Assasino tugged on Kaylah’s trousers, she cried and screamed for help, but there was no one around. The guys who did not go to Eket, who were loyal to Stinger, Assasino had sent them out on sentry duty. They were all alone.
Assasino: “Scream your lungs out mama, no one is here to save you, Stinger is probably lying somewhere, soaking the earth with his lifeblood. You are on your own b—h” he smacked her hard across the face. She fell and hit her head, which made her pass out.
Assasino: “D–n b—h, you have to look at me when I take you. So sleep, I will be back for you” He left to another room in the bunker.
Stinger entered after a few minutes with Abasiama in tow, he saw Kaylah splayed on the floor and rushed to her. Abasiama looked around confused. Why were they underground? She wondered. She moved tentatively into the room, looking from side to side. Then her eyes fell on Kaylah, Stinger was shaking her.
Stinger: “Kaylah! Wake up!” he shook her.
Kaylah roused from her unconsciousness with fear in her ears. She pushed Stinger away and looked down at her trousers; she touched herself and was relieved when she realized Assasino had not raped her.
Stinger: “Why are you like this, Kay?”
Kaylah: “Assasino, he tried to rape, he slapped me and I went unconscious. Perhaps that’s why he stopped” she began to cry. Stinger clenched his fist.
Stinger: “Where is he” he roared. Kaylah and Abasiama moved away from him, the look on his face was scary, that he would kill someone was a certainty. He made to move, but Kaylah jumped and held him tightly.
Kaylah: “Ifiok, you have to protect yourself, he sent men to Eket to kill you. I thought you were dead; he was so sure you were dead. Oh my God Ifiok, I cannot lose you again” she cried.
Stinger: “Hmmn” he grunted, “Assasino has bitten more than he can chew” He brought out his phone and made a call.
As he walked on his way out, he had his gun drawn, so when he opened the door, and saw Assasino with three of the traitors, his reflex borne from many years on the street was fast. He shot all the three guys in a swift move, execution style, bullet to the head. Assasino was surprised and confused. He had passed through the back door, not knowing that Stinger was already back. They had planned to pretend like nothing happened, till they had another chance. But fate had played a fast one on him.
Stinger: “How do you wish to die, traitor?”
Assasino: “Please forgive me, it will never happen again. I swear my allegiance to you. Please” Stinger aimed the gun at his head, but he wondered if instead of killing him, he could use him. Assasino was the bravest and the most skilled fighter, even though he was dumb in some things. Besides, Assasino could not be trusted, but he knew who was superior, and it would be a long time before he pulled a stunt like this again. In the meantime, he would serve.
Stinger: “Alright, I am feeling lenient today, so I forgive you. But my eyes are on you” he said and lowered his weapon.
Mr. Assanga had gone to the doctor’s office to sign his approval for his wife to be flown to India. He did it with pain in his heart, but he trusted that Malcolm will take care of Kaylah. His son had loved her since day one, he was afraid the love had exceeded brotherly love. So he knew Malccom would do anything to save Kaylah.
Mr. Assanga: “I am ready doctor”
Doctor: “That is good; I will facilitate the visa and other documents”
Malcolm had met with Saving Girls Initiative; they had agreed to raise the sum of twenty billion, as the ransom money. To them, it was a way for them to gain publicity points, and also send a message to the public that they cared for their own, since Kaylah was their ambassador. They also thought it appropriate since they were in the business of saving girls. They made their intention known in a celebrated press conference, where the most exclusive journalists were invited. They presented the check to Malcolm. Since they were a nongovernmental organization, the government had no clout over them. Truly, they had tried to stop them, but they out rightly told the army that they could go ahead and try to capture the militants, but they were going to pay the ransom money. Malcom proceeded to the bank to transfer the money into his account. He had a plan in mind…
Kaylah was in the bunker, she had eaten the food Stinger had served her because he spoon fed her, a miserly plate of porridge beans.
Assasino: “Boss, there is a video you should watch” he had a phone in his hand. Stinger gave the food to Abasiama to feed Kaylah. He watched the video and a smile spread on his face.
Stinger: “Yes! Kaylah, you are going home soon. Your ransom money is about to be paid” he said joyfully.
Kaylah: “Who is paying?”
Stinger: “One Saving Girls Initiative”
Kaylah: “Oh my God, I am their ambassador. I cannot believe this”
Stinger: “Believe it bae” he said and did a shoki dance. Abasiama watched all these with reservations; she could not understand why Kaylah was being friendly with her abductor. She agreed that Stinger was nice to Kaylah., but then he kidnapped her, and if the money was not paid, he would not release her.
When they were both alone, Abasiama decided to broach the subject, this was someone’s daughter and she could have been her daughter.
Abasiama: “Small madam, you no get Efik name?”
Kaylah: “I am not Efik, I am Ibibio, and my native name is Aniekebo”
Abasiama: “You have a beautiful name. I am sorry about your situation, but it doesn’t seem like you are bothered”
Kaylah: “Mma, Ifiok has been my friend since childhood. He is not a bad person, he just made bad choices”
Abasiama: “he may not be, but he is dangerous”
Kaylah: “He is my friend, and I am not ready to give up on him”
Abasiama: “My child, you cannot save everybody.” She said earnestly. She was drawn to this beautiful child and could not explain why. Perhaps it was her beautiful soul that was calling out to her. She could not stop herself; she pulled Kaylah into a warm embrace.
Kaylah: “Thank you ma’am, I needed that” she said, as tears gathered in her eyes. She missed her mother and wondered what she was up to. If she had not been kidnapped, they would have flown to Paris to do their last minute holiday shopping before the holidays were over. She felt angry, such that when Stinger came in, she unleashed her anger on him.
Kaylah: “Has the money not been paid, let me go!” she said and burst into tears. Stinger was taken aback.
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Stinger: “Yes, I will let you go, the money has entered my off shore account. Come on, lets go” he said acidly. Kaylah got up abruptly, and held him.
Kaylah: “We have to talk before I go” she said earnestly
Stinger: “Sorry, no talking, I told you, we are from different worlds, go back to your world, and let me stay in mine. I will always hold your memories as I have done these twenty years” he said
Kaylah: “You are twenty, oh my God, you look bigger and older” she punched his muscular arms. Abasiama looked at them and smiled, even though she had told Kaylah to stay away from Stinger, their bond was beautiful. They looked like two peas in a pod, she thought. Something gnawed at her mind, begging for attention, but she could not put her fingers on it.
Kaylah: “Ifiok, you have to leave this path, this is not your destiny. You were not made for this, life made you this way; you can find your true self again”
Stinger: “You are wasting your breath Kay. Look at our waters and farmlands, polluted with crude oil, our skies are polluted with gas flaring. We are the engine room of this contraption called Nigeria, but what are we gaining?”
Kaylah: “Ifiok, you are not doing this for the people, it is the people you kidnap and ask for ransoms” she said bluntly.
Stinger: “Maybe, but it is a good cause. Someone will listen, someone must care” he said through clenched teeth.
Kaylah: “I don’t want to go”
Stinger: “You don’t have a choice; I will carry you if I have to. Come on” Kaykah walked with him, and they left the bunker. When she climbed out, she was stunned and disoriented. There was sun in the sky, it was day. She walked tentatively as Stinger guided her steps to the waiting Hiace truck.
She got in and two men secured her on either sides, While Stinger sat in front, with Assasino as the driver. They drove to the Jetty and stayed in the car. Stinger needed to send someone out to scout the area, peradventure; the army had set a trap for them. He couldn’t go because he didn’t trust Assasino with Kaylah, so he chose one of the men to go. But unknown to him, the man he chose was an informant for the army. He was called Scorpio. Scorpio went out of the truck and walked forward, looking back every while at the truck as he walked farther away from the jetty. At the last minute, Sting sighted a man dressed in plainclothes, but he could swear, he had a rifle concealed in his long coat, he could make out the pistol grip.
Stinger: “Go go go” he yelled, just as the front windscreen shattered. He turned and saw Assasino had fallen on the steering wheel, and blood gushing from a hole in his head. He quickly pushed him away from the wheel and began to control the vehicle. All the while, Kaylah was screaming. Stinger turned the vehicle around and drove back the way they came. He decided he would take Kaylah to another location instead, she could just find her way back to her family. He cared too much, see where it got him.
Stinger: “Shut the f–k up” he shouted when Kaylah would not stop screaming.
They drove for a long time and it seemed that they had lost their assailants; Stinger stopped the truck abruptly and alighted. He opened the back door and pulled Kaylah out.
Stinger: “Just a few meters away you will find a hotel, go in and ask them to help you make a call so that your people can come and get you”
Kaylah: “Ifiok” she called as he walked away, she held on to the truck but Stinger did not look back, he turned the ignition and sped away in a haze of dust. Kaylah still stood there shouting his name, even after the truck had disappeared from sight. She began to weep when she thought of the fact that she might never see him again. She held herself tightly as if she was trying to prevent the pieces of her broken heart to fall out of her chest.