‘Let me go!’ Maria struggled with all her might.
‘Please lie her on that bed fast, while I get a rope,’ Bode instructed his neigbour Goke.
Maria’s numerous kicks and punches notwithstanding, Bode, and Goke finally tied up her hands and feet onto the bed.
‘Do I look like a wild animal?’ Maria charged, and then staring at her husband with emotion-laden eyes me, she burst into tears, followed by a long dry laughter.
‘Bode, please, untie me; let me go and look for my daughter. My life is empty without Sade…’
‘Calm down first,’ Bode pacified his wife, ‘I’m not happy either seeing you in this present condition, but I’m worried about what you would do to yourself. Your safety is my concern.’
‘Who is safe?’ the agitated lady laughed hysterically.
‘Safety, safety, lalalala… safety, safety, lalala…’ Maria reeled off in an impromptu song while the men stared at her in pity.
‘Calm down, Maria…’
‘Bode, this matter has gone beyond you,’ Goke his neighour pulled him aside, ‘I’m afraid your wife has to see a psychiatrist.’
‘Psychiatrist?’ Bode furrowed his brow, ‘I’m sure she would soon get over it. She had been a bit stable since Sade’s disappearance; and with the latest report from the school principal, Maria would be fine.’
‘I still maintain my stand,’ the neighbour asserted, ‘what I’m seeing is a clear indication of depression.’
‘You’re welcome. I would see you later.’
The moment the neighbour left, Bode heaved a sigh of frustration as he noticed his poor wife talking to an imaginary being. With tears streaming down his eyes, the memories of the tragic event which triggered her present condition, filtered through his mind once more:
On that fateful day, the excited Bode had looked forward to giving his twelve-year-old daughter, Sade, a big surprise by attending her school’s open day event for the first time ever.
On getting to the school, the whole place thrown was into pandemonium. One of the school buses that conveyed some of the girls to school that morning was yet to arrive at 10.00am!
The school management swung into action immediately and after thorough investigations, the school bus was found in a remote area with all passengers missing; leaving no clue of their whereabouts!
The panic-stricken Bode, in conjunction with other parents started issuing threats upon threats on the school authorities…
Bode was jolted from the ugly memories by a sound from his phone. It was a text message from a parent of one of the abducted school girls.
‘Please, sir be rest assured our daughters would soon be found, as the Police has doubled up their investigations,’ it reads.
Bode nodded in affirmation; that was the umpteenth time he had received similar messages. While his expectations grew in leaps and bounds, Maria ranted non-stop while the wait for Sade drags on endlessly.
Final Remarks: Like the Bode’s family, the pains and sorrow experienced by the parents of abducted innocent school girls – like the Chibok and Dapchi school-girls – cannot be overemphasized. Any hope in sight of their release?
Follow Chinasa Udensi’s column FrontBurner where she uses fiction to address some of the hottest Nigerian and world news.