After eating our fish, Chinasa asked where I was staying.
I told her that I rented a room in that very hotel. She said she would like us to go see it.
We walked up to the first floor where I lodged and opened my room. I had left my bags in the car.
”Its a nice room, I hope you will allow me to stay with you tonight” she said.
”Chi girl, I have been on the road for many days now, I have been to Okigwe, Port Harcourt, Aba and now here. I am tired and I need some rest. I want to be alone tonight” I said and I meant it.
Not that it would hurt to stay with her but I had two reasons to be wary of her. First was that we started on the wrong foot, secondly, I was trying to cut costs.
The money left with me was less than N10000 and the following day was Saturday. The banks would be closed.
I knew I would definitely give her some money if she stayed with me and my normal standard fare for girls who slept with me was N4000. If I deduct N4000 from my money, I would be left with something in the region of N4000 or less. I also needed to buy petrol in the morning, my fuel gauge was reading 15 litres when I arrived in Owerri.
Some other unforeseen expenses could also come up and that would throw me into a mess.
”I can only allow you to stay with me if there would be no sex” I lied.
She laughed and said its fine with her. Together, we went back to the live band group. A man named sunny bobo was singing some native Owerri song. People had gathered to dance and watch him as he entertained them.
At half past 11pm, I told Chinasa that I was retiring to my room. She said she will come up later.
”IF you don’t come with me now, don’t bother coming again” I said.
She said she was waiting for a friend and would join me when she was done waiting.
As usual, I was alerted. I excused myself and went upstairs. I returned to the reception and asked the receptionist to change my room for me. I told her that the sound of the music was very close to my window and wouldn’t let me sleep.
After pleading with extra N500 bribe, she agreed and gave me a room that over looked the outside of the hotel.
I bought two bottles of stout beer and took them upstairs, then I sat on the table near the window to watch the outside of the hotel.
The white bulbs illuminated the entire area and it was very easy to spot and recognize anybody.
Half an hour after I went up, I saw some two men standing with Chinasa near the hotel fence. I switched off the light in my room and opened the window to watch them. The music had stopped and were packing up. They spoke for some minutes and the men left the hotel.
Chinasa walked inside the hotel. The new room I rented was on the second floor while the first was on the first floor.
I jumped down from the table, opened my door and walked to the staircase leading to the first floor. I heard Chinasa knocking on my old door. The room had been rented out to someone else.
The new occupant opened the door and Chinasa said she was looking for her friend who was staying in the room. I was very close to them but out of sight.
The new occupant explained that there was nobody there. He said he had rented the room after the music stopped. Chinasa was disappointed.
As she made her way downstairs, I rushed back into my room and watched her through the window.
She made some calls and waited. Few minutes later, his two men friends returned and she followed them out.
I sat down on the bed and tried to make a meaning out of the whole thing. Who were those men? What were they discussing with her? Why did she come up after talking to them?
I couldn’t add meaning into the whole thing but I had a feeling something was not right.
I slept and woke up at 8am. I called my brother who gave me Chidiebere’s number.
Chidiebere was my village man who traded on clothes in Owerri.
I called him and told him that I was in Owerri. He said since it was Saturday, he would come to the hotel immediately. I waited for him until he arrived with his friend.
We sat on the reception and drank some stout that early morning. When we finished, I asked him to drive the car since he knew the roads better. He drove me to his shop in wetheral road where he bought another round of drinks for us. He said he wanted to go to Europe but had no connections. I promised to find a way for him when I go back to Europe; I was serious.
When it was 11 am, I announced my leaving. They escorted me to the begining of Owerri -Onitsha road and left. It was goodbye Owerri. I drove through some towns, Mgbidi, Ihiala, Okija, Urualla, Ozubulu and Oba until I got to Onitsha. It was a journey of about 45km which would naturally take about 45 minutes on 100km/h but due to the bad nature of the road, I spent over an hour and half before getting to Onitsha.
I got to our yard in Awada and brought out my dirty tour clothes. I took them to the dry cleaner downstairs to wash them.
”One girl has been looking for you” my brother said as soon as I entered his sitting room.
I kept quiet as if I had not heard him.
”Why was she looking for me” I said after a few moments.
”she dropped a phone number. You can find out by yourself when you call her” he said and gave me a piece of paper containing a phone number.
I dialed the number and waited.
”hello” a voice said from the other end of the call.
”This is Azubuike. Somebody gave me this number and said you have been looking for me” I said.
”You no be better person. You came back from Germany and didn’t ask of me” the female voice said.
I tried to figure out whose voice it was but I couldn’t.
I asked who it was and she said she was Azuka.
Yes! Azuka. I remembered her. She was the girl whose mother had pursued me when I was doing the Cotonou car business back in 2001. She said she had come to our flat but my brother told her that I went to Enugu. She wanted to know if I had returned to Onitsha.
I told her that I had returned but was tired and needed some rest.
”I will call you in the evening or tomorrow morning” I told her and terminated the call.
I went down and bought a N1500 MTN recharge card.
When I returned upstairs, I called Liz in Aba. I wanted to know how she was doing and how she had adapted to the new residence. She said she was doing fine but still couldn’t believe what had happened to her. She also said that she was looking forward to seeing me again soon. I told her that I would be traveling to Cotonou and could spend up to 4 days there but that I would call her as soon as I returned to Nigeria.
I called Jennifer. She had found a room mate back in Germany. She said his name was Osagie or something. A boy. She said they were from the same town and as a result, they would never touch each other. I had stop paying attention when she said it was a boy.
When she finished rambling I called Akunne and told him to go to my apartment as soon as possible. I had hidden €4000 behind the electric heater on the wall. I told Akunne to go and get it.
I called Jennifer back and told her that my money in Nigeria was running down and that I needed money. She said she had no money to send to me.
”Have you finished all your money sweetheart” I had asked her.
She kept quiet.
”I will send Akunne to you now. He will give you €200”
I called Akunne back and told him what I had told Jennifer.
”When you get there, find a way to send her out of the room, then pick up the money. When she returned, give her €200 and leave.