Lola Opatayo

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Breaking Out 3


So I have received reprimands for not posting yesterday (I’m sorry)! This is the continuation of Gloria’s story and as always the series continues next week. Please remember to share the link with your contacts.
P.S: It’s my birthday tomorrow so please shaaaaare!

Mama Joe as she was popularly called had been disposing of her dustbin when she heard gunshots and saw the fragile girl running wildly towards her. Her first instinct was to run back inside the house, but there was something about the girl that made her decide to take her in. Looking at her lying on the carpet in her living room she saw that she had made the right decision. The girl was painfully thin and she could see from her healing skin that she had been brutally beaten. What kind of thing had this frail young girl gotten herself into?
“Unbelievable!” Madam B hissed disgustedly. “I was suspicious of that girl. I knew something was not right about her toilet story. Damn it!”
“Beatrice just calm down…” the Inspector was saying
“Don’t you dare tell me to calm down!” she yelled. “This is all your fault. Who knows if both of you have planned this?”

“Are you really accusing me of conspiracy when all I was doing was trying to protect you! What if the girl had died in here? And by the way, if I was really behind this would I have left two of my men outside on guard duty?’
“You left two incompetent men!” she screamed
Inspector Musa stared at her for a few seconds, blaming himself for stooping low to her level. “I won’t stand here and listen to you insult me” he said turning away.
“I’m sorry…” she sighed. “It’s just that this has never happened before and I’m afraid of her telling the world about this place!” she said, pacing up and down the living room where the Inspector and his men had gathered.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she’s found. She’s fragile and she won’t go very far…” He turned toward Annabelle, Madam B’s second-in-command “Take her in and see to it that she’s calm.”
“Yes sir” she replied curtseying then led Madam B inside.
He turned towards his men “I want you to do a door-to-door search of this entire vicinity, that girl must be found. I don’t want to believe that a fragile, young and naïve whore can outsmart the state police. And as for you two nincompoops who I erroroneously left in charge of guarding the house, you better make sure you find her because you’re as good as fired if that girl isn’t found. Now get going!” he ordered as he reached for his phone to call for backup, his own reputation too was at stake.

Gloria drank the warm pap slowly while Mama Joe sat beside her, eager to hear her story. She already knew the girl had suffered some sexual harassment and had been battered but she was curious to know what or who she was running away from.
“I can’t take any more” Gloria said wearily. “I want to sleep”
“My daughter this is not the time to sleep. The people you’re running away from will be back and we don’t want to be unprepared. How can I help you? I am like a mother to you and I will do all within my power to make sure you’re safe but I have to know what your story is. Don’t be afraid” she said gently.
Gloria told her everything, crying gently at the memory of the trauma she had suffered.
“Please help me ma, I don’t want to go back there” she said sobbing. “I just wanted to die, they raped me over and over again!” she said bursting into uncontrollable tears.
Mama Joe’s heart was broken and she tried her best to maintain control of her emotions. How could people be so evil? “It’s alright my dear. I’ll make sure you don’t go back. This is what we’ll do, first we will call my daughter who is an human rights activist and lawyer”.
“Thank you for your cooperation” Sergeant Fofah said
“Oh you’re welcome”
“Before we go we need to ask you if you heard anything unusual last night”
“Apart from the gunshots? Nothing. Although…” he said, suddenly remembering something. “No, that’s not important” he concluded.
“Everything is important please” Sergeant Fofah said emphatically
“Well I heard Mama Joe’s gate open around the time of the shooting and I remember wondering why she would endanger herself but I guess it was nothing because she closed it soon enough” the man said with a shrug.
“Really? Around what time was this?”
“Like I said it was at the time of the shooting.” A sudden burst of realization crossed his mind, “Do you think the criminal might have taken her hostage?”
“Don’t worry about that, let us do our job” the sergeant said dismissively. “Where does this Mama Joe live?”
“Next door, that’s her house” he said pointing sideways.
“Thank you again” the sergeant said leaving the man very worried about the welfare of the kind Mama Joe.
Mama Joe opened the gate with her rehearsed look of surprise. “Officers! And to what does an old woman like me owe this visit?”
“We’re looking for a criminal in this neighborhood so we’re doing a door-to-door search. May we come in?”
Mama Joe hesitated for a second so as not to seem too cooperative then opened wide the gate. “Sure, but I assure you, you’ll find no one here”
The policemen searched the main building which was a bungalow, hiding with difficulty their disappointment at finding no one.
“What did the criminal do? Hope he didn’t kill anyone I know?” she asked.
“That’s classified information madam, all you need to know is that the person is extremely dangerous and skilled in the use of sophisticated weaponry.
“Is that so?” Mama Joe asked with feigned surprise. “May God deliver us”
“Indeed” the sergeant said curtly. “What building is that?”
“Oh! That’s the pen. My husband when he was still alive loved birds and he kept all manner of them. It’s been locked up since he passed on”
“Can we take a look at it?”
“Alright” she said with a sigh. “Let me get the keys” she said returning shortly with them.
She opened the door and stepped back leaving the policemen to make their way through the dust and cobwebs. She stepped in a few minutes later, surveying the place for the first time since her husband death. The memories came flooding her mind and without warning she began to cry.
“Madam are you okay?” Sergeant Fofah asked.
“Yes” she said struggling for control. “This is the first time I’ve been here since…”
Sergeant Fofah wasn’t buying Mama Joe’s theatrics even though her distress seemed real, his instinct told him she was hiding something. His men looked at him, their eyes telling him to call off the search and end the old woman’s grief. He hated it when women cried.
“Alright boys let’s leave! Clear out everybody!” he ordered reluctantly, walking Mama Joe out of the pen. He surveyed the building once more and his eye caught something, a shred of blue cotton on the pavement. He walked towards it and picked it up, the policemen outside the brothel last night had said the girl was wearing a dark coloured blouse.
“Did you go out last night madam?” he asked sternly.

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