The chronicles of a high profile gigolo.
I woke up with a start, I couldn’t believe I had slept off and I frantically peered at my wristwatch, fortunately I had been sleeping for about twenty minutes. I was disoriented, I had not decided on my next move. I had to act fast but what was I to do. My phone was still ringing; it was its insistent ringing that had woken me. I sat up, it was Yvette; I still was deeply confused. What if this was a further set up? My phone battery was getting low; everything was working against me. I reached for my phone charger, plugged the phone and then dialled Pope’s number, I had no plan yet but first I had to talk to him. I put the phone on speaker so I could talk while changing clothes and picking up other stuff I might need, my power bank, a more comfortable pair of shoes….
Pope took his time answering the call, picking up just when I thought he wouldn’t. His unmistakable voice filtered through the speaker phone. “You have my money already?” I could sense some dry mirth but I was not in the mood for this. I had to get through to this man somehow ; how do I do this? I had no idea.
“Sir, can I come over?”
“Do you know how to get here?”
“No sir, but …”
“Do you have my money?”
“No sir but…”
“But what Faruk, I thought I made myself clear, my money for your mum, there’s nothing to discuss, no terms to negotiate, nothing. When I see you , if you have my money, you go with your mum, I am a business man Faruk, not an assassin. If however I do not see my money when your time is up, well you’ll be dead, good news however, is that your mum gets to live. Unless you refuse to show up; then she dies, and your demise follows shortly. Trust me I have my ways.”
He hung up. Dead end there, time was running out, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing; dad, Frances, Yvette, Alhaji Bukar, the police boss; it was insanity, and I felt like smashing the phone against the wall, but common sense prevailed, I needed it, if there was any chance of anything giving, it would come through the phone.
Yvette’s name was flashing again on the screen and finally I picked it up.
“Yvette.” I spoke through clenched teeth.
“Faruk” She expelled her breath in relief, “What’s happening Faruk, who has your mum? Talk to me.” I almost believed she didn’t know about this, but common sense dictated otherwise.
“Stop these games Yvette, what more damage can you people do? You have my mum, You have the money and you’re still asking me to refund you guys? It makes absolutely no sense…”
“Exactly Faruk, no sense what so ever, who has your mum, I’ve told you this earlier, did you read my sms? Chief Jacob doesn’t have her…”
“Oh so you’re saying you’re not all in this together”
“What? Faruk; all? What do you mean all, you’re not making sense babe, who else do you think is involved?”
Babe? She called me babe? I almost choked with anger.
“Don’t act like you don’t know Yvette…”
“You’re not listening to me Faruk, who has your mum? We are running out of time…”
That triggered me; “Oh so you know my time is running out but you say you don’t know who has my mum? Seriously? I am hanging up now Yvette, looks like you have nothing to offer.”
“Faruk, don’t hang up , I have all the money, it’s our money, that’s what I meant by we are running out of time, you need to level with me, who has your mum, what do they want?”
It took a while to register, and even though I didn’t believe her, I was grasping at straws, and if there was a chance no matter how slim… “Pope.” I finally offered, “Pope has my mum.”
I heard her breath catch sharply, it appeared she really didn’t know about this, “Oh chief Jacob didn’t tell you about this part of the plan did he?” I taunted, “Didn’t show you the big picture did he? Only what you needed to know…”
“Faruk, use your head,” her voice was surprisingly firm, “it doesn’t make any sense, “Jacob has no hand in this, he wanted the money, wanted revenge but he is certainly not working with Pope, think about it, he knows there is no way you can come up with that kind of money, so why would he work with someone to kidnap your mom and then ask for money he has already taken from you?, It makes no sense Faruk.”
“Well maybe they need a reason to actually kill me.”
She made sense but I was not backing down, there had to be a reason, they had to be working together, it was the only connection that made sense.
“Faruk you are not listening and you are not using your head, Pope doesn’t need an excuse to kill you, from what I have heard, he is a mad man. Where are you? We need to meet up, do you still have the address I sent to you? You have to get there, be very discrete, everything depends on discretion Faruk, we can still salvage this.”
“I am at my place, if you want to see me you can come over.” I said stubbornly.
“Faruk you are not listening.” She snapped impatiently, “Everything depends on discretion. Go there, NOW.”
I was silent, I knew there was practically no other way out for now. “Faruk, it is very important you get there right away. Trust me on this Faruk.”
“I love you.”
I almost screamed at her but once again common sense prevailed and I said a quiet “Thank you.” There would be time enough to dispute this “love” much later, if and when this was eventually resolved.
Yvette was still speaking, “You may not understand now Faruk but you will eventually.” She hung up. This time I didn’t flag down a cab, I exercised more discretion, I walked some distance and flagged down a commercial motorcycle; an Okada as it is called, I made sure a couple of them had passed and flagged down one that was at top speed, I took it all the way to the nearest major junction, and then made it circle back, all the time keeping a sharp look out, the cold wind against my face helped clear my head a little bit, it was also much easier to keep a look out as it was getting to the wee hours of the morning and the roads were mostly deserted, still I got off at a junction that I knew had a link street to another major junction and walked the distance till I came to that junction and then flagged down cab, it was an exhausting exercise really, the only highlight being the cold air stinging my face; making me feel at least alive. It appeared however that there was nobody trailing me, Pope must be certain that I would not attempt to take off now that he had my mum in his custody.
I finally made it to my destination without incident, I called Yvette to inform her and she told me to walk straight up to the gate, this was after ascertaining from me that I was not followed. I walked up to the smaller of the two gates and lifted up my hand to rap on it but it slid open before I could knock on it.
At first glance, I almost mistook her for Yvette but she was darker and had a slightly fuller figure, she also had bigger eyeballs. “Hi Faruk,” she said quietly, as she tried to look beyond my shoulder also trying to ascertain that I was not accompanied.
“I’m alone” I assured her and she moved aside to let me into the compound, she double bolted the gate behind us. She did not say another word till we were in the living room of the small duplex. She motioned me to seat in an overstuffed chair which almost swallowed me up and made me feel really small; “Florence” she offered, “What?” I asked, “My name is Florence.” She spoke really slowly this time.
“Oh, I’m Faruk, I’m sorry, I’m not usually this slow, just some stuff that’s going on…”
“Oh I know all about it, and now seeing you, I can see what she sees in you.”
I gave a weak smile, flattery was not going to lift my mood, not tonight. “You’re her sister, I can tell, the resemblance is striking…”
“Half-sister,” she responded with a smile, “I have my dad’s eyes. We are closer than most siblings who share both parents though; it just the two of us, and we were both raised by our mum only so I guess, those factors affected us. You want a drink?”
“Yes please, something strong.”
The vodka went straight to my head, and I asked for some more; “No Faruk, you need a clear head. There is so much you guys need to sort within the next few hours.”
I nodded solemnly and asked “What exactly is going on Florence?”
“You don’t know?” she feigned surprise , I thought your life was just thrown upside down. I could sense she was trying to cheer me up, but the humour was totally lost on me. I was hoping she could shed some light on the plans Yvette had for me but she was pretending I was talking about the events of the past forty eight hours.
Her phone rang and she looked at it, smiling as she lifted it to her ear, “Sis,” she listened briefly “Yup, he is here, and boy is he a looker?” Yvette must have said something funny because she burst into laughter “Keep your breeches on sister, I know he is yours and I like them older trust me, I don’t make any exceptions.” She stopped talking and a serious look crossed her face as she nodded over and over before speaking again.
“Yup, all sorted, and delivered, how far away are you? Ten minutes? Oh cool, come in from cedar drive, use the other gate, he said no one followed him but caution is key, I’ll be waiting at that gate.”
She hung up and turned to me, the smile was gone, she was all seriousness now, “She’s almost here, I have to go and get her. Stay here Faruk.”
Stay tuned for Episode 11 next week Friday. Comment. Like. Share. Subscribe.