was caught in the moment and did not realize his sister’s mouth was open in shock, till she jerked him.
Kaylah: “Who ever asked you to do that, why did you do this?” she wailed. She raised her hand and gave him a thunderous slap
Kaylah: “Who ever told you, you could meddle in my affairs? Why didn’t you just stay in America?”
Malcolm: “It is not all about you; SGI was losing a huge amount of money, why couldn’t I try in getting it back? I ran around to make sure someone donated. Father could not, he had to pay for mother’s surgery. So, if I could, why shouldn’t I try to get the money back, why should I allow you be so greatly indebted to SGI?”
Kaylah: “Even if no one donated, I would have been fine, I was with Ifiok, I would have been fine. He wouldn’t hurt me” she said and ran away. Malcom just stood there looking perplexed.
Man: “She is suffering from Stockholm syndrome; it is a situation in which abductees develop attachment or sympathy towards their abductors. She will need help” the man who had been reading the Newspaper said. But Malcolm knew it was more than that, he knew the name Ifiok, his sister had found her childhood friend from the orphanage.
There in India, the surgery had been done successfully, and Mrs. Assanga was recuperating in the recovery wing, her husband did not leave her side even for a day. He sat by her bed side, and only went to change when she was asleep.
Mrs. Assanga: “I had a brush with death; I don’t know when God will call me home. I need to tell Kaylah everything”
Mr. Assanga: “Stop talking nonsense. You are going to the Lord anytime soon. And I don’t know why you want to put our child through emotional stress. I have not been able to reach them, but I read on the news that she has been released”
Mrs. Assanga: “I don’t understand though, why you would choose me over our daughter. That is so unfair”
Mr. Assanga: “Not you too, come on, you were at death’s doorstep, I couldn’t let you die, I had to take a gamble. Thank God everything worked out just fine” he replied and kissed her forehead.
Kaylah threw herself on the chair, gaped at Malcolm, who still felt the sting of her anger as he rubbed the part of the cheek where her vicious slap had landed.
Malcolm: “Can we get going?” he managed to say.
Kaylah still angry,
Kaylah: “What happens to Ifiok?”
Malcolm could hardly believe his ears; was he in a reverie or had Kaylah lost touch with sanity.
Malcolm: “What happens to a criminal?”
Kaylah: “He is not a criminal!”
He shook his head and threw the hands in the air,
Malcolm: “Then, please, tell me, is kidnapping not a criminal offence?” she rested her head on the chair as he folded the arms.
Tears, steaming, rolled down her cheeks and it burnt her cheeks. Malcolm sat close to her, he knew she was angry but didn’t know how to calm her down. In silence they just sat looking opposite directions. At that moment she hated Malcolm. Why would he do that? She thought. After thirty minutes of silence Kaylah decided to use the axe to break the frozen silence,
Kaylah: “I am going back home. I won’t stay here in Lagos!”
Kaylah: “Yes! I’m staying back to fight and I must sort for ways of proving to the world that Ifiok isn’t a top criminal!”
Malcolm with words stolen by the insane decision shook his head,
“You don’t have to say anything!”
She stood up dragging the handle of her bag and flung it on the shoulders.
Malcolm heaved, stood up and jacked his bag too,
Malcolm: “ I’m staying with you!” she bite her lower lips, nodded and they left the airport.
They flew back home, and in the cab, she sat with the thoughts of Ifiok weaving in and out of her mind. She rested her head on the window of the car. They were both seated at the back,
Malcolm: “I’m sorry!” he grabbed her hand; she nodded in a vigorous manner, “ I didn’t know his arrest would get to you this way!” he added with a pinch of jealousy. Was she in love with Ifiok? He thought. He couldn’t stand the sight of Kaylah marrying another man. For a long time, he had been itching for the opportunity to tell her the truth about her real parents. He knew his parents adopted her. He had found out the day he was looking for some credentials in his parents room when he stumbled on the papers- the adoption papers. Into her eyes, he stared crazing for her lips and wishing he could just tell her, “Baby,marry me!” that would sound absurd to the world who believe they are siblings but to him that would be the ideal thing to do for they are lovers. He was in love with her and that was a feeling he wasn’t ready to forget about.
Kaylah: “I’m sorry too!”she slide into his arms, “I’m sorry for over reacting!” he rubbed her hair and placed his nose on it.
Malcolm: “ Are you in love with Ifiok?” he couldn’t hold it anymore.
She raised her head, peered into his eyes and smiled at him,
Kaylah: “You think so?” smiled again.
She could smell jealousy from afar whenever she saw one. The question exposed Malcom’s ignorance and he felt shy like one who had displayed a little form of childishness. He grinned,
‘No, I’m not!” she smiled and returned the head to where it was.
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Getting to the house they were shocked to hear that their parents were back. It was Bassey, the gateman that told me. It was supposed to be a surprise.
Bassey: “ Ah, una don come back?” he expressed his shock to see them back for they had bade him good bye that they were going to Lagos.
Kaylah smiled and Malcolm who most times flared up at Bassey who had the knack for unnecessary questioning replied,
Malcolm: “We changed our mind!”
Bassey: “Okay o!” he locked the gate, “Oka and Maram don come back iyo!” he said in his funny accent.
They were surprised, “Really?” they chorused.
He nodded and added,
Bassey: “Jus’ na! Jus na!”
Malcolm sighed as Kaylah dashed into the room, screaming,
Kaylah: “Mummy! Daddy!” she barged into the room and flung herself on her mother who was sitting. They both landed on the bed in a tight embrace. Her father smiled. The mother and daughter were in sobs, “I missed you mum!”
Mrs Assanga: “I missed you, baby!” she cuddled her.
Mr Assanga: “There’s no need for the tears!” as he sat by the edge of the bed.
Malcolm: “Welcome dad,” he had just entered.
They hugged each other,
Mr Assanga: “Thank you for handling your sister’s case with maturity!”
Malcolm: “If I don’t take care of her. Who would?”
Kaylah and Mrs Assanga were seated as they all broke into giggles,
Kaylah: “Go joor!” she pushed him away as he stroked her cheek.
He hugged his mother,
Malcom: “So happy to have you back, mum!” he kissed her fore head.
Mrs Assanga: “I couldn’t be happier baby!” She drew Kaylah closer as the three of them were knitted in an embrace.
Mr Assanga: “and doesn’t daddy deserve some sugars too?” he said with arms opened as they rush at him.
They sat on the bed together. Their parents narrated how their journey was and how the operation was done successfully, “I almost died of tension just like when your mother was in labour with you…” Mrs Assanga grunted and he stopped,he was looking at Malcolm who in turn looked towards Kaylah who was carried away by the warmth of Mrs Assanga’s embrace.
Kaylah jumped out of bed,
Kaylah: “Lemme quickly prepare your favourite Afang soup!”
She argued with her parents who said they would all go and eat out. Malcolm and Kaylah insisted she cooks for them.
As they both went out of the room, Nadia jerked from the couch. She had been in the house for close to an hour. They were taken aback,
Malcolm stood in her face, grinding the teeth,
Malcolm: “What are you doing here again?”
Nadia giving a mischievous smile,
Nadia: “I came for the last time before going ahead to do that which is the needful, “ she gesticulated.
They were both fuming,
Malcolm: “What part of hell do you belong?” Nadia smirked.
Kaylah moved closer as they stared into each other’s eyes,
Kaylah: “Go to hell!”
Nadia moved away smiling,
Nadia: “my terms are simple gimme your title and the story of incest, “ she smiled looking at the tow of them, “wouldn’t see the light of the day or else…”
Malcolm was done. He wouldn’t stand and listen to the poisonous Nadia spread venom all over the house. She was trying to hurt Kaylah but he wouldn’t let that happen.
Malcolm: “Oh,else what?”
They had dragged themselves to the dining area where their voices wouldn’t be heard.
Nadia: “Use the information I have to bring you all down!”
Kaylah was afraid she didn’t know what to do. Was she to plead with Nadia or just let her have the crown?
Malcolm: “Please, go ahead!”
Nadia looked at him, was he serious at all? Kaylah looked at him too, “Yes, please, go ahead!” Kaylah pinched him it was a plea so he wouldn’t provoke the demons in Nadia- he had damned the consequences; the opportunity had presented itself.
“ Let the whole world know that we are lovers and not siblings!”
They were both surprised, he turned to Kaylah,
Malcolm: “Yes, Kaylah. You were adopted!”
She shook her head,
Kaylah: “No! No! It can’t be! Mummy! Daddy!” she ran into their parent’s room in tears.
They were surprised to see her in tears, Mr Assanga jumped down from the bed,
Mr Assanga: “Why are you crying, sweetie?”
She stood shaking as tears trickled down into her mouth,
Kaylah: “Please, tell me, it isn’t true!”
Mrs Assanga threw her arms around her as they sat down,
Mr and Mrs Assanga chorused, “What is it?”
Kaylah: “That I was adopted!”
They both froze as their eyes locked in each other’s. Tears gathered in their eyes. it was all over- the secret had been revealed. They had intended to tell her that day. Mr and Mrs Assanga looked away sobbing.
Kaylah stood up her eyes feasted on them,
Kaylah: “So it’s true! That I am not your daughter! And no one cared to ever tell me!” tears rolled as her chest became hot. She was angry.
Mr and Mrs Assanga tried reaching out to her but she dashed out of the room sobbing. She ran passed Malcolm and Nadia, while Malcolm followed her. Mr and Mrs Assanga were left befuddled with their heads buried in their hands.