Ella signed the form and waited for her money to be released to her. Her bank had wasted most part of her morning as they’d delayed her with questions as to the reasons she wanted to withdraw such a large sum of money in cash.
“We are not supposed to give out such sum of money in a day, besides, you can always do a direct transfer to the account of whoever you wish to pay the money to or issue a cheque.” Her account officer said.
“I really need the cash.” She stressed.
“Well, it’s not going to be easy to get it especially as you need it now. You gave us such short notice and ….”
“Please do all you can…I really need the money.” Ella said.
“Could you kindly sit for a while, I need to check some things.”
“Sure…” Ella said as she made her way to take a seat.
Jacob was there seated and flipping through the pages of a magazine, as soon as she walked up to take a seat, he looked at her.
“They are refusing to release the money, they claim it’s a huge sum…”
“What rubbish? It’s your money! This bank is useless, I know other banks that will give you your money in a snap.” He said raising his voice.
“Hey, calm down…yes, it’s my money but the bank has rules.” She said.
“That’s not fair. Lola has been in the hands of those miscreants for days now. They called me yesterday and I told them to wait until today because yesterday was a Sunday and there was no way we could get the money on a weekend.”
“Well, if the bank can’t release the money in cash, the kidnappers should accept a cheque.” She said.
“Cheque? Kidnappers don’t accept cheques.”
“Then they’ll just have to be patient.” She snapped.
“You’re speaking this way because it’s not your sister who’s kidnapped.”
Ella stared at him in anger.
“What do you mean by that? I am bringing five million naira from my trust fund and my sacrifice isn’t enough for you? The last time I checked, she’s your relative and all you’ve brought so far is emotional support and panic.”
“Hey, babe…I didn’t mean that…it’s just that I’m really desperate.”
“Desperation can’t solve any problems, the country is on a cashless policy and I can’t withdraw the sum of five million naira over the counter unless I withdraw it bit by bit during the week and…”
“We don’t have time for that.”
“Then, chill and wait….let’s see what my account officer has to say.” She said.
Jacob looked at her, he hated it when his wife acted high and mighty just as she did right now. She loved to rub her riches in his face, he thought, but it was going to be all over soon. All he needed to do was to convince her to present the remaining money in her trust fund for a joint business venture and he’ll set up a new business in his name and become very successful with her money.
“Honey…can I make a suggestion?” He asked.
“What’s your suggestion?”
“Can you maybe…talk to one of these your rich friends…do you remember those ones you told me that their dad is a politician? Why don’t you ask them if they have cash with them and if they do, you can transfer the money to their account while you get the cash from them?”
“Do you mean Jade and Jackie?” She asked.
“Yes…speak to them, they are very wealthy and you used to tell me how they spend millions of naira in clubs every weekend.” He said.
Ella looked at her husband and sighed.
“The things I do for love…” She said as she brought out her phone from her bag and made a call.
Zach was shuffling himself between his two wives locations; he spent two hours at Jessica’s bedside nursing her back to health and spent the next two hours at Queen’s doorstep, begging her to let him in. After two days of pleading, Queen opened the door and let him into the house.
“Queenie…darling, please understand me…I would have never ever hurt you on purpose.” He said.
“You don’t have the right to speak Zach!” Queen screamed at him. “If a woman was giving you issues, the least you could do was to call me and tell me. Can you imagine the shock I felt when I found that you had another wife?”
“Stop calling her that my darling…please…don’t call her that…” He begged. “She repulses me, she makes me sick, you are the only wife I have and you are my family.”
“I still don’t understand any of this…how I am supposed to process all of this? Do you know the most painful part? It’s the fact that I’ve been in Lagos for a while and you haven’t bothered to tell me anything. If she didn’t confide in me that she thought her husband was having an affair and hadn’t sent me the receipt you’d used to pay the rent for this house, I’ll still be naive over the situation.” She said.
Zach looked at his feet sadly.
“I am sorry…I am very sorry but you have to understand that it wasn’t easy for me. I couldn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to be disturbed and I also didn’t bother to tell b=you because she means nothing to me, nothing at all.” He said.
“I hope you’re telling me the truth, Zach.”
“I swear on my father’s grave darling…all I told you is the truth and nothing but the truth.” He said.
“Okay…fine…I believe you.”
“Can I hug you? I’ve missed you so much.” He said reaching out to hug her.
“You really got me worried…I had to call in sick at work today because I spent the weekend deep in thought.” She said walking into his outstretched arms.
“I love you baby and you don’t have to worry about anything…my love for you is forever and beyond.” He said hugging her tight and sighing in relief that she believed him. “Now, I have a favour to ask of you.”
She broke the hug and looked at him.
“For my sake and the sake of our family, I want you to resign from your job at the company. I have set some money aside to start a new business for you. I also want us to move away from this house as soon as possible. What do you say?” He asked, looking at her with pleading eyes.
Queen looked at her husband, she didn’t know what to say.
Jacob sat behind the wheels of Ella’s car and breathed fast, the five million naira was in a bag at the booth of the car. He had refused to an exchange in the night but had asked that the exchange is done in broad daylight. His phone rang and he jerked.
“Hello…” He said.
“Are you at the junction?” The gruff voice asked.
“Yes…yes I am…” He whispered.
“Are you with the money?”
“Yes…” Jacob answered as his eyes quickly darted left and right across the busy street.
“Good. Did you come with a vehicle?”
“Yes…I drove my car.” He said.
“Describe the car…what colour is it?”
“It’s a dark red Nissan jeep.” He said. “2015 model.”
“Oh…I see…” The kidnapper said.
“Now, leave the car running and get down from the vehicle slowly. Don’t take out the keys.”
“What? Why shouldn’t I take the keys?” He asked.
“Do you want Lola alive or not?”
“Yes….yes…” Jacob said quickly.
“Good. Now, do as I’ve told you.”
Jacob nodded, hung up the phone and quietly made his way out of the car.
Ella was trying to concentrate at work but she couldn’t, she stared at her wristwatch and sighed. She was worried. Jacob hadn’t called her to give an update on what was going on and she was really beginning to panic. Suddenly, her phone rang and she quickly answered, relieved to see that it was Jacob, calling.
“Hello, babe…” She said breathlessly into the receiver.
“She’s safe….Lola is safe…” Jacob whispered.
Ella closed her eyes in relief. “Oh thank God.”
“They didn’t hurt her right? I hope they didn’t hurt her…” She said.
“No…she’s fine…just a little dehydrated. We are on our way home now, we are in a taxi cab.”
“A cab? Where’s my car? Didn’t you take my car with you?”
“Yes I did but there was a change of plans…”
“What change of plans? Where is my car, Jacob?”
“The kidnappers…they took it.” He said. “Along with the money.”
Ella’s phone dropped from her hand and clattered to the ground, she was shocked.
To be continued…..