”Hello my friend” I said as soon as I answered Anthony’s call.
He asked where I was and I told him.
He picked me up with his little Volkswagen Golf car twenty minutes later.
”Tony, there is something I need to tell you. A girl took my money from the hotel room and disappeared a few days ago. I have been looking for her but haven’t seen her yet. I want us to track her down. She is a Nigerian” I said, skipping the parts where the Police where involved. From what I had observed, the Ghanaians respected laws and the Police more than we Nigerians.
I told Tony how the whole thing happened, right from Lagos to Accra. He didn’t blame or judge me. He asked what Chinelo looked like and I told him.
He called another young man named Ansah who said he would come to us before an hour. When Ansah arrived, I repeated my story.
He was angry that I fell so easily and said that I was not a clever person. However, he promised to help track down Chinelo as long as she was still in Accra.
I nodded when he said I was not clever. It was best that I said nothing. The atmosphere was such that any little word from my mouth could damage the whole deal.
He asked us to call him in the evening.
Tony and I drove to the Tema area and ate some foreign foods. He showed me around Accra after I had surprisingly bought enough petrol to last for three days.
Around 6pm, we called Ansah. We drove to where he said he was. He was with a Nigerian girl who claimed to have come from Edo State. Her name was Tessy. Tessy claimed to have known a girl by my description of Chinelo but also said she had not seen her for two weeks. She said Chinelo worked at prostitution hot spot there in Tema and also told us the name of the hotel she stayed.
I wanted to tell the newly formed group that I had seen Chinelo with a man in an estate but I wanted them to assume the responsibilities of tracking her down. The time to know who was the boss would come.
I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and we shared. Tony and Ansah were happy that I was ready to buy liquors.
After the drink, we drove to the spot where Tessy claimed Chinelo worked as a sexx worker. She wasn’t there. We hung around for a while but we didn’t see her, then we left for another joint where we took more drinks.
The good news was that I had gotten myself a car and a driver to drive me around Accra on my vacation. I only needed to buy petrol and drinks. The vacation had started to look like fun for me… It was true that the name of the game was ” Finding Chinelo” but I was enjoying the game while it lasted. All through our moves that night, I knew there was a possibility of not finding Chinelo but I still had to be doing something and there was nothing better to do than Finding Chinelo.
When it was 11pm, we drove around the hot spot again but when we couldn’t find Chinelo, we retired for the night and dispersed.
Ansah left with Tessy while Tony suggested we slept in his house. It was a decision I took my time to agree upon since I didn’t know him very well but I wrote his car number in a text message and sent it to my cousin. When we got to his house, I sent another message to my cousin, describing the house and the area it was.. I asked him not to call me.
After each message, I would quickly delete the saved same message in my ”sent” box. These phone companies should have given us options on that issue.
The following morning, Ansah called Tony. He asked what time we would meet again. I told Tony that we could go out any time he wanted. We left after mid day and located Ansah and Tessy near a bar in the Tema area.
They probably slept together since miss Tessy Edo still had the same dress from the night before.
”My friend said Alice had returned to Accra a few days ago” Tessy said.
”Alice?” I said and kept quiet.
”The girl we were looking for Yesterday, her name is Alice” Tessy said.
I wasn’t surprised. It all meant that the rat had planned to steal from me right from Lagos. If not, why would she give me a fake name?
Or maybe her name was Chinelo too or both of them or that Alice was the fake name she used in Ghana.
MY mind was running in hyper mode, trying to narrow down the circumstances to a smaller margin.
”Did you friend say where we can find her” i asked.
Tessy said Alice was spotted at the hotel where she had told us about a day before. Her friend who had disclosed the information also stayed in the same hotel.
Finally we have tracked the rat down and it was time to smoke her out of the hole where she lived.
Tony was so anxious for us to rush to the hotel and pick her up but I asked him to calm down. It would be better to operate in the night and it would be better to have a water-tight plan as well.
I was the only person who knew that the Police was already involved. I believed that I would have scared Tony away if I had disclosed that piece of information. We drove to a bar and bought another Jack Daniel.
After emptying the whole bottle, I bought a new one.
The ”finding Chinelo” group decided to start calling me the boss. Money had a way of changing things.
A bottle of Jack Daniel was over a hundred thousand in that currency. Whatever that exchanged for Naira didn’t concern me… I was in a vacation and despite the fact that the vacation had turned into a hunt for Chinelo, I still remembered what vacation meant.
When it was 8pm, I called the attention of everyone.
”Lady and gentlemen, we are going to get the girl who stole my money. Like a thief, she is going to deny and try to claim things that didn’t exist. However she will give me my money. Here is the plan. Tony will drive there with Tessy. Tessy will locate the girl and point Tony to her. I will find a hotel here and pay for a room. Ansah and I will wait for Tony to bring the girl to the hotel” I said.
”How do I bring the girl to the hotel and which hotel is that” Tony asked..
I asked for the nearest hotel around and Ansah named a hotel that I had forgotten the name.
We all drove to the hotel and checked if they had a free room. They did.
”Tony, when you get to the girl, ask how much it would cost her to sleep with you for the night. If she asked for the money before coming with you, pay her from here” I said as I handed some Cedis bills to him.
”Serious sport had nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In order words, it is war minus the shooting”