Nothing happened in my room.
I was afraid that my room could have been buggled. I was afraid that Chinedu and Basil would demand to know where i was when it happened.
I was even more afraid that i could be in a deadly trouble if my passport was stolen but thanks to God, nothing happened.
The first thing i did was to head straight to where I hid the Passport. I was smart enough not to leave it inside my bag.
It was clear that the bag was the first place any thief would search if he or she managed to gain entry into my room.
As i lay on the empty large bed, i wished that someone was there.
I regretted why i didn’t ask Jamal to come to my room. He would have grabbed the invitation with both hands.
My mind wandered from one place to another until sleep came.
The following morning, i woke up and grabbed my phone.
The first thing i checked was whether Basil or Chinedu called while i was asleep. Not that i would not have known if they called.
I was sure that i would have heard the phone ringing if they called, but an adage said that ‘he who awaits her girlfriend, hears the footsteps of the ghosts’.
The noose was getting tighter as each day came and go.
Based on my own count, i already spend four days.
In just three days. I was expected to leave the hotel, swallow the Cocain balls, get a flight ticket and leave Abidjan.
Every other thing looked achievable except the flight ticket.
Not that we can’t get a ticket to Europe in two days, of course it was possible.
However, Abidjan wasn’t particularly New York or London where hundreds of international flights landed on daily basis.
Abidjan was just another city in West Africa where major international Carriers visited three times a week.
Abidjan, Lagos, Accra and perhaps Younde were all the same.
To stimulate my worries, i called Ken.
He said he was with his friend in Accra and that he would be returning to Europe in three days.
According to him, he said that he managed to find someone else who would give him the stuff he came to take from Africa.
What Ken said about finding another person was a half good news.
It meant that i could actually find someone else who could give me something and sponsor my flight back to Europe.
It was another way out, though a very difficult one.
But when i thought of the whole thing, it never escaped my mind that all those ideas were coming as a result of the missing Chinedu.
Maybe he was not missing but the truth was that i was getting worried by the hour.
I flashed Basil in Amsterdam.
Five minutes later, he sent me a message.
‘Maria, there is a small trouble. I am trying to sort it out from here. I will call you in the evening’.
My heartbeat increased five times in one second.
My fears had just been confirmed.
Chinedu was in trouble.
Why else would Basil send that type of encrypted message.
Why couldnt he call me back.
When did Basil suddenly resorted to sending me text messages instead of calling me.
Back in Amsterdam, Basil called me ‘Baby’. But in the text message he plainly called me ‘Maria’.
As my heart beat faster, i thought about who to call first.
My Parents didn’t know i was in Africa. I didn’t know what to tell them if i call.
I felt that it was a shame to just call and tell them that i was stranded in Ivory Coast and that i needed money.
I wondered if they would even believe that i was in Italy all along.
No, i wasn’t going to call them, atleast not yet.
What would i tell the young man?
That i was stranded in Abidjan.
I knew he liked me. But some hours ago, i was boasting and running my mouth about how i came for a holiday Vacation in Abidjan.
It would be funny to just turn around and tell him that i was stranded.
I felt ashamed of myself for telling him everything about me.
But at the back of my head, it gave me hope to know that if things come to worst, i would still call him for help. I would simply tell him the truth about what i came to do in Abidjan. If he was in the drug line, which i suspected he was, he would know that i was telling the truth.
Yes, ken seemed to be the immediate answer.
I dialed his phone number again.
“Baby, what’s up?” His voice boomed with confidence from Accra where he said he was.
Only if he knew what i was going through.
“What if i ask you to find someone for me too, someone who will also sponsor my trip back to Europe?” I said.
There was no more time to be ashamed. I needed help and I as going for it.
“What re you talking about?” He asked.
“Nothing, i just want to to to follow you back to Europe” I stammered.
He said he didn’t have anybody at the moment but also promised to ask his contact in Accra.
Tears flowed down from my eyes as i sat in the hotel room and wondered what to do next.
Nothing seemed to be close to the solution i wanted.
i thought i heard a soft knock on the door.
I didn’t say anything, i just waited for it to happen again.
It happened again.
My heart skipped a bit as i jumped up and rushed to open the door without asking who it was,
my hope was that Chinedu was back.
What Problem was Basil talking about?
Could it be just be that i won’t be flying back to Europe in one week like he promised?
At that stage, i didn’t mind if i spent two weeks in Africa. What i cared more was about the safety of Chinedu.
It was amazing how diverse and large every single issue could be. I didn’t think about other possibilities except that Chinedu has a problem.
Now that a knock has come to the door, it was time to think about other possibilities.
As i opened the door, the knock came the third time.
“Good Morning Miss” He said.
It wasn’t Chinedu, it was a Staff of the Hotel Afrique, his T Shirt confirmed that.
“Good morning to you too” I said.
He continued, “I was sent to to remind you that your hotel room rent expires by mid day today”. He said.
I didn’t say a word, i just stared at him as if he was sent from hell.
But right inside me, i knew that i was in a big trouble.