I was in a house, somewhere in the slums in Lagos state and the house was filthy, even a mad mans house is cleaner than this. My butt was on the floor, my mouth covered with a masking tape, my hands tied to my back with a rope, and that back of mine ,was to the wall, a bad wall if I must say ‘cause the paint was peeling off and it looked disgusting.
Right in front of me was a man, sitting on a chair with the back of it facing me. His hands was resting on the chair, his back curved forward, resting on it. He was studying me like I was an alien and he was amazed at how I looked. It was creepy.
“You’re mine now Ada, all mine” I blinked at him, he smiled a creepy, weird smile. I gulped in fear at what he said, my heart beating really, really fast thinking to myself, I really shouldn’t have gone to the market alone. Gibson is going to be so pissed.
So let me tell you how I landed here. 8:15 am Saturday morning and I’m on my way to the market, all by myself, can you imagine? I’m so excited. I have no one to be following me around like I’m the first lady, which is a huge relief, I can’t lie about that. So anyway, I was heading towards the main entrance door, with my handbag hanging on my left shoulder, a big smile on my face, feeling so excited to not have Gibson breathing down my neck. I had a great feeling that today was going to be a great day, a memorable one (how wrong I was). Well about it being great, it was definitely going to be memorable for sure.
I got to the entrance door and was about to open it when Nancy called my name, I immediately turned around to look at her, wondering why she was stopping me. She got close, and the look on her face told me that whatever she was about to say was hard for her, or embarrassing.
“Nancy what’s up, are you ok?” I asked a bit concerned.
“Yeah I’m great, everything is fine, just that I need something” she replied, her voice still rough but clear, I guess that’s how it’s going to be from now on.
“You need something?” I asked She nodded her head, meaning yes, then I waited for her to tell me what she needed. But she didn’t, so I prompted by asking, “Well what is it?” She was biting the side of her lower lip looking at me shyly, and then she finally spoke. And what she said took me off guard for a second, but I quickly got myself back. She said,
“I need sanitary towel” I looked at her for a second, then I repeated what she said,
“you need sanitary towel” She nodded her head meaning yes, her eyes on me, waiting to see what I’ll do. What does she need sanitary towel for? Then my eyes bugged out realizing what she was telling me, I totally forgot that she’s 13 years old, ‘cause her body is quite small for a girl her age. So I smiled at her to let her know I understood her,
“that’s awesome dear, you’ve started your period” She smiled a relieved smile and said,
“Yes I have, it started not too long, I wasn’t sure at first but I remember Fola telling me about menstrual periods, so I knew I had started.” I nodded at her, letting her know I understood her, then I opened my arms wide indicating that I wanted a hug from her, she quickly covered the distance between us to take my hug. Then she said while hugging me
“please you need to be fast, I don’t have any sanitary towel” I nodded once more, her head underneath my chin and said,
“of course dear, I’ll try my best to be fast” She let go of me, looked at me and muttered a
“thank you” and then she turned around and walked away, I watched her for a few seconds, then I turned around, opened the door and left for the market. I probably shouldn’t have left the house unprotected.
9:05 am I got to the market a little bit after 9 in the morning. I walked around prizing and getting the things I needed for the house. Once I was done, I walked out of the market. I stood by the side of the road to get a cab, when suddenly I felt someone grab me from behind with something hard poking me on my lower back. I stood stock still, scared to move. Cars drove by; anyone looking at us now will think he’s my boyfriend or something. The person behind me whispered in my ears saying
“don’t say a word, if you do this gun I have right here will harm you in a very bad way, do you understand?” I nodded my head, scared to speak, he then told me to turn around, he did the same with me, and then we walked. With the things I had in my hands I walked with him.
He got to the side of the market where he made me drop my bags. From there all things went south, he took me to his house. And thinking about it now, I probably should have screamed or something, I wonder why I didn’t.
So that’s how it happened, I left the house unprotected and got kidnapped by a creepy weird guy that thinks I’m his other half. What have I gotten myself into, gosh. The creepy guy stared at me from where he sat; his eyes moving from my face to my chest, then to my legs. All I could do was look at him too, and pray real hard hoping he doesn’t do anything to me.
We sat there for a while, he didn’t say or do anything, and I didn’t say or do anything either. So we were at a stalemate. Suddenly he jumped out of his chair, making me jerk in fear, he then walked to the door, looked at me and said,
“Don’t do anything that will make me hurt you, I don’t want to hurt you, but if you push me, I just might”. Then he walked out. Oh my god, I’m alone, I should escape, I should scream but I can’t, ‘cause of this stupid tape on my mouth and the ropes tied to my wrist. What do I do?
I sat there thinking, there was no way I’ll be able to escape with my hands tied behind my back, except some miracle occurred. So I sat there wondering what to do, I did this for about 10 minutes when suddenly the door opened, and my kidnapper walked in. He was carrying two black, small leather bags. He sat back on his seat not saying anything, again astride it, then dropped one of the bags on the floor beside his foot. A sachet of pure water fell out. I watched as he did this, my eyes on the water on the floor, then I looked at him. He dipped his hand into the other black leather he was holding to pull out an akara.
My eyes moved to the akara then back at him to notice he was looking at me. He took a bite of his akara, chewed, then swallowed, then took another bite, chewed and swallowed. Then he asked,
“Do you want akara?” I shook my head negatively, I wasn’t hungry, I just wanted to go home. I watched him as he ate, as I did, my head started to itch me, I began to move restlessly on the floor, he stopped eating noticing my restlessness then he asked.
“Why are you restless, what’s wrong?” He actually sounds like he cares. But I didn’t answer ‘cos of course my mouth is covered. I kept moving restlessly, he got up from his seat, knelt down in front of me and stared at me for a few seconds, then he gently took of the masking tape from my mouth, and asked again.
“Why are you restless?” Finally being able to speak, I replied,
“My head is scratching me” His brows squeezed in confusion,
“your head is scratching you?” he asked I nodded my head, telling him yes.
“What part of your head?” Oh boy, I think he wants to do the scratching for me, time to get creative.
“My scalp” I replied He stared at me again for a second, and then his hand went to my scalp and he began to scratch.
“No, not there, go to the left” I said, sounding like he was scratching the wrong spot. Meanwhile immediately he started to scratch at first, he had hit the jackpot, scratching the exact place that was itching me. I just wanted to frustrate him a bit. He changed direction and went to another part of my scalp, I immediately told him it was the wrong spot, and this went on for about 2 minutes. I felt it was enough ‘cos I was quite tired of breathing in his air. So I said,
“it’s ok sef, I’ll just manage” sounding like he was no help at all, but he didn’t move, my eyes moved up to look at him and the look I got was a scary one. He looked like he was about to strangle me to death. I gave him a blank look, acting like his look wasn’t affecting me at all. When he didn’t move I said.
“You’re still in my space, you’ve done your job, I’m done with you, I need my space back” But he just kept staring at me in that ice, cold, look, oh god I hope I haven’t over done it? Suddenly, a sharp, loud, knock came from his door that immediately made him to turn his head swiftly around to stare at it, I bent a bit to the side to look at the door too. He then moved from my space making me sigh out in relief, he really wasn’t smelling good, like at all, he smelt like rotten egg and fish, Really disgusting.
The loud knock came again, but he still stood there staring at it like the sound was an alien sound. A few seconds later in silence, he yelled out asking,
“Who’s that?” A loud lady’s voice replied in pidgin, “ na me oh, abeg Kingsley, borrow me that your Nokia charger, I won charge my phone, my own don spoil, please abeg, don’t worry ehn, I go give you akara tomorrow for free, you no go pay at all, please abeg” hmm, so she’s the one that sells the akara. But he kept standing there, not moving, just staring at the door.
After a few seconds; he walked to the door and opened it just a smidge, only half of his body was revealed to the person knocking. Then he said to her.
“Mama Kehinde come later abeg, I’m busy”
“You dey use your charger?” she asked.
“No I no dey use am, but”—– She spoke above him saying,
“Ehen, so give me na?” she prompted
“I say I dey busy” he replied, sounding pissed. But I think she didn’t notice ‘cos she said.
“I know say you dey busy, just pass me the charger since you no dey use am, then I go, go” He didn’t say anything to this, they were both quiet, after a few seconds, he closed the door in her face. There was a loud “ahn ahn” from her, she sounded offended, but he just walked over to the other side of the room where his bags were kept. Behind the closed door, I could hear her muttering to herself about how young boys of this generation are rude. I looked at the door to notice it wasn’t properly closed. Then I looked at him, he was squatting down going through his scattered bags, looking for his charger. I didn’t think, and I don’t know how I did it, but before my brain could function, I was on my feet racing to the door. I used a foot to open it then ran out with my hands still tied behind, hitting mama kehinde on her shoulder in the process, screaming and yelling.
“Help!, help!, I’ve been kidnapped, help!” Mama kehinde, a short, light skinned, fat woman was totally surprised, she just stood there looking at me like I was some strange specie, then her head turned to the door to see Kingsley looking at me with his eyes wide with fear, those eyes moved to mama kehinde, she looked at him surprised then she looked at me, people had already started to come out of their houses, some that were walking by the road stopped to look at me, I kept on shouting but no one did anything. Suddenly I heard someone scream,
“the man dey run, catch am! Catch am!” I stopped shouting to know who was running away, I turned around to see Kingsley running like the hounds of hell was chasing after him, some men were running after him to get him, but he escaped. I felt someone hold my hand, I turned my head to the right to look behind me, it was mama Kinsley standing behind me, she had a knife in her hands, I really don’t know how she got the knife but I was grateful she had it. Then she looked at me for a second to let me know what she was about to do, I nodded my head, giving her the go ahead. then she used the knife to cut off the ropes. I thanked her, even as I felt blood rush back through my hands and mind you this didn’t feel good, I rubbed my wrists and shook my hands to relief myself of the pain. Then I felt people in front and at the back of me, they were asking questions, questions like,
“who are you?”
“Where do you live?”
“How can we help you?”
“Should we call someone?”
“How did you get here?” the questions were all asked in pidgin language anyway. I didn’t want to answer these questions; I had just one thing on my mind. So what I said was,
“I have to make a call, I need a phone please”. Immediately a phone was placed in my hand, and I made a call.
The whole house was upside down, my men were everywhere, looking at maps, calling people. All for trying to find Ada, we haven’t seen or heard from her in over six hours, she left the house around 9 in the morning, and since then she hasn’t come back. I really hope she’s ok.
“Sir, we have a lead” said Ade one of my men. I looked up from what I was concentrating on(which was Ada’s phone), right in front of me on Michael’s desk, I have this ‘cause we found her bag in the parking lot at the market where she went to do some shopping for the house. It’s clear that she was taken, but by whom, and why? Looking at Ade, I asked
“what do you have?”
“Sir, we questioned some people in the market and they said they saw a lady that looked like her, but she didn’t look like she was being kidnapped. This is because as she walked a man was walking very close behind her, and one of his hands was around her waist while the other was tucked around his side. I looked at him picturing what he was saying, immediately he was done speaking, I knew Ada was being forcefully, but quietly led away; he either had a knife to her or a gun. But since he didn’t have a car, then it was probably a gun.
“Did anyone know what the man looked like?” I asked He shook his head saying,
“No sir, none of them knew, they all claimed they didn’t see his face” I expelled a deep frustrated breath at this, how in the world are we going to find her now? As I sat there thinking of how I was going to find her, my phone rang, I picked it up to see a strange number, answering the call I said, “Hello?” And the voice that replied is one I will forever cherish, it said,
“Gibson, I think I’ve been kidnapped.
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Ada”s sweet voice was the best thing to hear at that moment, I was so shocked to hear her but totally stoked at the same time. I jumped out of my seat and walked briskly out the office with Ade right behind me, saying into the phone.
“Where are you? Are you alright? Who is with you? How did you get this phone?” By the way I didn’t wait for her to answer me, I just kept on firing questions at her as I walked down the hall. But I had to stop with the questions ‘cause of what I saw in front of me. My mind was directed at getting to her quick and fast, I didn’t know the living room would be full of people carrying worried faces: Nancy, Stephen, Becky, Bello, Edgar and the maids, some sat while others stood. I looked at them from where I stood in between the dining room and the living room, Becky always the one to be observant of her surroundings felt my presence, she looked at me from where she sat beside Nancy, who was looking scared out of her mind. She saw the look on my face, understood it, and immediately got up, Nancy watched her as she walked towards me, her eyes concentrating on Becky. Becky walked towards me, her eyes unmoving, just focused on me and said,
“You’ve found her” I didn’t say a word, just stared at her. “Talk to me” she said, sounding impatient.
“I’m somewhere in Ajegunle” said Ada in my ears, my eyes moved from Becky to stare at the door unfocused, then I headed towards it.
“I’m on my way, don’t leave that place”, I said as I walked, but then I stopped in midstride ‘cause someone had grabbed me by my belt hook, I looked down to my waist to the finger holding me, then at the face of the owner of that finger. Becky not caring that she was holding my belt asked again and quite determined.
“Tell me it’s Ada please, tell me she’s ok” I couldn’t leave her this way but I didn’t, so I answered her.
“She’s fine Becky, I’m going to pick her up” then I looked at Bello and said, “come with me, I need you, ‘cos if I go alone, God knows what I’ll do If I get the person that took her” Immediately, Bello moved from around the couch from where he stood, got to the door, opened it, and walked out.
Becky’s finger was still holding my belt hook, so I placed my hand on hers to gently pull ‘em off, she reluctantly let go, she looked scared and sad, this is not the Becky that I know.
“I’m going to bring her back home Becky, you know she’s my everything” she nodded her head at me, then I continued “I’m bringing her back” I said, firmly. Becky nodded her head again then she stepped back. I gave her a chin lift, then walked out of the house, determined to make whoever took Ada regret ever doing it.
Nancy I watched Becky as she stood there staring at the closed door, I know she and Ada are tight, but I never knew they were this tight. She looks broken and scared; gosh I hope Ada is ok.
“Hey” My head turned to the sound of Stephen; he sat beside me then took my hands in his placing it on his laps. “Are you ok?” he asked looking straight at me I nodded my head meaning yes, then bowed it, I wasn’t ok, but I was going to be once I see Ada healthy and strong.
“It’s ok to be scared, I’m scared too” I lifted my head up at what he said, he’s scared? Really? It’s like he heard my question in my head ‘cause he said.
“Yes really”. I said nothing, just stared at him, I had nothing to say anyway, he always knows what I’m thinking, it’s like he’s in my head.
“Ada, will be back, she will be fine” he said, looking at me straight in my eyes. I didn’t have the ability to answer, so I nodded my head. He kept on holding my hands; Becky kept staring at the door.
I stood staring at the door, waiting for Ada to walk in; I can’t believe this is happening. Why her, who would want to take her? Earlier today, while I was at home. I got a call that Ada was missing, not missing per say, but just that she’s been gone for hours, no one has seen or heard from her, and her number wasn’t going through. I knew something was wrong ‘cos Ada never stays out more than 3 hours, especially when she goes to the market. So I picked up my cute brown Gucci handbag on my dining table, along with my phone on my coffee table situated in the middle of the living room. I had a bad feeling about Ada not being home for hours and I also felt I’ll be needed in the house, so I left. I left with the hope that Ada is actually safe and all this is just as a result of the traffic in Lagos.
To be continued