Abducted – Episode 8
© Onyinyechukwu Mbeledogu.
Later in the day he locked up and drove to the supermarket where he bought provisions. When he returned he heard no movement from her room and figured that either she was sleeping or thinking of all the wicked things she could do to him.
He unlocked the door and stepped into the room. She sat cross legged on the bed, a novel in one hand, glaring at him.
‘Repentant, yet?’ he asked her.
‘There is no way you are going to get me to do any domestic work. You want a clean house, do it yourself.’
‘I see, still unrepentant. Then you’ll have to spend the rest of your day in here.’
‘Wait a damn minute!’ she started outraged as she left the bed and stood before him. ‘You can’t leave me here to starve. It is not enough that I have neither brushed my teeth nor had a bath, you can’t starve me,’ she finished with righteous indignation.
‘I’m not starving you. You are starving yourself by refusing to perform a simple task.’
‘Why should I clean up your home?’
‘Because it is yours until I free you.’
She gave a derisive snort, ‘like I’d consider this dump my home!’
‘You should count yourself lucky. No prisoner enjoys such luxury. At least you have good food to eat, a telly to watch. a fan in your room and novels to keep you company.’
‘Yeah right!’ she snorted as she conceded that he was right but she wasn’t going to tell him so.
‘Here, you have to do your own chores. And you are going to do them or spend the rest of the day in this room.’
‘And if I need to relieve myself?’
‘You do it in here and whenever you are purged of your contempt, you clean up your own filth.
‘You can’t be serious.’
‘I am, believe me. Maybe if I am in a better mood, I’ll let you do it outside.’
‘And what’s wrong with the toilet?’
‘I washed it. Until you learn to clean up after yourself, you take care of your needs outside.’
‘Even in the middle of the night?’
‘It’s not my fault that you don’t have water running inside your house.’
‘And there’s a big barrel in there,’ he reminded her.
‘Whatever. You are just trying to be cruel.’
‘Cruel! Your father might call what he did to you training but I call it over indulgence. One that renders you lazy and almost useless to yourself. For the duration of your stay here, you are going to learn real hard work and to clean up after yourself.’
‘Who died and made you king?’ She snarled, insulted.
He ignored her.
‘I’ll leave you here. When you are repentant all you have to do is knock on the door or you might refer today as the day you did an all day dry fast. Who knows, you might get your prayers answered.’
He locked the door behind him.
She didn’t knock. Not once, but he let her out for a few minutes to ease herself. Outside! To her greatest surprise. Shock was more like it.
‘You are not serious,’ she blurted when he pointed to a clearing at the back of the house.
‘You have just two minutes, brat!’ he reminded her, ‘and you have already used up thirty or so seconds.’
‘You don’t expect me to – to act like a common peasant.’
‘Here your millions don’t count. I call the shots. Seventy-five seconds to go,’ he counted.
She was seething. The mere thought of using the bushes as a toilet was in itself a nightmare. There was no way she was going to do it!
‘Fifty-five seconds to go!’
He is doing this deliberately to embarrass me, she thought. Like it’s my fault that he is poor and I am rich.
‘Forty seconds to go!’
Damn him! But her bladder felt like it was going to explode. How dare he do this to her?
‘Thirty seconds to go!’
‘All right! All right!’ she yelled, ‘but you’d better look the other way.’
‘Or you’ll tell daddy that I’ve been so naughty?’ he taunted. He didn’t turn around but looked away. He didn’t trust her not to do something as stupid as race into the bushes.
IB made use of the clearing telling herself that she had never been so humiliated in her entire life. She was so angry that it didn’t occur to her to escape until it was too late.
He locked her up once more in the bedroom and she told herself that she would rather nibble on goat s*** than beg him to let her out.
She waited for him to apologise to her and set her free but he went to bed that night without releasing her.
He was up early the next morning. He brushed and bathed after taking care of the necessary chores. For the fun of it, he knocked on her door and almost laughed when he heard the words ‘Go to hell’.
He went into the kitchen returning a moment later with a flat plate, sliced bread, blue band butter and a mug of coffee all in a tray. He thought of Ibitoru and told himself that he had done nothing wrong. She was the one who was so proud that she’d rather starve than do a simple job.
In her bedroom IB seethed. A day had passed and she hadn’t had a bath. Something she had never done. She bathed and brushed her teeth at least twice a day. But she’d done neither of them for twenty-four hours.
He had made her go hungry just because she had refused to sweep his house!
She heard the sound of steel connecting with ceramic and her eyes narrowed. How could he eat with a clear conscience knowing that she was starving in her room? Her stomach grumbled bitterly and Ibitoru knew she just had to take something.
She headed for the door, drew a deep breath before knocking. It took him a few minutes to unlock the door.
‘Repentant yet!’ He queried
‘Yes. Damn you. I’ll do the bloody sweeping.’
‘Such colourful language is unladylike.’
‘Then sue me.’
He gave her room to walk past him, taking the keys with him and thrusting them into the pocket of his three-quarter length combat shorts.
He walked into the sitting room, returning to the breakfast. As she moved to take a slice, he gently slapped her hand off.
‘Go brush your teeth and take a bath first.’
‘Are you insinuating that I stink?’
‘Yes you are. Off with you.’
‘Do you always have to be so domineering?’
‘It feels good, now scoot.’
She murmured as she headed for the bathroom.
‘Clean up after yourself,’ he called after her, ‘or I’ll make you mop with your tongue.’
She let out a string of curses in her dialect.
‘What did you say?’
She had a thorough bath, brushed her teeth and mopped the wet floor with the rag in the bathroom telling herself that he was lucky that she was in a good mood!
‘I need a change of clothes, she told him later.
‘What happened to the one you have on?’
‘Then wash it.’
‘That means that I’ll have to move around in a towel.’
‘Why the complaint? It’s more decent than the low neck and the micro mini skirt you wore two days ago.’
She glared at him.
‘Don’t tell me, you can’t wash your own clothes!’
‘Why wash when the washing machine can do the job?’
‘Is there anything you can actually do?’ he asked her.
‘I head a department in my dad’s company,’ she blurted out affronted.
‘Besides that. You can’t wash. You can’t clean up. You can’t even cook. Of what good are you to anyone?’
‘Don’t you dare insult me. At least I don’t go about abducting people and making them wear my clothes because I can’t ask a girl out.’
‘Don’t talk rubbish.’
‘The truth hurts doesn’t it? Because you can’t afford me, you want me to put on your clothes so that you can pretend in that warped mind of yours that I was a successful conquest.’
‘I won’t even respond to that,’ he bit out and took a bite of bread, thinking that she was crazy.
‘You don’t have to because it’s true.’
‘If you feel strongly about the clothes I gave you, then wash them clean and move about in your underclothes.’
‘You would love that, wouldn’t you?’ she insulted.
His gaze was insulting. ‘You are not my type.’
‘Yeah right! As if you aren’t moved.’
‘Don’t play with fire Ibitoru. You’ll get burnt,’ he warned her.
She would have made a smart response, however, his tone warned her of the implication of her continuing in that direction.
‘Why won’t you give me my own clothes?’
‘You know why,’ was his simple response.
He took the last bite of his bread, then gulped down the coffee that was snow cold. He’d suspended his eating when she’d gone into the bathroom and resumed when she’s returned.
‘I can’t believe I’m doing this,’ she muttered as she sat beside him leaning forward to pick a slice of bread. She buttered it and took a bite. Then a second bite.
He reclined in the sofa and shut his eyes. She caught a whiff of his cologne as she leaned forward once more to pick up another slice.
He is a strange man, she thought.
‘Today is Wednesday,’ she announced.
‘Oh it’s your birthday? Happy birthday darling.’
‘You’re crazy, you know that? Well, I’m meant to be in Sweden today.’
‘So what?’ He repeated in an annoying manner.
‘I am still in Nigeria. My parents will be looking for me.’
‘You’re beginning to sound like a broken record.’
‘Then sue me.’
‘The police will be hot on your trail.’
‘Like I care. I can keep you here for a year and no one will find you,’ he assured her.
‘Rivers State isn’t that big.’
He withdrew into his thoughts, ignoring her completely. He was silent for so long that she almost believed he was asleep. She went into the kitchen, returning with a mug of coffee. She’d found hot water in a tiny flask in the kitchen.
‘Since you intend to keep me here, don’t you think it’s about time you did something about my clothes?’
‘I have better things to do with my money.’
‘And I’m sure you can’t afford the clothes I put on, I was referring to the money in my purse. I need good clothes. I’m a size 10. And all my skirts must be above the knee.’
‘Who is doing the shopping?’
‘You of course, since you insist on keeping me here.
‘A prisoner has no say. That’s why you are my prisoner. I have been to lenient with you. Don’t push me.’
He had to have an ulterior motive for being kind to her, she thought. After all, from all she had heard about kidnappers, they were not nice even if they were expecting a ransom in hard currency.
‘Are you always this dour, or is it just with me?’
‘What do you think?’
‘That you have a problem.’
‘It’s been three days and I haven’t seen a ghost of a smile on your face.’
‘I have no reason to smile.’
‘I won’t even answer that.’
She applied butter to another slice of bread and took a bite from it.
‘Do you have a mother, Richard?’
‘Why do you ask?’
‘If you have one, would you want someone to put her through this trauma you are putting my parents through?’
‘Trauma! You are 24. An adult.’
“And my parents would be worried wondering what’s become of me.”
“They’ll know when I call them.”
She stared at him for a long time then said “I’ll leave here the slightest chance I get, you know.”
“I dare you to try it. Now quit bothering me”.
“Any information yet? Chief Davids asked the Commissioner of Police immediately he came on the line.
“Not yet, sir,” Jude Haruna, Commissioner of Police replied.
The Commissioner had sent out some of his best detectives to investigate the disappearance of the ex-Governor’s daughter. A formal report was entered at the State Head Quarters, Moscow Road and the Commissioner had asked his men to treat this case as top priority.
None of Ibitoru’s friends had seen her around and no one had seen her in the last two days. No one had noticed anything suspicious the day she got missing.
The airlines confirmed that her name had been on the list for those to travel to Lagos on Monday evening but she hadn’t shown up that evening.
Roadblocks had been mounted and thorough searches conducted but Ibitoru Davids seemed to have disappeared without a trace. No accident involving a black infinity jeep had been reported and although it seemed too early to assume, the commissioner was quite convinced that the heiress had been abducted.
We are doing our best, sir! He assured Chief Davids, I believe that she might have been abducted and I think you should keep your line free in case the culprit calls to make request for a ransom.
Sotonye didn’t want to consider the fact that someone would be so bold as to kidnap his daughter, knowing the kind of connections he had.
‘Find my daughter, commissioner.’
‘We’ll do our best, sir.’
‘I want more than your best, commissioner. I want my daughter found and brought back to me.’
Sotonye Davids wanted to believe that his daughter was trying to be mischievous to get his attention but what if she had really been abducted? He didn’t want to think of what those men would do to her! No he wouldn’t even consider it. Ibitoru would be back and this would all be a bad joke.
To be continued