All week I'm going to share Chapter One for Freddie Entangled in parts. So come back everyday to find out what happens next.
Read Chapter One: Part 1
The Essien Series, Book 6
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright© 2017 Kiru Taye
Editor: Zee Monodee
Cover Artist: Love Bites and Silk
All rights reserved.
No part of this story may be used
or reproduced electronically or in print without written
permission, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in reviews.
“Joel,” she called out to get his attention. Her voice came out low, and she had a lump in her throat. She swallowed several times to dislodge it.
He glanced over his shoulder at her.
“Kike, we’re—” he cut himself off and turned fully to face her. He must have seen something in her face as he asked, “What’s the matter?”
She swallowed again, afraid that voicing the dread weighing on her chest would make it a reality. “It’s... my son. Yomi. He’s missing.”
“How? What happened?”
“I don’t know. But I have to go. I have to find my son. I’m sorry.”
“Of course. This is an emergency. Go. I hope you find him.”
“Thank you.” She’d never been a no-show for a shoot, not even due to illness. She remained grateful to Joel for allowing this disruption to the production schedule.
Five minutes later, she sat in the car driving across town. Luckily, the location for the shoot, a hotel in Victoria Island, occupied the same part of the city where the school was located.
Her heart raced as she kept glancing at her phone, placed on the passenger seat beside her tote. The tingling in her chest continued as if she suffered heartburn. It would be worse if anything happened to Yomi. Then, her heart would break. Her beautiful, treasured boy…
After everything she’d suffered to have him—the tears, heartache, scorn, and stress heaped on her by others. Not to mention the fear, hope, and more stress from undergoing fertility treatments.
When Yomi had arrived, he’d brought sunshine into a near-miserable existence, even though most people hadn’t known of her suffering. Nobody outside of her closest family and friends had seen beyond the image of the glamorous actress.
She’d wanted it that way. Still kept it so. Didn’t want anyone to know that the glitter only glossed over the pain in her heart and her soul.
Yomi was the only salve to her hurt. Nothing could happen to him. Nothing.
She couldn’t imagine life without her precious son.
The wheels screeched as the car jerked to a stop in the parking lot. Kike wasn’t parked properly. But at this point, she didn’t care. Since Ranti hadn’t called her back, she assumed the girl hadn’t found Yomi.
She grabbed her bag, tossed the phone inside, shut the door, and hurried across the car park, heading to the admin building. The school looked almost deserted. In the distance, children played on the sports field. She paused and pulled her sunshades off, raising the other hand to block the glare of the sun. It looked like they’d just finished a game of cricket, as they wore smudgy whites and carried bats. She didn’t see Yomi or Ranti in that group.
Swivelling, she carried on to the office building. Her phone rang before she got to the entrance of the building, and she scrambled to pull it out of the bag.
“Ranti, did you find him?” she asked as soon as she pressed to answer the call.
“Yes, Mummy,” Ranti replied.
She could make out noise in the background, as if people were having conversations around her. She couldn’t see any other groups aside from the one on the sports field. “Is he okay?”
“Yes, he’s okay. But something happened.”
Her heart slammed against her ribs. “What happened? In short, where are you? I’m on the school premises, just outside the Admin Office.”
“That’s where we are.”
“Okay. I’m coming.” Kike ended the call, rushed up the small steps, and tugged at the door to the reception area.
Breath whooshed out of her, and her muscles weakened in relief when she saw Yomi sitting on a bench in the corner.
“Mummy!” he exclaimed as soon as he spotted her and ran across the lobby.
She opened her arms and welcomed him into her embrace, closing her eyes briefly. “Yomi, are you okay? What happened to you?”
She tilted his head back to look at his face, her hand clasping his chin.
A smile curled the lips on his cute face, the bone structure making him look like his father while his skin and eyes bore caramel tones that matched hers. He appeared as she would expect after a long day in school. Shirt not properly tucked into the trousers, and tie loosened but not off. A greyish scuff mark marred the sleeve of the white shirt. But there were no injuries she could spot on his body.
“I’m okay,” he replied, his tone not as cheerful as it usually would be when he saw her. “I saw Aunty Miriam. She gave me her tablet, and I was playing Jurassic World on it. That was before I saw Nike and her dad.”
Something prickled at the back of Kike’s neck. “Who is Aunty Miriam? Is she a teacher?”
“No,” he replied. “She’s not a teacher. She is from church.”
Every hair on Kike’s body stood erect, and her body stiffened. Cold sweat prickled her skin. She tightened her grip on Yomi.
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