“I never begged you to help me” that was the last statement Esther made. I got angry and opened my bag, stuffed in a pair of my shoes that was lying on the floor, zipped the bag and stood up in fury.
“Its a pity that all these things were just one big mistake. You can go back to Kingsley. Give me my money now” i shouted.
She saw the anger in my eyes and fumbled in her pocket to give me the money. After handing the money over to me, i grabbed her phone and dismembered it, put them separately on the floor and stormed out of the hotel with my bag.
Esther didn’t say a word as i walked out of the room. I got to the reception and told them that my girlfriend will give them the key in a few minutes.
I walked out to the street and stood there for five minutes before a cab pulled up.
“Take me to Monza Central Station” i said.
I got to the station, bought a train ticket to Milan and sat on the platform. Thirteen minutes later, a train pulled up and swallowed the entire passengers on the platform. I got to Milan and returned to the first hotel i lodged when i newly arrived. I didn’t know the next thing to do. I didn’t want to leave the little girl behind but i wanted to teach her some serious lessons. I felt she must have had some small money with her but i wasn’t sure. I believed that if i was going to succeed in sending her to United Kingdom, there was definitely going to be some level of obedience and respect from her. Women were really difficult to understand sometimes but i considered Esther a minor to the experience i had gathered in Europe. I tried in many occasions to make her understand that i respected her too but that she can’t control me; not with her wisdom and not with the thing between her legs. I liked freedom too much to the extent that it had always been very difficult to keep a woman for long. It could have been my age but i had a very strong will to do things my own way when i dealt with people five years younger than me. I wasn’t a fool and i knew that. I didn’t know if i was wise or not but i knew that i already experienced a lot of things about Europe and that should have counted as a factor for respect from Esther. I also never undermined her own wisdom and intelligence but as long as we were on the run in Italy, I was naturally going to be making most of the decisions. It was a silly thing to be running around Europe with someone who didn’t want to reveal anything about her; peharps she had a past which she didn’t want to talk about but she could have explained that with a better tone. Unfortunately, she adopted the Nigerian style of boyfriend and girlfriend where ladies required to be pampered all the time or they would say you are not caring; pamper them and buy them gifts, then you would be termed a carring man.
As i lay on the bed inside the Milan hotel, i waited for Franca’s call. I wanted to switch off my phone so that Esther won’t be able to reach me but i needed to know when and if Franca would call.
Franca called around 9:15 and called out a western union MTCN number to me. I dialed my younger brother’s number immediately and asked him to go to the bank and clear the money. After speaking with him, i switched off my phone and walked downstairs to eat. Business had started to open up and everywhere was getting crowded as i walked into a familiar restaurant and ordered for Spaghetti. As i ate, i considered the consequences of my actions against Esther. I could have been more understanding but each time i recalled that i knew nothing about Esther, i would think that i did the right thing. I recalled when the Polizia crashed into our room in Monza, i didn’t know what to call Esther. I eventually called her my woman but it occurred to me that i didn’t even know her asylum name. She didn’t know the name on my passport and if the Cops had tried to cross question us, we would have been in serious trouble. Esther had eventually produced a small asylum card that bear another name which the police had written down in a piece of paper and seized the card from her. They had given her the piece of paper and asked her to leave Italy before the end of the next day. As it stood, she was absolutely helpless. She had no money or maybe she did, one can never trust women when it concerned money. She was told to leave town as well but she was a woman. She could get help. All she needed to do was just to stand on the street in the night and some guy was surely going to pick her up.
I finished my food and bought some fruits, then i walked back to the hotel room and switched on my phone. A call came immediately.
“I heard it was you who came to my apartment yesterday. Where is my laptop, i stored many things there. I will pay you any amount, just bring it back to me” it was Kingsley.
“I thought you told me to disappear from Italy, i am on my way out of Milan. I am going to Bergamo and from there, i will go to Udine and then Venice before going to Austria. Your laptop is no longer yours. I will ask you for the password when i get to Austria” I said and cut off the call. He called again immediately and begged me not to run away with it.
“How much are you paying for the laptop” i asked.
He said he can give me €500. I told him that the last i will take is €1000. He agreed easily.
“Don’t think you can trap me down Kingsley, you can’t. Therefore we are going to make the exchange according to my own terms. First of all, you are sending the money to Dublin, when i confirm it, i will then tell you where to pick the laptop up. I will stop at Bergamo and wait for you” I said as i grabbed an apple fruit on the table and squeezed half of it in my mouth.
As i ate the fruit, i typed Ify’s name and sent it to Kingsley. He called and said he was going to send the money immediately.
My phone rang again and it was my younger brother. He confirmed that he had cleared N978, 500. It was the equivalent of €4890 or thereabout.
“Carry out the assignment i gave you about the motherless babies, then go to the Mother of Mercy Maternity Hospital in our village. Give the management N200, 000 i promised them in 2006. Take N100, 000 and enjoy yourself with it. Throw the rest into that Diamond Bank account. I will confirm from my account officer tomorrow” I said. He was so happy.
As soon as i got off phone with him, my phone rang again. It was Esther, she was crying.
“I thought i asked you not to call me” I shouted and cut the call off.