I eventually slept off until we arrived in Rome. We were supposed to change trains before heading down to Napoli. It was disturbing since i was on the run but Rome was safer compared to Milan.
I wasn’t scared as i alighted from the train but i was watchful. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone i knew but i kept looking around anyway.
Out from the train, i changed platforms and waited for the new Napoli bound train.
My mind was fixed on the money inside the bag and somehow at the back of my head, i knew i would make it to Napoli with the money.
I was already documented in Italy, though i doubted that the papers they gave me allowed me to travel out of Venice. I was not hungry either and even if I was, I wouldn’t dare venture anywhere to look for food.
After about twenty minutes of waiting at the Roma Centrale Station, our train arrived.
While sitting at the platform ealier, i decided to switch on my phone. It took just a minute for the first call to arrive, it was from Madam Philo.
“Good evening” I said to her.
“Maria, i am still waiting for you to return here” She shouted.
“OK, Aunty you will see me tomorrow” I said.
“Tomorrow, if i don’t see you tomorrow, i will take your name to the Police and they will start looking for you. This is my last warning” She shouted again.
That was her latest threat line. She had tried every deity in Edo and Ondo forests but they disappointed her, now it was the Police. The Italian Army could be the next but I wasn’t bothered.
There was no need arguing with her, i was going to see her the next day because it was obvious that her place was the best for me to stay down there in Castel Volturno. What she didn’t know was that i wasn’t returning because of her.
The second call came from Jacob again. He must have been trying to reach me for a long time.
“Hello Jacob” I had said.
He started reminding me how we met and how he loved and wanted to live with me.
After his sermon, i reminded him that i was on my way back to Castel but that i could return to Milan any moment. I wanted to be in a good relationship with him because if i ever returned to Milan, i would have to go and stay with him before anything else.
After promising to see him whenever i returned to Milan, i cut the call and as i was about to switch off the phone again, another call came in.
It was a strange set of numbers that was not registered on my phone. The moment i saw it, i knew it was a bad one. I knew i was being pursued and i knew that those people after me were likely going to get my phone number from somewhere.
“Hello” I said after i made up my mind to take the call.
Whoever it was wasn’t going to catch me through the phone. Even if they were tracking me through the phone, i would be long gone from Rome by the time they came there.
“Baby” The Male voice said.
My heartbeat skipped as i recognized the voice, it belonged to Ano.
“Hello” I said and kept quiet.
“Where are you?” he asked.
“I am in Venice. I locked the apartment and decided to hide away from some people who wanted to come and search your apartment” I said.
It was a lie i wasn’t prepared to tell but i had to say something. The truth was very dangerous at that moment.
“Which people, what are you talking about?”
“One girl came to my workplace and said you asked her to search your house for money. When i told my friend about it, she told me not to allow them into your apartment without your permission, that was why i locked the place and ran away” I said.
A woman sitting beside me looked at my face and continued reading the Dan Brown Novel she was holding.
“You did right but it was me who sent the girl to meet you. You know who she is, don’t you?” He asked.
I told him that i have seen her face before but didn’t remember where.
“Its Anita, my ex girlfriend. She has been to the apartment but she said she didn’t find the money i sent her to take” He said.
At that point, i knew that the next thing i say would determine if i would keep the money or return it to Ano.
“I didn’t see any money, i was afraid, so i locked the place and ran away. Where did you keep the money?” I asked.
He said he left it in his trouser pocket and that i was the only person in the apartment when he left with the Police.
“Baby please, i need the money to pay for the lawyer and some other things” He was saying but i was already in tears.
I betrayed him and it was very hard to swallow. He loved me and i knew it but we were all prisoners who needed money to become free.
He was in Police custody but i was also a slave and prisoner of Madam Philo. The money we were talking about was enough to save me and perhaps save him as well.
If i return the money to him, i would remain what i was since i arrived in Italy, a slave and a prostitute.
He may welcome me back but human beings were cunning animals. As soon as i admit that i took the money, he would know that i was a liar and as a result, he would no longer trust me. This mistrust would eventually lead to a break up between us. He would run away from me and probably return to Anita whom i suspected was still dating him behind me.. Then i would be out there in the street again, and at the mercy of Jacob and Madam Philo.
But if i keep the money, i would at least buy my freedom from Madam Philo and become a fugitive from Ano and his friends. Jacob would remain the bridge from good to bad and vice versa, it was his fate.
And and his crew would be searching for me with guns, which was more dangerous than all the deities Madam Philo was threatening me with but their chances of finding me was very slim.
As the tears dropped from my eyes, the train arrived and at the same time, i pressed the red button on my phone and the phone went dead. That was the end of the conversation between Ano and I. It was the end. I was going down to Napoli with the money. They could go ahead and shoot me if they find me but i wasn’t going back to the Domitiana Highway bush to wait for drunk men who smelled alcohol, to climbed me just for 10 Euros.
Inside the train, i dismembered my phone and put them inside my bag. That was the last time i would put that sim card into that phone.
I felt sorry for Ano but i knew he could raise money from his friends or family for his release.
As for me Maria, nobody i knew would agree to pay for my freedom. The best chance i ever had was finding that money and thankfully, i had the courage to take it and run.
It was time to start running.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com