The Hold Up
The night had been long and restless. Sleep had eluded Lydia most of the time and thoughts of what could be happening to her daughter haunted her. Intermittently Samuel’s accusations of her children being involved in incest made her consider walking to Nana’s room.
Twice she had walked to her closed door, stood there a while and walked back to the bed. She wished Naa had stayed behind so she would have someone to talk to. Being alone at this time didn’t help make her feel better in anyway.
At about 3 am, having been jolted out of sleep by fear, she turned on the radio and left it to play. She felt the sound would give her company and it did because it wasn’t long she dozed off only to be rudely woken 4 hours later by a call.
‘Lydia? Hope you are on your way to work?’ The voice asked after she answered.
Lydia grunted in response as her mind was still groggy.
‘Are you even awake? We have a meeting with the board of directors today!’ The voice exclaimed.
Lydia had finally recognized the voice. It was that of her assistant.
‘I can’t make it.’ She replied simply and sat up in bed. She was wide awake now.
‘What do you mean you can’t make it?! Do you want us fired?!’ She shouted.
‘Martha, this isn’t the time to be shouting. You and I reviewed the presentation together. You can handle it without me. It’s a personal emergency Lydia stated.
‘Emergency?!…but..’ Martha began.
‘Bye, Martha. I will call you later and ask how it went.’ Lydia replied bluntly and ended the call.
She muttered something inaudible under her breath and turned the phone off.
The past three days had felt like six months of events compressed into one- seeing Sam on Friday, Andrea breaking down on Saturday and getting lost on Sunday.
Lydia got out of bed and walked to her shower, she needed to freshen before leaving the house for the police station.
Samuel stared at his phone’s screen in suppressed frustration. He didn’t understand whether it was the circumstance, the phone or the network. He had been trying to call Lydia since Dr. Agbo had walked out of his ward but he kept receiving the automated message saying the contact could not be reached. The response from Nana’s phone wasn’t different.
Samuel thought a while and struggled out of bed. He wanted to try someone else’s phone to be sure Lydia hadn’t blocked his number. Being careful not to disconnect his drip, he rolled the stand and walked towards the nurse’s desk.
‘Hello, how can I help you?’ A nurse asked when he was halfway through his journey.
‘I need to make a call.’ He stated bluntly.
‘That’s ok, let me get my phone from my bag. Have a seat and wait ok.’ She said and helped him sit in one of the chairs that lined the left side of the hospital corridor.
As Samuel sat and waited, he saw them rush an emergency case by.He stared on till he heard one of the nurses shout;
‘We don’t have her details but since she had the accident she has been repeating the words;
‘I am sorry daddy.’
Immediately his attention was pricked but he couldn’t approach them since they had already rushed by towards the theatre.
‘Here you go.’
Samuel was jolted out of his thoughts by the warm hand on his shoulder.
‘O…thank you…do you know who that was?’ He asked and looked into the nurse’s face.
‘No I don’t…but don’t worry. She will be fine. Do you know her?’ The nurse asked.
‘I dunno…’ He replied and remained still.
‘The phone.’ The nurse said after a moment. She had realized he had totally forgotten.
‘The phone?…o yes…I need to make a call.’
With that, Samuel dialed Lydia’s number but received the same response- her number was out of reach.
*** *** ***
‘I am sorry madam but you would have to wait till about noon to file that complaint.’ The inspector behind the counter said.
‘What do you mean noon? Why noon?’ Lydia asked in anger.
Naa placed her hand on Lydia’s shoulder and said to her;
Lydia let out a loud sigh and turned her face away from the inspector.
‘Why do we need to wait till noon, the little girl has been missing since yesterday.’ Naa asked the inspector.
That’s how it is done here. We begin filing those cases from noon.’
Naa looked on in confusion.
‘I still don’t understand what you mean by that.’
Lydia burst out into loud sobs,
‘You just want money… You just tell me how much you want. I will pay…I just need to find my daughter!’
‘Calm down please.’ Naa said, shifting her attention from the inspector.
‘That’s how it’s done here…if you don’t believe me you can walk out and ask anyone on the compound.’ The inspector grumbled.
‘Isn’t there a way to fast-track it…like in the case of an emergency, would you still wait till noon?’ Naa implored as she tried to calm her friend.
The officer paused a while and nodded his head,
‘Yes, we would.’
‘So you want us to wait for three hours to file this complaint?’ Naa demanded.
‘I am sorry madam, you would have to.’
Lydia stared at him in a mixture of anger and shock.
To be continued…
God Bless You