Bunmi paced the short length of the guest bedroom, ‘what was she going to do?’ she wondered. Seyi had stubbornly called the police after hearing his brother’s screams over the phone.
“Think Bunmi! Think!” She said, slapping her head with her palms.
She was worried, once the police got involved, there was no telling what could happen. She might be roped in if they began tracing those behind the kidnap and not only will she lose the money she had hoped to get from Gbenga’s father, she could be jailed too. She didn’t know what to do.
“Yes, I’ve got it!” She said as an idea came to mind.
She rushed out of the room and headed downstairs to the sitting room where Gbenga and his uncle were seated.
“Gbenga darling, can I speak with you for a moment?” She asked.
Gbenga looked at her, his eyes were swollen from too much crying. He nodded and followed her out of the sitting room. They both made their way into the guest room. As soon as they got in, she shut the door behind them.
“Gbenga darling…” She started. “I am your mother and I cannot deceive you. I gave birth to you and even though I have been away for so long, I do care for you.”
Gbenga looked at her, wondering where the speech was headed.
“I want you to see this situation as a do or die affair. Your uncle is just your dad’s brother and even though there’s no doubt that he loves him, you are the one who loves your daddy most and you will be the most affected if he dies.” She continued. “Now, the kidnappers threatened to kill your dad if we got the police involved but your uncle Seyi has gone ahead to contact the police. Is that wise?”
Gbenga looked at her and slowly shook his head.
“Now that he has called the police, do you know what could happen if the kidnappers realize that the police are hot on their trails?” She asked.
“They…could kill daddy…” He stammered.
“My point, exactly!” She said.
“But what do I do?” He cried. “Uncle Seyi says that’s the best option.”
“The best option for whom? For uncle Seyi or for your dad? As far as I am concerned, your dad is the one going through torture and he is confined in only God knows where. Uncle Seyi is thinking of himself and not of your dad.”
Gbenga started crying, he shook his head as he tried to block off the thoughts of his father being tortured.
“Gbenga, you know what to do. Tell your uncle to tell the police that it was all a big mistake and demand that you want to pay the kidnappers the money.” She said.
“Do that for yourself darling, I know how much you love your dad and even though I’d like you to love me as much as you love him, I know that I can’t compete with him and I am fine with that but it breaks my heart to see you suffer. Remember that if the police get involved, your father will die and you will suffer for the bad decisions that your let your uncle make for your dad. Don’t let this decision be your ruin.”
Gbenga stood up from the bed and hurried out of the room, as soon as he shut the door behind him, Bunmi smiled.
Mickey couldn’t sleep. Her mind kept wandering to the picture she had seen in her brother’s possession. The picture had been that of Gbenga and his father, does it mean that Gbenga would be the next to be kidnapped since his dad had already been kidnapped? She sat up on her bed and looked at the clock on the wall, it was eleven pm. She sighed and rubbed her eyes. She needed to do something and she needed to do it fast. Her mother turned to face her, she was lying beside her on the bed.
“Mickey, dis one wey ya eye open so…” She said.
“Mummy, abeg, you know wia Baba Tee dey?” Mickey asked.
“No…he talk say he wan find place to stay with Ola…” She said.
“He give you address?” Mickey asked.
“No…he just talk say we fit talk over phone.” Her mother said and turned to face the wall to sleep.
An idea struck in Mickey’s head. She could get to Baba Tee through Ola and she needed Chekwube’s help to do that. She quickly lay down to sleep as she thought of what to do.
Chekwube had finished her morning chores and was just about to step out of the bathroom when she heard a knock at the door.
“Chekwube, your friend Mickey is here.” Her aunt said.
Chekwube was surprised. She quickly opened the door and stepped out.
“Mickey?” She asked her aunt. “Why is she here at this time? It’s so early in the morning.”
“I wondered the same too. She is waiting in the sitting room.” Aunt Lizzie said.
Chekwube panicked. Could it be that there was bad news? Did Gbenga call to inform Mickey that something terrible had happened to his dad? She quickly rushed into her room and wore one of her indoor wears and stepped out into the sitting room.
As soon as Mickey saw her, she stood up from the sofa, she was already dressed in her uniform.
“What is it?” Chekwube asked with fear in her eyes.
“I think…I think I know where Gbenga’s father is.” Mickey said.
Chekwube stared at Mickey, she didn’t understand what the girl was saying to her.
“Remember that my brother came home briefly to pick up some of his things two days ago before leaving. As he was leaving the house, he dropped a picture. It was a photo of Gbenga and his dad.”
Chekwube’s legs quaked, she couldn’t believe what she’d just heard.
“I think that Baba Tee has something to do with Gbenga’s dad’s disappearance.”
“That’s a serious accusation, Mickey. Are you sure of what you’re saying?” Chekwube asked.
“If his hands are clean, what was he doing with their photo? Maybe someone hired him to kidnap Gbenga’s dad and after that, kidnap Gbenga.” Mickey said with tears in her eyes.
“Baba Tee…a kidnapper? That’s unbelieveable…I mean…he is a hoodlum but kidnapping is a serious crime and he could go to jail for it if indeed he is behind the kidnap.”
“Look Chekwube, I know that I am putting my brother at risk but do I have a choice?” She said as she sat on the sofa. “My eldest brother was like the head of our family, he was the one who…who understood us all and he loved all of us and took care of us. When he died…he…” She choked on a sob.
“I am so sorry Mickey.” Chekwube said, feeling sad for her friend.
“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time and …he was hit by a stray bullet. His death hurt everyone of us so much that we somehow developed thick skin and vowed that nothing will ever bring us down like his death did. Somewhere along the line, my brothers joined bad gangs and became touts and I became ‘Mickey the terrorist’…until I met Gbenga and I desperately wanted to change because I had a crush on him. I had to try to tolerate you even though I didn’t like you because I found that he was closer to you and eventually we have become good friends. I am sure that my eldest brother, Jerome, wherever he is will be pleased to know that I did something good. Even if Baba Tee ends up in jail, at least, it will be what he deserves and maybe he will be given a lighter sentence but the most important thing is that he will learn his lesson. I am not going to give him a chance to be like those bad guys whose stray bullet killed the only brother I’ve ever loved.”
Chekwube was crying when Mickey finished speaking.
“So, what do you want us to do?” She asked.
“I want you to call Ola. I have Baba Tee’s phone number and I want you to call her and lie to her.”
“Lie to her?”
“I want you to tell her something like, your mother is very sick and was brought to Lagos by Mr. Nosike and that she wants to see her. If we can get to Ola, then we can get to Baba Tee. If Ola comes back here in order to see your mom, we can ask her questions and find out where Baba Tee is hiding Gbenga’s dad because I am very sure that if Gbenga’s dad is in Baba Tee’s custody, Ola knows about it.”
Chekwube looked at Mickey, she didn’t know what to say. Suddenly, auntie Lizzie stepped into the sitting room and said.
“I heard everything. I want to help too. If Baba Tee is indeed behind Gbenga’s dad’s kidnap, then Ola knows about it.”
The girls stared at her, they were speechless.
To be continued…
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