Buried in Guilt – XVIX

Faithful readers, sorry for the unannounced break. Thanks though for coming back once again! Enjoy the last few posts of Buried in Guilt and do keep your comments coming!!!

-tdzifa

The silence continued for a few more minutes. Finally, Mr. Bannerman spoke up.

“I guess we ought to sit down and get talking. There is certainly a lot to say, I believe.”

“Certainly is,” Mrs. Bannerman agreed, her voice was very shaky. “I think we should invite the police to hear the story first hand,” she added, picking up her cell phone from the couch.

“No! No police! Please,” Petrina exclaimed with a very alarmed tone. Everyone stared at her.

“I’m sorry,” she continued. “I don’t know what to say. I really am. I’m sorry. But please don’t call the police!” She run her fingers through her hair as tears began to drop from her eyes.

Mrs. Bannerman was very confused by the way Petrina was reacting to her statement.

“Very well, then. I guess we can hold on to the call for now.” She sat down at the edge of the chair as though she was expecting some bad news.

Laudina sensed the conversation would not be friendly to Harry’s ears. She held his hand and announced, “I’m going to put Harry to bed.”

“No!” he protested before anyone else could comment. “I want to talk to Petty!”

There was a brief moment of silence again.

“Er..Harry,” Petrina broke the silence, trying hard to force a smile. “I’d come talk to you first thing tomorrow morning.” She patted his back.

“You sure?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Yes, I am, Harry.”

“Good! I would sleep with a smile today. Tomorrow, we would go cycling. I can finally learn to ride my bike. Thanks for coming home!” he gave her a big embrace again. “Okay, off we go, Laudy!”

It was hard not to smile. The innocence of the little boy was yearned for by everyone instead of the current mood in the house.

“Well,” Mr. Bannerman said after they had left. “Can we sit and talk?” He moved towards the couch and sat down.

Jacob and Petrina followed him. The uncomfortable silence returned. Laudina returned within a few minutes and joined them.

“Well, I guess I can set the ball rolling since I am the neutral person here.” Jacob began. “I am Jacob Gaisie, as I said earlier. I met Petrina on a bus a little over a month ago.”

“On a bus? What kind of bus? And where was the bus heading to? How did you meet her?” Mr. Bannerman’s questions seemed endless.

Jacob exchanged a glance with Petrina. “The bus was bound for Tamale. We were both passengers on the bus.”

“Passengers to Tamale?” Mrs. Bannerman asked, very astonished. “How?”

“I ran away, mum,” Petrina said quietly, bowing her head shamefully. Tears continued to drop down her face.

“Ran away?!!!” Mr. Bannerman barked. “Is that the best story the kidnappers asked you to come up with?”

Petrina shook her head. Jacob spoke on her behalf, realizing that she was struggling to speak.

“There were no kidnappers, sir.”

“So what happened?” he stood up as raised his voice even louder.

“Daddy, I just ran away,” Petrina said between sobs.

“I am failing to comprehend that! What do you mean by ran away?”

“Russell,” Mrs. Bannerman said, sounding distressed but determined to remain calm. “Let’s calm down and listen to them.”

“Calm down? Calm down? Calm down for what? When that Gerald boy whom you treat as a son arranged for my daughter to be kidnapped and she suddenly reappears with a cock and bull story, you expect me to be calm? You expect me to, Yolande?”

“Russell, yes. We can only know the truth if we remain calm.” She got up and put her arm around him as she spoke.

Mr. Bannerman pouted and glared at Petrina and Jacob. Laudina turned to her sister.

“Please tell us something.”

“I don’t know what to say. I’m  I’m…”

“Just tell us what those hired kidnappers did!” Mr. Bannerman bellowed again, ignoring his wife.

“Daddy, there were no kidnappers. Gerald hired no one. I ran away dad, I ran away.”

Mr. Bannerman narrowed his eyes and sat down. He finally seemed ready to listen to the story.

“Please let Jacob tell the story. I do not think I can do that.”

“You can’t speak but you can run away?” he retorted.

“Daddy, please.” Laudina said.

“Fine!” He turned to Jacob.

With all eyes on him, Jacob began the story of the last few weeks.

The story is drawing to a gradual close…don’t miss out yet! Keep reading!!!

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