Chapter 43. The road block.
The following morning, we left Pescara with a fast train. We headed towards North-West where we intended to catch a train in Torino to Marseille. At about 12 am, we stopped in Bologna train station. I had switched my mobile phone off and asked Ngozi to do the same. I was sure Maria must have called numerous times but i didn’t care. She was going to find out what i did anyway, it was just a matter of time.
Since it was obvious that we were on the run, i had decided to be on a high alert. In that very case, high alert meant designating every black human being as a suspect. I even suspected a few white people, especially those who looked a little out of order. I didn’t think Ngozi knew that we could hit road blocks anytime. I believed she thought that we had lost Napoli and its occupants for good. Fortunately for me, it was good for us because the last thing i needed from her was panic. If she panicked, the Police could have suspected and stopped us. One of the reasons why many Illegal immigrants got into trouble was panic and inconfidence. Authorities hardly suspected you if you go to them, but if they come to you, you definitely had questions to answer.
The fast train we entered stopped us in Bologna Central station. It was heading to Milan in the North which was an hour away but i decided that it would be best for us to stop in Bologna. My little logic was that There were bigger number of Nigerians in Milan. If Maria was going to send thugs to us, the main two places would be Rome Termini and Milan Central. My plan was to stop in Bologna, take a train to Florence which was 35 minutes away and use a different and smaller route to Torino but luck ran out on us in Bologna.
As soon as we got out of train, i saw three black men standing at the exit side of the very platform we had stopped. I had covered half of my face with a cap while Ngozi didn’t. I held Ngozi’s hand as we walked towards the exit. As soon as the three men saw us, they walked quickly ahead of us and out of the station. I pulled Ngozi to a map on the wall and stopped there.
”What are we looking at the map again for” she asked.
”Sweetheart i want to tell you something. Don’t look at me, keep your eyes on the map. Don’t look anywhere while i am talking. Do as i say and you won’t be in trouble” i said as i pointed to nothing in particular on the map.
”I think we are being followed or maybe some bad people are waiting for us here. They just walked out of this platform towards the stairs that led to the hall and to the other platforms. Pretend that you don’t know about this. Don’t look too close or too long on anybody. I will be making the looks by myself. If i tell you to walk fast or run, do it. Before we leave this map, pick up our bag by yourself. There are some money in it. I have some money with me too. If they follow us, i will make them come after me, then you can find a hotel and stay there. Switch on your phone and call me two minutes past Every hour. If anybody call your mobile phone during that period, don’t answer it. I hope you understand”? I asked.
She nodded and continued staring at the map. After spending over two minutes on the map, we walked towards the exit where i had seen the three men. I saw them standing in front of a bookshop in the hall of the station.
”They are here in the station but there is nothing they can do to us now, there are a lot of people here. We are going to walk down to another platform where we will see a train to Florence. They will follow us and confirm my suspicions but we will lose them. Dont panic or fear anything. If they catch you, tell them that it was me who tricked you to run away with me, they already know that” i said.
I walked side by side with Ngozi up to a point where we were less than 5 meters away from the thugs, then we diverted right to another platform where a train to Florence was waiting. I looked back and saw them standing near the entrance to the station, one was looking across the road, one was looking at us while One of them was making a call.
We ignored them and entered the train.
”Stay very close to me and do as i say” i said to Ngozi.
Less than a minute after entering the train, i saw them walked down to the platform and entered the train’s second coach. I was at the first coach but there was a walking link door between the two coaches. I figured that they didn’t know that i already saw them. They all looked Nigerian. One was taller than the rest and he had some scary biceps.
Right inside the train, my mind worked fast and overlapped itself. I was thinking on the next thing to do. It would have been easy for me if i was alone. I could have easily decided to jump off the train at the last minute if i was alone but unfortunately i was with a girl who didn’t know the next thing to do if i disappeared.
As the train began to move, one of the thugs walked past us and sat two rows behind. We were now in the middle of the thugs. I didn’t panic because i knew they wouldn’t do anything inside a semi crowded Italian train. The train was going to stop in Florence which i guessed was a big station. There were Police presence in every big stations. That gave me a little confidence as we slowly rode towards the city.
Ten minutes before we got to Florence, I put my phone on my ear and pretended to be making a call. After the call, I excused myself from Ngozi and walked to the thug sitting behind me.
”You look like a Nigerian” I said after greeting him.
”How is that your business” he returned.
”It is my business because i think you and your friends are following me. I am not sure but as a precaution, i have just called the Police and they will be waiting at the next station” i said.
He looked at me quickly and got up.
”Idiota” he hissed and walked to his colleagues.
I followed him and stood some rows behind them while looking out of the train window.
The Florence station was just another three Minutes away.