20: THE NEW PLAN

I got back to our apartment in Setubal and asked Jennifer where her international passport was. She said madam Grace took and seized it the very day she came to Lisbon. She said she did the same thing to all the other girls she had brought from Africa. I guessed it was in a bid to make sure that they didn’t run away.

Right! To make sure they didn’t run away.
Therefore, she was also afraid of losing them through running out on her.
That meant she didn’t even depend on the said Juju alone. If she had trusted her Juju, she wouldn’t have feard losing them through running out. Yes!!, the Juju issue was settled in my mind. The powerless Juju in a Benin Forest down there in Nigeria was not even trusted. May be it was just to scare the girls. Fear, that wonderful weapon that worked like charm on human minds.

I was hugely disappointed. The plan was to get one permit for Jennifer too and leave Portugal together. But as i stared absent minded on the floor, I saw that plan slipping away from me. How was I supposed to tell her that I was leaving Portugal without her. She had ran to me for help. She had given her soul and body to me. She had given her love to me. She would never forgive me if I left her behind; Never.

For many minutes, I didn’t know what to do. I was grossly confused.
But there must be a way out.
”There has always been a solution to every given problem” ”There has always been a way where there is a will”

Yes!! There were two other options for her.
One was to request for a passport from Nigeria like I did but I recalled mine took more than two weeks before it arrived.
Two weeks that I didn’t have in Lisbon based on how things had turned out.

The second option was to take her to Madrid and get her a passport for €800 plus about another €700 it would cost both of us to go to Madrid and return. It would also mean that I will pay another €4000 for her permit. A permit I wasn’t sure of its authenticity yet. Nope. That would deplete my cash down from €17000 to €7000. It would also mean that she won’t take asylum again, which was what I wanted her to do. Above all, it would mean that no government would be paying Jennifer anything, she would depend on me like most of the Nigerian wives depended on their husbands. I would not have cared if it was back in Nigeria but in Europe, everything was sold in Euro which was difficult to come except through crime. I wasn’t going to indulge in crime forever.

The Useless Nigerian Embassy in Portugal had no Passport machine. The embassy at the Restelo district of Lisbon had nothing except the old ambassador who loved Okro soup, and a register where they wrote the names of Nigerians living in Lisbon at a fee ranging from €100 to €200.

I thought hard and decided not to make the permit for Jennifer. I would find a way to take her out of Portugal and arrange asylum for her. I wasn’t ready to travel for 630km across two countries without legal documents because of love.

Trust me, love was such a wonderful thing but JACK saving ROSE in the Titanic movie wasn’t an immigration issue, it was life and death issue.
I doubt Leonardo Di Caprio would do the same for Kate Winslet in real life if they found each other running from Madam Grace in Lisbon.

I called Francis in the evening and told him to come along with the Criminal immigration officer to the bar where we had met earlier. I hanged around the area an hour before their arrival. When they called, I hired a taxi and picked them up at the entrance of the bar. We drove down to avenida Libertade area and discussed.
The conditions was acceptable to both of us. I gave him a photocopy of my International Passport and a Passport photograph. The immigration man said the permit would be ready in two days. I gave him €2000 and left them there.

In Lisbon, I was running from Madam Grace, her thugs and every Nigerian who had heard about me and Jennifer. Above all, I was running from Jose and Nuno, two portuguese citizens who would not think twice before shooting me.

When I returned to my hotel in Setubal, I called Francis and asked him to arrange for a look-alike permit for Jennifer. He said he knew who to get it from but said it would cost me €1000. That was something that usually cost €500. I guessed he figured I was going to slip away from portugal and wanted to grab as much money from me as he could.

I agreed to pay him the money.

I recalled that I was still going to buy tickets for me and Jennifer. That practically meant that I was still going to venture into Lisbon in day time. It was risky and since my last days in Lisbon were approaching, I didn’t want to take any chances.

I came up with a plan. I had to make sure that Madam Grace and Jose were not in Lisbon the day I would go looking for flight tickets. It was going to be a gamble but I would give it a try.
I needed to get the permit and the look-alike first.
Patiently, I waited and plotted my next move.
The travails of life in Europe had turned me into a thinking machine..

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