Chapter 70. Bag of tricks.
I followed the cab to the outskirts of central Paris and found a hotel. I still had enough money left with me. I had hoped that i would spend another big money before I got my resident permit but as fate may have it, my appointment letter was rescued from Nonso without paying a dime, I only paid with a few drop of tears. I had also hoped to give Nonso €1000 after the entire process might have gone through but he had chosen the highway and ended up in Police net.
After settling down in the hotel, i went out and bought a new simcard, then i copied all my registered contacts into the new simcard. I called ‘Channel Paris’ one of the phone numbers i had picked up from Esther’s phone. I believed that Channel must have been another street body hawker since birds of the same feathers flocked together. There was no way Esther could have decent friends in Paris, her friends was likely to be her co-workers. I also knew that the girl or lady in question must have chosen the name Channel by herself there in Paris, no decent African woman would give her daughter such name.
“Hello Channel, its Mikky, remember me?” I said as soon as she answered my call. She said she remembered and asked where I was. I told her the name of the hotel where I lodged and told her to come there with a cab. I told her that I will pay for the transport since she wanted to protest about the hotel being far from Marcadet which was their hub.
Channel came to my hotel thirty minutes later. I was out in front of the hotel to be able to pay the cab driver since Channel complained about not having any money with her.
“Hello Mikky long time” she smiled and said.
Channel was not as young as Esther. She was about 23 already and it was usually near impossible to confuse that type into leaving prostitution, therefore I didn’t venture into that angle.
“Yea, long time. I traveled out of France for long, how have you been?” I said.
“Look Channel, there is no need pretending that we know each other because we don’t” I said as soon as we got into my hotel room. “The reason why I called you here is that there is a girl I want to buy out from her Madam. I want you to be my agent, which means that I will pay your for your job. Her name is Esther and I love her so much. I want to marry her and I know her Madam won’t allow that. I have been with her for long and she told me about you many times. She was the person who gave me your number and said that anytime I come to Paris and didn’t see her, I should ask you about her. I came to Paris yesterday to buy her out from her Madam but her number wasn’t going. Do you know where she is?” I said.
“Yes, Esther left Paris yesterday, she said she is now in Milan. Her Madam sent her there. She called me today and gave me her number. I am so happy for her if you buy her out, this our job is terrible” Channel said excitedly.
“Do you know who her Madam is?” I asked Innocently. She said she knew Aunty Franca for long.
“That is good. I will like to meet with her Madam when I return from Milan because I need to see Esther again and find out if she is still willing to Marry me. I don’t want her to reject me after I must have paid big money for her freedom and you know women are capable of doing anything” I said and we both laughed.
“Here is €300, it is 20% of your total agent fee. When the whole deal is finished, you will get another €1200 but you must do as I say. Never tell anybody about this thing until we finish the deal. If I hear about this from another mouth, the deal is off and you get no more money. You will also refund the €300 back because if I don’t get it back, Paris could become too hot for you” I said and we laughed again. She didn’t know that I actually meant what I just said.
After sharing some drinks, Channel left the room and went back to Marcadet while I packed up and left the hotel.
I took a cab to Gare du Nord and bought a ticket to Marseille. There was a different route to Milan but I decided to go to Marseille first. My two girls has been calling and inviting me to Marseille and I wanted to use the opportunity to visit and assure them that we were still on the same page. I discovered that women required constant assurances even if they were married.
I got to Marseille before calling Naomi. Ngozi was already at the asylum camp in a small town some miles west of Marseille. She didn’t go with her phone. It was a good step towards securing admission into a language school. I already warned her not to use more than 16 years if she hoped to make things easy for herself.
I left the Marseille Central station and took a cab to the apartment where Naomi lived. She was at the door waiting for me when i arrived.
“I didn’t believe you came to Marseille when you told me” she said as she picked up my red bag from me. I paid off the cab driver and he left, then we entered inside the apartment. There was a man sitting on the bed. He greeted me when i entered and introduced himself as Eric. He was young, about 22 and he was French. Naomi explained that Eric helped her in learning French; the same old story. I didn’t care what Eric did for her and didn’t see the need for her explanations. It was good that she started to mix up with people, especially the French guys. I was only against prostitution and she knew that.
She brought out rice and i ate. She said Ngozi could visit from camp the next day but I told her that I was going to Milan that night. I wanted Eric to know that I wasn’t sleeping with his new friend.
“When and If Ngozi comes tomorrow, tell her that I have missed her and that it would be good if I heard her voice again. Tell her that I stopped by on my way to Italy and that I will return here before going anywhere again” I said to Naomi.
I took them out to a bar in the Old Port and we drank and chated until it was about 21:00, then we all returned to the apartment where I picked up my bag and drove back to the train station. I wasn’t really sure it was worth it for me to go looking for Esther but there was nothing else on my mind. She might have run away on me but I knew that I didn’t do enough to protect her. It was a mistake bringing her to the hotel which was close to Franca but I always liked to stay close to my enemies.