THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART. 12,13
DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
Ballz looked at the text and smiled. He immediately sent a WhatsApp broadcast to his team and they were on the move.
James sat playing with Ufouma before her sleep. She was giggling and drooling all over him but he was not bothered. She was a beautiful thing; innocent and alive. She had given him another lease at life. She was everything. A knock came on his door, he asked the knocker to identify his or herself. It was Mama, the voice whispered.
He placed Ufouma on his shoulder and walked to open the door. Mama stood in the darkness.
Mama: “you need to put a light on this your veranda, Mr. Man.” She said as she entered the room.J ames; “I will do that tomorrow.” He replied smiling.
Mama: “she is sleeping.”
James raised Ufouma from his shoulder and truly, she had gone to sleep. He smiled and took her to the bed. He placed her on the bed and covered her with a quilt..
Mama: “I want to talk to you about something.’
James: “am listening.”
Mama: “It’s about that man, Benji that came the other day. I do not know what happened between you two but I think you should give him a chance to make amends.”
James sat quietly for a minute then he told Mama his story from the start, up to when he rented the one room. Mama listened and sat quietly when he was done.
Mama: “you are a better man now because of all those things that happened. Your ex-wife was not good for you and now I believe you know it. A woman who feels that her needs
supersedes that of the family and can go to any length to get what she wants even to the detriment of her marriage is not good for any man. A woman that cannot stand by you through thick and thin, isn’t a wife. If she wanted so much of the good life, why didn’t she hustle for it? Do you think Benji had a better deal from her than you?”
James; “that is their problem. I am over that. I just want peace in my life.”
Mama: “peace comes with forgiveness. You have made mistakes. You have broken people’s trust. So what gives you the right to condemn your friend for his own mistake?”
James: “does he see it as a mistake?”
Mama: “you can ask him yourself?” she replied, getting up to open the door.
James watched her in confusion as she walked to the door. She opened it and stopped. She stepped back in slowly. A gun came through with a hand then a smiling face. Another man followed dragging the limp form of Benji with him.
Ballz: “lovely night abi?”
Ejiro: “you no be boss. Do make we commot here.”
Ballz: “no I no be oga. Abeg where d baby?”
James instinctively turned to Ufouma sleeping peacefully on the bed. Ballz walked to the bed and carried her.
Ballz: “lovely child. Enjoy your gist.”
He and Ejiro walked out quietly and disappeared into the night.
James jumped up and rushed at Benji, who was trying to get up.
James: “you! You! What did I do to you? Why are you always bringing me bad luck? What is my crime? What?” He was raving with fear and anger.
Mama: “James stop that. Don’t you see that the man is not himself?”
James: “oh…by the time I am through with him, he would wish he had stayed at home this night.
He is going to tell me where they have carried Ufouma to.”
Benji who was lucid by then, tried to wriggle out of James’ grip. James threw a punch at him and he retaliated. They were soon rolling all over the floor, throwing punches, kicks and bites.
Mama shifted to the far end of the room and got a bucket of water which she poured over the fighting pair.
Mama: “are both of you mad? The kidnappers are getting away while you guys are fighting.”
James: “let him tell me why he brought them to my house. As he not done enough?” he asked, breathing hard.
Benji: “you fool. I came to ask for your forgiveness. I was beaten by them and I passed out.” He replied, gasping for breath.
James: “you lie. This is how you deceived me and stole my wife!”
Benji: “I am terribly sorry about Rita. I truly am. It was a mistake that I will regret all my days.”
James: “I don’t care. Get out of my house!”
Benji: “Please James. Please… I beg you.”
Mama: “James, you’re a better man than this.”
James: “I forgive you of whatever. I wish you well with Rita. Please leave my house.”
Benji: “I have some contacts on the street. Let me help, please.”
James sat on the bed and placed his hands on his head and sobbed as Benji brought his phone and made some calls.
Timothy sat with David Obatare eating at a late night Buka. David Obatare ordered for more meat for the both of them.
Timothy: “Dave, you’ve moved up since school days o. give me line now?”
David Obatare: “bro it’s called opportunity. I saw an opportunity and I grabbed it. They say fortune favours the brave.”
Timothy: “bad guy. Nothing do you sha. So what’s the level?”
David Obatare; “my operations have expanded and I need someone to help oversee my supply. I think you are the man for the job. At least with your skills and experience, moving my products will be nothing to you.”
Timothy: “products? Guy you are in the big leagues o. drugs? Who be your contact?”
David laughed and wiped his lips with a serviette paper.
David Obatare: “I don’t push drugs man but this is the big leagues. I have clients from all works of life begging for my product. And unlike drugs, it is an essential aspect of society.”
Timothy: “guy I don’t get you. What services do you provide?” he asked in confusion.
David Obatare: “I supply babies to the barren, my friend.”
Timothy: “you want me to supply babies?”
David Obatare: “the people who will receive them for onward distribution are set. We just need a link between production and utility. We needed a man with heart and brains and you came to mind.” He said
Timothy: “I have pulled countless stunts in my interesting career but this, this is beyond me.”
David Obatare: “are you saying no to me, Timothy?” he asked quietly, his face blank of expression.
Timothy looked at him and saw his face. His own face hardened. He wiped his mouth and stood up
Timothy: “I will think on it. I also have to put it before the house.”
David Obatare: “We will be making our next delivery in three months’ time. You have until then.”
Timothy nodded his head and walked away.
David Obatare: “poor dude. He wants to play Robin Hood but forget that the man was killed for his effort. Madam, how much is my bill?”
DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
Karo stood quietly by his mother as she sang a Christian hymn. They were at the cemetery to pay their respects at Rukevwe’s grave. The woman had lost weight and dark circles surrounded her eyes, which have sunk inside. Karo could see that his mother was no longer herself.
It was like Rukevwe’s death took the remaining spirit she had left after his father’s oppression and intimidation.
“She looked so fragile” , he thought.
Esther: “Oghenerukevwe my child, how do I ask for forgiveness with these lips that kept silent when they could have spoken? How do I dare to come to your resting place when I didn’t bother to look for you when you ran your race?
What can a mother say to a daughter she suckled and abandoned because of what the world thinks and out of a supposed respect for her husband’s authority? Who cares what people say? Who cares? Does the world hurt this much? Feel this much pain in their breast? Does the world choke on sobs every night? I am sorry my daughter,
I have been weak and I have failed you but that child of yours; I vow to look for him or her and give him or her what is their right. I vow to do right by your memory until my dying day. I am sorry my daughter, I am sorry.” She fell to her knees and wept on the unmarked grass space.
Karo wept deep within himself, his cries were louder than the silence he maintained while his mother wept. He made his own solemn vow to his sister’s memory.
“Yes mom is right; we will seek your baby and make him or her ours. I so vow.” He bowed his head and let the tears flow freely.
Timothy stared at Ballz, his face suffused in anger. Ballz stared back nonchalantly. Carlos and the others watched avidly.
Timothy: “who gave you the right to carry out an operation without my say so?”He thundered.
Ballz: “Brodaly chill. Na easy bread na make we run am. Na sharp appear, disappear level. We no even waste time there.” He replied nonchalantly.
Timothy: “I see. So you have earned the right to give orders to my crew abi?”
Ballz: “see all this your English no dey impress me o. you too dey dull person doings sef. wetin sup?
When we first start dis level, we be dey hot o but small small you don dey kill d ginger. Shuo! Ornary kidnap runs na you dey shat like say we go rob bank for your back. Abeg put your mind down o.” He replied, indignant at his decision being questioned.
Timothy: “do you guys realize that we are still hot from our last job at that house in Bendel estate?” una no get sense?”
Carlos: “dat na why we take d job na, boss. Na Benin na.”
Timothy: “are you a fool? How many minutes drive from Delta state to Edo state? Jesus!” he breathed hard in a bid to calm himself.
Timothy: “anyway I met with an old friend last night. You know him, Ballz. David, David Obatare?
He has a job for us but am not comfortable with it but I want to hear your opinions.”
Ballz: “what’s d level?” nodding his head in recognition of the name.
Timothy: “he wants us to help him transport babies from somewhere to another place.”
Ballz: “that na easy bread na. E better pass arm robber o.” he replied, winking at Ejiro.
Timothy: “we are talking about a baby factory here. A place where girls are forced to have sex with strange men every day until they are pregnant and when the baby comes, it is sold to those who need them. Do you have an idea of what they use those babies for? From ritualists to barren women to test subjects for experiments… That’s a lot of sin to have on one’s conscience.” He warned
Ballz:”Boss you don soft joor. When we go start?”
Timothy looked at him then turned to the others.
Lady Janice looked at the baby and turned to the nanny.
Lady Janice: “Make sure she eats, okay. Her clothes are over there in that drawer. Everything is there. If you need anything just let me know. Okay?”
Nanny: “Ok ma.” She replied smiling at the Ufouma.
Lady Janice: “good. I am going to town. I will be back in the evening. Meet the cook to prepare you something if you’re hungry, okay?”
Lady Janice left the house, got into her car and drove out.
The Nanny prepared Ufouma’s bath, whom Lady Janice had renamed Blessing. She prepared her food too so that as soon as she had her bath, she would eat. She went to carry Blessing but saw that she was still sleeping.
“See as she fine. I for no disturb am o, but she need to baff .” The nanny thought, admiring the sleeping beauty. She went to Ufouma and started to pull her clothes off her body. After taking her clothes off her, she paused. She stared at the baby in confusion.
“This mark look familiar o. E dey reminds me of sumtin” , she thought, staring closely at the birthmark on the left side of the baby’s stomach. She looked at it and tried to remember where she had seen it before .
“I don old finish. I no fit remember anything again.” she thought and laughed then, went on removing the baby’s clothes.
James sat at home, totally depressed. He had not eaten or had his bath that day. Benji had promised to get in touch with him on information. He thought about how Ufouma came into his life; her beautiful mother whose name he never found out; his son, Ovie, who he still missed. The tears slipped quietly down his face as he stared at the wall.
His phone rang, it was Omo from the office. He ignored it. He had sent Prof. Amaka a text that he wasn’t feeling too good, so he won’t be able to come in to work that day. The phone rang and rang then stopped Someone knocked on his door for some minutes but he ignored it too. He just wanted to be left alone.
“Why would they want a baby? Why Ufouma? What is special about her?
He is not rich, so it cannot be ransom? Or has that girl’s family found out that she has a child? Or is it the girl? But what is wrong in telling me that they want to take Ufouma back to her parents?” James sighed in confusion as the thoughts swirled in his brain.
His phone rang again. It was Omo. This was the third time, she was calling.
“She should stop calling o, so that I can call Benji, to know if he found something”. He thought angrily. The ringing finally stopped. He picked up his phone and dialed Benji’s number.
Benji: “Hello James”
James: “Howfar? What is going on? Any news?”
Benji: “be patient James. My investigator is combing through the criminal underworld trying to get information, as we speak. Just bear with me.”
James: “time is going o. whether they have killed her now for rituals now, I don’t know.”
Benji: “don’t worry. It will be fine.”
The call ended and immediately, James phone started ringing again. It was Omo again.
This girl never gives up. He picked the call
James: “Madam Omo am not in a good mood today, why have you been calling me?”
Omo: “I need to see you now.” There was fear in her voice.
James: “why? What is the problem?” James asked, his voice pecking up.
Omo: “I can’t talk on the phone, give me directions to your place.”
James: ‘give me an idea of what is making you sound like this before you bring trouble. I have enough already.”
Omo: “have you heard of baby making factories?”
Omo: “Motherhood Assurance.”
James: “Jesus!” he quickly gave her his address.
She said she was on her way and ended the call. James sat back and thought about what he just heard;
“Prof. Amaka involved in a baby making factory? That is difficult to believe. How can she do that? She’s…” He jumped up in sudden epiphany
James: “she is the one! It is that woman!” He shouted out loud, the thought exploding in his head.
He dialed Benji”s number immediately.
Benji:” Hello James am in a meeting” He whispered.
James: “I know who took Ufouma.”