I squeezed my face in disgust at the taste of the foul drink Becky just gave me, how do people drink this anyway? It’s awful, but I won’t lie its actually helping my nerves, I’m calmer than I was a few minutes ago.
“Need more?” asked Becky, totally happy to be serving me. I raised an eyebrow at her as I asked,
“Are you trying to get me drunk?”
“What? Nooo of course not” she said, feigning innocence, “you really need this, you know you do” she said, acting like the devil.
“Gosh, you’re the devil” I said, feeling totally not myself.
“Just have another drink, trust me, you’ll feel better after this”
“Becky I’m not sure I should”….
“Take it” she said, stretching her hand with the glass containing the awful drink. Still feeling indecisive I said,
“Maybe we should wait for”……..
“Take it” she said again, handing me my glass, not letting me finish my sentence, I shook my head letting her know I didn’t want it, she pushed it forward and into my hand. I sighed, looked at her, then at the drink, and decided well, What the hell, its helping right?. I looked back to the drink in my hand, took a breath, Then I drank it in one go. And one word to describe it. “Yuck!” I shook my head like a dog shaking off water from its body, my eyes shut tight at the feeling and taste, feeling the tingle go through me. Then I opened my eyes to look at her,
“Good right?” she asked I shrugged,
“it’s alright” I lied, she smiled at me I smiled back.
“Ok, one more and that’s it” I said, even though I knew I might regret this in the morning and probably miss the arrival of Fola and Nancy, but I needed a distraction, last night keeps playing in my head, I need to forget.
“Sure” she said but I knew that wasn’t going to be the last, as long as Becky is around this might not be my last drink.
“What is wrong with these fools do you think we are in a stadium? Off that TV right now!” yelled my mother. Nancy looked at me, there was absolute fear in her eyes, I was scared also ‘cos I know who my mother is and what she can do.
“Fola, your mother is here” whispered Nancy, her voice shaking.
“I know Nancy, I have a plan, just pay close attention and I promise we’ll both be ok” I said with determination, if I show her that I’m also scared, there’s a high probability that we won’t survive this.
Nancy closed her eyes, I waited like two beats for her to open them, thankfully she did, she opened them, and then she said,
“I’ll do whatever you want me to do, I trust you”. I sagged, relieved and happy to hear her say that. Her words and manner of speaking have become a whole lot better, we noticed that the more she speaks the clearer her voice becomes. Even though it was a bit rough, we didn’t mind ‘cos the roughness made her voice sound really good. She no longer stammered, except sometimes, and it’s only once in a while that she dragged her words, but all in all she speaks well.
“Ok, here’s what we are going to do” I walked closer to her telling her my plan, I really hope it works.
We arrived at our destination, in three cars, the 2016 ford explorers ( black, grey and white), each vehicle having four of my men in it. As we studied our surrounding, we noticed the houses looked abandoned except for a few. The first of the few I noticed had a fence surrounding it, with small bushes growing around the house and fence, the roof was green with white windows, and we saw a woman standing by the window staring at us from the inside of her house.
“Guess that’s the lady that saw the girls” said Bello, he was sitting behind.
“Yep, that’s definitely her”, Said Gibson from the passenger seat looking at the lady. I looked at the house that had our girls in it; it was opposite to the lady’s house. It had a black roof, with black and white widows; the house was painted cream in color and it was half fenced not having a gate while the lady’s own did have a gate. I wonder why she lives here, in this area; it’s totally not safe for anyone. I looked at Gibson,
“you ready?” he nodded at me, Then I turned to face Bello, he nodded at me too. I pressed the earpiece in my ear and said,
“Get ready guys, we’re going in”. I looked once more at Gibson, he didn’t look back, and then in my ear I heard James say
“ready when you are”. I placed my hand on my door handle to open the door, as it opened I said,
“I’m coming for you girls, hold on”. I got down, closed the door, and heard Gibson and the rest of my men’s car doors close also. I got out my gun, positioned it by aiming then we moved.
My heart was beating ten times its normal speed; I was scared out of my mind. As the both of us stood at opposite sides of the door, my eyes moved from Fola downwards to where we had littered groundnut oil on the ground. Waiting for whoever would want to come in first to come, Fola has this grand idea that she was sure was going to work, so we decided to stick to it, so here we are ready for them, well Fola is, I’m not sure if I am.
“Nancy” Fola called me, my eyes left the ground to look back at Fola, she had no fear in her eyes. I wish I could be as brave as she is, I really do.
“We’ll be fine” I continued to stare at her, totally unsure of myself. “We’ll be fine” she said firmly this time, I nodded my head, closed my eyes, and took a deep calming breath. Then I opened them, with my eyes still on her, I nodded my head again firmly in agreement, letting her know that I was totally, absolutely, utterly, flat out ready. So with the pans in our hands, we stood ready for them. ………………………… ……………
I stood there staring at my mother, with her light shining, I noticed I was shirtless, but I was putting on some shorts (pyjama shorts), I couldn’t believe she was standing in front of me, God I’ve missed her so much, but if she’s here that means…..
“Stephen you need to wake up, if you don’t, you might never see your loved ones again”. She said, her voice was soft and gentle. I felt my eyes start to water ‘cos I’ve missed her so much.
“Mum, where am I, what are you doing here, how did I get here?” so many questions were roaming through my brain but these were the important ones.
“Stephen, sweetie, you got shot at, don’t you remember?” she asked, I shook my head saying no, I couldn’t remember getting shot at.
“Remember sweetie, you need to remember, then you can wake up” I shook my head, no I don’t want to wake up, I want to stay here, with her,
“I don’t want to remember mum, I want to stay here with you”
“Oh my sweet boy” she shook her head sadly, “you aren’t ready for this place, trust me, you have a lot to do on earth” I looked at my mum confused, ‘a lot to do on earth…., what do you mean by a lot to do on earth, and how do you know?”
“ ok, Stephen, listen up, God sent me to you to give you this message, I’m not making it up, when you are ready, you will come back here, but for now you need to go back, it isn’t your time” I understood what my mother was saying, but I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to go back, I wanted to stay, she watched me as I thought about it, and I think she knew I had already made up my mind, so she used my weakness against me, forcing me to change my mind.
“Remember sweetie, remember Nancy”. At the mention of Nancy’s name, my heart picked up speed and my memory came back, I remembered,….I remembered lying in bed, then getting up from the noise I heard in the hallway. Then I remembered yelling at the men, finally I remembered hearing the gunshots, and an unbearable pain in my chest. I looked down at my chest to see blood covering it, there was no blood there before, how did it get there, is it because I remembered?, placing my hand on it, i looked at my mother, and my face squeezed in pain.
“You need to wake up, wake up Stephen, wake up” I stared at my mum for the last time, putting her into memory, and then I nodded my head and said,
“I should go back” she smiled at me, it was brilliant
“yes sweetie you should”, then I felt the ground open, I looked at my mum scared, she was still smiling, why is she smiling when the ground is about to swallow me up. Next thing I know, I’m falling deep into the hole, my body going down freely, I kept falling, and falling then it all went black.
As we stood by the door, we heard my mother yelling at the men, I kept my hands up with the pan in my hand. Then from the other side of the door, we heard the men scrambling about, the couches were moving like they were struggling to get up, then the TV went off.
“Sorry ma, we were just watching football ma, sorry…”
“Oh…will you shut up” yelled my mother angrily, “have you given the girls anything to eat?” she asked.
“Well madam, you didn’t tell us to do that” said one stupidly.
“I didn’t, I didn’t,……are you mad!” she shrieked out. Oh boy, I didn’t know she cared about us this much.
“Are you trying to get rid of what I’m trying to sell?” I rolled my eyes skywards, rubbish, of course she doesn’t care, she just doesn’t want to lose her money, which is from selling us to the highest bidder.
“Madam, we didn’t know”….. One of them tried to speak, which I must say was stupid of him.
“If you don’t shut that stinking mouth of yours I swear, you won’t have a tongue in the next ten minutes” I stood there amazed at what she said, Well if that won’t shut him up, I don’t know what will.
The place was quiet for a few seconds; I could picture my mum scowling at them in anger, and the men shaking like idiots in front of her. After a while my mum spoke again, but she was no longer as angry as before.
“Now, I want you to go and check on my daughter, ask her if she is ok, if she needs anything, then come back to me and tell me what she wants” There was no movement, I think they were wondering who she was sending at the moment. I also wondered who she was sending since she didn’t call any name.
“No one is moving” she said, but it was more of a question.
“Madam, who should go, is it me?, or”….said the one that apologized the first time. The room was quiet once more, and then we heard a glass shatter, and my mum’s angry voice.
“One of you should just go” she yelled out. I saw Nancy bug out her eyes astonished,
“did she just break a glass?” she whispered to me. I nodded my head, but at the same timed, shushed her. Once again the men, scrambled about, they were all apologizing to my mother at the same time, I can imagine them, trying to do what she asked, God these men are just idiots. I knew any moment from now, they’ll realize I’m no longer in my room, and the next thing they’ll do is to come into Nancy’s room, so I looked at Nancy and whispered,
“ are you ready” she nodded her head at me saying yes. I nodded back at her, proud to see how brave she has become and then I watched as she held her pan tighter. We stood, waiting….and then we heard,
“she is gone, Fola is gone” yelled one of the men from my room.
“What?” shrieked my mum? “Find her you idiot, what do you mean by she’s gone?, find her now!”
“Did you hear that” asked Michael, I nodded at him, my hands still holding my gun, aiming at the house. We were by the fence and we had just heard Fola’s mum scream
“What, Find her you idiot, what do you mean by she’s gone?, find her now!” which meant they can’t find Fola, and knowing Fola she is up to something, if we don’t go in now she might get Nancy and herself killed. Still aiming at the house, I said to Michael,
“we should go in now; this is getting out of hand”. But Michael said nothing, I turned my head to the side to look at him, he was aiming his gun at the house like the rest of us. “Michael”
“Gibson, we wait”
“We wait Gibson, Fola is up to something, and she is fine, let’s wait for a few minutes”.
“Michael what are you talking about, this is a stupid plan, let’s go in now before it’s too late, we don’t have a few minutes” I said frustrated, totally disagreeing with his plan. But Michael said nothing he just kept aiming at the house. The boys were scattered, taking position at various angles. I looked back to the house angry, not liking the plan Michael had, God please be with them.
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I woke up to a beeping noise, my mouth was dry and my mind scattered, I opened my eyes to a bright light, I quickly closed it ‘cos it hurt my eyes. Then I tried one more time, opening it slowly, as my eyes opened this time, it adjusted to the light.
“Oh! You’re awake” said a cheerful voice. I turned my head to look at the sound of the voice, a pretty, middle-aged nurse walked in. What, a nurse, what is a nurse doing here, where am I anyway?
“You look confused” she said, “do you know where you are?” she asked as she walked to the bed where I was lying down, checking my drip and everything. I shook my head as I examined myself, I was in my pj’s and my right hand had an iv inserted in it, my eyes followed the line to where the drip was situated beside me by the bed, I looked back at her to ask what happened to me, but I thought maybe I needed something for my dry mouth first, so I whispered,
“Water” she was staring at me as I was examining myself, at my demand for water, she quickly turned to the clinic cabinet beside my bed. On top of it was a bottle of water and a white dispensable cup. She poured some into the cup then turned to face me.
“Ok, I have some water here for you as you’ve requested, I’m sure your mouth is dry that’s why you’re finding it difficult to speak. So here you go” She placed the palm of her hand firmly behind my neck to lift my head up just an inch, then she placed the cup to my mouth, I took a grateful drink feeling the water quench the thirst and the dryness. She took the cup away and placed it back on the bed side cabinet. My mouth was a whole lot better, so I was able to ask her all the questions I wanted to ask.
“Where am I, what happened to me, where are my family?” I didn’t know what question to ask first so I just asked all at once.
“Ahhmm….ok, I don’t know much, all I know is you were brought in last night by your brother Mr. Smith, he said armed robbers attacked your house last night and you got shot in the process, you had a bullet in your chest and you lost a lot of blood. Luckily the bullet didn’t damage anything in you, you were operated on immediately you came in and the bullet was taken out. It’s good you’re awake; it shows you’re healing fast.
All that the nurse had said suddenly made me remember last night, and then it dawned on me that Fola and Nancy have been taken, oh my god I hope they are alright. I looked at the nurse; she was looking at me,
“are you ok?” she asked, staring at my eyes to see if I was in any sort of pain, “you’ve been given some morphine to ease the pain, but it’ll be out of your system quite soon, and we can’t be giving it to you at all times so you don’t get addicted so you’ll have to bear the pain at that time when it happens…” She kept talking but I wasn’t listening, my thoughts were on Fola and Nancy,
I kept thinking what happened to them, I know its Fola’s mother that took them, but the problem is I have no idea where they can be. God I hope Michael and Gibson have a clue, if not this will not end well. After she was done talking I looked at her and asked,
“is anyone here for me?”
“well not really, there was an emergency at your home, but I was given a number to call some lady, I think her name is Ada, she’s supposed to come and stay with you in the hospital, so I’ll do that right away” I felt better knowing someone was going to come, I had a lot of questions to ask. I smiled at her saying,
“thanks a lot, will love that”. She smiled back at me,
“you’re welcome dear, just rest more and I’ll be back to check on you, ok?” I nodded my head at her still smiling. Then she turned around and walked out of the room, leaving me to my thoughts of Fola and Nancy, and hoping, praying that they are alright.
“I said find her, go, now!” my mum shrieked horribly. I heard the men scramble once more, and then their footsteps got closer to our door. I planted my feet firmly on the ground, ready for them. Suddenly the door burst open, and three men ran in unknown to them of what was waiting for them, as they ran, they got about half way into the room and then one by one they slipped.
Falling on each other, They looked hilariously stupid, but there was no time to laugh we had to make sure they will stay down for a long time, so we ran over to them, stopping where the oil had started, bent and used every strength we had to hit them with our pans on any part of their body. Grunts were heard, yelling, treats and whatever you can think of that can come out of angry men, lying in oil and finding it difficult to get up ‘cos their hands and shoes are slippery.
I stopped hitting, but Nancy continued, I watched her for a while just because I enjoyed it, I mean she’s quite good with a pan. But then I had to stop her because even though we had all the men down, we still had my mother to defeat. I looked back to the ground and noticed a gun jutting out of the hip of one of the men, I bent down by the waist and took it out, then I looked at Nancy, still hitting the one closest to her. Others had managed to slide away from her.
“Nancy, it’s ok, stop” but she didn’t hear me, she just kept right on hitting, yelling at the same time.
“You.. (Hit) Stupid…” more hitting, then.. “Foolish…idiots” she hit him right on his knees, the man screamed out in pain, but she kept on hitting him. “May (hit)..God (hit)..Forgive (hit)…you (hit)”
“Nancy” I yelled. She stopped immediately then looked at me still bent over; pan in hand, eyebrow raised. The men on the ground were moaning and moving in pain.
“Stop hitting them, they down, it’s time to go”
“Go where?” asked my mum from the door, we both turned slowly facing the door and my mother. Then the pan fell out of Nancy’s hand with a clatter. I looked at my mum and without thinking, I raised the gun in my hand and aimed, she raised hers too. We both stood, facing each other, both of us glaring at each other. She laughed mockingly at me,
“Do you think you can handle that gun, and even if you can, can you shoot your own mother?” I looked at her thinking how a mother can be so cruel, she feels comfortable to shoot and kidnap me, and she thinks I won’t be able to shoot her too. Is she that dump? “I’m your mother Fola, surely you can’t shoot your mother” the side of her lip went up, smirking at me. And it was then I knew who she truly was. I took a step forward, dropping the pan to the ground. I heard it clatter, and then I used that free hand to push Nancy behind me. If this was going to go south, at least Nancy will be safe. With Nancy behind me, I said,
“you are not my mother, my mother died years ago when she threw me out of my own house”. Her face changed immediately at my statement, this surprised me, she gasped a little looking at me surprised,
“you don’t mean that”
“Yes I do” my words came out strong and sure.
“No Fola you don’t, I gave birth to you”
“You might have done that, and by the way thank you for doing that, ‘cos if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have met Michael and his family” She rolled her eyes looking disgusted,
“oh common” she said irately, “you speak about Michael like he has never committed any sin in his life, he isn’t perfect, hope you know that?”
“Yes I do, but at least he isn’t out to kill me” I replied back narrowing my eyes at her.
“well then, since you feel he is all that, let me give you a little story about his family” my eyes still narrowed at her as I wondered what she was talking about, but I kept quiet letting her take the lead.
“Michael let’s go in” said Gibson impatiently. I looked at him, then I turned my head to look at the rest of my men, they looked impatient too. I turned my head back to face the house and made up my mind,
“ok, let’s move, everyone cover every corner, no place should be left opened, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go” Everyone moved, Gibson, Bello, some of the boys and me went into the house, others stayed outside. As we went, I thought to myself amused, tinu doesn’t even have body guards for this house, or did she think we wouldn’t find the place? Well that’s by the way, now it’s time to save the girls.
I stood with my gun raised as I listened to my mother speak; I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “You see, I’ve always had a thing for rich people, it’s why I always slept with them, one day, I had a stroke of luck, yes I met a man, not just a man, a rich man. His name was Jacob, I can’t remember his surname but who cares, he was rich, and I liked him even more because he wanted to become richer. He knew someone, a friend of his that was richer than him, so he planned to take the man’s family apart so he could be the one to have everything. You want to know who the family is.” She asked, I raised an eyebrow at her, she continued
“well its none other than the smith’s family”. My eyes bugged out and I stepped back away from her, she smiled wickedly at me and continued, “yes, the smiths family, your own Michael’s family, you see Mr. Jacob was a greedy jerk and I loved him for that. So we hatched a plan. He was to kill Mr Smiths wife, then I was to swoop in and become friends with Mr. Smith, then eventually marry him. Once I’m married to him, Mr. Jacob will kill Mr. smith then his inheritance will become mine, once its mine Jacob and I will have all of it, and we’ll travel the world spending our money on pretty things” .
She smiled at that statement, then her smile vanished as she continued
“but our plan didn’t work” . I watched her face change right there, she looked angry again, “ Mr. smith found out, and he decided to take matters into his own hands, he killed Jacob for killing his wife, but he planned that while he was in prison, I don’t know how he did it, but he did. I was lucky he didn’t kill me too cos he didn’t find out about me, so no harm came my way”.
She took a step forward still pointing the gun at me, at this point my gun was halfway raised cos my mind was still reeling at the m—-s of information I had just digested into my brain.
“So you see I’ve always known about this Family and because Mr. Smith killed the only man I have ever loved I am going to make his kids and anyone close to them suffer. And unfortunately for you, you are close to his kids, so I’m sorry Fola, you have to suffer too” I stared dumbly at her, is she for real, all this trouble for an idiot who couldn’t be satisfied with what he had? It was there that I lost it, like totally lost it.
“are you freaking kidding me?!” she jerked back at my sudden outburst, cos she wasn’t expecting that reaction from me, I brought my hand down along with the gun still yelling, “all this trouble, and pain, and sleepless nights and nightmares and extra security and fear because of a useless, stingy, irresponsible, ungrateful idiot, that was not satisfied with what he had, and decided to kill his own friend, cos he wanted what his friend had. I had to suffer for it, my friends and family had to suffer for it, for that?” I finished by asking the question, she just stared at me speechless, so seeing as she wasn’t ready to answer, I continued with my rant.
“I mean couldn’t he just ask his friend to help him out, to give him clues on how he does it, so he too could be rich like him?. Or couldn’t he accept the fact that not everyone in life gets what they want and he should just deal?. My god! He is worse than Cain in the bible. In fact Cain is far better than he is”. I was so into my rant mood that I didn’t notice the astonished look on my mother’s face, and the fact that her hand had gone down a little.
“Babe” I stopped my rant immediately to look at the door to see Michael standing there with his arm raised gun pointed at my mother. My mother whirled around to look at the door, her gun aiming too. “I think you’ve spoken enough, we need to take you girls home” I blinked rapidly at his statement, what a thing to say at this moment, well it was a good thing to say actually but couldn’t he say something else like, are you ok, are you hurt? But he didn’t say that obviously so seeing as I was an idiot, I just stood there and stared at the wonder that is Michael cos he looked amazing in his cargos, which means I didn’t make a move to let him know I understood him.
“Babe” he said again, warning in his voice. I jerked out of my stupor to grab Nancy’s hand, then as slowly as we could we both walked passed my mother, she looked at us by the side of her eyes, but she couldn’t move, this is because, Michael wasn’t the only one by the door, no, Gibson and Bello were there too, and they were all slowly walking inside. Immediately I got to a touching distance, Gibson grabbed me firmly by my hand and dragged both Nancy and I, shoving us carefully but firmly out the door where more of his men were. One of them came to us and grabbed me by the hand once more, then he dragged us to the couch, he said one word,
“ sit” and it was clear he wasn’t to be disobeyed, so we both sat down, immediately. Then from the room we heard Bello say,
” is that oil on the floor?” followed by Gibson asking “are those cooking pans?”
“Wow the girls have been busy” said Bello, I gave a smug look to Nancy, she smiled at me, and then we heard Michael order,
“put the gun down tinu, its over” We didn’t hear my mum speak, but we did hear movements, this was about when Michael had repeated his order for like two more times, then the next minute my mother was being walked out with hand cuffs to her back, Gibson holding her by her forearm. As he walked passed his men, he said,
“ get the police, tell em we’ve got Fola and Nancy and also the criminals involved” then he led my mother to a nearby seat by the kitchen and forced her to sit, she sat down, but she was scowling.then he stood beside her to make sure she doesn’t escape. One of the men did as Gibson asked, while the others went into the room, a few minutes later the rest of the criminals were led out with their hands cuffed, they looked all shinny like a new car, both Nancy and I giggled at their appearance, they weren’t forced to sit on a chair, they were forced to sit on the ground.
Twenty minutes later, we heard the sound of the police cars coming towards us, and my body sagged with relief. Michael was sitting beside me when he felt my body sag, he kissed my temple, Then continued to hold my hand, hand that he has been holding for about twenty minutes now. I was glad my mother was caught; in fact I was over the moon. Now my family and I can live in peace.
The inspector walked into the house with some police men, his head turned to the kitchen to where Fola’s mother sat, hands cuffed behind her, still scowling, and then he looked around seeing the criminals on the ground sitting down with their hands cuffed behind them. His eyes continued with its inspection then they landed on us sitting on the couch. He walked to us, i watched him as he did. Once he got close, i stood up to face him,
“Will you by any chance tell me how you found them before we did?” asked the inspector
“Nope” i replied. The inspector sighed loudly;
“thought so, ok we’ll take it from here” he looked at Fola sitting on the couch beside Nancy. Then he asked, “are you girls alright?” Fola and Nancy both nodded their heads at the same time” he gave them a chin lift, then looked back at me and said, “we’ll need their statements and to ask you and them some questions, can that be done?”
“Of course inspector, it can be done”. i Replied. The inspector nodded at me, happy with my reply, so for the next twenty to thirty minutes, Nancy,Fola and i got questioned by the inspector, and then we gave out our statements.
An hour later we went home, and the criminals including Tinu were taken into custody, she was charged with attempted murder, human trafficking, and kidnapping. She was going to spend a long time in prison, which is good, she needs to think about her life. As for me I’ll be getting on with my life and planning my future with Fola, ‘cos i intend to make our relationship last.
To be continued