IB woke up with a headache and stretched out on the bed. But instead of soft silk against her skin, she felt a starchy material like something you would find in a hospital. She bolted up. This was not her bedroom.
This bed was small. Her teddy bears were missing. There was one pillow instead of six and the bedroom was smaller than her bathroom.
Come to think of it, she was sweating. The air conditioners in her bedroom were always left on and when there was no light, the stand by generator came on. Her body was slick with sweat, something that hadn’t happened to her in years. And she was in her under wear.
She never slept in her underwear. She climbed out of the bed in the semi-dark room. Instead of soft rug, she felt cold carpet. If she had thought she was dreaming, there was no doubt now that she wasn’t. This was a real nightmare, no ordinary dream.
Where was she? Why was she here?
She wracked her brain, trying to figure out how she ended up in this place. She was supposed to be in a flight to Lagos this evening. She had left home quite early and made a few stops. She was driving back home, singing P-Square’s buzzy body when a male voice joined her, alerting her to the fact that she wasn’t alone in her car.
He had held a gun to her neck and subsequently asked her to pull over. That was the last thing she remembered. She had been abducted. How he’d got into her car was a mystery.
She had heard stories and read novels about heiresses being abducted and ransomed by men who couldn’t bear to work for a living, men who wanted quick and easy money. But never in her wildest imagination had she thought she would one day find herself a victim.
Now she wished she hadn’t resisted her father’s attempts to get her a driver. She loved driving and that was now her undoing!
It was dark and she guessed it was over 7pm. She had missed her flight to Lagos. Damn it. How dared he? Her abductor was going to pay dearly for what he had done to her! She moved slowly to the window noting, to her annoyance, that it had a mosquito net as well as iron protectors. There was no way she could escape from the room. She tried the door and wasn’t surprised to find it locked.
She had to get out of there! The room was like a cubicle and made her feel claustrophobic.
She felt the walls with her hands and found a light switch. She flicked the switch but the lights didn’t come on. She made her way back to the bed surprised to find her handbag there. She reached for her phones, surprised that her abductor had been stupid enough to leave them there.
None of the phones came on. She removed the back of each phone and found that there were no batteries. Her sim cards were also missing. So he wasn’t stupid after all. She searched further and found that her purse and cheque book were also missing from the bag.
‘I have to leave this place,’ she thought and almost immediately, she heard the key turn in the lock and the door open.
A man stepped into the room with a lit lantern. Lantern in this millennium! The shadows from the light danced around his face making it difficult for her to discern his features, but he was a few inches taller than she was. Suddenly aware of her state of undress, she quickly grabbed the wrapper on the bed and covered herself with it.
‘It’s too late. I have already seen the merchandise,’ he told her.
‘Where am I? Where are my clothes?’ she demanded.
‘In safe keeping,’ was his reply and just then the lights came on. He blew out the flame from the lantern.
With the lights on, she was able to appreciate his features and recognise him as the man who had been leaning against her car a few days earlier. He was fair skinned with wide spaced blue eyes which she suspected were contact lenses, straight nose and full l!ps. His hair was curly betraying his foreign ancestry. He was obviously of mixed race.
His inscrutable expression annoyed IB who demanded: ‘Why am I here?’
‘You’ll know at the appropriate time. Now, come with me. I made an early meal for us.’
Early meal, ke. And he just expected her to follow him!
‘I have a flight to catch.’
‘It left a few minutes ago.’
‘No thanks to you. But mark my words, you’ll pay for it, you poverty infested being.’
‘And you are in no position to make threats, spoilt brat,’ he returned. ‘Now I want you out of this room before I am compelled to use force on you.’
‘You are not a gentleman.’
‘I never professed to be one.’
Her eyes gave him a once over, taking note of his black t-shirt and combat shorts. He was also barefooted.
‘I need my clothes.’
‘You’ll have to make do with the wrapper. After all, it’s not like you’re going anywhere.’
‘You can’t keep me here.’
He ignored her. She took a haughty position and walked past him ensuring that there was no contact whatsoever with their bodies. He shut the door behind her and headed in the direction of the kitchen which was just off the tiny sitting room.
The sitting room was about a third of the size of her personal living room and furnished with old but neat cushioned chairs, (the kind she expected to find in the home of grandparents), a wooden table, a television so old it looked like it could only show pictures in black and white, the type that you hit twice before it started. There were no personal effects. No photographs to say something about the owner of the house.
The kitchen was so tiny it barely fit the two of them. It was furnished with a wall cabinet spanning the length of one wall, a cooking surface with two stoves and a sink. There was also a drum in the kitchen and she figured that it was filled with water. A table top fridge [email protected] like something about to die.
‘Why am I here?’ she asked for the second time.
He ignored her concentrating on the jollof rice inside the pot on one of the stoves. He deposited the pot on a wooden triangular pot stand.
‘Are you deaf or something?’ she continued rudely, her eyes scanning the room in search of something she could use on as a weapon, most likely on his head.
‘Where are we?’
‘Do I look stupid?’
‘You don’t want to know the answer to that, but I’ll tell you anyway. You are stupid because only a fool will mess with the daughter of a man who can put his sorry self in jail and ensure that he stays there for life.’
‘If that little speech is calculated at upsetting me, I must warn you that you are wasting your time, brat.’
‘What did you just call me?’ she demanded affronted.
‘Brat. Spelt as pronounced just in case you didn’t know.’
She recognised an insult when she saw one.
‘I’ll have you know that I have a first [email protected] degree and Masters from the Harvard University.’
‘How exciting,’ he said, sarcasm apparent in his voice.
‘It’s not my fault that you lack basic education, half breed.’ She told him nastily.
She realised she had gone too far when his eyes narrowed dangerously.
‘What did you just call me?’
Common s£nse warned her that she was already stepping on dangerous grounds but she still responded all the same.
‘Nothing more derogatory than what you used on me, half breed,’ she said.
He moved so quickly that she didn’t even see him coming until she found herself pressed against the wall, his f!ng£rs digging into her shoulders, his breath warm against her skin. His eyes were dark with fury.
‘Get your filthy hands off me,’ she ordered.
‘Or you’ll do what? Tell daddy?’ he mocked.
‘You’ll be in real soup when he gets hold of you. Death won’t even provide the relief you seek,’ she threatened him.
‘And I am so scared,’ he taunted. ‘Now, call me half breed one more time and I -’
‘Do you prefer cross breed? Because you are neither black not Caucasian.’
His fist slammed on the wall on the left side of her head and she flinched.
‘I am not scared of you,’ she told him boldly, thinking inwardly how much she would like to torture him by chopping his unfortunately great physique into tiny pieces and feeding each piece to him. ‘There are only two things you can do to me: kill me or rape me and neither of these two can make you a real man.’
He gave her an insulting once over.
‘That’s where you are wrong. Call me a half breed once more and you will find out that there are worse things I can do to you than rape and kill you.’
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