Excerpt From Episode 14:
Something didn’t seem right with Gift’s story. Chioma couldn’t have left. Where was she? Had Gift done something to her? Calm down, you are being paranoid. Maryam chided herself. The place was filled with people, there was no way Gift could have done anything to Chioma.
“Why don’t you call her on phone?”
“She left her phone at the house this morning.” Maryam snapped and walked out of the room.
To read episode 14: CLICK HERE
“…we were together and then all of a sudden she was nowhere to be found.” Maryam was saying in a distraught voice to Mrs. Ugochukwu. She had gone back to the house to look for Chioma only for Mrs. Ugochukwu to say Chioma had not come home as thought. A call to her cell phone yielded no response and at first Mrs. Ugochukwu had not been bothered but three hours later, she was beginning to get worried and the look of anxiety on Maryam’s face was not helping matters. Mrs. Ugochukwu’s mind went to Mrs. Beebs strange phone call and that was when she had asked Maryam to explain what happened from the beginning again till the last time she saw Chioma. It was now well past midday and there was still no sign of Chioma. Mrs. Ugochukwu had finally panicked. That Chioma had left her phone at home wasn’t helping matters.
“How is it possible that she would leave you at the company without informing you. This is so unlike Chioma. And you say both of you went to see Grace?” Maryam nodded in response. She contemplated telling Mrs. Ugochukwu all that had been going on but quickly discarded the thought.
“This is really strange, I am going to call the police. A policeman even came looking for her this morning right after you people left the house. Is there something you are not telling me Maryam?” Maryam was saved from answering the question because her phone rang just then and both looked at the screen anxiously, hoping it was a call from Chioma. It was Mrs. Beebs.
“Is your friend there with you?”Mrs. Beebs voice sounded authoritative as she asked the question in a tone that suggested she was demanding the answer and not asking for it.
“Who is this please?”
“Mrs. Beebs. Is Chioma there with you?”
“No, we haven’t seen her…she… I…. can’t seem to find her,” Maryam stammered, looking helplessly at Mrs. Ugochukwu who was frowning.
“Your friend is in danger, they’ll hurt her, tell her to stay away from those twins…” Mrs Beebs said and rang off.
“Who was that?”
“Your friend Mrs. Beebs, she was asking about Chioma.”
“Mrs. Beebs? Will someone tell me exactly what is going on? I am calling the police right now!” Mrs. Ugochukwu looked around for her phone while Maryam stared at her with her hands folded under her breasts.
“Where are you taking me to?” Chioma struggled to seat up in the backseat of the vehicle she was lying down on. Her hands were tied to her feet so that she could not move properly. There was a loose piece of clothing around her head to blur her vision and her body ached all over. There was no answer, the vehicle sped along what seemed to be a lonely road as she could not hear the sounds of any other vehicle.
“Who are you? Where are you taking? I haven’t done anything. Let me go! Please don’t hurt me.”
Chioma’s frantic voice was drowned out by the loud music blasting from the radio. The driver, a middle aged man with greying hair looked over his shoulder at the struggling figure of the girl. He felt a pang of pity seeing her tied up in the way she had been bound like a dangerous animal but then orders were orders.
“Please let me go. I haven’t done anything wrong. Please!!!” Chioma was sobbing hysterically now.
“No worry fine girl, me I no go do you bad. Just keep quiet abeg na for your own good. We don almost reach there.” The voice sounded elderly and kind and strangely soothing. Chioma stopped struggling and laid still as the vehicle seemed to slow down till it finally came to a halt.
“Bring her in,” a voice called.
Chioma felt a hand lift her and she kicked jerked violently. She heard rather than saw the anger as her finger scratched the skin of the person holding her.
“You bitch!” the voice sounded angry as a slap landed on her cheek. Chioma wasn’t sure if it was the slap or if she was hallucinating but the voice sounded like Uncle Osas’ voice. How could Uncle Osas be behind her kidnap? He was her father’s brother.
“Uncle Osas?” Chioma said weakly, her head moving in the direction of where the voice had receded. She squinted through the cloth that was blocking her vision. The voice didn’t speak again.
“Uncle Osas, I know it’s you… you coward… I know it’s you,” Chioma cried out as she felt herself lifted off the ground by two sturdy hands.
“Somebody should call David to come now.” It was the voice again and this time it was distinctive enough for her to identify her uncle’s voice. So David and Uncle Osas were working together and had decided to kidnap her, Chioma talked. It had to be inheritance, there could be nothing else.
Twenty is co-written with Akinwale Poshkid Akinyoade
To read episode 16: CLICK HERE
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