I got to Toulouse with train and changed to a train going to Marseille. It was time to visit my girls over there and see what they were doing.
I haven’t heard from Naomi for long; she never called ever since she hooked that French boy called Eric.
Ngozi was the one who needed help. The last time she called, she complained of money for the payment of her room. She also said she has finished her vocation and needed to started work but required some small money to buy materials. She has studied weaving according to her. Whatever she wove was best known to her but i was going to meet with her. If she convinced me to give her money, i would definitely do that but if not, i would convince her to follow me to Amsterdam where i will plan on how to smuggle her into the United Kingdom.
It wasn’t really that the United Kingdom was better than every other Country in Europe but the fact was that each time any of the girls crossed over there, i felt like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders.
I hardly sent money over there as well because they all understood English and despite that England were very strict on giving asylums to Africans, they still acknowledged that Nigeria was their former Colony.
When i arrived in Marseille, that Sunday Night, i decided that i have traveled enough with the cash. I had a feeling that something was going to happen to it if i tried to cross another border with it.
While looking for a hotel room, i thought about how to to move the money safely to different destinations.
Ngozi was happy to hear that i was in Marseille. She said she was coming right away to the hotel where i was staying.
I had vowed that i won’t allow anybody near me until i secure the money i was moving but i felt Ngozi won’t pose a security danger for me. Besides if she dare stole my money, i would make sure i sent her back to prostitution. All i needed to do was just to scare her with some news that Olokun visited me and declared that she return to street or die.
I did enough to hide my money anyway before her arrival. She has slimmed down and looked beautiful with some long hair that almost touched her waist.
“What is the name of this one, Brazilian hair?” i asked
“This one is French weave, we made this one by ourselves” she said excitedly.
“Really, this is very good. You see why i wanted all of you to learn something different and legal. How much does this one cost?” I asked.
She said the prizes differs based on how they measured it. Since i wasn’t ready to learn women’s hair, i changed the topic.
“What do you want to do now that you have finished studying?” i asked.
“I don’t really know. I cannot start my own business here until i have a permanent residence permit, That is the law here. But i can be producing the weaves and braids and send them to Nigeria, my mother and my sister will sell them and send money back to me” she said.
“You see, that is a good idea but there is no guarantee that they will send your money Back to you unless ofcourse they are the people who send you the initial capital to start the business. Africa is different from here. There is no security of anything in Nigeria as of now, individuals take care of Education, Health, feeding, accommodation and clothing. It would be very difficult for such business to survive amidst all the mentioned vices that would be feeding from the small gains the business would be making. If you have any outlet here in France where you can be selling your products, i could borrow some money for you to start the business. If not, you have to get ready to travel with me to Amsterdam. We will decide what is good for you when you get there. How is Naomi” I asked.
“I haven’t spoken with her for almost one month now. The last time we talked, she said she has returned to Paris” Ngozi said.
“What? Did she say why she returned to Paris?” i asked.
“I didn’t ask her”.
I searched for Naomi’s phone number and called it, it wasn’t connecting. She has apparently changed the number or maybe she was in trouble.
“Let me see the number you used to get her last month” i said to Ngozi.
She gave the number to me and when i checked, it was the same with the one i just called.
Right there, i decided that i wasn’t going to make her search a priority. She has turned 20 and was free to go wherever she wanted but she should have atleast stayed in contact.
“Do you know where Eric live here in Marseille?” I asked.
“Yes” Ngozi said.
“Lets go there now” I said as i got up and held her frail hand towards the exit door.
We took a cab to the place where Eric lived, he wasn’t there when we came.
A neighbour said Eric no longer lived there.
When i asked if he knew where he went, he said Eric moved up with his girlfriend to Paris.
The whole thing was making more sense but Naomi was one of those i picked up in Paris. Why on earth did she agree to return there. She was likely going to run into a familiar face someday and that could trigger a sequence of troubles that could swallow her. I doubted that Eric boy could protect her but then, life was all about destiny. Paris could be better for her.
Ngozi and i returned to the hotel room, she said she missed me so much and that she remembered how we ran through Italy when Aunt Maria was pursuing us. She asked if i was still the brave intelligent guy or if i have changed.
“I have changed. Nemesis is catching up with me now, that is why destiny brought me here. I want to make sure that all my girls are settled before i die because someone is likely going to kill me soon. Look at my eye, someone did this to me in Amsterdam last week. I don’t know what the next person is going to do to me.” I said.
She stood up to examine what happened to my left eye. After standing and touching it for a few moments. She deliberately kissed my lips and said, “Do you still like me like you used to do when we were running away from Italy”.
Here we go again. Why did i come to Marseille in the first place.