For little Miss Chimamanda Ochem.
The ill-wind that blew past you hours ago was not for you. Like it was meant to be, it came, thought us some lessons and blew away. You will live to take care of us when we get old.
___ ___ ___ ___
“You look like you didn’t sleep last night” Bola greeted as we took the lift and climbed towards the 17th floor where he lived.
“I slept last night” I answered.
I didn’t want him to know that i just returned from Hungary. If he knew, he could also know that i had something in my bag. Although he looked gentleman enough not to hurt a fly but money had a way of changing people.
Inside his one room apartment, i sat on a long sofa and looked around. His apartment was untidy. Clothes could be seen lying in places where they shouldn’t be in the first place.
He seemed to have noticed my displeasure because he said, “Don’t mind how i left things in this place. Sometimes, i am just a lazy man.”
We both laughed over his remarks and seconds later, he went to the kitchen and returned with boiled water.
“This is for tea” He said as he pointed towards the grocery sitting near the kitchen.
“Do you have coffee?” I asked.
He walked to the kitchen and brought a can of coffee and powdered milk.
After putting one spoon of black coffee inside a cup of hot water, i nursed it with powdered milk until i got the taste i wanted. By the time i agreed within me that it was good enough to drink, the coffee was already tasting like chocolate.
As i stirred and drank the mixture, Bola sat near me and asked questions. He wanted to know when i would return to Amsterdam. He didn’t even know that i had no plans of returning to Italy yet.
“Are you already chasing me out of Amsterdam?” i asked.
“Nooo, not at all. I asked because you said you wanted to see me before you return to Italy.” He said.
“Well, that’s good because i plan to spend the weekend with you before going anywhere” I looked in his face.
“That’s OK, with me. Let me take your bag inside the room” He offered.
“No, i don’t like men to do such things for me. I like doing home works by myself. Just show me where to keep the bag and i will do it” I said as i stood up and followed him into the room.
The bedroom was even worse. Clothes were seen all over the bed. An unwashed plate was lying on the floor and i wondered when he used that one.
“Bola” I had suddenly called out.
He interrupted. “I know what you want to say. Just understand what i told you earlier.”
I smiled and kept my bag inside his wardrove after removing the shoes inside it.
I also picked up one of his pants and wore it with a T shirt, then i set out to organise and clean up the house.
Bola lived like a Yoruba man that he was. Most of them hardly organised their apartments all over Europe. They just lived as if they were still in their parents houses.
An hour after i started cleaning the apartment, i was still at work.
To be able to hide my money properly, i had asked Bola to go downstairs and buy liquid cleaning detergent. When he left, i had gone to the back of the Cupboard in the Kitchen and hide the money. I made sure that he would never find it by keeping some items on top of it.
By the time I was done with cleaning the apartment, it looked as if Bola had moved in that day.
I cut his excitement short by asking him to listen to my lecture on how to keep a house organised.
“Anytime you return from anywhere and remove your clothes, put them here in this basket. Anytime you want to wash them, pick them up from there and do that. Make sure your shoes are always where they are supposed to be. If you finish eating food, take the plates to the kitchen water sink and wash them immediately. If you don’t feel like washing them immediately, keep them there in the sink, don’t leave them here in the sitting room or bedroom” I said.
As i continued lecturing him, he felt that he should touch me or that i needed to be touched.
I allowed him to touch my breasts slowly and increased with time. There was no need being hostile or rejecting his moves, i was going to sleep in his apartment and cool off first to able to find out exactly what happened with Basil.
If he was really arrested like the woman told me, then the news would filter into the bijlmer city before the end of the day.
If his crimes were related to drugs, he wasn’t going anywhere soon and in that case, i would have to return to Italy with his money.
I wasn’t going to give Chinedu any money. I wasn’t going to return the money to Mr. Solomon in Budapest and i certainly wasn’t going to leave it behind in Amsterdam for anybody to give to him. I was taking the money to Italy and God forbid but if Basil didn’t show up after one month, just one month, i would become that same girl God loved so much. He did it for me with Ano, although Basil’s case was different but the end result was going to be the same with that of Ano. Money was going to be in my hands and the advantage would be that i wont suffer while i have money with me. I would be solving my problems with the money irrespective of who owned it. I would be a fool to walk under the rain while i had an umbrella just because the umbrella wasn’t mine.
By the time it was night, Bola returned with the news that Basil was arrested the night before.
“I know” I simply said.
He was wise enough not to pursue the topic further. He just asked if i wanted to go to the night club later in the night.
“I am tired Bola. I am depressed at the moment too. My business partner was arrested and it would be very bad of me to just go dancing out there while he was behind the bars” I said.
He saw my reasons and said that i was right.
We slept together in the same bed that night. He fumbled enough with my breasts but i stopped him from going to Jerusalem. I was no longer a prostitute and if i wanted any man to start taking me serious, it was time to make them sweat before getting to the promise land.
Unfortunately for Bola, i told him that i was going to Italy the following day.
It was difficult for him to understand the sudden change of plan but i owed him no explanations. The priority was to safely transport the money to Italy without his knowledge.