Ndubisi took a right turn at Marib Junction and headed East. Along Royal Street, a stone’s throw away from the palace, his phone rang.
He stopped the car by the side of the road and picked his phone. He could hear his mother’s voice in the background, but it was not audible enough to make out what she was saying.
‘Honey!’ Ndubisi said, but an icy voice came through. He sat up.
‘I need your attention at your residence.’ Ndubisi arched his brow. ‘You have five minutes to reach here or we do what we got to do!’
‘Who are you?’
‘Be warned. I don’t have the patience for your questions. Running out of patience at a rocket speed!’
‘I want to speak to my wi–‘ The line went dead. He stepped out of his car and thought of what to do. Should he go home as ordered or should he continue to the palace to show His Royal Highness the wristwatch planted in his son’s bag after school by an unknown man? After a few seconds thought, he hurried home.
On reaching his main gate, he saw it wide open. Two police cars were blocking the entrance. He drove past his compound and packed his car by the roadside. Inside his compound, he saw two police officers coming out of his house. They were holding his wife, one on either side of her. Fury swept through him, and he trotted to them.
‘What’s this? Why are you taking my wife?’ Chinwe struggled in their grip and they let her go.
‘Stand back and do not move!’ A frenzied police officer aimed his rifle at him. Ndubisi backed away, with his hands in the air.
‘What is the meaning of this?’ He said.
‘Search him!’ The frenzied police officer ordered, and another ran his palm along Ndubisi’s sides, slapping his pockets and the length of his trousers. As he made to empty his pockets, Ndubisi recalled he still had the wristwatch in his pocket, there was nothing he could do. The wristwatch and and keys fell at his feet. Eyes glared at it and at him.
The man who claimed he owned it rushed to it and picked it up.
‘My goodness! This is the wristwatch I’ve been looking for!’ He looked up at him and Ndubisi dug out mockery from his smile.
Chinwe’s eyes were wild.
‘How?’ She said. He did not tell her he got the wristwatch, that their house help gave it to him that morning.
Ndubisi’s head dropped. Chinwe moved towards him but the police officer ordered her not to move any closer. She stood back.
‘Mr. Ndubisi, you will come with us to the police station. You reserve the right to remain silent, for whatever you say from now on, maybe used against you in the court of law.’
‘Officer, my husband is not a thief. This is a mistake!’ Chinwe was frantic and Ndubisi was sorry. He kicked the car keys at his feet towards her. As they took him away, he could hear their sobs and his mother say, this is not the time to cry, go to Igwe’s house immediately.
To be continued.