Fredrick was nothing but an angel. I couldn’t stop staring at him as he drove after we left the motel. He joked a lot and made me feel loved. I was already missing David- I never told Fredrick about whose David father was. I simply told him that David’s father left me when I got pregnant and he never showed up. Fredrick told me not to worry about that, he said he would come visit me in Mexico.
‘I want you to come.’ I told him.
‘Where? Mexico?’ He smiled.
‘Yes. With this money, we could pay your debt and still have a good life.’
‘We could?’ He asked and I nodded.
He laughed. ‘No, we couldn’t.’ He dampened my hope. ‘You don’t know how this works. Escobar will collect his five million dollars, alright, but he won’t let me out. He’s going to come back for more.’
‘You owed another guy? Escobar?’
My heart leaped when he called me ‘honey,’ he continued…
‘… Escobar is the name of the drug Lord that I owed 5 million dollars. The same reason I fled here- to America.’ He chuckled.
‘Then, let’s give him ten million.’ I said, without thinking about it. ‘Five for what you owe and five to get out of the game.’
Fredrick slowed down the car and pulled over. He kissed me gently and smiled.
‘You have a good heart, Cindy, but it isn’t going to work.’
‘If Escobar reckoned we got that much to pay, he’s going to come on us like the heavens and ensured that he collected everything. This is America, I want to stay here, sweetie.’
‘Then, let’s give him everything. I still got some cash stashed in my old house…’
I explained the stashed cash in the cistern, back at Harry’s house.
Fredrick smirked. ‘It’s been more than a year now, we couldn’t just go up there. The house could have been sold or the money found by someone else. Probably a squatter.’
‘Listen Fredrick. No one’s going to see the money and the house would probably be overgrown by shrubs now. The house is untouchable- Jose, Harry’s lawyer, told me that the house is untouchable. It’s going to crumble, right there. Harry willed it to himself. Nobody should touch it, fifty years after his death. He said, Harry believed he would still live in it for some decades.’
‘So, the house is probably haunted?’ Fredrick joked.
I punched him playfully. ‘No! Haunted? Do you believe in ghosts?’ I asked.
‘I was just joking.’
Fredrick agreed on the deal, and we set on to Mexico. Along the way, I described Harry’s house and where I kept the cash.
‘How much is it?’
‘I didn’t count it. But the wads are in ten thousands and I believed I took more than twenty wads.’
Fredrick whistled. ‘That’s more than two hundred thousand dollars?’
‘I think we can survive with that.’ Fredrick said and I felt so happy within me.
He dipped his hands in his pocket and brought out a small tablet.
‘Here, take it. It will help you sleep.’
‘You still think I want to run away with your money?’ He laughed. “It is okay if you…’
‘No!’ I stopped him. ‘It’s not even that at all. I just felt I needed to be awake.’
‘You already told me where to go. I want you to sleep while I drive. You need it.’
I nodded and took it from him. I sighed, chewed and swallowed.
‘It’s okay, okay? You are safe.’ He said, and started the engine.
I smiled and we turned back the car. Our next stop would be Harry’s place. He couldn’t have guessed how happy I was. To finally meet someone who I would love and who is willing to love back. I starred in his eyes as he concentrated on diving, until I drifted into the dreamland. In my dream, I saw Fredrick and I got married. It was beautiful and flowers were everywhere. David wore a suit and came with his girlfriend. But His girlfriend was Anita, my old neighbour back in Mexico. She was twenty one years of age when I fled, but he and David seemed like they were sixteen years, so, I never bothered, even when David was supposed to be just three years old.
As we pose for the picture, one of the photographer moved closer to be and asked me to smile. I couldn’t have smiled better. But suddenly, he was Carlos, and he laughed at me. I was scared because I felt he wanted to tell Fredrick that he was David’s father. I pushed Fredrick aside and Carlos smashed my face with the Camera. I couldn’t fight back, I was scared of him- he was to me, a ghost. He raised his hands again and slapped me hard, across my face.
‘Wake up, you Dam!’ Carlos shouted as he punched me harder in the jaw.
I opened my eyes and closed it again. It looked like I have been drugged. I was dead tired. I could feel the pain, but I couldn’t do a thing.
‘Leave her the f*** alone!’ I could hear Fredrick shout. ‘It’s me you wanted, not her. Let her go!’
Immediately I heard his voice, I realised I was no more in a dream. I wasn’t being punched by Carlos. I opened my eyes and the horror starred back at me. I saw two guys hold Fredrick, each arm with each guy. The third one pointed a gun on his head.
‘No!’ I screamed. ‘Let him go!’
I rolled over and for the first time, I could see exactly where we were. We were no more on the road but off it, by the side of an untarred road. My car was parked at the other side of the road while theirs was in its front. It was clear they forced Fredrick to stop. The car was dented and the fender had fallen off. There was a bullet hole by its side too.
‘Dam, what drug were you on?’ The guy who has been hitting me asked. ‘I have dragged you out of the car, beat on you like hell before you could wake up!’ He smiled. ‘You didn’t even open your eyes while we were chasing your boyfriend off the road?’
‘Please, let him go. We have money?’ I pleaded.
‘Of course, we are going to take everything, including your boyfriend.’ He answered straight-out and ordered Fredrick to be put in the car trunk.
The guys started to beat him. I couldn’t do a thing. One of the guys went over to my car trunk, brought out my bag and gave it to the supposedly leader. He ransacked it and came to me.
‘I believe this is yours?’ He said and dropped my phone by my side.
I looked at him and he smiled. ‘Your boyfriend wanted us to give it to you. He pleaded to give you some cash too. He said you’ll be stranded. I disagree, you have nice features, and you will probably found your way home.’
‘Please, let him go. You can take the money. All of it!’ I pleaded.
‘That’s funny, because, he said the same thing. But, me, I would take the money, but Escobar wanted his head and not the money.’ He paused, ‘though, we would take the money too.’ He took out the brown envelope in my bag, opened it and whistled. ‘So much cash in here! You know what, I am going to be generous.’ He threw some bills on me. I didn’t even look at it, I just pleaded unto his deafened ears.
‘Let’s go!’ He ordered. ‘Throw him in the trunk!’ He said as he moved towards them.
I watched a beaten Fredrick being dropped into the trunk like a log. The leader brought out his gun as he approached the trunk and cocked it loudly. My mind went into a rage. I got to my feet and ran towards him. Shouting for him to stop. As I approached him, one of them crossed me with a blow to my stomach. I doubled up, and an uppercut across my face sent me into the air and I flattened my back against the floor. I groaned. Right there, in my pain, I saw him move over to the trunk and fired three shots in different directions. I screamed but was too hurt to stand up.
‘Sorry Dam’, he shouted out at me and sheathed his gun, ‘that’s the last time you would be seeing him.’ He announced.
I watched them drove away in both cars with the dead body of Fredrick in their trunk!
…To be continued