On that Monday morning, we carried out our plan of leaving the premises with the Hotel Key. Plan A worked perfectly.
But when i came out on the road, i saw Queen standing in front of the hotel gate. Someone could have seen her from inside the Hotel Premises if they were looking for her.
“I told you to walk down to the Bus Stop” I said as i grabbed her hand and started walking down the road fast.
She claimed to have forgotten it.
I knew she didn’t forget it, she was still scared i could disappear. I was an African, a Nigerian and an Igbo boy for that matter. I always understood why people didn’t trust me. Many of people of my age and colour from the same place did so many things bad to people in the past.
Nigerians didn’t have the best reputations and CVs out there. It would have been foolish of me to hope that everyone would trust me.
Despite everything i had been saying and doing with Queen since we started running in Paris, she still wanted me to be close to her at all times.
The first time i left her in my apartment in Almere Holland, i had disappeared and was involved with the abduction by the criminal Suriname boys. I didn’t return to her on time like i promised and she complained bitterly when i returned.
Before we even got to the Bus Stop, two Police men blocked our way.
“We are on a stop and search, what do you have inside your pocket?” The first one asked.
“Stop and search, what do you mean by that?” I asked.
He flashed an ID card and returned it to his pocket.
“We are searching for weapons and other illegal objects” He said.
“So, if you dont find any illegal Object on me, you will let us go?” I asked.
The criminal on uniform said that it depended on what else they found on me.
I didn’t wait for him to finish what he was saying before i sprinted away from him. He attempted to run after me but on seeing the gap between us, he grabbed Queen’s hand.
Lagos was one big criminal den and i knew that long ago. In Nigeria as a whole, every criminal activity was possible.
I heard stories in the past about people who posed as Police or Army to steal from people.
I had Over 2000 Euros in my pocket and being what i was, i knew that those two men in uniform were going to ask for the receipt that covered the money. They were going to first of all , search us thoroughly. They would surely find the Euro notes because i didn’t hide them properly. Then they were going to interpret some useless laws about how i was not supposed to be walking in the street with such money. By then, they must have been in the possession of our Documents which won’t be returned to us until we shared the ‘illegal’ money with them. Then they were likely to alert their fellow criminals along the way to stop and search us too. It wouldn’t matter to them if they took all our money.
The first thing i decided to do as soon as i saw them, was to run. It would have been easier for me if i were alone but since Queen was with me, i had no other Option than to return to the Hotel. We were yet to have Nigerian Phone numbers which would have helped us to reunite easily.
The moment i saw that they were not chasing me, i walked slowly backwards until i came to the Hotel gate.
I stood and watched as they opened the International Passport which they took from Queen. One of them was turning the pages one after the other until he got tired, then he slipped the Passport inside his right Trouser pocket. As i suspected, they were going to ask further silly questions until they came up with one silly reason to start demanding for money. It was going to be the same with me and things could have been worse if they found out i had some foreign currency with me.
After putting the British Passport in his pocket, he asked Queen to give him the small handbag hanging on her shoulder.
I watched as they struggled with her until they pulled it out of her Shoulder.
The team leader held Queen as the other one started looking into the bag. He would bring out one thing and held it towards Queen, then he would be saying something which i couldn’t hear due to the distance.
In that same manner, they brought out everything in the bag one after the other and asked silly questions typical of illiterate semi stupid Police officer all over the Country.
After searching the bag and nothing incriminating was found, they handed the bag back to her.
We were lucky because i had asked Queen to leave all her money inside her big bag in the hotel room and she had agreed after some protest.
I had a similar Stop and Search experience near Mandilas Lagos when i returned from Europe in 2006. It was the same silly questions about where you got the foreign currency and how 1000 Euros was too much for a young man like me to be carrying around. I ended up losing 100 Euros to the hoodlums without getting any receipt in return. It was that experience that made me decide not to go to the Victoria Island with our bags. I had thought that Such thing could happen again when we got to the Island but it happened right in front of our hotel room.
They told Queen to follow them. She couldn’t refuse because they had her Passport.
The first thing that came to my mind was to start following them but i was still with the money in my pocket and they could ambush me somewhere and add ‘escaping from Police’ in my charges.
Queen was looking at me as they walked away from her slowly. I gave her a hand sign to go with them, then i made another sign indicating to her that i would be right behind them.
I quickly entered the Hotel Gate and ran towards the reception.
The good news was that I took the Hotel key card from Queen as soon as i met her near the gate earlier.
The receptionist was waving at me and was saying something as i ran upstairs through the stairwell.
I ran up to our room and to my greatest shock, the room was half open.
A man was inside the room, he was standing near my bags.
“What are you doing here?” I fired at him.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com