Chapter 65. Know the truth.
Three hours after meeting with Nonso Ukeh, he called me. He was excited on the phone.
“Barcelona defeated Valencia away. I used the €10 to play the single bet and i won” he shouted.
“Foolish man, is this why you called me? ” i said.
“I called the man we used his address for your application, he said that you got a letter yesterday but he forgot to tell us. I will go and pick it up and see what is inside” he said.
“Good, i will be waiting for your call” I said and hung up.
As soon as i finished talking to him, I analysed the sudden news about the letter. I knew that every letter had the date it was written and posted. I will surely find out when the letter was posted. As a result, there was no reason to jump into conclusions; i was going to wait until he brings out the letter
Aunty Franca called Esther’s phone.
“Your Aunty is calling now, you will answer her by yourself. Tell her that you don’t know where you are and that i said you will return to her after i settled with her. If she ask of me, tell her that i locked the door and even locked your phone to disable it from making outgoing calls. Do you understand me?” I asked. She nodded. The phone had stopped ringing by the time I finished preparing her on what to say but after a few seconds, Franca called again.
“Mummy I don’t know where I am, I don’t think i am still inside Paris” Esther said on the phone. She pretended to be crying.
“He said he will let me go since i am the only girl you have but said you have to settle him first. Mummy please do something, i want to get away from this wicked man” she said again. After listening on the phone for a few moments, she said ‘Ok’ and hung up.
“She said she will call you and find out what you want. She also asked me not to try to escape since you are a very dangerous man.
My phone rang a few minutes later, it was Franca again.
“What is it? I told you i will be calling you and not the other way round” i said.
“Please forgive me. I want to know how we are going to settle for Esther” she said.
“There is no issue to settle with you for now, i am still considering whether to send her back or not. I haven’t found out whether you have other girls or not. You will wait until i finish checking it out”
Before i finished, she interrupted me, “I told you that i don’t have another girl, ask Esther and find out from her”
I promised to get back to her as soon as possible.
Nonso didn’t call me until late in the night but when he did, he said that i had been invited for an interview at the Foreign office in two days time. He asked where he could meet with me to deliver the letter. I wanted to tell him to come near Porte de Clichy station but on a second thought, i figured out that it was just his words since he announced the arrival of the letter. It could have been a means to lure me out in the open. I didn’t know the people he was working with. I believed that i had done enough to persuade him away from associating with Franca but I was not sure it was Franca who was bankrolling him. I suspected that he could as well be having funny ideas in his head about how he could hand me to one of my numerous enemies in Paris so that he could easily sell out my permit application to another person.
One thing Nonso didn’t realise about me was that i was ready to go to the foreign office to enquire about the application. I was one of the few immigrants who never feared approaching government authorities for questions. I was already used to approaching the police for questions, therefore going to the foreign office was never going to be a big deal. One thing i learnt earlier in Europe was that if you approach a police man to ask for things such as directions, he will not ask for your pass but if he come to you to ask questions first, he will definitely ask for your pass first.
After careful considerations, i told Nonso that i will pick the letter up the next morning. “I will call and relate with you on how and where i will pick up the letter. I don’t trust you and you understand why” i said. He tried to convince me that he will not try anything but i cut off the call, listening to such things had a way of softening one up.
Esther and I played in the hotel room until it was time to sleep.
The next morning, we took a cab to La Defense near Central Paris. There was a large mall that specialized in clothes there; i bought three cloths and two shoes for Esther. I also bought two T Shirts, a nice plain Trouser, a button down shirt, a pair of black shoe and some boxers. I also bought a medium sized traveling bag for Esther.
We packed the new cloths in the bag and drove back to the hotel. When we got upstairs, i called Lisa in London. She said she was adapting very well and had finished her asylum process. According to her, she was at a restaurant where she worked as a dish washer. She had also been told that she would start school with some other asylum seekers who were considered vulnerable to the harsh reality of living in United Kingdom. I asked where she lived and she told me that she had moved in with a friend she found in the camp whose uncle had a large apartment in West London. I told Lisa that i could send another girl over there anytime from one to two weeks. She said she would welcome and take the girl to the camp but needed to tell the owner of the apartment first.
After talking to Lisa, i called Timothy my cousin who welcomed Lisa to London, he side he asked Lisa to stay in his place after asylum but she refused.
“I hope you didn’t make some moves on her” i said and started laughing.
“If it is you, will you not make a move?” he said and started laughing too.
I told him that i could throw another sweetheart at her soon. I figured that he will still make a move on Esther but sleeping with Timothy was far better than sleeping with strange men for money. I preferred the lesser evil.
“You will go to London soon?” i turned to Esther and said.
She nodded and stared at me unbelievably.