“I heard you came here yesterday” i had said to Jacob as soon as they settled down on a Sofa.
“Yes, i was asking around yesterday and was directed to your friend. I didn’t know you have decided to return permanently to Castel Volturno. Milan was good and ….” Jacob was saying before i interrupted.
“Jake, if this is what you came here to talk about, i suggest you forget about it” I said.
I was actually going to tell him to leave my place but his friend was there. I didn’t want to say anything he would interpret as insult.
“I also heard that you have settled with your Madam” He said.
I kept quiet.
Melissa had just gotten out of her room and was about to go out to Domitz.
I didn’t want her to hear what i was discussing with Jacob, therefore i kept quiet and waited until she opened the door and left the apartment.
“When did you come to Castel?” I asked as soon as Melissa left.
“Two days ago. There is some news in Milan and I decided to come down here and find out something. Before i tell you what it is, i want to ask if you still care for me” he said.
I looked at him and his friend before saying my next words.
My heartbeat had increased. It was obvious that whatever news he heard up there in Milan was about me.
I was sure that whatever news it was must be related to the missing money.
The amount of money i took was big anywhere in Europe.
Jacob had never in his time in Italy, came across such amount of money at once. I was sure that anybody who heard about it would wonder what a little girl like me must have done with that amount.
“Care for you? I never stopped caring for you Jake. I only told you that i wasn’t ready to live with you in the same room. Jacob, you are likely to impregnate me if we live together. I would become a mother at just 20 years and despite babies being good things, my life would be ruined” I said.
“Yes” He said, “But i promised to take care of you”.
I almost jumped off my seat to drag him out of my place but when i remembered that he was yet to give me the news from Milan, i held myself down with mental struggle.
“I heard you then Jacob. You were clear enough but i maintain my stand. If we are going to live together, that would be later on, not yet” I said.
It was time for his friend to talk.
“But what if he would no longer be interested in you then?”
I casted an angry eye on him and he stopped talking instantly.
I was boiling inside, those two bastards had invaded me with the help of Melissa. I was tired of running and wasn’t interested in running to anywhere again.
If i had known, i would have adopted to live alone rather than bringing Melissa into the apartment. It would have been extremely difficult for Jacob to locate me.
But as i sat there and talked with them, i vowed never to allow him or anybody else to cage me into doing any of their bidding.
I had just found an interesting line of prostitution at the Uncle’s place and not Jacob or even Ano was going to stop me from working there. “What is the news you said you heard in Milan?” I suddenly asked in the middle of the conversation.
Jacob did a nice job of convincing me that it wasn’t yet time for the news. He still wanted to know if he could blackmail me into submission.
I eventually reminded him that i still had to balance money to Aunty Philo for bringing me to Italy.
“Jacob, i believe you know how things work here in Italy. Someone brought me to Italy and her money must be returned to her” I said.
“I dont think so Maria. I heard you have settled with her” he said.
I didn’t feign any surprise, i just kept a steady face since i already suspected that he knew i was free. Melissa or anyone else could have squealed.
It was a news in the streets and i had no capacity of preventing the news from trending.
A young black girl who came up with almost 20,000 Euros was big news everywhere in the World. And to think that i wad remained in Italy after achieving that feat was making me uncomfortable.
I was going crazy in the head. Jacob and his presence tortured me extremely.
I would have instantly started planning to move away from that apartment but the truth was that i didn’t have much money for that project. There was also a possibility of him locating me again no matter where i moved.
I was going to stick to the apartment and hoped for the worse.
If his attempt to blackmail me persisted, i would find a way to make him pay. Setting him up would be just a child’s play.
“Let us get something clear here, since i was a kid, i always wanted to get married at the age of 25 not 20. You are intimidating me and i dont like it. I have no other boyfriend here in Italy except you. But that is never a reason to jump into marriage with you when i am not yet ready. There are many things people do when they want to get married. One of them is going to my village to see my people, i didn’t fall down from the sky” I said.
The truth was that at that stage, i felt that i was being cornered into submitting to his request. I felt that it was time to start throwing obstacles at him.
But he surprised me when he said that he had sent money home and would call his kinsmen to go to Edo State for Marriage introduction.
“Really, am i that important to you Jacob?” I asked.
“Yes, you are Maria and i can’t live without you” He said.
As he continued to speak, i considered the next things to do. It seemed the bastard was crazy because the only thing his deluded head processed well was his desire to live with me, every other thing meant nothing to him.
“But Jacob, i want to ask you one thing now, what if i simply say no to your request” I said.
“Then i will be forced to do what you won’t like” He said.
“And what would that be Jacob?” I asked.
“Maria, i heard that an Edo girl stole big money from her boyfriend in Milan and ran away. I also heard that you have paid your Madam for your freedom less than a week after the money got missing in Milan” He said and stood up.