We took a cab back to our apartment.
All through the short drive, tears dropped from my eyes.
I felt for Zuby because the fight he was fighting was justifiable.
He was not supposed to be captured, he was doing a humanitarian work, only that he deemed it necessary to also get money out of it.
It was absolutely difficult to find out what was happening with him. The only consolation was that he managed to get out of such troubles in the past. But then, life was all about luck and circumstances. Where he managed to get out in the past could also become where it ended for him.
Living a dangerous life wasn’t a good thing irrespective of the reasons for doing that. But the worst thing that could happen to the world was for people to see evil and ignore it especially when it didn’t concern them.
Since i was mentally weak, the cooking was handed over to Rose. I knew that Zuby was in France and wasn’t coming back soon, therefore i allowed Rose to do the cooking.
Somehow Zuby knew the food i cooked and the ones cooked by another person. I recalled on one occasion when he returned home and asked for food.
I had gone to the kitchen and brought the Soup made by Rose. The moment he tasted it, he washed his hands and declared that he was no longer hungry. That was unlike him who always praised my foods even when he wasn’t hungry.
“Daddy why did you stop eating?” I had foolishly asked.
He said he wasn’t hungry anymore.
“So why did you ask me to bring the food for you?” I asked.
It was a mistake to ask that question because what followed wasn’t pleasant.
“Listen Maria, from today, you will be buying the foodstuff in this house while i do the cooking” He had said.
When i asked what brought about the new law, he accused me of disobedience. He said i wasn’t the one who cooked the food.
Since that day, i learnt to do the cooking when he was around. I only allowed Rose to boil white rice and other easy dishes like noodles.
The next call i received from France was good. Zuby had managed to wriggle his way out of the trouble he said he was in. He went on to tell me how Aunty Joy attempted to set him up by sending people after him.
“What about the money, did you withdraw it?” i had asked.
He said he didn’t and that he didn’t really care about it.
“Joy will pay for her actions. Its just a matter of when and how. I will be returning to Sweden soon” He said.
When i asked how he intended to get money from Aunty Joy since there was already trouble, he said that he was going to direct her to send the money to Nigeria.
I was visibly alerted since i was supposed to get some share from the money. The only consolation i gave myself was that the first money was still in Sweden; but then it wasn’t in my possession.
There was nothing i could say except to wish him goodluck like i have been doing since he left.
The truth however was that i had started having doubts over the real intentions of Mr. Zuby. I felt that i was not being carried along as should have been the case.
The first time i asked him about it, he said he was protecting me by not telling me certain things or plans until he accomplished them. Despite the fact that he was a little older than i was, i was still matured enough to handle my own problems. No matter how much he believed he cared or loved or wanted to protect me, i still believed that i reserved the right to chose how to decide on certain issues that has direct impact on me.
Since he asked that i didn’t call him, i waited and hoped that he returned safely.
While waiting, i was forced to learn how to say some inaudible prayers. I was not religious like many other African people, i was just a regular girl who tried to attend Churches whenever i could, especially whenever i bought new clothes, did new hairstyle or bought new shoes. My biggest motivator to attend Churches wasn’t salvation or seeking Heaven; it was really about the new things i acquired. I didn’t care much about Heaven or hell or the Catholic purgatory, i saw those things as mythical illusions created by the wiser people to control our minds.
But while waiting for my man, i had to mumble some prayers and wondered if God would even listen to me in the first place. I was a sinner in the eyes of man, how God took me was a different thing. But one thing i learnt from the Europeans was that they put their welfare first before Church. I have never seen the Churches being hyped. I have never witnessed anything called miracle. If people got sick, no one ever suggested Churches, no one ever called the pastors. The hotline was the emergency medics and the cops. Those were institutions put in place to manage such things.
Our people back home were still in the Dark and the worst part of it all was that there was no immediate light in the end of the tunnel.
I sincerely believed that the whites kept us in the dark for their selfish interests. They never wanted us to get to the level they have attained and to cap it all, our leaders were bent on simply enriching themselves. No clear policy or agenda, just sending millions of dollars outside the county on daily basis.
Mr. Zuby eventually came back to Sweden after two days. Not surprisingly, he returned with yet another girl. He didn’t give me any hint about returning with another girl. He didn’t tell me he was in any airport. He just walked in the following day while i was playing Ludo game with Rose when we heard a little noise on our door. Rose and I had looked at each other and as she stood up to walk to the door, i asked her to stay where she was and wait for whoever it was to continue. Then the door had opened and walking through it were my boyfriend and a new teenage girl.
“You didn’t tell me you were returning here today” I said as i stood up and hugged him.
Irrespective of how he returned, i was still happy that nothing happened to him. I felt that he has some explanations to make but knowing who he was, he was definitely going to give me reasons why he did that.