THE PROMISE - Episode 14

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - detective inspector, CCT cameras, Eurostar, son, near your apartment in Regents’ Park, love, coma, King’s Cross St. Pancras, taxi, France.

“Calm down Everest. We will find your son,” the policeman said to him. “How am I supposed to calm down when my wife is in coma and my son is missing?” “Worrying will not solve either problem. Please calm down. The detective inspector is coming to brief you.” “I need answers. Oh God, please keep Kingsley from harm,” Everest prayed. Hannah dashed into the police station. “Any news?” She asked hysterically. “No…I am so stressed,” Everest answered and Hannah hugged him. The detective inspector walked into the lobby. “Please come to the office with me Mr. Everest,” he announced. He was a tall lanky man in his mid-fifties. His spectacles hung on his nose, barely reaching his eye as though he did not really need them for his sight. He seemed as though he would break when he walked because of his lanky height. In the office, he sat down and gestured at Everest and Hannah to do the same in the chair in front of him. “This is Hannah, a friend of my wife’s and I. I hope it is okay if she stays.” Everest remarked. “It is fine by me if you want her to stay.”

He handed his card to Everest. “You will need to contact me over the course of this investigation. My number is there. I have written my mobile number at the back for you. As you can see on the card, my name is Michael Chapman…Detective Inspector Michael Chapman. So far, we have been poring over all the forensic evidence we collected from your apartment and the home of Miss Uremma Umunna. From all indications, it appears she took your son and disappeared with him. We don’t think she was kidnapped with your son or something like that. She took all her important personal effects like tooth paste and brush, body lotion, hair straightener, perfume…you know, the regular things you carry on you when you travel. So, this is a premeditated plan to take your son and disappear for reasons we are yet to unravel. In addition, we have seen her on a CCTV camera not far from your apartment. She was carrying your son around 3:00PM towards Marylebone Road. We checked the CCT cameras at Baker Street tube station and there is no sign of her there. Obviously, she knew that we’d be looking at those cameras, so she avoided the tube station. We think she took a taxi somewhere on Marylebone Road to her destination. We are scouring CCT cameras in the city. For now, nothing has turned up yet. We don’t think she wants to kill your son. She has no record of violence. Did you have any disagreement with her?”

Everest took a deep breath first. “She wanted to sleep with me yesterday but I turned her down.” “A jilted woman…that is an important motivation. I need to pass that information to my team out in the street. Please hold on for a moment.” Inspector Chapman ran out and returned to the office moments later. “We are checking the border between the UK and France too, just in case she took the Eurostar across to European mainland. My team is asking questions at the Eurostar station at King’s Cross St. Pancras while looking through hours of CCT footage. We will find her.” “I hope she is still in the country,” Everest said. He looked deflated. “They will find her,” Hannah said while placing her hand on his. “I knew she wanted to sleep with you the moment I saw her dressed like that yesterday,” she added.

“On the other hand, we got a match for the DNA we extracted from a cigarette stub found under a tree near your apartment in Regents’ Park the day your wife was shot,” Chapman continued. “Who is it?” Everest asked elatedly. “The name of the person whose DNA matches the DNA from the cigarette stub is a once petty thief by the name Ronald Maguire. He is from Hackney and he has been in jail a number of times in the past for theft and drug-related offences. We seriously think he is involved given his record. It is not a coincidence that a Hackney criminal was snooping around behind your apartment the day your wife was shot. Do you know anyone by that name?” “I have never heard that name in my life before.” “I thought so.” “Have you arrested him?” Hannah asked. “Not yet but we are after him with all the resources we have. He lives in the street, so he is difficult to find him, but I can assure you, we will. We will be running his pictures and those of Miss Uremma Umunna on national TV starting tonight. They can’t go far,” Chapman assured him. “They will find them both of them, Everest,” Hannah added.

 Raleen woke up with a terrible headache. She had been unconscious for several hours. “How do you feel honey?” Abhimanyu asked. He was near tears sitting on the edge of the bed watching over her. “I think Lydia tried to kill me,” she answered somberly. “What really happened?” Abi asked her. “I am really sorry Abi, I have not been fully honest with you,” she started. “What do you mean?” “I truly have fallen in love with you and that’s all that matters, but it did not actually start like that. Lydia set me up with you. She had me track you down and get you to fall for me.” “What? You know Lydia?” “I am very sorry Abi, but I love you now. I truly love you. You need to believe me. I couldn’t breathe without you. You have transformed my life with love and care. You have shown me what true love is all about. Yes, I set out to hurt you originally – to make you fall deeply in love with me and then dump you hard. As you unzipped your heart to me, I fell for the beautiful soul that you are. Please tell me you understand,” she begged him.

Abhimanyu took a deep breath. “I never want to have anything to do with Lydia, Raleen.” “And you won’t. I am through with her. She tried to kill me…I think she tried to take my life!!” “How do you mean?” She described the events of the previous day to him. As if on cue, the paramedic who had been asking questions when Raleen was carted away to the hospital walked in with a doctor. “We would like to have a quiet chat with you Raleen,” the doctor said. “Please go ahead. I want my boyfriend here with me,” she replied. “Were you in this hospital sometime two years ago?” The paramedic asked Abhimanyu. “Yes, I was actually.” “I thought I recognized you. You had a major heart problem and sever stomach dysfunction that kept you in coma for several months, right?” “Yes.” “Interestingly, your girlfriend suffered similar symptoms yesterday. We are trying to find the link between the two events – yours and hers. You may have been poisoned,” the doctor finally spoke. “Poisoned?” Abhimanyu asked.

“Yes. We are currently reanalyzing your samples that we stored away in the freezer alongside Raleen’s. There are strong indications that the two of you may have ingested a deadly toxic compound. Which of you does the cooking?” Both Raleen and Abhimanyu explained that they had both been fed food and/or drink by Lydia just before taking ill. “Where is she now?” The doctor asked. “She was in her apartment the last time I saw her. It is on the top floor of the building where you picked me up. I think it is apartment 2B,” Raleen answered. “You need to report this to the police immediately,” the doctor instructed the paramedic who dashed out of the room.

Uremma sat on the edge of the bed, talking to Kingsley who had just stopped crying. They were in a small hotel room in Prague, the Czech Republic. She had sneaked across the border on a Eurostar train to France. Soon after picking up Kingsley from daycare, she took him to Everest’s apartment and picked her things up. She boarded a taxi to her apartment where she carefully disguised herself. She wore a huge Afro wig, a pair of sunshades and shiny lipstick. She was hardly recognizable. She took Kinsley quickly to King’s Cross St. Pancras and bought a ticket for Paris. She had permanent residency in the UK, so the customs staff at the Eurostar station was lenient, otherwise, she would have had to produce Kingsley’s passport or visa. “I am a permanent resident here. Please, we need to travel to Paris to see my husband. My son has not seen his father in nearly three weeks. His job is very tedious, please let us through. He is my son, obviously,” she explained herself away. Kingsley giggled and waved at the customs agent who waved back and let them through. From Paris, she boarded a train to Germany and then another one to Prague.

When she turned on the TV, she was terrified by what she saw. On the screen was an image of her. Scotland Yard had declared a total manhunt for her and another young man by the name, Ronald Maguire for kidnapping and attempted murder respectively. Their pictures were running on millions of TV screens across Europe. “Scotland Yard has reason to believe that the young lady in question is in France. A taxi driver in London claims to have dropped a lady whose height and physique fits Uremma Umunna’s at Eurostar train station St. King’s Cross St. Pancras. Miss Uremma is possibly disguised and is believed to be in possession of a young boy only some months old. She is black and about 6 foot 2 inches. Please report any sighting of Uremma Umunna to Scotland Yard by calling this number, 078456722. Please call +44 first if you are outside the UK,” the TV announcer added.

Uremma began to panic. She was not expecting an all-out manhunt by Scotland Yard. She looked through the window to see if someone was watching her room. There did not seem to be anyone watching her. I have to get out of here fast, she thought. That Everest, he will suffer. He jilted me twice. When we were only sixteen, he kissed me…he got me going and dumped me just like that. I offered myself to him and he made me look like an idiot. And now, he has done it again. I will run with Kingsley until his heart is broken to pieces…just like he broke mine, she concluded. She had ditched her phone number in Paris. She had a new pay-as-you-go Czech sim card, which she had bought on her way to the hotel. She inserted it in her phone, activated the line and called Everest. She made sure to hide her number before calling him. She had memorized his number. “Hello,” Everest said. “Everest, tell the police to take that announcement off the TV or you will never see Kingsley again. He is lying innocently beside me. I am willing to place a pillow over his nose and suffocate him now if you don’t call off the manhunt!!!” She hung up and turned off the phone before Everest could respond. She removed the sim card and slotted the phone and the sim in her purse. She went to the bathroom and changed her wig to a brighter, curly Nicki Minaj-type wig. She looked at herself in the mirror and tied a band around the wig to hold it in place. Her heart was beating fast. She returned to the bed and began to talk to Kingsley. “Your daddy is stressed out now, King!” She said sadistically. “Dadada!!!” Kingsley replied with an innocent smile.
Story Continues...

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 14
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - detective inspector, CCT cameras, Eurostar, son, near your apartment in Regents’ Park, love, coma, King’s Cross St. Pancras, taxi, France. An African Literary Blog
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