” Madam Grace, do you still want Jennifer back” I said on the phone as soon as she picked the call.
” Who be this” Madam Grace asked.
” Stop asking silly questions” I fired back on the phone.
Behind me, Jennifer was hauling insults at me.
” Solomon, na God go punish you. You useless man. So you want to send me back after using me. You devil” Jennifer kept abusing me.
” Solomon na you, where you dey” Madam Grace asked excitedly, she must have thought that her Olokun had started work on Me finally.
” We are still in Porto. I will give her back to you but you must promise not to punish her. You know she is a kid” I said.
” I don’t want to go back to her, she will kill me” Jennifer was shouting behind me.
” I will not punish her, just send her back to me” Madam Grace begged.
” She will come back, let me just calm her down” I said and cut the line.
Jennifer and I looked at each other and laughed. Madam Grace had taken the bait. The plan was to lure her and her remaining thugs to Porto. It will give me some time to finish my business in Lisbon.
It remained Jose and Nuno. Their own case was a minor one.
Madam Grace had spread a bigger net to catch us. She had employed the help of many Nigerians who knew Jennifer very well. She knew that if they caught Jennifer, she would lead them to me.
As for Jose and Nuno, they were the only two who had seen my face. It was possible that there were others in their own small group but I doubted if they could identify me. It was only two of them that could identify me.
The plan was to find a way to send both of them to Porto too, Just like I was going to send Madam Grace. I needed all three of them out of Lisbon for Atleast 5 hours.
The only place I knew in Lisbon where I could buy flight tickets with my expected permit was very close to Madam Grace’s Afro shop.
The travel agent was a Ghanaian. I didn’t want to risk using the permit to buy ticket from a Portuguese travel agent.
The permit could have been fake since I didn’t go through the normal process of waiting for months. If it turned out to be fake, using it to purchase tickets from a Portuguese agent would be dangerous.
On the evening of the following day, Francis called and said he had found a look-alike for Jennifer. I asked him about my own permit, he said that it would be ready by the afternoon of the next day.
I told him to wait and bring two of them together. I wanted to avoid as much meetings as possible.
I dialed Jose’s number with a new sim card I had purchased a few days back in Braga. He didn’t pick the call. I tried again and it was the same. I sent him a Text message hoping that he would call back as soon as he saw the missed calls.
He called back immediately. I had included my name in the text message.
” Hello Jose” I said as soon as the line connected.
” Where are you my friend, what happened” he asked calmly.
I expected him to start yelling but he didn’t. I was disappointed. I hated being thrown off balance.
” Madam Grace came to Porto with some people. They were chasing me. I had to switch off my phone and run away” I lied.
” Did she give you the money” he asked. I expected that one.
” Yes I told you I got the money from her, she gave me €13000” I said.
” Good good, where are you” he said calmly’
His calmness was worrying me. That was not the Jose I knew. He was a very aggressive person.
Why on earth was he being so calm.
I was alarmed. I was never going to fall for that trick.
I decided to diversify my plan.
” I am still in Porto but not in the same hotel. How much is your cut and Nuno’s” I asked.
” I will come to Porto and we talk about it” he said.
*What! Run Boy Run*
” Lets talk about it on the phone, I will send it through Western Union in the morning” I said.
” No no my friend. It is better we talk about it in Porto. I will come in the Morning, he said.
I asked if he was coming with Nuno, he said he was.
This little Portuguese rat will never learn his lessons. He had been beaten once and yet he had setup another fight he had no chances of winning.
Since the rat didn’t want to obey the number one law of Power (Never try to outshine your Master’), He was going to pay for the Insolence.
I cut the phone and and dialed Madam Grace again.
” Jennifer is angry that I want to send her back and she is afraid you are going to beat her” I said.
” You need to come up here in Porto and take her by yourself. She need to know you will not beat her” I said and hung up.
I wasn’t interested in an argument over whether she will come or not.
She called me back immediately and asked where I was in Porto.
I told her to come to the Golden Tulip Hotel in the Boavista area of Porto by 2pm the next day.
Ten minutes later, my phone rang. It was Jose. He said they will be in Porto tomorrow before 1pm. I told him that I will be around by 2pm at the Golden Tulip Hotel Boavista Porto.
He said ” Ok” and hung up.
I called Francis and told him that I will pick up the documents before 1pm tomorrow.
Jennifer, who was sitting on the bed beside me all through the phone calls kept her gaze at me for a very long time and when she returned back to humanity from the wonderland, she shook her head and murmured what I couldn’t hear.