It was day three already and Temi knew it couldn’t get
better. She had cried, pleaded, begged but all to no avail. These men were up
to no good and the earlier she knew it, the better.
She had been thrown into an ugly looking room, filled with
filth and she hadn’t had a bathe in three days. Consoling herself with the
thoughts of home, she wondered if she would ever see her home again. The men hadn’t
touched her or spoken to her either, they spoke to themselves instead as they
had another man living in the same house with them.
She was still seating hurdled to the wall when the door
opened and one of the men came in, pulled her up and shoved her into the next
room.
“Please sir, I have done nothing wrong.” Temi begged.
The man didn’t reply, and neither did the others who were
standing in the room, looking at her. Temi wiped the tears off her eyes with
the back of her palms. Sniffing loudly and coughing she stared at them with
pleading eyes.
 “E never show?” One
of the men asked.
“He dey come.” The other answered and lit his cigarette,
dragging in the smoke deeply.
A knock sounded at the door and one of the men rushed to
open it; Temi hoped that it would be Jide even though she had no pleasant
thoughts of him anymore. The door opened and to her utter dismay, it was
another man. He was of a bigger build than the men in the room.
“Omo Russia, wetin dey na? E don tey since we dey call you!”
Exclaimed the man who pulled Temi out of the room.
“Oga…dis our business no be small tin. I don slap persin dis
morning sef.” Omo Russia said, then turning to look at Temi he grunted. “Na de
gial be dis?”
“Yes na she.” One of Temi’s captors replied.
“Hmmm…okay, shebi we don settle for thirty thousand?” Omo
Russia asked.
“Which one be thirty thousand? Abeg do well. Na fifty
thousand be last last… even Germa for junction don price us sixty, we no gree.”
Spat one of my captors.
“See ehn…dis work no be easy one abeg. Na serious export be
dis and if gofment catch me, na wahala. I no fit pay fifty for gial. If na boy,
e for dey possible.” Omo Russia explained.
“Which one be boy? Gial dey make money pass…if you sell dis
one for beer palour, you know wetin she fit bring? One day alone fit pass one
hundred thousand.” Spat another of my captors.
Fear couldn’t have been better expressed; Temi’s eyes
widened at the realization of her soon to be plight. She was going to be sold…at
a price less than her school fees. Suddenly, an idea came to mind and she spoke
up.
“Please sirs…I was misled to coming here. Jide tricked me…look,
my father is rich…fifty thousand naira is less than my school fees. Just…give
me a phone and I’ll give my father a call and….” She was cut short by a hard
slap.
Temi’s face expanded and contracted before her very eyes,
blood trickled down the sides of her mouth and her nose bled.
“Shut up idiot…who give you mouth to talk?” Barked the man
that pulled her out of the room.
“Ehn…d gial get sharp mouth ooo…dis one fit spoil business.”
Shouted Omo Russia.
“Una know how to silence dem na…one drop of small something….”
Said another of her captors.
“Dat tin no be small tin ooo…na strong tin, e fit wipe her
mind comot sharp sharp…she no go remember shege!” Said Omo Russia boasting.
“You go use am for am na.” One of her captors exclaimed.
“Yes na…I dey use am for everybody wey I sell. If you no use
am, the gial fit go report to police.” Omo Russia explained.
Temi almost fainted, ‘what were they talking about?’ she
asked herself; ‘what drop removes the mind?’ she didn’t understand.
Money exchanged hands and she was pulled up to her feet and
dragged out of the small house which had been her home for the past three days.
****
Image source: http://rile5.com
“What?” Granny grans shouted.
Temi’s father stood before his mother, with his hands at his
back and his face contorted in pain. Yemisi sat in the small sitting room,
wriggling her hands; she felt all alone. Tara had left to her mother’s family
three days ago and with Temi missing, what was left of the three musketeers was
over.
“Yes Mami.” Temi’s father said in a low tone.
“Akure? What did she go there for?” Granny grans asked.
“How did you know all this?” Aunty Felicia asked.
“When we spread word of her disappearance via television,
radio, print and even social media, using her picture; one woman called the
police station with information. According to her, she had seen Temi on a bus
to Akure in the company of a man. She said that she and her friend who boarded the
same bus, asked Temi what she was doing alone with a man so older than herself
and she was rude to them. She even told me that she wrote down her number for
Temi, just incase she needed help but….” Temi’s father’s voice cracked.
“How is your wife? How did she receive the news?” Granny
grans asked.
“It’s been bad Mami…she hasn’t stopped weeping. Her sisters
are with her…infact…I am so tired of everything. Why would Temi run away with a
man? Wasn’t I a good father? I know I travelled a lot but did she lack fatherly
love so much that she had to seek succor in a stranger’s arms?” Temi’s father
said, tears slipped down his cheeks.
“You can never be the perfect parent to your children but
you have a hand in whatever path they decide to take in life. I remember
telling all of you; put your families first before anything else. Make sure
your children confide in you but it’s too late now. See what has happened. We can’t
cry over spilt milk.” Granny grans said, looking at her son.
Everyone knew that Granny grans was the strongest person in
the Dolapo household, even in the worst scenarios, she still knew how to keep
calm and think logically.
“What do I do now?” Temi’s father cried.
“What do you do? Get up and rush to Akure. Make sure you
find your daughter and bring her home. Do you think we are foreigners that
elope at whim? We are Africans and our pride is in family. Comb Akure thoroughly
and make sure you bring her home. Get details of the man Temi ran away with and
trace him down, start from making enquires of the bus they boarded. Get a
passenger manifest and start digging quick, he must have written an address
there.” Granny grans supplied.
Everyone was taken aback at Granny grans intelligence; Temi’s
father nodded and headed towards the door but was stopped short by a small
voice.
“Sorry to deviate but…where is Tara?” Yemisi squeaked.
Temi’s father gave Yemisi a long look and turning away, he
left the house.
****
She wasn’t sad or happy; she just felt indifferent and
exhausted. After imagining reunion with her mother, it wasn’t as thrilling as
she had envisioned. The house was bleak and empty, most times she heard voices,
other times, silence. A knock at her door jolted her and she walked over to
open it.
“Tara…you are needed downstairs.” The maid Natty said; she
too was emotionless.
“Okay…I’ll be downstairs in a minute.” Tara replied.
The maid nodded and left while Tara ran to the mirror and
hastily brushed her hair. ‘Today’s the D-day’ she told herself, ‘the day she’ll
finally have a chat with her mother.’ She dusted some powder on her face and
taking a minty lipgloss, she swiped it over her lips. Maybe her mother would be
impressed if she looks pretty, she thought. Since the day her father left her
in her mother’s house she had made up her mind to make her mother love her but
three days had passed and she hadn’t even caught a glimpse of the woman who
birthed her. She had met her mother’s brother, a warm middle-aged man who was
still a bachelor and had a thin frame and a disturbing look in his eyes.
Tara rushed downstairs and stopped in her tracks; her mother
wasn’t in the sitting room but her uncle and a young lady.
“Hello Tara.” The lady said, rising up from the chair and proffering
her hand for a handshake.
“Hi” Tara replied, she didn’t even bother to accept the
woman’s hand.
“This is Miss Joan, she’s from the City girls’ school and
she’s to be your personal tutor.” Her uncle said.
“What do you mean by that?” Tara asked.
“I enrolled you into the school but since the term has since
started, they sent on of their teachers to coach you privately for one week. Just
to see if you would be able to catch up with them, after which you’ll go and
join them fully.” Her uncle said.
“Where is my mother?” Tara asked.
“Resting as usual.” Her uncle replied.
“She’s the one who’s supposed to be doing this, not you.” Tara
said.
“Doing what?” Her uncle asked.
“Enrolling me in a school.” She replied.
“But she’s not well.” Her uncle replied firmly, his eyes
glinted in warning as though telling her that she was crossing the border.
“I’m not having any lessons with any teacher until I see
her.” Tara said stubbornly.
“I’ll leave now…err…this is obviously a family discussion. I
look forward to starting lessons with you tomorrow, Tara.” Miss Joan said.
No one replied aa she left the uncle and niece who faced each
other like those at a war front.
“What was that supposed to mean?” Her uncle shouted.
“And what is this supposed to mean?  Can’t I even speak with my mother? I came here
to reunite with her and not to enroll in any stupid school.” Tara snapped.
“Don’t use that tone with me girl, or I’ll slap your face.”
“I don’t care about what you’ll do to me, I just want to see
her.” Tara screamed.
“She doesn’t want to see you!” Her uncle replied.
There was silence as Tara stared into her uncle’s eyes
trying hard to convince herself that he was lying.
 “Why?” Tara asked,
now in a more subdued and quieter voice.
“She doesn’t love you…you are the biggest mistake of her
life.” Her uncle said.

Tara shut her eyes in pain and wished she was dead.
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Adaeze loves to travel, write and sleep.

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