RESCUE Part II

Did Dele and his siblings cope with the demise of their mother? Find out in this thrilling concluding part.

Chapter Six

It’s been four years since the death of his mother and Dele knew over the past few years what “life” truly was. He had grown up way beyond his peers because of the responsibility of taking care of his younger siblings thrown suddenly upon his shoulders. It would have been easier if their dad been able to perform his own duties as a father to them but he also had gotten bedridden due to a motorcycle accident he had while trying to hustle for money to take care of his children.

Their landlord had been so magnanimous, upon hearing of his father’s incapacitation, had told them to halt on payment of rent until they were able to come out of their predicament. Dele heard Uncle Bade once telling his dad that men like their landlord don’t exist again, though he didn’t understand what he meant but he had an intuition that it meant the landlord had done a great thing for them. Uncle Bade still visited once in a while when he had the chance and would buy yams and groundnut oil for the children. He never stopped blaming himself for the death of his brother’s wife.

Dele had to stop going to school, though a public school but his uniform had torn to the extent one could bury a human being in the hole that had carved itself carefully into it. His younger brother and sister still went courtesy of a neighbour who had children their ages, who shared their uniforms with them.

Dele was always at his father’s beck and call, they could not afford to employ a nurse to care for him. His late mother’s siblings came some time ago to take away Dele and his siblings with the promise to put them in better schools and help to train them but his father had vehemently refused. They had never supported their sister’s getting married to him and had stayed away from her for years because they felt she disgraced the family by marrying him.

She had not come from affluence and they wanted her to get married to a richer suitor who would liberate their family from poverty but when she insisted that her mind was made up, they hated her for it. She had let go of the jackpot they would have gotten if she had gotten married to a rich man.

Dele prayed they would forcefully take himself and his siblings away but they did not and it made Dele question their motive for coming, maybe they were forced to come as an act of obligation to the memory of their only sister.

Things became tough for Dele and his family, kind neighbours who often gave them meals had reduced the number of times they did so. The money Uncle Bade usually gave to them reduced when he claimed his business had been bad hence could not give them as regularly as he used to. He called Dele aside the last time he came visiting:

“Dele, well done. Your father told me how well you take care of him. Your children also will take care of you when you grow old and not able to fend for yourself again”

“Amen” replied Dele

“Look here Dele, nobody choses what path life takes him through, but when life throws us curved balls, we have to just find a way to adjust”

“You have become the man in this house now and you need to fend for your younger siblings, take care of them and ensure nothing bad happens to them. Your father is incapacitated and cannot do so much from where he is”

Dele nodded slowly and hot tears trickled down his face, he knew uncle Bade was saying the truth but he felt he was just too young to shoulder the responsibilities of the whole family. His uncle wiped the tears from his eyes and held him in a tight embrace, promising to be there for them every step of the way.

He gave his brother a miserly sum of money and bade them goodbye, he promised to see them the following week as he had to travel to Oshogbo for a business deal he had been onto and it involved a huge sum of money if he won it. The contract was for the roofing of twenty buildings in a newly built mini estate. He bade them goodbye and left.

 

Chapter Seven

“Hurry up Sam or you will be late” Tyler screamed from the foot of the stairs. Stella and Betty were already downstairs anxiously waiting for Sam. They had been invited to a party at Ikeja and Tyler was mandated to come with his family. Their host also chaired a company Tyler had eyes on and he hoped he could use the party as a mini business discussion and probably close the deal right there and then.

Sam eventually waltzed down the stairs, looking taller than his sixteen years of age. He looked every inch like his father and Tyler was always proud to show him off to friends and family whenever he had the opportunity. Sam was his only son and reminded Tyler of himself when he was much younger, he also hoped his son would inherit his strong business acumen but Sam had fallen in love with the sciences and hoped to be a pilot instead. Stella straightened his tie as he joined them at the foot of the stairs, checked that everything was in place and called the house help to lock the door after them.

The Lekki traffic was terrible that day and Tyler carefully maneuvered through it. They still had an hour before the event was scheduled to start. Just as they descended the Anthony bridge to link to Ikorodu road, they encountered another traffic and this time it was a stand still, the cause of the traffic unknown. Suddenly a scruffy looking teenage boy almost same age as Sam, ran from nowhere and stood beside Tyler’s window. His eyes were sunken and clothes tattered, he stretched out his hands begging for alms but Tyler ignored him, then later wind down the glass a little and shouted angrily at the boy to get away from his car. “Brat” he called him.

“Dear, this boy must be hungry, look at his eyes and I’m sure he is all bones beneath that torn clothes. I would like to take him on as one of our beneficiaries, what do you think dear?”

“Stella, this NGO thing sometimes make you deluded, can’t you see this one looks like a criminal, I forbid you to” blurted Tyler. “I am sure he is planted here by his cohorts and the moment I wind down my glass of my window and hand him some money, boom! they spring a surprise on us”

“I disagree, you can stay in the car and analyze as much as you can but I am getting down and would give the boy my details, I can feel it, this boy needs help” Stella said as she made to unhook her seat belt, thankfully, the traffic showed no signs of giving way at any moment.

Tyler got furious and shouted at Stella, even the children cringed at the back seat.  “What part of “No” don’t you understand? Is this how you go about playing super hero? Are you doing this for charity or self-recognition? You want the people in the cars around to see me as a villain and you as the messiah right?”

“I am sorry dear, I didn’t mean to undermine your authority and I only wanted to help the little boy off the street. Do you mind if I called Nkechi to come with the team to help him?” Tyler didn’t give her an answer so she went ahead and called her PA, Nkechi to come to the Anthony bridge area to pick up the boy. She described him as much as she could and hoped her PA would get there on time.

Stella sat in her seat, angry at her husband for behaving the way he did and especially in front of their children. Here she was trying to rid the street of homeless children and the man who swore his unflinching support couldn’t stand to see her do the very thing he knew she loved to do. She was also angry that he made everything about self-aggrandizement. She sat quietly throughout the remaining part of the journey and put up a pretense when they arrived at the party. She called her children aside and made excuses for their father, claiming that he must have had a rough week, hence the attitude and not that he was an uncaring man.

She kept on monitoring Nkechi on phone to make sure she found the young boy but Nkechi and the driver who went with her searched everywhere to no avail. A groundnut seller, sitting by the side of the road claimed to have seen the young boy but that he left already. She also claimed that she had not seen him before that day as she knew all the beggars that begged along that axis. Nkechi eventually left the scene and headed back with the driver.

The party was well attended and as usual, Tyler was having a great time. Stella on the other hand couldn’t help thinking about the boy she had not been able to help. She hoped their path would cross again soon.

 

*********************************************

Uncle Bade got the contract to roof the mini estate he submitted a proposal for at Oshogbo. The sum was huge and he quickly deployed his team of carpenters to the site and work began in earnest. He made sure he engaged the services of agile men to work for him because of the complexity of climbing at sites.

Uncle Bade was not one to get a contract and leave it to his workers to handle, he preferred to be hands-on. The scaffold was set up and they began work and on the third day on site had completed two buildings. Usually on site, food peddlers hawk and save the workers ample time that would have been used looking for a good canteen. The amala (Local Nigerian food made from yam or unripe plantain) woman shouted on top of her voice and site workers could be seen scampering to get down and buy some to eat. Then snap!! One of the legs of the scaffold broke there was a loud scream but before help could get to him, uncle Bade had crashed to the ground, hitting his head on scaffold as he came crashing down and breaking his ankle in the process.

He was rushed to the hospital as he had suffered a concussion to the head and the ankle needed to be taken care of. He was also slipping in and out of consciousness most of the time and the doctor attributed it to the head injury. Tests were carried out to ascertain the extent of the injury and thankfully it was mild and would be fine in a matter of weeks, claimed the doctor. His wife was contacted and he was discharged two days after but referred to another hospital in Lagos to continue his treatment.

Dele got home panting from running and sat pondering over in his mind, it had been three months since the news of Uncle Bade and he didn’t understand why his uncle was still unwell. They told them the doctor assured the family that it would take a matter of weeks but three months had passed. Dele’s eyes settled on his father who lay on the bed fast asleep. How were they supposed to survive without Uncle Bade? Thankfully, their mother’s elder brother had come to take Yemisi to his home so she can be well taken care of, leaving him and Bode with their father. He hoped more help would come and one by one they would enjoy a better life than what they had presently.

He peeped out of the window to check up on Bode who was playing with the other children in the compound, without a care in the world. While staring, his mind drifted to the event that happened earlier in the day. He had left the scene crying and wondering where the God his mother had spoken about was, why would he let bad things happen to them at all and not send help to them on time?

He had just finished helping out at the carpentry workshop near Anthony village where his father once worked. The men there let him run simple errands and in turn pay him a little stipend they knew he would take home, that was their own way of helping out. Unfortunately, the men all complained that the week had not been favorable, hence didn’t have enough to give him to take home. He knew there was nothing at home to eat, the neighbours who were feeding them had also withdrew their help, every one of them had one issue of other there were also battling with. On his way out of the workshop, he had tripped when the end of a plank caught his shirt and tore it halfway through, the shirt had seen better days though.

He started the slow journey home and wondered what they would eat that day. He thought of selling pure water in traffic but he didn’t even have any cash to start with. He saw a bus and begged the driver he would like to be his conductor for the day but he was shoved off as he had no prior experience. He left dejectedly and decided to beg at least to have food in their belly that day. He had never done it before but a trial won’t kill, he thought.

He had summoned courage and ran to the first big car he saw, hoping the occupant would take pity on him and give him a substantial amount, the finer the car the more money he would get he thought to himself.

He had not been not ready for the hatred and venom he saw in the eyes of the man behind the wheel. If eyes would kill, he would have been long dead. With the way the man scowled at him, he didn’t have the courage to face any other car owner and he had fled the scene and ran home. Luckily, they still had few cups of cassava flakes, so they soaked in water and took it as dinner that evening. He could see that his father had been crying and knew he must hate the fact that he couldn’t take care of his family as he ought.

 

Chapter Eight

Things were not getting any better, Dele took to the streets and did anything he could to make ends meet while Bode stayed back home to care for their ailing father. He later found a building site and joined the laborers in carrying cement and blocks for the construction. On the street where the building site was, a particular uncompleted building down that street was host to a set of street boys. They looked mean and no one needed a soothsayer to tell that they were up to no good.

Most times, Dele pretended to be in a hurry whenever he was almost in front of the uncompleted building, he wanted to have nothing to do with them. On one particular morning, he had not expected to see them that early and in a bid to rush off, he tripped over a stone and fell in a ditch of dirty water. He fell face flat and in no time, he felt strong hands lifting him out of the puddle of water and as he wiped the water off his face, he found himself staring into the eyes of the meanest pair of eyes he had ever seen.

“You no dey watch where you dey go?” the mean looking guy spoke in pidgin.

“I am sorry sir” Stammered Dele

“Why you dey apologise to me? Na me be the stone wey fall you or the water wey you fall inside? See this guy oh. Wetin be your name?” he asked and Dele replied him, the thought of giving him a fake name crossed his mind but he was scared and blurted out the truth.

“My name is Dele and I work down the street”

“I know you, I see you every time you pass here, you go dey run like say dem dey pursue you. Anyway, my name na Sikiru but na Skido everybody dey call me”

“If you dey come back from work, make you branch, I want to show you something” Skido said and made Dele promise to come and see him later.

All through work that day, Dele couldn’t get his mind off Skido’s request to come and see him. He thought of not going, but there was no other route he could take unless he would kiss his manual labor job goodbye. He needed the money and decided he would see Skido but would not allow him bully him into doing anything he didn’t want to. Evening came and Dele headed home and knew he must make that stop at Skido’s. As usual, the uncompleted building had Skido and his team outside, laughing and he could see some holding cigarette sticks in their hands.

Skido sighted him when he was some meters away and left the others and walked up to Dele. Dele was shocked when Skido kept walking with him and realised they had both walked past the others. Few meters away, Skido halted and Dele stopped walking too.

“Take and use it to sort of your problems” Skido said as he stretched out his hand towards Dele. Dele could see the money in Skido’s palms and he didn’t know what to make of it.

“Take it now, abi you want to pose when it is obvious say you need the money?” Skido said with sarcasm. Dele knew taking money from someone like Skido spelt trouble and declined the offer but Skido would have none of it.

After much persuasion that it was a gift and not a loan, Dele collected the money and thanked Skido profusely. Skido convinced him he wasn’t a criminal but was into the business of buying and selling of essential commodities. Dele believed him and left the scene and Skido walked back to join his group.

Dele could not wait to get home before counting the money, his eyes got larger when he counted ten thousand naira. He would have to work every day for two months at the construction site before earning such amount as wage and he got it in one day from doing absolutely nothing; this seemed too good to be true. He ran the rest of the way home as his excitement would not allow him walk steadily. He told his father what happened and how he met a rich man where he worked who blessed him with the money but failed to add that the person was of questionable character. The next morning, he quickly paid some of the debt they owed mama Risi the rice seller and the man selling groundnut oil down the street.

He gave Bode the money he needed to buy books and made him return to school, Dele somehow felt responsible for his family and knew he would not be able to take care of them if he found his way back to school. He prepared breakfast for his father, cleaned him up and set out to work. Somehow, he hoped to see Skido again and properly thank him but there was no one at the uncompleted building. Days passed and turned into weeks, yet no sign of Skido. Dele had even almost forgotten him when he saw him again on his way from his labourer job.

Dele was excited to see Skido, though he didn’t know the reason for the excitement. He ran to meet him and thanked him for the money he received from him weeks ago and Skido waved it off saying it was not a big deal. He explained his absence was because he had been away on a business trip and bragged about how much profit he made.

“Let me find a little something for you boy” Skido said as he handed him another wad of notes. This time, Dele collected it without any restraint, even though it looked thicker than the one he gave him the last time but ran home overjoyed. His father raised concern over this good Samaritan but Dele assured him the money was clean and had nothing to fear.

Dele became a frequent face at Skido’s hangout and eventually stopped going for his labourer job, what he got from Skido was much more than his monthly wage. He was also able to prepare better meals for his father and brother. He hoped Skido would take him along for one of his business trips so he could also start making money for himself. If Skido doesn’t offer him the opportunity, he made up his mind to ask.

 

Chapter Nine

Sam had finished his secondary education and had secured admission to further his studies abroad. His parents were so proud of him when he was accepted into the University of London to study aeronautical engineering, he would be away for three years or more depending on what he decided to do next.

His mother travelled with him to ensure he had settled in fully before travelling back to Nigeria to continue running her charity. She was proud of what she had been able to accomplish in a few years. They had gotten more international funding and been able to take over 250 children and teenagers off the streets into foster homes and educational institutions with boarding facilities. Some of the schools gave them a huge discount to help keep the children in school. Her dreams were finally coming to reality and she was happy. The only snag in her life had been Tyler.

Tyler had become obsessed with work and taking over the world. He had risen to partner status where he worked and was full of himself for his achievements through the years. Stella had made friends with a lady she met while trying to fix some orphaned children into a home. The lady, Funke had been born blind and also suffered the sickle cell disease. Funke had been left to die by her parents but a good Samaritan had brought her to the center. What struck chord in Stella was Funke’s positive approach and view of things. Stella probed and pried, wanting to know Funke’s source of strength.

“God” Funke had said.

“How can God, who made you blind also be your source of strength? I don’t understand it? Anyways, I know God but we have not been friends for a while now. I can’t even remember when we drifted apart.” Said Stella and she truly reflected on what she said.

She had stopped going to church for years and Tyler had not helped matters. Sometimes, he closed deals on Sunday mornings and somehow she had gotten used to staying at home and used Sundays as rest days. Listening to Funke was like a wakeup call, she knew there had been an emptiness in her life, she had not been able to place a finger on it but that moment with Funke showed her the truth. She knew she didn’t need Tyler to validate her anymore, she was going to live her life to the fullest, get back her spiritual life with or without him. She left the orphanage that day a changed person.

*****************************************

Dele had become a part of Skido and his team, just like family and he had also learnt how to puff on a cigarette. He hated it at first but Skido convinced him he would get used to it and see that it was the best experience ever. Before long he had started smoking hemp with them and all manner of drugs.

He later found out that Skido had a boss he reported to, who was always in the shadows but called Skido when there was work to be done. Dele had been with them for a long time running minor errands and it was time to get him into the group proper. Skido had actually seen Dele as a perfect tool to also help them out in their operations. Skido told him the boss only gets to meet any new recruit after two years of joining the team but told him the nature of their business deals, it was kidnap and collection of the ransom.

Dele started going on different jobs with them and was always well rewarded. He was the one to pick up the ransom when it had been paid and ensure he was not seen. He kept his booty well hidden from the prying eyes of his father and concealed it with a wrapper before he hid it under the bed. By the time he had worked for eight months, he had been paid the sum of six hundred thousand and he just couldn’t contain himself. How could he be so rich yet unable to flaunt it? He eventually told his father about his stacked up cash but lied about how he got it.

His father was no kid, he had seen signs that Dele was not the boy he used to know. He had challenged him once and got tongue lashed for asking.

“Father, please don’t ask me such questions. Are you not the one who brought all these upon us? How do you think we have been feeding all these while? These people are God sent to me and you are condemning me?” Dele blurted.

“Dele, please I know things have been tough and I also do not wish to be incapacitated but it is what it is. Family and friends have also deserted me and you are all I have and Bode your brother. Please I sense you are doing something wrong, please my son, I don’t want to lose you” cried his father.

“Father, it is too late. I have a huge sum of money in this house. I suggest we get a bigger apartment and move out of here, I am tired of staying in this shithole”

“I will not go to a house you have rented with unclean money Dele”

“Hahahaha!!” Dele laughed “But you have been eating food cooked with unclean money” and he look with a sneer “I will do as I please father, I don’t see anyone who can stop me as it is”

“Father, I am tired of living like this when I can afford something better, I won’t stay here and if you don’t want to come with me, so be it” he said it with a note of finality and stormed out of the house.

He went back to Skido and told him he needed to get himself an apartment and a week later, he got his own flat and moved in. He waited outside his father’s house for Bode one day and hinted him about his new place and wanted Bode to join him. Bode argued he would not leave their father alone all by himself and refused to go. Dele felt everyone was against him because he had finally made money but it was money he was not willing to ever let go of.

On his eighteenth birthday, he threw a lavish party and celebrated it big. He partied all night and got himself wasted with hard drugs. He was living the life and loving it. He sends money to his father every month and doesn’t bother his head whether they spent it or not. He was making enough and couldn’t care less.

 

Chapter Ten

Years later, on a sunny day, they got word on the street that the son of a very wealthy big boy was in town and their boss needed them to make some findings and come up with a plan.  They were not sure how long the son would stay and needed to act fast. They paid the informant more money so he could give them more information to work with.

They eventually learnt that their target loved to play golf and usually goes to the golf club on Sundays with his son. They carefully hatched a plan and when they were sure it was error proof, laid ambush for them.

On the eventful day, they tailed their car from home till they got to the golf club, waited for over five hours for them to finish. Sundays are usually free from heavy traffic and they tailed them on their way home but had switched cars, so that if the target noticed them earlier, he wouldn’t see the same car he noticed earlier and won’t suspect anything at all.

Just as they got onto a quiet road called Bourdilon, Skido and the other guys were waiting and threw an old tyre rim onto the road and their target swerved but was unsuccessful and bumped into a tree. Within seconds, Skido and his gun wielding team, commanded their target to unlock the doors and in fear, he did. They pulled his son from the passenger seat, shoved him into their own car and sped off, shooting sporadically into the air to ward off pursuers. The policemen usually surveiling the area had chosen to take the day off and patrolled another area instead.

It was so professionally carried out it took them less than fifteen minutes to carry out the kidnap. They drove onto the third mainland bridge in no time and were on their way to the hideout. Their guns were cocked and ready to shoot in case of an unexpected police checkpoint on the way. They were lucky as the only checkpoint they came across didn’t stop them and they drove to their hideout.

In no time, news had gotten out that there had been a successful kidnap of the son of Mr. Tyler Obi, Lagos big boy and brutal take over boss. Earlier in the week, news had reported how he had brutally acquired two upcoming blue chip startups and how tempers were flared in the process. So typically, tongues started wagging, ascertaining that maybe one of the aggrieved parties had carried out the kidnap.

Stella could not believe her ears when Tyler got back home that evening with news of her son’s abduction. She cried and cried and prayed to God to please save her son. She didn’t know what she’d do if anything were to happen to him. “God, I have spent many years taking care of other people’s children and not one of them had died in the process. If you truly are a caring God, please let me son come back home safely and unhurt” she cried out to God in prayer.

It had taken two days before Skido and his team contacted Tyler. He didn’t give the kidnappers a chance to talk and started shouting on top of his voice over the phone. “Do you know who I am? If anything happens to my son, I will have your heads on a platter” he swore.

Skido knew it was the ranting of a wounded man and let the rude remark pass. He informed him to tell the police to steer clear else they would hurt his son. He eventually agreed and they told him the ransom for Sam Obi would be twenty million naira and in cash and gave him two days to make the payment or they would harm his son.

Tyler informed the police of the plan and contacted his bank that he needed the twenty million naira in cash from his account and told them the cash needed to be marked so that it can be tracked. The police also deployed plain cloths detectives to be on the case so that the culprits can be bought to book.

Meanwhile, Skido and his team were making arrangements on the drop off location and who would be in the best position to pick up the cash. Dele who had become used to the pick-up activities volunteered again and they decided to pair him with another guy called Moses.

On the day of the collection, they called Tyler again and confirmed again from him that he should not involve the police, to which he replied in the affirmative. His wife was with him when the call came in and she knew he lied. Immediately the call was disconnected, she knelt and hugged his leg, begging him to obey them and just let them have the money.

“Tyler, please I am aware the bills have been marked. Must you disobey and inform the police of the drop off point? What if it backfires and we lose our son or even you in the process?”

“Don’t worry dear, I didn’t work hard for my money and end up giving it to some criminal just because he said so. I will call the police right away and inform them I have been contacted and also tell the exact location to meet me”.

“I won’t allow you do that Tyler. Don’t you watch movies? These kidnappers are professionals and would be watching from a safe distance even before your arrival and once they see any suspicious movements, they will get angry, leave and that might be the end. Tyler, please listen to me and do the right thing”

Her last statement somehow convinced him and he decided to do as his wife suggested. He waited for the call which took another two hours and the exact drop off location was given to him.

He left the house with his driver and went to the bank after he had called the bank manager. He picked up the money from the bank and made his way to the drop off location. Unknown to him, the police were tailing him as they knew he would have gotten scared by the kidnappers and not inform them of the plans anymore.

They tailed him by driving at a safe distance to avoid suspicions. Tyler got to the location and waited for the kidnappers to contact him. Dele and Moses were on a tree at the location watching him, when they were sure he had not been followed, Dele came down and walked up to Tyler’s car, gun hidden in his trousers covered with his shirt. Moses also had a gun with him on the tree.

When dele was walking up to him, Tyler felt he had seen him before but couldn’t place where. He was so sure he had seen him before and took a mental description of his features to give the police later to enable them track him down.

While Dele was walking, the police who had secretly traced Tyler quietly took position in different areas watching. Moses had not seen them as they also camouflaged with attires that looked like leaves. Dele finally got to Tyler and Tyler came out of the car but his driver sat in the car with the money and the car engine was still running to make a quick escape if the need arose.

“Where is my son you fool?” Tyler blurted. “I have the money you want and won’t bring it out until I see him”

“We do not carry our victim around in case people like you try to play smart” responded Dele and he brought out his phone and dialed the safe house where Sam was being kept. He handed the phone over to Tyler to speak to his son.

“Hello, Sam is that you?”

“Yes dad, it’s me Sam. Dad please cooperate with them so that this can all be over”

“Are they hurting you at all?” quizzed Tyler

“No dad, on the contrary, I am being treated like a king. They said the expenses I have incurred would be deducted from the ransom, so please dad, kindly pay up so I can be free”

“Listen son, I ….” But Dele grabbed the phone from his hands and cut him short.

“You have said enough and that is confirmation that your son is fine. You pay us and in one hour, you will have your son back”

The police didn’t know Moses was on the tree but knew Dele couldn’t have come alone and springing out of hiding would put Tyler and even his son in danger, so they stayed hidden.

Suddenly Tyler lost his mind. The thought of parting with such a huge sum of money to strangers was too much for him to handle and he grabbed Dele by the shirt.

“You swine, have you ever had to work for a dime in your life? Taking money that doesn’t belong to you, I won’t let it” Dele was shocked but managed to stay calm.

“Get hold of yourself Oga, all we want is the exchange to go smoothly or don’t you want to see your son again?” and in that moment of anger, Dele suddenly remembered the man that growled at him years ago when he begged him for money and he saw the recognition, it was unmistakably the same man!

Dele was angry at the way Tyler held onto his shirt but more furious because he remembered how Tyler had not even given him the opportunity to beg him for money years ago before chasing him off the side of the car that day and he was livid with rage. He held on to Tyler’s shirt too, shaking him viciously.

Moses was shocked at the turn of things, the police too were not sure what to do but had to stay alert in case of any eventualities and in seconds, they saw Dele pull out his gun from behind his shirt and point it at Tyler and in split seconds, he pulled the trigger and Tyler fell down in a pool of blood. Moses jumped down from the tree and ran to meet Dele, the driver couldn’t drive the car because he was in shock.

The police also came out of hiding and there was sporadic shooting. Moses and Dele fired at the police but they were outnumbered. Dele got shot on the head and fell down onto Tyler’s body. Moses got a bullet in the leg and he surrendered his gun. Tyler’s car was badly ridden with bullet because Dele and Moses used it as a shield but the driver was lucky as he was unhurt.

They grabbed Moses by the collar and dragged him into the police van and called for the ambulance to take away the bodies of Dele and Tyler. They called for backup and drove to the safe house with Moses.

 

Chapter Eleven

Moses knew it was over and didn’t want to be the only one who gets punished and decided to cooperate with the police, they also promised him a lighter sentence.

He called Skido and spoke in feigned excitement despite the pain from his bleeding leg.

“Skido, we don make am. We don collect am and we dey on our way”

“Hope nobody see you oh?” Skido asked

“No Skido, clean and clear, expect us in five minutes” as they were already two houses from the safe house. As soon as Moses hung up, Skido and the others went into jubilation and let down their guard. They went and poured themselves drinks, waiting for Moses and Dele to show up any moment. The next knock on the door was Moses and once they heard his voice, opened it but were shocked when he was accompanied by policemen.

Their guns were not on them as they had not envisaged an attack. The police raided them all, five in number with the injured Moses. Sam was set free and taken to the hospital to check him out before they take him home. He had not been informed of his father’s death. Skido refused to name who their sponsor was, he claimed he would die rather than betray his boss.

When Stella tried her husband’s phone and it rang without being answered severally, she felt something was wrong but never thought the news of Tyler dying was what it would be. When the doorbell rang and Sam and the driver with some policemen came in, she feared the worst. They broke the sad news to her and her world came crashing at the news, Sam ran to her and held her amidst sobs and screaming.

 

************************************

Tyler was buried and Sam decided to stay longer to stay with his mother and sister. Dele’s body was unclaimed as Skido didn’t even know where he lived, so no one could inform his father or brother of his demise.

The police still haven’t been able to find Skido’s boss as he wasn’t saying anything. Skido and his team were sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor.

 

Every opportunity we have in life to help someone in need, let us not relent, for you may never know who you might have rescued from the path of destruction…

 

 

THE END

Copyright © 2018 Oluwakemi Odusanya

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, shared or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, copy and pasting or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

 

 

 

RESCUE Part 1

Chapter One

 

The cloud grew thicker and darker, looming over the horizons were signs of a heavy downpour. The wind had gathered its gust and threatening to pull down everything in its wake, trees, roofs and all. Feet shuffled hurriedly as everyone scampered to get to their homes or a place of temporary abode till the first heavy downpour subsides or ends.

Papa Dele ran inside and shut the two windows in his dingy one room apartment, he finished on time and ran outside to help his wife clear the remaining local frying pots and spoons before the threatening downpour. He had just kept the last item in the steel box made by the local welder on their street for her to keep her pots and pans after the day’s sale of bean cakes, called “akara”.

They both dashed into the room just as the first huge drop of rain fell on the worn out roofing sheet on their house. Mama Dele checked on her children, Dele, Bode and Yemisi, huddled at the corner of the room, surrounded by bags of sack used in keeping their clothes and other belongings. The children hated rainfall, especially when it was not yet night time as it always disrupted the little time they spent playing games or hide and seek before bed time.

Mama Dele, thankfully had made dinner of concoction rice and boiled eggs and had brought it into the room earlier as the small kitchen she shared with nine other co-tenants would be too crowded most evenings thereby leaving no room for her to conveniently prepare her meals.

They lit a lantern as the rain brought about early darkness, ate their food in silence and hoped the rain would subside early, at least to enjoy the moonlight tales by their neighbour, mama Tobe. Mama Tobe grew up living with her grandmother hence had loads of children stories to tell, she always gathered the children in the evenings and engaged them with moonlight tales.

Thankfully at about half past six in the evening, the rain gradually came to an end and though the weather was a bit cold, the children were not deterred. They excitedly knocked on mama Tobe’s door to come out and share the story of the day. As soon as mama Dele’s children stepped out, her husband pulled her close and started caressing her. As he placed his hands gently on the bulge on her tummy, she wriggled away from his grasp.

“My husband, the children will be back soon. Would you want them to come in and meet us doing it?” she asked.

“But Mama Tobe’s stories takes about an hour, I will be done by then. Don’t deny me oo, you know it is my right”. He replied

“I am tired, look at us, three children and another on the way and we are holed up in this one room apartment”

“Children are blessings from the Lord my dear wife, He gave them to us and He will surely help us take care of them all.”

Pulling her close to himself again “Oya, come jor, don’t use style and escape me this evening oh, I want it now” he said as he pulled her back into his embrace.

Few minutes later, panting and sweaty all over, he rolled off his wife and they both hurriedly got dressed before the children came in. Mama Dele took a towel and carried a bucket and went out of the room, got water from the borehole tap just outside the house and went to the roofing sheet covered bathroom which all the tenants shared, she would not be able to sleep without a bath, not after her husband’s escapade that night. She returned few minutes later just as mama Tobe was rounding up the stories, she bid her goodnight and went into the house with her children.

Her husband locked up the door to their room and the children brought out their sleeping mats from underneath the only bed in the room. There was no pillow to cushion their heads, so they rolled up worn out wrappers and placed under their heads as pillows.

Mama Dele stared into the ceiling that night after her husband bid her goodnight, rolled over and started snoring almost immediately. She had wanted a better life for herself and children but somehow, she had not been able to achieve it. The meagre amount she made daily from the sale of her bean cakes would be finished almost as soon as she collected it. She made sure she had her initial capital set aside to enable her continue to fry her bean cakes every day.

Her husband on the other hand, a local carpenter does not make enough to support, his business was not regular and sometimes people owe him for months after he would have completed their jobs, most especially the people they regarded as rich in the society. She often wondered why they would not pay up what they owe on time, and most times they looked like they just stepped out of a magazine, looking like a million dollars.

She gently rubbed her palm on the new life growing inside her. She hated herself for allowing it happen. She had not known that the after morning contraceptive had finished and she forgot to buy the next morning. She remembered three days later and prayed she would escape it but she was late. The seed had already taken root and was germinating beautifully. She knew she would have to register for her antenatal care but they barely managed to feed. She was still thinking about how to cope with all the challenges before her as she drifted off to sleep.

 

 

Chapter two

Stella and Tyler Obi had been married for ten years and their love waxed stronger by the day. They were blessed with two children, the eldest Sam and his younger sister Betty. Theirs was an example of a blessed family. Tyler worked with one of the most sought after prestigious telecommunication company on Victoria Island and had risen to a managerial position. He was loved by his superiors for his doggedness and shrewdness which had won him lots of contracts for his company, he hoped one day to be a partner. His company also had a subsidiary created mainly for acquiring small startup companies, taking them apart and turning them into thriving masterpieces. Some of the acquisitions have been brutal and Tyler was always the man at the helm.

Stella on the other hand was the opposite. She got a job immediately after her NYSC at a non-governmental organization at Lekki and she had worked there ever since. She loved to help and stayed on in the organization despite her small take home package. Her husband had given up three years after their wedding when he realized his wife would rather give all she owned to a charity and church, hence his decision not to meddle in her affairs when it was work related. As far as he was concerned, she was doing charity work with her salary and the beneficiary was her employer.

Lately she resigned from the NGO she worked and decided to set up her own charity organization to cater to children on the streets who had no one to take care of them. She hoped to put them in homes or foster care and support them till they finished the university. She believed that the community would be a much better place if more children were taken off the streets instead of allowing them stay there and be lured into criminal activities that would endanger their lives and much more, the society at large.

She had enough funding as her husband gave her a huge startup capital. She rented an office near their home at Lekki and hired two support staff. She was happy because she was doing what she loved to do most. She partnered with orphanage homes and the state government on effective foster care for displaced children. She knew she would have accomplished her goal if she saw a reduced number of homeless children beggars on the street and that was the motivation for her to do much more.

Her children also had the best of education and enjoyed a vacation at least once every year. They had never seen a blackout before due to the huge inverter and battery their father had installed in their home. They both had their separate rooms and Sarah had engaged the services of a maid to help around the house, to allow her children focus on their education. Life was generally sweet for the Obi’s and they couldn’t have asked for more.

Stella spends her evenings doting on her children, Tyler comes home late and the weekend had been reserved solely for him. She loved family time and was always seeking new ways to help hers bond more. She had been a product of a broken home and knew how sad her growing up years were. Her father left when she was five years old and she had never set eyes on him since then. There were not even sure he was still alive but her mother had used every opportunity to lash out at her, blaming her existence to the reason she was tied to a loveless marriage.

Her mother’s words echoed in her mind “if not that I had you Stella, I would have left your father long ago. I wish you had never been conceived, I would not be burdened by the responsibility of taking care of you and I would have been a free woman”

Her mother never remarried and lived like a woman scorned. She was a bitter woman and sometimes acted a little wicked, thereby not having many friends until she passed on few years earlier.

Stella was determined to let her children experience the love of a mother she was starved of and she was grateful she also had a husband who loved her to bits. Life could never be better. She had a great job and a beautiful family, she had great friends and living purposefully, she was indeed blessed!

 

 

Chapter Three

 

The aroma of mama Dele’s hot bean cakes filled the air and a group of people had gathered to buy for themselves. Amongst them was Oga Paul her faithful customer. He had travelled out of Lagos for a few weeks and had missed her bean cakes. He waited for the last man to leave and with a worried look on his face spoke to mama Dele.

“Madam, I know it is none of my business oh but I don’t think you should be having another baby at this time”

“Oga Paul, I know say you thought hard about it before you could voice out your reservations like this and I know it is because you care. I know but this one is mistake oh, I didn’t plan it”

“Okay then, maybe you should go for family planning after the child is born, they will help you with protection so that you won’t make such mistakes again”

“Thank you sir, I will do as you have said. I promise not to have any more after this one”

With that said, he collected his own bean cake and left, leaving his change with her, he told her to buy something for her children with it. She gladly offered her thanks and squeezed the money in her waist pouch. Exactly one hour later, she had finished selling all the bean cakes for that day and cleared her utensils. The time was 1pm and she knew her children would be back from school and hurriedly went to prepare their lunch of beans porridge.

While cooking, her mind drifted to what Oga Paul said earlier and she knew he was right. She ought to have listened to the nurse who dressed her up when she had her third baby. The nurse told her to get it done before leaving the hospital but the thought of inserting something into herself was not comforting and she also knew she would not be able to keep up with the occasional injections or pills. She told the nurse she would go home and discuss with her husband on the best alternative but she never went back. She made up her mind right there and then to get it done once she had the baby.

She suddenly remembered that she had not bought all the requirements for the hospital and she made a mental note to stop by at the market the next day to make some purchases.

The shouts and screams from her children as they arrived from school brought her out from her thoughts. She was always happy whenever they were around her, they light up her world and made her proud to be a mother. She was glad they came back just as their lunch got ready. She served them while they chatted about their day at school. She was amused at Dele’s story about his seat mate, Fred, who farted in class and the whole students ran out of the classroom. She made sure they did their homework before going out to play. Her husband came home later and as usual, the evening ended without any drama, mama Tobe also was tired and had no strength to tell stories that night.

 

 

 

Chapter Four

 

Mama Dele woke up in the middle of the night due to sharp pains she was experiencing in her abdomen. She was still three months before her due date and assumed it must be a false labor alarm but felt it was too soon for her to start experiencing it. She nudged her husband but he was deeply asleep and didn’t even stir. She lay down on her tummy and hoped the pain would subside. She managed to get some sleep later on.

By morning, the pain had become unbearable and she knew she would need to visit the hospital. She managed to prepare her children for school and decided against frying bean cakes that morning. Her husband walked the children to school rushed back home to assist his wife to the hospital. They emptied her cash box and brought out all the proceeds from sale the previous day as they were not sure how much the drugs the doctors would prescribe would cost.

They arrived at the hospital and the pain had grown worse. The doctor on duty advised that she be admitted straight away especially seeing that she was pregnant. Series of test were conducted and during the ultrasound, the doctor found something near the ovaries but he had no name for it yet. A sonogram was later carried out and it surely was a tumor the size of an egg that was discovered. The doctor gently broke the news to them and said there would be a way out.

He was shocked she had not had serious cramps before then and he concluded that the growth of the fetus reduced the space the tumor occupied hence the severe pain she felt. Mama Dele could not believe her ears and she burst into tears. Her husband also followed suit as the magnitude of the situation there were in dawned on him. He later calmed down and calmed his wife and promised her they would find a way out of it.

The doctor referred them to a teaching hospital where he claimed they had better equipment and personnel to deal with the situation. She was discharged the following day armed with a reference letter to the state specialist hospital. The pain subsided a little, she was given strong pain killers to help her manage it.

The trip to the teaching hospital seemed like the longest journey they had ever embarked upon as the rickety cab they boarded dragged on in snail’s pace. They finally arrived and because she was referred, she was able to see the specialist on time. More tests, scan and pap smear were carried out and it was confirmed, she had abnormally distended abdomen due to huge ovarian tumor and that it was cancerous. She would need to undergo surgery as soon as the baby was born.

It was an earth shattering moment and they both wept again. Her husband couldn’t hold himself together, he was broken. The hospital gave them different options on managing the situation till she put to bed as surgery was not an option since she was already heavy. But that they could arrange to have a specialist flown in who had carried out a surgery on a pregnant woman before that was successful. The cost of course would have to be borne by them and nowhere in the world would they find such amount of money to pay. The doctor gave her more pain killers strong enough but not strong enough to harm the fetus.

They got home and sat in moody silence until the children returned from school. They knew they couldn’t break such news to their children if they returned from school and hoped the situation would be sorted out on time before the children got wind of it. She prepared lunch for the family as usual, ignoring the pain she was going through.

At night too, neither she nor her husband could sleep, the thought of the aliment heavy on their minds. Her husband eventually gave in to the beautiful arms of sleep, he had endured the most nerve wrecking day of his life and his body couldn’t take the wake anymore, though his mind was in turmoil.  He tossed and turned on the bed all night, a sign that his mind and brain wasn’t getting the rest it needed.

The following morning was a Saturday, hence the children slept for much longer to make up for the weekday rush hour. Mama Dele woke up as early as 6am and smiled a little when she realized her pain had subsided a little. She attributed it to the drugs she was given and hoped it would somehow work a miracle and she would never experience the excruciating pain again.

Two hours later, after the children had their breakfast and her husband was in the bathroom, she felt the pain again. She screamed and slumped on the floor just as her husband walked in, he rushed to her side and lifted her off the ground on the bed and sprinkled some water on her face. She stirred and opened her eyes, she could see that he was scared and helpless. He picked up his phone and called his elder brother, crying on the phone that he isn’t sure he could handle the situation anymore.

His elder bro, Bade promised to be with him in the next few minutes as he lived about 20km away. An hour later he arrived and mama Dele was sitting on the bed at that time. He looked from his brother to his wife to explain what the matter was and his brother told him all that had transpired.

“So you would have kept all these from your family? And when did you intend to tell us?” he queried them

Broda mi, you know I don’t always like to harass others with my own problems. I believed my wife and I would be able to handle it. But when I came in this morning and met her slumped on the floor, my heart broke and I had to call you”

Mama Dele sat through the discussion between both men, hoping that uncle Bade would be able to offer some form of solution, maybe a cooperative where they could borrow money for the surgery.

“See, I know someone who handles cases like this. He had been in the business for years and has had lots of successes. I believe he can take care of this matter too, all these doctors only want to syphon money from gullible people like you.”

Broda mi, are you sure? I don’t want to worsen the matter oh?” he looked at his wife to see if she would nod in consent or refusal but her face was expressionless. His brother eventually took his leave promising to get back to them the next day with more information on the way forward.

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

Mama Dele and her husband discussed more after he left and she told him she would have nothing to do with her in-law’s suggestion. She told him she had a bad feeling about it and would prefer to manage the pain till she put to bed so that she would be able to have the surgery.

The next day she went back to the hospital and complained of the excruciating pain and the doctor gave her some analgesic to reduce it and told her he can’t give her stronger pain killers because of her condition. On the way back home, her mind dwelled on the alternative solution uncle Bade suggested. She had not been able to sell her bean cakes for a few days and it was already telling on their finance as they took all they had to the hospital during the first visit. She decided she might just have to go with the plan as she wanted relief from the pain.

As soon as she entered their one room apartment, her children ran to her and retrieved her bag, for anytime she went out, she always made sure she had some goodies in her bag for her children. She noticed uncle Bade seated on a wooden stool and she greeted him.

“Our wife, how are you feeling today? Your husband said you went back to the hospital, any better news today?”

“They gave me more pain killers and said I have to manage it till I deliver sir”

“Hmmm!! I was just telling your husband that I have seen the medicine man he gave me the one touch drink, it is fast action and he has used it to cure lots of people from different growths in their bodies and ailments too”

“But my in-law, is it not proper for him to see me first before prescribing any drug?”

“I understand your fears, but this drink is a miracle one, one dosage is enough to melt any abnormal growth you might have, that’s why it is called one touch. Trust me my wife, I will not bring any harm to you”

Her husband also joined in persuading her to try the drink and not throw the idea away because of her skepticism. She promised to take the drink so as not to appear ungrateful seeing that uncle Bade went to much trouble to get it. She managed to prepare some food for him before leaving and he also gave her the dosage on how to use the one touch drink.

She drank it that night before going to bed and few minutes later, she felt empty, it was as if something cleared up everything in her tummy. She nudged her husband excitedly “It seems this thing is working oh”. He sat up and asked her how she knew and she was able to explain that she felt absolutely no pain and felt brand new. They slept off minutes later and there was not a sound till morning as they all slept peacefully.

 

********************************************

He was running so fast he knew he had to slow down, there was so much noise in his ears he tried to shut it to no avail. The noise kept getting louder and louder and suddenly he started falling down into what seemed like bottomless pit, he tried to scream but nothing came out and the noise still kept on getting louder and there was pitch darkness…

With a jump, baba Dele woke up from his nightmare only to be jolted back to reality by the sound of the alarm, then he realized the alarm sound was the noise he heard in the dream. His, eyes got accustomed to the darkness in the room due to the curtain and he touched his wife, gently nudging her awake. It was very unlike her to sleep through the alarm, the drink must have really helped her sleep better.

He decided to let her sleep a little so he got up and switched on the light and proceeded to wake up the children to prepare for school. Then he turned to look at his wife again and saw her sleeping peacefully and he could swear there was a glow about her. But something made him try to wake her up again as he knew next to nothing about preparing the children for school, he had not really been the domestic one. He tapped and shook her gently, no answer. He gently patted her again and then he knew something was wrong, he shook her vigorously and still she lay there not responding. He called her name to no avail and he feared the worst. He carried her into his arms, shouting her name, screaming and crying all at once.

This cannot be happening, he laid her back and ran out of the room and screamed for help so that his neighbours could come to his aid. In minutes, his room was filled with neighbours and one of them took Dele and his siblings to their room to prevent them from the commotion going on.

They got a cab and took her straight to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

 

 

Continue reading “RESCUE Part 1”