The trio entered the police station.
“Good evening, officer,” Mrs. Bannerman said immediately. “We have come to report those kidnappers!”
“Kidnappers? Which kidnappers?” the officer asked looking quite confused.
“Those kidnappers who have my daughter!”
“Madam, please give us accurate and detailed information,” another officer said firmly.
Laudina held her mother’s hand as if to keep her from talking. She spoke up.
“We reported last week of one Petrina Bannerman who is missing.”
“Oh ok! The girl who has gone to live with her sugar daddy eh?”
“No, no. You must be mistaken. Please check your files. She is Petrina Bannerman.”
“Lady, we do not need to check our files. We remember the report very clearly. For what other reason can a young beautiful lady go missing for a week without contacting home? It can only be that she is with a sugar daddy.”
The officers laughed in unison.
“You can’t talk about Petrina like that!” Gerald spoke up.
“Ei, young man. What is your problem? We have been doing this work for years. We are speaking from experience.”
“And who are you to her?” one officer asked.
Laudina answered before Gerald could say anything in anger. “I do not think that is important.” She paused, obviously trying very hard to control her anger herself. “Anyway, we came to report some new development.”
The policemen finally looked out for the file on Petrina.
“We are all ears,” one officer said when he found the file.
“She called today. All she said was that she is okay. We felt we needed to report that.”
“What did we say? It is only someone who is with a sugar daddy who can say she is okay. That Petrina of yours is enjoying herself and you are here worrying about…”
“Stop!” Mrs. Bannerman and Gerald screamed at the same time.
“My daughter would not do that!” Mrs. Bannerman added.
“We have heard all that before. The parents never believe!” They began laughing again.
Laudina, who could control her anger much better than Gerald and her mum, knew she had better finish giving the report so they could leave the station. She did not want any fight to start out.
“Am I going to be given a form to write out my report?” she asked as calmly as possible.
“Whom did she call?” one of the officers asked.
She pointed to Gerald.
“Okay.” He gave a form to him “Write full details of the call. If there was any noise in the background, do well to include it.”
Gerald, still fuming with anger collected the form and began to write. The women waited for him as he did. When he was done, he presented it to the officer.
“I do hope you have started working on the case since our last report,” Laudina stated.
“Oh, yes, we have,” one officer said in a tone that said directly the opposite.
Mrs. Bannerman wanted to react but Laudina stopped her, said a weak ‘thank you’ and they walked out of the station.
“Laudina! You should have allowed me to tell them off. How dare they talk about my daughter like that?!” Mrs Bannerman bellowed once they were out of the station.
“Mum, it would not have changed anything. Didn’t you see how obvious it was that they had made up their minds?”
“I can’t allow them to think about my daughter like that! In fact, I should go back in there.”
“Mum, please. We do not need to complicate…”
“Complicate what again?”
“Mum, the information we have about Petrina’s disappearance is scanty. That is why they have that perception.”
“So you are supporting them?”
“Mum, no. Of course I’m not. But I’m just saying…” she was interrupted by the ringing of her phone.
“I’m sure it’s Benjamin about to…” she stopped mid-sentence as she saw the caller id.
“Is it Petrina?” Gerald asked eagerly. Mrs. Bannerman had an equally anxious look.
“No, it’s daddy.” She said is a very low voice. “And he is calling with his local number…” her voice trailed off.
“He is back?!!!” Mrs. Bannerman asked
Is Mr. Bannerman back already?