So, poor Robert is in a bad place, with his little boy missing. Who’s behind it? Let’s find out if we’ll know the culprit…
As Azah pressed the tweet button on his phone, he looked at the tweet with satisfaction, turned the screen off and placed the phone in his pocket.
Time to meet with the boys outisde.
Stepping out, he met the usual suspects.
Stringazy, Johnson and Illiasu.
“Chale, what dey happen?”
As the homies huddled in a group, greeting each other with the various secret handshake combinations they had taught themselves, it was clear they were ready for another day of doing what they did best.
Roam the streets of Prampram as they always did, hang around and spy on the ladies that passed their way. If the timing was right, maybe attempt to pick up a number or two.
Having failed to gain admission to university, these four boys were SHS graduates who chose to go the easy way of just ‘chilling’. The complaints were many from their parents, but they were carefree. None of them did drugs, and showing up at bars and getting drunk wasn’t a constant for them, so they were convinced in themselves that they weren’t so bad.
As they moved along the streets, discussion topics centered on the latest social media trends, Azah spoke up and said, “Chale, you guys hear about the Benjamin kiddie?”
“Yeah, chale. Ibi worrying matter paa. I no sure sey the mommi then poppi fit bed. Ibi crazy, chale,” Illiasu remarked.
“Oh, I sure sey them go find am,” Stringazy responded.
They discussed the issue for a couple of minutes, then went back to arguing over who the best underground rapper was.
As they continued their rather loud debate, Azah’s side eye took note of the parked car on the opposite side of the road near the Pram Mall.
A sleek, white Chevrolet Malibu.
Meaning that Jozi was around.
Real name Joseph Ampong, he was well known by many in town. The classy young man who was often found at events looking super dapper, with a cute smile and a charming personality that had everyone attracted to him. With a calm, respectful demeanour to boot, he was one with a positive reputation.
He was on good terms with the guys, even though he didn’t really bond with them that much. Every time they met up, he was busy on his usual rounds, and had time for only a few wassups and I deys and small talk.
It was very likely it would be the same this time round, but that didn’t stop Azah and Johnson from heading in the direction of the car, just to admire it as they usually did.
“Chale, these customized rims eh, sizeless oo!” Johnson exclaimed as they got close. The windows were tinted, so it was difficult to look inside. They were sure it was his usual documents scattered all over the seats, as he often said when he spoke to them.
Azah nodded. Stepping back to take a look at the license plate, which read JOZI – 18, he said, “I see this license plate saaa, but still, edey bee me roff…”
The two, startled by that, looked up.
It was Jozi.
In a three-piece suit as usual, he was walking briskly towards them. The look on his face, however, was far from friendly.
“Hey, will you move away from my car? Get away from it! Hurry up!”
The looks of utter shock on the faces of the two, and the other guys at the other side were plain to see. This was not the first time Jozi had seen them admiring the car, and he had never flipped out on them and yelled at them before. With the way he was moving, though, they knew it would be wise to do what he said, so they quickly joined the others.
Jozi glared at them as he pressed the unlock button on his car key. “Useless boys! You won’t get something better to do with your lives! Do something useful with yourselves for once! Such rubbish!” he yelled before getting into the car, starting the engine and speeding off.
The boys looked confused.
“Ah, but this guy too, why?” Johnson wondered, clearly miffed by Jozi’s hurtful outburst. “Ah, have we damaged his car or something? This guy paaa…”
“See some trash he tell we too,” Illiasu fumed. “Ah. This guy, I shock give am waaa. Because of car, you dey use nasty words. Why, we no see this car before? Better ones no dey town? Hoh. He make I bore.”
As the others made their feelings about his vitriol towards them clear, Azah noticed something on the floor where the car had been. He quickly crossed the road and walked over to see what it was.
It happened to be Jozi’s credit card.
“Guys! Come see something!” he yelled to the others, who he realized within a second were already behind him. “Look, it’s Jozi’s credit card. Must have fallen out of the car when he opened the door, or something like that.”
“Good. We for damage am kraaa. Teach am lesson,” Johnson said, a smug look on his face, obviously relishing the prospect of wreaking vengeance upon Mr. Dapper.
“Oh, naaaa. Not a good idea,” Stringazy rebutted.
“Guy, you no hear the trash he just flow we?”
“Massa, forget that. He make I bore, but destroying the card no be right. Make we return am. Simple. If we do that sef, he go make shy.”
Johnson didn’t look convinced. “Chale, me, I no dey like nonsense. Left to me, he no go get that card back. Ah, we no touch the car sef, you come shout shout like we dey hold planks wey we dey come smash the windows. I no dey like that.”
“Ma guy, relax,” Azah ordered. “Make you no stress your body. I’ll go with Illiasu to his place to return it.”
“Ei, but what if he starts accusing us of stealing it?” Stringazy then wondered aloud.
Azah shook his head. “The car was locked. He pressed the unlock button in front of us, and it opened. There’s no damage on the car. There’s nothing he can use as a weapon against us, if he suddenly went down that lane. So forget that. Won’t work. Illy, make we go.”
Illiasu shrugged, then followed Azah as the other two were left behind.
Johnson shook his head. “Honestly, the thing go me waaa. Ah, from nowhere oo, Stringazy. From nowhere.”
“Boy, just forget am. You go stress your brain,” Stringazy ordered. “Make we go the supermarket inside. I get feeling sey Lisa go dey around.”
The big frown on Johnson’s face disappeared upon hearing that name. A big smirk on his face now, he nodded. “Sweet! As for today, I for get her number. The way I mean am, eh. Walahi!”
“But chale, Jozi too, with this big mansion of his, he no go get some people make them clear the bushes for this side?” Illiasu wondered out loud as he and Azah walked along a narrow road, the left turn leading to a resplendent mansion that belonged to Jozi, located in a rather remote side of town. Not too many people lived at that side, so he didn’t have neighbours.
“I dey wonder myself. Coz ibi dangerous. Squad dey there wey them mean am. Them go fit hide in those bushes then strike at any time,” Azah responded, looking at the overgrown bushes. “The ones just at the end of this road be big enough to conceal anybody. Biggie sef go fit hide wey nobody go see am.”
“Ah, seriously?” Illiasu asked. “You sure?”
“Of course! If you like, make we step inside then see. You naa, you go see sey these bushes be dangerous give am. Anyone fit to hide for there then time am.”
At that, the boys quickened their steps and found themselves at the bushes Azah spoke of. They gently stepped into the overgrown thicket and found a spot where they could crouch. Rustling through to ensure there were no dangerous pests, they crouched in the spot.
“You see? The place dey hide we totally. This one, Jozi no go see anything,” Azah said with a rather satisfied tone of voice. Nothing made him feel more pleased than being right.
Illiasu went on his knees and looked around. Noting a little space between some patches of weeds, he looked through them and said, “You go fit spy from here too oo. Just be sey you no go see the front gate. But I dey see some truck bi for here…”
There was the sound of a gate opening. The boys, realizing they were not in the best place to be seen by whoever it was that was opening that gate, kept themselves still and remained hidden.
Illiasu shook his head as he remained on his knees and hands to the floor. Leave it to Azah to think of something as hare-brained as this. And leave it to Illiasu to blindly follow and only realize he should have discouraged him when the suggestion was made.
The sound of loud voices could be heard. From what their ears could pick up, Jozi was with another gentleman.
And he was not happy. Which was very evident from the belligerent manner in which he spoke. Something that most people who knew him were unfamiliar with.
And the gentleman he was with was not happy with him making his unhappiness so aggressively vocal.
“Jozi, for God’s sake, will you stop this tantrum? Ah, what childish life is this?” the gentleman snapped irritably. “Did you honestly think it’ll remain low-key this long? Of course not! You know social media will get this issue viral. There’s no sense in all this shouting and throwing your toys out of the pram. Let’s just get work on getting them to the plains.”
“The plains?” Azah murmured. “Afram Plains or what?”
“Fine, fine. Let’s just do it. This Benjy boy has caused me trouble. With how it’s all over the place, and I’m keeping him and the others here. Might as well do what ought to be done quickly. Let’s draw up the plan…”
Azah gasped. As Illiasu turned to him, wide-eyed, he said, “Chale, ibi like Jozi get a hand in the issue of the small boy them kidnap oo. Herh!”
“The plains too be notorious for those trafficking things oo. Ei, this be serious matter!”
As Azah strained his ears to hear what was being said, Illiasu took out his phone. As nicodemusly as he could, he opened the recorder app, hit the record button and pushed it in between the space between the patches of weeds, hoping he would be able to catch something.
So we have an idea of who’s responsible for it. The question is, will they be caught in time. Let’s hope so…
© Qwamenah 2019