Chapter 46: Going to France:
Back in the hotel room, Ngozi slept as soon as we returned. She was tired from the entire events of the day, tired from running and tired of being reminded that some bad people were after her. She was just a teenager who thought that life in Europe was perfect. As she slept peacefully on the large bed, i sat on the Edge of the bed looking directly at her face. I wondered why people were so wicked as to buy such a young innocent girl. I wondered what would become of her if i just got up and disappeared out of her life. Of course she could survive in the streets like every other girl but her life would certainly be destabilized initially; if she didn’t get out of that quickly and on time, it could just define her future. But Ozoigbondu had been entangled with her by a single tiny rope which had refused to break easily. She was going to be fine as long as i was concerned. After about twenty minutes of staring at her face, i kissed her forehead and crawled quietly into the bed.
At about 6 am, the next morning, the alarm on my clock reminded us that it was time to start running again, time to face the harsh reality of the outside World.
”Get up NG, its time to clear out” i said.
She got up quietly and went into the bathroom. Some minutes later, she came out and declared herself ready. Due to the events of the past days, i had forgotten the things i needed to do. I didn’t send Naomi money for the new apartment as i promised, i didn’t buy Ngozi new cloths as i promised. I had forgotten such things and focused on evading the thugs whom i was so sure, was after us. It was apparently more important.
We got out of the hotel and took a cab to the Bus station. Since the thugs had chosen the train stations, it was Time to chose a different means. We bought two bus tickets to Genova and went to the extreme end of the bus. There was no apparent reason why i chose the end of the bus, it was just based on instinct. Ten minutes after we boarded the bus, it left Livorno and headed North towards Genova. Genova was going to be our last city in Italy before we enter into France. I had a feeling that Maria would send thugs there as well. She was clever enough to Know that we can only head to France, Switzerland, Austria or Slovenia. Those are the Four countries which had land borders with Italy. She knew that Slovenia, being a struggling Eastern European Country won’t be on our traveling plan. She also knew that Austria, being a Deutsch speaking Country won’t be on my plan as well. She knew that i had lived in Germany and left there without attending a pending court case. Germany and Austria were pretty the same people. She must have been left with Just France and Switzerland. That practically narrowed the manhunt down to few international borders between Italy, France and Switzerland. The good news was that there were borders all over the North of Italy. One could easily sneak into Switzerland through Verona, Brescia, Monza and Novara. There were also borders on the French side such as Torino and Mondovi. One could also sneak into France through Genova and Savona. I was sure that no matter how connected Maria was, there was no way she could cover all the places. Even the CIA and FBI would find it pretty difficult to cover such numerous borders.
Right inside the bus, i lectured Ngozi on what to say if we got controlled by the immigration police at the border. I was using Igbo, our native language.
”If they ask for your documents, tell them that you don’t have any. If they ask you to follow them, don’t look at me or talk to me. Follow them quietly but remember not to carry the bag or even pretend that you ever met with me. Remember everything i told you about asylum. Give them the story about how you came to Europe through deserts and sea. They won’t beat or kill you. They can only take you to a camp where you will be properly and legally documented” i said. She nodded. I admired her courage, i had hoped she would be scared during the border crossing but she was as bold as a lion.
We arrived in Genova and went straight to the train station. I had hoped that we would be lucky enough to avoid the thugs but as soon as we entered the station, i saw some suspicious individuals. They were all blacks, about three of them. I eventually recognized one of them, he was among the idiots who ran away from Police in Florence. The Italian Police was not as organised as the German Police, i had hopped they caught the idiots.
I saw them first and stopped, then i pulled Ngozi back abruptly. She suspected that something bad had happened and stopped too. I pitied, she was scared of Police, Immigration and the thugs at the same time; yet she was just a teenager.
As soon as we walked out of their sight, i looked around to check for more suspicious faces but couldn’t find any. How on earth did Maria knew that we were going to take Genova. Of course she knew that i had arrived Italy through France and must have suspected that i would take the same route.
”They are here in the station. We need to go back and use the bus” i said to Ngozi. She nodded and followed me. We were supposed to have used the bus initially but there was always more immigration check points on the roads.
We walked quickly out of the station and waved a cab to a stop. I opened the back door and threw my bag inside, then Ngozi jumped in without waiting to be told. As soon as i jumped into the front seat and closed the door, i saw them running up towards us. They had apparently seen us.
”Bus Station” i said as i saw one of them waiving at the cab driver to wait.
”I said go to Bus Station” i yelled at the driver who apparently didn’t know what i meant. He didn’t understood English. The thugs had gotten to the car and was knocking on the glass windows. Fortunately for us, the glasses were already up and the driver had locked the vehicle from inside. They couldn’t open the doors from Outside.
”Kriminale” i shouted.