Tanko’s forehead creased more by the passing second, as if he was being drawn into a bottomless pit. Abhas and I waited patiently for him to talk finally he did but not what we expected.
‘This is strange, really strange.’ He said like we didn’t already know.
‘We know that, have you found my sister?’ Abbas asked, his forehead with more creases than Tanko’s.
‘What have you been doing all these months? we need to find her.’ Abhas yelled.
‘I have tried my best, to see all the people that left the country that day, your sister did not leave the country that day or any other day after that, it seems those applications were meant to mislead whoever tried to look for her she doesn’t want to be found, those visas were never approved.’ Tanko said defensively.
‘So what should we do?’ Abhas asked again calming down.
‘Investigate everything, it seems to have a connection with all that happened.’
‘If you can answer some questions, they might seem personal but I’ll need your cooperation.’
‘Go ahead, we’ll answer anything.’
‘How would you describe your sister.’
‘You have her picture.’
‘Yes I do, I meant attitude.’
The first thing that came to my mind was arrogant and vindictive, yea I remember the fishy way Lami was disgraced at Tanveer’s party and the look of satisfaction on Ladidi’s face but I said nothing to Tanko.
‘She’s, she’s very, well what do I say Nafisa help me out.’
‘Arrogant and vindictive.’ I said before I could control myself.
‘Does she have computer knowledge?’
‘Who doesn’t?’ Abhas barked.
‘She studied cyber security and is very conversant in cybernetics.’ I added ignoring Abhas.
‘Are you saying she stole Asad’s money?’
‘Then what are you driving at.’
‘Nothing, that will be it today I will get back to you when I find something.’
When Tanko left, I was afraid that my fears would come true, that Ladidi could be actually responsible for all this, but how could she destroy her own family. I needed to investigate, I could make a good start by Tanko’s report since I will see it from a different angle. Luckily every copy of the reports was in Abhas’s study.
The transaction of Asad’s missing money had an IP address of Asad’s house, why will it happen there and the IP address for the video was Nadia’s estate something was sure fishy.
Both fires were termed as arson, I didn’t have a copy of Nadia’s report I needed to get one from the hospital and police to see how it correlates, if not why should it all happen in one day and within a short span of time, and if Ladidi was in the country she could have seen in news how husband’s business was in trouble, she should care unless if she was responsible for it.
The police were easier to tackle than the hospital with money all the info was available, I had to pretend to be investigating the accident to gain access to the hospital reports.
She was under influence of narcotics and opioids, had almost drowned but she survived and was recoperating now and the police suspected that it was attempted murder as a bullet hole was found in one of her tires but they left it halfway.
The bugging thing was that I couldn’t put together the drugs and Nadia’s attack with Ladidi.
Asad finally left the hospital and was taking his responsibilities back, but he remained a shadow of himself and was keen on finding his wife as much as Abhas, he had been conversed with Tanko for almost 4 hours a day and has spent almost all day in Abhas’s study looking over Tanko’s reports.
‘Won’t you eat?’ I asked looking at the food I served him since.
‘How can I eat when my wife and kids are missing.’ He said dejectedly.
‘You have to take care of yourself, you have just returned from the hospital.’
‘Thank you Nafisa, you and Abhas have been very kind, I can’t pay you back.’
‘It’s okay, Just try and eat.’ I said turned to leave.
‘Please wait .’ he said and I stopped and faced him, his was a picture of worry, sadness and everything bad, I pitied him.
‘Someone did all this to punish me .’ he said.
‘Well .’ I started but he cut me short.
‘Supposedly it’s so why, what is the magnitude of my offence to get such a punishment.’
‘Did you know Nadia was on drugs?’ I diverted the topic cause lately all clues were pointing at Ladidi.
‘No I never saw her, but I suspected with her changing attitude.’ He answered.
The conversation ended when Abhas came and it switched to business and how to save the company which Asad was already doing a good job at saving.
‘Allah ya raya, I will come to Porthacourt first flight tomorrow.’ I squeaked into the phone.
‘My sister Haya has put to bed.’ I told Abhas when he looked at me questioningly.
Haya’s baby was running temperature, we went to the hospital, while Haya was with the doctor I was waiting in the lobby when I saw a familiar lady clutching to a prada bag strangely, She seemed lost and just looked on as if trying to recognise someone.
I walked up to her and placed my hand on her shoulder, before she turned I knew it was Ladi and I knew the search for Ladidi had ended.
I just could not comprehend what Ladi was saying, she claims she hadn’t seen Ladidi since months, I followed her to the hotel and met the kids, and the first thing they asked about was their parents.
They looked worn out and thin, I left them to look for their mother.
From the airport I was directed to the hospital there I was told where ladidi was and my worst fears came true, she was not just responsible for destroying her family but must have learnt her lesson.