“If you cut the head of a snake, all that is left is a rope.” I know that was the proverb playing on the minds of Tayo and his cronies. What he did not know was the fact that this snake’s venom was full in every part of its body. I arranged pillows to look like a human in a dimly lit room, hid in the closet in wait with a locally acquired gun given by Manki. Poncho was under the bed while Nacho hid in the bathroom. They had placed ten of their men around the hotel and ten on the way to my room. The wait was boring and we even started to doubt the authenticity of the whistle blower. At fourteen minutes to two at dawn, we heard light footsteps with slight creaking of opening doors.
Three people entered my hotel room, then we heard gunshots in my hall. The team there were in a shoot out waking many in the hotel. Poncho fired from beneath, Nacho from the bathroom and I, from the closet. We each got them but Nacho’s missed and shot his shoulders. The assassin started shooting anyhow so I had to dock. Nacho, courageously jumped from beneath the bed, hit the wrist of his hand which was holding the gun and engaged in a man to man fight with him. The light was switched on only to see the assassin dressed in an all black tights, including a woollen facial mask. Poncho and Nacho handcuffed and unmasked him and saw a very unfamiliar face. They called out to those placed in the hall and realized we had lost one of our men but all the men in black tights were dead. They were eight in number. We quickly moved through our windows to another hotel which was booked the previous evening.
Manki came to visit early the next morning. He was shocked that we were alive making me think he was part of the conspiracy. We had kept the one alive in my new hotel room, gagged with Poncho as his torturer. He would still not open his mouth but we were not done with him. Tayo also interestingly called me. I received the call with all courtesy demanded of a business friend and gave no clue as to what we had gone through the night before. His voice was unmistakably shaking throughout the conversation but I feigned ignorance to perfection. After booking all the flights, we went back to my room to help torture the intruder. I ordered a finger to be chopped off at every failure to answer my question. After losing two fingers, he spoke out, telling us about the man who contracted them. In fact, he was the boss who was contracted and was at his wits end because all his people had been killed. He pleaded to be killed too but I would have none of it. The man who paid for the contract happened to be Tayo’s friend. I called Manki after clearing my doubts and gave him my instructions about the assassin who said he was called Mpa. I proposed a recruit and followed through with it even though all my crew were against it. There was something about him I found loyal although he croaked under intense pressure. We fixed him up real well, his fingers and all, and let him go after he promised to follow us to Mexico. I had Tayo brought in for few slaps and wounds which promised to be deep scars and warned him to play with his equals next time. He left with his tail in between his thighs.
We took off five days after our clash with the assassins. Mpa and almost all the girls showed up but three, leaving us with four hundred and ten girls. I left the three for Manki to deal with but asked that he acted gently as some may have had genuine reasons for bailing out. As it turned out, one found out she was pregnant, another could not leave her ailing grandmother and the other died the night before in a street shoot out. It was a safe flight and the girls were comfortable in the dormitories Alejandro prepared for them. Our orientation was beautiful as the girls willingly dressed up for the theory and their first test jobs.
I was a bit beside myself with anxiety after I saw Consuelo. Thoughts of her difference, change of eye colour, body size and speech sounds made me feel like she was a different person but people around me felt she was one and the same person. Fearing they might think few of my screws were loose up there, I shut up and kept my many questions to myself.
Alejandro visited a week after our orientation. The look in his eyes had changed. He looked at me with a softer touch. Funny, I did not mind at all. “Miss Davids, my surprise is your success. A book’s internal writing colour can be different from its exterior. Si.” After saying that, things became odd between us with neither of us speaking for a minute or two.
“Miss, I came to check something around this place and decided to check on you. Be careful with everything and everyone and be sure to be alert at all times. Meanwhile, I will need thirty girls to go and model shoes in Milan next week.” His fluency in the English Language always baffled me.
He fidgeted while talking, making me sense there was something fishy about the modelling bit. It would have been alright if he had said “to escort some high profiled people, but to model when they had not been trained to model bothered me. He might have realized so added “I will bring a trainer to help them get ready for the run way.” I knew something smart was being played on me but didn’t know what. Yet I took consolation in his words to be alert at all times.
The week saw me seeing to it that selected girls were trained for modelling of shoes. The “ko ko ko” and “ka ka ka” were better than the sneakers which were almost like lullabies. The shoes that were presented were brand new and very catchy but the models who were chosen had long, beautiful and sexy legs, bodies and faces, talk less of smiles accentuated with perfect set of snow-like teeth. So in wearing the shoes, though catchy, the legs, bodies, in fact, their whole physiques caught more attention. They were given special clothes to wear with the excuse that they are models and should look as such, even their bags were sponsored, including hair accessories. I got the surprise of my life when my ticket was added. I was to be their supervisor. A part of me was glad of the Italy visit, a part was just restless, feeling there was something awfully wrong associated.
We went through checks with no problems at the airport. The flight, including food on the plane was beautiful and cool. A beautiful blue black Limousine picked us up at the airport and sent us to our hotels. Although the girls were excited, they were nearly as tired as I was. I mean proper tiredness as they took on five to six men each night and six to seven during the day. On my part, I supervised all the CCTV cameras in their various dormitories to be sure I was privy to all that was happening to them, of course, without their knowledge. I also took charge in pairing men with them. I was grateful the payment plan of our customers had nothing to do with me but everything to do with Alejandro. Still, from petty thefts to sex based injuries, chaotic misunderstandings caused by language barriers to attitudinally sour men, there was never a dull day until the travel. I won’t even mention meetings upon meetings. Will you believe me when I say I completely forgot about sex? It was that intense so I slept like a log at our Hilton Hotel in Milan.
I woke to a scare, a very frightful scare. One of the girls was seizing and according to the other girls, had been seizing for over an hour. I made to call the reception for an ambulance but one of the girls restrained me. She took me to the bathroom and showed me something. A white powdery substance which she believed was the cause of Nthambi’s seizure. She believed they were in the shoes and the girl found them out and abused them. I asked her to get all the shoes of the girls for me without their knowledge. We searched through, even to a point of destroying some but nothing was found. I thought deeply about the whole trouble and decided on what to do next. Cunning were my thoughts, fierce were my emotions.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Feb. 16, 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics