There was nothing else to do in Edo State. I would have returned to Ekpoma to see my parents before returning to Lagos since it was clear that we might not see again before i returned to Europe, however, i wasn’t going to go there on a public transport after showing them a BMW the day before.
At a Motor Park where i boarded a Toyota Hiace Bus to Lagos, I called my mother and told her that i was on my way back with Austin.
It was difficult to think inside the bus. There was no more need to think about what i would do to Austin when i got back to Lagos. In fact, i was afraid to even think about what to do to him. He seemed to be mysterious and difficult to even track down. He dictated his own pace and the pace of the people around him. It was one of the reasons why i loved him enough to get hurt each time he did something i didn’t like.
I wasn’t even sure he would like to see me again when i get to Lagos. If that was the case, i would dry my tears and look for another man. He wasn’t the only fish in the Ocean but i liked smart men, he was just one of them.
I got to Lagos around 5pm and headed straight to my place. After taking my bath, i returned to the sitting room to meet my phone ringing; it was that devil called Austin.
“Welcome back to Lagos. When i have time, i will come to know what you planned to do to me in Benin City” He said.
What? How did he know i was back in Lagos?
“Austin. I am not going to beg you again for anything. Thank you for leaving me in Benin City. God will pay you back” I said and cut the call.
It was my turn to cut the call on him too, i wasn’t the only person created to receive such bad treatments.
When he called back, i ignored his call and felt like i have won a trophy. He might have been missing me too but knowing who he was, i was sure he wouldn’t admit such thing.
I lived in fear for the rest of the night, fearing that he might come to my place to make troubles with bad boys. Although i believed he wasn’t a violent person but after what he did in Benin City, i didn’t trust him anymore.
Which kind of man would leave his girl behind in a far place? What if i had no money to return to Lagos? I would have been stranded and at the mercy of other people.
I was Maria for crying out loud. It was me who transported drugs and Money across Europe on my own. It was me who went to Abidjan alone and made it back to Europe with stomach full of drugs. It was me who traveled to the Islamic State of Libya and sneaked two teenage girls away from there to Rome without help from anybody. And there was I, crying like a baby for One Austin from Enugu State. Whatever he did back in Europe would not have been up to half of what i did. What did he even do except carrying small drugs in the mouth and hanging around train stations looking for Junkies like the rest of them.
Or at most, hanging around every cyber cafe sending thousands of mass emails to contacts he never had the chance of seeing and , Telling them how he owned oil wells in Nigeria’s Niger Delta and how his father died and left millions of Dollars in a foreign account for him.
That was all they did in Europe, Austin couldn’t be different. He must have been one of them. And i allowed him to treat me like a piece of shit in my own Edo State.
He would pay for everything he did, whether he liked it or not.
I didn’t admit to Austin that i was back in Lagos. I wasn’t sure he knew i was back. He could have just tried to find out whether i was back or not.
Three days after i returned, i didn’t hear from Austin. I didn’t even know exactly how to punish him. My anger had reduced and i had started missing him once more; i called him.
He didn’t shout at me as i expected. He just asked why i called him; i started crying on the phone.
“Its OK, we can still continue where we stopped” He said.
When i stopped crying, he said i could come to his place the following day. He asked me not to drive since we were going out with his own vehicle. He also said he would wait for me somewhere near Emmanuel bus stop off Adetola street.
I couldn’t wait to meet with Austin again. I had missed him so much and after speaking with him, i forgave all his crimes against me. I was in love with him again. My plan to live with him when i got back to Europe had been resurrected. It was time to forget the past and move forward again.
The next day after taking my bath and putting on my clothes hours before the appointment time, i sat in the sitting room and waited for 8pm.
When Austin told me that i could start coming, i got out of my apartment and took a bike.
When he called , he asked me to get him some money. I agreed to give him the 52, 000 Naira i had in my house.
The bike stopped me at Emmanuel bus stop. I was about to move to the direction of Austin’s place when they blocked my way.
There were about three or four of them, I couldn’t tell exactly since it was dark. They grabbed my hand bag which contained the money and my phone; then they disappeared into the darkness.
When i started shouting for help, people gathered and asked what happened. I was able to tell them what happened amidst tears.
All effort to locate the thieves didn’t work. For the fact that i wasn’t even able to describe them made things harder; they could have been among the gathered crowd.
Ten minutes after the attack, i walked to where Austin lived and knocked on his door.
“I have told you that i am no longer angry over what happened. You should stop crying” Austin said as soon as he opened the door for me.
“They took my phone and the money” I sobbed.
“Come in first” He said as he held my hand and led me to the Sofa.
“Tell me what happened” He said.
I started from how i stopped at the bus stop to the moment i knocked on his door. Everything in-between was narrated accurately.
To my greatest surprise, Austin asked me to return to my apartment and have proper rest. I thought he didn’t mean it but he did.