Chapter 79. Trouble for Fred
“Hello Sir, Its Fred” the voice said from the other side of the phone. I recalled that i had given him my phone number earlier.
I was with Esther planning on where to go next from Monza. She had been trying to find out where i went and why i told her to direct Kingsley to Milan.
“Its not important baby girl, just forget about Kingsley. Let us enjoy the rest of our days in Monza, then we go to Rome and see the Pope. Do you want to shake his hands when we get to Rome?” i asked.
“Why did you ask me to send Kingsley to Milan?” she asked again.
I figured that it was time to tell her a little story.
“I just wanted us to suffer him for asking you to sleep with him. I didn’t like it when you told me that he wanted to sleep with you. Didn’t he know that you are my baby?” i said. The way she squeezed her face told me that she didn’t buy that.
“I was at his apartment. I went to check if some of your things were still there and i didn’t want to go with you. We nearly got caught the last time we went there together” i lied.
“Did you see any of my things then?” she had asked.
I was about to give her another quick lie when my phone rang, it was Fred.
“Did i tell you to call me today Mr. Fred?” i asked him. On the phone.
“No but i just want to thank you Sir. I have been trying to get the money for ticket since four months and each time i came close to making it, something will happen and take the money again. I have called my cousin whom i gave the €2000 to keep for me and he said he traveled to Torino. He will bring the money to me tomorrow, then i will get ready to travel. Thank you so much” he boomed with excitement. I couldn’t help but laughed.
The only problem i saw in everything he said was that he gave his cousin €2000 to keep for him. From the way he said it and from what i learnt about him, his cousin wasn’t going to give him the money in two days; not even in two weeks. Money was never what you give to someone to keep for you and hope to get it whenever you want. Even financial institutions disappoint people sometimes, let alone an immigrant who was living in Italy. Another problem was already in the air. As it was, Fred wasn’t going anywhere soon if he didn’t get his €2000 and i was sure his cousin didn’t go to any Torino. He was still around in Monza and since Fred had mentioned that he needed his money, his cousin was going to start riding him like a bike. If I didn’t do anything about it fast, the €1000 I gave to Fred would become a waste. I needed to protect my money. I would have asked Fred to bring the money back to me but I was there when he paid for the ticket.
“What is the name of your cousin and where does he live?” i asked Fred.
He said that his cousin’s name was Basil and that he lived there in Monza too. I asked him to send me his phone number but he said he didn’t know how to send messages with a phone.
“Write the numbers out on a piece of paper and call me back” i said. He agreed and cut of the phone.
It appeared that the single act of kindness i extended to Fred had made him to trust me. He was so eager to share his affairs with me despite knowing that the money i gave him was actually from the things i stole from Kingsley. I had suspected that Fred was mentally unstable. The way he pursued me the first time i visited Kingsley’s apartment made me understand that he must be suffering from a kind of mental illness. It appeared that he had spent some time in Prison and peharps was injected with one of the drugs that made people delusional. As a result, people have been taking advantage of his mental imbalance; people like Basil and Kingsley must have been using him rather than helping him.
As i thought about these possibilities, my phone rang again; it was Fred. He called out Basil’s number and i saved it on my phone.
“Fred, have you ever been in prison here in Italy?” i asked. He said he spent four years in a Prison somewhere off the coast of Trapani; a coastal city in Sicily Island. He had gotten involved with drugs and had been sent to jail down there in Sicily.
“Where else has Basil lived before coming to Monza?” i asked. He said Basil lived in France for four years before coming to Milan in 2008.
I was right, the Italians were very wicked hosts in the mid 90s. That was also the period they sent dogs to sleep with African prostitutes. It was either that Fred was a little bit unstable mentally before coming to Europe or the problem started there in the prison. The best thing to happen to people like that was usually to return home to his root and relax for a while. The things he knew as a kid would make him return to his senses. It could take some time but it was his best bet, otherwise he would waste his life there in Italy and die without seeing his people again.
I told Fred that i will call him back later.
“Baby girl, there is something i need you to do for me now” i turned to Esther and said.
“I asked if you found any of my thing left in Kingsley’s apartment” she said.
“Look Esther, i don’t want to continue with that chat. Forget about it. I saw some phones on his table, are they yours?” i said with a raised voice.
She got up and started crying while beating me with her two arms.
“Why did you come into my life, look at this now, i am scared of you. I don’t know you, please go away from me” she was saying amidst tears.
It was a delicate situation that required a lot of patience and tactics to manage. Esther, despite having stood for weeks and months on the street of Paris, was still a kid and reasoned like one. I had hoped that by now, she must have fully grasped the reasons why i wanted her out of the street but no matter the situation at hand, i wasn’t going to let her go back to the street easily.
I hugged her tightly and made her stop beating me.. She was still weeping softly on my body when i placed a kiss on her lips.
“I am sorry for everything that has happened. If it is your wish, i will take you back to Paris but for now, i want to tell you something. I love you now and want you by my side all the time. I won’t do anything again without telling you” i whispered in her ears.
She stopped crying but held me for several more minutes before she entangled herself from me.