I was stuck in the middle of a lonely road with a bad tyre and no phones, I still hadn’t recovered from the shock of what had just happened, a part of me was hoping the car would come back and people would pop out from the bushes with cameras from nowhere screaming “April fool” even though it was almost September, but nothing like that happened. I waited for a while to see if any car would pass by so I could at least get a lift to civilisation but that didn’t happen either. Eventually, I had to walk down the road till I could find a taxi although I had no idea how I was going to pay my taxi fare because all my money and ATM cards were in my bag and I had just handed it over to the kidnapper. I figured it would be better to go to Jumai’s place seeing as she would most likely be home.
I asked the taxi driver to wait for a while outside while I went in to get some cash from Jumai after we arrived at her place, luckily, as expected, she was home. “Wow! What a pleasant surprise” she said when she answered the door, “shouldn’t you be at work?” “It’s a long story” I replied, “I’m going to need some cash from you to pay for my taxi, please don’t ask any questions, I’ll explain when I’m back” I added quickly, “Cash? Taxi? What’s going on?” She asked looking concerned, “were you robbed?” “the money please” I said stretching out my hand, I didn’t feel like giving much explanations yet, she reluctantly went to her room to get the money I requested and handed it over to me.
“Yemi was kidnapped this morning” I announced when I returned, “what?” Jumai said with her jaw dropping wide open, “are you joking?”, “I’m dead serious” I responded, “she was kidnapped on our way to work this morning…” I began as I narrated my ordeal while Jumai’s jaw kept dropping wider with each sentence, “I think we need to go to the police station” I suggested when I finished my story, “they can help us find her”, “no that’s just a waste of time” Jumai countered, “I’ll inform Abdul to call his Dad to get the State Security Service on the case. I don’t trust the police to handle it well”. I couldn’t help but agree with her, I was glad the option was available, I guess that’s one of the benefits of being married to an ex-governor’s son, power was definitely speaking.She called Abdul to inform him and he escalated it to his father immediately. I had to call in sick to work that day, I was too destabilised to go anywhere.
I was also scared to go home later that evening because I figured the kidnappers probably knew where we lived so I called Charly to ask if I could stay at her place for a while, at first she wasn’t excited about the idea because she had plans with Ken that night but by the time I told her what happened to Yemi and I that morning, she became agreed immediately, apparently she had tried reaching Yemi earlier and just assumed that the network was bad when she couldn’t reach her, I had also tried calling both my phone and Yemi’s with Jumai’s phone earlier that day but they were both switched off. Poor Yemi! I hated to imagine what she was going through at that moment. I couldn’t sleep that night, I just lay there awake on my bed wondering when Yemi was going to be found. The next morning, I had to go to work, even though I didn’t feel like it, the towing van had managed to tow my car back but I was still too paranoid to drive in it so I took a cab instead. Unfortunately for me, when I got to work, the wicked witch was on duty. I’m sure you’re wondering who that is, right? She’s my boss, the consultant heading the unit where I work, I don’t get along with her because she always acts like I stole her husband or I’m trying to steal him, which is funny because I’ve never even met him before besides I doubt I’d want anything from such an old man.
“Why weren’t you at work yesterday, Dr. Tess?” she asked as soon as she arrived for the ward round. Female bosses can be so difficult, I’m pretty sure she had been briefed about the reason for my absence but chose to play dumb. “I wasn’t feeling so well yesterday so I called in sick ma” I replied trying my best to sound polite, “If you were sick, why didn’t you come to the hospital? at least that’s where I know sick people are supposed to be and not at home” she added sarcastically, at that point I was already beginning to get irritated but I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let her get to me so I just kept quiet and continued to stare, “weren’t you told that there were a couple of theatre cases booked for yesterday and you were to scrub in for the BTL?” She asked sternly. BTL is short form for Bilateral Tubal Ligation which in lay man’s terms is known as having your tubes tied. It is a type of birth control method in which the fallopian tubes are surgically cut or blocked to prevent pregnancy. This method is supposed to be reversible but reversing it is not always effective and there are risks involved with the procedure itself, I think no woman should do this unless she’s certain she’s had all her kids, besides why can’t men opt for a vasectomy if they don’t want their wives to get pregnant? A vasectomy is the male version of a BTL, it is done by cutting and blocking the tubes that carry sperm; unlike BTL, the procedure can be done in the clinic and doesn’t have as much risks. I’ve always wondered why men send their wives for BTL instead of having a vasectomy themselves since a vasectomy is a more simple and less risky procedure,in my opinion, men should also take responsibility for family planning and not leave it to the woman alone.
Anyway back to the gist, I just kept staring at the witch till she was tired of talking,after all the worst she could do was keep talking or give me a query. I struggled to force an apology past my throat after she was done talking and we moved on. I had managed to retrieve my phone line the day before and get myself another toy phone similar to the one Yemi had that I had mocked in Ghana. I kept thinking about her the whole day and seeing the phone every time didn’t even help matters, I couldn’t concentrate at work. Later that evening, when I returned to Charly’s place from work, I tried calling her numbers again,I had tried them earlier but the phones had remained switched off and I was getting increasingly worried because we had not heard any word from the kidnappers or the so called SSS that were meant to be investigating the case. I waited to hear the usual message that her phone was switched off but to my surprise it rang, after waiting anxiously for someone to pick, a man with a husky voice answered the phone, “ello! madam Tessy” the person he began, “you had better tell this woman to cooperate or else we will kill her this night” at first I was shocked that the man knew my name then I figured it must’ve appeared on the caller ID, “Please please don’t kill her” I begged, “if it’s money you want, we can pay, just name your price” I quickly added, “money ke?” the man replied like I had just mentioned something unusual,”we don’t need your money o, the one we’ve collected is enough for us” he said with an evil laugh, “your friend has something that belongs to us and if she doesn’t give us by the end of the night, we will hand her over to Angel Gabriel” he threatened hanging up without giving me a chance to talk. I tried to call back repeatedly but the phone just kept ringing.
I became even more confused than I was before making the call; what did he mean by Yemi had something that belonged to them? Had Bayo introduced her to any shady deals that I didn’t know about? What if she couldn’t give them what they wanted, were they really going to kill her?…..