“and you Emma, a small boy with no conscience. You couldn’t help out an old man who was your father’s friend just because you wanted to buy a tanker. Now where is the Tanker?.” he asked coldly, laughed, ignored Jenifer and faced Chief Manuel again.
“you are not of any use to me anymore. I was able to get three million naira from your family without the police knowing” he addressed him, breathed deeply and looked at me again.
“i have your ATM cards, likewise Tony’s. I hope there won’t be a problem getting the pass codes tomorrow?” he asked but we all kept quiet, saying nothing.
“believe me, it pains me to do this but i have profit to make and my boys to settle. Do have a wonderful night. Today might be your last night” he concluded, headed out, locked the door and left us very scared to even say anything to each other.
The room was totally quiet like a cemetery for minutes after he left, before i bravely cleared my throat.
“it’s obvious we are all going to die. It’s better we turn things around by trying to escape, since we got nothing to lose trying?” i asked with little hope.
“i don’t have the strength. I told you already that there’s a guy positioned outside to watch us” Chief Manuel answered weakly, while Tony kept quiet, annoying me with his silence.
“relax my love, whatever will be, will be” Jenifer whispered to me. I bit my lips and thought about my life. Tears freely fell from my eyes.
In three hours, the whole place was in total darkness, with cries from animals making the night more scary. Jenifer soon slept on my arms while Tony and Chief Manuel snored as if they were having a snoring competition. I was far from being comfortable and the fear of dying equally shut out sleep from my body.
I prayed to God, begging him to forgive and grant me a new chance. I promised to become a good Christian if only i get out of the present situation.
“dear lord give me another chance. I can’t die now. Don’t allow me to die prematurely like my parents. I will worship you for the rest of my life if i get away from here. I will start going to church. I will spread and honour your holy name” i sobbed seriously.
I was still crying and praying when someone noiselessly broke into the hut with a torch light, flashing the light over our faces. I froze with fear, not knowing what to make of it.
“It’s your man Joe. I’m here to get you out. I’m here to finish my job” i heard Joe say softly. Tears of joy instantly replaced the painful tears i was shedding. I couldn’t believe it was real.
“how the hell did you get here?, did you bring the police?” i asked curiously.
“no i didn’t bring the police because of so many reasons. I also never left when i ran away. It was just a tactical strategy. The boys searched for me but couldn’t get me. Let’s move fast. There’s no mobile network down here and the terrain is very bad. Seriously i don’t know how far we can get, because we are in the middle of nowhere with just two torch lights” he said, drew forward and woke Jenifer.
“i have another Torch light in my back pocket. Take it and let’s move” he said quietly.
“i’m not leaving without my two brothers. I have to wake them as well” i said, got up and headed towards Tony.
“they are going to slow us down sir. It really wasn’t easy knocking out the only guy watching this place and getting the key. Have you imagined what will happen if we are caught?” Joe asked desperately, but i paid no attention to him and did my mind by waking Tony and the Chief.
In no time we were out of the hut, but then it was one thing to escape from captivity and another thing to get to safety. It was one night of hell in the dark forest. We got lost a hundred times, trying to find another escape route in the thick mangrove forest…
To be continued