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Episode 16

*Rose POV*
Just as the person was opening the door, she disengaged herself from me and dashed inside, I followed suite. Her hand trembled so much as she tried dialling a number, whether she succeeded in dialling it or not I couldn’t tell as she quickly dropped it when the person came into the room, pointing a gun at us. My breath caught when I saw who it was- my dad.
Rose: “Oh my God! It’s my dad” I exclaimed, looked at Anita and saw the frown on her face.
Anita: “You were the bastard who put this innocent girl through that kind of hell? You should be locked up already. Why are you still roaming about free like an untamed wolf?” she snapped with disgust.
Olamide: “Be careful what you say lady. I did not come here for you. I came to take my daughter back home” he said still pointing the gun at us.
Anita: “Which daughter did you give birth to? I am sorry but I doubt you have any daughter here, please check next door” she replied and I became more afraid than I already was.
Rose: “What if he succeeds in taking me with him? My life will be ruined, he will surely end up in killing me. I don’t want to die anymore, I want to live” I thought to myself and began to quiver violently. She probably noticed this cos she quickly reached for me and drew me behind her, standing in between I and him.
Olamide: “Baby remember how I said I can’t live without you? It is still true. Please come with me, I will not hurt you anymore I promise” he sounded so desperate I was afraid for Anita. I wondered who would save us from this new snare we found ourselves in.
Anita: “What part of you don’t have a daughter here do you not understand? Please get out of my house before I do something you will never get over in your life. Get out!” she screamed and he took a step back, just when we thought he was giving up, he lunged forward and hit her on the forehead with the butt of the gun. She fell down, holding her head…
Rose: “What did you just do? Why will you do that you scoundrel?” I bellowed and bent down to touch her but she held her hand up and stood on her own. Blood started dripping from the cut to the floor.
Anita: “You can kill me if you want but I will never allow ou take Rose away. She is an innocent girl whom you have bartered to satisfy your depravity. I wouldn’t let this go on, at least not in my lifetime” she said, clenching and unclenching her hands.
Rose: “Please do not hurt her. Please don’t” I had to plead. I could see he was ready to do anything to get her out of the way, he also reeked of booze. That has always been his undoing. *Anita POV*
Seeing him like gave me the goose bumps whether out of fear or disgust, I didn’t want to know. One thing I knew was that I was going to fight him with my last breath. My head ached, my whole being seemed to want to be shut down but it mustn’t be allowed, I couldn’t go down so easily. He was losing his patience at that moment and I knew I was in for another confrontation.
Olamide: “Lady I will not warn you a second time, please step aside right away”
Anita: “I will not. You can make me if you want to but I sincerely won’t step aside. Let me ask you a question, why do you want to destroy your own daughter’s life?”
Olamide: “I am not destroying her life, all I am doing is loving her. Loving her and teaching her what it’s gonna be like if she decides to fall in love later. Love is what hurts and makes humans into imbeciles. I needed to be the only one in her heart”
Anita: “You call that love? The truth is you know nothing about love. Love protects, love does not inflict pain, love is peaceful but you’ve tumedyouryoung daughter into your s ex machine since she was ten years old up till the moment she ran to us for help after you aborted the pregnancy inside her without even thinking it might cost her life. Do you call this love? The pains this little girl has endured, I cannot endure even quarter of it and I am an adult”
Olamide: “You see? Your father did not prepare you well enough for this world. This life is filed with hatred and hurt. No one loves anyone. Now step aside” he thundered impatiently.
Anita: “Good for me I must say. I wouldn’t have survived with a father like you anyway.”
Immediately I said this, I heard thumping of feet on the floor outside just the same way his had sounded. I remembered dialing Derek’s number but didn’t have the chance to talk to him. I thought the call did not go through but hearing the thumpinu outsidegave me hope. Maybe he had liste ned to our conversation and started coming. I only wished and prayed he was not alone, that he hadn’t acted on impulse and ran here blindly without backup.
Olamide: “Shit! Did you call anyone? Now you are truly dead” he said, conked the gun and was about to press the trigger when we heard drop the gun just behind him, he dashed for me blindly and wrapped his hand around my neck, his gun graced the side of my head. Rose began wailing
Rose: “Please stop this dad. I beg of you please stop, you are going to get killed too” she said weeping profusely. And it struck me real hard, she couldn’t have wanted her dad dead of course. No matter how bad a parent is, the child wouldn’t want to watch him/her die right in front of them. She was terrified from the look on her face.
Derek: “Drop the gun right away or I’d shoot you” he said with his jaw set. He wore onl u h i s pyjamas.
Olamide: “Do that and she’d be dead too. Judging from how you are here all alone without a backup plan, you must really be in love with her. You see? Love man’s undoing. I’m sure you cannot afford to lose her. I will kill her if you don’t drop your gun right away”
I saw Derek’s resolve melt and his eyes soften a little and knew he was going to do as he was commanded…
Anita: “No don’t drop the gown, he will take her away” I pleaded but knew that would be futile. Rose: “Okay I will go with you dad. I will go with you” she said stepping forward. “But you have to promise me you wouldn’t hurt anyone. No one will get hurt by your hands, do you promise?”
Olamide: “Good girl. I promise no one will as long as you come with me. We will leave this town together and go live a good life somewhere far away. I will not hurt you anymore I promise. Now walk out, enter my car and wait for me there”
I regretted the fact that the gate could be opened from inside without a key at that moment. I saw Rose walk out while he drew me along, still holding me hostage so Derek would behave himself. He had commanded him to kick his gun towards him, as he got to where the gun was, he kicked it under the bed and commanded Derek to move forward too. He did. By the time we got outside, Rose was already seated in her dad’s car, silently weeping into her hands.
Olamide: “Now you, keep walking” he told Derek who cast him a menacing look and walked farther from us, his leg wobbled and stabilized, he must have been scared out of his wits not of him but for me. When he got satisfied with the distance between us and Derek, he threw me to one side, jumped into his car and sped off. Derek came running back immediately he released me but it was already too late, he had sped off. I wasn’t one to give up so easily…
Anita: “Get into your car Dee, we are going after him, we mustn’t lose him. Hurry up and would you do us the favour of calling backup now?” I issued out commands like a trained army officer while he obeyed. We sped after him with his tail light barely visible in the distance, it was as if he was flying. Derek also stepped on the accelerator and in no time. We were just covering the distance between us when it seemed like he had lost control of the car as it began swerving from side to
side. I didn’t know when “Oh My God” escaped my mouth, Derek was grunting something I couldn’t hear too.
The car began to somersault. It somersaulted twice and rolled down the neatly tarred road and stopped emitting smoke. I jumped off the car even before Derek brought it to a proper stop with my heart in my mouth, I could hardly breathe. A man’s lifeless head reared from the shattered window, it was unrecognizable, it had been shattered in a way that made zombies look adorable compared to him. Derek ran up to me and wrapped me in his arms, burying my head on his shoulder, I just couldn’t breathe…
I am lost, and at a dilemma right now. My girl cannot be in that car, can she? Maybe we should have just allowed him take her away?

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Episode 17

*Anita POV*
A police van screeched to a halt beside us and some of the officers got down to pull the victims out of the car. He was pulled out first but on a second look, I realised the man did not look like Rose’s dad, he was putting on a different shirt too. I disengaged from Derek’s embrace and skidded to a halt at the passenger’s front seat butitwasnt Roith e re either, ft was another man. I burst into fresh sobs and my head reeled. I almost collapsed on the floor but knowing Rose was out there with the monster made me stand on my feet. Derek walked up to me after inspecting the bodies with relief written all over his face.
Derek: “Thank God they weren’t the ones. The car looks exactly the same. The driver here was drunk driving. I feel sorry for them though”
Anita: “Yeah I feel sorry for them too. We need to find Rose as soon as possible. I heard him saying they will run away to a far place where no one will be able to find them, we have to find them before then”
Derek: “Baby but you need medical attention. I need to get you to the hospital. How is your head? Do you know how scared I was when I heard you scream on the phone like that? I thought I will lose you. Please be careful from now on”
Anita: “Thanks for coming as soon as I called. Didn’t even know you picked the call. Thanks a lot honey” I called him honey for the first time and I could see he was elated from the look on his face. “Please let’s go to her house. We can check Google map if you don’t know the way” I said and gave him the address.
Derek: “Okay boss. And you should know, once all these is over, we are getting married; whether you like it or not. And you will stop doing this job and find something else. Maybe as a teacher in a secondary school teaching social studies or family living. This job is too dangerous for you, judging from how you get emotionally attached to your clients”
Anita: “And you think I will really agree to that?” I asked, trying to support my head with my hand. It ached like crazy I could hardly see.
Derek: “Sorry dear” he cast me a concerned look as he drove like a professional driver. “I know you will agree cos you love kids a lot. You can get emotionally attached to your students as much as you want. You can also counsel them. You will meet many of them like Rose, I even think you will be of more use there than in the agency when they will come to you only after things have gotten out of hand. With your skills, I have no doubt that you will fish any such student out by the first sight. Baby please consider this okay?”
Anita: “Okay” I actually saw reasons with what he said and I was becoming excited about it already. “How about Francis? Any luck yet?”
Derek: “No luck yet but we are catching in on his trail. It’s just a matter of time before we finally catch him. Do not worry your pretty head love”
Anita: “Good one” I replied and started dozing off.
other option but to keep mute for real.
*Anita POV*
Even though I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t sleep because thoughts of him hurting Rose again clouded my mind. I could remember her smiles earlier, the way she hugged and thanked me for letting her stay at my place, the hope in her voice when she asked that I read the poem to her. She was getting her spirit back alive again and had started wanting to live. I don’t want the man to snatch all these away from her again. I kept tossing on my seat and even th o u gh I didn’t open m y eyes, I felt Derek casting glances at me. He must have been worried to the bones.
Derek: “Are you okay?” he asked worriedly but of course I wasn’t okay. I was far from being okay.
Anita: “I will be okay when we get Rose back. Dear you weren’t there when she spoke, it was like she was getting reborn again. If that man should do anything to her now, getting her out of the emotional web it will plunge her into will be very difficult” I said in a bid to encourage him to drive faster.
Derek: “Do not worry dear, we will get her back. I actually find it difficult believing a father can rape his own daughter. Does stuffs like this really happen in this world?”
Anita: “You are a police officer and you ask me this? I have solved many cases of incest in my four years as a social worker. I have heard stones of a father getting his daughter pregnant. I have solved cases whereby a step-father raped his 6 months old step-daughter. Many stuffs like this are happening. I do not know why you, a police officer has not come across it before?”
Derek: “Actually I have. Just haven’t been as attached to the case as I am to this one. Its probably cos you are involved and you are so soft hearted that you dragged me into your league. I must go for rehab after this, to get healed of your influence” he feigned annoyance.
Anita: “Poor dear! Who shall save you from the web you have chased after for years? Now that you are in you want out already? You really are soft hearted, I will be medicine”
Derek: “Oh God! I am in a deep shit. Just be careful with my heart Madame. Okay here we are” he said and brought the car to a screeching halt some kilometres away from his gate, probably so he wouldn’t hear the sound of the car and go into panic mode.
I was surprised when he made the announcement that we had gotten there, our little chit-chat had succeeded in distracting me a little. I felt lighter and better.
Rose POV’
I heard the sound of the car at a distance but he didn’t seem to had heard since he busied himself with packing the bags still while I stood at a corner watching him. he didn’t make me pack and I didn’t offer to help either, I needed to waste as much of his time as possible knowing Anita was not going to give up in searching for me and this house was going to be the first she would start from.
I saw my dad pick up one of my pants, sniffed it while closing his eyes and looking lost, I shook my head and wondered if he was really sane. I started thinking at that moment that he had really gone mad. He finished packing at last and drew me along with him to the gate carrying the bag which mostly had my cloths in it in one hand.
As we opened the gate and stepped out, I saw Anita step gently out of the car some few feet from our gate. He must have seen them too cos he drew me against the wall, in a bid to stay out of sight. With our backs against the wall, we started sneaking away little by little while they walked hurriedly towards our house…

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Episode 18

*Anita POV*
My sight was blurred so I could not understand why Derek was running towards the house all of a sudden when we had decided not to call his attention to our presence by staying as lowkey as we could. I mustered all the strength I had left and ran after him. I saw him grab Rose’s Dad by the neck and they both began to roll on the floor with each trying to gain the upper hand in the fight and I began to wonder when the backup he called would arrive. I drew Rose closer, she flinched when Derek rained blows on her dad while I flinched whenever her dad did. Nevertheless, we had one purpose and that was to free her from the man.
Derek was a trained fighter and so he was able to subdue him at last and handcuffed him…
Derek: “You are under arrest Mr Olamide for child abuse and molestation, it will be in your best interest to remain silent since any word you utter can be used against you in the law court” he said breathlessly.
Olamide: “Child abuse really? And who is the child I molested?” he asked defensively.
Derek: “Your daughter. You have been sexually molesting your daughter for the past three years now. Do not utter even one word again” he threatened with eyes blazing in the moonlight.
Olamide: “You are infringing on my right and I will sue you for this. I am innocent of these allegations and I will make sure I call the services of highly qualified lawyers in this country to fight this case. You will be done for Mr Hero”
Derek: “Well I want to be done for. I can’t wait to see howwellyourlawyers will argue your ca s e and what lies they will use. I can’t wait to see your face when the judge pronounces judgment on you. It will be my life’s greatest achievement” he pushed him to the back of the car and instructed me to drive while he climbed to the back with him. Rose sat at the front and remained as silent as the graveyard. I had to drive as slowly as possible because of my blurred sight.
taunted and laughed.
Anita: “I want to ask you a question please?”
Olamide: “Do you have to be polite about it? Hasn’t my interrogation started? Ask away” Anita: “It is a personal question besides I am just a social worker and your daughter ran to me for help when you made her life into a living hell. So can you tell me the reason you treated Ahunli so bad even though you knew she loved you so much? She kept loving you even in death”
Olamide: “Well not everyone deserves to be loved, I am on a ofthoseandlma d eitquitecleartu her even from the onset but she decided to stick around. People think that the most painful thing in this world is losing someone you value but no, the most painful thing is valuing someone so much and then in the process, forgetting that you are special too. She should have just lost me rather than losing herself loving me”
Anita: “You haven’t answered my question” I cast him a look from the rearview mirror. “Why were you unable to love her despite knowing she is special and all?”
Olamide: “Well, I am stone hearted. I don’t know how to love and what I love, I destroy. So I shied away from love all together”
Anita: “Then you were afraid that your loving her or showing her love will make you do things that would hurt her?”
Olamide: “Yes. I was afraid like that. Do you have your answer now?’
Derek: “Well you could have opened up to her about your fears. She could have helped you overcome it. You two could have worked it out but you pushed her into the lion’s den, didn’t she get destroyed at the end?”
Olamide: “I have punished myself for that ever since her death. You think I felt happy she died? Of course not”
Anita: “Then are you paying her back for all her love lost by hurting the daughter she left for you? Her only child?”
Olamide: “I am not hurting her, Baby tell them how I did not hurt you. Or did I really? Maybe I love you too much, I should never have allowed myself to care so much about you.” he became sober and downcast. In order not to start feeling sorry for him, I kept mute and so did Derek, we left him to his misery.
*Rose POV*
Hearing my dad say all that wrenched my heart. I wished my mum was alive to hear it. To hear that he actually pushed her away cos he loved her and was afraid of hurting her. I looked up at the stars through the car window and wondered if she was up there, probably watching over me?
Anita was taken to the hospital and the injury on her head treated after my dad had been locked up in a cell which had five other inmates. Derek took the two of us to his own place despite Anita’s protests.
Anita: “We cannot stay at your place, just take us home please. Her dad has already been locked up so we are safe”
Derek: “How about Francis?”
Anita: “He does not know where I stay at so we are safer now”
Derek: “I can’t believe you just said that mehn. How did Olamide get to know where you lived? He even went as far as having a spare key and you think a man as dangerous as Francis will not do even more than that? He must be somewhere there as we talk right now, waiting for you to come back home so just stay here”
Anita: “So how are you sure we’d be safe here?”
I must give it to her, she was really stubborn, and how could a woman argue so much especially when it had to do with her own safety?
Derek: “At least I’d be here to protect you”
Anita: “Oh I see! So you will be here to protect us? Its okay”
So she concurred and that was how we found ourselves there. He was extremely neat, everything was where they were supposed to be, and nothing was littered around despite him being a busy guy. I saw the way they looked at each other, full of admiration and love. They cared deeply about each other even though they weren’t rushing things up. I found myself wishing my own parents had experienced the joy of being in love rather than the hide and seek they were doing.
He got a call at exactly 10:30 pm that the guys had found where Francis was at last and needed his attention there with them as soon as he could. He was more than elated but Anita had her reservations, call it a woman’s instinct.
Anita: “I don’t think you should go. They should handle that themselves, I’m sure they can, they are not kids” she folded her arms across her midsection stubbornly like an overprotective house wife.
Derek: “Don’t be stubborn baby girl. You know this is important to me. The guys need me there” he said wearing his jacket, I pretended to be asleep.
Anita: “But you said you’d be here with us?”
Derek: “Not to worry dear, you guys will be safe. I won’t be gone for too long so chillax okay? I know you will miss me but just hang on for me. I’d be right back for sure” he said, gave her a kiss and bounded for the door.
Anita: “Me too but hey! It’s gonna be fine, we are safe here with God by our side. Okay? Do you know how to pray?”
Rose: “No! No one ever thought me how to, will you teach me?”
Anita: “Of course I will” I made her go on her knees and say after me as I told God how we wanted to be safe from thence onwards. We heard the keys click outside and the door opened, I went to the sitting room to check and there stood Francis with an axe in hand looking like he won mega lottery…

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Episode 19

*Anita POV*
He walked closer to us winging the axe from side to side. He looked around and at that moment, I thought he was actually going to see the hidden camera but he didn’t. He was too occupied with scaring the daylight out of us. He took his seat in front of Rose who was still sitting on the chair I left her on to go check who was inside the house. He looked at her for some time and grinned. I ran up to her and folded her in my arms, she was as rigid as a stone, probably holding her breath. Held her hands in mine for a second and closed my eyes.
Anita: “What are you doing here please?” I asked preventing my teeth from clattering against themselves after i had let go of Rose’s hands.
Francis: “I love your courage, you should rather be asking how i got into the house, well i will tell you even though you didn’t ask, your boyfriend left it open in his blind hurry to catch me. Isn’t that lame? i should give him a gold medal for his carefulness and expertise judging from how i sneaked into the compound when he was sliding the gate open. I really like police officers”
Anita: “I said what are you doing here?”
Francis: “I have watched you ever since you decided to meddle in an issue that is none of your business. I would have come for you that night but that dumb fake husband of hers spoilt the show for me by getting there first. I should have just killed him when I had the chance. The drunkard” he said looking as lost as a stray dog.
Anita: “So why are you here now?” I had to keep him talking hoping against hope that Derek could view the happenings at home on his phone.
Francis: “I came to kill you first, then kill her second. Then if peradventure that boyfriend of yours shows up soon, I’d kill him too”
Anita: “Why? What is our offense against you?”
Francis: “Your offense? Ahahahahaha” he laughed wickedly. “Your offense is countless. Why did you have to meddle in our business?”
Anita: “You and whose business?”
Francis: “I and Rose of course you dumb smart girl. You probably want to keep me talking in order to give your boyfriend some time to get here. But not to worry, the address I gave him that I was at is quite far from here. He couldn’t be back until twilight. And besides, I love taking it slow too so I and my vics can enjoy the show. Rose here knows that much” he cast her a look.
Anita: “Okay then. We hope you take it really slow. So we can all enjoy it”
*Rose POV*
Seeing the axe in his hands brought back memories I had buried deep down inside me. The image of him hacking my mum’s leg while I stood and watched helplessly. The images of my mum slipping into quietus while I watched unable to stop her. the images of her dismembered body. I didn’t know whether to be scared or angry. I must have been both at the same time. Hearing him gibber on and on made me even angrier, I wanted to pounce on him but Anita’s hands on my shoulders held me down when I began to tense up my shoulders. At least she couldn’t hold my mouth down so I snapped…
Rose: “Will you shut up you psycho? Just imagine what you are saying? You are really generous uhn?”
Anita: “Shhhhhh Rose” she tried to cover my mouth with her trembling hands but I shook it off. Francis: “No leave her to talk. I guess she is awake at last. Yes being generous has always been my undoing. The same way I am extending my generosity to you now is the same way I did with your mum when she was carrying a bastard in her tummy. A child which was rejected along with her but how did she pay me back? By rejecting me. By tossing me to the dogs no matter how much I tried to get back to my feet, she kept pushing me back to the mud with pigs with her rejection. She kept longing for another man, a man who was doing the same thing she was doing to me to her. a man who was unworthy of her, a man who was trampling on what I treasured the
most. That was what she did. She did all that to me” his voice quaked so much I thought he was crying but he wasn’t.
Rose: “So you killed her? Did she kill the man who was rejecting her? Just accept the fact that you need help. You are mentally deranged”
Francis: “And who will help me? Everyone in this world is broken, they just go about pretending to be alright. I must tell you, I am better than many of you”
Anita: “So was killing the one you loved that much the best thing you could have done?”
Francis: “You have no idea lady. Why would I have let someone else have her when she was originally mine? We almost got married, she almost agreed to marry me until he showed up. He treated her so bad yet she stuck to him like an ant stuck in a web. Did she deserve to live that way?”
Anita: “I guess it’s not she you should have killed. Isn’t the man the one who is the offender in this case? It’s he who deserved your punishment”
Francis: “Oh no! It wasn’t he who rejected me. Well I just cut off her limbs, the ones she kept using to run back to him thereby leaving me in the lurch. I didn’t know she’d die but her death was worth it. I no longer lay on my bed, thinking whether or not she is in another man’s arms. I feel good”
Rose: “You are a coward. You knew he was a man and he could have fought you off”
Francis: “Enough of the prep talk. I will proceed now. I think I will have to start from the lady so the young girl can have her fill of what her experience would be a second time. How do I do it? Should I have a change of game plan? Maybe do it differently this time? Even God loves variety, He would want me to send you all home in a different ways”
Rose: “Take me first”
Anita: “No I will go first baby”
Francis: “Awwwww this is touching. Not to worry, I will take the lady first and I think the backyard will just be good enough. I have circled everywhere before coming in. you have a garden at the backyard right? Now move!” he shoved her towards the back door and she walked on.
hear him. I thought of screaming my lungs out but that would make him carry out his act faster than planned probably by using the axe on me. I still had hope of escape and so I behaved myself and watched him dig. Rose stood at a corner watching him too, I felt sorry for her, for the fact that she had to face two psychotic men at such tender age. How on earth will she be able to trust men again if peradventure we escape this? At the back of my eyes, I saw someone hiding behind the mango tree at the garden, he was probably looking for an opportunity to pounce. I looked away from him in order not to call Francis’ attention to him.
*Rose POV*
He kept digging without looking back. He must have been sure that there was going to be no intruder or intruders. I looked towards the place Anita kept glancing at and saw the shadow of a man lurking around in the dark. He was probably thinking of the best opportunity to prance on Francis. He seemed to know what he was doing so I relaxed a little praying to God that he would succeed or we’d all be dead.
The man in the shadows suddenly disappeared, I strained my eyes to see if he was probably hiding somewhere else but Francis caught me…
Francis: “What are you looking at? You come here!” he bellowed and took giant steps towards me but Anita blocked his way
Anita: “I won’t let you hurt her. Not while I am still alive” she said stubbornly.
Francis: “Get out of my way little lady” he said and shoved her out of the way making her fall back on her buttocks. I ran to her dodging him.
Rose: “Are you okay Annie?” I asked trying to help her up but he grabbed me making me let go of her all of a sudden, she fell back again, grunting.
Anita: “I am okay baby. Don’t worry”
He bundled the two of us together with a rope he had with him, he sure did come prepared.
Francis: “I guess I have to kill the two of you together. There is no time now. You, did you see anyone out there?” he asked looking at me.
Rose: “And you think I will tell you if I actually did see someone?” I shook my head pitifully at him while he scowled, bending down to pick up his shovel again and resumed digging.
Anita: “Don’t talk to him again Rose. He is too dangerous’
Rose: “I am not afraid of him or what he can do. I just hate him a lot for killing my mum and rough handling you”
Anita: “Don’t worry dear, Derek will be here soon enough” she was talking more to herself than to me. I sensed she was trying to convince herself. She must have been praying in her heart that he should show up soon. I felt sorry for her. All that was my fault. Maybe I shouldn’t have dragged her into my rustic world. As we sat tied together with our backs against each other, I could feel her heart racing and her breath coming in short gasps like someone who ran a thousand miles in a minute. She was trying really hard to control her breathing but she wa s n’t succeeding. I looked towards the mango tree to see if the man had returned again but he still wasn’t there, she must have noticed him then too cos she kept turning her heads towards the same direction I was looking at. We were both hopeful.
He finished digging at last, walked towards us and started dragging us towards the pit. So he was going to bury us alive still tied together like that.
Rose: “I am sorry Annie for dragging you into this” I whispered to her.
Anita: “It is okay honey bun. I couldn’t have imagined you going through this all alone. I am glad I am here with you” she said still breathing hard as we got closer to the pit. He dropped the axe so as to hurl us in with his two hands and then, someone jumped out from the shadows and pranced on him, pinning him to the floor. On a second look, I saw it was Derek, he was sweating profusely. Other men wearing bullet proof vests on black shirts started coming out one after the other too. There were five of them.
Francis fought and kicked hard to free himself but Derek seemed to have been stronger than he was. He took out handcuff from his pocket and cuffed him the same way he did to my dad.
Derek: “You are under arrest Francis Umuodiah for the murder of Miss Ahunli Onyejekwe. It will be in your best interest to be silent since anything you say will be used against you in the court of law” he said hurling him up on his feet. His hand was cuffed behind his back.
Hmmmm what a wicked world

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Rose POV’
Francis fought and kicked hard to free himself but Derek seemed to have been stronger than he
was. He took out handcuff from his pocket and cuffed him the same way he did to my dad.
Derek: “You are under arrest Francis Umuodiah for the murder of Miss Ahunli Onyejekwe. It will be in your best interest to be silent since anything you say will be used against you in the court of law” he said hurling him up on his feet. His hand was cuffed behind his back.
One of the guys walked over and untied us, looking at us pitifully. Derek handed him to one of the officers and he was led away with the officers surrounding him.
Derek: “I am sorry ladies. I am very very sorry, It was my fault” he said hugging us both at the same time. He was weeping silently.
Anita: “Yes it was your fault. You shouldn’t have left, learn to listen to your woman sometimes” she was obviously relieved but pretending otherwise.
Derek: “Lesson learnt ma’am. Will never be disobedient again. Hope you two are not hurt anywhere?”
Anita: “We are fine. Rose hope you aren’t hurt?” she bent down to check every single part of my body and when she was satisfied that I wasn’t hurt, she hugged me then.
Rose: “I am fine Annie” I said hugging her back. The two dangerous men who were after me had been taken into custody. I was more than relieved. I felt alive and ready to heal, to grow into adulthood even though I was still uncertain as to where to go after then. Maybe I was going to go home to my grandparents, I wondered how they were going to take it knowing my own dad had caused their daughter’s death. Weren’t they going to carry out that ag g ression on me? I felt like I didn’t belong with them, I wouldn’t be welcomed there.
*Anita pov*
The next day when she was still asleep, I decided to talk to Derek about what I have been thinking about. I led him outside out of her earshot.
Derek: “What is it sunshine? Am I going to get reprimanded for yesterday again?” he asked holding me tightly by the waist.
Anita: “Not at all even though you deserve to be berated for the rest of your life. That reminds me, how did you know to come back sef?”
Derek: “I was half-way to the place he told me about when I decided to check the CCTV which I had connected to my phone and saw him inside swinging that scary looking axe. God! I felt fooled and useless at that moment. I had to call my assistant to meet me in front of my house with the rest of the team. And I dunno why it took them so long to reach here too since we met at the junction. My neighbour also called on my way here to confirm that someone was in here trying to hurt you guys. I had to tell him to hang around to tell me all of his movement since there was no camera outside here”
Anita: “So he was the one lurking around in the shadow then?”
Derek: “Yeah I guess and honey, I am extremely sorry. Will never leave you vulnerable like that again. I am sorry” he said looking straight into my eyes, the sun reflecting in his handsome face.
Anita: “It’s okay though. I’m just glad you are always on time. And what I wanted to tell you was that I want to adopt Rose”
Derek: “What? How about her grand-parents? I don’t think that is a good idea Annie” he looked
Anita: “I called to ask them if I could yesterday and they said it was okay by them as long as she will continue being their grand daughter and I wouldn’t stop them from seeing her whenever they want”
*Anita POV*
Derek: “So how were you able to convince her grandparents? I’m not saying I will agree to that yet o”
Anita: “Well it wasn’t easy actually but when I told them all she had been through and the fact that she had met them just once before and wouldn’t even recognise them and the fact that she needed stability and I was willing to provide that for her. I could be a mother and you, a father to
her. I was the one told them they will continue being her family and will even have more access to her now than they did before”
Derek: “Hmmmmmm…you are worded mehn! And you are a good woman Annie. I am the luckiest man on earth right now. How did you come about this idea of yours though? I wouldn’t have been able to think of it myself’ he was full of admiration for me, making my head swell uncontrollably.
Anita: “I just don’t want her being sad all her life. I don’t want her to go back to living on edge. And she is already getting used to me. I really like her. I like her very very much I don’t want her out of my reach”
Derek: “Okay sweetie. Know I am support of whatever you decide to do. We are in this together and we will surely give her the best, help heal those scars in her heart and her body. We will try all we can” he said, holding me against his chest. I could hear his heart pimping aggressively. We were alive, and we were making this decision together. I felt on top of the world, blessed and graced. What patience can do.
*Rose POV
I couldn’t help but overhear their discussion. I could not believe my luck. I who had always gotten rejected, I who had always been mocked and used is now being loved to this extent. I couldn’t contain my joy, I ran out and joined in their embrace even though I was not up to their height.
Rose: “Thanks Annie. No! thanks mum, I will call you two mum and dad from now on” I said excitedly and they both laughed.
Anita: “We are more than glad to have you in our lives baby”
Derek: “I guess we just had a child out of wedlock. Honey please marry me before we become the talk of the town” he said and went on his knees, brought out a ring from his pocket and held it in front of her. “I was going to this later today in a five star hotel but I just can’t postpone it anymore. What better time than now in front of our daughter? Will you marry me Annie?”
The two of us were dumbfounded…
Anita and I: “Yes yes yes” we said jumping up. I felt like I was the one being proposed to, I was extremely happy I didn’t know when I said yes yes yes. He slipped the ring into her third finger, I turned away when they started to kiss.
Anita and Derek got married in a most beautiful way, we all lived together even when they gave birth to their own child, a son. My grand-parents seldom came to see me. I was made to go to Oxford University in UK for my university education even though I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay with my kid brother and parents.
I became a Girls’ Right Activist after my university education when I came back to Nigeria and realised there were many girls going through the same stuffs I went through. I couldn’t let that happen, I went from school to school, town to town, city to city, educating girls on their rights and how they shouldn’t keep silent abou t any form of abuse they were going through. T h ey deserve to be heard and helped. I provided scholarship to as many as I could, sheltered some just the same way Annie and Derek did for me.
I thank God for my struggles and where I have been through. His grace sustained me, saw me through and gave me a home, a family and a voice which can be heard far and wide.
*Anita POV*
IF I told you I don’t bless God for making me adopt that girl I’d be lying. She brought so many blessings to my home after we adopted her. Favours poured in from every angle and before we knew it, we were being used as an example of humanitarian couples all over the country. The evil men do surely do catch up with them no matter how hidden it is now, someday, It will surely be revealed. My baby girl became a poet and an activist for girls passing through the same stuffs she did and I am so proud of her. She will be getting married next month and I just can’t help but thank God for the man she is going to marry too.
Andre was her classmate who taunted her so much in high school. He told me how he regretted everything he did after she left. He actually liked her then and that was the reason he did all that, just to find excuses to talk to her. Well he is a good guy too, I and Derek are going to give them the best during their wedding for sure.

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