The chronicles of a high profile gigolo
My phone started ringing almost immediately dad hung up. It was him calling back; “What happened Faruk?”
I thought he just said he didn’t want to hear it, under any other circumstances; I would have laughed or at least found it funny. “Dad, I have to see you to tell you what is going on.” I explained patiently.
“Where exactly are you now?”
“At my place.”
“Trying to get a cab to your place dad.”
“Get here right now.”
“Yes sir.” He had already hung up. I got on the next available cab, I didn’t even bother to scrutinise the driver. What more could happen? Another one of those whose money I had lost would have me kidnapped and trade me for whom exactly? Pope already had mum, I was past caring what happened to me, I just wanted to get mum out of this mess. The ride to dad’s place was uneventful. I took my time walking into his living room; I was in no rush to give him this latest update.
He stood up immediately he saw me, he was on the phone and I assumed from his last words before he hung up that he had been speaking with the person he had instructed me to go and meet then. I sat on the edge of the nearest chair, I needed to be seated to say what I had to say and I needed him to be seated as well. He refused to take a seat; I asked twice before I proceeded to tell him. I didn’t beat around the bush, neither did I sugar coat the situation.
“Dad, Pope has mum.”
He reached out to feel for the seat behind him before falling helplessly into it. Almost immediately he jumped up again, going from weakness into an adrenalin overdrive.
“He told you this? Have you called her? Have you been to her place? When did this happen? When did you get to know about this?”
The questions were tumbling out, he wasn’t waiting for answers, I cut in as soon as I got a chance to speak.
“I saw her dad. I saw her with my own eyes.” I have never before that moment known the kind of sadness that I felt, and I have never felt that kind of sadness afterwards.
“You saw her?” he had an incredulous look on his face; “And you didn’t secure her release? You just came to me? You left her there? How selfish can you be Faruk?”
“Dad there was nothing I could do, he showed her to me on a monitor.”
“And you walked away? Like the selfish little bastard that you are!” He was swinging between extremes; anger, despair, worry.
I knew this was all my fault but it was beyond me, it was not a situation I could ever have envisaged and certainly not something I would have embarked on if I had thought it would endanger anyone, especially not my mum. I said as much and he shouted me down. I was getting angry, he was not proffering solutions, my phone kept ringing and I kept muting it, the only person whose call I was tempted to take was Yvette’s. I needed to give her a feel of my rage; impotent rage I agree but she needed to know how angry I was, how much I wanted to hurt her but I had a feeling she would not care.
Dad was firing questions at me, faster than I could answer them and when I did not answer fast enough or satisfactorily, he either shouted at me or insulted me. He certainly was not coming up with any plans, ideas or solutions and he was beginning to get on my nerves with his refrain of how selfish a bastard I was. He also asked me over and over if I had any money tied up in bonds, securities or properties to put up for quick sale so we could attempt to pay Pope off.
“No properties dad, all I had was in this deal, they took everything.”
“You stupid thing, not only are you selfish but you are unbelievably stupid. And in your selfishness and stupidity, you have failed your mother as a son. To think you’re the only one she has. And all you can be is a failure!” I had had enough, I stood up; “Well she had only one husband and you failed her as well, You at least could have avoided it but you did not. You are an even bigger failure. I guess we both failed her. Think about it dad, I am exactly like you. We both can’t keep it in our pants and this our biggest undoing…”
He hit me and my ear rang. I stared him in the face, stared him down. I was done with him at that moment and I made for the doorway.
“Faruk” I turned to take a last look, he had aged in that one moment, he was a weakened version of himself. I had never seen him this way. I must have unwittingly hit a really sore spot. He had never let on how affected he was by my mum leaving him. I felt sorry for him as he slumped into a chair.
“Faruk,” he called once again, please have a seat, let us find a way out of this. He wouldn’t apologize for slapping me; that certainly was not him. At least there was still a part of him that was “him” . I knew it took him a lot to call me back. Dad was and is still the proudest man I know. I took a seat.
“Get Pope on the phone let me talk to him. How long did he give you again?”
“I have less than twenty hours left dad.”
“And then he kills her?”
“No dad, if I can’t come up with anything, I’ll go to him, he can kill me instead.”
“Use your head Faruk, no one is dying. I think we should call the police at this point. Salim is an old friend; he is an AIG now I should think.”
“Dad you know that won’t work I’m sure, besides, there’s a DIG involved in this already. He also wants my head I’m sure.”
My phone wouldn’t stop ringing.
“Put that damn thing on mute or switch it off Faruk. Lets think.”
I put it on mute, there was another text from Yvette;
“Faruk, you need to pick up the phone,
I need to speak with you,
we need to act real fast otherwise all will be lost.”
What else could be lost? I wondered, what more was she planning to take from me? Who else was she working for? My message was short and to the point.
“You people have my mum,
What else do you want?
If anything happens to her,
I’ll have your head.” “Faruk, is there a solution on that phone? If there isn’t, break the stupid thing and listen to me.” Dad was getting testy again.
I dropped the phone on between my laps and sat forward to listen to him.
“Now you’ll put Pope on the phone. We need to bargain for more time, I’ll give him an undertaking, we’ll put a couple; hell all of my properties up for sale and as we sell them we’ll pay up, I’ll also liquidate some securities and make a down payment as a show of good faith. In fact if there’s any he if particularly interested in, we could transfer them directly to him but first he has to release your mum.”
I was shaking my head way before he finished speaking. I knew he knew this wouldn’t work. Pope was not someone you tried to reason with. He simply wasn’t built that way.
“What? Why are you shaking your head Faruk, we should just leave your mum to die? We should make no attempt to save her. You know what? I think we should go and meet with Pope. Where is he?”
“I don’t know dad.” I was exhausted; it was well past one a.m. already.
“What do you mean you don’t know Faruk, you just left him didn’t you?”
“I was blindfolded dad.” He dropped his head between his shoulders and I felt really sorry for him, after all he truly had no hand in this whole thing.
“Get him on the phone.”
I didn’t argue anymore, I was tired so I reached for the phone. It was blinking, there was another message from Yvette, I would read it later.
“Hello Faruk, you have the money now?” his tone was mocking.
“No sir, my dad would like to speak to you.”
“What?” he laughed, “Well I guess I started it by taking your mum. Well since we are involving parents now, would you like my dad’s number? I guess he is the one your dad should be speaking with. Let the parents deal with this right?”
I remained silent.
“Where is your sense of humour Faruk? Lighten up man, you have nothing to worry about, at least not for the next 18 hours I think. I’m not even sure anymore but when the hour cometh I’ll know.”
I still didn’t know what to say so I remained mute.
“Okay okay, I guess you are not in the mood for jokes, put your dad on.”
I could only hear my dad’s side of the conversation but it didn’t take long for me to tell that much progress was not being made.
“Yes it’s chief James here, Faruk’s dad. I’m sure you know me…Oh good…you have my wife…I understand this…”
I kept wondering what was being said on the other end of the phone and I wished I had put the phone on speaker instead.
“It is unfortunate; what has happened…”dad continued “but this is where we find ourselves…Yes a solution is what we are after, I think we need to meet however…okay that’s fine as well…yes I am looking at liquidating some assets…I am sure the most important thing here is getting your money back, not necessarily making an example of Faruk, this is why you are a business man…What?
He threw his head back in shock; “That’s not enough time to put together this kind of money…yes it probably took you less than that to put up the funds but…72 hours is just three days Pope… Hello, hello, hello!” he looked at the phone screen.
“He’s hung up, Faruk, you have done it this time, Pope is a mad man, in other climes, he would be certified. Three days from today, it can’t be done. It simply can’t, I think you should go home and get some rest, I need to sleep over this and try to think up something else. We have to come up with something, so think up something as well, in fact, you should sleep here, your old room I’m sure should not be too dusty.”
My phone was ringing again, he looked at it and handed it over, it was Yvette again. I cut it off and slumped back in my seat. The unread text message from her was still flashing, I opened it up;
“Faruk, you need to pick up the phone, what are you talking about,
Who has your mum, Jacobs does not have your mum, it was never part of the plan,
He doesn’t need her for anything. You need to talk to me Faruk, trust me, I am the only one who can help you out. Call me immediately.”
I was starting to get confused, could she be telling the truth? Was it possible she didn’t know about this situation with Pope? But she was there when Chief Jacob talked about Pope. Maybe she knew about Pope but didn’t know he would go as far as taking my mum, I was thoroughly confused and exhausted, I dragged myself out of the chair and said good night to my dad. My old room had never felt so comforting, I slumped on the bed, my mind was working overtime, and sleep was the farthest thing from my mind. I had to decide whether I could trust Yvette on this or not and even if I decided to, what was her plan and did it cover the current situation with Pope and my mum?
Episode 10 will be available to read next week Friday. Please stay tuned. Comment, Share, Like and Follow. Many thanks.
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