Continued fromAn Ace For Oscar Part 1
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And by another sheer dint of good fortune, I managed to drive us all to our location without any glitch. While I tried to find a parking space for the car, Mr Dada had dragged the girl out and forced her into the house. By the time I finished parking the vehicle, the girl had been tied in a chair and locked in another room. We—Mr. Dada and I—sat on a chair and planned the next action. And as usual, he presided over everything. I wasn't even sure if he needed me anymore; the girl had been successfully kidnapped, my job was basically over. Still, he would not hear that I was leaving. He treated me as if he had dominion over my life.

The time was around 8pm when he picked up his phone and called the girl's father. He put the call on speakerphone so that I could hear. Then he placed the phone on the table.

"Hello. Am I speaking with Mr. Oputa?" Mr Dada said.

"Yes, Mr Oputa speaking. How may I help you?"

Mr Dada laughed at the question and said, "I honesty believe you are the person who needs the help. Please hold on, I want you to speak with someone." He picked up the phone and unlocked the door of the room where the girl was kept. Her mouth was gagged with a thin cloth. Her eyes were already swollen from crying. She now looked disheveled, all thanks to Dada. Behind her was a bed that had its sheet cover it entirely. The sheet even draped to the floor of the room. There was an oil painting of a nude Abacha over the bed, one hand hiding his privates, the other raised in a military salute. An apple showed in the background. There was a faint scent of disinfectant in the air.

"Your father would like to hear your voice." He said unkindly. He moved the phone close to her mouth.

There was a brief moment of silence. Then she spoke to the phone, "Daddy?"

"Ana, is that you?" Her father asked. I couldn't help but detect the tremor in the billionaire's voice. "Where are you? Who is the person that called me?"

"I don't know, Daddy! I think I'm being kidnapped, Daddy! They're doing terrible things to me! Daddy, I'm scared. I think they're going to—" Mr Dada terminated the call. Then he locked the door behind us as we left the room.

"Why did you cancel the call?" I asked.

"That would show the man that we meant business."

"Of course he knows we mean business. We kidnapped his daughter, remember?"

"If I hadn't cut that call, he would be calling our bluff and threatening us with imprisonment and stuff like that."

"Surely, he's going to call the number and actually threaten us now. He could have even given the number to the police. We could be in serious trouble."

"Negative," answered Mr. Dada, "he would never be able to connect with the number because, one, the number would appear PRIVATE on his phone. Even if he were able to discover the number, he would still not be able to connect. You see, this number is a very special one. I had it specially made and tweaked. It's totally untraceable. I paid a hundred thousand naira for this SIM card. He might not even have any record of receiving this call on his call log. We're perfectly secure. Just put your mind at rest."

Easier said than done. How would my mind be at rest when I had become the partner in a grievous crime? Or when we were busy maltreating a beautiful girl; someone on whom I was already developing a soft-spot?

"I will call back the man after half an hour," continued the master-planner. "The thirty minutes would give him a better time to want to listen to our terms."

I stared at the man and decided that he must have been a born-criminal. He was gifted with an impressive criminal acumen. This was the kind of person the Kirikiri inmates would be glad to have among them. It was a pity that I was in league with this paragon of criminalhood.
At exactly 8:45pm, Mr Dada placed the call again. He made sure the call was placed on loudspeaker.

"Ana! Is that you?" The bereaved man asked immediately.

"No, Mr Oputa, this isn't your daughter."

"Where is my daughter?"

"She's still alive for now."

"What have you done to her?"

"You should worry about what we are going to do to her if you don't keep your mouth shut and listen to my instructions."
"Please don't hurt her. I'll do everything you ask."

"Good. Today is Monday, in two days' time, a hundred million naira should be ready to be delivered by you to a location which would be given to you early Wednesday morning. So, naturally, you should know that the money should be ready tomorrow. Listen to me carefully, Mr Oputa, there will be a terrible consequence if you don't comply. If the money is not available on Wednesday, I'll send you one of your daughter's ears. If the same occurs the next day, you will receive her other ear. Then I'll send you her finger every hour until the money gets here. You are free to get the police involved if you are ready to receive her head in a box. You shall receive further instructions later." Before the man could protest, Mr Dada terminated the call.

He turned towards me and said, "I'm going out to get us dinner. Watch the girl." Then he was gone. 

That moment, I knew I would never like the man. His Messiah complex was quite annoying. I sat there in the living room, thinking about everything. How did I get myself in this mess in the first place? Was it only because of the false certificates or my greed to have a part of the ransom? It could be plain stupidity. I allowed myself to be manipulated by a man as conceited as Mr Dada; someone whose moral compass had never pointed north as far as I knew. Then my thought drifted towards our captive. Anastasia. That name alone sent a sensation through my body. I didn't like what the terrible man was doing to her. I thought about freeing her, but that would be very risky. I would be done for if the man returned and discovered what I had done; he could shoot me dead. His gun could be loaded, mine was not. I wasn't ready to take the chance of standing before a pistol, loaded or not. I stood up and went into the room where Anastasia was kept. Her head was rested against her chest, but she looked up as soon as I came in. She looked at me with pleading eyes. I gently moved close to her and loosened her gag.

"P-please, l-let me go!" Her voice was shaky. 

"I'm sorry I can't do that."

"Th-the man i-is going to k-kill me." She stammered on. 

"Nothing is going to happen to you. I will not allow that. You will be free as soon as your father pays the ransom."

Her lips shook as she spoke, "Wh-why a-are you doing th-this?"

"I have no choice."

"You s-seem like a n-nice man."

Okay. That was it. I returned the gag and returned to the living room. Another nice word from her might make me do something I would regret; something that would cause me to wear a bullet like perfume. 


Continue Reading: An Ace For Oscar | Part 3
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