MY MISSING RIB
A Story Written By Bright Daniel
As Steve was carving the sticks, tears fell down from his eyes. The only man he took as a father, the man who sheltered and clothed him was shot dead right in his presence. He sniffed in tears carving the sticks angrily. One could see sweat of anger running down from his neck, and veins visibly pumping out on his muscles. As he wept bitterly, he could hear the cry of others from behind. Few minutes later after carving the sticks, he took them inside the tent and collected Buboy’s hunting arrow. He stared at it for a while then kept it. “May your soul rest in peace” he concluded.
Justice was in his one bedroom apartment thinking how the outing he planned to go with Celestina days ago obviously failed. He sat on his bed with two hands on his head. Suddenly, a knock came from the door and Bernard, his friend and also a fellow taxi driver entered. He wore an oversize longsleeve shirt and trouser. “O-boy, you no go work today?” he sat on the bed too but Justice didn’t reply. “Justice, why are you so sad like this?” he asked.
“Guy, poverty is not good” Justice sat up removing his hands from his head.
“So you’re just discovering today that poverty is a disease. And who said you’re poor?” Bernard asked.
“Is it not because of it that this girl, Celestina is playing with me?”
“Are you still thinking about that girl? Let that girl be for goodness sake!”
“Guy, i must make money!” Justice boasted. “I will make sure i make this money Celestina wants and spoil her with it! Yes, i must!”
Bernard became dumb staring at him with an open mouth. He gently touched his neck with the back of his palm. “Hey!” he shouted then Justice looked at him. “I said it oh, that you are not well. You’re suffering from malaria!” Bernard added.
“What do you mean by that?” Justice asked.
“So, if you make money as you have just said now, you’ll still go back to that girl, Celestina? Chei!! Guy, you need a developmental psychologist” Bernard concluded.
Mr Stanley’s phone rang again right there in the sittingroom. Adam and his wife never departed from his side. They watched him picked the call.
“Hello Mr Stanley” Lawrence began on the phone. “It’s past three days now, i hope you’re getting my money ready”
“Hum… Please, can we negotiate on the amount coz it’s way too much for me” Mr Stanley sounded gently.
“Two billion naira, no more, no less”
“Please, I’m ready to offer you half a billion naira. Just send my son home”
“Seems you’re deaf, sell all your properties and recover the money, i don’t care! Mind you, if you dare involve the police on this, I’ll bring your son’s head to you”
“Alright, can i speak with my son? Hello.. hello…” the line had gone dead already. Then Mr Stanley became woozy.
“My husband, lets call the police” the wife said.
“It’s the best option” Adam added.
“I think it is” Mr Stanley said as an afterthought. “I hope my son remain safe” he concluded.
TWO DAYS LATER
back to the unknown land, Steve had completed his plans to escape. He stood erect with hands on his waist spacing into the sky. He wore only a white singlet and and a pair of trouser standing at the back of his tent. Quietly, Stella came from behind, she stared at him for a while without his knowledge. “Steve?” she called squeezing her fingers nervously again. Then Steve turned and both stared into each others’ eyes.
“You don’t suppose to be here” Steve broke the silence.
“I don’t care what my father does to me” Stella moved closer. “Can you remember the last thing i told you days ago?”
“Yes, you said you believe in me” Steve replied.
“Okay” they became quiet. “I want to apologize for my Daddy’s…”
“Hey…” Steve interrupted her. “Is okay, I’m sorry too” he added.
“Is okay” Stella stared into his eyes but suddenly turned to go but Steve gently held her hand making her to turn and feeling her heartbeat.
“Do you also trust me?” Steve asked then Stella nodded her head positively. Steve dragged her into his tent and continued. “Then follow me escape from here tomorrow. Listen, i have planned everything, they are some cameras hanging on trees inside the bush which will be removed…”
“What about other people?” Stella interrupted him.
“That’s why i need you to convince them especially your father. We need to get out of here before we all die. We shall be leaving gradually one by one without their notice following the directions where there are no cameras. Even if they see us, they won’t understand what we are doing. Are you with me?”
“Steve, I’m so scared” Stella said then Steve held her two shoulders.
“You’ll be safe, trust me” he said.
After a long discussion inside the tent, Stella came out just to see her father and twin sister staring at her from their tents. Her heart skipped. Steve also came out at the same time standing beside her and looking at Zeno and Thelma too. Stella glance at him and began to walk to her father boldly..
To Be Continued …
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