AMAZING LOVE - Episode 27

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Ekaette’s father, Mr. Efiong, was not convinced about what his wife was about to do. He knew it was wrong to claim that the man Eka wa...

Ekaette’s father, Mr. Efiong, was not convinced about what his wife was about to do. He knew it was wrong to claim that the man Eka was living with abducted her. Even if the man had had carnal knowledge of her, he knew they were to blame. Trying to use the police against that man, whoever he was, did not sit well on his conscience. He also knew that the money they had been offered was an indication that all KN said was not entirely true. At the police station, Mr. Efiong pulled his wife aside and communed with her. NK drew close to hear them but Mr. Efiong asked her to excuse them. She wasn’t comfortable with that but she had to give them some space. Whatever Mr. Efiong told his wife left an expression of shock on her face, and KN craved to know what it was they talked about. Mr. Efiong went over to the counter and told one of the policemen on duty that he had a case to report to them. “What is the matter sir?” asked the police officer. “I have a daughter, a teenage girl, she has been missing for quite a while; the lady here claims to have the knowledge of her whereabouts. According to her my daughter is living with a man at the moment somewhere in the city. I and my wife intend to recover our daughter or at least see her.” “How long has this daughter of yours been missing?” “She has been missing for many months now,” replied Mr. Efiong. “How old is she and how did she get missing? Did she run away from home, or was she abducted by the man in question? Tell me what really happened?” As Mr. Efiong made to answer the barrage of questions the officer asked him, another police officer asked him, “You said your daughter has been missing for many months, how come you did not report she was missing all this while? What are you not telling us?”

“Yes, my colleague is right. Why did you not report that your daughter was missing for many months?” Mr. Efiong was tongue tied he searched his head very fast to come up with a convincing answer. NK who was slowly retreating from the police station drew closer to Mr. Efiong and said, “You should have followed what I told you. To see your daughter you have to follow what I told you.” “Oga police, we had a misunderstanding with our daughter and she ran away from home. We have been waiting for her to return, but as it is she is not going to return home if we do not involve the police, especially now that we have heard that she is living with a man in the city.” “You have not told us how old this daughter of your daughter is. If she is eighteen years old, there is nothing we can do about it.” “She is fifteen years. I just want to see her even if she is unwilling to come home.” “Have you met the man she is living with and asked her to come home and she refused? Is the man holding her in his house against her will?” Mr. Efiong got angry and yelled, “My daughter is a minor! She is susceptible to the tricks of men and cannot yet make a decision for herself! It is my responsibility to protect her till she is of age to make her decision about matters as serious as men! What does a fifteen year old girl know about men?”

“Please sir, don’t raise your voice on us, this is a police station. How could your daughter go missing for many months and you didn’t care to report to the police that she was missing and one day you show up here claiming she is living with a man. Have you met this man in question?” “My sister has seen her! She would not see me because we have not been in good terms. But even at that I want her back.” “Where is your sister who met your daughter?” Mr. Efiong pointed at NK. NK stepped forward, relishing the chance to give her twisted version of the matter on hand. “If she was your sister, why did you introduce her to us as ‘this lady’? Sir your ways are not straight. Who is this lady to you?” “Is she not a lady?! Tell me officer, what is wrong with calling her a lady?” The policeman let that pass and turned to NK, “Madam, please tell us what actually happened?” “My brother’s daughter Ekaette is missing. We are very sorry not to have reported the matter earlier. Please forgive the levity of our conduct in that regard.  We did not come running to the station the moment she left home because she had left home several times and came back. But as it is, she clearly has made up her mind not to return. As her parents, it is our duty to reconcile with her and protect her from harm. We do not know the man she is living with, nor has the man thought it worthy to come to us. I have personally gone to see this man and Ekaette; but from what Ekaette told me, the man has promised her he would marry her and being as young as she is, her head has been turned. She is not going to come home if we do not involve the police in this matter. Please help us officer. I am very sorry if my brother got on your nerves with his lousy presentation of the matter.”

“It is okay madam. Where is this man at the moment?” “He lives in the city, particularly on Euston Deeny Street Southeastern district.” “We have a station there. What we will do  is this, your brother will enter the case here as the father of the girl and we will go with you people to Southeastern district police station and from there we will proceed to pick the man up and remove the girl in question from his house. After our investigation, we will proceed to court with the matter.” “I do not want to charge the matter to court yet. All I want for now is to see my daughter,” said Mr. Efiong as his heart raced very fast. He was scared; all they had said at the police station were lies and if the police were to find out the truth he was certain he would go to jail for what he and his wife did to Eka. Their acts of cruelty against Eka were in clear violation of child rights. For once Eka’s mother found her voice; the mention of going to court shook her as well. “Sir, we do not want court case. Under no circumstance would we go to court. We want our daughter that is all.” “Well it is not for us to decide whether the matter will get to court or not; the law will decide that for us,” replied the policeman. His position on that did not sit well with Mr. and Mrs. Efiong. Though they did not protest further in that direction, but they had it in mind to discuss it with NK much later. Mr. Efiong tried his best to include in his statement all that NK said and part of what he said. In the end, his statement was a mish-mash of layer of lies.

The police officer read the statement and took notice of the inconsistencies which riddled it and chose not bring it to their notice. He had a distrust for them and their claims and waited to meet the man they were to pick up and the girl in his house to see how things would pan out. To motivate the policemen NK gave them a good sum of money and in that moment their stance changed and they suddenly became eager to arrest Dr. Gerry. However the IPO, in charge of the case still held them in much suspicion. Before they left with the police to arrest Dr. Gerry, the police followed Ekaette’s father to his house to know where he was living. That afforded NK the opportunity to give them the money she had offered to them earlier. Mr. Efiong took the money into his bedroom and asked his wife to join him. In there he made known to her his reservations for what they had begun to do, “I have the feeling that we have hurt Eka yet again, but this time even worse than we did earlier. We are not to spend this money. Not one Kobo of it should be removed. I do not know how this is going to end. We must make plans to wriggle ourselves out of this, in case thing get messy.” “You are not alone in that feeling. I suddenly have cold feet about this. Did you see the way NK lied at the police station without batting an eyelid? How do we then know that what she told us is true? I regret going to the police station today. I allowed my feelings to get the better of me. I wish we had sent her home to discuss the matter very well and even with our neighbours,” said Eka’s mother.

“What is done is done. When I was calling you to wait you refused. We cannot go back now; we must follow them to the city to see Eka.” “But we can tell them to go with NK,” Eka’s mother suggested. “God forbid! Do you know what that lie-telling monster might do in our name in the city? We must go with her.” The two of the got dressed and joined NK, Michael and the police and they left for the city.

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 27 An African Literary Blog
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