‘Don’t look at them, keep playing your game’ The inner voice in my head shouted.
I obeyed and continued playing.
Even the corner of my eyes that was watching the cops suddenly concentrated on the football game.
A certain teenager inside the main field had just scored a stunning goal and people were applauding, i joined and clapped like everyone else.
By the time i looked around again, the cops were walking back to the station.
“I have not seen you here before” The voice said behind me, it was the man who was talking with the Police five minutes ago.
“What why” I stammered. His sudden emergence behind me nearly made me jumped out of my skin.
“I said i have not seen you here before” he repeated.
“That’s because you don’t look well enough” I said, trying to be clever.
“Really, i know everyone else here except you. How did you come in?”
“What’s your name Sir?” I changed the topic.
He looked at me. “That’s not important now, Did you jump from the railway?”
He was a Black man, probably worked as a security official for Ajax. His intonation suggested he was Suriname or Antilles or even Brazil but he was definitely from that side of planet Earth.
“I am going to be honest with you because i saw you with the Police and you didn’t give me away. I did, and i am sorry if you are not happy with i did” I said.
“You will tell me what happened later because i don’t want this white racist police to take you from here. Follow me” He said.
I walked behind him until we got to where some bags were kept, then he opened one and brought out a red security T Shirt.
Something was boldly written on it in Dutch which i translated to be security or something similar.
“Wear this, they are coming back” He said as he handed me the shirt.
My heartbeat increased.
I couldn’t even thank him as i walked to a place where there were some people, then i put on the Ajax Security T Shirt on top of my pullover.
Two minutes later, he came again behind me and gave me a kind of Identity card without a picture.
“keep this, they are coming to search everyone. If they ask for your Identity, show them this but listen carefully. If this whole plan didn’t work, don’t mention my name. If they find out it was you who did that at the station, deny ever seeing me. Tell them you picked up these things from the ground. Do you understand me?” He asked.
I nodded and remained where i was.
I lost concentration on what was happening in the field. My entire attention was focussed on the Strandvliet station, waiting for when the multitude of neatly dressed Police officers would march like the Hitler Army towards the training ground.
Half of my mind suggested that i just walked out of the complex with the security outfit but i was aware that some cops on Mufti were loitering around the entire Arena and its surroundings and if i ventured out, one of them was bound to stop me for questioning.
As an employee of Ajax Football Club, i was Expected to be able to speak Dutch Language but unfortunately, i didn’t know that.
All the Igbo people living in Bijlmer were not able to learn Dutch because we all packed ourselves in that area and lived daily with our own language.
For that reason, i decided to wait at the complex and bid my time. Whatever happened later was destined to happen.
Some ten minutes later, i saw them swamming up towards the training complex like flies; Men, women, dogs, all coming up in an effort to arrest one person.
At that stage, i brought out my phone and called Queen.
“Baby where are you, i am missing you, please come back” she said.
I hesitated a bit before i said, “Please pay attention, i may not be coming back tonight. Something came up. I will explain later.
Go to the top of the TV and take the key i put there. It will open the other door that was locked. Leave the other room for the other girls. I will call you back”. I cut the call before she could say anything.
It seemed she had just become the first lady.
I called Robin next. “I ran into that Ghana bastard again this evening”
“Did he do anything to you?”
“Not really but i jumped off from the Train station and the Police are looking for me. I may not escape from this one but don’t worry. Just make sure the girls in my house have enough food to eat, i will talk to you later”. I also cut the call before he could say anything.
Queen was calling but rather than pressing the green button to answer her, i pressed the red one and switched the phone off.
The Cops were almost at the entrance of the complex and every pair of eyes inside the training field were focused on them.
Everyone was asking everyone what was wrong. The Security agent who was trying to cover me up had gone to the other two security agents and told them what was happening. The atmosphere had suddenly become tense.
The rain was almost about to start showering down. The sky above which was brighter had suddenly turned dark.
The night had suddenly descended over day time.
Was this the end of all the runs i had experienced in Europe.
How many years imprisonment was i looking at.
What was the gravity of the offence i committed.
All the above questions lingered in my head as we all watched the cops walked to the entrance of the training pitch and stopped.
Some other cops with dogs Surrounded the entire place as if someone could climb the metal fence and ran away.
I didn’t know which Prayer to start from.
I wasn’t Sure God would listen to me. He could have been angry with me for nothing seeking his face all along. He could have slapped me from above.
So Instead of ‘The Lords Prayer’ which belongs to the Almighty Himself, I started with ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee’.
That prayer belonged to Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, whom i believed has no right whatsoever to Slap me.
Some Christian denominations were still even debating whether it was good to pray to her or not; so she still needed my vote on that. I was a Catholic and supported praying to the Virgin but o wouldn’t mind Porting to Grail Message or Anglican or any other business outfit.
The final whistle suddenly blew and the practice ended.
It was finally time.