LARA’S FAITH

Part 10

Lara lay, curled up on the darduma in the parlour. She hugged her pillow tightly as she wept. She had been like this for days now. Tony as usual was kneeling beside her, he wondered if her tear bank would ever get exhausted.

“I should have listened to my mother.” Lara muttered.

Tony sighed…back to square one he thought inwardly.

“Because of you!” Lara sat up.
“Just because of you! I ruined the relationship between I and my mother” she wagged a finger at him.

Tony backed away, she was becoming violent.

“What haven’t I done for you? Tony? This is the best way to pay back?” she tasted the saltiness of her tears.

“I’m sorry baby…”

“Thunder fire you if you call me baby again!” her eyes glinted in anger.

“I’m very sorry, its not what you think…” he felt sorry for her.

“Its not what I think right? Oh please, explain!”

“Seriously, I won’t lie to you Lara…she was the one kissing me, I didn’t kiss her…” Tony tried to explain.

“No difference! The real thing is that you kissed! And you enjoyed it!” she grabbed her pillow.

“Lara…” tony held her arm.

She pushed him away violently.
“If you touch me again, I’l murder you!”

Tony stared at her, he’d never seen her this violent before.

“I wish I have spiritual powers!” she whispered.

“I’d have made sure you get back on a wheel chair with your manhood cut off” she spat out, before sauntering to her room.

Tony watched her: frightened.
The thought of been crippled again scared him. He had heard stories of yoruba girls been witches…
He wondered what kind of bad breeze blew Sophia to the airport.
She said she came to congratulate him, it started from a hug, then she kissed him.

“Rubbish!” he muttered lying down on a settee.

He must have dozed off.
He opened his eyes lazily as he felt something on his head,
his eyes widened as he saw the noozzle of a gun.

He tried to get up, but a firm leg pressed his chest down.

“where’s your wife?” a voice growled.

He didn’t reply.
“you deaf abi?” another voice asked.

He looked around, he was surrounded by five armed men.

” una never bring the meat commot?” another voice asked walking into the room..

“no boss, the guy no wan show us where she dey.” one of the robbers responded.

“Search the house jor!” the boss commanded

the five robbers dispersed in various directions, while the boss sat beside Tony.

Tony jerked as he heard Lara scream from her room.

“Tony!” she yelled again.

He tried to get up but the boss pulled him back.
“Don’t move” he placed a sharp knife on Tony’s neck.

The robberes emerged pulling Lara with them, they threw her at their boss’s feet, she shrieked as she fell.

“Wow, this babe set die!” the boss exclaimed.

“Please don’t hurt her, I’d give you anything you want.” Tony pleaded.

“Noo, mr man, we didn’t come for you, we are paid to work on her.” The boss said pulling Lara towards himself.
She shivered, tears streaming down her cheeks.

He tilted her chin up, and his eyes met her frightened ones.
His eyes widened in recognition.

“Lara the class monitor!” he exclaimed in suprise.

“Bayo?” she gasped.

“What are you doing here?” he couldn’t help asking.

She felt weak, the suprise she got made her whole body numb.
Bayo was her classmate/best friend during her secondary school days.

“I’m sorry for…errm..the…erm” Bayo whispered wiping her tears.

“Boys make we waka!” he told his boys who were grumbling.

“Make we dey go jor!” he added firmly, sauntering towards the door.

“Just like that?” one of the boys queried.

“Wetin again? We no fit touch her na! Make we just go!” Bayo replied.

“we no fit trust her, she know you, she fit call police..” they grumbled again.

“She won’t!” Bayo chuckled.

He left with his boys following suit.

Tony held the trembling Lara as she wept. She rested her head on his shoulders holding him tightly.
He led her towards his bedroom.

He kissed her tears dry, the salty taste made him want to suck some more tears out of her eyes.
She clutched him tightly as he searched for the zip fastener of her night robe

Tony stole glances at Lara as they ate breakfast, she seemed interested only in the choco she drank, her toast was still intact.

“Madam, you are not eating…” he said without looking up.

“anything wrong?” he asked again, since she kept mute.

“What i’m thinking…does it matter?” Lara toyed with her scambled eggs.

“It does, it matters to me…tell me.” Tony urged

“Do you have to go to work every morning?”

Tony smiled, he was expecting that.

“I stay at home-alone everyday, till you come back by evening, and.. And…” Lara complained.

Tony laughed.

“You are laughing? If you laugh again, you won’t go work today!” she pouted

“you see..that’s why I said you start following me to the office, there’s a chair for you! You could sit and gaze at me all day!” Tony said smiling.

“No thank you.” Lara laughed.

“you said you’d be going out today.” he stated rather than asked.

“Yes, yes, I’d be going to see my mother, its been long since I saw her.” Lara explained.

“aiit! But…be very careful.” Tony intoned picking up his jacket.

“bye baby..” he gave her a peck.

“bye…” she laughed.

:::::::::::::
“hehn! Omolara, so you remember me today.” Funke said as her daughter flopped on a settee beside her.

“Mummy, don’t start o! I’m too tired!”

“so you won’t even eat in my house, ehn?” Funke gestured at the tray she placed on a stool.

“Mum, not like that! I don’t have appetite…” Lara said slowly.

“hehen!” Funke clapped and looked her all over.
“you are looking so fresh! Enjoyment right?”

“Enjoyment ke! Mum I came to discuss something serious o” Lara sat up.

“hmm, go on”

“Mum, I think there’s something wrong with my body, I’m becoming fairer, changes everywhere…my bosom, my hips…my…mum you won’t believe I now have a protuding navel…” Lara explained.

“Hmmm.”

“Seriously mum, I’ve lost taste for food, even Tony is becoming worried.” Lara concluded.

“Wonderful!” Funke said absentmindedly.
“When last did you menstruate?”

“Errmm, I think Two months ago.” Lara informed her.

“Wow! How did you become pregnant? I thought your husband was impo…”

“Mum please! Lets not talk about Tony!” Lara stopped her.

“I have a doctor friend, we shall go and see him.” Funke said giving her a searching look.

“okay..”

“I’ll call to tell him we’re coming.” Funke walked into her room, to make a phone call.

Lara watched her closely, she wasn’t expecting such kindness from her troublesome mother.

::::::*::::::

“Thank you Doctor.” Funke smiled as Olakija walked into the office carrying some papers.

“Omolara right?”Olakija asked Lara who nodded.

“From our test, you are seven weeks pregnant.” he informed her.

“Wow! Oh my God!” Lara jumped happily, hugging her mother.

“Thank you Almighty God! I’m so happy! Mum I’m pregnant! You’l have a grandchild!” she shook her mother excitedly.

“Oh my! I need to call Tony…” her hands scrambbled through her bag for her phone.

“Errm…there’s no need for that.” Olakija said quitely.

“Oops! Its prohibited to make calls in your hospital?” Lara quipped.

“No…its..its just that..that..there is a complicative issue.” Olakija sighed.

Lara’s face dropped.

“The foetus is not formed properly…”

“Yekpa! My grandchild! Haaa!” Funke threw her hands over her head.


Lara kept a straight face.
“I…I..don’t understand…this..this..” she stammered.

“Well…” Olakija exhaled sharply
“For your safety, you need to abort it, else it might get more complicated and ..worst of all, cost you your life.”

Funke began to sob.
“what have I done to deserve this ehn? Can’t I have a grandchild ehn? Awon Aje! Those witches are responsible.”

“I…errm…doctor…let me go home, and inform my husband.” Lara said quitely.

“Noo…we can’t let you go now! We have to do it now, since your mother is here. We can call your husband later. If we let the baby stay anylonger, it might cost your life.” Olakija protested.

“Noo…” Lara began to say.

“omolara, I prefer your life to a million grandchildren o! Doctor please help us, if possible remove her womb so that she won’t have complicated issues again o!” Funke said holding her daughter.

Lara sensed trouble.
“but doctor…why the hurry? What if I’d not even see you today.” her voice wavered.

“talk to me doctor! What’s the hurry all about!” Lara said with a frown.

“We have to hurry my dear, for your life! Your mum still needs you around her! We have to make haste while there’s yet time” Olakija explained.

“Omolara don’t be strong headed na! I can’t lose two things o! I can’t lose my grand child and my only child o! Follow the doctor’s advice.”

Lara shook her head rising to her feet.
“The baby has a father, the father needs to give his full conscience, Tony has to be here, else nothing should touch his baby!” she said in a fierce whisper.

“young lady…your husbands presence would only worsen the situation.” Olakija tried to hold her.

“I still demand to let Tony know! He doesn’t even know I’m in a hospital right now!” Lara pushed him away.

“What if I died in the process? Tony would never forgive me! Besides its against my faith to kill! I can’t kill my baby!” she turned to face her mother.

Funke thought for a while, she exchanged some looks with the doctor.
“Okay, call your husband to come now.”

Lara looked from her mother to Olakija, somehow she felt her mother was up to something.

“Hello pumpkin” Tony said from the other end.

“Hello baby…” her voice became shaky.

“Hello…. hello…hello? Honey are you alright?” Tony sounded worried.

“Ye…no…yes! Tony please…can…you come over..over..to Anukpo specialist hospital now? Please…”

“Hospital? Lara are you okay? Tony said again.

“Just come, now please!” Lara ended the call.

::::.***:
“Excuse me….” Tony walked into the room
“G’afnoon Doc.” Tony shook Olakija.

“Good day ma’am” he greeted his mother inlaw.

Lara hugged him weeping profusely.
“Easy now baby…don’t cry..I’m here okay?” He whispered as he rocked her.

“Doctor, what’s wrong? I mean..what going on?” Tony asked the doctor.

“is it that serious? How bad is it?” he asked again after Olakija explained the situation to him.

“The situation is worse!” Olakija sighed.

“Can’t we..I mean..don’t we have time to think about it…I have to inform my parents..” Tony was trying his best to be strong.

“Parents ke! Were your parent there when you impregnated my daughter? Ehn?” Funke shouted at him.
“you better allow the doctor do his work o! After all you did to my daughter you still want her dead abi? Nothing should happen to my daughter o”

“Hope you know your daughter is also my wife!” Tony glared at her.

“See who is talking o!” Funke clapped.

“Let them do it…I don’t want to die.” Lara said amidst tears.

“You won’t die…” Tony held her tightly.

“Errm..Doctor..I think we need time to think about this…” Tony turned to the doctor.

“Lets go home!” he helped Lara to her feet.

“There’s no time.” Olakija protested.

“There is always time!” Tony said as he led Lara towards the door.

“Where are you taking my daughter to? Ehn?” Funke tried to stop them

“To a more reputable hospital! I won’t let some quack and ill-experienced doctors use my wife as a sample for experiment! Besides the hospital itself is not fit!” he shot at her.

“Tony please…” Lara began to plead.

“Lets go.” he said holding her hand.

Lara rested her head on Tony’s shoulder, she was tired from crying. Her in-laws were both there with her; sitting on a waiting chair.
The hospital was “reputable and standard” as Tony puts it.

Amara shuffled to her feet as Doctor Myles walked in.
“Sit down please.” Myles smiled taking his seat.

Lara pursed her lips, she was fighting back tears, she could hear Tony’s heart pondering dangerously against his chest.

“Well, it still beats my imagination..I mean..what kinda doctor would opt for an abortion just like that?” Myles adjusted his glasses as peered at some papers.

“ermm…so…doctor, what have found out?” Ifiora said gently.

“Yes..yes, oh yes!” Myles smiled looking up at them.

“I’m glad to inform you all that there’s nothing wrong with this pregnancy” his smile widened.

“Did you check well? I mean…did…did You conduct the test properly? You’re sure there isn’t a mistake?” Tony intoned.

“All is well.” myles laughed.
“Both the baby and its mother are in perfect condition.”

“Oh my God!” Amara hugged Lara affectionately
“Are very sure doctor?” Ifiora wouldn’t believe.

“Very very sure! You can go check in another hospital to confirm the authencity.” Myles chuckled.

“Come over here, baby…” Tony whispered as he hugged Lara.
He was relieved all was well.

He shut his eyes as he savoured her hug. That witch! He thought.
He was definitely going to deal with his mother in-law. How could she be so wicked?!

Tbc

LARA’S FAITH

Part 11
:::::*:::::::
Lara wiped a sweat off her forehead as she pushed a trolley round the mall. She was shopping alone against Tony’s wish, he always wanted them going out together.

He becoming a superglue! She thought. She just doesn’t want some Adam generation hovering over.
“Nice” she said aloud as she examined a baby feeding bottle.

She threw it into the trolley,that was the tenth feeding bottle she’s buying. Money isn’t a problem like Tony said, their baby deserves everything in the world.

“What’s this used for please?” she asked a woman close to her.

“Ooh! Its just like a box, you can keep your baby’s feeding items in it.” the woman explained with a smile.

“Thanks” Lara smile back throwing it into her trolley again.

She made sure the trolley was full before heading to the cashiers desk, the security men helped take the goods to the waiting car.

She felt hungry, luckily there was a restaurant in the mall. She excused herself from the driver, before hurrying to grab a bite.

She chewed her food slowly, till something caught her attention.
A dark woman in a blond wig!

She smiled quitely, why can’t black people understand that those wigs made them look like black mermaids! She thought.

The woman rose from her table, and their eyes met.

“Hey Deji!”

“Hy Lara” Deji replied

“its been a long time, how have you been?” Lara walked towards her pleased.

“i’ve been like the Deji you used to know!” Deji replied coldly.

“I’m happy to see you, so can you join me at my table!” Lara tried to hold her.

“No I need to go now!”

“oh c’mon Deji! Are we quarelling? You’ve been acting strangely” Lara looked worried.

“lara please! I beg you don’t start!”

“Okay…” Lara sighed.

“So you’re pregnant?” Deji sneered.
“so who did the job? Tony or your gateman, or your father-in-law, or your driver or your….come on tell me!” she eyed Lara’s bulging tummy.

“Did you suddenly forget I’m married?” Lara forced a smile

“oh no! I didn’t forget your husband is an impotent!” Deji quipped.

Lara bit deep into her lower lip.
“Deji…” her voice was low.
“You’re hurting me! Stop that! I thought you were a friend, I mean..that was cruel…besides Tony’s alright now.”

“Oh really! Let me don’t waste much of my time! Wish you all the best.” Deji turned to leave.

“Deji tell me whats happening” Lara held her hand.

“Nothing! Just that I think….we..we can no longer be friends! You aint my class, you’re married and I’m not, gerrit?” Deji said carelessly.

“does that matter?” Lara whispered.

“It does! Please stay away from me!” Deji walked away.

Lara watched her friend leave, she hoped Deji didn’t mean those words, something was wrong.
Do people change so easily? What was wrong with everyone in the world?
Her mother changed from bad to worse, Tony changed from bad to good, now Deji is transforming into a being she never knew…

Deji exhaled sharply as she sat in her car.
“So Lara is preggie?” she asked herself.

“Her mum didn’t tell me! I’m sure she needs me!” she wondered aloud.

She felt jealousy and strife surge through her veins.
She, naturally was never happy ever since Lara got married.
She was beginning to earn some satisfaction when Tony maltreated her, she definitely want Lara to be single as she is, but had to put up some shows to cover up. Now she could no longer pretend to be that ‘caring friend’, she was now a jealous friend.

She sure is going to help Funke to make sure Lara is out of that house.

She nodded as she thought.
She picked her cellphone.

“Hello Veejay?” she said.

“Are you in town?”
she listened for a while.

“okay, I’m coming over” she ended the call.

“I’m sorry Lara…Deji aint a true friend!” she whispered driving off.

Lara caressed her bulging stomach absent-mindedly, she could percieve the aroma of the food her mother-in-law was cooking. Amara had taken over the kitchen ever since she moved in weeks ago, Tony had invited his mother over since she-Lara was close to delivery.

She wondered what she could have done without her mother-in-law, she was all alone in the family. No relations, no mother, no friends-it’s just her and her husbands people.

“here, make sure you eat it up!” Amara placed a small bowl of steaming peppersoup beside Lara.

“Wow! Only me?” Lara asked.

“how many people are pregnant in this house? Oya eat o!” Amara replied.

“I’m not hungry yet!” Lara pouted, she wanted some pettings.

“Please now, Lara, my one and only daughter, the mother of my unborn grandchild, the…” Amara began.

“Hey! Enough mum! ” Lara laughed scooping some of the delicacy into her mouth.

“Tastes great” she rolled her eyes.

“mm, I’ve heard.” Amara sat beside her.

“The back pain? How’s it now?”

“not better at all” Lara made a face.

“Sorry” Amara rubbed her back gently.

“I think I need to take a walk.” Lara said quitely.

“Okay, let me get ready now, I’l accompany you.” Amara rose to her feet.

“Follow? No! I prefer to walk alone” Lara protested

“But…”

“Don’t worry mum, I’l be fine, just a few metres and I’d be back” Lara assured her.

Lara dragged her feet lazily as she walked, her hand holding her waist and the other hand caressing her stomach.
She got to the end of the street, traffic was heavy. She listened to the hooting sounds and watched some aggressive drivers for a while before deciding to go back.

She took a shortcut route, instead of the previous route she followed.
She walked slowly down a deserted alley, she was used to the alley, though Tony’d warn her several times to quit taking the route.

She was halfway into the alley when she saw a car waiting at the end, she looked behind her; a car was at the other end too.
Somehow she felt nervous. She said some silent prayers and walked on.

Few yards to the end of the alley she felt a hand grab her from behind, she shrieked in fear.
She saw two men trying to take her to the car she saw earlier.

Were they going to kidnap her?
She screamed with all her might.

“Let me go!” she struggled but she was overpowerd.

She felt something wet cover her face and…everything blacked out.

::::::*:::::
Lara gazed wearily in space, she wished a million times she would wake up from such a night mare.

She gazed at her tied hands and legs, she would never escape. She felt her baby flutter about in her tummy; that means she need to eat. Food was the last thing on her mind.

Who would want to kidnap a pregnant woman? She thought.
Maybe they want to use her for rituals.
But the people who kidnapped her looked like reowned assassins, not ritualists..

Her eyes moved around the dirty room, littered with beer bottled and cigrattes, she suddenly felt the desire to throw up.
She tried her best not to vomit, she feared her baby might come out through her mouth.

“Uhhhhn…uhhhhhn, gbooo.” she vomited.

“Wetin dey happen there?” a male voice said from outside.

“So you vomit?” he asked walking in.

“You do well! Na so you go siddon inside the vomit till the people wey go kill you go come!” he told her angrily.

“Kill?” Lara’s eyes widened.

“Siddon there dey ask me!”

“Please don’t kill me…” she pleaded
“If you need money, my…my..my….husband would pay any amount you need.” she was crying profusely.

“you dey form pesin wey get rich husband, we no need una money. That pikin wey dey your belle go give us money wey we no fit count!” he sneered at her before leaving the room

Lara wailed, she wondered why she had to go through all these.
She looked around her, no means of escape.
Her baby moved again.

She used her teeth to loosen the ropes around her hands after 30 minutes of trying. She caressed her stomach with her bruised hands.

“Baby…are you there? Can you hear me?” she wept.
The baby continued to move.

“I’d advice you stay still for now!” she tapped her tummy.

The baby moved faster.
She felt its love surge through her once more, she remembered how Tony become excited each time the baby moves. She wondered what was going on at her home; maybe they were looking for her.
They might never find her- she was deep in an unknown forest

LARA’S FAITH 🙏🙏🙏

Part 12
“Baby…I’m home….” Tony called out walking into the sitting room.

“Welcome Tony” Amara greeted.

“Good day mum..” he hugged her.
“Where’s Lara?” He asked looking about the room.

“She left some time ago, that she was taking a walk, she isn’t back yet” Amara explained.

“Why? What’s keeping her? Its late already, this is 8pm, gosh!” he said dailling Lara number.

“I tried dailling her earlier, but she left her phone in her room.” Amara said again.

“Excuse me.” Tony walked out of the house.

He searched aimlessly round the streets for an hour before going back home in despair, he decided to go and check Funke’s place, perhaps Lara should be there.
He got into his car without a word to his mother.

“ah! Tony! Its you, by this time of the night.” Funke said as she let Tony in.

“is Lara here?” he asked.

“Lara? Its been months since I saw her o!”

Tony searched her eyes for a while, she possibly couldn’t be hiding Lara.
He exhaled sharply

“What wrong?” Funke queried.

“She left home few hours ago and..and…she isn’t back, she didn’t go with her phone..she…” Tony explained in a tired voice.

“Ehn! Did I hear you say my daughter is missing?” Funke squealed.
“Haaaa! Mo kpe o! Mo ti ku!”

Tony turned to leave, he isn’t in the mood to watch her drama

“Where do you think you are going?” Funke asked barring the door.

Tony blinked rapidly

“You are not going anywhere o! I want my daughter o! So you and your family want to use her for money rituals ehn! You must produce Omolara for me o” she ranted.

Tony’s heart missed a beat at the mention of rituals, was it that Lara was kidnapped?

“Please madam, get off my way, I don’t have time for your drama.” he said wearily.

“Drama! You’ll see drama! Shey you want to see drama!” Funke screamed at him.

She locked the door with keys, threw the keys into her bra, before proceeding to make a call.

“Hello? Inspector wale? E mi ni, its Funke o, please send me some police men o! There’s one ritualist in my house o!” she squealed into the phone.

Tony stood rooted by the door, he watched her with keen interest, this woman is definitely impossible.

#

“I swear Officer, that’s all I know.” Amara said wiping a tear.

Tony squeezed her palms, he wanted her to stop crying.

“please inspector grant them bail.” Ifiora said.

Tony brightened up, he wasn’t sure he would survive another night in the cell, the previous 🌃 night was hell.

“write your statements.” Inspector Wale pushed a book towards him.

Tony’s hand shook as he wrote, he wasn’t even sure he wrote something good. His mind was miles away, he wondered where Lara was, he just hoped she is fine.

::::::::*::::::::
Lara scratched her legs furiously, mosquitoes had feasted on her the previous night.
She had stopped crying cos her tears stopped flowing, even her baby was silent, no more movements, she wondered if the baby was alright, it must be weak, cos she hadn’t eaten since the previous evening.

She gazed at the only window in her ‘cell’, it was big enough to escape through. But the question is how? The place was surrounded by armed men.

A laughing female voice drawed her attention, she edged towards the door…

“Don’t worry! When the money comes; I go do you well!” the voice said amidst fits of laughter.

The voice sounded familiar.
Just then the door was pushed open; Lara almost lost her balance.

A fetish looking old man; clad in red satin walked into the room, he was holding some calabashes.


He squatted beside examining her bulging stomach. Lara didn’t push his hands away; she knew it’d be useless.

He shook his head disappointedly
“Madam come in” he said in a loud voice.

“so when will you take the baby out?” the woman said gingerly.
Lara’s heart was beating faster, she knew that voice so well, she looked up sharply..her jaws dropped.

Deji smirked at her, chewing a gum noisily.

Lara felt sweat coming out through every pore on her skin
“Deji?” her lips quivered.

Deji rolled her eyes, a smile playing on her lips.

“We shall take it by night.” The fetish man croaked.

“Good then! I can’t wait to be a multi-billionaire” Deji laughed.

“Deji you?” Lara shrieked as they turned to leave.

“Yea! Me! Do you think I came into this world to watch others progressing? I need to make money, and I’m not sorry- I have to use you and your baby.” Deji chucked wickedly.

“Deji me Lara? Do I deserve this?” Lara sobbed

“I don’t know that one o! Better prepare to meet your late father tonight.” Deji clapped, before banging the door behind her.

Lara sat, shocked to the marrow. Her body became numb. That night her unborn child would be used by Deji for rituals! Deji of all people.

Tbc

LARA’S FAITH

Part 13

The night was dark as the moon went to ‘sleep’, the crickets were busy screeching away, there were occassional cooes from some forest birds.
Each time a hooting sound was made, it reminded Lara that Deji and her fetish oldman would be there any moment.

Slowly she walked to the window, peeped outside- there was light enough for her sharp eyes to see clearly. After several attempts, she jumped out through the window- escape on her mind.

She tip toed gingerly away from the main building…
“Not so fast”
she felt a gun noozle on neck.

She froze for a moment, different plans flooding her mind.

“so you want to escape? Ehn?” a masculine man asked, his gun still on her neck.

“No” she whispered turning to face him.
“I actually came to see you…” she said quitely.

“See me?” he chuckled.

“yea, I..erm..erm…need..to talk…to …to..you.” she stammered.

“hmn.” he grunted
“you are not smart, get back inside!” he ordered.

“please…” she edged closer to him, making the gun slip off her neck.
“I..errm…you know…I might be killed tonight…” she said slowly placing a hand on his shoulder.

He pushed her hand away, but she brought it back to its place.
“I just want one thing from you.” she said sweetly.

“I’m sorry…I don’t do pregnant women.” he protested trying to push her away.

“Don’t mind my bulging tummy, just…let’s..just…savour…some…you know….” she let her fingers run on his broad chest.

Lara smiled to herself as his breathe became faster, she edged closer to him, her protruding belly pushing against him.
He held her close,their face touching.

Lara held him with one hand while the other hand worked out her plans.

Cunningly, she let him drop his gun, she kicked it far away from them with her legs.
Just before he recover from his gust, she gave him a sharp jab between his legs, her knee cap devoured the ‘position’. He collapsed with a yelp.

Lara turned swiftly, and ran as fast as her pregnancy would allow her.
She ran blindly into the forest, she knew one way or the other she would escape.

She heard several gun shots, they were coming after her, she increased her pace.

The gun shots came closer, she knew they would overtake her, so she decided to hide.
She looked around her, no where to hide.
She scrambled up a tree not minding the sharp pains on her waist.

Just as she relaxed on the tree, she saw them, many of them.
“That daughter of a b-itch!” one of them cursed.

“I’ll kill her with my barehands.!”

Lara held her breathe, she put her hand around her mouth. Her Baby was fluttering violently, it kicked hard against her that she felt like screaming.
A sharp pain below her abdomen almost gave her away.
“Ouch!” she said.

“Did you hear that?” the kidnappers asked themselves,
“She’s around here, disperse and look for her, I’ll wait here” one of them suggested.

They all dispersed in different directions, except for the one standing beside the tree.

Lara’s eyes widened with terror as she felt something crawl on her legs. She sat still and bit her tongue. Snake! She almost fainted.

“Haaaaa!” she screamed as she fell off the tree.

She landed on the man under the tree, he served as a cushion.
“Snake o! Snake!” the man screamed in terror a the snake wrapped round him.

That gave Lara the oppurtunity to crawl away under some bushes to hide. She was in deep pains, she wondered if she would die.
The pains around her waist increased in momentum.

“Wetin happen?”
the group asked rushing back.

“e be like say that girl don turn snake o” the man exclaimed in terror.

The whole group stared at the dead snake in fear.
“Make we go call Baba” they said before running away.

Lara hid herself properly under the bush, her face washed with tears.
“God please help me.” she wept silently.

Thunder rumbled loudly with lightening flashing.Lara looked at the sky with fear, it was dark and pregnant with rain.

“Yekpa! Rain? Not yet please.” she muttered.

The rain poured heavily, Lara thought she would die. She wept and prayed as long as she can.
“God please, not for my sake…but for this baby…please.” she shivered under the rain.

It seemed God answered her, the rain stoped.
Lara began to crawl farther into the forest in pains, she could no longer stand up.
She wondered what part of the world she was.

“help will come” she muttered to herself. She had faith in God.
Somehow, she suddenly felt; she won’t die in the forest.

LARA’S FAITH

Part 14
::*:::::::
Lara lay-sprawling on the ground till daylight came, she remained fixed to her position too weak to move. She was surprised she survived the night.

She felt her belly; the contractions on her pelvis had stopped. Maybe her baby ls dead-she thought.

“God forbid” she thought aloud.
She won’t go through all this troubles in vain.

With difficulty, she sat up to survey her surroundings.
She was sitting in what looked like a small farm, behind a house.
She held her breathe; was she back to square one?

She saw a young boy walk out of the house to empty his bowels. She shuffled behind some cassava plants…

The shuffling sound got the boy’s attention, he looked around, walked towards the farm.
“Who be you?” he asked angrily.

Lara kept her eyes fastened on his, too scared to speak.

“I say who you be?” he asked again.

Lara kept mute,what would she tell him.
Her abdomen contracted painfully, she let out a shrill

The boy looked scared. He ran towards the house.


“Maami…maami…come and see o, one woman like that.” he shouted as he ran.

“Obirin-woman? What is she doing there? Ehn?” a fat woman ran out of the house.

“Who be you?” she asked bending to peer at Lara.

Lara couldn’t reply, she kept pointing at her abdomen as she writhed in pains.
The woman got the message.

“Jide! Jide o! Go and call your father.” She shouted at her son

“Yee! Mo ku!” Lara screamed as she battled.

“So you be yoruba?” the woman asked quitely.

“My waist! My legs…my….yeee!” Lara screamed. She was in labour.

The woman’s husband came out, and they both helped Lara into the house.

::::::*:::::::

Tony gazed at their mini-gardem from his bedroom window. Another day without any news from Lara.
He’s been having nightmares lately, everything was filed with bad omen.

“I wonder why that girl is so ill-lucked.” he said aloud.

He hoped to see her alive.

Some noise coming from the parlour jolted him back to reality. Some people were quarelling.

“so after all your son did to my friend, he still had to use her for rituals!” Deji screamed

“Useless Igbo people! Weere! Awon Olori buruku!” Funke clapped her hands.

“Mum? What’s going on here?” Tony asked his mother.

“These people just came in and…” Amara tried to explain.

“Useless impotent eediot!” Deji spat at him.
“Produce my friend for me oooo!”

“What’s this chaos all about? This shouldn’t be happening.” Tony tried to be calm.

“May Sango strike you down! Oshi! Who is chaos? If you know what is good for you, produce my friend o!” Deji shrilled.

“Yes o! Deji omo mi! Show this useless Igbo people that Yoruba’s are not cool!” funke gingered her up.

“Please, for the sake of peace, you should leave now.” Tony said authoratively.

“Leave where? I’ll show you, I grew up in Ajegunle! It seems you don’t know me wella, I’m the ‘Deji toh badt’, the female version of an agbero!” Deji demonstrated before them.

“Mum please go inside” Tony told his mother who was shedding tears.

“You are not going anywhere o! Produce Omolara o! Dead or alive, we want her now!” Deji ranted.

Tony felt his head spin, he was too weak to face such trouble. To think that Lara isn’t there to support him..
He slumped slowly to the ground.

“Tony…To…” Amara rushed to her son.

“you’ve not seen anything yet, Sango will strike you down, one by one.” Deji clapped.
“Lets go!” she told Funke who followed her out of the house.

“Tony, are you okay?” Amara shook him.

He shook his head slowly in pains, sobbing silently. He just hope his greatest fear won’t surface.

LARA’S FAITH

Part 15
::::::::::::::
“please help me…I…don’t…want…to…to…die..please” Lara pleaded with the strange family crowded around her.
She was losing much blood already.
They took her to the hospital, the journey to the hospital was tedious- Jide’s father had to strap her to his back cos she couldn’t walk.

At the hospital, she was taken to the intensive care unit.
“Where’s her husband?” the doctor asked the family.

“we don’t know o! We just saw her this morning.” Baba Jide explained.

“She’ve lost much blood…it’s going to be hard for her…” the doctor shook his head.

“please doctor help her.” Mama Jide pleaded.

“We’ll try our best, just pray.” the doctor assured, before proceeding to the room where Lara was.

………
“Nurseeeee….I don’t have strength again oooo!” Lara screamed as she struggled.

“Please dearie….I understand, just a little push…please.” the nurse attending to her soothed her.

Lara wished a million times Tony was with her, she craved so much for soothing words. Here she was, struggling to give birth.

“Yes…we’re progressing, put in more effort….” the nurse urged her on.

“she’s going to have twins…” the doctor whispered to the nurse.

Lara heard them
“Twins? Haaaaa! noooo! God won’t be so wicked to me!” she screamed in terror.

“The baby’s head is out.” the nurse announced.

“Push harder!” the doctor ordered.

Successfully, she gave birth to twins, she soon forgot her pains.
The nurse gave her a baby wrapped in some clothes.
“Its a girl!” the nurse told her.

“the other one?” Lara asked.

“It was a boy.” the nurse said sadly

“Was?” Lara queried.

“I’m sorry…he died few minutes after delivery…” the nurse explained
“Take heart.” patted her back.

Lara smiled, she couldn’t cry, why would she?
She hugged her baby.
“I’m happy to have just her.” she whispered to the nurse.

“Your family are here to see you.” the nurse told her.

“Family?” Lara looked confused.

Just then the door opened…
“Congratulations.” they chorused

Lara smiled. Family? Yes they were her new family! They brought her to the hospital, they saved her life!
“Thank you sir, Madam.”

“o ga oo! This baby big gan!” Jide’s mother peeped at the baby.

“We didn’t have enough time to introduce ourselves earlier.” Jide’s Father smiled.

“My name is Shina, this is my wife Ronke, and my son Jide.” he said quitely.
“we’re from this village, kokotoro” he explained.

“My name is Omolara Popoola,” Lara began.
“I don’t know where I am, but I used to stay in Lagos with my husband… Before…I was kidnapped” Lara explained in a tired voice.

“Kidnaped? Haaa! When? how?” Ronke shrilled.

“Its a long story…” Lara shook her head.

:::::::::*u::::
Lara shut her eyes in pain, as her baby’s mouth took hold of her nip-ple.
“Kpele.” Ronke said gently.

Lara nodded, they were indeed a family. The family could be termed kindness itself. The food she ate, her baby’s clothing had been free, she enjoyed her stay with them for the past two weeks.

“You don’t want to name your daughter ehn? You’re just calling her baby.” Ronke complained.

“uhn” Lara grunted, as she rocked her baby.

“That’s not how to do it.” Ronke collected the child from her, and began rocking it till it burped.

“Baba Jide and I, had a discussion this morning…” Ronke shifted closer to Lara.

“We’ve decided to take you back to your family.”
“I suppose, you still remember your address.”

“Thank you, but I don’t know my way out of here.” Lara explained.

“Baba Jide’s friend has a car, we’ll take you when ever you are ready.” Ronke said again.

“Thank you very much.” Lara was elated. The thought of going back home was enticing.
“Thank you ma.” she hugged Ronke.

She imagined what it would be like to be with Tony again.

Tony sat on a couch, his palms supporting his forehead. Things were difficult. His house was filled with police men, SSS and what have yoy, they were brought by Deji to search the house.
They still believed he had a hand in Lara’s disappearance. Perhaps because of what he did to her in the past. He’s full of regret.

Tears clouded his eyes as remembered Lara’s word back then. She once told him ‘the law of karma still reigns’.
That law was hunting him down.
Now she disappeared when he needed her most, when he loved her with all his heart, when he…

“hey! Mr Ritualist, come and open the door to your study!” Deji squealed at him.

He glared at her, and she returned the look. He bit his lower lip.

“Abi ko gbo ni? Didn’t you hear what she said?” Funke hissed.

“Tony open the door for them.” Ifiora said quitely. He was looking frail.

“Please don’t tamper with my documents, they are vital.” Tony told them as he opened the door.

“Vital ko, bournvita ni! You people should search every thing jare! Who knows maybe he has some document for her kidnap.” Deji ordered the policemen.

“Well, we didn’t see, and couldn’t find anything suspicious.” the policemen emerged.

“Tony, where did you keep Lara’s remains?” Deji taunted him.

“We’ll take you with us, till we’re done with our investigations.” one of the SSS’s said.

“But officer…” Ifiora protested

“Shut up! Gbe enu re soun jare!” Funke screamed at him.

“please take this ritualist out of here jor! If possible arrest his parents too.” Deji told the police men.

Tears streaked down Tony’s cheeks, as they handcuffed his wrists. They were about to lead him out, when the door bell rang.

“I sorry oga! Oga make I come see something.”Adamu- Tony’s gateman walked in excitedly

“See what?” Deji eyed him in disdain.

“Hellooo…” Lara cooed as she walked in holding her baby. Jide and his parents followed her in.

Everybody gaped at her in utter shock, nobody could speak or move.

“Lara?” Tony’s lips quivered.

“Lara, you!” Deji screamed in horror.

“Yes me!” Lara said handing over her baby to Amara who was weeping.

“What’s going on here? Why’s everywhere in a mess?” she looked around her.
“What’s the meaning of that handcuff?” she asked again, gesturing towards Tony.
“I’m back home baby! Well and alive.” she kissed him as she removed the hand cuff.

“ah mad! How comes!” Deji couldn’t believe her eyes yet.

“Not how comes, but how it went.” Lara turned to face her.

“Officer, you came to arrest my husband? No no! You are wrong. Let me tell you who my kidnapper is.” Lara smiled at a police man.

Deji was already making her way towards the exit…
“Hold her!” Lara shouted, just as Deji opened the door.

Deji ran out of the room, with the police men following, they shot her leg.
“Haaaa! Don’t kill me oo” Deji screamed as she held her wounded leg

“She was my kidnapper.” Lara announced.

“Its not my fault o! I was paid o!” Deji kept screaming.
“Its funke o, its funke! Its your mother.”

“My mother?” Lara’s jaw dropped.
She looked around for her mother
“Mummy?”

Funke shivered, as everybody gaped at her.

“wonderful!” Ifiora exclaimed.

“Did you say wonderful? This is just unbelievable”. A policeman said, as they shoved Funke and Deji into a van.

“Don’t take my mother away.” Lara protested.

“I’m sorry madam, your mother isn’t above the law. See you in court.” the police man told her, before they drove away.

“But she is my mother!” Lara screamed.
“she….she can’t harm me!
Tony held her gently as she wept. His Lara was back, alive and well, with his child
He collected the baby from his mother, he hugged and kissed her.

“Thank you” he whispered to Lara
“Thank you for making Baby Ngozi a reality.” he hugged her.

Tbc