Layode held the phone shakily and listened to the man who
spoke at the end of the line.
“Are you with the money?” He asked.
“Ye…yes….” She stammered as she stared at a policeman
who gave her a thumbs up sign, indicating that she was doing a good job.
“Cash?”

“Yes…”
“Good! You are a good woman and you’ll see your son alive.”
“Please can I speak to him? Can I speak to Femi?”
“He’s asleep.”
“How am I sure that you haven’t hurt him? How am I sure that
he’s alive.”
“He’s alive…you have my word.”
“I can’t trust you, I’ll be stupid to trust your word.” She
said mustering some form of confidence.
There was a long pause and soon she heard Femi’s weak voice
float up to her.
“Mommy…” He said.
Her heart lurched in her chest as she heard her son’s voice.
“Femi..my darling how are you?”
“My tummy hurts…I’m sick, I’ve been vomiting….I want to
see you…where are you?”
She opened her mouth to reply but heard the harsh voice of
her son’s captor.
“That’s enough!” The voice said.
“He’s sick, my son is sick…you haven’t been feeding him.”
She sobbed.
“It’s not my fault…he hasn’t been able to keep any food
down. “ He said. “Now, I want you to get three black refuse disposal bags.
Split the cash and put them in these bags…” He continued while Layode
listened.
Once the call was ended, she faced the police men.
“Were you able to trace the number?” One of the policemen asked
another officer who was sitting before a computer system.
“He hid the number.” The police officer said.
Layode was shattered.
“Does it mean I can’t get my son? He thinks I’m with the
money!” She cried.
“Don’t worry madam, we are taking care of it. As we speak,
Mr. Henry’s wife has given us the contacts of the men she had hired to kidnap
your son. All we wanted to do was cross-check to see if the numbers match. We
will find those men and nail them.” He said.
Layode nodded weakly and looked out through the window, the
day was growing darker and she was already losing hope that she’ll ever be with
Femi again.
************
Henry’s wife sat in the cell and stared at the iron bars,
she had given the police all the information she had about the men she’d sent
to kidnap Layode’s son and she knew that it was over. Her marriage was as good
as over. She was crouched at a corner of the cell, staring at her legs when she
heard someone approach the cell, she looked up, it was Henry, she was crushed.
Henry stood there and stared at his wife, she evaded his
gaze and looked away.
“Why?” He asked.
“Isn’t it obvious? I can’t have kids for you and the thought
of you fathering kids bothers me.” She said silently.
“I told you that we could adopt, I asked that we applied to
orphanage homes.” Henry said in a broken voice.
“I guess I’m very selfish…I can’t take care of kids that
are not my own. Look at your daughter, for instance, you had her before we got
married but I’ve never treated her cordially. I just can’t do it!”
“Did you have to go that far? Did you have to kidnap the
boy?”
“I actually wanted him dead. I don’t know how this came back
to me because I…told them to finish him off once they caught him but I guess
their greed got the best of them.” She said.
“Why? Even after all the love I’ve showered on you.”
“I was jealous! I couldn’t bear to think that she got
pregnant for you while I’ve been trying to conceive for years. I went for IVF
five good times but nothing worked….nothing worked…” She cried. “I couldn’t
sit back and watch another woman provide you with children while I did
nothing…so when Elijah told me…I…”
“So you roped Elijah in too?”
“Elijah had always been loyal to me since we returned to the
country and you started your new company. You pay him salaries for being your
driver and I pay him for filling me with details of what you do during your
leisure.” She said. “I didn’t want to lose you, you are a good man.”
“I have always been honest with you and I remember telling
you about my affair with Layode because it happened when we had that fight that
lasted six months and you had to leave the country because you felt we were
over. I told you everything and we both forgave each other. You know you didn’t
have to be scared that I’d have another woman in my life, except you because I’m
past that…” He said as tears stung his lids.
His wife stood up from the ground and walked over to the
cell, she reached out and touched his face through the cell bars.
“I am sorry my love…jealousy got the better of me and…I couldn’t
control it.” She cried.
“Do you know what hurts me? The fact that you’re in a cell
and I can’t do anything about it and I don’t want to do anything about it.” He
said.
“What?” She asked in a croaked voice.
“A young boy was torn away from his mother because of you,
he’s very ill right now, because of you and he might not make it out of the
kidnapper’s den because of you. I really want you to rot in jail!”
“No! No! You love me, you can’t do without me, Henry…” She
cried.
“You should have thought of the love I have for you before doing something as stupid as this!” He said and walked away.
“No! Henry! Please! Henry….I promise never…to do it
again…please…please…” She cried.
**********
Layode was so tired and as she sat on the chair in the
police station waiting for the rescue team to return, she almost dozed off. She
was tired of crying, her eyes were swollen, her throat was parched with thirst
as she hadn’t allowed herself even a drop of water. She let sleep come like a
thief in a bid to claim her and she nodded her head as she dozed, suddenly her
phone rang and she yelped. She answered the call, not even bothering to see who
the caller was.
“Layode…” Stephen’s voice floated out to her.
“What do you want?” She asked, in half-relief as she had
thought that it was the man who held her son hostage that had called.
“I want you back…we …we miss you.” Her husband said.
“How’s my daughter?”
“She’s with my sister…” He said. “Please come back, I realise my mistakes.”
“I am never going back to you, Stephen…never! If you never
displayed that attitude of yours, by proclaiming to the world that Femi is not
your son, this would have never happened.”
“What would never have happened?” Stephen asked.
“Femi has been kidnapped and I’m at the police station now
waiting for something to be done!” She cried.
“Oh no! Where are you? I want to come and be with you…” He
said.
“Get out of my life Stephen! Get the hell out!” She screamed
and hung up the call, crying as soon as the line went dead.

To be continued tomorrow…. 

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