”He is on the tree” thug one shouted. The powerful torchlight flashed into my face and blinded me temporary.
”Come down, your own don finish today” thug one said again.
Did i hear pidgin English?
The dogs were Nigerians. That was encouraging. I knew Nigerians pretty well. They could easily be bought with the right amount.
”Your torchlight is blinding me” i shouted from the tree branch. The one with the torchlight lowered it a bit off my face. A quick peep on my phone screen revealed that it was Ngozi who had called. She had started calling again. The girl i had risked my life for, had just handed me over to the same people we had been running from for days. The same girl that put me into the situation i was, the same girl who was the major issue at stake. Ngozi why? Why handing me over to the same people who were trying to kill us?
Although she didn’t know what was going on. It was me who told her to call me when they crossed into France but i had hoped to receive that call long ago before that particular moment. Why on earth did she chose that very moment to call?. The situation had presented itself and the only thing left to do was to face the music.
”Ngozi where are you now”? I answered the call with a depressed tone. I had switched the phone to speakout. I wanted the dogs below the three to hear what she was going to say. I had hoped that since she called, she must have crossed over to France.
”The driver said we are in Monaco” she said.
”That is good, enjoy France” I said.
”When are you coming”? Ngozi asked.
”I don’t know if i will be coming. I am with the thugs now, we are drinking beer. If they don’t kill me, i will be there soon but if you don’t see me, make sure you take asylum and go to school otherwise everything that happened to us will be for nothing. Greet the driver for me and tell him i appreciate what he did for me” i said.
She had started to cry but i stopped the call, deleted her number and switched on the recording application.
With a high voice i shouted from the tree branch, ”It is over now gentlemen, she is gone. What did you people inted to do with the girl?”
”Is it your business what we do with our girls, do you know how much it cost to bring them from Nigeria”? thug two shouted.
“I don’t care how much they cost, it is still illegal and immoral. It is a shame that young men like you who should be protecting your young sisters are part of the syndicate that brings them to Europe for prostitution” i shouted.
”If you don’t come down there now, i will shoot you down” Thug one shouted.
“I am not scared to die. But before you shoot me, allow me to tell you where to find some money i hid in Genova. It would be a waste if we lose the money to the Italians, afterall we are all Nigerians” i shouted. The plan was to go emotional and sentimental. I knew Maria must have told them she gave me a lot of money. They knew i had some money with me. As Nigerians, i was sure they would want to know about the money first even if the instruction was to kill me.
”Come down first and we will talk about it” thug one said again.
”Let us reach an agreement first before i come down. I don’t trust you people a bit. How much did Maria pay you, i will double the amount” i said.
They kept quiet for a few moments before one of them said, “how much are you willing to give us”?.
“Name your prize and i will tell you what i can pay” i said.
“You have our €17,000 with you. We need all the money. If you give it to us, we will disappear without hurting you” Thug three said.
“I have spent some money out of that amount, i have been staying in hotels and paying for transport. I also gave the girl some money. I have €10,000 left and it is hidden in the hotel in Genova” i said.
”Come down then, let us go to Genova and get it. We will leave you as soon as you give us the money” thug two said. Their flashlight was hitting my face every now and then.
I switched off my phone, i already got the information i needed from them.
The road where they parked their vehicle was about 100 meters away. I had looked to that direction and saw what looked like a vehicle light that stopped near their car. A glimpse of hope had flashed through my mind. All i needed to do was to buy some time to find out what it was.
”What if i tell you the hotel room number where the money is, you can just go there and take it” i said.
“Whatever you want to tell us, i think you should come down first and we talk about it. Nobody is going to touch you, i promise” thug one said again.
”Alright, i am coming down now but if anybody harm me in anyway, i will not reveal where the money is” i said as i started climbing down from the tree.
One minutes later, i was on the ground with my hands on my head.
They surrounded me as if i was going to run away and took my phone. Two of them had grabbed my shirt to make sure i wasn’t going anywhere. The third had called someone on the phone and announced that i have been captured. It was Maria that they called. She had demanded that they gave me the phone.
”Hello my fiancee, our Marriage is still going to happen soon” i joked.
“You and who? Your own is finished in this World. I will show you that we own this Country. You think here is Nigeria where you can do anything you like. Where is my girl and my money”? she yelled.
“we will host the wedding in Rome, it is important that we invite Berlusconi and Francisco Totti, i like those guys” i said.
She hissed like a snake and hung the call.
“Alright gentlemen, i just finished speaking with my woman. She seemed to be angry. What do we do from here” i joked.
One of them hit me in the face with his huge palm, it blinded me for a few moments before my eyes cleared again.
“the agreement was that nobody touches me” i said as we walked towards where they parked their vehicle.
“Non muovetevi!, Don’t move” the two voices shouted simultaneously. It was the Italian Polizia.
“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with time and gentleness”
This Chapter is dedicated to miss Brenda who became this first lady to make it to the ‘Life on the Run’ whatsapp group.