When one of the crew said they would throw her overboard, Abasiama began to panic.
Abasiama: “Please, I beg you. I will work for my fare, please don’t throw me overboard. I just want to look for my children”
Man: “Thought you said you are a queen, did you suddenly lose your throne?” He pulled her to the edge of the boat and turned her over, her head hanging down, her legs unsteady on the ground.
Passenger: “Stop! This is wickedness, because of how much. Leave that woman alone I will pay” he said and the crew member stretched his hand towards the passenger. The latter counted some notes and put into his hand. He let Abasiama go, pushed her aside and walked away.
Abasiama: “Thank you very much” she said soberly.
Passenger: “You need not worry woman. If we can all help one another along, the world will be a better place” he said with a smile.
The boat docked at the Qua Iboe jetty, Abasiama turned to thank the man again, but he was nowhere to be found.
Abasiama: “Strange” she whispered as joined others into the setting sun. She followed the general direction, not sure how she was going to survive in a land she had never been.
Nadia reached the Assangas house and began to search through the different rooms, she needed a backup plan, peradventure, Kaylah was set free. She reached Kaylah’s room and began to search the wardrobes, her lockers, even her medicine cabinet. There was nothing worthwhile in them; she only found notes where Kaylah had written down ideas and plans.
Nadia: “Such a do gooder” she scoffed. Then she proceeded to Malcom’s room. It was a typical guy’s room, she was hit the male freshness of his cologne.
Nadia: “Under different circumstances, we would have been very good friends, more than friends, you sexy demon. But then, I can’t possibly hate the sister and love the brother, can i?” she said aloud to the empty room, as she went through his drawers. She put his boxer shorts to her nose and sniffed. She was about closing the drawer when she saw a pink paper.
Nadia: “Hmmn” she sniffed the scented paper. Then she opened it and began to read, her eyes widened as she read. After reading, she folded the paper and tucked it into the back pocket of her denim trousers, with a devious grin on her face. She just found an ace in the game she was about to play.
Malcom’ s eyes were almost out of their sockets, he could not believe his ears, the issue was escalating.
Mr. Assanga: “What is going on Malcolm, talk to me” he said impatiently. After he ended the call, he turned to his father and shook his head.
Malcolm: “The situation is dire dad. These are not ordinary kidnappers but members of the Niger Delta Avengers”
Mr. Assanga: “Jesus!” he exclaimed.
Malcolm: “Also, there is probability that they would get the money and still use Kaylah as a statement to the government, she is a public figure after all. The army wants to come in; they have been looking for members of this group for a while now. They are asking us to stop negotiation with the kidnappers and hand it over to them”
Mr. Assanga: “Can you hear yourself? I should leave my daughter, your sister in the hands of the army, to use as target practice? It will be over my dead body, they can catch the kidnappers on their own time, and I have to save my daughter. Now you will do well to meet with the Lagos state Government for the contribution they had promised, so that you can wire it to the account, we have been given two days, so move already” he said angrily. Malcom looked confused, but when his father says “move” he moved.
Kaylah sat in a corner, not knowing whether it was night or day, she had not tasted food since she came to the bunker, but hunger was far away from her. Her stomach walls were tightly knotted with fear and anxiety, if she ate any food, she was sure she would puke. She turned and saw Stinger sitting on a rusty iron chair. His face had lost the habitual menace, he was relaxed and his eyes were dreamy, like he was thinking of a time before now.
Stinger was thinking of his childhood friend, the little girl who offered him her friendship, even though he was just a lowly orphan. Her smiles were still fresh in his memory; he held on to them with his life, they were what kept him sane when it felt like the troubles of life would make him go crazy. Perhaps if they had continued their friendship, he would have been better. He felt the presence of someone; he looked up and saw his victim smiling down at him. For a moment, she smiled exactly like his childhood friend. He must be hallucinating, he thought as he jumped on his feet.
Stinger: “What are you doing?”
Kaylah: “You looked so peaceful just now. I know that deep within this façade, is a very nice man. The world has probably hurt you, life might have been unfair to you, but this is the wrong way to fight. We all, in the world can heal, we can heal our world. It starts with a step. You can take the ransom money and go far away, start a new life, this occupation you have, is a deadly one. Please, listen to my words” she said and held him by the arm. He looked down on her dainty hands that could not even encircle his arms. She was fragile like a doll and he could break her if he wanted. He grabbed her by the hair and jerked her around, before pushing her to the ground.
Stinger: “Who made you my shrink, tell me, miss goody two shoes. You think I am nice, oh well, see me show you how nice I can be” he bent down and pulled her up,. Kaylah’s eyes were wide with fear; she was scared of what Stinger would do to her.
Kaylah: “Please don’t hurt me” she pleaded.
Stinger: “You are scared, are you not? Can’t you see the nice man you saw just a while ago?” he pulled his face up to hers, and trailed his lips down her exposed neck. Kaylah shivered.
Stinger: “You want me, don’t you? You little, prim and proper girl. Should I show you what it means to be a woman?” He began to kiss her softly on the neck. Kaylah whimpered. She knew she should stop him, she knew it was wrong to get turned on by a total stranger, but she felt weak to stop him. Stinger suddenly turned violent, he slammed her against the wall, and with one powerful force, ripped her tee shirt, to expose her ample breast encased in a lacy bra. He suddenly went crazy when he saw her exposed flesh. He pushed her to the floor, ready to ravish her, but something stopped him.
Kaylah: “Ifiok” she said, her eyes were tightly closed and she was whimpering.
Stinger: “What did you say? What name is that?” he pulled her up immediately. Kaylah shielded her breast with her hands as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Kaylah: “Ifiok was my childhood friend; I called him because when I think of him, I believe that the world can be a better place. He was the epitome of goodness even though life had been unfair to him. So when I am scared, I call him” she said with her head down. She was afraid of what she would see if she raised her head. Stinger hit the wall opposite her with his fist, and it broke open, with blood gushing out. He pulled Kaylah into his arms and held her tightly, Kaylah was confused, more so when she heard him sobbing. Instinctively, she put her arms around him and hugged him back. Everyone needed a hug from time to time, especially when life seems tough.
Kaylah: “You will be fine” she cooed like she was petting a baby. Stinger pulled her away and turned his back to her.
Stinger: “I am Ifiok” he said.
Kaylah: “Oh my God, Ifiok, Ifiok, what happened?” she rushed and hugged him, her head on his back.
Kaylah held him like that for a while before Stinger stepped away.
Stinger: “No one knows me as Ifiok, the boy you knew is dead and buried. This Stinger is not a good person” he said, shame on his face. When he thought of all the things he had said to Kaylah, and all the things he had done to her, he felt ashamed. The only light in his life and he had treated her badly, without knowing she was the girl whose memory he held through the years.
Kaylah: “He is still there, somewhere. I know that. When we went to the foster home and did not find you, I thought I was going to die. My little heart broke. Now that I have found you again, do you think I will let you go?”
Stinger: “But you have no choice miss, my world is not your world bae. We are worlds apart” he replied and walked away out of the bunker.
Kaylah: “Ifiok! Ifiok!” she called, but even if he heard, he did not answer, he had not answered that name in a very long time.