A STORY WRITTEN BY G-RACE FICTION
Somewhere in Ajegunle, a place I’ve never been to before, under a mango tree, is where I sat with Mama Kehinde. Its dirty, with a foul smell permeating the environment. But the people living here don’t seem to mind, in fact, they actually like it here. I guess the saying; “there’s no place like home” is quite true.
I watched little kids as they ran around playing; some of them wearing only shorts while others wore pants. They laughed and played around like they had no care in the world. It was an amazing sight to see.
“Na who dey come pick you my pikin?” asked mama kehinde,
I looked away from the kids to mama kehinde and saw that she was currently adding more yams into the medium, sized, hot, frying pot that was frying on burning wood. The smoke from the wood is very disturbing and its quite difficult for me to focus on her with all the smoke in the air.
But Mama kehinde looks unaffected by the smoke, maybe it’s because she’s used to it.
She totally forgot about the charger she wanted to borrow once she realized I had been kidnapped. I felt safe staying with her than any other person since she was the one I found first. So I sat down with her, under the almond tree waiting for Gibson to arrive.
“My friend is coming to pick me” I answered her question. Trying really hard to focus on her, I kept blinking my eyes rapidly to remove or try to remove the smoke entering in.
“You say Friend?” she asked, still working on her fried yam and Akara.
I nodded my head, looking at the Akara on the fire. I felt her looking at me, so my eyes moved to look at hers. She stared at me for a second, before she faced her cooking once more. We stayed in silence, only the sounds coming from the pot could be heard, and that of the fire, oh! And the voices of kids laughing and playing. The aroma coming from the pot was really amazing and I imagined eating it but I thought this wasn’t the best time to eat, not until I get home. So instead, I looked around my surroundings to keep myself distracted, sometimes I’ll take a glance at her cooking, other times, I’ll watch the kids play.
But at the same time waiting for Gibson to arrive, and hoping he comes soon.
So I’ve been here for the last 30 minutes, waiting for Gibson to arrive. I’m beginning to think maybe he has forgotten his way here. A few minutes after I called him and told him where I was, he called again to get the exact address of where I was, I didn’t know, so I gave the phone to the owner of which was a young man to help me describe where I was. He did, and immediately he was done giving directions and descriptions, Gibson cut the line.
I thanked him for his help, he was happy to help. Then he left.
The sound of cars approaching took me out of my thoughts, I looked towards the sound of the cars and sure enough it was Gibson, I felt an unmistakable sense of peace and happiness seeing him drive towards me. I know its him because the first car is the exact color of his, it’s a white Mercedes, the 2016 E series. The rest (which I’m certain is the security team of Michaels company) drove behind him in their various cars some of which were the explorers and the Honda’s.
I stood up from where I sat, surprised and excited to see that he didn’t come alone.
The cars stopped right in front of mama kehinde’s cooking space. Gibson got out of his car, the cars parked behind his and the men got out too, staring at me.
Gibson stared at me for a full 10 seconds. Then he walked briskly towards me, I met him halfway, throwing myself at him, he caught me, then I hugged him with a strength I never thought I had. Gibson hugged me right back, holding me tight, his head in my neck breathing me in deep, his air hot in my neck but I didn’t mind, it felt good.
I couldn’t stop hugging him, I thought I was never going to see him again seeing as I was kidnapped and my kidnapper said I was his, so it was clear there was a possibility of me not seeing him or any of my friends again, Hence the hugging and not ready to let go.
“We’re going home” he mumbled, his face still in my neck.
I nodded my head and said, “I have to thank mama kehinde first”.
He removed his head from my neck to ask, “Mama kehinde?”
I nodded my head once more saying, “Yes, I’ve been with her since I made that call, she’s been taking care of me”.
He looked a bit confused; I could see the wheels in his head spinning. I waited for him to get what I was talking about. While I waited patiently, I watched as his eyes moved to focus on someone behind me, I turned in his arms to look, and sure enough it was Mama kehinde.
But her expression wasn’t one I was expecting, her eyes were wide, her mouth opened, and it looked like she wanted to speak but words refused to come out. So I spoke.
“Mama kehinde , meet Gibson, my friend”
“Friend?” asked Gibson, I looked away from mama kehinde to focus on Gibson as I answered a bit haughtily.
He grinned at me, I rolled my eyes at him, I don’t have his time, after rolling my eyes back, I heard mama kehinde ask in an astonished voice.
“This your friend dey big oh, kai… wetin you dey chop? see your chest”
Then she placed her palm flat on his chest admiring it.
I watched her as she did so, getting a little bit amused.
“I was in the army” said Gibson looking uncomfortable.
“ehn?” she asked, not understanding him her eyes were still glued to his chest.
“I was a soldier ma”
Her eyes left his chest to look at his face, and then she asked, “You be soldier before?”
“Yes ma” replied Gibson, still sounding uncomfortable.
“chai, if I know say na so soldier boys de be, I for marry one na?” I giggled a little at her comment.
Suddenly, she turned around abruptly to go back to her cooking, saying
“Carry her abeg, the girl dey tired, make she go rest. I get plenty work for here”
“Thanks for helping” said Gibson, sounding better and relieved that her hand was no longer on him.
Mama kehinde nodded her head, sat down on her small stool, and continued with her work.
Well I felt that was our cue to go, so I turned to leave, but Gibson stopped me when he said.
She looked away from her pot to look at him; she didn’t say anything she just looked.
So Gibson continued, “the man that took Ada, where is he?”
“hin don go,we no catch am as hin run commot, but maybe police go catch am”
I felt scared at her reply, so many thoughts going through my head. They weren’t good thoughts too, it meant I’m still in danger….. God why me?
“Thank you” said Gibson, he started to turn me around to lead me to his car but i stopped, so he had to stop too, I had a question I desperately wanted to ask Mama Kehinde so I did.
With his hand holding mine, I turned around to face mama Kehinde, She was still busy with her work, but I asked what I wanted to ask anyway?
“Mama kehinde, how come you’re still frying akara and yam, aren’t you supposed to be doing it only in the morning?”
Mama kehinde still very focused on her work, scooped some yam out of the big frying pot, the smoke from the fire wood was everywhere, she was squinting her eyes cause the smoke was getting in.
But this didn’t stop her from replying me “This na the only work wey I get, so I dey do am all the time, no be for only morning.” As she said this, a group of kids ran towards her, they stopped, and stared at the yam and akara she had fried. One of them licked his lips, his eyes full of hunger.
She looked at the kids and sure enough she noticed the hunger in their eyes, she then asked, “wetin you won buy?”
They all gave various answers. But all meaning the same thing, they were hungry.
“Yam” , they said at the same time.
Then they looked at themselves realizing they all wanted different things.
“How much una get?” asked mama kehinde, not surprised by their various answers.
“Na fifty naira we get ma?” said the oldest one
Mama kehinde looked at their faces for a few beats, then she stretched her hand out to them, wiggling her fingers indicating she wanted the money. The one holding it quickly placed it in her palm.
She then carried a small, black leather, and packed enough akara and yam, of which I’m sure cost more than 50 naira, and handed it to the oldest. They all stared at the leather in his hand, totally surprised but excited.
“Dey go before I change my mind” said mama kehinde, smiling at their surprised gaze.
Immediately, the kids scrambled off, thanking her in the process, ‘cause obviously they didn’t want her to change her mind.
I watched her as she did this, helping the kids in such an amazing way; she really has a good heart. My eyes were on her, and she must have felt it ‘cos She looked at me, I smiled at her, she smiled back.
The she said, “Dem dey hugry, so because I get somtin , I go give them, if not God go judge me”
“Well said mama kehinde” said Gibson.
She smiled at him, he gave her a chin lift then he led me to his car, I turned my head as much as I could as we walked away to yell a “thank you” to mama kehinde, she yelled back saying “no wahala”. Then I was placed in the front seat of Gibson’s car. He closed my door, walked around the front of his car to his side of the door, got in, started the car and moved, taking us home, his men following right behind us.
“Becky you should sit down” that was said by Stephen. But I didn’t move, I just kept standing there waiting for the door to open and for Ada to walk in.
“Becky” he called again.
But I kept standing not moving.
Then I felt strong hands hold me by my shoulders, then I was turned around and was led to the couch to sit beside Nancy, she immediately took my hands in hers once I was seated. We sat there silently as we waited for Ada to arrive.
God please let her be ok.
Gibson parked his Mercedes right in front of the house; I sat there with my head turned to the house looking at it. I can’t believe I’ve been gone for like the whole day. How did fola feel when she was taken for five days?
I was thinking about this when Gibson called me.
But I kept staring at the house, my head full of different thoughts, bad thoughts. Like never seeing my friends again, never living in this house again….never…seeing Gibson again.
I closed my eyes slowly at the last thought, my heart skipped a bit at the thought of not seeing Gibson again. But even if I like Gibson, I don’t think he’s the one for me, I don’t think he’s part of God’s plan for me.
So no matter how bad it hurts I have to let him go, I have to move on.
“Ada” Gibson called again; I turned my head towards him to see him looking very concerned. So I smiled a small smile to try and assure him that I’m fine. I thought it worked until he said.
“You can’t fool me, I know what you’re thinking, and it won’t happen, whoever took you, won’t take you again. I’ll make sure of it”
I kept staring at him; I didn’t move or say anything. Gibson looked at me hard, he was utterly serious, the last time I saw him look like this was when he and Michael were searching for Fola and Nancy, the time they were kidnapped by Tinu, Fola’s mother.
“Do you understand me Ada” he asked
I nodded my head slowly, then I looked down to my hands on laps.
I felt his finger on my chin; he lifted it up for me to look at him again then said.
“Ada, I promise you, I’ll do everything in my power to get that guy before he gets you, but you have to promise me one thing”
My brows squeezed in confusion, “promise him something?” I thought to myself.
He threaded on speaking to make me understand, “ you have to promise to always do what I tell you, if I tell you not to leave the house, don’t leave the house, if I tell you I’ll be going out with you whenever you need to go out, then you have to agree to that too”
Half way through this I was giving him the glare, I mean seriously he wants me to obey him…..obey him? Is he insane?
Gibson saw my look; he knew my look, so he tried to stop me but he couldn’t. He said my name as a warning but I was already opening my side of the door and I was out, angrily climbing up the short sets of steps to the entrance door, stomping my feet in the process.
“Ada!” yelled Gibson. I heard the car door open, and I knew he was catching up to me, but I didn’t care, I just kept on stomping away.
“Ada, seriously you need to listen to me, the only way I can help you is for you to do what I ask you to do” he was right behind me at this moment.
I whirled around facing him when he said this, still glaring at him, then I asked,
“So let’s say you tell me to jump inside the pool, I’m meant to do that right?” I asked sarcastically.
He answered as if it was a normal safe question, ignoring my sarcasm. Which I promise you it wasn’t a safe question.
“Yes, Ada you’re meant to jump inside the pool, if it means saving your life”
“Wrong answer Gibson, wrong answer” I said angrily, my voice rising, then I whirled back around, opened the door, and stomped in. I got to the living room and stopped in mid step to what I saw, asking…..
“Oh my god…. who died?”
I heard yelling at the door, Ada’s voice to be precise, and if Ada is yelling then it means she’s ok, oh thank God. I slumped back in the couch where I sat; relieved to know Ada is alright.
“She’s fine” said Nancy, relief and happiness in her voice, I looked at her and smiled.
“Yes sugar plum, she’s fine” as we smiled at each other we heard the door open, I looked towards the small hallway of the entrance door, anxiously waiting to see Ada.
She came in stomping her feet, hmm looks like things hasn’t changed between Ada and Gibson, they are still on each other’s throats.
Ada got in then stopped mid step when she saw us.
And the next thing that got out of her mouth was, “oh my God who died?”
Nancy giggled, then she jumped out of the couch sprinting to Ada, getting to her, she threw herself on her, giving her a big, tight, hug. I would have giggled too, but I was tired of sitting down staring at her, so I leaped up from the couch also and walked really fast towards Ada. Nancy had stepped away from Ada having being done with hugging Ada, she was smiling huge. Without closing the remaining distance between us, I jumped on her, hugging her tight.
She held me tight too, noticing the emotions pouring out of my body pores. I heard her whisper in my ears, “I’m fine Becky, I’m totally fine”
But I didn’t let go, I held on, my face was in her neck and I was breathing her in, assuring myself that she was alive and well.
“Ok Becky you’ve hugged her enough, let’s see Ada please, we’ve missed her too” that was said by Stephen. I really didn’t want to let her go, but since they were her family, I figured I should.
So I released my arms from around her and stepped back, I felt something wet on my cheeks, I touched it to feel tears. Oh my god, I’m crying?
My eyes were bulging out; Ada looked at my expression and immediately burst out laughing.
I turned my head slightly to the left to see Gibson standing behind Ada, he looked at me and immediately started to laugh.
This was beginning to piss me off so I said, “What, I’m a girl, girls cry when they find out their friend has been kidnapped and probably will never come back again, so stop with the laughing ok?”
The laughing stopped, but there were still smiles on everyone’s faces. I rolled my eyes, then I watched as everyone came closer to welcome Ada back home. She hugged everyone, telling them she was ok.
Thank God she is, and I hope Gibson has this under control, if not I’ll be the one to take control.
I looked at Gibson, he was watching Ada as everyone came around to hug and welcome her back. He felt me looking at him, so he’s eyes left Ada to focus on me. I walked to him, keeping my eyes on him, once I was close enough for him to hear me speak, I said.
“I hope you have this under control?, cos if you don’t, I’ll take over”
His face changed from being soft to being hard, if anyone was to see him now, they’ll probably piss in their pants, but I’m not anyone, I’ve been working with him and the other macho men for a long time now. So this look of his doesn’t scare me.
I stood and stared back at him, waiting for him to give me an answer. After waiting for a whole ten seconds, he spoke.
“No one will be taking over except me and my teams, so whatever plan you have in that head of yours, get it out”
“What plan” asked Ada from nowhere surprising me.
One minute she was hugging and talking to everyone and the next she’s right with us like she wasn’t with the others a minute ago. She’s not meant to know our discussion she might get ideas on how to handle the situation herself. Just like me
I stammered a bit as I tried to get my words together to say to her, “how did you get here, you were there before, asin there, right there….so how ..did ..you…get here?
Ada just shrugged, not bothered at all at my expression ‘cause I’m sure I look like a fool right now. Instead she reiterated “what plan”
“Nothing Ada, I’m just giving Becky a very strong warning, you guys had a little fun when Fola was kidnapped, you had some fun with her mother, almost killing her in the process”—– he didn’t finish his sentence when Ada interrupted saying,
“Well, she asked for it, she was the one that wanted to kill Fola in the first place”
“That doesn’t mean you should kill her” said Gibson
“Oh so we aren’t allowed to kill anybody, just you ba?” asked Ada snootily
“Well yes of course, we the men that love you women are allowed to kill for you, so if we get caught we will be the ones to go to jail and not you women, plus you won’t be having nightmares for months”
“That’s stupid Gibson, if you are allowed to kill for us; we should be allowed to do so too”
“No” replied Gibson
“Yes!” said Ada stubbornly
“stop!” …..I yelled, placing two fingers on both sides of my temple , rubbing in circles ‘cause I was beginning to have a headache from their yammering. At my outburst they swung their heads to look at me
“You guys are giving me a headache, ishh”….
Since I had their attention, I decided it was the best time for me to say what I wanted to say before they begin with their yammering again.
“Gibson, I’ll try my best not to do anything, but I’m not making any promises” Gibson looked at me straight into my eyes; after a few beats he shook his head, meaning no.
I sighed, loudly. Well I tried.
Then I faced Ada and said, “Leave the job to Gibson Ada. He knows what he’s doing ok, please”
Ada looked at me, pouting a little ‘cause she didn’t like that I was trying to make her do what Gibson wanted, but it’s actually for her own good.
Finally she nodded too, agreeing with me, I expelled a deep breath, happy that she had agreed and the yammering was over.
It was at this point I realized that everyone had departed, well not everyone. Stephen, Nancy and Bello were relaxed in the living room. The tv was on but their attention was on us. They didn’t even bother to look away once I caught them looking at us, they just kept on looking,like we were a show. well I don’t blame them, I would have done the same, but i couldn’t I needed to stop them cos I need to talk to Ada privately.
Gibson skimmed the room with his eyes, saw Stephen, nancy and bello and their looks and said, “I’ll be in Michaels office” then he marched straight there, Leaving me with Ada.
We both watched, once he disappeared from our line of sight, I looked at Ada and said, “You’ll be telling me everything that happened” and then I held her hand and pulled her along with me as I matched up the stairs.
Becky held my hand and led me to my room, determined to get us alone.
We got to my room, and immediately she led me straight to my bed, held me by my shoulders and pushed me down to sit on the edge of my bed. I sat obediently as I watched her walk back to the door that was left ajar ‘cause we didn’t close it when we walked in. she closed it, then walked right back to me.
She then sat down beside me, crossed her legs and said.
“Now tell me what happened, everything, from the time you left the house, to the time you were found”
I looked straight into her eyes, and I knew there was no way in this world she was going to let this slide. So I deep breathed, calming myself. Then I opened my eyes. Hers were watching me intently, like with that look she could get all the details from me.
I turned a bit to the side to face her fully, then I launched in. telling her everything, ever…single…thing.
She wasn’t happy
To be continued…………………….
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