“Where could she have taken Chibuzo to? He asked no one in particular. They went into the house and up to Chibuzo’s room. Nothing was there. All his clothes were gone. They also went to Madam Cecilia’s room, and it was the same thing. By then, Samuel who was now six years started crying and left them. He went to chibuzo’s room again and sat on the bed. They had played hide and seek in this room many times and knew all the hidden places. He started searching them and finally saw a piece of paper that had one word on it. He ran to his parents and gave it to them. On it was written boldly ‘ABAKALIKI’ it had been scribbled in haste. Luckily, there was an available flight that will take off by noon. They quickly booked it and got inside the car. It was fifteen minutes to twelve.
Back in Abakaliki, the policewoman had gone to see Madam Cecilia. The boy needed urgent medical attention, but the woman kept denying that she knows who Chibuzo was. Even when she was told that it wasn’t the boy who stole the missing items, she remained adamant. She didn’t need Chibuzo anymore; after all her account was filled with money. The boy was just an unnecessary burden to her. She wished that he’ll just die so that these people will stop disturbing her. Even if the Honourable returned, they wouldn’t be able to locate her. It was as if she knew something like this would come up while she was filling her application form.
Unknown to her, they were already in Abakaliki looking for her. Firstly, they went to nearly all the schools looking for Chibuzo all to no avail. Later Mrs. Grace’s father asked them if they knew the woman’s surname and if she had children. That was how they found her. Through her children. The girl didn’t want to comply, but it was the boy who told them everything.
It was evening when they came to her house after being directed by her neighbors. The policewoman was still there begging her to change her mind. Immediately Cecilia saw them, she tried to run, but the Honourable caught her
“Where is Chibuzo?” he demanded. The woman kept quiet. She knew it was over.
“Excuse me, sir, are you looking for Chibuzo?” The policewoman asked. now on her feet
“Yes, do you know him?” Mrs. Grace asked
“Yes I do, and in fact, he is dying as we speak,” she said
“What do you mean?” The professor asked
“Sir, Chibuzo is in the hospital critically sick. I’ve been here since morning begging this woman to bring money so that he could be transferred to another state but she refused to say that she does not know him” the policewoman said.
Madam Cecilia had been giving her signs to stop talking, but she ignored her.
“Please, where is the nearest police station? Hon. Igwe asked.
“Actually sir I am a policewoman.”
“Good, arrest her! I’m charging her for kidnapping and other things. We are going to the hospital to see him please which hospital is that?
“It’s the federal medical center,” she said now handcuffing Madam Cecilia.
“Ok, take her to the station. I shall come later and make my statement” he said and made to leave only to turn back and ask again
“Please what is the name of the police station,” the woman told him, and he wrote it down and went to catch up with his family.
They stopped the first taxi they saw. On reaching, they asked for the pediatrics ward. They saw him at the end of the room and ran to him. Samuel started crying, and his mother joined him. Chibuzo hearing the commotion opened one eye and said weakly;
“You came back for me” and fell into unconsciousness. Mrs. Grace thought he was dead, and started wailing while the men hid their tears. A doctor approached them and asked them whether they were related to him. They shook their heads in affirmation.
“What took you so long? You are lucky the boy is a fighter, if not we would have lost him a long time ago. It was as if he was waiting for someone” he said busy checking Chibuzo’s pulse.
“Good he still has a pulse, but it’s too faint. We have to commence treatment. Firstly he needs a blood transfusion. Which one of you is related to him? The doctor asked
“I am,” the professor said and came forth
“If it doesn’t match, check hers,” he said pointing at her daughter.
“You both should follow me, there is no much time remaining” they went with him. After a series of tests were conducted, both of them matched. Mrs. Igwe volunteered to donate the blood. Her father was already old, and she didn’t want him becoming sick after this.
An hour later, the blood was now being transfused into Chibuzo. He was still unconscious, and they were worried. They all glued their eyes on him. He was so skinny such that his ribs were now transparent. They wondered the kind of heartless woman that will allow a child that was entrusted in her care to end up like this. Their eyes were still on him when he opened his eyes some hours later. He smiled weakly
“Mummy, Daddy. I thought you abandoned me. She said that you are not coming back again. Is this a dream?” he asked weakly
“Sshhh don’t talk my darling yet. You are still weak. We have a lot to tell you, but that will be when you are well. We will be leaving for Abuja next tomorrow so that we can put you in a better hospital” Mrs. Grace told him lovingly. He shook his head and turned to look at the fourth person there. He could not remember him, but he felt safe. His eyes started closing, he tried to open them but they closed anyway.
Early the next morning, Hon. Igwe went to the police station. He told them to release the woman. When she was out, he said to her
“I don’t know why you did what you did but only God will judge you. Thank God you have your own Children. You can go now. We are still at the hospital. Withdraw all the money I sent to you for his education and maintenance and bring it there. If not, you will rot in jail for the rest of your life”
“Thank you, sir. You are so kind. I honestly don’t know what came over me. I shall bring the money” she said and left.
When he returned to the hospital, he was surprised to see Chibuzo sitting up in bed talking to Samuel. His wife was hovering all over him, and he smiled. Chibuzo was looking around, and he realized he was looking for him. When their eyes met, he smiled shyly and beckoned to him. He went close and hugged him lightly.
“How are you feeling son?” He asked
“Much better sir” Chibuzo answered smiling. He still felt sour, and his ribs ached, but he was so happy to see them. The older man he noticed was still there.
“Who is he?” He asked Hon. Igwe pointing in his direction
“You will soon find out when you are well” the Honourable replied
“No I want to know now” he insisted.
He watched as Hon. Igwe went to the man and whispered something to him. The older man looked at him, and they walked towards him.