The events that followed shocked all of us. The phones of the search team rang for hours but they didn’t answer. We didn’t know what was happening. Two things occupied my mind.
First was that they could have reached an agreement with Zuby. He could have decided to offer them some money in exchange for his escape. Zuby was smart enough to know that he needed to do something to survive.
The second was that the search team could have ran into trouble. Somehow, the same guy who blocked them with a taxi in Genova was also capable of inviting the Polizia to the scene or even organizing his own thugs.
At that stage, i prayed that the search team had an agreement to take the money and let Zuby disappear. If the police get involved, my name was likely going to come up. Zuby wont spare me since i had the gut to send hired thugs after him. He would definitely crush me if he made it out of the captive nets of the search team.
As we waited, we wondered what was going on. We all hoped that the search team just decided not to answer calls, so that they would neither be tracked; We encouraged ourselves.
Just imagine a room full of scared women.
As i wondered the possible scenarios that could play out, i found out that there was no way they could bring Zuby down to Castel Volturno; it was nearly impossible.
They were likely going to lie to me if they recovered any money from Zuby. Either way, i was the loser in the whole game. The money i stole from Basil, was also stolen by another Igbo man. I was duped, relieved of my money and girl. I thought he came with love but i found out how silly i was as a young adult.
I couldnt pray to God to punish him for me, i deserved punishment myself due to how i took the money. I just had to let go and wait for whatever spilled out of the whole drama. I was definitely going to hear and see more of Zuby and what he did, i just didn’t know how and when yet.
We waited until midnight but yet, we couldnt hear from our team. Even the almighty Madam Philo was scared now, she was beginning to understand why i said Zuby was not that easy to capture.
Aunty Philo had mapped out over an hour to blame me for everything Zuby did to me; she said i allowed him to set me up in Lagos, that i allowed him to come back into my life and steal my money and my girl. She said she would have punished Zuby if she was in my shoes.
As she sat there worried, i wanted to approach her and ask her why his boys up north has not been answering their calls.
Something was wrong and i was sure it was never going to be favourable to me. My money and my girl were the objects of contention in the first place. There was no way they would come back to me without bruises. Whatever the search team were doing in San Remo was no longer funny. I was even scared to return to my apartment again because the silence in San Remo was dangerous.
I eventually managed to find a cab to my place early the next morning. Aunty Philo had encouraged me to return to my place pending when we receive a call from the search team but in my mind, i knew that there was trouble. They must have ran into trouble, probably the Polizia.
I had no option than to wait for whatever comes up next.
Inside my apartment, I and Fatimah lived as if we never knew each other before. She knew what was happening but i didn’t give him the updates. She was neither going to ask me. If not that she was in the apartment, i would have simply abandoned the place. I had a cold feeling about the apartment. If the search team were in trouble, then it was a matter of time before they will tell who sent them. Of course they didn’t know who i was. They would send the cops to Aunty Philo. If Aunty Philo was good enough to absorb the trouble, she could simply omit my name from the case; she would definitely return to ask for money after that.
But if Zuby was arested as well, he would be my biggest nightmare. He would direct them to my apartment and that way, there was nothing i could do except to wait for whatever comes up.
My fears were suddenly confirmed when we heard a big bang on our door. It followed instantly by the turning of my apartment keys which was locked Inside but somehow, opened up and standing right there were the Italian Police.
Eight of them wore bullet-proof vets and helmets as if they came to arrest the biggest criminal in town.
Fatimah who heard the first bang on the door had jumped out of her room as if she was expecting them.
Due to the little misunderstanding between Fatimah and I, i didn’t prepare her on what to say to the Police and it was already too late. She was now going to tell them how she came to Italy and collaborate whatever Zuby told them up in the north.
It was over for me in Italy, the good life God sent to me suddenly disappeared.
I would have used the Hungary money to start a different business in Italy instead of bringing girls from Africa. I was sure that if Zuby had met me as a genuine business woman, he would have adopted the business and help it to grow but he met me with two teenage girls and as if that wasn’t enough, i sent him to go to Libya and buy more.
My sins had caught up with me, i was going to prison for long and there was nothing i could do to help myself.
“Maria James?” The first Police looked at me; guns pointed on my chest.
I nodded and remained quiet.
He looked back to others and said in Italian, “She is just a kid.”
I wonder what made them forget that i might know Italian language a bit.
“Who is this?” They pointed to Fatimah.
“My Sister” I said.
The answer just got to my heard and i said it loud enough for Fatimah to hear. If Fatimah decided to be helpful, she would follow my lead and claim to be my sister but if she decided to sell me out, she would simply tell them i bought and brought her to become a prostitute in Italy.
One Police walked up to Fatimah and asked her name.
“Fatimah” she said.
“Who is this?” he pointed at me.
“She is my Sister” Fatimah said.