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?”
“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
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.
Lara wept as her mother was led into the dock, alongside Deji. Deji had to use crutches because of her leg. Lara looked around the court room, Tony was sitting beside her holding baby Ngozi, Tony’s parents were present, her father’s relatives-Baba Lagbaja and co were there for her. Even her rescuers,
Shina and his wife Ronke were present.
“stop crying” Tony held her.
She pushed him away, he expected her to stop crying, when her mother was about to be prosecuted?
Everybody rose when the Judge walked in except Lara, she was too weak to stand.
The judge was a female, Lara watched with keen interest as she spoke. Her father had wanted her to become a lawyer, but there she was without even a secondary school certificate -courtesy of her mother.
She was deep in her thoughts when she heard the call to the first witness, she was to go and witness against her friend and mother, she felt reluctant. Tony nudged her.
She stood before the court, she told them her ordeal, carefully skipping every part that involved her mother.
Tony gave her an unsatisfied look as she sat down.
She looked away, what does he expect, she still loved her mum.
The next witness was called, Lara looked up sharply she heard a familiar voice.
“My name is Bayo Olayemi”
Bayo? Lara gasped. She hadn’t seen nor heard from him ever since he raided her home.
“I was paid by Funke to rob OmoLara’s home, and To Molest her.” Bayo concluded.
Tony nudged Lara the fifteenth time, she glared at him.
“Look” he whispered.
She looked up
“Sophia!” she said in a fierce whisper.
Lara wept all through Sophia’s statement, she hardly heard a word.
“Please listen,” Tony told her when the Judge was to give the sentence.
Bayo was sentenced three years, for attempted rape and robbery.
Sophia twelve months, for arranging Lara’s kidnap.
Deji was sentenced for life, with hard labour.
Funke too was sentenced life imprisonment with HARD labour.
“No no no!” Lara jumped up.
“My mother is innocent!” she wailed
Tony held unto her firmly.
“Leave me!” she pushed him away, rushing towards her mother.
“Don’t take my mother away, she’s innocent o!”
she screamed as the police barred her way.
She passed out as her mother was led into the black maria.
“Sorry sweerie” Tony wiped Lara’s tears with a handkerchief.
He sat beside her on the bed.
“You have to stop crying, you should be happy now, all will be fine.”
“It won’t be fine!…life won’t be the same again without my mother…she is all I have.”
“Its alright” tony patted her.
“Remember, I’m here for you, our baby is here…my parents are here…we’re gonna be one big family, ” he said in a cool voice..
“Big happy family?” she searched his eyes.
” yea baby! A big happy family, with little or no enemies.” Tony smiled at her.
“Sure!” Lara managed a smile as she hugged him.
He was right, she’ll have a happy life after all, no more selfish mother, Sophia out of the way,
Deji cleared; there’s nothing more to fear.
Her FAITH in God made her dream a reality.
She had faith that her husband would turn to good, that she would have a child despite his impotency, that she would not die when she was kidnapped.
She couldn’t help but to thank God for his love, her faith in God turned her once meaningless life into a meaningful one.
God’s love and grace was unquantifiable.
– THE END.