He suddenly dragged Happy farther from me and started unbuttoning her shirt.
” stop it ” I screamed as he tried to pull down her skirt.
I was trying hard to get my hands off the rope. Happy was also trying to get herself off him hut he was too strong and keen on getting his aim.
” please, don’t do this ” I switched to begging since the person that tied me up had mistaken me for a cow. How on earth will they tie a human being like that.
” paaaaam ” I suddenly heard a loud bang sound.
The guy slipped off from Happy’s body and behind him was one of the kidnappers standing with a big plank in his hand. The guy who was staring at me weirdly when I said my name.
He dropped the plank and brought out a switch knife as he approached Happy who was laying on the ground covered in dirt from furious battle with the useless guy that had almost raped her. She was sobbing as she stared at the guy.
He moved closer to her and cut the rope used to tie her legs and hands.
He came over to me too and did the same.
Happy swiftly ran into my embrace still sobbing.
” it’s okay “I said as I used my hand to clean her face.
” if you want to escape here, we’ve got to leave now ” the guy that saved us said to us.
” we ” I exclaimed.
” yeah, without my help you can’t get out of this place successfully, so I’ve got to follow you ” he said as he made to leave.
” wait ” I said not moving. I wasn’t sure if he was to be trusted or not, even tho he just saved us. It might be that he wanted the ransom money all to himself.
” how can we be sure that we can trust you ” I asked him.
” because I just saved you and to be frank, you don’t really have a choice and trust me, if we don’t leave now, you might not get a chance again ” he replied me.
” why are you helping us ” I asked him.
” I know you’ve got many questions but let’s leave here first, I’ll answer you on the way ” he replied.
I stared at Happy and she shook her head to affirm positive that we should follow him.
I dusted some of the dirt on her cloth and took the torchlight on the ground.
Like I predicted, it was an uncompleted building. But beside it was a big mansion which I’m sure the kidnapper are staying in. It was deep inside the forest like I also predicted as trees surrounded us.
” now, we’ve got to hasten our movement because they would have seen us ” the guy said to us pointing the torchlight in his hand at one of the CCTV cameras there.
He led the way as he sank into the forest and we followed him as I firmly held Happy’s hand with my right hand and the torchlight on my left hand.
The guy was walking fast and we made sure to keep up with him.
” why are you helping us ” I asked him.
” the guy you saw me hit with the plank, his name is Chima, I was new to join them to kidnap people and request for ransom without hurting them but I heard that he’s got a knack for young girls, the first operation I did with them which was the one before yours, he raped the young girl brutally and he said it was due to the influence of alcohol and promised the team that he wouldn’t do that again but I saw the way he was looking at her this evening ” he said pointing at Happy
” and seeing the way he was staring at her and him also volunteering to keep watch when we should have rolled a dice, I knew he was up to something ” he added not decreasing his speed and we were also doing a great job to keep up with him.
” but that doesn’t really answer my question you know, you could have called the gang on him but seems you’re already keen on getting us out maybe to safety or other agenda you might have in your mind ” I said to him.
” you’re smart you know ” he scoffed.” do you remember when you’re still a student of Government community school in Lekki phase 2 ” he asked me.
” yes ” I replied.
” then, I think you’re in Js2, I was working as a gateman slash security with a salary of twenty thousand naira in the school after searching for job with my second class upper certificate. My mom who was suddenly ill and diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was assured that a surgery which cost three hundred and fifty thousand naira will make her whole. How did they expect me to get such amount of money when I’m receiving a salary of twenty thousand naira.She was a single mom and sponsored my education with all she had, showered me with love and stood by me in every aspect of my life, it was my turn to reciprocate the love because she needed me.
I went to meet the principal of the school to pay me an advance salary of twelve months because he’s the one paying my salary not the government but he couldn’t help. I sought for help in many places but none came while my mom was dying slowly on the hospital bed.
One of the teachers told me about you and your mom and advised me to try and seek help from you. That day, as she came to pick you up at closing and was leaving, I accosted her and shared my plight with her as tears strolled down freely from my face.
She wasn’t going to help me but you told her to, she tried to explain to you that your dad will find out if she take such money from her account and will be furious to know that she gifted it to some random person but you wouldn’t budge as you kept on pestering her.
That same day, she wrote me a cheque of four hundred thousand naira and even gave me twenty thousand naira in cash.
That money was able to save my mom and I promised myself that I must one day repay the favor you did to me ” he narrated and I suddenly felt proud of myself. I remembered the incident and he was right. I remembered his face after his story.
” to be honest, it was a great inner battle on deciding to help you because we planned on requesting fifty million naira for ransom but if I collected my share of the money, most of it will be used to take care of my mom that you helped saved her life. I won’t be able to forgive myself if such happened ” he added.
Happy squeezed my hand smiling. I knew she was also proud of me.
” thank you ” I appreciated the guy.
” and thank you too, didn’t get to say it to you that day ” he said smiling.
” did you guys hear that ” I asked as I heard sounds coming from behind us.
The guy suddenly stopped walking and we followed suit.
He had his hand on his ear to be sure.
” run ” he ordered as he also started running. I held Happy’s hand more tightly as we scaled through the shrubs and trees.
” this way ” the guy said taking a swift cut to the right, I also pulled on my brake and took the cut, the sound of boots pressing hardly on the ground like marching soldiers was now more audible to the ear as it was closing in more on us.
” can you shoot ” the guy asked loudly so that I could hear.
” I don’t think so ” I replied still running.
” then think so ” he said as he suddenly flung a gun at me without looking back.
I didn’t know how I was going to catch it with the torchlight and Happy’s hand in my hand, but Happy came to my rescue as she caught it.
The guy suddenly stopped and we also did.
” follow this path and continue running, I’ll try to slow them down ” he said as he pushed us forward.
I continued running with Happy on the cleared path which I’m sure lead to either the road or a community.
I paused as I heard a gunshot, I turned to look back if it wasn’t someone aiming at us. Another gunshot followed and Happy dragged me as we both continued running.
The forest seemed not ending, the trees wouldn’t stop been by our sides and the darkness wasn’t ready to give way to the light.
We’re lucky it was a fool moon night, the job would have weighed the torchlight in my hand.
After some minutes, the sound of the gunshot stopped and I took it that our helper has been eliminated. I wished I could see where the path we’re following end, I wasn’t even sure if we’ve not derailed from it.
The leaves wouldn’t stop giving us slap as we ran by them, I felt no pain even tho I hit my leg on some hard substances many times. I was a short distance runner because I get tired quickly but the adrenaline circulating through me could power a whole state.
Happy’s hand suddenly got off from mine as she hit her leg on a protruding root of a big tree and stumbled on the ground.
I pulled my brake and came back for her. I swiftly wrapped her arm around my shoulder as I helped her up. She squeezed her face in pain as she tried to stand very well.
” I think I’ve injured my leg ” she said with tension oozing out from her voice.
” we’ve got to continue running if we’re to get out of here ” I said as I carried her in my arm and she wrapped her hands around my neck to support herself. I collected the gun from her hand and tuck it into the band of my trouser.
I continued running but my speed had drastically decreased.
It wasn’t easy running with her in my hand, but getting us out of there was my main priority, especially Happy.
” they’re getting closer ” Happy said as I was also hearing their footsteps drawing closer.
” don’t worry I’ll get us out of here ” I said as I continued running.
” you can’t, I’m slowing you down, just drop me, I know you’ll be able to make it out because you’re faster ” she said.
” no, I’ll rather stay behind than leave you ” I said as I continued running.
” please, we can’t make it like this ” she pleaded with me.
” yeah, not like this ” I said as I reduced my speed.
” we’ve got to get off this path because they believed we’ll be following it to get out ” I said as I threw the torchlight with all the strength I had to our front while I got off the path and sank into the forest.
I dropped her and wrapped my arm around her waist while she supported herself by wrapping hers around my shoulder as we walked more into the heart of the forest.
When I was sure we’ve gone far enough closer to safety, I told her we should rest. We sat under a big tree breathing heavily.
” do you think the wristwatch is going to work because it is our only chance of getting out of here now ” I said to her.
” it should ” she didn’t finished her statement as she started checking her wrist.
” the wristwatch is gone ” she lamented.
” maybe it dropped inside the building when that animal was trying to ” I couldn’t complete the sentence because it sounded odd for me to pronounce the last word.
” what if they fish us out, how will my dad locate us now ” she asked as she noticed my expression.
” at least we still have this ” I said as I took the gun out.
” do you know how to use it ” she asked.
” I should be able to, I’ve watched many American movies to have an idea ” I replied her.
” did you hear that ” she asked as she suddenly held my hand.
” what again, I can’t hear anything ” I said as I was already exhausted of all my strength and adrenaline was no where to be found again.
” someone is coming ” she said and at that moment i heard the rustling of dried leaves on the ground.
” Jesus ” Happy exclaimed as an animal that looked like a wolf was in view.
It growled loudly as it stared at us like someone staring at a delicious meal.
Happy’s face was buried in my chest as she held me tightly.
I was scared but I didn’t have anyone to hold onto like her. And the wolf looking animal looked like it was going to descend on us soon.
I couldn’t shoot it because it will alert the enemies of our location.
It suddenly howled loudly and I remembered the movies I watched concerning wolves where wolves howl to get their members to join them.
So after running away from kidnappers, wolves is what’s coming to finish the job.