LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 19

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - police, The interrogator, naira, Enugu, policeman, Cigarette smoke, Globacom.


“What is your name? Who is Umunna?” Dr. Anyasi asked Ifunanya. “My name is Ifunanya Okoye. Where are my parents? My siblings? Where is my boyfriend, Umunna?” Ifunanya asked. She was still dazed, unaware of where she was. Dr. Anyasi explained to her that she had been brought in by a driver of a pickup truck and that she had undergone surgery to fix her neck injuries and her womb after a miscarriage. “I lost the baby?” she asked feeling her abdomen. “I am, sorry, there was not much we could do.” “I…I don’t really know how to feel about that.” “Why?” asked Dr. Anyasi. “Not to worry, it is a long story. I wanted to have the baby nonetheless. I was already growing attached to the little one that was growing inside me, but…but God knows why I had to miscarry.”

Slowly, she recollected the events of the previous day. Dr. Anyasi quickly rang her parents who arrived at the hospital with Umunna. Also, the driver of the pickup truck was released from police custody following Ifunanya’s account of the events of the past few days. “We are very sorry. The young girl has recovered and she confirms you truly helped her,” a remorseful policeman explained to the driver who had been badly beaten over the past day. They apologized extensively to him and the police commissioner gave him a handsome sum of money for his troubles.


“I am very thrilled to see you again my child,” her father said hugging her. Her mother joined in the hug, walking around her husband to hold Ifunanya. Chikamso and Umunna were in tears and so was Akudo, Ifunanya’s sister. Emeka was released as well following Ifunanya’s account that he was not the one that kidnapped her. “I am very sorry, papa. I don’t know why all these things keep happening to me,” Ifunanya replied. “Stop apologizing! It was not your fault. We will always be here for you my child,” he mother interrupted. “I am never going to let you out of my sight again…never again. If I have to, I will lay my life on the line for you,” Umunna declared. “Thank you so much honey. It is very good to see you again! All of you!” Ifunanya answered.


“So, that is your father’s picture, right?” Chidera asked Nneka who had just arrived in Enugu from her village. “Yes, that is the stupid man,” she replied. “So, how much do you have for the job?” “I have about one hundred and twenty thousand naira.” “That is not enough. You need at least a hundred and fifty if you want the job done by a real expert, unless you want an amateur to do it for you, which might not work eventually.” “No, I want an expert. Take, this is one hundred and twenty thousand naira. I will give you the rest when the job is done. This is the name of my village and here is how to find our house in the village. I want this done as soon as possible, my mother and I need to move back into that house,” Nneka explained handing Chidera a wad of naira notes and a sheaf of paper with information scribbled on each leaf.

“You don’t need to worry. I will make sure that he is down in less than three days,” Ifunanya assured her. “Thank you. This is such a relief.” “What are friends for, Nneka?” “I am really grateful. The situation is such a mess. Really, that man has never done anything for me…for us. He has been a drunk all his life. He is better of gone than alive. I hope you understand?” said Nneka, in a feeble attempt to justify her intention. ‘Oh, yes. I totally understand your position,” Chidera replied. “So, you are staying until tomorrow, right?” “Yes. I will hang out with you girls to clear my head.” “Awesome. Stop worrying. Everything is going to be alright,” Chidera assured her.

By late afternoon the next day, Nneka was getting ready to return to her village in Anambra State. Chidera quickly served her a plate of rice and stew garnished with big lumps of goat meat. Miranda was at work. She had just landed a job with the Enugu State ministry of Information. A guy she had been dating of late made that happen for her. “Thank you very much, Chidera. I cannot explain to you how much this means to me,” Nneka thanked Chidera effusively as she placed a spoon of rice and stew in her mouth. “Come on stop it, Neky. This is nothing. I am sure you’d have done the same for me,” Chidera replied. By the time you finish that rice and return to your village, you’d be dead meat, Chidera thought to herself. Evil girl, your mirror…that your all-seeing mirror no longer works? So you want me to help you now? By the time I am through with you, you’d be six feet below the ground, she continued to mock Nneka in her thought.

Shortly afterwards, both girls hugged at the motor park as Nneka boarded a bus for the trip back home. “I will ring you when I get home,” she said to Chidera as she tucked into her seat on the bus. “Please do,” she replied. That is if you are not dead by then, she thought. On the trip home, Nneka began to experience violent pain in her stomach. The pains got worse by the minute. When she got to her village, she took a commercial motor bike to her grandfather’s house. As soon as she was home, she dropped into bed and began to cry in pain. Her mother ran around the house looking for something to soothe her pains. She quickly ran to the chemist (drug store) with Nneka’s cousin to buy some drugs, which she quickly helped her swallow in an effort to douse the pains.


“Please, Ifeoma help me. This is very important,” Uduma begged. “But I could lose my job giving you that information. We are not allowed to give people’s personal information away. Globacom is bound by law not to release such information to a third party,” Ifeoma explained to him, but Uduma would not take no for an answer. “No one will find out. You sit on the computer all day and the information I want is right on the computer. People are registering their numbers every day, come on this is a matter of life and death. Help me, Ifeoma. If you don’t someone’s life in on the line…seriously,” he pressed hard. “Really?” “Yes. I need to reach the girl who owns the number I gave you. It is a long story, but if I can’t reach her, her uncle who needs her help desperately may die,” Uduma lied.

“But you can ring her up to get her address, Uduma,” Ifeoma insisted. “Yes, I can, but her uncle does not want to bother her. I need to see her in person and explain to her. She was raised by her uncle, but they had problems and fell out. They have not spoken to each other in years. Her uncle is too…too proud to ask for her help. Look, the man is dying. The doctors say he has a rare condition…something to do with his blood, and this girl, her name is Chidera, is the only one who can donate blood to him. Do you want this poor man to die? I need to see her in person and explain things to her. I need to take her to the hospital to see him.”

Uduma and Ifeoma grew up on the same Street in Obiagu before Uduma took to crime. They had stayed in touch somehow, and Uduma knew from Facebook, that Ifeoma had gotten a job with Globacom not too long ago. He had sent Ifeoma a message on Facebook and followed it up with a call. “Okay. I will look for her address and send it to you. I don’t want the old man to die when this girl can actually help him.” “God will bless you, Ifeoma. You will soon be named the CEO of Globacom…Thanks for helping a friend. This dying man’s son is my best friend,” Uduma lied. “Aww! You do have a soft side to you, Uduma. Keep that up. I am proud of you.” “Thanks, Ify,” Uduma said with a smile. That girl Chidera, I will blow off her brains, he thought as a malicious smile traversed his ugly, scar-infested face. “I will text you the girl’s information shortly.” “Thanks again, Ifeoma!”


Gbosaa!!! A brutal blow smashed Agusi’s face. “Where did you get the money?” The police interrogator asked him. “Oga (sir), please,” he cried as blood drizzled lazily down his face. “Stop crying like a child and tell me how you got the money!!!” There was a knock on the door. The muscular interrogator who could barely fit into his police uniform opened the door. Another policeman whispered something into his ears. They conversed in low tones for a few minutes and then, the message bearer left. The interrogator returned to Agusi with a sinister smile hanging lazily on his face. “You are heading back to where it all started for you, criminal – Enugu. We know what is going on. You kidnapped a girl in Enugu and got what you thought was ten million naira from her father.

“Well, what you did not know was that they handed you mostly fake money. We have run the numbers on the fake notes and they match what was sent from Enugu. By tomorrow, they will send you back to Enugu. A team is coming from Enugu to pick you up. The girl whom you kidnapped is ready to identify you and your colleague. We understand there were two of you.” He paused for a moment. My goodness, that stupid Uduma did not even kill the girl? he thought. Katoo!!! The policeman kicked him in the stomach as though he had read his mind. Agusi clutched his aching stomach as tears rained down his face.


Uduma’s phone beeped and he grabbed it excitedly. It was a text from Ifeoma and it read;

Uduma, I found the number you gave me on the system. It belongs to Chidera Isiadinso. She updated her information recently. She contacted our office to indicate that her address changed. Her new address is; 26 Nanka Street, New Haven, Enugu.

I am so proud of you for helping.

Ify.

Uduma smiled. Now, I have her address. I told her that I would find her but she did not believe me. Let’s see who gets the last laugh, Uduma thought as he sipped a stick of cheap cigarette. Cigarette smoke rose lazily above his head, winding in the air as it disappeared under the spell of a weak evening breeze that dispersed the smoke rather easily.

STORY CONTINUES...
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 20
 
               CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 18

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 19
LIGHTHOUSE - Episode 19
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - police, The interrogator, naira, Enugu, policeman, Cigarette smoke, Globacom.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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