Stolen: Episode 13

Episode 13

Then confessions started reeling out, Leticia had been two years on the job as a nurse and was in desperate need for cash to save her mother’s life as she needed a surgery for appendicitis. The young nurse had approached her friend Lauretta who was newly married to her rich erstwhile boyfriend for a loan of one hundred twenty five naira she needed to complete the required sum of one hundred and eighty naira needed for her mother’s surgery as time was running out when Lauretta had made her an offer if she could help her as well as she could no longer conceive, having had an abortion that went awry few years earlier.
That offer was too huge to resist.
Two thousand naira to get her a male child in the most discreet of ways.
Adoption was not an option as her marriage meant so much to her, they had to make it look real and for the few times Stanford will be around, he really had to see her as truly pregnant.
She had injected Lauretta months back to appear pregnant and knowing that Stanford would not really notice as he was so busy with business and his businesses mostly took him round the globe.
Leticia had tried to get some girls with unwanted pregnancies to take their baby and settle them afterwards but Lauretta won’t just have any baby.
Who knows the irresponsible people behind those unwanted pregnancies.
She needed a baby with a good background and whose parents had good pedigree, physically and otherwise, so Leticia had spent months monitoring several potential victims until she heard of a couple who were not yet discharged because of their inability to settle their bills that day, she had just assumed evening duty and her shift ended by late night.
On the second day of this couple’s financial ordeal she had hatched a plan already but was on the verge of loosing out, when as she was signing off her shift, the father of the new twins had ran in to joyfully announce to his elated wife that they’d be going the next day as he now had complete funds for their discharge.
So as she left the ward, she made a detour and changed into a cleaner’s uniform and laid in wait for the right time to strike.
Around 4 am after the new mother had slept off with others from exhaustion of staying awake from the daunting task of breastfeeding/cradling crying babies, she tiptoed into the ward and dipped her hands carefully into one of the cots and as gently as she could, lifted a baby off the cots and nearly gave herself away as she almost knocked over a bucket.
She had placed the baby in a padded basket and placed him in an open trash bin and in the advent of dawn just before the first full daylights had hoisted the trash bin to her head and passed the gate posing as though she was a cleaner on early morning duty going to discard waste at the government incinerator few yards away.
Just as she made her way past the gate and walked down few metres, the baby had suddenly woken up with a loud cry but luckily some metres outside the hospital was Lauretta waiting in a brand new Peugeot 504 and she zoomed off immediately taking delivery of the baby.
Leticia heaved a sigh of relieve and hurried back, she had returned in time to change into her nursing uniform and pretend to be asleep in the nurse’s quarters when alarm was raised about baby theft with the hospital security initiating a total lockdown and a thorough search operation following suit.
According to Leticia, she could not live with the guilt initially as it almost gave her away but knowing that the baby was in good hands and the thoughts of her mother’s life made her harden up further.
Over the years she had watched the baby grow into a very adorable young man and had somewhat blackmailed Lauretta into getting her assured that her daughter was going to be bethroted to him.
She regreted doing what she did but she had done it to help Lauretta cover her shame of barrenness and save her marriage as they feared Stanford would have married another and also she needed to save her mother’s life.

Checking what she had gained, she really had gained nothing, her mother didn’t survive the surgery after all and although she was handsomely rewarded with a mouth watering sum and there was an unwritten agreement that her only child which was Ijeoma by her late husband of only five months five years later will be bethroted to Harold, she hadn’t really gained much from the deed and now its all blown open.

Leticia fell to her knees apologising to all especially Mrs Chiazoka and her husband Levi for the pain she caused them and to Chief Stanford for playing a key role in orchestrating an act that had decieved him all these years.
The teary eyed Chiazokas readily forgave for the sake of God.