Excerpt from episode 15:
“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.
To read episode 15: CLICK HERE
Chioma looked around the dimly lit room, she was alone. There was a look and feel of desertion around the place and she wondered how long she had been there. There was no sound except for the ticking of a clock behind her and her heart beat which had been galloping since she was brought here. She looked around the room, hoping something would have changed but she was still bound by ropes to a chair one of her captors had roughly shoved her into. Was that days ago or hours ago? She could not tell from the dark room. She felt a twitch in her abdomen. It was a sudden discomfort around her lower abdomen and she felt a wetness between her thighs. She was hungry and had been holding the pressing need to pee back for a long time, she struggled futilely with the ropes and at last called out with a sniff, “Uncle Osas! I will kill you!”
“Such boldness you have,” a voice replied behind her. She stopped her movements. She had not seen anyone else in the room before. She tried to turn her in the direction of the voice but the ropes cut into her skin causing her to wince. It was the same voice from when she had first been brought here; the voice she suspected to be Uncle Osas’.
“Why are you doing this?” Chioma asked, “what do you want?”
“Are you hungry?” came the reply in a sarcastic tone followed by a petty laugh.
“No, I want to go back home,” She sounded like a lost little girl crying for her mummy.
“That won’t happen dear, not any time soon,” the voice said receding and she could tell he was leaving.
“Wait! I need to pee,” she cried frantically. “Please, I am hungry?”
“Have you ever been deprived of what you wanted?” the voice asked.
“No, I mean, yes. A few times, but please whatever you want I’ll give you.”
“Do you think I’m wicked Chioma?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know.”
“Food you will get, but you are never leaving this place. At least not yet,” he said and left.
Mrs. Ugochukwu sat to the left of Maryam in front of the company’s building with Grace by her right. They were waiting for David to arrive.
“How long does it take to get here sef?” Grace asked turning to Mrs. Ugochukwu who didn’t even hear her,
“He should be here any minute. Just chill,” Maryam said without looking at Grace. Each one of them was avoiding eye contact with the other.
The sober silence descended again on the trio and it was Mrs. Ugochukwu’s beeping phone that broke the silence a few minutes later but she paid no attention to it. Maryam’s phone went off next and she brought it out of her bag to read the text message.
“Death is only the completion of life. Don’t cry much for God is loving.”
An involuntary gasp escaped her lips and Mrs. Ugochukwu looked at her sharply.
“What is it Maryam?”
“Nothing,” she said quickly. The arrival of David in one of Mrs. Ugochukwu’s jeeps saved Maryam from answering further.
“What’s going on babe, I got your text to come quickly.”
“Baby I don’t know, we can’t find my baby girl…” Mrs. Ugochukwu’s started and broke off distraught. “Maryam, tell him everything.” Mrs. Ugochukwu said wiping the tears off her face.
“Tell me what?” Maryam what is going on?” David asked anxiously. Maryam glared at him and turned her face away. It was Grace who answered.
“I don’t know…we don’t know where Chioma is. She and Maryam came here to see Gift…” “Where’s Gift?” David asked.
“She’s inside.” Grace replied.
“We came to see her about some ideas I have for my birthday dress, but she was not there at that time. So…..so we were heading out and I was replying a text after she spoke to Mrs. Ugochukwu and I think with Mrs. Beebs on my phone, by the time I got back, she was gone.” Maryam completed seeing the question on David’s face.
“Has anyone tried calling her or asking Gift as well?” David asked.
“She left her phone at the house this morning when she left with Maryam.” Mrs. Ugochukwu said. David put his hand to his waist deep in thought.
“You said Mrs. Beebs called you?” His question was directed at Maryam.
“Yes, after she spoke with her mother.”
“What did she say? I mean Mrs. Beebs.”
“I don’t know.”
“We should call the police. I just wanted you to be here. You know, I need strength for all of this…” Mrs. Ugochukwu trailed off in tears again.
“That was what I said but you said we should wait for David,” Maryam said disgustedly, watching Mrs. Ugochukwu rest on David like someone in pain who had just found comfort.
“We should wait and see if something turns up first. What if she was kidnapped and we scare her abductors by contacting the police?” David said, meeting Maryam’s gaze evenly.
“It is still the right thing to do.” she retorted back.
Chioma felt sticky, she had had to pee on herself. The room was deserted and she could not tell whether it was night or day. Someone had brought her food earlier and fed her. She had been hoping her hands would be untied to eat but that had not happened. She must have dozed off while singing softly to herself.
In her sleep, there was Matthew again. He was lying on the floor beside her somewhere in a garden that looked familiar. They were talking and kissing when suddenly, David, the twins and Uncle Osas gathered and all four of them stabbed Matthew but didn’t touch her.
“Kill me too,” she yelled in her dream. “Kill me too! Matthew!” she had woken up shaking and shivering from that dream.
Twenty is co-written with Akinwale Poshkid Akinyoade
To read episode 17: CLICK HERE
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