Chapter 66: The Smart Attack.
“Esther, i will be going out in a few minutes. I want to meet with a friend who is doing some works for me. I have many enemies here in Paris and you know about that. I don’t know what will happen to me out there; therefore i am going to leave the hotel key with you. I am also going to leave your phone for you. It means that i trust you now. If you betray me, the bad people may capture and torture me, they may even kill me and my blood will be on your head. But if they didn’t capture or kill me, you better leave Europe before i see you again” i said as i threw the hotel key at her.
I unlocked her phone scrolled through the registered numbers; Annabel, Alice Paris, Beatrice Marcadet, Channel Paris, Chris, David, Darlington, Efosa Nigeria, Efosa Paris, etc. I picked interest in some of the numbers but eventually opened Alice Paris and Channel Paris, then i wrote their numbers on my phone and saved it. After handing her phone back to her, i opened my red bag and took every money in it, then i locked it and went out. My Portuguese resident permit had expired already, therefore i didn’t take it along with me.
I called Nonso Ukeh and told him to come with a taxi to St. Lazare Station. There was a coffee bar near the police post in the station where i had seen numerous police officers drinking coffee and capucciono. I had figured that it would be safer if i stay close to Police during the exchange of the letter. It was true that i warned Nonso earlier but it doesn’t equate to losing my guard. I had figured out that the only way to survive in Paris was to be on alert even inside the Church.
Nonso said he would be at St. Lazare in thirty minutes. I took a Taxi to the station and found the coffee shop; as I suspected, there were some police men there.
I went inside and bought a cup of black Coffee without sugar or milk; I took a seat at the back and waited. Nonso came about 40 minutes later, he was with the letter. He was shocked to see me sitting in the same shop with over five Police men, he was among the immigrants that hated and feared the site of Policemen but being on the run had made me to use the Police to my advantage. One of the laws of power i loved so much was the ability to use my enemies to my advantage.
“We can’t read the letter here” Nonso said to me in Igbo language.
I asked him why but he had no tangible reason. I asked him to give me the letter there or i will walk up to one police man and start a report on the letter. He said that i can’t do that. I smiled at him and asked him to at least show me the letter before we could go to another place to read it, he brought out the letter to show me. Written at the back of the envelope was My names. The stamp on it showed that it was posted over two weeks ago.
I suddenly got up and raised my voice, “Give me my appointment letter. Do you want to sell it like you sold other people’s letters. You thief”:
He was stunned at my little action in a shop full of Police and other people. There were only three black people in the shop, two of us and another black woman. The black woman looked unbelievably at two useless blackmen quarreling in a shop full of police and she quickly picked her bag on the table and exited the shop. I had stood up and held Nonso’s clothes. He had dropped the letter on the table and was asking me to calm down.
I pushed him backwards and he fell on a chair. Two policemen rushed at us and stood between us. Nonso was gathering himself up from the ground as one officer held him. The other officer was holding me as well. He said something to me in French which i didn’t understand. They told two of us to follow them to the Police station and we agreed; not that we had any choice.
When we got to the station, they took us to a small office and called an Interpreter. Inside the office, Nonso was begging me not to say anything against him, he was speaking to me in Igbo.
“Please, my own resident permit expired since two months ago and they refused to renew it for me. They said that i must go back to Holland where i took Asylum. Please tell them that it wasn’t a fight, please” Nonso was saying to me.
I didn’t answer him, i just kept quiet and forced some tears out of my eyes. The Police man guarding us had thrown a paper tissue at me to clean my eyes.
Ozoigbondu the helpless African was crying. Nonso the wicked Igbo man had seized his appointment letter for two weeks demanding for money.
“Your name please” the interpreter asked me.
I gave them the name on the appointment letter, it was the same name on my International Passport.
Before i left the hotel that morning, i had picked up my international passport, the one with German Visum. It was a genuine passport because i went to the immigration office and did it myself back in Nigeria unlike the one i used during the Portugal process.
“Your date of birth please” the interpreter asked again.
“August 12, 1980” i said. She took more information she needed from me and asked for my international passport.
I handed it over to them.
They asked for information from Nonso too. He also gave them his green passport.
After taking our data, they asked for my resident permit card. I pointed at the letter on the table. The officer opened it and read out in French. He said that i was given 15 days to come for an interview at the foreign office and asked why i haven’t gone there. I started crying again. Another paper tissue was given to me and when i finished blowing my faked running nose into the paper tissue, i explained to them that i was an illegal immigrant who had applied for resident permit but due to the fact that i slept in the slums of Bobigny east of Paris, i didn’t have an address to receive letters. As a result, i had used Nonso’s address to receive my letters. But when my appointment letter came, Nonso demanded that i give him €4000 before he can give it to me.
I started crying again.
“It is Ok” the Police man said.