“Chinedu!” Ndubisi called.
Chinedu turned off the shower, blew the water finding their ways into his mouth away and strained his ears and heard his father call again and again.
“Yes, dad!” He reached for his towel and hastened to the bathroom door. he took a few steps towards his father who was standing in the middle of his room. His razor-sharp eyes were fixed on his eyeballs. He felt them pierce through his mind, searching for something.
What have I done? Chinedu thought before his eyes caught the wristwatch sitting on his palm. It was the most beautiful wristwatch he had ever seen but..
“What is this?” His father’s tone demanded a quick reply.
“It’s a wristwatch.”
“I know it’s a wristwatch young man! What was it doing in your school bag?”
“My school bag?” Chinedu wiped off the water dripping from his wet, afro punk from his forehead and dried his hand on the white towel around his waist.
“Yes, speak up! How did it get into your school bag?”
“I don’t know how it got there, believe me, dad!” His coarse voice quivered, his eyes as wide as possible.
Could it be the wristwatch he was being accused of? No! That couldn’t be. He didn’t take it. He was quite sure of it.
“Is this not the same watch that the man who brought you home came looking for? As you can see, this is a gold wristwatch! What have you done?”
“I swear, I didnt take it. Believe me!”
A strong knock came on the door. Father and son turned to look at it. Ndubisi slipped the wristwatch into his pocket and gave the bulge three taps. They returned their focus on each other.
“Dress up. I’ll be dropping you off at the school.” Ndubisi’s voice was stern. He strode to the door to get it.
“Yes, dad.” Chinedu was a bit shaken. How did the wristwatch get into his bag?
“What happened?” Chinwe dashed into the room ready to protect her son from possible punishment. “Why all the shouting? What has he done?” She looked past Ndubisi at Chinedu, ”
“Mum, Im about to put my clothes on.” When Chinedu asked for some privacy, she hesitated at the door before closing it behind her. She hurried to the bedroom where she found her husband gawking at his closet, absent-minded.
“What was that all about? Don’t I have the right to know?” Ndubisi was not going to tell her about it or he would be giving his wife something to die from.
“It’s nothing, honey. I couldn’t sleep last night. I kept thinking about yesterday’s incident- the men who gave our son a lift y and the missing gold wristwwatch. It’s possible our son took it and hid it away? I tried to get him talking but he insisted he didn’t do it.”
“He is telling the truth. He didn’t do it. He can’t do such a thing, ” she rounded him, took his shoulders in her palms and looked into his eyes. “Let’s believe our son. Let’s trust him.” Ndubisi responded with a nod.
“One more thing, stay home today, the man said he would come today by 10 am with the police. We need to fight to protect our son.”
“I’ll be around. I have called my assistant to let him know I won’t be at the office.”
“You also need to see Igwe Okelue.”
“What mama said about Eke is starting to make sense to me. Please talk with Igwe.”
“I will.” Nduka picked his car key from the side table and gave her a light kiss before going downstairs where Chinedu waited for him.
As they headed towards Otigba roundabout, Nduka felt the wristwatch in his pocket and glanced at his son who had gone frigid.
“Chinedu, I believe you when you said you didn’t steal the wristwatch. I guess they are Eke’s boy trying to incriminate my son to get at me. But I will handle the issue well. I want you to do is keep this a secret. Don’t say a word of this to your mother or any of your friends. I’ll get rid of it somehow. They can’t prove it’s with us.”
Ok. See you later, ” Ndubisi watched his son disappear into the school and drove to Igwe’s palace.