The lights inside the Church were dim. There were about 10 people scattered inside the large hall. I found a hidden corner and sat there looking directly at the entrance; it was a perfect view to see whoever enters the Church.
When i was satisfied that i secured where i wanted, i knelt down and did the sign of the Cross, then i started praying like every other person inside the hall. There was nothing really to pray about since i couldn’t ask God to sanction the ransom money.
After five minutes of saying nothing, i walked back to the train station and waited.
There was a bar that served Vodka opposite the station. I walked inside it and ordered two shots of the white Russian poison. The bar man took money from me and handed me the glass.
As i drank, i looked out at the window that oversaw the entrance and exit of the station.
When a train from Stockholm arrived, Maria arrived with it; she was alone. I had quickly finish my Vodka and watched the exit to the station when a flash call came to my phone.
I called Adesuwa with my French number instantly.
“Where are you?” I asked her.
She said she was in her friend’s apartment in Stockholm.
“Do you know the way to the Stockholm Central Station?” I asked.
She said she can locate it.
I told her to start going there immediately and also to be on alert for a text message from the guard who was with Precious.
Then I called Maria.
“Why am i not surprised that you are still in Sweden?” that was the first thing Maria said as soon as she heard my voice.
“Where is Adesuwa?” I asked.
“She is in the apartment, Where are you?” Maria said.
“I am in that Large building facing you. I want you to walk down through that wide road on your right. I will tell you when to stop.
“Where is Rose?” i asked again.
Maria said Rose was in the apartment when she left.
I cut off the phone and called Rose.
“What are you doing and where are you?” I asked her.
She said she was watching a movie. I asked who else was with her in the apartment. She said that one woman from Italy just left the apartment while Maria left more than one hour ago.
After the calls, i followed Maria down the road in a considerable distance. The bar man had started to stare at me. I guesssed he suspected something fishy through the way i was switching my phones to call people.
“Go inside that Church by your right hand” I said on the phone to Maria.
She looked back and saw me walking down towards her.
“Do what i said now”.
She walked inside the Church and waited at the immediate entrance.
“Good job, how much did she give you?” I asked.
“I did not count it but she said it is €15000”.
“How do you people make all this money here in Europe?”I asked again.
“You are a street boy, so you should know that” She returned as we walked to the corner where i had initially said some forgotten prayers.
Churches were not places where one can visit without saying some prayers. At the corner, we knelt down and brought the money out of her hand bag. It was a bundle of mixed Euro notes ranging from 50s to 500s. It was true that i warned her not to add smaller denominations but now that the cash was in my hand, i didn’t care if there were coins among them.
“Why did you lie to me that you were going to France?” Maria asked as soon as we stepped out of the Church.
“It was to protect you Maria. Despite the fact that we are carrying out criminal activities, i still care about you” i said.
After arranging the cash inside the Church, we pretended to be praying for some ten minutes before we stood up and walked back to the Avesta Train Station.
My phone rang while at the Avesta train station waiting for our ride, It was from Aunty Adesuwa; She said she was already in the train station.
“You should go back to where you come from now. My colleague said she has met with your friend and that the money is complete. We have released your girl and showed her the way to the asylum camp. She is there now” i said and switched off the phone.
“She may call you now. Tell her that you didn’t even see Precious but that the person who took the money from you said that Precious will contact us very soon. Follow this train to Stockholm, i will stay back in Uppsala and hang there until Adesuwa is out of Sweden” I said.
Maria continued her journey while i stopped in Uppsala. I took all the money from her and gave her a reason that Adesuwa may be forced to search her bag and it would be very bad for her if the money was still in her bag. She bought the idea and gave me the entire money.
I got down at the Uppsala Central Station and proceeded to the asylum camp again.
On my way to the camp, my French number vibrated in my pocket; it was Aunty Joy calling. I smiled and picked up the call.
“Did they contact you again?” She asked me.
I told her that they did and that they were still demanding for huge amount of money.
“Aunty Joy, why don’t you just forget about the girls since they want huge amount of money?” I said.
She said that she couldn’t just forget them without trying her best.
“Their people will kill me if i ever go to Nigeria again. It is not that easy for me. How much are they standing on?” she asked.
“Aunty i told them that you can’t pay more than €20,000 but they insisted on €30,000. They said they were three and will share it €10,000 each. You can see that all this things i am doing is for nothing while i am putting my life in danger. You people should leave me before you kill me” I said.
Aunty Joy said she can get €30,000. She said that i should come to Italy and pick the money.
“I will come tomorrow but let me try to make a fake resident permit here first” I said.
I got to the mall where i met Precious earlier but she wasn’t there. I met a Camerounian girl and told her to go and call Precious for me.
“Tell her to come here with you, i will buy you gifts when you come back” I had said.
The girl left the mall and came back with Precious fifteen minutes later.
“Call Aunty Adesuwa now. Tell her that the people drove you to the asylum camp and left you there but since you knew nobody and had no money, you decided to go to the camp and take asylum. If she ask where the camp is, tell her but never agree to go back with her to Italy” I said and gave them some money to go to the nearby public phone booth to make the call.