I HAD A P.I. COME IN FROM THE STATES TO JOIN THE ONE HERE WE’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR HER FOR ALMOST THREE MONTHS AND EVERY EVIDENCE WE HAD LED us to a dead end I closed my eyes and cracked my knuckles thinking of the next place to start looking from we had posters of her at almost every corner of the country with a whooping prize for whoever was able to find her but all the calls we had were either pranks or wrong identification, if she had been kidnapped her abductors would have contacted us already and if she’s in hiding what scared her?, was someone threatening her.I pulled out my phone from my side pocket as soon as I felt it vibrate and answered without looking at the screen “Hello” there was silence at the other end so I removed it from my ear and studied the number carefully it looked different I wonder which country it is? It could be fraudsters or Liyah’s abductors. “Hello……,who I’m I speaking to please”. The call was ended abruptly. My phone rang again just after the call ended.
“WE HAVE A LEAD JAMAL” DR. AMIN SAID HURRIEDLY, I LEFT THE OFFICE AS QUICKLY AS I COULD AND CALLED JEFF THE P.I I CALLED IN TO JOIN ME AT THE HOUSE. I studied the sheet Dr Amin gave me and marvelled at the exorbitant amount that was withdrawn from the account I shook my head trying very hard to shake off the anger that was building inside me, why didn’t I think of this. “So when was this done the amount left is chicken change” I said annoyed at how a prominent bank could allow such a transaction to be made without the consent of the kin of the person. “Calm down Jamal, I know everything will come to an end pretty soon”.
“I wonder why the manager never contacted me before giving out such an amount, it’s the money she had from her mum’s inheritance, and I should never have given her total control of that account we had an agreement she would not misuse that money” he said looking through the papers again. He called the manager but he said she had full control on the money so he couldn’t convince her although he tried doing so.
“Now we need to get the CCTV footage of that date we want to study her body language it can tell a lot or if she was with someone” Jeff said as Dr Amin spoke with the manager. “I had a call from a strange number I don’t know if it’s worth looking into, but I think we should give it a try” I said shoving the phone into Jeff’s hand.
***** ******* ******* ******
I met with Dr Amin and Jeff with the other P.I whose name I still don’t recall.
“So I checked the number but I can’t trace it I’m still trying to break through, whoever did this is a computer genius” I shook my head and started walking to the door “But we tried the major airports and spotted her at the KIA (KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) that was three days after she went missing we checked the flights that left the country that day since we couldn’t make out the exact flight she took, the officials are tight lipped about it. Here are the list of flights
NEW YORK -6pm
SYDNEY -6:30 PM
“Which schools did she apply to?” Jeff asked looking at me “I only know of Yale, and Cambridge I think I’m not certain but it seems she applied to one of those British schools, and the Ghanaian schools too, but judging from how futile search seems I don’t think she’s in any of the schools over here”.
Jeff nodded and jotted something down, “So the best bet is which of the schools she went to and if she has indeed been scared away she’ll go for a low-key school so she won’t bring attention to herself, I think we’ll have to hack into her email and social media accounts so we can see if she had anyone threatening her, then we can decide which of the countries she fled to”. I nodded as a plan started forming in my head.
I DIDN’T WANT TO DELAY EVEN A SECOND LONG WHEN I HAVE PROVE SHE’S OUT THERE SOMEWHERE, MY BEST BET IS SHE MIGHT BE IN LONDON OR SYDNEY, I’M SO CONFUSED, I KNOW SHE’s bilingual and could be in any of these countries I just had to try my luck and I pray it’s where she is I don’t have any intention of giving up on her anytime soon.
I started making arrangements to leave the country I told Dr Amin I had a very important meeting to attend to, we couldn’t really rely on what we’ve been given so this was the only choice we had plus I couldn’t even tell where to start searching from, my only luck will be all the countries I targeted are advanced so I could find her easily which I pray I do cos I couldn’t keep on living like this she had my whole life in a mess and it could only be righted by her “Princess, I really need you I could have beared with you being far from me but the thought that I could see you even if it was from a distance always soothed me, but not knowing where you are at all freaks me out, Ya Allah please help me find her, I’ve learnt my lessons”.
I travel a lot mostly for business trips and I was usually content with the results I had but this particular trip scares me I’m afraid of the results “will I find her, how would she react when she sees me, will she be happy someone finally found her?” I huffed and leaned my head on the small plane that was flying me to Melbourne, I’ve been in Sydney for the past two days and all search proved futile, I chose Melbourne cos there might be a chance she went there and it was a large city.”We’re sorry Sir but no one by this name came into this country on that date or all the days that followed but I do pray you find her” she said softly when she saw how distressed I was “But it can only be possible if she came in illegally or by another name, we can leave her picture with the police in case they find someone who looks like her” I smiled sadly and rose gently from the chair.
** * *** **** ** ** * *
I drummed my thumb and middle finger on the desk as I waited for her to give me an answer it’s always frightening when you wait to be given a life changing answer, her answer could wreck and unwreck me, she squinted her eyes and bit her forefinger. “No one by that name came in from Ghana or any African country” I swallowed hard and huffed closing my eye tightly “then what of European countries she could have made a transit” she shook her head in disapproval “I can’t do that for you sir I’ve already broken too many rules but I pray you do find your wife” “I understand, thanks for the help” I said sharply and left the office. I was tiring of all these answers but I’m grateful to the immigration officers they all had their jobs on the line but still chose to help me .
I drove around when I left the office where should I go next, it’s been almost 14 hours since I stepped from the Lufthansa airplane at Heathrow airport I just had a few hours of soundless sleep and I’ve now began my hunt again which seems to be fruitless so far.
I drove to the London Eye I didn’t even notice how far I had driven to, I stopped and watched as the Ferris wheel spun and how the people seemed excited my body tinged and I looked back but didn’t see anyone if there’s one thing I’ve learnt to trust it’s my instincts I looked around again and saw a lady in a black and white stripe maxi dress, I couldn’t see her face but found myself following her, I hurried to join her climb the Ferris wheel but I was a bit late and I got to see her profile it was Liyah, I wanted to join her but I didn’t want to freak her out so I just waited for her to come out no need to rush things although I felt like carrying her home.
I waited for her at the exit and pulled her away when it was her turn to come out, she was startled at first but didn’t make a fuss when she saw my face she just looked at me and followed behind, I opened the side door and shoved her in then hurriedly entered the car and drove away “Stop the car Jamal” she said coldly as I drove on. I drove to the apartment I lived and parked at the garage, I turned to her and she looked more beautiful than ever I looked away and went out opening the door for her, “Follow me upstairs Liyah and please stop nagging I want us to resolve everything now”. She blinked sharply and nodded.
“There’s no need to go inside Jamal let’s talk here” she said pulling the front of her dress, my eyes were drawn there and I looked her over she looked much prettier and matured I looked around and there was no one around, I tried hugging her but she pushed me away shaking her head. “Liyah you’ve put me through enough, not only me even your dad Liyah we thought something bad happened to you and look” I said pointing at her “You look more ok than ever” She looked away and wiped her face “Liyah” I said softly “please come with me let’s go home your dad is worried sick about you” she shook her head and shutted her eyes tightly “Jamal I just wanted time away from everything but don’t use your guilt tactics on me, I just wanted to free my mind and find a way to get over you and thank God I finally did so” she said quickly looking away.
“Liyah I want you to look into my eyes and repeat those words you just uttered”. “You know what, I really need to go now I’m wasting time I’m really needed I’ve already wasted enough time”. She said turning and walking away I hurried and caught up with her “Liyah I don’t know what you mean by getting over me cos I don’t care whoever you are with you are mine and I’m not making you move an inch without me” she rolled her eyes and shook her head walking out of the garage. I followed behind as she stood a taxi and quickly joined her right after she entered.
“So you mean to tell me you’ve found someone else ?” she just nodded and told the driver to drive to the London Eye.
HAVING BABY ABDUL MALEEK WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER HE IS A CARBON COPY OF HIS DAD “I REALLY LOVE YOU LITTLE MAN” I SAID AND KISSED HIS SOFT CHEEK.
I blinked back the tears that had welled in my eyes “I wish Jamal was here to see the wonderful gift we’ve created together”. There was a knock on the door. She opened the door and slightly peeked in “Can we come in Mama” I smiled and nodded for her to join me. Elena came in with her parents and Clayton, with flowers and balloons in the hands of each of them. I was very happy they really made me feel loved, Jordan couldn’t make it but this was all that I needed.
We were discharged and went home the day after. And the most amazing thing of all is baby Abdul and I never wanted for anything he had everyone wrapped around his little fingers the little sound he makes has everyone fussing especially Elena like a mother hen.
3 MONTHS Later…..
“You can’t just come to London and always be at home we need to go out right?” she asked baby Abdul who gooed in agreement “I told you even the little man agrees” the kid was growing older each day. I smiled at how she held him everyone was now a baby expert in the house I used to be scared whenever she held him I wasn’t better at holding him myself but I was way better than her, she took the baby strap and walked to the door “We’ll be waiting for you in the sitting room” . I chose a black and white stripe maxi dress which was a bit tight at the bust and loose from the waist down and tied my headscarf. I looked at my reflection and smiled having Abdul had made me a bit fuller my bust region was full and I was breastfeeding him. I took a handbag and went out to join them. “Look at mom Abdul is she not beautiful?” I rolled my eyes and shook my head there was no one at home so we went out. Elena showed me most parts of central London we visited shops at Soho and the Buckingham Palace. And I saw the Big Ben I saw more of London than I’ve ever had. We made our final stop at the London Eye and I watched the Ferris wheel spin them around.
“Aaliyah I’ll be at the restaurant over there I’m scared of heights” she said walking to the restaurant. I climbed in and had much fun than I’ve ever had I took pictures with the little camera I had seeing London from up there was so amazing how all the skyscrapers looked small from the top. I couldn’t keep the smile from my face I was pulled away immediately I came down I was startled a bit but got over it when I saw Jamal how did he know I was here I just followed him like I always do. I only found back my words when he drove us away. “Stop the car Jamal” I knew he won’t comply but I was scared he might find Abdul I wanted to confront him and dad myself when I was ready but it seems nature had it’s own plans for us. He parked the car at the garage of the building, I hated being alone with him he could break all the fences I’ve built up with just a look, he was already weakening my resolve, I sometimes feel stupid when I remember why I left him but I couldn’t just forget the kind of crime he had tagged on dad.
I told him I was going home when he was done with his long speeches of how I made him and dad worried sick, my poor dad I felt so sorry for him, I asked the driver for his phone to make a call but Jamal stopped him and passed his to me. I’m lucky I had memorised Elena’s number she answered on the second ring “Hello ” she started bombarding me with questions when she heard my voice “Take a chill pill how’s my man doing?” I heard a little growl from Jamal but looked away I could hear his gooey sounds the kid was such an angel “Are you still at the restaurant?” “Yea”
“OK Tell him mo-” I clamped my mouth shut and began again “Tell him I really love him” “Tell him yourself” I think she held the phone to his ear cos his baby sounds were more audible “Yeah babe I love you”. The phone was pulled away I just smiled and shrugged “God Liyah I could only take that much does he know you’re married?” he said in a voice a little higher than a whisper “Please Jamal let’s not do this” I replied in a whisper.
We were at the restaurant in less than 15 minutes Elena sat on a table with a guy I only saw his back but I presumed it was Clayton she still had Abdul strapped to her but more loose her eyes widened when she spotted me with him, I smiled back nervously and walked to the table with him, I cleared my throat and smiled at Clayton “Hey Clayton” “Aaliyah” he said surprisingly looking from me to Jamal, he nodded and looked to Elena I introduced them to Jamal “Elena, Clayton meet Jamal” but the funny part is how I’ll introduce Jamal to them I couldn’t lie cos Abdul was a replica of him “Elena, Clayton meet my uh” “Husband” Jamal added coolly smiling at them and giving Clayton his hand to shake Abdul gave out a loud shriek just then good heavens the child wants to be introduced too.
I looked from Elena to Clayton as Elena unstrapped him and handed him to me. “Holy crap” Jamal muttered a bit loudly when he saw Abdul I sucked my mouth in as I took Abdul. I was very nervous Jamal walked the little distance and stretched his hands to take him I shook my head but he was persistent, I looked at Elena as the child continued to cry, resisting my hold even as I tried to hush him up. I gave him to Jamal cos I was drawing people’s attention to us and he hushed up like he had not been crying just a few seconds ago.