As soon as Baba
killed the engine, Judith breathed a sigh of relief. She waited a while for Baba to alight from the vehicle and help her out of the back, before stepping
down from the vehicle. Once the vegetables were removed from her back, she felt
as though the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.

“Ka a ale …”
Were the greetings she heard as Baba helped her out from the vehicle.
As soon as her
feet touched the ground, Judith felt like falling on her knees and raising her
hands in praise to God. She couldn’t believe that after almost eight days of captivity, she was finally free, well, 
almost free as she had to figure out how to get home.
Baba’s house was
practically on the road and it had a very low fence around it so everyone could
see what was going on inside the compound. She watched the people in the compound
stare at her and she felt a bit uncomfortable. Baba spoke to his son who
quickly nodded and hurried into the house. He soon came out with a tall lanky boy
of about sixteen years old. The boy prostrated in greeting to Baba and he greeted her as well.
Baba spoke Yoruba to the boy and he looked at her and said.
“Baba said you
do not understand the language.” He said to her.
“Yes, oh…you
speak English?” She asked hopefully.
“Yes…I do, my
name is Matthew.” He said.
“Good…thank God
I can express myself.” Judith said in relief.
Baba said
something to Matthew in Yoruba and he translated it to her.
“My father said
that you have been through a lot and you must rest. He also says that you have
been injured and might need a doctor.”
Judith looked at
her ankle which was bandaged with a cloth and winced. She was very scared of
germs and wished she could get a tetanus shot, at least.
“Yes, I was hurt
by the local trap set by your little brother here but I’m thankful for it
because he wouldn’t have found me if I hadn’t been caught by his trap.” She
said.
“Very well then,
come into the house.” He said.
“Thank you but
first, can I get a tetanus shot for this wound? I’m so scared of germs.”
The boy nodded
and spoke to his father who said some words to him in their language
.
“Yes, you can
but Baba says that it’s unsafe for you outside the house. He says you must stay
indoors to avoid drawing attention to yourself.” He said. “My brother will call
a nurse and she’ll come here to give you the shot.”
“Thank you…I
appreciate this so much. Thank you. Can I also make a phone call?” Judith asked.
“Well, we have a call center not too far from here, maybe tomorrow, I could ask my brother to call the lady who does the business for you.”
“Doesn’t anyone have a phone? I mean…I could just send a text message with it and…”
“Baba has a phone and my mother too but my mother went to Ibadan and Baba’s phone has been out due to the no light situation.”
 Judith shook her head tiredly as she followed them into the
house.
At a safe
distance, a motor bike was stationed with its rider watching the activities in
the compound.
“So he snuck the
girl out huh? Hahahaha…dis Baba has no idea of who he’s dealing with.” The
rider said and getting on his bike, he rode away.
*********
Mr. Gregor  stared at the drips hooked to his arm and
blinked. What had happened? He asked himself. He was just regaining
consciousness and no one was with him, he was terrified.
“Help!” He
cried. “Help!”
The door to the
room opened and Nikky walked in, she was surprised to see her father awake.
‘Daddy…oh daddy
I’m so glad you’re awake…thank God!” She said.
“Where am I?
What happened?” He asked.
“Never mind dad,
you had an accident but thankfully you survived.” She said.
“Are you sure
about that? I feel so sick…my head hurts. The last thing I remember is….” He
said then his eyes widened. ‘Where is Judith? Has she been found?”
“Not yet dad but
the police are trying everything…”
“How come she
hasn’t been found yet?” He asked.
“Shhhhh….calm
down dad…please…” She said.
“Where is your
mother?” He asked.
Nikky recalled
the terrible sight of her mother who was at home mourning the fact that her
daughter was a prostitute and said.
“She was here
with you the whole while, she just stepped out for a bit.” She lied.
“Water, my
throat is dry.”
“I’ll go call
the doctor…” Nikky said.
“Where is
Richard? We’re already counting days to the wedding…tell him that I said he
should either cancel it or postpone it.” Her father said.
“I’ll call him
immediately.” Nikky said and left the hospital.
*********
Ese stared at
her husband in the hospital bed and winced. He must be in so much pain, she
told herself.
“What happened?”
She asked. “I leave you for a few days and return to find that you’ve broken
your back?”
“I’m sorry honey…I
just didn’t want to bother my sister by telling her that the dog needed a
stroll so I thought it would be easy to walk down the stairs with my cane then,
poooosh! All I remember is hearing cracks at my back and landing on this bed.”
He said trying to be humorous. “So tell me honey, how are things at Judith’s
house?”
“Things are the
way they always were….oh my gosh Donald…why? Why did you have to take the
stroll with the dog alone? I hate this! Now the doctor says you might be here
for at least a month.”
“Are you worried
about the bills?” He asked. “Don’t worry I have some money stashed up
somewhere.” He said.
Ese buried her
face in her palms and almost screamed in frustration. Donald could see her move
about the room but she was quite a blur. He had suddenly noticed that after the
accident, he could make out shapes and figures quite clearly and he didn’t want
to say anything yet so as not to create false hope but tears sprang in his eyes
as he watched his wife pace the short length of the room, worried about him.
“I am going to
see the doctor, and I’ll be right back.” She said. “I also need to have a word with that sister of yours. I left you with her for a few days and what do I get? A husband with a broken back!”
As soon as she
left, her phone rang loudly. Donald looked over to where she kept the bag
and saw the outline of the bag, so he stretched and picked it up from the fridge beside the bed. He fumbled through it as he searched for the phone.  He found the phone and he saw the green
button which signified ‘answer’ he was so glad that he could see quite a bit so
he took the call.
“Hello…” He
greeted.
“Good evening
Miss Ese, my name is Stacy from Coral flowers and events.” The female voice
greeted.
“Oh hello, my
name is Donald and I’m Ese’s husband.” He said.
“Okay…I called
to inform your wife of the reservations she made at the private hall and also to
confirm that she’d asked for white bouquet of roses.”
“Roses? Hall?
Whatever for?” Donald asked.
“She reserved it
for Saturday…” The lady was saying.
The door opened
and Ese entered the room, on seeing her husband with her phone, she quickly
snatched it from him and answered the call.
“Oh…Coral…oh
yes, sure. Fine. Goodbye.” She said and hung up.
“How did you
pick my call?” She fired.
“How did I or
why did I?” He asked.
“You can’t see,
how come you were able to take my bag and…”
“I had a nurse
here with me and your phone was ringing so loudly, she helped me get it.”
Donald lied. “Why are you booking a hall reservation? And flowers?”
“Oh…now you’ve
spoilt the surprise. I wanted us to have a quiet time together at the hall and
now you’ve blown my surprise. First you blow it by getting involved in this
nasty accident as I have to cancel my whole plans now that you’re confined to a bed and second, you blow it by answering the call…”
“I’m so sorry
love…I’m so sorry.” Donald said.
“The doctor is
coming in soon, I’ll just go out to the reception and ask the nurses something.
I’ll be back.” She said as she picked up her bag and left the room.
Donald stared
through his blurry vision at her retreating back, he kept wondering how she
booked a reservation for the two f them on Saturday and it was coincidentally,
the Saturday of her friend’s wedding. What was going on? He thought.
*******
Capi stood
outside Baba’s house, the night was dark and the occupants of the house had retired
quite early.
“Are you sure it’s
that house?” He asked.
“Of course Capi.
That old man took her into his house!”
“Wonders shall
never end. So, Judith thinks she’s smart huh? She stabbed our man and now she’s
on the loose. Well, let’s go in there and show her who’s boss!” Capi said
brandishing a gun.
“Yes, let’s go
there!” His companion said.
The two shadowy figures
slithered through the road and in no time, were at the door of Baba’s house.

To be
continued tomorrow….

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