I picked up my bag and walked towards the exit door.
“When are you coming back from France, we didn’t even discuss that” Maria said.
“I left enough money for you Maria. Life is not static; i would like to be back here before one week but things could change. If you need anything or if there is any new development, don’t take quick decisions; call me first” I said as i opened the door and walked outside to the lift.
I called a cab and drove to Uppsala, a few kilometers North of Stockholm. I found a cheap hotel and paid for two nights in a row. I wasn’t going to France anytime soon. I felt that the net was becoming wider; therefore it was good that i shifted from the center of actions before uncertainties swallowed me. It was usually good to start running for shelter before the rain begin.
With me in the hotel were Eleven sim cards and Four Mobile phones;
One Vodafone sim from Germany,
Two Lyca sims from Holland,
Two Orange sims from France,
Two from Italy,
Three from Sweden and
One MTN sim from Nigeria.
All of them had money in them and were working.
Three of the sim cards were already inside a phone; all of them were Swedish sims.
Two were in different Samsung phones while one was in a Nokia E71. One of the French numbers were inside an extra Nokia Phone i used before coming to Sweden.
I had looked around the room to make sure there were no spy Cameras before spreading the items on the table.
Those items were my weapons of war; my arsenals. There were the only things i needed. As i looked upon those items carefully arranged on the table in the hotel room, i began to worry about what i had become. Only criminals were supposed to have that number of phones and sim cards at the same time. How did i end up acquiring those things?
As soon as i finished checking on my arsenals, i switched off all the phones and lay on the bed. I was going to initiate a tactical plan that can get Maria in trouble; therefore i needed to be extremely careful and calculative. I had managed to escape from the circle of doom but Maria was still there and needed protection. I was sure she was scared because she wanted me to stay back; she had more confidence when I was around.
It was already 1:15pm when i called Maria with the orange French sim card inside my old Nokia.
“Baby I am in Paris now, any new development?”
“Yes, Aunty Joy and Aunty Adesuwa both called me. They both wanted to know how things were developing. Adesuwa will be here any moment from now. Aunty Joy wanted to know the next thing to do” she almost shouted.
“Calm down, What did you tell Joy?” I asked.
I told her that your phone is switched off”
“Very good. As soon as we finish talking, delete this number from your phone. I will contact you again soon. Make sure Rose didn’t get the chance to speak with Adesuwa when she arrives; in fact send me her number now, I need to warn her by myself” I said.
I called Father Onuigbo to know if he was around but he was not; I wanted to send Rose to her for prayers so that she won’t be around when Adesuwa arrives.
I called Adesuwa with the French number. She said she just arrived in Sweden and wanted to meet with me.
“Did i tell you to come to Sweden? I am now in Paris. Precious is locked up with a guard in my apartment somewhere in a village near Norway Border and this deal is over. You can keep your money” I said and cut off the line.
She called back immediately.
“Brother please, i was confused. Tell me what to do. I am not even sure Precious is still alive. Can i hear her voice?” she said.
“You will hear her voice when i am sure we have our money” i said.
“How am i going to give you the money?” She asked.
“Who was the woman who spoke with me on the phone with a Sweden phone number? She said she is your friend” i asked.
Aunty Adesuwa said her name was Maria and that she lived in Sweden there. I told her to give the money to the woman and let me know.
“Since she lives in Sweden, she will know where to bring the money for me. That is where she will pick up the girl. If you involve Police, you will never see her again” I said.
“But when can i hear her voice” She asked.
I told her that i will call the guard who was with Precious and direct him on what to do.
As soon as i finished talking to Adesuwa, i called Aunty Joy and told her that i was in France.
“Aunty I am scared of those people. They threatened to kill those young girls if you don’t pay them. I saw their faces the day they met me and i am afraid they will kill me if i meet them again. I don’t want to play any part in this again. I have seen what this people can do in some films. Aunty please understand me. I came here for hustling like other people and i don’t want to die. My wife is in Nigeria with my daughter; i am their only hope” I said.
Aunty Joy begged me not to quit, she gave me a brief summary of how her village was not far from that of the two girls. She begged me to help her with the negotiation until the girls were released.
“Aunty i pity you very well but i told you that i am in France. How can i help you now?” i asked.
She said that i could switch on my Swedish number so that they could be able to contact me again. I promised to do that.
“I will come to France to meet with you tomorrow” Aunty Joy said.
“No, I said it that you and them are the same group. You want to bring them here to kill me” I shouted.
“No, i don’t even know them. Alright i won’t come to France but what if you come to Italy, do you have papers?” She asked.
“I don’t have Papers, i borrowed a resident permit card to travel to France by night but i can make a fake permit here in France and use it to come to Italy. My cousin who lives here said that some Arab people make fake permits that looks like the original” I said.
When we finished talking, i took a cab to the asylum camp in Uppsala. It wasn’t far from the hotel where i lodged.
I got there and walked straight to the gate.
“Good day Sir, i came here to visit someone” I said to the man inside the compound.
“We don’t welcome visitors” He said in a clear English tone.
The way he said it told me that no amount of pleas would change his mind. I walked down to the road and walked down the right towards the direction the Police officers had come the day i brought Precious to camp. Sure enough, i saw their small station with four police vehicles parked in front of it.
There was a mall down the road from the station. I walked to the mall and entered inside to look for a black asylum seeker member who will go inside the camp to call Precious for me. Inside the mall, i walked to the area where i saw three young men with a young woman bending down to pick Plastic Coca Cola bottle from a deep fridge.
The young Woman with them was My Precious.
“My life has been useless but in it, I have seen everything. A good man may die while the evil man lives on. Don’t be too good or too wise-why kill yourself? But don’t be too wicked or too foolish, either-why die before you have to?”