All week I'm sharing Chapter One from Freddie Entangled in parts. So come back everyday to find out what happens next.
Read Chapter One: Part 1
Read Chapter One: Part 2
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.
“Church?” Her question came out almost as a whisper.
“Yes. I see her in church. She’s always friendly to me.” His tone sounded unconcerned, as if the woman came as a regular feature in his life.
A cold finger trailed down Kike’s spine. She blinked several times before turning her gaze to Ranti who now stood behind Yomi. “Do you know this Aunty Miriam?”
“No.” Ranti raised her shoulders and let them fall. “I didn’t see the lady, and I don’t remember any Aunty Miriam from church.”
Kike lifted a shaking right hand to brush the hair off her face as she sucked in a deep breath. It remained possible that Ranti didn’t know the woman. She didn’t attend the same Sunday school group as Yomi. Still, who was this Miriam of a woman, and what did she want with Yomi?
“Excuse me, Mrs. Ogun.”
Kike lifted her head at the sound of her name. A man stood by the reception counter. His hands sat on the shoulders of a girl about the same age as Yomi and dressed in the white shirt, plum blazer, and black pleated skirt of the school uniform. Both the man and girl looked vaguely familiar.
The girl seemed to be the Nike her son had referred to earlier, and the man must be the girl’s father.
Since he’d addressed her by name, perhaps he expected her to know his name in return. She couldn't recall it, and a slight twinge of heat blossomed in her cheeks. Her brain had been scrambled by all the information she’d absorbed recently about Yomi and the mysterious church member.
“Sorry, you’re Nike’s father?” She hoped she hadn’t mistaken the girl for another and that the man wasn’t offended she didn’t recall his name. She had already been branded the ‘Ice Queen of Nollywood’ by haters and critics alike. It would be just another incident to harden opinions towards her.
He smiled at her. “Yes. I’m Mr. Banks. I saw Yomi in the car park when I came to pick Nike up from After School Club. I saw the woman with him. When Nike and I arrived, she seemed to be directing him to her car which was parked two places from mine. Nike started chatting with Yomi. The woman seemed impatient to get him in the car. Something seemed off to me, so I smiled and asked if she was a relative. She returned the smile, saying she was a family friend and that his dad had asked her to pick him up from school—”
“No.” Kike shook her head as her heart picked up an even faster rhythm. If this didn’t stop, she’d start hyperventilating soon. “My husband wouldn’t ask anyone else to pick my son.”
“Yomi mentioned that he had to wait for Ranti,” Mr. Banks replied with a nod at Yomi. “The woman didn’t wait after that. She got into the car, and it drove off. There was a man in the vehicle with her.”
Realisation dawned on her then, and her knees grew weak.
“Oh my goodness! That woman would have abducted Yomi.” Kike palmed her face as her body shook. Mr. Banks’ intervention had prevented the kidnapping. She looked up at him. “You saved my son. If you weren’t there, I dread to think what would’ve happened. Thank you so much.”
“There’s no need to thank me,” Mr. Banks replied with a gentle smile. “Yomi understands that he shouldn’t leave the school premises with a stranger.”
“Uncle, but she wasn’t a stranger. I know her from church,” her son chirped in.
“I understand, Yomi. But your mum doesn’t know the person. This would make Aunty Miriam a stranger.”
“But Daddy knows her.”
“Does he?” Kike asked in a sharp voice as her back stiffened again. Was this Miriam one of her husband’s...? No. She wouldn’t go there right now. There were people around her, watching her actions. Judging her. She suddenly had to get out of here. “I’ll have to talk to your father when we get home. Thank you so much, Mr. Banks. I have to get the children home. It’s been a long day.”
She ushered Yomi and Ranti towards the door.
“Of course,” Mr. Banks said behind her.
She hurried after the kids, and they headed back to the car park.
“Where is Steven who was supposed to pick you up today?” she finally asked Ranti when they got into her car, and she remembered there should be another vehicle waiting for them.
“I don’t know. I didn’t see him,” Ranti replied.
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