© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
(Proofread & Edited by Blessing Joy)
The doctor’s wife was no longer in the living room when Carl got back in. He met Dave there instead.
“You missed a call from Simon Perry,” Dave said immediately their eyes met.
“Thank you,” Henry replied as he took the phone from Dave and settled on one of the seats.
He dialed back the number.
“Hey Simon! What’s up and how is Morris faring?”
“Well, he’s good. The doctor want to speak with you,” Simon Perry replied from the other end.
“Okay, let him have the phone.” Henry replied.
“Hello,” Dr Alan greeted in a weak voice.
“Hello Doc, I hope everything is fine.”
“Yes, it is. Morris is now stable but he’s yet to speak or move. In five days, he would be undergoing the next surgery. We need more money to pay the bills,”the doctor replied.
“Okay, we’ll make a transfer to you soon.” Henry replied. “So, how long will it take for him to bounce back?”
“The expected recovery period after the surgery is within two weeks to 3 months,” the doctor answered. “It depends on his body system. If we don’t start seeing changes within that time, he probably would never recover.”
Henry drew in a breath. “Morris has a strong body system, he would recover soon.”
“I believe so too,” the doctor agreed.
“Hope you’re doing well too doctor,” Henry asked.
“Yeah, I’m very fine.”
“Good, we’ll make a transfer to you as soon as possible. Stay safe Doc,” Henry said before ending the call.
The Doctor’s wife returned to the living room while Henry made the call. She sat on the sofa opposite him and Dave and glanced at him from time to time like she was waiting for him to end the call.
“Uhmn, what of Mr Paul?” the woman asked after Henry dropped the phone.
He was yet to give her a reply before she spoke again.
“This must be his,” she said, holding out a phone in her hand.
Henry squinted at her for a moment, then he got up and moved closer to take the phone.
“I found it on the table, I’ve asked everybody else for whose own it is. Your men said it isn’t theirs and it isn’t yours either.” She added.
Henry quickly scanned all corners of the place with his eyes as he returned to his seat. He found nothing suspicious around and sat back.
He stared at the phone for a moment and then tapped it on.
“For how long did he wait here?” he raised his eyes briefly to ask the woman.
“Very short, I only left him here to call you for him.”
Henry got up from his seat again and began to walk slowly around the living room, searching the walls and corners, his eyes also scanning around the ceiling.
He turned to see Dave and the woman staring at him.
“We need to make sure he did not drop something else,” he said to them.
“I don’t think he could have, he didn’t stay here for up to one minute.” the woman explained.
Henry nodded and walked back to his seat. He was yet to sit when the phone in his hand vibrated. He sat and then looked at the screen, it was a new message.
He thought for a moment before he opened the message. His eyes widened as he saw the content of the message.
Carl, I’m sure you must have seen this phone by now. By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be far away already. Sheila is safe and in good hands, no one died in that fire. I beg you again, leave the FOX to handle this. We’d get vengeance for you and your family.
Henry was totally speechless. He wasn’t sure of how to react and whether to believe Paul was saying the truth. He jumped up to his feet and dialed the number. The call was answered immediately.
“Where the hell are you now and where is Sheila?”
“Hello, who am I speaking with?” A lady replied from the other end.
“Ermm…Sorry,” Henry took in a breath. “I got a text message from your number a couple of minutes ago.”
“Uhmn, he stepped out of the train already. I’m talking about the man who used my phone.”
“Oh! Thanks,” Henry said and ended the call immediately.
Dave and the woman had their eyes on him, expecting him to make them know what was happening but he ignored them and buried his face in his palms.
The woman said Paul had gotten off from a train. How could he be on a train when he drove with a car? Was it possible he just got onto the train to send the message? But he did not need to join a train before getting a phone to use.
He tried to recall in his mind the image of the car Paul Edwards drove there. He remembered some of the items he saw in the car included a teddy bear at the backseat. It meant the car couldn’t have been Paul Edward’s nor for an official of the FOX. He must have gotten it from somewhere closer.
“Boss, is there something you should tell us?” Dave finally asked.
Henry did not respond immediately until some seconds after when he stretched the phone to Dave. “This is from Paul Edwards, he left here a couple of minutes ago.”
Dave took three steps to him and took the phone. He turned it to read what was on the screen.
His mouth was left agape after he read the message.
“How true can this be?” Dave narrowed his gaze at Henry.
“Paul has no reason to lie to me, but I still need to confirm and we need to make some movements,” Henry said and got up from the seat immediately. He proceeded towards the hallway and Dave followed slowly. Henry walked into a room while Dave knocked at the door of a different room, where the ladies were.
The door was opened to Dave and he only took a step in. Jennifer had come to open the door and was returning to the bed where Samantha was. Hannah was sitting on a chair at the left corner.
“Guys, we might need to move soon.” Dave said and got the attention of the three.
“Why?” Samantha queried. “I thought the boss wanted us all to rest well before moving from here.”
“Yeah, he wanted that but Chairman of the FOX, Paul Edwards left here about thirty minutes ago.” Dave replied.
Hannah Kelvin seemed to be moved at the call of Paul’s name and she sat up to listen carefully. “How did the Chairman located us here?”
Dave turned his face to her corner. “Remember Henry told us this Doctor hosting used to treat him, Rex and a couple of other top FOX officials. This place was not the safest option for us. We choose to stay here to save Cole’s life.”
“So, what’s the plan?” Samantha asked.
“The boss is yet to say,” Dave replied. “But we should all get ready, so that the instructions wouldn’t catch us by surprises.”
Dave finished his words with a light smile and turned out of the room.
Jennifer closed the door behind and leaned on it weakly, staring at the faces of the other two women.
Henry stepped back out of the room with a tablet in his hand. He walked straight again into the room where Cole was. He met Dave sitting on a chair beside the bed with his eyes fixed on Cole.
“Where’s the doctor?” Henry asked Dave.
“He left when I walked in here, I think he went into his room.”
Henry stepped closer and stared at Cole’s face for a while. He drew in a breath and turned his gaze to Dave.
“Get the others to join me at the living room,” he instructed Dave before walking out of the room.
El Deols, Anthanna.
It was a large beautiful mansion in a beautiful and quiet compound. The whole compound was beautified with amazing flowers and ornamental trees. The six expensive cars at the garage also added beauty to the view.
At different corners of the compound, one could see different security officials including FOX men. It made it look like a property of a top government official of the country. The men were well-armed and looked ready to defend.
Somewhere inside the mansion was Sheila Jack, comfortably laying on a settee. She had an android phone in her hand which kept her busy. The TV on the wall was on and music was playing softly.
It tasted good to be free again. The few days of being in captive had been like hell for her. She had not eaten for the first two days, but it became unbearable for her and she had to. Apart from the meal times, the rest of her day and even sleep hours had been spent in the sitting position.
Her captives, however, never tortured her apart from the ropes. They made it clear every single time they had the opportunity that who they wanted was Carl Winston.
Whilst she was with them, she wondered why they kept her tied all day though she was kept in a well-secured place and couldn’t escape even if she wasn’t tied. She got to know the reason later when she overheard the Hutton and Kahn’s conversation.
She didn’t really overhear them. They actually spoke knowing she was listening. Hutton had said to Kahn that they had to keep her tied because he didn’t trust what she could do if left untied. Not in terms of strength, but with intelligence. She could see much more than she was supposed to see and hear more than she was supposed to hear if not restricted.
Notwithstanding, Sheila had gotten so much information by just looking around and hearing them speak, enough information to give Henry an advantage against them.
Emery Jack walked into the living room from the passage. “Hey girl, Adrian is on the line.”
“Adrian…” She smiled as she sat up to take the phone from her father. “Hey Adrian,” she greeted cheerfully. Her father sat on the sofa opposite her.
“Hey Sheila, I’m so glad that you’re safe,” Adrian said from the other end.
“Oh! Thank you so much for everything,” she replied back.
“You don’t need to thank me, Sheila. I’m just so glad you’re back. I hope they didn’t touch you,” Adrian asked.
“No, I’m fine.”
“Thank goodness! I can’t wait to see you as soon as you’re certified safe.”
“Can’t wait too dear.”
“Talk to you later.”
She ended the call and saw her father smiling mischievously at her.
She raised her brows at him, wondering why he was smiling that way. “I thought you said you were not going to tell anyone I’m here.”
“Adrian deserves to know, he’s been calling for three days.” Emery replied. “That guy loves you.”
“Not again Dad,” Sheila chuckled.
“Yeah, he does. I contacted him through a Facebook account and he helped to make my return to El Deols possible.”
“Oh! I see.”
“He wanted to stay with me and partake in all we were doing to find you but I had to compel him to leave us.”
Sheila just smiled and re-positioned herself on the settee.
“The FOX chairman would announce that you’re alive by Tuesday, you would be on your way out of the country to a safe place by then.”
Sheila frowned. “Out of the country? Why?”
“You can’t stay here after all that has happened, it’s not safe for you.”
Sheila sat up again. “But Dad, we have over a hundred security officials guarding this place.”
“Yes, but I need you to be safer especially because I can’t stay here with you for now.”
She frowned harder. “Where are you going?”
“I’ve got to clear my name in the United States before they come for me, Paul is going to help me make it easy.” Emery replied.
“I see,” she let out a breath. “But I still think I’m safe enough here and besides, I have to talk to Henry.”
Emery frowned at the mention of Henry. “You can’t do that Sheila, it’s dangerous for you to contact him now.”
“I have to do that, I need to tell him all I know about those men.”
“You’ll tell that to Paul Edwards Sheila, I can’t allow you to communicate with him.”
“But…” She heaved a sigh of frustration. “He also deserves to know I’m alive.”
“Paul is handling that, we have to stay out.”
“But Dad, you can’t treat me like this. I’m grown and I know what is safe for me.”
He stared at her with amusing eyes and a smile. “Really, you know what’s safe for you?” The smile disappeared from his face. “How come you didn’t know you should tell me who Henry was? How in the world did you think you would be safe after housing Carl Winston who’s got so many enemies?”
Sheila was quiet now and she couldn’t look at her father in the eyes anymore.
“I’m not going to watch you get us into more trouble, it’s best to stay away from Henry… Or Carl Winston for now.” He said and kept staring at her for a while.
He watched her return to her laying position before he got up and proceeded towards her. He took his phone from her and walked towards the hallway.
As he got into the hallway, he remembered how the journey to save Sheila had gone.
June 6, 2016
“So, that guy Henry was Carl Winston?” Emery questioned in amazement, looking as Paul walked away.
He was sitting at the dining table, they had just finished dinner and were discussing Paul’s discovery from his visit to the FOX office when Paul revealed to him that Henry who his daughter helped was Carl Winston.
Paul picked his phone from the center table and turned back towards the dining area. “Yes, he’s not Henry. He’s Carl Winston Rank 9 Agent, code number 4679.” he replied as he settled back on the seat.
“So, Sheila knew this?” Emery questioned.
“I think she did, I went through her flight records and discovered she came once to Bethanna to see Carl.”
“Damn it! She never told me any such thing.” Emery breathed hard.
“Carl must have warned her not to, I guess he did everything he could to make sure no one could associate her with him. But the mistake that made it possible to link them together was done before he regained his memory.”
“So, how do we find her? And is it possible Carl Winston knows where she is?”
“I’m not sure, but I believe he’s trying what he can, to get her back, just like we are.”
Fast Forward >>
June 7, 2016
Paul Edwards now had his suit taken off and was dressed in what seemed like a military outfit. He was sitting behind a computer and had his hand on the mouse, he had a pistol on either side of the desktop. His phones were also on the left side beside the pistol.
He picked one of the phones and dialed a number. “Dan, have you gone through the two locations I sent you?”
“Yes, I have and we’re sending men to spy the places right away.”
“I’m leading men to Sisa, you lead them to the other location. I’ve sent messages to security offices Nationwide and we’d have enough backup when we need them.”
“Okay sir,” Dan replied.
“Do keep me informed,” Paul said and then ended the call. He turned to see his friend already standing behind him. He was also dressed in the military outfit and looked ready for war.
“You look smart in that, but you don’t have to come with us.” Paul said to him.
“I can’t stay back, we have to do this together.” Emery replied.
Paul shook his head gently, he knew he couldn’t convince his friend to stay back when his mind was made up like this.
“So, what route are we taking to Sisa?”
“I’m not sure yet, but we would decide on our way out of Cartak.”
“What are the options we have?” Emery asked
“The fastest way to get there from here is traveling on water,” Paul replied.
“Is it safe?”
“None of the routes are safe, we just have to take a chance. We’d be careful.”
“This way!” Paul said to the man sailing the speedboat, pointing his finger in the direction.
He was following the compass showing the direction on his device.
“Do you think there’s a route to Sisa in that forest?” Emery Jack asked.
There were four other men in the speedboat with them, all dressed in the same uniform as Paul and Emery.
“Yes, it’s not a thick forest, just a small one separating the village from the water. If we don’t find a route, we’d create one.” Paul replied before he bent to take a bag from the ground. He took out a telescope from the bag and dropped it. The telescope was placed before his eyes to view the location where they were headed for.
The view seemed clear with no one in sight. There also seemed to be a narrow path at one side of the bushes.
“I think there’s a path that leads there,” Paul said as he handed over the telescope to Emery.
“I can also see the path,” Emery confirmed.
Emery returned the telescope to Paul and he was about to look through it again before he heard something and stopped.
“Did you hear that?” Paul turned to Emery.
“Sounds like gunshots,” Emery replied.
Paul also looked at the other men’s faces and they confirmed they heard gunshots too.
“I think someone got there before us,” Paul said after listening for another minute to the continuous gunshots.
“Who could that be?” Emery asked.
“None other but Carl Winston,” Paul answered him.
The path on the way became narrower as they got close to their destination. The color of the water also seemed to change from the normal seawater to brackish water.
They soon got to the bank and all stepped out. They kept their speedboat locked with a chain to a tree. Paul Edwards then led the team to the path they discovered from afar. It was not too narrow like it seemed, though not still wide enough to take a car.
”We have to be careful, some people were here.” Paul said after noticing footsteps and some other signs on the ground.
He had just finished talking when they began to hear gun shots
He pulled out his gun and proceeded forward. The other men also took out their guns.
They walked in the bush path for close to 5 minutes without meeting or seeing anyone before they started seeing signs of the buildings. They moved closer until they got to the end of the bush path where they could see a building in front. By the time they got there, the sound of the gunshots had ceased.
Paul looked back after peeping and signaled for two of the men to step out of the path to the back of the building which was done immediately. Paul and the other men remained in the path, squatting while the two helped to check the way.
They all listened as they began to hear a voice sounding from a megaphone
…Carl Winston, I knew you would survive the tests on your way here. As you can see, we have Sheila Jack in our hands and we have been waiting for you to arrive before we kill her. We want you to witness her execution…
On hearing what was said about Sheila, Emery tried to rush out of the pathway but Paul grabbed him and they both fell into the bush.
Emery got up quickly and tried to proceed but Paul still held him back.
“You could spoil things if you got out right now,” Paul warned.
“They’re about to kill her!” Emery exclaimed with his eyes wide open in shock.
“No, they’re trying to use her to kill Carl Winston,” Paul replied. “Just wait, we’d get her.”
It took some time for Emery to agree to stay calm, and when he did, they had missed some of what was being said.
…Now, take her in. You’ll have to go through my men to save Sheila.
Paul felt Emery move again beside him and he grabbed his hand.
“They’re taking her into a house,” he whispered to Emery.
There was silence for a about ninety seconds before they heard the voice again.
I wish you good luck, Carl Winston
They waited some more seconds and saw the chopper rising slowly.
Paul looked at his men and made a signal to them again. They pointed in the direction of where the sound was coming from.
Paul looked up again to see how far the chopper had gone. It was going in the opposite direction as it levitated.
“Let’s go now,” he said to Emery and they both ran out carefully. The other men followed.
They spotted a house with burning fire slowly surrounding. Paul led them towards the place.
He stopped behind the third house and peeped from the edge. He could see men fighting far away in front of the second building.
“We have to check if she was taken into this building and get her out quickly,” Paul turned and whispered to the others. Before he finished talking, Emery had run to the back of the building with the burning fire rising slowly. Paul followed him.
“We’re not sure she’s here,” he said to Emery.
“We have to go in to confirm,” Emery replied.
“Yes, you wait here, while I go in to check before the fire increases.”
“How do we go in?” Emery asked, looking so disturbed already.
Paul looked around quickly, The burglary proofs of the windows were solid would not let them gain entrance without attracting attention.
He looked at the surroundings and noticed a ladder. He turned to his men and signaled them to bring the ladder to him.
Paul got into the roof after breaking the ceiling. He dropped in the first room to make his movement easier.
It was a bedroom. He walked slowly to the door and opened it slowly. He peeped and saw that there was fire burning in the house already and not just outside.
He also began to hear muffled sounds of someone in the house and he knew it had to be Sheila. He was about to step out of the room when he noticed noise behind him and saw Emery Jack also coming down into the house from the part of the roof he had broken.
“I though I asked you to stay!” He shouted at Emery but did not wait for any response before he proceeded out of the room.
He began to search for the direction where the sound was from but the smoke and fire made it a bit difficult for him. It took him sometime before he eventually found his way to the living room.
Sheila was already sweating from panic and from the heat of the fire around, even though it wasn’t close to her yet. She was vibrating in the chair but was helpless as the ropes held her firmly.
“Hey!” Paul rushed on seeing her and began to lose the ropes from behind. Emery rushed in front of her instead and took off the gag from her mouth first. He then began to lose the ropes tied around her legs.
Sheila was elated on seeing her father and she just couldn’t contain the joy. She hugged him tightly after she was free from the ropes.
“We have to go now,” Paul hurried them. The smoke and the fire were gradually increasing.
“Hey Florence, where are you?” Hutton asked with his phone held close to his ear. He was facing the window.
“We’re close to the place already,” Florence Brown replied.
“No mistakes, I need a good response from you,” Hutton said.
El Deols, Anthanna.
Adrian was sitting alone in his living room, filled with joy after hearing that Sheila was alive and speaking to her. He had a pen and a jotter in his hand and he could not think of any other thing apart from Sheila. He had written on five pages of the jotter, about his love for her and how he wished to see her.
The Television was off and the whole place was quiet, except for Adrian’s occasional chuckling as he fantasized about meeting Sheila again. He was so lost in thoughts, he didn’t hear any footsteps approaching him.
A hand covered his mouth from behind and held a knife close to his neck.
“Hey! Where can I find Sheila Jack?”
To be continued