Dr 21. The influx of funds.
The next morning, the operations kicked off properly.
Zuby went outside and bought two new phones and sim cards.
He said one was for Aunty Adesuwa while the other one was for Aunty Joy.
I sat and watched as he prepared the two phones until he certified them ready for action, then he called Aunty Adesuwa first; the phone was on speakout.
“Hello Maria, is that you?” Aunty Adesuwa said from the other side of the phone.
My heart skipped.
How could Aunty Adesuwa link me to the call?
Oh, i remembered, the phone number was Swedish.
If not that i was shocked, i would have shouted “Aunty it is not me.”
Zuby answered her before i could even say anything.
“Who is Maria?” He asked Adesuwa.
“Who are you?” Adesuwa counter-asked.
“My name is Austin. Are you Adesuwa?” Zuby asked.
Mr. Azubuike reminded me the name he gave me as his back when we met in Lagos. He said he was Austin and i knew him as Austin until recently.
“I asked who you are?” Adesuwa said without answering the question thrown at her; her voice raised slightly.
“If you shout at me again, you won’t see your missing girl” Zuby said.
“I asked who you are” Adesuwa shouted.
“That’s it then” Zuby said and switched the phone off.
As he dropped the phone and picked up the second phone to call Aunty Joy, Adesuwa called me.
I ignored the call and listened to what Zuby was about to discuss with Aunty Joy. I was part of the operations and needed to listen to everything he had to say.
“Are you Aunty Joy?” Zuby asked as soon as the phone connected Italy.
“Yes, who are you?” Joy asked.
“Listen very carefully, i met some Arab men who asked me to call you, they said they have two girls that belonged to you” He said and kept quiet.
“Please where are they?” Aunty Joy asked.
“I don’t know Madam. They just asked me to call you. They said you will pay before they release the girls. Madam are they your daughters?” He asked.
“They are my girls, i brought them to Europe from Africa” Joy said.
“Madam please do whatever they want, they will kill the girls soon. I don’t want to get involved in this. I may change my phone number if they contact me again, or even leave Sweden. I don’t want to get involved with those terrorists. I am scared” Zuby said.
I listened as Aunty Joy begged Zuby not to change his phone number or leave Sweden until the whole problem was solved.
She said her sister was in Sweden and that she would contact her immediately.
Before Zuby could finish with Aunty Joy, Adesuwa has started calling me again. I left the room and went to take the call in the sitting room.
As expected, Adesuwa said a man called her from Sweden and claimed to have kidnapped Precious. She said the man switched off his phone and couldnt be reached. She gave me the man’s phone number and asked me to keep trying it until i get the man on the phone.
Before i returned to the room, Zuby has switched on Aunty Adesuwa’s contact phone again. It didn’t take long before she called. I listened as she begged Zuby not to harm Precious and promised to send 10, 000 Euros to her sister who also lived in Sweden. I started laughing as soon as the phone conversation ended. We had just made 10,000 Euros even though Zuby refused to take it. I was still laughing when Adesuwa called me again. She said she has agreed to send 10,000 to Zuby and that he refused. Aunty Adesuwa begged me to beg Zuby to accept the money. “Aunty i am scared now. I don’t know many places in this city. They could kidnap me too if i go to them” I said to Adesuwa. Another call came to my phone before i could finish with Adesuwa; it was Aunty Joy calling. The business has started. I was now in the middle of negotiation with two Madams in Italy and while it was dangerous, it was also fun. Aunty Joy said some Arab men kidnapped Sharon and Peace and were going to behead them if nothing was done. She said the Arabs contacted a man who called her in turn but that she feared the man could run away due to fear. She gave me Zuby’s number to make contact with him immediately and report back to her. Ten minutes later, i called Adesuwa. I told her that i have made contact with the man who kidnapped Precious and that he sounded angry when i told him that i was her sister. He said he won’t take anything less than 50,000 Euros. “Yes, that’s what he said but i don’t have that kind of money with me. I sent my money to Africa to bring two girls for me. Please beg him again with 15000. He will accept it” Adesuwa said. When the call ended, i told Zuby that it was time to cash out and concentrate on Aunty Joy alone. The whole operation seemed to be choking me. I felt that it would be easier to be dealing with one person instead of two. After convincing Zuby for some minutes, he agreed to accept the money from Adesuwa but said that i was the person who will get the money since i forced him to end the deal. When i called Adesuwa back, i told her that he has agreed to take the 15,000 Euros. “Aunty how are we going to send him the money?” I eventually asked. Adesuwa said she would arrange the money and come to Sweden by herself. That decision was definitely going to complicate things for us but as long as Zuby the fearless was still there, i was sure he would come up with a plan. “Aunty Adesuwa is coming to Sweden with the money” I announced to Zuby. “Let her come. She can even come with the Italian Police if she want but we are getting the money from her. Just wait and see” He assured. That was one part of Zuby that scared me. In the face of troubles, he always remained calm as if he was incapable of dying. Aunty Adesuwa said she was coming to Sweden. I expected Zuby to panic or even start plan on how to run from her but he didn’t do any of that. He just sat there and sipped on a glass of whisky as if everything was alright. There was nothing i could do except to wait for whatever would happen in the next few hours but if there was anything, i trusted him.