Mended Hearts – Episode 22
© Jennifer Godwin
James and Gabriel got to the institute around 6:46pm, everywhere was bubbling with activities, people were going about their business without having any knowledge on what was going on in the institute. the men from the Special Response Squad were already at alert, waiting for James to give out instructions. He looked at the institute again, the building was very huge and beautiful, the biggest pharmaceutical industry he had ever seen in IMO state, his phone rung, he checked the caller ID and saw Kong staring back at him.
“Hello Kong, what happened?” he asked getting scared.
“Nothing happened James, how is it going over there, have you entered the institute?” he asked.
“No, we have not, we are waiting for the members and the two remaining founders to all be present before we strike” he answered looking at the book they collected from Mr Williams, it had the names of the founders, members, rules and regulations of the CLAVES, their aims, when it was founded and a map of the institute.
“Alright James, please be safe for me” he said hanging up.
“They are complete bro, it is time to get inside” Gabriel said patting James on the shoulder.
“Lord Jesus, I commit today into your hands, come and be with me, I need to come back alive for the sake of my parents and the woman I have only loved, I pray through Christ my lord, Amen” James prayed before signalling the force men to get ready.
They got to the gate and the gateman proved stubborn in opening the gate for them, James brought out a Nano-second Electrical pulse and shot the gateman leaving him sprawled on the floor unconscious, he opened the gate wide for the force men to enter into the building, they circled the building, only James, Gabriel, and 10 other force men entered inside.
He opened the book to look for where their meeting point was, he turned left and walked down the hallway, he got to a point where the hallway was divided into three, he looked at the book again and turned right this time around with Gabriel and the officers following strongly behind, he got to a point where he saw only one door in the whole of the hallway, he turned the knob and surprisingly it gave way, he peered inside and saw a group of men sitting round a conference table talking, he nodded his head in affirmative.
“Alright guys, let’s go in, Gabriel, contact the people outside and let them know that we have gotten to the right room, and they should be careful not to let anyone out, when we are done with them here, we will go save the ladies” he said turning to Gabriel.
He opened the door with force this time around and they all barged in.
“Nobody should move” he shouted immediately they intered inside. “This place has been surrounded already, just raise your hands up in the air and leave the room one after the other” he added seriously.
“James, we finally meet, I doubted them when they told me how good you were, with this stunt you displayed, am not disappointed at all” one of them said.
“And you are?” James asked not lowering his gun at all.
“Uche Ozoh, one of the founders” he said going for a handshake.
“If you don’t stop right there, I swear I will blow your brains off” James threatened wondering why they were not scared at all, was there any plan they had that he didn’t know of? he wondered.
“I know you came for the ladies, well, you came a little late because they are on their way to Calabar seaport where the shipping off will take place, even if you get us arrested, you won’t see them ever again” he said calmly.
“You are bluffing” James said lowering his gun.
“I say the truth, I lie not” he replied sitting down. “Why didn’t you see any of our security dudes? or you think we don’t have securities? you must be dumb son” he concluded relaxing on his seat now.
“You will get them arrested and take them outside, I will need 20 more men, and drivers that will drive the hilux vans we came with, make sure you take all of them here to the station, Gabriel and I will head out with the other men to get the ladies” he said looking from Gabriel to the officers.
“To calabar then?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, to calabar” James replied walking out of the conference room.
Kenny decided to go to the prison yard to see Agness, and also seek for her blessings too, if everyone were against their marriage, at least with the love she once had for Mara as a mother, she would consent to them getting married.
He couldn’t stand the smell and the dirty environment of the prison area, he spitted and cleaned his mouth, Agness was brought to him still handcuffed, she had grown lean and ugly.
“Kenny, you came to visit, I hope everyone is okay? what of Mara? I hope nothing has happened to her?” she asked all at a time.
“Everybody is fine aunty, have your seat first” he said sliding in a thousand naira note to the officer standing behind Agness.
“Okay, am seated, what do you have to tell me?” she asked sitting down.
“I came to seek your blessings Aunt, Mara and I are getting married next month, that’s why am here” he completed letting out a sigh.
“Wow, my baby girl is a big girl now, she is getting married, I wish I will be there to see the happiness on her face, I wish I didn’t do all those things I did in the past, it is so sad that I will not give Mara out to her husband” she said breaking into a sob.
“It’s okay Aunt, stop crying, the problem we have is my parents and Mara’s dad, they don’t want us to get married any longer” he replied.
“But why? I thought your parents welcomed my daughter into their family, what happened?” she asked sniffing.
“We went for a genotype test and we found out that we are not a match for marriage, am an AS patient and so is Mara, that is why they are kicking against our marriage” he said shaking his head.
“What are you talking about?, Mara is an AA patient and not AS, who told you such rubbish?” she said wiping her tears now.
“We went to the hospital and the doctor told us, what do you mean Aunt?” he asked getting confused.
“My Mara is an AA patient and so is her younger sister, go back to the hospital and ask the doctor to check very well, there must be a mix up somewhere” she said leaning forward to let Kenny know how serious she was.
“You know what Aunty?, I will be right back, I need to see the doctor and ask him very well, something must be wrong somewhere” he stood up as fast as he could. if he found out that the doctor was playing with him, he was going to close down his hospital for life.
Funmilayo looked at herself in the mirror for the umpteenth time, she smiled at her outfit, someone would think that she was such an innocent woman, but deep inside her was filled with rage and revenge, she heard that the children of her two enemies were getting married next month, she tied her ashoke very well.
“They should come and get married let me see” she sneered.
she was going to meet with the guys from the area to handle the kids, she heard of their services. she locked her door and headed towards the junction, she had told small that she would meet them on time, she stood at the junction waiting for a cab, it all happened in a flash, a trailer driver that couldn’t handle the failed break of the trailer went straight for Funmilayo and crushed her at the spot, people shouted and gathered at the scene, they couldn’t make out the remnants of the body, only the blood stained asho-oke.
James shouted at the driver again telling him to hurry up, they should be at the seaport before the ladies leave, he looked out of the window and wondered if they were close to the seaport already, he closed his eyes and made another short prayer, since he became a police officer he had never handled any case as tough as that particular one.
“We are there sir” the driver said interrupting him.
“Okay, this is 6:38am, we drove all night” James said getting down from the car, he looked ahead of him and saw the seaport a bit far away from where they stood, he had told the driver to stop few drives away from the seaport.
“We will leave the hilux vans here with the drivers and the doctors, then we will continue on foot, everybody get your guns ready” James commanded each and everyone of them.
They marched towards the seaport in unison, everywhere was calm and quite, James suspected that something was amiss, there were three ships waiting at the seaport already and yet there was no sign of any living soul. they also saw a big truck parked by the side, that must be where the ladies were kept, he thought, he moved closed to the truck and peered inside through an opening on the body, the truck was filled to the brim with ladies of different size, he shook his head in pity and signaled to one of the force men with him, he brought the acid and poured it on the key lock of the truck and it melted the metal as though it was plastic. they heard a gunshot and James saw the officer standing beside him fall flat on the ground, he turned back immediately and saw a group of young men equipped to the teeth, he recognised one person among them, and that was Terror.
“Everybody take cover” he shouted running to the back of the truck.
gunshots disturbed the peaceful and quite environment, James and his men shot from their hideouts, while Terror and his men shot from their hideouts too.
“Gabriel can you call Jeremy and tell him to get in touch with the special response squad here in calabar, they should get here as fast as possible” James said breathing heavily.
“Oh no James, I left my phone in the car, what do we do?” Gabriel asked getting scared.
“We will fight them then” he said aiming at one of their opponents.
“Alright bro, let’s do it then” Gabriel said joining James. they shot sporadically at their opponents and many of them fell down dead, just when they thought that there was less of them, another group emerged from one of the ships, James immediately understood what was going on, they were all in the ships all those times and waited for them to come.
“They are multiplying bro, we need reinforcement.” Gabriel shouted over the sound of gunshots.
“I don’t know what to do bro” James said, he didn’t notice the gun been aimed at him from the back, the bullet caught him on his back making him shout out loud.
“James” Gabriel shouted running towards him.
“It’s okay bro, finish off the fight, I guess this is where I say goodbye” James said wiping his tears.
“Come on don’t say anything stupid, listen to me, help will come and we will leave here alive, have some faith bro” Gabriel said shaking him.
“Am getting weak Gabriel, just fight on and leave me here” he said.
they heard gunshots from another set of people, within a twinkle of an eye, Terror and his men were all lying down dead.
the men jogged to where James, Gabriel and the other force men were. James and Gabriel were surprised at who must have sent them.
“I know that you are surprised or probably scared, but don’t be, we are mobile policemen and Mr Williams sent us” one them said.
“Mr Williams?” Gabriel asked surprised.
“Yes, he sent us, go bring the ladies out, we need to get going” he said turning to one of his men.
“Mr Will..iams” James coughed. “He fi…na..lly join..ed for..ces with us, I can no..w die a ha…ppy de..ath” he concluded closing his eyes with a smile on his lips.
“Jameeesss. noooo” Gabriel shouted shaking him as if stopping him from closing his eyes. “James please don’t die, remember your parents, they are waiting for you, you have fought so hard for this case won’t you live to get the deserved award? are you going to leave me all alone? please wake up don’t do this” he said weeping sorrowfully.
“James?” a feminine voice sounded from behind.
“Wake up bro Anny is here, the lady you love is here, please open your eyes” he said forgetting that Anny was not supposed to be there at that moment.
“James please, am here, please don’t leave me, I know you love me James and I love you too, we need to get married and have children, we can’t do it while you are lying dead.” she chuckled sorrowfully as hot tears dropped fully on James’ body.
“He is dead, we need to take his body to the car so that we will go home, we are done transferring the ladies to the hilux vans we came with” one of the force men said as he made to carry James.
Just as he carried James in his hands, a tear dropped down Anny’s face and touched James’ forehead, he sneezed and called out a name, Anny’s name.
“He just sneezed, he called my name, he is not yet dead” she pointed at James.
“I wan…t to live, I wa..nt. to.. li..ve, please take me to the hos…pital” he said painfully with his eyes still closed as tears fell down from his closed eyes.
“Let’s take him to the car, we came with a doctor and a first aid box, we will use that till we get to the nearest hospital” Gabriel said helping the man in carrying James to the car.
To be continued