Wow that’s cool sir, its not every time that you get to see someone studying your country, especially this small country” The Taxi driver said after awhile.
“Sure that’s true” Xavier echoed back.
“And you know what?”
“Estonia had its independence on the 24th of February 1918 but nobody knew about it till 2 February 1920, good two years man, the clueless citizens then were still stuck in the fear of the soviet union which we got our independence from. Maybe they had no radios to listen to you then” he joked.
“Hey young man, how old are you?”
“23 sir” he replied confused.
“And how many years is it since the first independence?” Xavier continued.
“Eh almost 90years now” he answered.
“Good, if you added 90 years to your age now won’t you be in your damn grave?”
“What, why do you say so?”
“I am paying you to take me to Patria Nostria airport and not to tell me the history of Estonia, c’mon man, what are museums and libraries for? So you better shut up or you end up like your grand pa” Xavier said coolly.
At the mention of “grand pa”, The taxi driver slammed on his brakes in shock, making the other cars behind him to divert quickly. They honed at him, spewing obscene words in the process. He turned to see the passenger siting in his taxi. Clutching a black journal and looking so calm like a child expecting father Christmas Candies.
“Mehn did I just heard you speaking about my grandpa?”
“Agh no bro, I was kidding. I did not mean to say that, I intended saying “a prankster”, am sorry dude” Xavier said innocently.
“Ow, well I thought you knew, my grand pa went missing from his retirement home till date, even his body was never found. Anyway I won’t speak again” he said and continued driving.
Xavier heaved a sigh of relief and closed his eyes, relishing the awkward silence that followed, that was surely a good way of making the talkative driver to keep shut. He was sure the dude missed his history classes or spent time chasing ladies instead because if only he attended History classes, he would observe that Estonia Declared their independence from the soviet Union but were not fully recognised as an independent country until their ally nations recognised them two years later, Independence lasted for just twenty years before there was a foreign evasion which lasted longer than before.
He rested his head and closed his eyes as his first Mission in Liberia poured into his imaginations.
The next morning I stayed indoor all day because of the in-house investigation of the death of Mr Ribandu. The police showed up In numbers as the press gave the public different versions of the incident. My favourite publication was from The Liberty Newspapers, they reported that Mr Ribandu usually goes to hotels to sleep with young gay boys and he was simply paid back in his own coin.
The cause of his death was claimed to be choking while that of his men were unknown, the gas had diluted in their system, leaving no trace for the investigators to use except they saw the iron canister. If only I allowed Mr Ribandu to die same way with his men, the case would have been easily closed. I felt sick of staying indoors all day while the police interviewed each person in that hotel.
A knock on the door startled Rita and I, we were watching a documentary when she asked the person to come in.
Two policemen dressed in Blue shirts and black trousers walked in. Their hands caressing the weapons on their waist in case danger sprang up at any moment.
They both looked like two irregular characters, one, tall, lanky and handsome while the other, short, fat and ugly. I wondered how they could afford to be partners on duty.
“Good day officers, I thought you guys would never come, am getting sick of staying in this hotel, are we under arrest?” Rita quarried.
“No Madam, its just a procedure for our investigations, I’m detective Sibre and my partner is Detective Satie. We just wanna ask a few questions and you would be free to go” The tall detective said.
“Ok go on” Rita said.
“What are your names?” Detective Satie asked.
“Am Elizabeth Rice while he is my step brother, John Rice” Audrey said smiling.
I almost choked up hearing the names she gave, a slight kick from under the table shut me up. The Detectives were all writing frivolous as we explained what our mission was to Liberia.
We explained that we were tourist on vacations, Audrey even showed them our visas and passports.
“So you meant you have never met a white man in the room above yours?”
“Never sir” I answered.