No 7 Grein street,
Isioma’s looked up to the endless world from the balcony of her father’s mansion. The same house that has being placed on foreclosure by “BROWN Bank Nig PLC” some days ago. The notice says they have roughly two weeks to pack out of it. She would miss the Olympic sized pool, the stables, the outdoor barbeque, the gym and many other facilities the mansion contained… they would lose all because of her…
Isioma tried to look further the horizon, she told herself “I have been a fool; I have let my family down” I don’t deserve to live; I deserve to die; to die the way an ant dies with the wipe of a human hand.
She moved back to her room and passed the sitting room where her dejected father sat, her mother opposite him trying to console a man who considered himself a loser, he too wanted to die, but the people around him knew that and they stood guard of him all day. The other family members were also in a moody form. It was a case of moving from “raja to rags”…all this sightings made her feel the guilt more and more… with one swipe of ideal she had unknowingly reduced the family status by many levels… to top it all, she had being jilted… she continued walking towards her room.
She got into her room and Google searched the easiest way to die… 235,679 entries came up. Topping the list was the use of poisonous elements. A powdery type called ARSENIC, and the renowned CYNAIDE pills which could cause asphyxiation and death within two minutes. But all these elemental chemicals were not within her reach. No chemical store would sell it to any kind of person without any concrete documents authorizing its sale. But she still wanted a painless death.
The second most popular hit was sleeping murder popularized by Agatha Christie in her novel titled “sleeping murder”; it involved taking excess of sleeping pills. They were easy to get, so she relaxed and clicked it to read more…
Two months ago
Isioma hands shaked as she handled the phone, her captors bid to just say hello to her parents so they can confirm their claim that they had her in custody. She rushed her words into the receiver
“dad, dad help me… this place is terrible, and its hell…help…”
The proof was enough and the phone went off. Isioma sat dejected, guarded by men wielding Kalashnikov rifles. She had the reminiscence of what happened to her in the past twenty hour…
She had gone out with her roommate Motunrayo, to get some snacks. The night was boring as NEPA as usual did their job by not supplying power. Exams were far away like the heavens, so studying also was an agent of boredom. The only boredom killer as suggested by Motunrayo was that they take a stroll out into the night to grasp some grocery, and then they return slowly to the hostel and nibble out the snacks while they watch a movie on Isioma’s laptop…
As usual their conversation was filled with gossips; if Motunrayo sights a guy she knows, she would run a verbal profile of that guy to Isioma. So is the same if Isioma saw someone she knew. Truly gossip is a thing we all like to hear, but we all hate to admit…
She remembered that as they took the last turn to reaching the hostels, they could hear sudden revving of a motor vehicle, all they thought was that it was some guy trying to impress a lady with his ride, but they were wrong. Hardly had they taken a step further than sacks descended on them from behind and they struggled fiercely to beat-off their attackers. One of them hit Motunrayo hard in her hind brain and she passed off. Isioma stopped dead, she was shocked. A voice called out:
Miss Isioma, we don’t mean to hurt you, you just need to co-operate with us…
Before she knew it she was struggling alongside Motunrayo who had earlier passed out in the boot of a car…
Isioma looked around her. The room she was kept was very dark. Strangely, her captors have been kind to her. She ate thrice in a day, had snacks in between. She was allowed to see the sun as she had a burglary window that was opened twice a day. During these periods she hoped her dad pay the N15 million her captors were asking for. After all he has being a business mogul for so many years and still she couldn’t get many of the things she wanted to get. To her he was just too stingy…
She looked left to a painting on the wall;her captors seem to like her every day, as they helped lit up her room with a tungsten bulb. The painting on the wall she sure didn’t know the name, but she was sure it was painted by van Gogh; the man who exaggerated his paintings. He painted his sun flower with too much yellow, the sun with too much red…he was purely a man of exaggerations.
Hours were fusing into days and yet Isioma was still in custody of kidnappers. They kept threatening but there seem no positive response… so the kidnapper tried a new technique.
“Dad, dad… do you really love me?Then if you do I should be out of here now. These people are treating me bad daily: am being denied of food, water. I can’t remember when last I saw the sun. There is this lady who comes to me every day and says she would kill me if you tried anything funny like calling the police. Dad I fear death, dad give them whatever they ask of… I don’t even think I see through the week… (Sobs)”
Chief Nnamdi relaxed on the chair and forced out a smile. On a normal day he would have paid the N15 million the kidnappers were asking for, but this days things aren’t too good for the business mogul. His business empire was crumbling and few ever knew about it. He had gone ahead to call the police as that seem the only option he had, but when the police seem to take the report with levity hands, he went ahead to borrow a loan from “BROWN BANK”, that fact he kept clandestine. Opposite him was Detective Kodeya Grein; one of the foremost detectives in the city. They had both finished listening to the recording on a cassette delivered to the doorstep of Chief Nnamdi that morning by unknown persons.
Detective Grein spoke first, by now he had listened to the recording more than four times. During those periods, he had jotted his observations on the little notebook he carries with him always. He read out his observations:
*They are amateur kidnappers.
*They wouldn’t kill Isioma as they have nothing to gain in that.
*Isioma’s voice didn’t show the sign of suffering like she claimed.
*The kidnappers are with high certainty students.
And due to the last observations Sir, I suggest we begin our investigations with the obvious suspects “Isioma’s school-mate” said Detective Grein with a look of confidence.
But are we to pick a stray student? Are we to just go there and pick a random student and start questioning them? Let’s just pay them off. My daughter’s life is worth more than the N15 million they are asking for, but the situation of business makes everything different replied a petrified Chief Nnamdi.
All of a sudden Mrs Nnamdi busted into the office.
See I don’t know how you are going to do this, but I know you are going to pay off the kidnappers tomorrow. Here is a recording of Isioma pleas. Her voice has changed, she sounded rustier. Imagine my own Isioma not eating thrice a day… nnayi, nnayi, nnayi, Pay them o; pay them o. Mrs Nnamdi said.
With that she deposited the twin delivery of the recording in the table and she busted out of the office with fury like a ninja.
The kidnapper had delivered a copy of the recording to her. That’s was disastrous given that Mrs Nnamdi was the moody type and things would go from bad to worse if she didn’t see her daughter the following day. Given that, Chief Nnamdi paused for a moment and said the following to Detective Grein.
Sorry to deny your first chance to a major case and I plead with you not to question me, but we must go ahead with the payments tomorrow…
30 hours later
Somewhere around a water bridge in Ora gada; Ogbomosho
Calls had being made with the kidnappers… Chief Nnamdi had collected the N15 million naira and placed them in a waterproof suitcase as instructed. He and Detective Grein waited…
After waiting for about thirty minutes without any sign from the kidnappers, Detective Grein began to suspect whether the kidnappers had noticed the police presence that was even unknown by Chief Nnamdi himself. The kidnappers knew nothing about that and decide not to take their chances… Chief Nnamdi’s phone rang, when he picked it, the voice was coarse and loud enough to be heard even without putting it on loudspeaker…
“Put the money on the boat anchored by the makeshift port and let it sail…. Then when we confirm the money, we shall release your daughter”
True to the kidnappers claim there was an empty canoe anchored near the bridge. Chief Nnamdi rushed there and placed the money inside. Before he could release the anchor, Detective Grein was by his side
Sir think about this before you go ahead and pay this money into oblivion. All I ask for sir is this moment, there might be a slip on the side of the kidnappers…. Let me do this.
Chief Nnamdi remained adamant and he released the anchor. Both watched as the boat sailed away… detective Grein thought they had lost all but- ten minutes later an Isioma in tattered cloths came running towards Chief Nnamdi. They hugged and shed tears…. While Detective Grein opened his mouth in amazement…………..
Isioma took a piece of paper and titled it confession. She believed she put her family in its present state of suffering and they had the right to know the truth…. So she wrote the following
By now, I must have been dead. Don’t mourn me caused I killed myself. It won’t just be well if I died and allow the secret die along with me, at least it should be something you inherit of me.
I being kidnapped brought so many changes to our family setup including the foreclosure issued to us by “BROWN BANK”. The truth was that I engineered the kidnapping.
Dad I never intended to do this, but you caused it. As a member of the family I seem derived of the family wealth. There was never a time I asked for money without being scrutinized about what I want to use it for. At the end, I don’t get it…
So Osita- my boyfriend brought the idea, I didn’t hesitate. We planned it so that everything would look real and void of any suspicion. That was why Motunrayo had to be knocked out… but then
If I knew dad’s financial status, I wouldn’t have done it. Osita and I planned to elope with the money, but I never knew he was a GOLD DIGGER… he ran away with the money after dad delivered the money to him and ever since I haven’t seen him…
I plead with the family to forgive me…..
Isioma took the pills, fifteen of them. The drugs were supposed to take effect after 10 minutes and over-rest her nerve that would lead eventually to death. She had by now thrown her phones and room keys outside through the window. She didn’t want disturbance to her peaceful death. She laid her bed and was saying her last prayer when she heard an ambient voice in the sitting room… she moved towards the door and looked through the keyhole, all she saw was bleak. She couldn’t see the sitting room directly, so she placed her ears to listen to the conversation.
Detective Grein took a sit. He coughed out a bit, before a glass of water was brought to him, he seem stabilized. He adjusted a bit into a posture that looks like a war general ready to pronounce victory. He handed a letter to a depressed Chief Nnamdi. He then began talking
I greet you all, I commend the strength we all shown till this kidnapping case passed. I just have a few announcements that might lighten your mood and I promise to be brief.
Everyone was now silent and curious. Even Isioma who was by now feeling sleepy, but her curiosity kept her awake. The closed door bulged; she knew there was no possible chance of getting it open. She wasn’t even interested in that.
Well sir, Detective Grein continued. When you told me not to question you and that you were going to pay the following day. I was disturbed; it seems I was the one losing the money. I knew if given the time we would catch the kidnappers, but I wasn’t given the time. So I devised a scheme.
I knew you would go to BROWN BANK to collect the money. So I went to the manager beforehand and explained the situation of things to him. After much persuasion and deliberations, we concluded that about he provides you with fake currency. Only an original of N100, 000 was put on top to act as a decoy and fool them off…
The foreclosure letter you received was due to the fact that few knew about the deal. So here is a new letter stating you have to pay a N100, 000 plus its compound interest…..
The ecstasy in the sitting room was high like an athlete who won the gold medals at the Olympics, everyone was happy and it seem like a troublesome boil has just been drained from their body, but little do they know that what they were about to lose was more than N15 million….
Isioma laid down the floor of her room. Her hands were now sliding from the door’s handle. After she heard Detective Grein’s talk, she kicked and kicked the door violently, she tried shouting, but by then the drugs were already taking full effects, so she fell to the floor… preparing for the land of the DEAD…