The man pushed Chuks to the concrete floor. Chuks fell forward, gasping for air. He began to cough loudly.
I remained still. What if the gun pointed at my head suddenly blew off?
My heart thumped with fear.
“Put the gun down.” The dark complexioned man ordered.
I took a quick glance at the boy with the gun. What on earth was he doing here? He couldn’t be more than fifteen.
Chuks rubbed his neck and dragged himself towards the wall. He reclined against it and fixed his gaze at me. The captors stood in the center of the room, their eyes inspecting us critically.
“Who sent you?” The dark man asked, in a deep baritone voice.
I hesitated.“I received a call from my friend, that my sister-.”
“Liar!” the boy shouted. “You are government spies.”
I stared at the handsome boy with dark wavy hair. His attractive features had no resemblance to that of a criminal. I loved his brows. They were neatly shaped.
“Listen, The judge will be reading out the sentence on four of our men tomorrow. So you had better start talking now. If that sentence doesn’t go well, you both are dead.”
My heart sank
He pulled out a bottle of beer from the wooden cupboard that stood beside the window. He popped it open and ran the content down his throat in one gulp.
He threw the bottle against the wall. The shattering sound made me cringe. “Your time starts now.”
I shot a quick ‘what are we going to do’ glance at Chuks. He looked away. I knew he was thinking of what next to do.
Suddenly, Chuks stood up. The man stood up too. The boy grabbed the gun quickly.
“If you make any move, I’ll shoot you.”
Chuks faced the boy. “What are you doing here? How old are you?”
The boy frowned. “Thirteen. But I’m strong enough to blow your head off.” He pressed the gun to Chuks temple. I jumped to my feet. The other man took the gun from the boy as he peered closely at Chuks.
“We need to find her sister now!”
“Who are you to give us orders?” The boy said, with a sneer on his face.
“I know you.” the man said, quietly.
Chuks grabbed my hand and headed straight for the door.
Chuks stopped but he didn’t turn. The man stood in front of him, his eyes brightened.
“Chuks!” He repeated. He hugged him firmly, laughing at the same time.
Chuks frowned. “Lekan help me find this lady and let’s get out of here.”
I have never seen a man exude such confidence. Chuks became the boss as he led the search. We seached everywhere, including the ‘forest’ behind the building. Shade was nowhere to be found.
What’s going on? Why would Bukky lie to me.
“She is over here!”
We rushed over to the pawpaw tree where the young boy stood with arms akimbo. My pregnant sister was sitting below the tree staring into space. I squatted in front of her. “Shade.”
She looked at me. No smile. No recognition.
What has Jide done to my sister?
“Let’s get her out of here.”
I was crying as I held her hand and we returned to the building, I hugged her again. I wanted her to recognize me. I wanted to tell her she would be fine. That I would never let her out of my sight again.
“Where is David?” I asked.
Her eyes darted from one person to the other.
She didn’t say a word.
Oh Lord, please.
“You have to leave now. The others will soon be back.” Lekan said as we stood by the passage.
“Come with us.” Chuks pleaded.
Lekan shook his head. “No I can’t.Please take Segun.He is your blood. He deserves a better life. I’m sure Amarachi would be glad to know he is safe with you.”
Chuks looked from Lekan to the teenage boy.
“What are you talking about.”
Lekan sighed. “Shortly after you left lagos, your sister had a son for Bayo. He was seven when she ran away to Italy. I didn’t know you’ll ever return to Lagos.
“But she never told me she had a child. Where is Bayo?”
“He’s in jail. He’ll be there for a long time.”
Chuks walked over to the boy and touched his face. Segun pushed his hand away.
“You can’t take me away from here. This is where I belong.”
Lekan held his face with his strong hands. “Remember your father’s words. Segun, he begged you to leave this place.”
Segun began to cry. My sister placed her hands on his shoulders. I just stood there, speechless.
“You have to get out of here fast.”
We walked slowly out of the building. Chuks tried to convince Lekan again but he refused. We entered the car and Chuks turned the ignition on. I stared at Lekan as he stood in front of the building. His eyes were red.
“Stop.” I said just as the car began to move. I jumped out and ran to Lekan. I pulled him towards the car. It was rather surprising that he didn’t resist. I settled him comfortably beside Chuks and returned to my place beside my sister.