Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Plan (final part)

Click Here for Part 3

Finding his way back to Aunty Njideka’s office turned out not to be as easy as he had expected. He trekked to the bus stop and took a bus that would take him to the spot they had stood at earlier that morning. However, being just a ‘Johnny-just-come’, he forgot the exact name of the bus stop and did not notice when the bus went past it. It was only when the bus got to the very last stop that he realized he had missed his way.

“You this boy, where you dey go? Na last bus stop be this o, come down jor! You just siddon for inside bus like say you wan’ sleep there,” the conductor addressed him roughly.

He could only manage to stutter, almost unintelligibly, “I going cinema side…”

Ode, come down jor. Cross road go enter bus wey go carry you go back.”

He did that, this time telling the conductor he wanted to drop at cinema side the moment he embarked. When he was asked to drop, he was happy to see that he was close to the spot his uncle and he had stood at hours ago.

Then he saw the signboard belonging to Aunty Njideka’s office and he suddenly lost courage. What if she refused to listen to him and got him arrested instead? What if she was not in the office at the moment?

He felt like turning back at that moment, but another thought stopped him. What if Uncle Chudi had already noticed that the lady’s ID and wallet was missing, and had managed to put two and two together? He would be furious and God knew to what extent he would punish him. That was not an option for Ikenna, hence he had no choice but to see this through.

His mind made up, he half ran into the entrance of the building. A spiral set of stairs led him into the reception where a uniformed security man was sitting behind a desk. Ikenna’s heart beat wildly as he walked towards him. “I looking for Aunty Njideka,” he said to the man, who seemed surprised to see a kid his age and size coming into the premises.

“Aunty who?”

Ikenna did not bother repeating himself. Instead, he took out the plastic ID card and showed it to him.

The man’s eyes widened the moment he saw it and he quickly picked up the desk phone in front of him to make a call.

"Madam, come o. Come quick. I have your ID card here. One small boy brought it."

Aunty Njideka appeared in the reception almost in seconds.  She shouted when she saw Ikenna and charged at him, grabbing his little shoulders.

"You! You little thief. So you can still dare to come here? God has caught you today."

Ikenna burst into tears, regretting then the impulse that had made him come to the office. He started rattling out in quickfire Ibo:

“Aunty, forgive me. It was my uncle. He made me do it; he kept saying plan, plan, plan, but I didn’t know it was a bad plan he had in mind. It was when he robbed you that I realized he was up to no good. Please I didn’t do it on purpose, that is why I came back to ask for your forgiveness. My uncle wants to continue doing this bad thing, but I want it to stop. So I want you to arrest him. That is why I came to look for you.”

His words successfully calmed her. She stared at him wordlessly for a few seconds then hugged him. “Oh, you poor little boy. How did you end up with such a terrible man?”

Ikenna told her how his uncle had taken him from his parents in the village under the pretext of sending him to school and teaching him a trade, only to use him for something entirely different.

Aunty Njideka was furious and vehemently declared that Uncle Chudi must be arrested.

It was a roller coaster of events after this. Three of them, Aunty Njideka, Ikenna and the company’s security officer went to the police station to report the case. Then two police men accompanied them back to Uncle Chudi's home.

Ikenna was able to easily give them the street and house number as he had memorized them earlier.

As the vehicle got closer to the street though, he saw his uncle at the junction, talking to the owner of the canteen they had had lunch at. From the way he was talking loudly and gesticulating, Ikenna was sure he was talking about him and his disappearance.

He alerted the policemen, “See, see! See my uncle…”

“That's him!” Aunty Njideka squealed too, looking angry and scared all at the same time.

The vehicle halted, and the policemen charged at the startled but unprepared Uncle Chudi, arresting him right away!

At the station, all necessary statements were taken and Uncle Chudi was thrown behind bars. Aunty Njideka’s phone and the remainder of the money he robbed her of was retrieved.

But there was one thing left, what was going to happen to Ikenna? The police got his parents’ phone number from Uncle Chudi and informed them of all that had happened. But they could not come over to Lagos to pick him immediately so that meant he would have to stay in the police station till they came.

“But it would be traumatic for a young boy like him to sleep in close proximity with accused people, as if he is a criminal himself,” Aunty Njideka protested. Then she requested that they allow her take him home with her. “I am sure my parents won’t mind having him stay with us. And when his parents come, they can pick him from my house or if they like, he can continue living with us. I would make sure he goes to school like they have always wanted him to.”

Ikenna was very happy when she proposed this to his parents too on the phone and they accepted. He almost jumped up with joy. Now the sort of life he had come to the city for was within reach.  No more would he be a pawn in his criminal uncle's plan.

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1 comment:

  1. A perfect way to end such a touching story. Welldone!