Tola was in serious trouble. She tried to kick and scream but a hit from the butt of the gun silenced her. There was a clatter. The leader looked down and spotted Tola’s purse, the spilled contents scattered around it.

‘That’s mine,’ Tola blurted as the man holding her reached down to pick one of the items that glittered in the light. He held it out, it jangled against the gun.  Keys.

The leader laughed. “That looks exactly like the keys of my newest Rolls Royce that mysteriously disappeared from the warehouse this week. You’ve been holding out on me woman.”

“I’ve never seen that before,” Tola cried. She looked over at Funke and realized what had happened. Was there no end to the woman’s wickedness?

“Now Dapo, why don’t you answer me now? Or else your darling wife gets a bullet to the head,” the leader snarled.

Tola simpered, tears shimmered in her eyes as she gazed pitifully at Dapo, willing him to say something to defend her, even though she now knew in her heart that he would not.

Dapo was about to say something when the Chief Inspector and his team stormed into the building, guns at the ready. “Everybody freeze!” The inspector screamed.

The dealers reacted immediately, shots were fired. Again the club was ablaze with gun shots as more of the dealers’ men poured into the club behind the police officers. Funke shook her head as she crouched and ran toward the bar where she ducked out of sight. Incompetent idiots!

Retreat!” the leader screamed at his men.

Mathew grabbed Tola by the hair with one hand, and waved his gun in her face with the other as he dragged her with him towards the entrance, using her as a shield. The Chief hesitated, caught between the weight of one life against the lives of the criminals that had killed his men. His face twisted as he came to a decision. They would have to make do with Dapo whom they had worked so hard to catch. He ordered his men to cease fire. The leader laughed.

“Dapo I’ve got your lovely wife. If you want her back in one piece you better give me what I want, you have cost me millions in naira. On the other hand I can always collect a ransom from her family, I’m sure they would be willing to pay”

And they were gone.

Tola was thrown in a vehicle, then all light went out as a hood was placed over her head. Her arms were snatched down into the space between her thighs, handcuffs snapped on.  A rope was wound tight around her ankles and tied. The car began to move.  She was helpless.

Hours later there was the sound of a door slamming behind her as she was shoved violently into a room, she collapsed against the wall, then the scrape of a bolt. The air around her was damp, the concrete cold, her shoes had come off at some point during the ride.

She could see nothing, hear nothing. She tried to maneuver around the room, to explore with only her hands to guide her, maybe there was a window she could climb out of. In a corner there were two sacks, heavy and filled with who knows what. There was nothing else in the room. Depressed, she slumped against the sacks, with only the darkness and silence for company.

She did not know how much time had passed before she heard the sound of feet approaching. The door opened, light reached into the room but did not reach right into the corner next to the filled sacks she was leaning on. The hood was removed, and without warning she was slapped in the face.

That was the first, then kicks to the chest and the small of her back. Tola tried to curl herself into a fetal position for protection and succeeded well enough for more kicks to find her upper arms and wrists where the handcuffs were, but not to reach organs that would hurt more. Her head was lifted, then punches were thrown at her. There was blood in her mouth, she swallowed it, choked.

A breathless voice whispered in her ear, You get what you deserve.”

The hood was put back on. And she was kicked some more. Tola could take no more. She couldn’t breathe. No moan, no cry, no scream.

The men retreated, the door was slammed once more.

The fear returned as she lay on the cold floor, crumpled and broken. Tola, silly idiot, had blundered on to territory where she should not have been.

She thought of Esther. She should not have listened to Dapo’s profession of love for her, she should not have accepted the stupid car, she should have listened to her sister and let him go. She should not have trusted the wife.

She had mistaken money for love and gotten involved with a cheating 419 man and his vengeful wife, and now she was paying the price.

in the end her precious family would get caught up in this nightmare that she had brought upon herself.

Regrets. All she had was regrets.

So who was truly wronged? Is it Tola, who unknowingly got involved with a married man, only to let her greed get the best of her?

Or is it Funke, who did what any woman that found her husband cheating on her might have done?

Would you fight with or find a way to punish your husband, or report him to his family if you caught him cheating? Or would you fight the young girl he cheated with?

These are real questions plaguing many married couples, new and old in the bustling Nigeria of today. What do you think?

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