The confusion and tension on ground was so intense. The police had searched the entire compound for Fred but all their efforts were futile. They had broken into Fred’s apartment which was pointed out by Lucy’s friend. They noticed the chaotic state of the apartment, making it obvious that the occupant was in a hurry to leave. That alone was enough to mark Fred as a prime suspect in the disappearance of the victim. The police noted this with interest.
Bewaji Jones already resumed her whaling. Teju was trying hard to calm her even though she was feeling the extreme urge to scream. Never had she seen her dreams manifest with such short time interval. Deolu was just looking, lost in his own world and blaming himself for not protecting the woman he loves. Kenneth was busy discussing with the policemen; his veins were so visible. The trauma was beginning to take its toll on him.
The entire compound had been searched and no one seemed to be home. As they were about leaving, they saw a guy come into the compound. He was fairly tall, about 5.8, his gaze held curiosity. He looked like a Warri guy. He approached the handful of people skeptically.
“Hello… Hope there is no problem?” His gaze was somewhat confident.
The police officers shielded out everyone and approached Chika.
“Excuse me sir, we are from Ajekoro Police station” he brought out his ID card. “I have a warrant for the arrest of one Mr. Fred Ebuka”.
“Chineke” chika squeeled. “That guy dey craze ooo… Wetin hin do?”
Bewaji jumped there.
“He kidnapped my daughter; that is what he did”.
“Ewooo…. That bastard. I saw him this morning when he was rushing out of the house with some luggage. I asked him where he was going and he said he wants to quickly get to Ogun State”
Kenneth squeezed his fist in a frightening manner and Bewaji started shouting on top of her voice. The animal responsible for her daughter’s disappearance is nowhere to be found.
“Even if we have to search the whole of Nigeria, I would find my daughter and that scoundrel” Ken thundered.
One of the policemen looked at Chika who was still gapping in surprise of what was happening.
“You would need to follow us to the-”
“Ehnehn… oga police. No bring that one at all o. If I don know, I no go answer any question. Wetin concern me and Fred? I no even know hin surname. Abeg ooo… I never enter police station before and I no go enter today” before Chika could be stopped, he rushed into his apartment and locked the gate firmly.
Deolu took out his phone and dialed a number. “Hello Akin… Long time… I am not fine ooo… My girl friend is nowhere to be found… yes… I need a favour”.
Tinuke adjusted her micro gown, making it fit properly to her perfect body. She is a woman with perfect body curves. Her fair skin is unrivalled; clear, spotless and… perfect. She blew her image a kiss, turning and twirling in front of the mirror.
The bright red gown sparkled in the evening light. Her dressing was to intimidate; but who exactly? An unconscious girl? Her wish was to see Raymond there. He had refused to pick her call. She had sent messages but none generated a reply. She did not even go near the house because she was not ready for another episode of embarrassment.
She stepped out of the house, later than usual. Her extra-long heels made her look taller than her usual 5:4. Immediately she got out of her compound, she sighted some guys gapping at her, almost salivating. She smiled and flagged down a bike.
Raymond got into his car around 5pm in the evening. He wondered what he had been doing till that time of the day in the hospital. Thinking about it, he had spent most of the time with the girl. A wry smile was pasted on his lips which he could not wipe away. He had been so engrossed in this strange girl over the last twenty-four hours that he hadn’t had time for himself. He drove into the estate, still having that smile on his face. It feels so good to care for someone.
He saw Bose entering the compound. She was holding a black polybag in one hand and her phone and keys in the other. He needed a new gateman. Ever since robbers visited the house and killed his gateman, he refused to employ a new gateman. That day had been a terrible day. He had been inside with his siblings who were visiting when they suddenly heard a gunshot. He has two sisters and a brother.
Fear crept into their hearts without any invitation. Without waiting for the robbers to enter, the ladies were already flat on their faces. Only male pride kept the two brothers from gittering. The robbers finally entered and Ray and his brother, William, had to do what their sisters had done effortlessly. When you are at the wrong end of a loaded gun, you cooperate. The robbers took all their money, phones, gold jewelries and wristwatches. Bose had been there with them, also sharing in the fright that had governed everyone.
The robbers left after all was taken and whailing began, although, in a very low tone. They were glad the robbers did not shoot at them. Raymond left the apartment to go and monitor the locking of the gate himself when he saw his gateman lying on the floor, close to the gate. He raced there, hoping that he was still alive – his heart had stopped beating.
A tear dropped from his eye. Yusuf wasn’t just his employee but was also his friend. All his employees were his friends and, most of the time; they are the next set of people in his heart after his family. Yusuf was a very promising lad, who was very brilliant but not fortunate enough when it comes to finances.
When his siblings and Bose did not see him return, they crept outside with William leading the way. They saw him where he knelt, beside the cold body and ran there. They mourned together and shared the sad moment together, just as they would have shared a happy time.
Since then, he hadn’t been able to employ another gateman and he took to doing it himself until Bose volunteered to do it instead. Now that he is a man and already got used to seeing lifeless people, he was now considering employing a new gateman.
The death of his mother and father in a plane crash on the same day, made him rigid and almost emotionless. He and his brother, coupled with some extended family members had gone to the crash spot to identify the bodies of his parents. They had strictly held the girls back because of what they knew they were to expect.
That day had consistently haunted his dreams and even his waking eyes. He had walked amidst burnt dead bodies, having the nauseating sight sink in as he desperately searched for his parents. That incident is something he does not like to remember, and since he had just remembered it, he knew that his mood would be sour for the rest of the day. He opened the gate himself and drove in.
Tinuke entered the hospital as graceful as possible. Her heels made click clack sounds on the floor with each step she took. She smiled lovingly at the nurse.
“Please, I am here to see a patient. She was brought here yesterday by my fiance, Raymond” she said.
The nurse remembered Tinuke perfectly. She was the one who almost turned a lady deaf yesterday after she had been humiliated yesterday by her so-called fiancé. She wondered if they had settled their quarrel.
“Why do you want to see her?”
“I brought some provisions for her. I understand she is still unconscious” she said with a pitiful look. She had branched by the hospital to get some provisions.
“Yeah… please follow me”
They got to the room and after leaving some instructions, Tinuke was left alone with the girl. She could not believe her eyes. Lying down, unconscious is the fairest person she had ever seen. She is not an Albion but is naturally fair. Fair, clear and spotless; all the things she had going for her, except she is not as pale as the girl laying on the bed.
Anger welled up within her. How would Ray not spend more time with this girl if she is this beautiful? She took the pillow on the second bed and held it tight in her hands. Just then, the door opened.
“What are you doing madam?”
…To be continued