“Put the phone on speak-out. I want to analyse everything she will say” I said to Maria.
“I am not calling Madam Tessy. She brought me to Europe here. She is the person who will help me if i have problems with other people. She is also the only Madam Alice know in Italy, she could have called her despite our warning. I have other people that i can call” Maria said.
“Call another Madam then and make sure she has teenage girls and money. We are trying to kill two birds with one stone here” I said.
Maria placed a call down to Napoli and switched the speak-out application.
“Aunty Adesuwa, it is Maria” She introduced herself.
“Maria, where are you? This is not Italian number” She boomed on the speaker.
“I am in Sweden Aunty. Things got dry in Napoli and i called my friend who lives here. She told me to come over here. Things are moving well this side. If not that you have children, i would have even told you to come up. The Police don’t chase people around like Italy” Maria said.
She asked Aunty Adesuwa about her two kids and business. Adesuwa complained about the usual how police were disturbing the street etc.
“Police don’t disturb girls here at all. You can send your girls up here but the white men here like the young ones, you know what i mean” Maria said.
“That is very good of you. I will tell one or two of them to prepare when they return from work. If we get permit cards, i will send them to you before one week” Aunty Adesuwa said.
They talked about other small issues and said goodbyes.
“Call another person in Italy immediately, one week is a very long time to wait” i said.
She scrolled down her numbers and called another Madam who lived in Venice. Her name was Joy. Aunty Joy according to Maria, was a very rich woman who came from a village in Benin and lived in Benin all her young life. Her money didn’t come from prostitution business alone. Rumour had it that she had poisoned a white business man who had picked her up in the street; and pushed her out of a boat into the sea; then ran away with a large sum of money. Rumour also put the money she stole from the man to approximately €150,000.
That was the happiest news i have heard that week. If she really had money, i wouldn’t mind going down to Venice to take care of that business on my own.
“Aunty Joy, it is Maria from Aunty Tessy” she introduced herself.
“How are you doing and how is Aunty Tessy doing?” Aunty Joy had asked.
“I am not in Italy but i think she is fine” Maria said.
Aunty Joy asked where Maria was and she was told that it was in Sweden. Maria did a good job at painting Sweden with bright colours.
According to her, Sweden was the new real deal and new discovery. Italy has been saturated.
At the end of their conversation, Aunty Joy agreed to send two of her girls to Sweden but told Maria that she would be in charge of ensuring that they returned her money.
“Any of them who refuse to return your money will die; Olokun will kill her and they all know that. I hope you took them to the forest before they came?” Maria said.
Aunty joy laughed loud before boasting to Maria that the Baba who conducted the oath for the young girls was the strongest among all of them in the Benin forest.
She boasted that it was her main boys in Libya that took the girls to the forest but that it was her who found them in a party in Benin.
It was amazing how Maria started to mock the Olokun as well. It was the first time i had seen any of those girls say something against Olokun without fear. It seemed Maria had just become the latest convert and a big one for that matter. I was a little bit sceptical anyway because records showed that women were capable of doing anything just to get what they wanted. In the context of what was going on, i didn’t really know for sure that Maria’s main interest lied with the money i promised her; It could have been for revenge on me. I knew quiet alright that i destroyed a large percentage of her small business empire. I took away all the money she saved and on top of that, took away her two workers. It was the reason why she acted so ruthlessly to make sure that i was captured but since she couldn’t achieve that, she decided that staying close to me was the best opportunity to achieve whatever aim she planned. She was absolutely right. Staying close to me was the easiest way to get at me but it will keep me on my toes because ‘He who dines with the spirits, uses a longer spoon’.
“You are a very clever liar Maria, i hope you know that but i like your kind of lies; I believe we will work together very well for very long if you can be honest with me” I said.
“You are the boss. Despite everything you did, i still like you so much. That is why i haven’t stabbed you to death. There is something about you that throws me off balance. You stay calm in the midst of danger while your brain works non stop. I doubt you sleep at night at all” She said.
“We will go to Church together tomorrow” She continued. It was something i never expected to hear from her. She argued that we promised the Rev. Father that we will attend the Church.
“The Church belongs to the Christian God and not the Rev Father” I said, trying to make her understand that i wasn’t going anywhere.
An hour after making our calls and having our little chat, we picked up our dirty clothes and went out to the laundry house. It was a Saturday which made the house full. Too many people without washing machines in their homes usually used the weekends to visit the laundry house. Luckily for us, we met an empty machine and stuffed our clothes in it, threw in a few coins and started the engine. I set the timer to an hour and took Maria out to a store where we purchased perfume, soaps and creams. I wasn’t the type who used creams but it seemed my new unofficial wife wanted to make me start.
When we returned to the laundry house, we took our clothes home and played in the room.
“We will go and search for a new apartment on Monday. This place won’t be enough for our operations” I said.
“As you wish boss” She replied and initiated a kiss.
“We are still enemies and enemies don’t kiss each other” I joked.
“Enemies don’t take clothes and drinks to each other’s families” She replied and initiated a second kiss.
“Aren’t you a funny sweetheart?” I said again.
“I love you too but shut up and respond” She said and started another kiss.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”