Isaac found himself thinking of the first time he had conceived this kidnap plan, it had come to him by accident; a joke Lawrence had told his girlfriend. They had been watching an episode of the popular US series CSI, about a girl who had planned her own kidnapping with her boyfriend to get her father’s attention, only for her to accidentally end up dead. He remembered vividly what Lawrence had said that day, “I will just lock you up in my room for one week and demand ransom for you and you and your dad will be non-the-wiser.” They had all laughed at the ridiculousness of it all but somehow the thought kept nagging at him, what if it could be done? Can it be called kidnapping if there was no actual kidnapping? Of course it could be done, all he had to do was create an illusion, keep his audience focused on the big picture while the real magic happened in the background.
Now the plan was hatched, there was no going back. He eased out of the bed, the girl in the bed beside him stirred, he paused, anxious for her not to wake up. He went into the bathroom with the voice muffler to make a call, he made sure the door was secure before perching on the corner of the bathtub.
The phone rang three times and on the fourth time, someone at the other end picked up and as expected it was not the Engineer. For what seemed like an eternity all he could hear was the breath of the person at the other end, calm and steady, waiting for him to speak. He waited a while, knowing every second wasted was one he could never recover.
“Nothing has changed; we are still a go for tomorrow.”
“But the money is not ready, as we speak Engineer Ifeanyi is bedridden, please give us more time.”
“I could give you forever but each second I give you is a second that Rebecca does not have. Noon tomorrow, better have my money or it is bye-bye.”
“But….” The phone went dead before he could finish.
Isaac sneaked back to bed and slid under the covers, his mind already fine tuning every detail for the drop off tomorrow. He knew the cops would be everywhere, he counted on that and had already made contingency plans for that, by the time he was done with his plans the Eze’s would not know what hit them. He was too excited to sleep, so he preoccupied his thoughts with what he would do with the money, obviously he would have to share it with his accomplices but once that was done, he was going to take his share of the money and flee the country; he had not made mention of his intention to anybody, just so if ever they were found out, no one would know where to start looking. He was going to spend the first few years hiding in different African countries before he made the giant stride to Europe. He could not wait.
As the phone went dead, Emeka looked at his subordinates for confirmation and as expected they were able to pinpoint it to somewhere in Abia state, Ebonyi or Cross River, there was no need to chase the trail, it would be another ghost hunt. His distraught sister-in-law had already made available the ransom, she looked like she had lost a ton in the last hour and looked a shell of her bubbly self. He would have to take charge of the situation and try not to burden the poor woman with the detail, all she needed was husband and daughter home and hearty.
“Obidi get your men ready to move on my order tomorrow. They should be waiting and ready, these miscreants must not slip through our fingers.” He said tersely.
“Yesah.” The subordinate officer said walking brusquely out of the room.
Emeka’s men had been combing all known kidnapper’s hideout in and around the state, he had been half tempted to put up a missing person’s advertisement on the social media and television but feared the repercussion of his action, the kidnappers had already been ticked off that the police were already involved, doing that might push them off the edge.
Then it struck Emeka, how is it that the kidnappers seemed to be well informed about everything going on? The last caller did not seem surprised that it was he instead of his cousin; Ifeanyi, who had picked the call. Did that mean they had an inside person, who could it be?