“It’s— it’s a long story. As for Evelyn I still couldn’t find—find, find her.” “What!” He thundered and I abruptly cut the call to avoid further questions.
“Sist, what is it? Was that your husband you were communicating with?” she said as she walked up to me while holding her daughter’s hand and the house keys. She was about to go to the shop.
“My dear it’s a long story. I don’t even know where to start from. But I believe that the God I serve will not fail me.” “I understand you. Everyone in this life are always suffering from one problem within. They might be smiling thinking everything is but deep down it isn’t. Remember I told you that I’m a single mother,”
“Yes I remember.”
“I know you must be wondering because I’m pregnant.” “Gloria, please bring me the bench,” she said, extending his hands towards her daughter. She fetched the bench and placed it close to us. We both sat down and began talking. My husband had been calling but I switched the phone on silent.
“The story behind this pregnancy is too lengthy but what if I told you I was actually ràpèd? Unfortunately, dèàth took away my husband while he was on his way to buy cake for Gloria’s 5th birthday. Seeing me smiling and living like this doesn’t mean that everything is going well with me. At times we just have to accept our fate because there’s nothing we can do to change them. What’s done is done. We can only help ourselves through prayers that’s all. I can never kîll an innocent child. God-forbîd. Which was why I chose to keep the child. That shop is my only means of survival. I sell provisions and it was early last year I started smoking fish and sell.” She said as she was shedding silent tears.
After hearing this, cloud of tears filled my eyes. I was totally speechless.
“God will help us my dear. I don’t really know how to appreciate you for this your kind gesture. Had it been I had something on me I’d have helped you. How I wish you can visit me in my house once in a while. But I’m pretty sure that my place is very far from here.”
“Okay where do you reside?” “No 56 Ijedo street close to meniza bakery. The blue gate by your left. ”
“Sincerely speaking, I Haven’t heard of that place before.” She said. “Oh Jesus! Where am I? Or am I in a different state. This is Lagos right?”
“Yes but sincerely speaking I don’t know that place you just mentioned. Just take this remaining 2k probably it can take you somewhere. I haven’t sold anything of not I’d have added more for you. Please manage it.”
“Thank you. Thank you.” I greeted her, collected her contact and we parted ways.
After some inquiry, I took a cab and headed straight to one of the Fidelity Banks that was close-by because I opened an account with them and I had less than 10k in the account. My main account I couldn’t access it because I wasn’t with my main phone likewise my credit card and couldn’t locate the bank as well.
I discussed with the bank staff and they provided me with another ATM card. I withdrew around 5k, making the total sum 7k, and then I made my way home. However, the heavy traffic made the journey more complicated, forcing me to spend a lot of money on bike rides just to navigate through. By the time I arrived, it was already late and my husband was bewildered to see me looking exhausted and drained, as if I had lost a significant amount of blood.
“Where is our daughter. What happened to you! Sarah are you not the one I’m talking to!!”
“I’m sorry, but I’m really tired and not in the mood to talk right now. I need some time alone, please. I will answer your questions, but not at this moment,” I said, looking exhausted. I walked away from him while discreetly shedding tears, then rushed to my room and collapsed on my bed, crying.
I couldn’t sleep in his room that night because he kept bombarding me with questions. To evade further interrogation, I resorted to claiming that I was seriously ill. Thankfully, he relented and allowed me to find sleep in Evelyn’s room for the night.
The next day, I decided to fabricate a story for him. I lîed and told him that Evelyn and I had been kidnapped, and that I had no clue about her whereabouts. I further claimed that during the abduction, one of the kidnappers halted and dropped me in an unfamiliar place, while they drove away with her.
My husband immediately contacted one of his friend that’s happens to be a detective and told him the situation on ground and they began investigating.
Despite a thorough week-long investigation conducted by my husband and security officials, no evidence or leads were discovered. However, out of fear, I chose to conceal any knowledge or information I possessed. My husband was so devastated that he was finding it difficult to eat. Some days he doesn’t go to work.
The investigation reached a point where it was temporarily put on hold. The intention was to allow sufficient time for gathering all the necessary evidence required to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are held accountable and face the appropriate consequences dictated by the law.
A few days later, as I sat alone in my room, crying and ranging my clothes in the wardrobe, my attention was drawn to a text message I received from an unfamiliar number. The message read:
I believe you already know who’s talking. I’m waiting for you at Jayson’s hotel for you to come and give me what you’ve been refusing to give me for years. Dress up and meet me there. My boys will be outside watching your every move. It’s almost 12 and I’ll be waiting for you there by 2pm. I don’t care how you’re going to do it but once I don’t see you there by 2pm you know what’s next.”
To be continued.