44: The Imminent Time Bomb
Zuby succeeded in getting our money in Berlin. I didn’t know how he did it but when he called, he said he was on his way to Paris and that he found the guy who withdrew our money from Western Union.
He was going to renew his French resident permit which was expiring in a few days. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know if he would succeed or not. He didn’t sound optimistic about it. He was supposed to stay back in France and work with the permit but he didn’t do that. I just prayed for him and cut the call.
The following day after speaking with Zuby, something happened in our old apartment in Stockholm. Aunty Joy and two men came to the apartment. Rose was there when they knocked. According to Rose, she opened door for them and while searching the apartment, they asked of me and Zuby. Rose told them we didn’t live there. I was scared to know that Joy was in Sweden and that she was with two men looking for us. I believed she returned to Italy when Zuby told her that he was going to Mallorca to pick her girl. Perhaps she returned to Stockholm but there was no way to know for sure. It was true Aunty Joy didn’t know our new apartment but I was still scared. I felt that they could visit Rose again and force her to reveal where I lived. I felt like leaving the apartment and returning to Hotel for my safety but when I remembered that they could not break the door, I decided to stay inside for as long as it takes Zuby to return. There were enough food items to sustain me for over one week.
I waited patiently until Zuby called and said his resident permit has been extended by another six months. That was the best news I have heard for the year. I didn’t know what I would have done if the French authorities decided not to renew his permit. First of all, he won’t be able to travel around Europe Iike he has been doing for the past few months. It also meant that we couldn’t be able to run if we had to.
Zuby said he would be returning to Sweden the following day, as a result, I defied the security protocol and went to the nearby super market to purchase meat. I wanted to cook good food to welcome him back. I was happy because he said he won’t be traveling out of Sweden for long after his current journey. I was final going to have him close to me for long time.
However, one problem I have with him was that he never ate my food without me eating with him. Since I arrived in Sweden, he has been giving me one excuse or the other why he didn’t eat whatever I cooked. But when Rose cooked, he would eat the food.
I pretended not to have suspected anything because I believed he was afraid I could poison him. He was smart enough to know that I haboured some ill feelings for him. He took my money and my girls and destroyed my business. The truth was that I never forgot what he did to me but I wasn’t really convinced that giving him poison was the better option. Irrespective of what he did to me, he was making money for us and he was giving me my share. Things would have been different if he wasn’t giving me anything.
When I returned from the market, I proceeded to cooking Chicken Stew and white rice. I prepared it carefully and waited until he called and said he was in the cab coming home to the new apartment, then I went into the kitchen and dished out his food.
After opening the door and hugging him, I showed him his food on the table.
“I am not hungry, I ate at the airport,” he said.
“Are you rejecting my food again?” I asked.
“I said I ate at the airport, why is that very difficult for you to understand? Maria I am sure you have eaten as well. Since two of us have eaten, let us eat this together,” He shouted.
I could detect some anger in his voice and I didn’t want him to accuse me of giving him stress.
Not that I didn’t expect what he did but I had hoped that he would change one day. To prove to him that I didn’t poison the food, I went to the Kitchen and returned with another spoon, then I started eating the food.
“Listen baby, I am very exhausted now. You haven’t asked how things happened down in Berlin and Paris. I am not hungry and if I just eat one or two spoonfuls, you will think that I don’t like your food,” he said.
I guess he figured out that I wasn’t happy with the situation. I didn’t say a word, I just ate the food for several minutes until I was done, then I took the remaining to the kitchen and walked to the room.
As soon as I got into the room, he started telling me how he recovered our money from one Ralph in Berlin. He said he had to lock the guy in a room for several hours before he got the money.
“Tell me what happened in my absence,” He said after telling his story.
“Rose said that a woman came to her apartment with two men. She said she opened the door for them thinking that they were the usual Jehovah’s Witness people but when they came into the apartment, they asked of you and I,” I said. I struggled to pretend that I wasn’t scared.
He looked at me and said, “What else did she say they asked her?”
I told him to call Rose and find out the details. Of course I already knew the woman was Aunty Joy. I just wanted Zuby to put the dots together and come up with his suspect as well.
After talking Rose on the phone, he declared that the visitors were Aunty Joy and her thugs.
“Apparently these Idiots are back in Sweden. We may not be safe here. It’s true that Rose didn’t sell us out but we don’t know how long that will last. This people have a strong reason to believe that we still live in that apartment. Whatever reason that made them go there will make them go there again. I need to visit Rose to find out everything they told her. She might be holding some information back,” Zuby said.
Although I haven’t started thinking towards his line of argument but I knew he could be right. Rose could somehow be trying to get back at me for one reason or the other.
“So what are we going to do about it?” I asked.
After some moments he said, “I am going up to Lulea. I need to go and see the girls up there. There are only two things to do when war comes to you. It’s either you face it or you run. This time I think we should run. But I need to go to Lulea first. I will tell you what we will do when I come back. ”