“I didn’t know it was you who used to write the jokes in the newspaper” That was the first things Chikelue said as soon as we met and shook hands.
He was waiting for me in front of the Afroshop named embassy directly opposite Ghazenhof.
“Yea, that was me but i stopped writing” I said.
He wanted to know why i stopped but rather than telling him the truth, i opted to tell him that the TAB company that owned the newspaper refused to pay the money they owed me.
He said my jokes was the only reason why he read the newspaper and begged me to continue.
I promised him that i would start again because of him. I wanted to play to his needs since he was the one who rescued me.
Of course i knew i wasn’t going to do that, i was planning to go home to Nigeria.
When he asked what was the problem with the Ghanaians, i told him exactly what happened and how i went to the Church to make confessions.
He laughed hard when he heard my confessions and said i should be coming out more often.
“The Ghanaians are not going to do anything. They won’t dare touch you. Are they not afraid of Nigerians?” he boasted and encouraged me.
Why the hell did people think this way?
Chike was there encouraging me to start showing my face in the open, that the Ghanaians won’t do anything.
How did he know they won’t do anything?
What if they just shoot me on the road? What would he do?
Wasn’t he the one who told me to disappear when the police came?
How could he not see that there was a huge limit to his Muscles and biceps.
Well, perhaps he believed that after seeing his huge biceps, i would just believe he was capable of doing everything.
I wrote my own security rules and details because The moment you allowed another person to determine how you lived, the internal freedom was lost.
We drank and talked. He said his friend Nnanna traveled to Nigeria that very morning.
Midway into our meeting, Madam Model called again. I didn’t answer her call, rather i waited until she finished calling, then i called her back.
“Sorry Madam. I am with my friend looking for some money to complete the 5000 Euros. It will be ready in two or three days, then i will find a way to get it to you”
“Good. What about the girls?” She asked.
“When i finish paying you the money, we will talk about them”
“Look, i want you to know that they are included in what i told Olokun to fight for. I just want you to know” she said.
“You can not do that Madam. Blessing was never your worker. I did everything about her by myself. Please tell the Marmaid that she must remove Blessing from her lists of what to do” I said and almost laughed.
She insisted she will not remove Blessing’s name. She argued Blessing actually belonged to her and not to me.
When she finished yelling, Chike asked who she was and what money i was paying.
For some reasons, i decided that it was good to let him into what was going on.
I was going to tell him about the dangerous lucrative business of rescuing teenage prostitutes.
If he got caught in the carefully weaved web of Italian Mamas, that would be his own cup of tea.
“Chike, what i am about to tell you is a game of survival of the fittest, mental strength, intelligence, cleverness, smart and all the luck in the world. If in the process of executing one deal, you lack one of those things i just mentioned, your lifeless body may be found somewhere” I said and kept quiet.
I wanted the things i said to sink down in his big skull before i continued.
“I am listening” he said.
What? I was expecting the huge dude to show some fear but it seemed he was ready even before we met.
“I did not just stop the things i used to write in the newspapers, i left Amsterdam and went to look for papers in France. When i got the papers, i went to Italy and Sweden and Denmark and Norway and many more places. One thing led me to all those places i mentioned and it was to help some of our young girls who were brought to Europe for prostitution. I succeeded in helping many of them and even sent more than five to England. If you were in Amsterdam for the past two years, you must have also heard about one guy who got shot in the Leg. Which state do you come from?” I asked.
I was about to reveal to Chike that it was me who shot Clement and since i didn’t know how he would react, it was better that i find out where exactly he came from.
My intention was to change my story if he said he was from any town near Nando where Clement, Chigbo and others came from.
“I am from Nekede” He said.
“Nekede, where is that?”
He said Nekede was somewhere near Owerri, the capital city of Imo State. That ruled him out from Anambra State entirely.
“How long have you been living here in the Netherlands?”
“Five years, but i didn’t come out much until i got my Spanish Resident Permit three months ago” He said.
“Like i was saying, You might have heard about one Nigerian man who was shot in the leg in Ijburg. It was me who did that. The incident was somehow distantly connected to the rescue operations. As you can see, the business i want to discuss with you involve guns” I said and stopped.
“I am a man, whatever comes to a man is equal to a man” he said.
He reminded me of that silly quote about whatever comes to a man.
I personally never believed such things because some things that came to a man usually killed him.
Trying to encourage oneself was never the same as realities.
“To cut the stories short, The woman who just called me lost one of her girls to me in France. Unfortunately for her, the girl was related to me and i had to send her down to Nigeria. Now the woman wants her girl back and said she has sent my name to Olokun, one Marmaid in Edo State waters” I said.
“Now you can see that they take my names to Native doctors and deities too but i don’t really care about such things. Do you still think that what comes to a man is equal to him?” I asked.
“But How can you not fear Mamiwater, what if she kills you?” Chike said.
Fear was all over his face.