Tarasha drove unusually slow, for three
reasons. Firstly, she was sure that Afo and his
guys weren’t after them. The second reason
was that she wasn’t with her phone, it had
been seized by Afo’s men, so she had no GPS
to find the right way home. The third and
most important reason was Henry’s
unconsciousness, she could not hit the main
road that way without confrontation from the
police or other security officials.
Tarasha began to notice a bike trailing slowly
behind them. Could it be one of Afo’s men
who was following them? She thought. Or was
it just a coincidence.
Henry sneezed twice. Tarasha’s heart was
gladdened and she quickly brought the car to a
halt at front of a Catholic cathedral.
‘What… happened?’ Henry managed to ask as
he sat up. He placed a palm on his forehead as
he was suffering from a serious headache.
‘Some passersby came to our aid’ Tarasha lied.
‘Passersby? What about the police?’ Henry
asked, joining her at the front seat. He didn’t
wait for a reply before he continued. ‘Did they
do anything to you?’ He asked taking Tarasha’s
palms in his.
‘No’ she replied with a smile.
‘I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you’ Henry
apologized with a sorry face but then, he
noticed that Tarasha’s attention was divided.
She was looking into the front mirror. ‘What’s
that?’ Henry peeped to see what she was
‘Nothing’ she covered up with a smile.
‘Are they still following us?’ Henry asked,
undeceived by the smile.
Tarasha was not listening to him again, her
eyes was on someone who was walking into
the church compound beside them.
‘Can you give me just a minute?’ She said and
opened the door. She stepped out in a hurry
and followed into the cathedral’s gate.
Tarasha opened the gate slowly and walked in.
Her eyes did the searching work, she could
see several Reverend sisters walking in and
out of the church. She spotted the man who
dropped from the bike previously trailing
their car. Somewhere by the right side, the
man was on the floor with his face buried in
his knees. The statue of a mother carrying a
baby was right in front of him. She could hear
him sobbing as she got closer.
Jefa could feel her approaching, he could hear
the silent footsteps in his mind. He knew she
would come, his spirit told him so. He turned
back to face her with tears in his eyes, their
Tarasha could not understand what she felt as
their eyes met. The man’s eyes communicated
so much longing, it seemed that he had just
seen something he had been searching for
ages. Tarasha’s closed her eyes and shook her
head to wave off the feeling, it could just be a
tactic of the enemy. She dipped her hand into
her pocket and it touched the knife as she
moved closer. A hand touched her shoulder.
‘Evelyn, what are you doing?’ Henry asked,
staring at the man weeping few metres in
front of her.
‘Nothing’ she turned back to face him, wiggling
her hair backwards.
‘Let’s go please’ he took her hands in his and
led her back.
‘Are we going back to Elymax?’ She asked.
‘No’ he gave her a surprised look. ‘We’ll go to
the police station, then likely to the camera’s
security corps house’
Tarasha sighed and followed him reluctantly. ‘I
have a business deal to seal tomorrow’
Jefa sniffed in severally as he stared at them
walking out. ‘Do they work in Elymax?’ He
asked himself, as that was the only thing he
got from their conversation. He got up from
his knees slowly and followed after them
outside the gate, ignoring the Reverend sister
who was approaching him.
‘How come you found no one there?’ Sylvester
barked at the officers. ‘The signal leads us
directly to this place’
‘Maybe you should check again, the location
may have changed’ an officer suggested
‘Or call the number’ another officer offered.
‘The number was not going through the last
time I tried to call it’ Sylvester said,
attempting to dial the number again.
‘Then you have to locate them again’
‘It’s connecting now’ Sylvester announced,
hushing everyone. He brought out another
phone which he could use to determine the
location immediately the call was answered.
‘Mr Henry’ Sylvester’s eyes shone brightly as
the call was answered. ‘Where are you?’
Sylvester asked, confirming the location on his
second phone also. ‘Just find somewhere safe
and wait there, we’ll meet you in ten minutes’
Mallam Jefa was still in his sober state when
he returned to his store. His eyes were still
full of tears as he walked in through the back
door. Jefa noticed that there was no one in
the store as he entered. All his goods were
still intact except for some cups and plates
that were displaced and found on the floor.
That was unusual. He turned his gaze to the
sitting area, it was sure from the look of things
that his customers had left the place in
commotion and panic. There were bottles of
unfinished beer on the floor, unfinished food
on the table, and packets of untouched
cigarettes. Maybe a fight occurred, he thought.
No, it couldn’t be a fight. Some people would
have stayed back after settling the fight.
Whatever it was, Jefa was less concerned now.
He had just found his long lost sister.
He let out a deep sigh as he sank into one of
the visitors seat and thronged his head
backwards. Omotara had not only maintained
the same face she had when she was young,
she also maintained the same manner of
walking and voice. Only that everything now
looked and sounded mature.
*** FLASHBACK ***
May 17, 2014
Jeffery watched in tears as their house razed
in flames, the remains of his parents and two
younger brothers burning in it. He and the
remnant of his family were put in a large bus
with several other kids in it, most of them
weeping uncontrollably for the loss of their
families too. The bus had no seats except for
the driver’s, so the kids were made to sit and
lie on the ground.
Jeffery eyes met with his younger brother’s
where the boy was kept in the same section
with his age mates. The lad, who was next
after Omotara had no tears in his eyes like the
other kids, he just stood still with his arms
folded, mouth pouted and a mean face.
Jeffery, as the oldest son felt the need to
protect the remaining two left of his younger
ones, but how he will do that was a mystery to
him. With the mean looking men in the bus
with them, he wasn’t even sure of where they
were been taken to or what they were going
to be used for.
Jeffery’s eyes kept wandering around and he
found Tara, seated on the floor and soaked in
her tears. The blood stains on her clothes
were visible and thick enough to make one
throw up at the sight.
The bus entered a pothole and shook, some of
the kids who were standing fell heavily to the
floor. Soon, a rhythmic cry soon begun from
the set of younger ones. The terrorists had no
problem with the noise, the bus was sound
Jerry was still standing, he didn’t fall like the
others, only a few staggers and he was back on
his feet. Neither did he learn any lesson and
decide to sit even when Jeffery was making
signals for him to sit.
Jeffery got up and peeped through the
window, a knock landed on his head, sending
him back immediately. He held his head and
winced in pain as he sat back on the floor. He
glanced at one of his age mates who sat by his
side and was pinching him. The look on the
boys face was a question of what Jeffery saw
‘They’ve taken us out of town already’ Jeffery
whispered. ‘But I don’t know where they’re
taking us to’
After some minutes, the bus came to a halt
and the door was opened. Two of the men
standing in the bus with them stepped out.
Soon, Jeffery could hear the men speaking to
some others in Hausa language which he
couldn’t understand then.
The men returned into the bus after two
minutes and began to usher out some of the
kids. Jerry was one of the kids taken out of the
bus. Jeffery stood up in panic and peeped
through the window. The kids were being
ushered into another bus, a smaller one.
‘Kai’ was all he heard as his head was hit by the
butt of a gun. He began to see stars as he fell
slowly to the floor, his eyes met with
Omotara’s eyes and then he blacked out. That
was the last time he saw his siblings.
He woke up several hours later to find himself
laying on the floor in a room with other
teenagers like himself. He struggled to sit up
and glanced at their faces one after the other.
He refrained from asking questions, it was
obvious that they were all captives of the
same terrorist group.
‘Are you crazy?’ A policeman stood at Jefa’s
Jefa looked up and found himself surrounded
by six officers. ‘What?’ He asked.
‘Are you Mallam Jefa, the owner of this store?’
‘Your attention is needed at our station’ the
officer said as he brought the handcuffs
8am, next morning
Henry stretched and yawned like a new born
baby on the bed. The event of the day before
had weakened him so much that he had slept
for almost twelve hours, something he had
not done in years. He sat up and pressed the
button beside the bed and the room was
brightened by the white bulb. Henry’s mouth
opened in surprise as he looked around the
large room. He had been too tired to notice
how large and beautiful the room was when
he was ushered in the last night. He never
imagined that there was such a well furnished
room in the corporation’s quarters.
A phone rang on the stool beside the bed. He
picked it up and checked the caller. It was an
unsaved number. Who owned the phone and
why was it by his side? He wondered. Maybe it
was placed there for his use, he thought as he
finally answered the call.
‘Good morning Mr Henry’ Sylvester’s voice
‘Good morning sir’ Henry replied.
‘How was your night? Hope you’re feeling
better right now?’
‘Yes, thanks. I’m feeling quite better’
‘Alright, I called to inform you that some
officers would come and pick you guys for
medical check up in twenty minutes time and
they’ll likely ask you some questions about
‘But… How will they come pick us for check up
in thirty minutes time? I’m just waking up and
I’m feeling very hungry now’
‘Your bath water and breakfast has been
prepared already. Go and inform your
girlfriend about all I’ve said so that she can
His girlfriend? Henry wondered as he got up
from the bed. He knew that Sylvester was
referring to Evelyn as his girlfriend and he
smiled at the thought that people were
already taking them to be lovers. He put on a
shirt and a short and walked out of his room
to the next room where Evelyn slept. He
waved at the maids moving around as he faced
the entrance of the room.
He let out a deep sigh before he rapped on
the door and waited for a response. He
knocked again after getting no response at the
expected time, he leaned on the door and
placed his ear to the door to listen if there
was any movement in the room. He knocked
again, this time louder. Could it be that
Tarasha was still deeply asleep?
He placed his hand on the door knob and
noticed that it was loose, a sign that the door
was not locked. He turned it and opened the
door slowly, poking his head in to peep. The
room was neat and well kept but no one was
in it. He walked further inside and closed the
door behind. ‘Evelyn’ he called as he
proceeded towards the bed. He checked the
floor beside the bed, there was no sign of
Evelyn. ‘Evelyn, are you in?’ He called again as
he approached the restroom. He opened and
entered into it, Evelyn was nowhere to be
found. His heart began to beat faster as he
proceeded out of the room.
‘Has anyone seen Evelyn this morning?’ He
asked the maid cleaning up the living room.
‘The lady you came in with last night?’ The
maid asked to be sure. Henry nodded. ‘She
should be in her room. She just woke up when
I was mopping the passage’
‘When was that?’ Henry asked.
‘About one hour ago, I saw her peeping
outside through the door and I approached
her to ask if she needed anything. She asked
me to make her a cup of hot tea’
‘Is that all?’
‘Yes, I’ve not seen her since I made her tea.’
The maid paused and placed a hand on her
waist. ‘Is she not in the room?’ She asked with
a raised eyebrow.
‘Yes’ Henry replied as he dialed a number on
the phone with him. ‘Join me check if she’s
around the house’
Tarasha adjusted her skirt properly in front of
the mirror and brushed her hair backwards
before putting on the suit jacket. She sat on
the bed to put on the heeled shoes and got up
to check the mirror again. She was looking
smart and ready for the meeting.
Her plan was simple. Strike a deal with the
man and make him take her to his cotton farm
which she had already sent Benny and Cole to
survey and fix several possible escape routes
for her. She had made her investigation and
found out that the only place Jubril Lawal went
without his bodyguard and thugs was his
farms. That was the best place to end the
man’s life without any struggle.
Tarasha sat back in the bed and placed her
laptop on her lap, she opened it up and
pressed the boot button. After the laptop
came on, she opened her contact book and
searched for Jubril’s number dialing it on the
phone she had taken from the maid’s pocket
in the camera’s corporation house.
‘Good morning Mr Jubril’ she said as soon as
the call was answered.
‘Good morning Miss Evelyn’ Jubril recognised
her voice immediately. ‘What happened to
your line? I’ve been trying to reach you’
‘I lost the phone, I had to borrow someone’s
phone to call you’
‘Oh! Sorry about that’
‘Thank you sir’ Tarasha said, clearing her
throat. ‘I’ll be on my way for our meeting in
few minutes time, I just want to…’
‘Humm…’ Jubril interrupted. ‘That’s one of the
reasons I’ve been trying to reach you. The
meeting would no longer hold this morning’
Tarasha sighed loudly.
‘I’m sorry but I sent something to your email
since I couldn’t reach you on phone. My
birthday is tomorrow and I’m organizing a
banquet in the evening. Let’s meet there,
maybe we can finalize our discussion
immediately after the celebration’
‘Okay’ Tarasha seemed less enthusiastic. ‘How
do I attend?’
‘Just check your email inbox, I’ve instructed
my PA to forward every detail to you. I even
asked him to organize a personal car that
would bring you from your location to the
‘Oh! Thanks. I’ll check my mailbox’ Tarasha said
and ended the call. She flung the phone on the
bed and bent to take off her shoes. Then she
fell back into the bed, thinking. Jubril Lawal’s
case had tarried for long, the banquet was
going to be a perfect opportunity for her. She
began to draw up plans in her mind. She
wouldn’t accept his transport plans, No. She
would hire a car by herself and Cole would be
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