Nowadays, people say love is overrated. They
say love is an excuse to get hurt. They say
love is for the weak. They say all sort of
things but they forget that love is sharing,
love is forgiving, love is honest, love is
peaceful, love is patient and most especially…
Love conquereth all.
“You know you shouldn’t have done that,
right?” The man with the tool box, who
Taofeek now knew as Mr K, said to Mr Dare as
he saw that Mr Dayo let Zainab see Taofeek at
the back of the bus.
“The girl has been pretty cooperative, the least
we can do is give her a reason to remain
cooperative.” Mr Dayo replied.
“You could have just let her speak to him not
expose our location… The most important rule
of this our business is never expose you
location!!!” Mr K yelled.
“Why are you being so paranoid?” Mr Dayo
said calmly, “aren’t we changing location
“That doesn’t mean we should…” Mr K tried to
“Take a chill pill K, everything is under
control. Now can you be a gentleman and
drive us to the next location?” Mr Dayo said in
a way that sounded like a question, but was
more of a order.
Once again, Henry found himself driving like a
madman all the way to Oke-Afa. One thing
was certain; Taofeek was still alive and Zainab
had seen him so it was obvious the
kidnappers haven’t noticed the bags they were
filled with newspapers.
“Do you have any idea where the church is?”
Zainab lips curved into a light smile, “so you
don’t even know the place and you are driving
with such confidence.” She leaned back on the
chair. “I thought you knew everywhere in
Henry could sense she was trying to tease him
so he quickly shut her up, “do you know the
place? Yes or no,” he said sternly.
Zainab shrugged, “take a left turn at the next
intersection.” She replied.
Henry did as told but then again, he had
barely driven for a minute before Zainab
instructed him to take another turn and then
he saw it.
The church was pretty big and seemed to have
over four distinctively big buildings within its
compound and apart from a couple of light
bulbs that had been left on from the previous
evening service, the whole compound was dark
and seemed totally deserted.
It was a perfect place for the final drop, Henry
thought out loud as he couldn’t help but
admit that it he were to be a kidnapper, he
would have chosen same place.
They had few minutes left before Mr Dayo call,
so Henry suggested they surveyed the area
just in case. Zainab didn’t object.
They both walked out of the car and walked
into the church.
“Hello!” John said as he picked up the phone
“Hello… Jummy?” John said again.
“I need your help,” Jummy finally reply.
“Hmmm… Do you know what the time is?”
“Yes… I need you to come over to my place,
John pondered a little but accepted anyway.
“I’m on my way,” he said and hung up.
“Is that your phone that’s ringing?” Henry
asked as he and Zainab walked into the main
auditorium and heard a phone ringing echoing
round the church.
Zainab knew it wasn’t her phone just checked
anyway just to be sure. “No, it isn’t. Maybe
someone forget his phone in the church or
something like that.”
The ignored the first ring, but then it rang
again and again and again until the were
forced to locate the phone out of mere
curiosity, they their greatest surprise,
ANSWER! Showed on the screen of the phone.
Zainab gave Henry and inquiring look in which
he nodded and then she picked up the call,
putting it straight to loud speaker.
“I was starting to wonder you would never pick
up,” the caller said.
“Errr… Is this who I think it is?” Zainab asked.
“Yes, I had my reason for not calling your
phone this time.”
Zainab sighed, “okay, so where is my brother!”
She asked almost immediately.
“Hey! Patience dear. You have to give us the
money first then we would give you your
Henry shook his head vigorously at Zainab,
telling her not to agree.
“I don’t agree with that! We have made two
drops already, the least you can do is give me
my brother then I’ll make the third drop.”
There was a short moment of silence as if the
caller was thinking or talking to someone
before he replied. “Okay, because you have
been so cooperative, this is what we are going
to do: take the money and go to the church
complex, at the other side of the compound.
Go to the middle floor and wait. We would
make the switch simultaneously and please
don’t bring you boyfriend along if you know
what’s good for you.”
“Okay, I’m on my way already.”
“Good, don’t hang up.”
Henry was reluctant to let Zainab go alone but
he had no option, the threat was pretty clear.
Zainab went alone to the location, just as the
caller – Mr Dayo, had instructed.
She looked around and saw nothing at first,
just pure darkness, so she said “I’m here,” into
the phone and then suddenly, she saw a dim
light radiate at the front of the building.
She walked closer to it without thinking twice
and then she saw them; two men dressed
casually. One wore a blue Jean and a red
Polo, while the other wore a a similar blue
jean (only darker) and a long sleeve corporate
shirt, they both wore black masks.
Zainab heard a beep from the phone she held,
only to look at the screen and see that the
call had been disconnected.
“I don’t think we would need that any more
since we are both here,” the one with the long
sleeve shirt said, he was Mr Dayo.
Zainab found herself going straight to the
point. “Where is my brother?” She asked.
“Oh! That, are you always all about business?”
Mr Dayo asked. Zainab could see his white set
of teeth even in the dim light as he grinned
“I’ve got your money here, now where is my
brother.” Zainab replied coldly.
“Very well then.” Mr Dayo replied. He snapped
his finger and out of the shadow, Taofeek
Mr K placed a gun at his back and said “no
smart moves mister.”
“Now can I get the money?” Mr Dayo said.
“You let my brother go first and I’ll hand over
Mr Dayo stared at Mr K inquiring and just as
if the had a quick but silent conversation with
just their eyes, Mr K lowered the gun from
Taofeek’s back and pushed him forward.
Taofeek limped forward towards Zainab who
let the bag of money slip from her hand and
embraced Taofeek tightly. Taofeek placed his
arms around her and tightened the hug.
“I was so scared.” Zainab said.
“You don’t have to be,” Taofeek replied. “I’m
here now and in perfect condition.” A sudden
flow of pain hit the leg that was stabbed and
he grunted. “Well, almost in perfect condition,”
he added with a grin. Zainab chuckled.
“Awwww… So touching.” Mr Dayo said
sarcastically. “I hate to interrupt with this
family reunion but time is a highly priced
factor in this transaction.”
Zainab didn’t need to be told what Mr Dayo
was talking about. She disengaged from
Taofeek’s hug and picked up the bag. She
walked forward and dropped it at their front
the turned to leave. She let Taofeek place his
left arm around her shoulder to aid his
They were almost at the door when Mr Dayo
stopped them. “I’m sorry, but my partner here,
seems to doubt how you were able to raise ten
million naira in one night without any bank
Zainab froze in her tracks. Her hearts started
beating so fast and loud she feared the
kidnappers could hear it. She took a deep
breath and turned. “I’ve got friends who have
friends that have friends.” Zainab said, trying
to keep her voice leveled.
“That’s what I said to him but he insists we at
least, count the amount in this bag.” Mr Dayo
replied. “So kindly do us a favors and take a
sit somewhere around while we quickly count
Zainab knew she was doomed. The one million
covered just two layers of the bag’s content.
The remaining three layers below were nothing
but outdated newspapers.
She sat down slowly, and Taofeek sat down
beside her. Her mind was racing. If only Henry
hadn’t suggested such a stupid idea, she
It was easy for John to locate Jummy’s house
since he had paid a visit a couple of times.
He parked his beat up beatle at the front of
the building and called her. She came out few
minutes later and joined him in the car.
It felt strange seeing her twice the same night
considering how the first time went but he
somehow composed himself and tried to
sound as casual as he could. “So what’s up?”
Jummy went ahead to tell him everything
Zainab had told her and then rounded up with
“I can’t just stay at home and do nothing. But
I don’t know what other option I have.”
John sighed and for the next minute he was
quite and stiff, like he was in a trance or
something then he replied. “Firstly, we would
be taking your car since its faster and you
might not like what my idea is, but here is
what we are going to do…”
Henry was worried. Zainab had been gone for
ten minutes now and she hadn’t shown up.
He paced endlessly round the church
auditorium and the walked down to the
complex. He glanced round the building and it
was obvious where they were because only
one source of light happened to be switched
He decided to wait another five minutes before
walking in. Five minutes came and went within
the snap of a finger and Henry did the sign of
the cross and walked into the complex.
He traced the light to the middle floor and
when he got there, he first peeped through the
window and could get a clear view of what
was happening. He spotted two masked men
going through the bag at few meters from
Zainab and Taofeek who sat on a chair.
Taofeek seemed obviously injured and weak,
he looked like he would pass out any moment
from now. While Zainab looked straight at the
the kidnappers as if she was hoping for bullets
to come out of her eyes and shoot them.
There was no way Henry was to enter without
the kidnappers noticing him so he had to
think of some other way…. Fast.
He finally decided it was time to call the
police, so he tip toed out of the building and
placed a call to his friend in the police who
was a DPO and the friend said they were on
their way. So one thing was certain… Back up
was coming, but what use would the back up
be if they were all dead before it arrived.
There wasn’t much time left and Henry knew
this. He had to do something. He climbed
back to the middle floor and tried to get
Zainab’s attention from the window.
He made funny sounds like a bird and after a
few seconds, Zainab turned to look at the
He mouthed, “can you sneak out without them
Zainab looked at the kidnappers and was sure
she could since they were too engrossed in the
counting of the money, but by the time she
looked down at Taofeek, he was at the verge of
passing out. There was no way she could
carry him out without making a lot of noise.
“No” she mouthed back to Henry then
Henry knew they only was was a distraction.
He mouthed a plan to Zainab and she didn’t
agree to it saying it was risky but he went
ahead with it anyway.
He left the window and ran past the front door
at the speed of lightening. Mr Dayo saw him
run past the door and instructed Mr K to go
and deal with him. He looked up at Zainab
and said, “at least I warned your friend first.”
Then he continued counting the money.
Zainab picked up a hymn book that was
beside the chair and threw it outside the
Mr Dayo was startled. For the first time that
night, he brought out his gun and cocked it. If
you want something done properly, you got to
do it yourself.” With that, he warned Zainab to
stay where she was and he went after the
As soon as she was sure she was alone,
Zainab tapped Taofeek until she got his
attention and helped him up and they both
headed downstairs: out of the complex.
As soon as she got out, she started heading
for the car and suddenly, she heard footsteps
running towards her from behind.
“And where do you think you are going to?” Mr
K, who was supposed to be chasing Henry
Zainab paused and stood still.
“You see, unlike my partner, I don’t give a f–k
about you and I suggested we kill you both
but he kept on talking trash. Now, who is
going to save you?”
Mr K cocked the gun and Zainab knew it was
game over for her and her brother. Two
‘BANGS!!!’ From the gun and they would both
be history. Without turning to face Mr K, she
braced herself for the inevitable.
And then it happened; BANG!!!
The trigger was pulled.
Henry hadn’t been in the church complex
before but he navigated round it with ease.
It was a four story building with two big halls
and several offices on each floor. The halls
were obviously for special occasions such as
weddings while the offices were for workers in
the church, although most of the offices were
empty. Each hall had four doors; one at each
Henry was a sharp minded fellow, so it was
easy for him to understand the structure of the
He had no weapon and at this point, he was
sure only one person was chasing him. As he
ran to the third floor he picked up a plank
that seemed to be the broken leg of one of the
chairs in the building and he stood behind a
pillar, waiting for the person chasing him to
come closer so he could hit him with the
stick… Or at least, that was the plan.
Mr Dayo, who was now on Henry trail saw him
when he slipped behind the pillar and smiled
at how stupid Henry was to think he wouldn’t
He tip toed closer and then jumped right at
the front of Henry with the gun placed directly
at his front. He was about to wave the plank
as planned but Mr Dayo warned him “I
wouldn’t do that if I was you.” He said.
Henry dropped the plank and rose his hands
as a signed of surrender.
“Wise choice young man, but you are to late.”
Mr Dayo was about to squeeze the trigger
when he heard a BANG!!! Somewhere in the
church premises and he was startled.
In one quick movement, Henry hit Mr Dayo on
his wrist so hard he almost let the gun slip,
then without a second to spare, he use his
other hand to snap the gun out of Mr Dayo’s
hand and just like in an action movie, the
table were turned and the odds now favored
Henry as he was now pointing the gun at Mr
“Don’t shoot… Please… Don’t shoot, I have-”
Mr Dayo babbled but Henry didn’t even have
plans of shooting him in the first place, he
spinned the gun on hit Mr Dayo’s head with
the butt of the gun. He passed out
Henry was certain Mr Dayo won’t be a
problem anymore for the night.
He left the body there and ran towards where
he heard the gunshot, hoping the worst hadn’t
Zainab had once read in a book that the bullet
of a gun is so fast that you would be dead
even before you hear the BANG!!! Sound that
She heard the bang sound and which only
meant one thing, she was still alive but she
couldn’t say the same about Taofeek. Her eyes
were closed tightly and for some reasons, she
couldn’t open them.
She patiently waited for the second bang
which came almost immediately but she heard
a male voice grunt and heard someone fall
down, but she didn’t as much feel a scratch.
Two bangs heard and she was still alive? She
opened her eyes immediately only to turn and
see everyone… Or almost everyone was around.
In a split second, Zainab tried to absorb all
that was going on around her. Jummy stood
at a distance with her mouth wide opened in
shock. Henry was on motion, running towards
the mini crowd. John was directed at he front
and his eyes were focused on Jummy. Samuel
was holding a gun in his right hand and
smoke emitted from the mouth which could
only mean it was just shot and finally, Mr K
was still standing where he was earlier with
his gun smoking too and a hole in his head.
She heard two bangs, and can see two
smoking guns and just one gun hole in Mr K
head, where did the second bullet go? She
As just as an answer to her question, John
slopped right in front of her.
Jummy screamed and ran towards John. She
knelt down beside him crying furiously.
“John please stay with me… Somebody help!!”
Jummy yelled, using her statements to
punctuate her tears.
John whole cloth was soaked with blood
already and seemed to be loosing more blood
than his body could handle.
“Jummy…” He tried to say as he coughed out
“Shhhhh!!! Don’t say anything.” Jummy
“Jummy!” He said a little louder. It was
obviously he was struggling to talk.
“I Love you.” He finally said.
“I love you too.” Jummy replied.
A light smile formed on John’s face and he
closed his eyes shut… Only a drop of tear
Jummy went hysteric. She wailed so loud the
occupants of houses two streets away woke up
from their sleep.
Zainab finally understood all that had
happened. Probably Jummy called John who
then called his only friend with military
knowledge – Samuel.
Just as Mr K pulled the trigger, John had
selflessly jumped in to take the bullet for
Zainab and in response, Samuel had shot Mr
Zainab was speechless.
Taofeek who now had a little energy placed
his arms on Jummy shoulder and lifted her
up. He gave her a warm hug.
Henry and Samuel ran towards John’s body.
Samuel ripped out John’s shirt and saw the
bullet had pierced the right chest- very close
to the shoulder. He placed his ears on John’s
chest and with a beam of joy he looked
straight at Henry and said “he is still alive.”
Just then, the sharp sound of the police siren
could be heard and in a few minutes, John
was placed in one of the police trucks and
driven to the nearest hospital with two police
escorts and Jummy beside him.
Henry told his DPO friend the where about of
Mr Dayo and then told him the whole story.
He then walked to a slab near by and sat
down, reflecting on the events of the day.
Zainab spotted Henry and to sit beside him.
For several minutes, they both said nothing
until Henry broke the silence. “I guess this is
the best date I’ve ever been to.”
Zainab giggled. “Do you always joke about
everything?” She asked the question the
second time that night.
Henry looked straight in her eyes and said
“no.” Then he leaned forward and kissed her
lightly. “That wasn’t a joke,” he said.
Zainab smiled. “That was errr…” She searched
for words, “serious.” She finally said.
“So do you want me to stop joking around?”
Zainab just grinned in response.
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