It was all Henry’s idea. Zainab didn’t like it at first and she even suggested the called the police but after convincing her, she had a rethink and decided to play along.
The time was about 9PM when Mr. Dayo called again. Zainab didn’t even let it ring for more than a second before she grabbed the phone, picked the call and put it on loud speaker for both Henry and her to hear.
“Hello,” she said.
“I’m going to be very blunt and straight to the point.” Mr Dayo replied almost immediately.
“Good. If you ever want to see your brother again, you’ll have to pay ten million naira in cash because I don’t think bank transactions would be safe for this kind of operation.”
To his greatest surprise, all Zainab replied was, “when, where and how do you want me to send the money?”
“Ah! I like you already. Straight to the point just like me.” Mr Dayo complemented. “Anyway, divide it into three equal parts and put it in three different bags, I’ll call you later on tonight for further details. If you play your cards well, you’ll have your brother in your arms by 10AM maximum tomorrow morning… You have my word.” With that, Mr Dayo hung up before Zainab could reply, not like she had anything to reply though.
Henry looked at Zainab and asked, “How much do you readily have?”
“About three million, although I’m supposed to pay in two million of that sum into TOP account tomorrow morning.”
“Okay, that’s good enough. You are a rich woman oh! If I had known that, maybe I would have planned an exclusively expensive dinner instead of trying to cook out of my ‘Henry’s super cook book’.” He ended his statement with a wide grin.
For a second, Zainab smiled but the smile faded almost as quickly as it came. “Do you joke every time? As in, why don’t you take anything serious?” She asked.
“See… A wise man once said: if life shows you pepper, take it and make pepper soup. What I’m trying to say in essence is, life shouldn’t be taken too serious, that way, nothing would be able to surprise you.”
Zainab sighed in response, her brother was in the arms of kidnappers who might get vicious and attempt to do drastic things but here Henry was, blabbing something about pepper and pepper soup.
Henry saw her reaction to his little speech and then finally spoke up, “okay, go and bring the three million you have, don’t worry about the bags, I’ll handle that.”
“What happens after that?” “We wait.”
John still had it in him, or so it seemed. Jummy had always known him to be a very romantic person and so far so good, he had proved her right.
Few minutes ago, John had parked his beat-up Beatle at the front of the ten story GNP building, then led the way into the building through the back.
The security guards who all had suspicious smiles on their faces just waved as they passed by.
“What are we doing here?” Jummy asked.
“Just follow my lead and trust me.” John replied.
“You realize this GNP… As in where I work right?”
“Yup… That’s why I even brought you here.”
“But you know that…”
“That you need to shut up and just follow my lead.” John cut in.
Jummy kept quiet until they got to the back of the building and watched John climb the fire escape.
“What are you doing?” She asked. “Climbing a tree,” he replied sarcastically.
“Well, I’m not climbing that tree with you.” “Why do you complain so much?” John asked.
“Say whatever you like, I.AM.NOT.CLIMBING.THIS.THING.WITH.YOU. Full stop!!!” Jummy yelled… Few minutes later, she was climbing it, John had his ways.
When they got to the top, Jummy started complaining about how much her legs ached before she rose her head and saw what was at her front.
A table clothed with a red table cloth and two chairs placed at both sides rested comfortably on the carpet which had the words: I LOVE YOU, written all over it. Rose flowers were littered all around the table and a candle was lit and placed at the middle of the table. Jummy was blown away.
“Shall we?” John asked seeing Jummy’s reaction
“Yes… We shall.” She replied and offered her hand for John to lead the way.
The table was still empty and for a moment, Jummy wondered if they were meant to eat the candle and table cloth but just as she smiled at the naughty thought, two people appeared from nowhere with one holding a huge tray with Jummy’s favourite delicacy and the other holding a bottle of red wine and two cups… Viola! Dinner was served.
“Perfect.” Jummy murmured inaudibly.
Taofeek heard footsteps just right outside the door and could also hear two people speak but couldn’t quite make out what they were saying.
He tried to survey his environment but it was a pointless idea. He had seen all he needed to see: a chair, a light bulb, a bucket.
By this time, he was fully aware of his situation. He had been kidnapped by an IT company, or fake IT company as it now seemed and they had made contact with his sister. What he didn’t know was how much was requested as ransom and what was going to happen to him next.
Suddenly, the door sprung open and two people walked in. He recognized one as Mr Dayo but the other was new to him.
Without saying any word, the other person walked up to Taofeek and after looking at him for a while then turned back to Mr Dayo and asked, “is this him?”
“Yes… It’s him.”
“Oh! I see… And you are sure he is the one?”
“Okay then, let’s get this over with. Hold him down.”
Mr Dayo walked over and held Taofeek while the other person picked up a suitcase Taofeek hadn’t noticed was there before, he placed it on the table and opened it.
Taofeek couldn’t see the contents, but the look on the man’s eye told Taofeek nothing favourable could come out from it.