It all started with a kiss, something that was harmless, passionate and exploring.why do nature always decieve us that we have free will?, Why should the stage ever be set in the first place? Ikemuefuna thought as he drove away from port-harcourt, the city where his trobules began, the las vegas of Nigeria. The kidnapped girls where still in his van, he needed to drop them off quickly. His phone rang for the umpeeth time, he stared at it and hissed switching it off.
He should never have kissed Nengee, he would have been home enjoying the comfort of his bed and home theater, he thought again driving into a narrow road, making sure he was not followed by any car, he checked his watch, it read 11.00pm and made a stop in front of an uncompleted building.He got out of the car, and made his way into the building. Two hefty looking men came out of the building blocking him.
“Oga the girls dey with you?” They choroused.
“Where is Mene, i have nothing to tell you guys” Ikemuefua replied. They ignore him and move towards the van opening it up, dragging out two females who appeared to be in their early tweenties, bound mouth, hands and foot. They stare at the men terrified, tears flowing like a fountain from their swollen eyes.
“Oga Mene say make we collect the girls from you” one of the men said.
“To where?” Ikemuefuna asked
“Mirage, your meeting place.” the other man replied.
“You’ve got to be kidding me, that place is very far away from here and these ladies haven’t eaten” Ikemefuna said worridely.
“who cares? we are only following orders except you want to go with us.”
“No, i should be on my way home” . Ikemuefuna said and moved into his van,he thought of his love for Nengee and knew he could do anything for her,now he’s in a big emotional mess because his conciensce cannot stop feeling bad for these ladies that he kidnapped,it was so easy to get them especially with the information he recieved about them,he hoped the men would not rape them.
The men pushed the girls into another car, they winced with their eyes drifting to Ikemuefuna who was heading towards his van. One of the girls tried to loosen the wrope binding her wrist, to no avail. After a long rough drive the car stopped, and they were pulled out of the car and dragged into a house. Their captors released their mouth and foot and took them into a room that was flooded with bright lights.They saw a man sitting in a mat spread on the floor, he sat in such a way that it could be illusioned that he was praying.
“Oga, they are here” their captors said and walked away.
“What do you want from us, who are you?” one of the girls said in a teary voice.
“What are your names?” The man asked, not looking up.
“The idiot does not even know our names” one of the girls said to the other who spoke before.
“shhh be careful, we don’t want them upset with us, we have to negotiate” the other reprimanded her.The man stood up in a slow uncanny way approaching the girls, his face squeezed in displeasure. He looked directly into their eyes.
“What are your names?” he repeated in a hoarse voice.
“Blessing and Toju” the girls choroused fearfully.
“please sir” Toju spoke up ” what do you want from us?” she asked
“we are from poor homes, please have mercy on us. God will bless you, your family will never suffer, your…….”
“That’s enough, i’ll have no more” the man interrupted Blessing, they always start blessing you by force, the same girl who called him an idiot seconds ago he thought.
“Sunday……Sunday….sun….” he called out, A light-skinned surprisingly good looking hefty boy came into the room.
“Take this girls away, give them something to eat, and all guards should be in place”
“Okay sir,oya make una follow me” Sunday said. He lead them out of the room. Toju kept praying in her heart, she was so sure that this was God’s punishment for all her sins, if only God will deliver her this once she’ll be a real good girl, probably an evangelist,her birthday was tommorow she thought. Blessing wasn’t a religious person, she had been starring at Sunday with lots of ideas plunging to her radically active mind, what if she became friends with this man and he helped them escape like it happened in the movies, she was going to give it a shot anyway.
“So what do you people really want from us” Blessing asked Sunday in a coaxing voice, he ignored her. They stopped in front of a room where he motioned them to enter and slammed the door on their face.
“Good night too” Toju said to the door angrily, their eyes adjusted to the dim light of the room as they crawed into the hard bed with soft sheets on the floor, ignoring the two plates of food at a corner in the room for alas they were weak with exaustion.
The girls were still on the crux of waking up, when their door threw open and the same men of the other day dragged them up, Toju was sure it was the rape session, she had so prayed against it, but she guessed God was busy with more important matters.
They threw them into a bathroom, they cleaned up in fear still expecting the worst. Stepping out of the bathroom they came face to face with Ikemuefuna, who motioned them into a room. the girls wondered what kind of building they were inside because of the many rooms.
“hope your night was good” Ikemuefuna asked.
“You baggard,you were the one who decieved us and put us in this shit,God will punish you.” Blessing lashed at him
“Blessing ….stop…we can’t….. ”
“It’s okay I understand her fustration, I owe you girls an apology, I didn’t do these on my own i was blackmailled into doing it, i’m so sorry. Ikemuefuna said looking despodent.
“Sure you are, you cunning fool, you drugged our drinks, we are your students we trusted you, we only came to you because we thought you needed help, is your salary not enough, how much will you get from this kidnap, you can’t run so far from the law it’ll get you.” Blessing roared in ire.
“Be careful young lady, we may not need your money, it could be your life, such boldness for someone who’s in troubule” Ikemuefuna said coldly. The girls shrink back to their thoughts, praying and skimming.
“How do you mean you were blackmailled?” Toju asked
“I met this lady in a Bar in Port-harcourt, She was everything i ever wanted from a woman,we kissed that first day,and began seeing each other, we fell in love and planned to get married, little did i know she was married to Chief Mene Leka, the Senator. He found out about her affair, locked her up in a room and threatened me, he said he’ll kill her, make me loose my job and frame me for her death, he had the power and i was scared i didn’t want her dead i love her.” Ikemuefuna paused looking at the girls who were absorbed in his story, he continued.
” He told me I’ll have to kidnap you girls and bring you to the Mirage where we first met in Bornu island.”
“Chief Mene is my uncle” Toju said. “what does he want, i mean he is as rich as my Dad”
“I was hoping you’ll tell me” Ikemuefuna said. Two men enter into the room,
“Oga the boat done ready, oya girls make una stand up make we commot here”
Blessing held Toju’s hand who was still trying to absorb the shock of her uncle’s betrayal, Tears welling in her eyes,they stop in front of a door in another part of the building.
“Promise me that whatever happens you’ll be strong” Blessing whispered To Toju
“I’ll be” She said faintly. Just then the door opened.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOJU!!!!!!!!!!” Thundered inside , as Toju and Blessing gaze at the crowd mesmerized, both crying profusely as they see their loved ones, and an already waiting birthday party.
“Sweet heart i’m so sorry, about the drama but since you wanted to be an actress and a film maker i wanted you to submit a very perfect movie to your film school, i had all these taped, you might want to see them” Toju’s Dad said as he hugged his daughter.
“I told your dad it was extreme, but you know how he is, come here you two” Toju’s Mum said hugging Blessing and Toju who were both smilling now admix tears.
Ikemefuefuna was shocked beyond words, he was in the dark also like the girls, he sighted Chief Mene coming towards him with Nengee,his Nengee.
“You did a good job son,” Chief Mene said placing Nengee’s hands in his, “she’s my daughter”.
“What? ” Ikemuefuna screamed in surprise “what was all these about ?”
“A test for you, for my security men, for us all, our mirage”