“My friend, you can go” I said without thinking twice.
Queen had suspected that i would explode but was surprised to know how calm i was.
“Its OK baby, lets find somewhere and wait for her. Stop the cab” I shouted as i waved for our taxi driver to stop but she was almost out of range.
I wanted us to follow the cab to a safer and more hidden place where we would wait for Jane to come back.
The sun has come up and everybody could see everybody along the road.
Some of the girls who went to work in the night were returning.
As i suspected, too many Africans, especially Nigerians lived in that area.
“Baby we need to get out of here now. We can’t stand here for two hours” I said.
Knowing the Africans and their time keeping, the two hours Jane gave us could possibly turn to four hours.
If i had allowed Queen to call her back in the hotel room, we would have known she wasn’t at home and in that case, we would have just stayed back in the hotel room to wait for her.
I would have also sent Queen alone to come and pick her things up.
How i got myself into the current vulnerable situation was so unlike me.
Could it be that my brainbox has started failing me?
Perhaps if i didn’t drink half bottle of red wine that early morning, i would have came up with a more secured protocol.
As the blame game zigzagged through my head, i reminded myself that it wasn’t time to think but time to act.
“There is small Tea shop across, lets go and wait for Jane there” Queen suggested.
While she talked, i watched out for anything that resembled a cab. I wanted us to leave the vicinity entirely as soon as possible.
There it was down the road, a taxi was coming up.
My right hand was waving frantically even before the cab got to twenty meters of where we were waiting.
“Get In” I said to Queen as i opened the back door for her.
“Chateau Rouge” I said to the driver.
Chateau Rouge Metro Station, despite being close to Marcadet and Barbes, was a busy area for foreigners. It was such a busy place that nobody could do anything to anybody there without being spotted by a hundred pairs of eyes.
There was a large coffee shop near the station where i used to sit and watch the World moved around in Paris.
We were going there to sit and wait for whenever Jane would return.
“Where is this Chateau Rouge and why are we going there?” Queen asked while inside the cab.
“Its in Paris and we are going there to wait. I am not interested in waiting for Jane anywhere around here”
“But why wasting money on a cab when we could just sit down somewhere and wait for her?” She continued.
I decided to ignore the question.
If Queen was half as smart as i wanted, she would have known that it was time to keep quiet.
She put us in the whole mess and still wanted things to be done her own way.
Although she was just a kid and didn’t know the reason why i did most of the things i was doing but it was the reason why i didn’t like hundred percent democracy.
The African mentality was yet not ripe enough to run democracy where everyone had to bring up his or her on suggestions and stuck by it without any comprehensive ideology behind it.
We got to the shop at Chateau Rouge and settled down. It was still early morning. It took only five minutes for someone to recognize me.
His name was Jonah, not that we were friends but we knew each other back in Amsterdam.
According to him, he came to make resident permit in Paris and was going for an appointment that morning.
I liked the fact that he was in a haste because i didn’t want to waste a lot of time with the people i knew.
We bought coffee and sipped it slowly until it finished, then we ordered for more.
Since there was nothing much to do, i called George, an old friend.
He said he was in Paris and when i told him where i was, he said he would come immediately.
Perhaps he thought there was some jobs for him.
Thirty minutes later, George came.
He sat near me as we talked about nothing important in particular.
He said he was in Amsterdam the week before but didn’t know i was there. Eventually he asked if there was any job for him.
“There are no jobs now my friend but i will let you know as soon as something comes up. Here is 100 Euros. Go and enjoy yourself with it” I said as i handed him the money.
He thanked me once before he left.
That was one other thing i liked from the White people.
They knew how to appreciate and thank people because they knew that anybody could be in any situation anytime.
Give a black man that kind of money and he would say ‘Thank You’ Fifty times. He would even kneel down and bow as if the money was his future.
“Who is he?” my new inquisitive partner asked as soon as George left.
“A friend” I answered.
I adopted short answers more when i dealt with someone who made me angry.
People read a lot of negative meanings to things especially when the relationship was fragile. To make sure i avoided such readings, i usually adopted my short answer method.
“How did you know him, he doesn’t look decent enough” Queen said.
“You are getting to my nerves. This is very early to quarrel over issues like this” I warned.
She stopped asking questions and sat silently until she received a call from Jane who said she has returned.
“Queen, you will go alone to get the bag. I will be waiting for you here” I said.
“I am not going alone. Please go with me”
“I have my reasons. I know you think i will leave without you by the time you come back but if i wanted to do that, i would have done that and i can even do it now that you are here. So get up, take a cab to the place, get your bag and return here” I said.
“Please don’t do this to me. I want us to go together” She begged.
I stood up and asked her to follow me.
We took a cab to the area where Jane lived.
The entire street has come alive and tens of black men and women were seen walking up and down the road as if we were in Lagos Nigeria.
” If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness”