“What has gotten into you Gbenga?” His uncle asked in fury.
Gbenga stood there with a look of firm determination on his face as he stared at his uncle. They were both standing in the sitting room while Aunt Adunni stared at the both of them with her face cradled in her palms.
“I am his only child and I will make the decisions from now on.” Gbenga said stubbornly. “I won’t let you risk my dad’s life. Ever!”
“Did you listen to him over the phone? Gbenga, they will kill your dad if we don’t get the police involved.” His uncle yelled.
“We were given strict instructions not to involve the police or he will die. They will kill him if you get the police involved.” Gbenga repeated.
Seyi was distraught.
“You are a child. What do you know? These people could be playing with us for all we know. Do you think they would hand him back to us unhurt even after giving them the money? Don’t you realize that even after giving them the sum they’ve asked for, they could ask for more? Open your eyes Gbenga, don’t sentence your father to death.”
“I am not sentencing him to death but you are.” Gbenga screamed.
“Gbenga! Watch the way you speak to your uncle.” His aunt cautioned.
“I am sorry aunt but do you see my point? The kidnappers have threatened to kill dad if we involve the police.”
“How could they know that we intend to involve the police?” His aunt asked.
Gbenga looked at her, she had a point.
“Well..I don’t know…I guess they will figure out and…”
“We are going to be very discreet. This is not going to be the first time that the police are handing a case such as this. The only way the kidnappers will find out is if we have a mole within the house.” His uncle said.
“A mole? How?” Gbenga asked.
“Possibly, the person that planned his kidnap might be someone who lives here or someone we trust who could alert the kidnappers of our every move.” His uncle said.
Bunmi chose that moment to walk down the stairs and they all turned to stare at her.
“What’s going on?” She asked, looking at her son, his uncle and aunt.
“Uncle says that they might be a mole.” Gbenga said.
“A what?” Bunmi started.
“Someone we trust must have known daddy’s movements on the day he was kidnapped and that person might have planned this all.” Gbenga said.
Bunmi clutched her chest, a worried expression sat on her face.
“Could it be the Help?” She whispered. “I know that many of these so-called domestic workers are never satisfied with their pay, most of them are greedy.”
“We only have two domestic staff in this house and they are trust-worthy.” Gbenga’s uncle said. “Justina has been working here since Gbenga was eight and Soji has been in the family even before he was born.”
“So, does that mean that they can’t suddenly turn greedy over-night?” Bunmi spat. “Have you thought of Felix’s former wives? They might be the ones behind all of this.”
“No, they can’t and even if they are, the only person they still keep in touch with, is me.” Gbenga said. “And I didn’t speak with any of them before daddy was kidnapped. In fact, the last time I spoke to any of them was about two months ago.”
“Gbenga, we have to watch our backs very closely because it is obvious that someone we know and trust planned this all.” His uncle said.
Bunmi felt uneasy, she thought she had spoken to her son in order to avoid getting the police involved but now, it seemed as though his uncle had brainwashed him with something else.
“Come with me Gbenga, you have to eat something. I won’t have your uncle and aunt burden your little head with so much responsibilities. You are just sixteen.”
The doorbell rang and everyone turned to look at the door.
“Who is it? Did you call the police?” Bunmi fired at Seyi.
Seyi walked over to open the door and when he did, he held it open.
“Come on in.” He said.
Two girls in school uniform walked in and Gbenga was relieved to see them.
“Mickey! Chekwube!” He greeted, walking over to meet them.
Bunmi had a scowl on her face.
“What do your friends think is going on here? A circus? They came yesterday already, why are they coming again today?” Bunmi asked, growing irritated.
Gbenga ignored his mother and spoke to his friends.
“It’s eight am and school has already begun.”
“Well…we are in the revision phase of our lessons and we’re not going to miss much if we don’t attend school today. Aunty Lizzie gave us permission to come.” Chekwube said.
“We came to stay with you for a while. We were in a hurry to come so we didn’t get to change our uniforms.” Mickey said.
“Thank you so much…” Gbenga said. “Come on, let’s go upstairs. I’ll update you on what’s been going on with my dad’s kidnap.”
Bunmi watched as Gbenga led Mickey and Chekwube upstairs.
“Do you see? He just said he’ll update them. Gbenga has been looking for a mole and I’m sure those girls are the moles. Don’t they come from poor homes? They are his classmates in the public school so I’m sure that they found out that his dad is mega rich and wants a piece of the cake.”
Seyi and Adunni sat on the couch and said nothing, they were both feeling very depressed.
Jermia was going through her phone. There was a carnival going on in Brazil and she hated it that she was here. She had been excited to come to Nigeria but Bunmi was killing her happiness by torturing Gbenga. She wondered what kind of a mother did that to her child and she vowed that she’d never make her future kids sad. The door opened and Bunmi stood at the doorway like a roaring lion.
“What in the world are you doing here?” She asked.
Jermia looked at Bunmi, she didn’t know what to say.
“I am in the bedroom that I used to occupy in this house…” She said.
“A bedroom that I earned for you.” Bunmi spat.
Jermia dropped her phone and sat up on the bed.
“Will you get out of this room and go and meet Gbenga this instant? His stupid friends are here and they are killing my time.”
It was at the tip of Jermia’s tongue to tell Bunmi to get lost but she kept silent.
“Get up and get out before I lose my temper.” Bunmi spat.
Jermia got off the bed and hurried out of the room.
Gbenga stared at his friends, he was puzzled. He wondered why they were so serious.
“We have something really important to tell you and we want you to promise to keep it a secret till we are really sure that what we suspect is true.” Mickey said.
They were seated at the balcony upstairs.
“What is going on?” He asked.
“Please listen to Mickey.” Chekwube said.
Gbenga turned to regard Mickey.
“I think I now know the reason why our paths crossed.” Mickey said. “At first I thought that destiny brought you to the school so that we could be close friends and maybe in future, we could be sweethearts but I guess something else was in store for us.”
Gbenga stared, he wondered what she was talking about.
“What is it Mickey? My dad is still in the kidnappers’ custody and I really need to get him out of there. You are killing time with your speech.” He said impatiently.
“Listen to her, Gbenga. This has something to do with your dad.” Chekwube said.
“What? How?” Gbenga asked.
Mickey was trying not to be affected by Gbenga’s response so she continued.
“I think I know who kidnapped your dad…” She said.
“What? You what?” Gbenga shouted and jumped off his chair.
“Calm down, Gbenga. For all we know, someone in your family could have planned this and yelling will draw their attention here and we might have to tell them all we know. Besides, we are also very scared that we could get into trouble with the kidnapper if he somehow finds out that we know so much.”
Gbenga walked back to take his seat, he was literally shaking.
“I think my brother did it. On the day of your dad’s kidnap, I saw a photo of you and your dad on the floor of my house. I was surprised to see it there when all of a sudden, my brother came in and took it from me.” Mickey said.
Gbenga stared at her, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Your brother is a kidnapper?” He asked. “He had a picture of my dad and I? What are you saying?”
Mickey didn’t speak, she was too hurt to say anymore.
“Look Gbenga, if what Mickey says is true, then don’t you realize that we are closer to finding your dad? My sister is with Mickey’s brother and I intend to call her once we are done with this conversation. I have a plan to have her come to aunt Lizzie’s house where a police officer will have to question her. This is difficult for Mickey and I. For Mickey, Baba Tee might be a kidnapper but he is her brother and for me, Ola is my sister but if she is involved, then she is an accomplice and might end up in jail even if she’s seventeen. Please be more sensitive with your words.” Chekwube said.
Gbenga looked at Mickey and said.
“I am sorry…I didn’t mean to sound the way I did.” Then addressing Chekwube, he said. “What do we do now?”
“We keep this a secret amongst us.” She said.
“What? A secret?” He echoed.
“Come to think of it, the mastermind behind the kidnap might be someone in this house and someone you trust. We don’t want you spilling the beans yet or we might risk it all.” Chekwube said.
“Mickey is right. Auntie Lizzie will go to the police once we have called Ola and we are sure that she is coming. A police officer will be on ground to question Ola. We just hope that if my brother is behind it all, she comes clean and tells us the truth.” Mickey said solemnly.
Gbenga buried his face in his palms and sobbed, he was having a hard time processing all the information he had just received.
“I can’t believe this…I can’t…” He sobbed.
Chekwube walked up to him and patted him at the back.
“It’s okay to feel sad but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I know what we are asking of you is not going to be easy especially as you will have to keep this a secret from your family but as it is, we don’t know whom to trust.”
Gbenga nodded, he stood up and swayed in dizziness.
“What’s wrong? Gbenga!” Chekwube and Mickey called out together.
“I’m fine…it’s just that I haven’t had much sleep and I haven’t eaten anything since daddy disappeared.” He said.
“Why don’t you have your bath and eat something then we can all go together to aunt Lizzie’s place. We also have to remove our uniforms since we aren’t going to school today.” Chekwube said.
“Thank you so much for this. I really don’t know how to repay the two of you.” He started. “Thank you Mickey…I really thought the worst of you when we met at first but slowly, I am coming to realize that you have a heart of gold. Thank you.”
Mickey nodded, she was moved to tears. It wasn’t everyday that a sister snitches on her brother.
As they hurdled together in tears, no one noticed Jermia slip away from the door, she had been eavesdropping through the door crack.
Last episodes next week…