Locked In: 7.35

posted in: Locked In by Frank Anozie | 0

7.35am

By now Mr. Ikedi was burning with anger. He stood helplessly and observed as his wife and Ada as both women looked around for the key. He obviously
didn’t know the next thing to do. They repeatedly searched where they had already searched causing him to look at them like they were silly.
“Will you continue to search the same place all day? How do you feel doing that?” He calmly asked. Neither Ifeoma nor Ada was sure the question was directed at them. They stopped and looked at him. It was obvious that the anger he felt had heated his whole system that they felt his whole body organs should start dissolving any moment from now.
“You can stare at me from now till tomorrow but you will never find the key on my face. I expected that by now you should know that they key is not here and start searching for it in other sections of the house.” He angrily said.
“I know I kept the key here and none of the kids are with it. I believe this is the only place the key should be.” Ifeoma replied
defensively.
“Maybe a ghost came to this house and took it. You are very sure that you kept the key here and it is not here yet you only concentrate your search the same place. Are you okay? Look woman, you and your daughter should stop embarrassing yourselves and search for this key in other sections of the house.”
“Ada, go and look around your room and if you don’t find it go into Linda’s room, while I search in our bedroom, I will also check the kitchen.” Ifeoma instructed Ada as they both dispersed. She was taking it easy with her husband because somehow she felt guilty that it was her fault that this was happening.
Benson followed her into the bedroom and they both continued to search the room in silence. He hadn’t looked at the time since the last time he did. Perhaps he was afraid of what the time might be.
His special meeting was by nine o’clock but he was supposed to have a short briefing with one or two staff and his boss before the dignitaries who were supposed to be present at the meeting arrived. He had in his possession, the most important document that would be needed for the meeting and he was supposed to discuss some points with his staff and boss before the meeting. Without the
document, the meeting wouldn’t hold.
The silence in the room was scary. Ifeoma knew that this was more serious than anything. She decided to check the kitchen as it was obvious that the key was not in the bedroom.
She walked out of the room into the kitchen to search for the key. It was nowhere to be found. She came back into the bedroom. Her husband was sitting on
his bed. He was facing down as he supported his forehead with both hands which rested on his laps.

She felt pity for him and afraid for herself…
“You know, I think you are doing this deliberately,” he said. The key was nowhere to be found, the blaming game must take another direction. “I don’t know why you are doing it, but you are trying to make me go crazy. I am trying to know what I have done to you to deserve all this.”
“Why would I try to make you go crazy?”
“You tell me.”
“Well I have nothing to gain by making you stay at home and discharge your tantrums on me. I kept the key where it is normally kept and …”
“And a ghost came and took it.” He cut in, “I never knew I had ghosts in my house. You must have planned this either with the kids or alone!”
Ifeoma was getting angry with his accusations; she didn’t want to continue the discussion. So she headed towards the exit of the room, “You can say whatever you like but I believe the key is somewhere in this house and it shall be found and then you will leave for work with your troubles.” She said, determined not to allow him get on her nerves this morning.

 

**       **

Ada entered John’s room after she had finished searching hers.
“What is it? Why are you entering my room?” he rudely asked.
“Don’t you know that we are searching for the lost key? Everybody is busy trying to locate it, instead of coming out to help; you isolate yourself in your room.” She replied.
“Leave my room, the key is not here. I am not with the key. What will I be doing with it here; please you guys should leave me alone. I am not in the mood for your problems.”
“Look at the dirty room you are telling me to leave; you are not even happy I am stepping my legs into this refuse dump.” Ada rudely retorted.
“Thank you, my room is a refuse dump, now leave.”
She angrily banged the door behind her and walked straight towards Linda’s room.
Linda’s door was already opened so she walked straight in. she started searching all over like it was her room not caring if the owner was there. The younger girl didn’t speak to her.
They had had a brief quarrel last night before Linda went to bed, and it had led Ada to hit her while she rained abuses on her and reminding her of how she follows men.
When Ada was through with the search, she walked out of the room without saying a word to Linda. Linda wanted to hiss loudly so that she could hear it but her dad was around and she knew Ada wouldn’t let it go if she heard the hiss. She didn’t want dad taking out his already ignited tantrum on them. The day was already starting badly.
Ada met her mother in the sitting room. There was no need to speak. They stopped helplessly wondering where the key was. They began to search between and within the seats.
Benson came out of the room and went straight to the door; he stopped and stared at it, as if asking himself ‘what should I do now?’
There was no possibility of breaking down the strong metallic bullet proof door. A few months ago, he had angrily and suddenly relieved the gateman of his duties because of a pardonable mistake. Now there was nobody outside the compound that he could call to help him pull some stunts outside. He had no driver; Benson was very impatient with drivers.

The spare key got lost almost seven months ago, it was Johns fault and they had been managing this single remaining key since then. The back door key which was occasionally used was in the same bunch with the exit door key. There was just no way out. Who would have imagined that this would be their plight on this Monday morning?
Time was ticking.
Mr. Benson Ikedi who was already busy with his mobile phone was thinking of who he would call that would help him get some professionals to help him break down the door.
“Where could this key be?” Ifeoma whispered. The mistake she made was that she allowed her enraged husband to hear it.
“You can continue asking yourself such a silly question. But have you taken you time to imagine how foolish you sound with such words coming out of your lips?”
Ifeoma looked at him helplessly, she was already getting used to him and the way he talked. “I am not as silly as you take me for you know, I am sure I kept the key on this table, why should whatever happened to it after I kept it be my fault? Why don’t you believe me when I say that I kept it here?”
“I can only believe you when…”
His mobile phone rang in his hand, it was his boss.
He took a long breath before answering the call.
“I can’t believe you are not yet in the office, are you okay?” His boss quickly said before he could say hello.
“I just have a little set back I will soon be there sir,” Benson replied. He was trying to sound confident.
“Do you know what time it is? This is after eight. You should be here in the next ten minutes, I am waiting.”
The line went dead before Benson could give his fake reassurance speech.
He looked at his wife, “do you see what you are making me pass through?” His voice was loud. He was now ready to let out the whole anger he felt.
It is surprising how the thunder like emotion called anger has a way of obscuring any intent we have. This was exactly what was happening to Mr. Ikedi who was trying to call someone that would help him break down the door. Instead he was spending valuable time calling his wife silly. Actually, his wife didn’t sound like the silly one here.
“Do you know this might cause me my job?” he continued in a much louder tone. “What do you stand to gain by doing this? You might think this is a joke but it is not. This morning meeting is one that I cannot afford to miss. I have with me here, important company documents that will be needed for the meeting. If I don’t attend it, it will be the greatest catastrophe of all times.”
Ifeoma couldn’t take it any longer, “oh please spare me the lectures. Office this, office that. Don’t you realize that you are not the only one who is supposed to have left the house by now? Your children also have to attend school you know. How can shouting and blaming me be the solution to the problem we have now?”
“Locate the key! Locate it!! That will go a long way in solving the problem you have caused.” He retorted.
“I don’t know where the key is! I have searched everywhere and I can’t find it!! You can either stand here or blame me all day or you, for once, start thinking like a manager that you are and solve the problem!!” she returned. Yes, he husband has a way of always getting on her legs but she couldn’t remember the last time she had gotten this angry. This was even the first time she was talking back to him in such a way. “And you can count me out when you decide to involve yourself in any problem solving activity. I won’t be part of it. I don’t care about your meeting and I don’t even care if you lose your job or not!! This is your house perhaps it’s high time you sit down here for once!” she walked out of the sitting room, into the bedroom.
“Okay, now you are gradually coming out with the truth, so you want me to sit here with you? He replied.
Ada also quickly left the sitting room, leaving her dad all alone in the sitting room. He seemed shock. He didn’t expect such outburst from her mum.
He dialed a friend’s number “Hello… yes, can you help me get someone who can help me break down my door? Yes, a welder or carpenter, but I think a welder will be better since the door is a metal door… okay, I will be waiting. Thank you.”
He dropped the call and looked at the wall clock, 8.35am. He was exhausted. He sat on the closest leather seat next to him, staring at his phone like his life depended on it.
The mobile phone rang ten minutes later, he quickly answered the call.
“Ya,”
“The welder I know is not reachable at the moment. I spoke with a friend who gave me another’s number but I called him and he said he is not in town but will forward me a friend’s number. I will send the number to you when he sends the number to me.” His friend said.
“Oh my God” Benson exclaimed, “please try and make him send the number immediately, the earlier the better.”
“I will try my best.”
“Okay, I will be waiting.” His cell phone rang again immediately he cut the call, it was his boss again.
“What is going on Mr. Ikedi? Is there something you are not telling me? The guests are already arriving for the meeting and you are not yet here. I need you here with those documents right now.”
How could he tell his boss that he was locked up in his own house? Benson hated sounding silly, maybe because he was fund of calling others silly.
“Sir, I will be there before nine, I promise. I will soon be there.”
“Where are you now?” his boss asked
“I am on my way; I said I will soon be there sir.”
“You better be, I won’t tolerate any late coming.” He cut the line before Mr. Ikedi could reassure him again.
He stood up and started walking from one place to the other within the sitting room. A text message entered his phone; a welder’s number. He quickly dialed the number.
“Hello, is that welder?”
“Yes who be this?” replied the incautious voice.
Please I need you to come to my house immediately and help me break down my bullet proof door.”
“Oga, I de busy now, I no sure say I fit come.” Came the reply.
“Please send me your boy or any other welder you know.” Benson pleaded.
“Ahh, all my boys de busyoo, I no get welder number now. But give me two hours, I go come.”
“Two hours is too late, I need you now.”
“Okay, I go try, send me your address.”
“Thank you, please try and come immediately, I will pay you anything. I will send you the address now.” He dropped the call and quickly sent his house address via text message.

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