My father would normally return home around 7pm. He had maintained this routine since he started working with Chief Fiwagboye as Technical Adviser. Because I was brooding and in my room, I did not notice that he had not come back until around 9pm. I had come out of my room to get some water from the fridge in the sitting room and noticed that he was not by the television for the NTA News, a habit he never missed for all of the years we spent together. I dashed into his room and he was not there. I went into my room to pick my phone. I dialled his number and was greeted “the number you are dialling is not reachable at the moment…” I kept trying and got the same result.
I forgot my pregnancy dilemma and my father became my new headache. I could not sleep throughout the night as I kept moving between my room and the sitting room, hoping some miracle would bring him. I heard every bird that chirped, every toad that croaked, every mosquito that buzzed and every living thing that breathed. At a point, I started hearing what sounded like a woman moaning with ecstasy and a man grunting with pleasure. It did not take long before I was able to pick where the joyful noise was coming from: a flat overlooking our home, where a notorious bachelor was the occupant and had the habit of changing ladies like his underwear.
Before seven the next morning, I was at his place of work on the Island. The staff register, which was checked for me, showed that he signed out at exactly 6pm that Thursday. His boss was not around when I got there, but the security man showed me the register. With the knowledge that he actually left the office, I headed for the Alasofunfun Police Station. The officer on duty was a drunk constable, who seemed to be coming back to his senses. I told him why I was there.
“You sure say your papa no dey with im galfriend.”
“My father does not have a girlfriend.”
He ignored me and asked me to write a statement. Statement done, he told me to come back the following day when an Investigating Police Officer would have been appointed for the case. On getting home, I met my father’s boss, Chief Oladiti Fiwagboye. He had been informed of my visit. I ushered him into the sitting room and I briefed him about what happened at the police station.
“Just calm down, my dear. We will find him,” Chief, who was dressed in a kaftan made from sparkling white Guinea brocade, said.
He gave me some money and left, of course with a promise to follow up. For weeks, Chief Fiwagboye and I returned to the police, but we always returned with gloom written all over us. One day, Chief Fiwagboye announced that he would be travelling abroad and would be away for six months. He gave me a check of three hundred thousand naira and I knew from then on, I was on my own. Tears cascaded down my cheeks regularly, especially after every visit to the police station.
Two weeks into Chief’s trip, I went alone to the police station and met the IPO.
“Fine girl,” the IPO said immediately I entered his office. He was being unnecessarily nice and flirty. He offered me a seat and opened a small fridge by his table and offered me a bottle of malt.
“Drink, you need all the strength.”
Though I suspected his motive, I took the malt.
“I need to be sincere with you. We will continue looking for your father, but while we do that, you need to be taken care off. Let me take care of you.”
And before I knew it, he was all over me.
“Stop that sir.”
“Let me be your companion so that this journey can be easy for you.”
By then, I was four months pregnant, but being a chubby person, it was not obvious. I looked at the shabby place he called an office, with documents scattered left, right and centre and the file cabinet too full to close.
“I respect you a lot sir.”
“No need to respect.”
I stood up and made to leave.
“All I offer is a hand of fellowship.”
“All I see is you asking me to offer you my pussy, my ‘toto’, in exchange for you to intensify efforts to search for my father.”
“It is not like that.”
“Then, I need to be educated. If only you have eyes and you can see, you will know that this is not time for you to be making such demand of me.”
I gently walked out of the office and told myself that I would never return to that office again. As I made myself to the bus-stop, I noticed something liquid flowing out of my vagina unto my thighs.
“God, what is this again?” I said, as I looked for a place to sit and relax my frayed nerves.
To be continued