Excerpt from episode 18:
“I’m not your late brother’s wife again! You hear me?” Mrs. Ugochukwu interjected furiously, “don’t come back here again!” she said with her right hand on the door knob and her left hand pointing at him as if she was trying to stab him with her finger. Osas moved one leg against the other very slowly and stopped at the point where she was standing whispering in a voice so that only she could hear,
“Are you not still the famous Mrs. Ugochukwu?” He didn’t wait for a response as he walked away with a hysterical laugh. The detective and Maryam walked inside and she shut the door shaking in anger.
To read episode 18 CLICK HERE
“What are you doing” Grace asked as she watched her sister stuffing clothes inside a very small bag that was too small to contain every piece of clothing she was bringing out from the wardrobe. Her actions were quick and deliberate.
“What does it look like?” Gift replied and continued packing and stacking the clothes inside the bag. It was clear that Gift had made up her mind to leave. She was leaving David’s plan to invade into Mrs. Ugochukwu’s life and properties, leaving her sister behind.
“Where will you go, we didn’t even talk about this,” Grace said, not waiting for a reply from her sister, she picked up her phone to call David.
“I don’t know and I don’t care.” With that she picked up the bag and hurried out of the room.
“Where’s your boss?” David asked in an aggressive tone. He had left Mrs. Ugochukwu that morning to the uncompleted building where Chioma was being held hostage. He had known all along where Chioma was being held. Osas had first tried roping him in on the plans for the kidnap but he had scoffed at it and pointed out its futility. He had not expected Osas to go ahead with the plan but then Osas was the mastermind behind it all, maybe he had not deemed it necessary what he thought. David was still ranting when Osas walked in.
“We are not supposed to kidnap the girl,” David thundered so loudly that Chioma who was half conscious heard the commotion from the back room she was being held.
“What were we to do huh? Wait for your marriage? Wait for that girl to find out?” Osas retorted hotly, shaking his head in contempt.
“That girl there is your niece! Don’t you have a heart or any shred of compassion in you?”
“Step niece or whatever it is. She is definitely not my blood!” Osas said and spat in disgust. “I have lost everything, that woman killed my brother and we lost Matthew because of them, we can’t back out now!”
Chioma strained to hear the conversation from her position. Her mind was racing on the realization that Matthew was in on whatever plot was going on.
“Matthew was a mere casualty,” David said calmly as though the person in question didn’t matter to him or played an important part in the plot.
“Matthew was my son!” Osas yelled.
“You never told me this. You said he was a part of the plan. You said to take him as a cousin.” David said in shock, trying to control the surprise he felt at the news.
“Matthew was my son, and they killed him!” Osas said again, wiping his face with his palm. “They must pay,” with that he walked out of the room. David stared after him but his concentration was lost as his cell phone beeped. It was Grace.
“Hello Grace, I am at the site, is there a problem?”
“Yes, Gift left. She said she is done.”
“Done? Why would she leave? I need everyone to be calm. Ask her to wait for me to get there at the very least.”
“I will try and delay her but you better hurry.”
“Okay, I am on my way to Mrs. Ugochukwu’s place. I will get there soon.” David dropped the phone and walked out of the building.
“Detective, Maryam,” Mrs. Ugochukwu said feigning a smile.
“Who was that?” The detective inquired as he sat down next to Maryam who was staring into blank space.
“Him? Nobody important, just my late husband’s brother,” she said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
“Osas,” Maryam said, turning to look at her. It was clear Mrs. Ugochukwu was taken aback that Maryam knew him by name but she didn’t want to show her discomfort by asking how so nodded like it was natural for Maryam to know.
“Yea, Osas,” Mrs. Ugochukwu said with another plastic smile. “I presume this is about my missing daughter?”
“Your daughter is missing? Have you reported at the station?”
“I thought this is what this is about?”
“No but since I am here, we might as well get into it. What happened, can you tell me how long ago this was?” The detective began to fire off his questions, taking notes as Mrs. Ugochukwu talked. During the questioning, Maryam’s phone suddenly beeped, it was Gift.
“Can we meet? It’s about your friend. Come ASAP, don’t tell anyone. Come alone.”
Maryam’s heartbeat quickened and she excused herself. She hurried out of the room, Gift had said to meet her just by a street away from the house. Maryam was soon there in no time at all.
“What do you know about Chioma?” Maryam fired at the waiting Gift who was looking edgy and uncomfortable.
“I know where they are keeping her.”
Maryam inhaled sharply. “Where?”
“I can’t tell you…but we have to help her,”
“You are telling me this because? Why did you change your mind? Why should I trust you?”
“Look I have done stuffs in the past but part of what we are doing is for Chioma’s good. You would just have to trust me, at least if you want to see your friend alive again.” Gift turned to leave and then paused, “I’ll call you,” with that she hurried off. Maryam rushed back to the house. The detective was gone. Mrs. Ugochukwu was locked in an embrace with David. The two sprung apart when they saw Maryam.
“I’m sorry, the door was open, I thought the detective was still here. I would just leave now.” She turned to leave.
“No Maryam wait, I was just on my way out,” David said. He kissed Mrs. Ugochukwu goodbye and breezed out of the room.
“He’s using you ma…” Maryam said the minute he was out of earshot.
“I’m sorry? What did you say?”
“He’s using you, they are all using you. The twins, David, they kidnapped your daughter. They are working with Osas to get to you. You need to believe me. Don’t be blinded by any of his love.”
“And you know this how?” Mrs. Ugochukwu’s voice was skeptical.
“They tried to get to me, Chioma knew all along what they have been doing. She must have confided in Mrs. Beebs, that was what the detective and I had come to tell you, Mrs. Beebs is dead. She was found dead earlier today. She was murdered.” There were tears in Maryam’s eyes.
“Mrs. Beebs is dead? How is that possible? I spoke to her…I spoke to her just…” Mrs. Ugochukwu couldn’t contain herself as she sat down on a couch and buried her face in her hands.
“Mrs. Beebs’s death is not the point right now. Chioma is in trouble. I need you to trust me, Gift said she would help, but she said I must come alone. I need at least someone to know what is going on. Your daughter is involved.”
“If Gift is in on this, why would she want to help us get Chioma back? I am calling the detective? David bloody lied to me. He prevented me from calling the police. He even insinuated she ran off with a man and would soon be back, that I should give it time.”
“Getting the police involved can be dangerous for Chioma. They don’t know Gift is on our side for now. The police might spook them into doing something dangerous.”
“Oh God! My poor daughter! That bastard Osas doesn’t just know when to quit. I swear, if he hurts my daughter…”
It was some minutes close to 8:00pm when David arrived at Gift’s house. Gift was back at the house with no sign of Grace.
“Grace said you were leaving,”
“Yes, I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t do any of this anymore. It’s like I don’t even know what we are doing again. We were supposed to just scare them. Now there is kidnapping and there is murder involved. I don’t want to die and this wasn’t what I signed up.” Gift said.
“My dear calm down, everything will be fine soon,” David said advancing towards her.
“Was being engaged to her and me part of the plan as well? Answer me! Was that part of the plan?” Gift pushed him away and turned her back against him.
“Babes, you know I don’t love her. It’s you.”
“Well maybe when you are not engaged to two women,” Gift snapped and left for her room, locking herself in.
Mrs. Ugochukwu and Maryam were sitting in the living room waiting for Gift’s call. It was getting close to midnight and the two were wide-eyed.
“Are you sure about this Maryam? She could just be playing you.” Mrs. Ugochukwu said.
“I sort of trust her, she sounded desperate. Relax.” Maryam replied. She stood up to fetch herself a glass of water when her phone beeped. She rushed back to the table and snatched up the phone. It was Gift.
“Hello Maryam, I want you to listen to me carefully because I am about to tell you what we will do.” Gift’s voice came from the other end.
Twenty is co-written with Akinwale Poshkid Akinyoade
To read episode 20: CLICK HERE
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