He could barely contain his excitement, things were finally falling into place. He sat at the edge of his seat trying to stay as calm as possible. The man in front of him was on the phone with his lawyer but Pako knew that was just a formality. When it got to this stage, there was no doubt the deal was done. He knew the lawyer would urge caution but if he had done his job well, the lawyer’s words would fall on deaf ears.
The man ended his call and smiled. “We have a deal.”
Pako stretched forward his hand and the man shook it. “I’m glad to hear it. All that is left now is, you transfer the money and that is that.”
The man whipped out his phone and made a call. In less than five minutes it was Pako who was bringing out his phone. The transaction was complete and so was the con.
He smiled, this was getting too easy. He had just sold the same plot of land to the sixth person and none of the buyers had considered the chance that they were being swindled. With the proper presentation and language, you could sell anything to anybody. He had learned this lesson on the streets and it was paying off very well.
Two years ago he was a regular thug on the streets. He had been educated in the best schools until his parents died when he was about to complete his secondary school education. His parents’ properties were taken over by his Dad’s family members and he had run off when an attempt was made on his life. For years he learned the life of the street thug but he had a disadvantage; he did not have the strength for the fights that he regularly had to engage in. But he had learned other things.
His English was impeccable and even though English was not needed on the streets, it opened doors for him into a different ‘street’. He quickly found out that he could make more money wearing suits and speaking English than he could ever hope to make brawling and harassing bus drivers. He was soft-spoken and smart. He appealed to people’s desire to get rich very quickly but he was the one who was getting rich quickly. Conning greedy people was very easy.
“Will I see you tomorrow?” His latest victim was asking.
“Sure sir,” Pako said.
The man shook hands with him once again and headed to the door. It was dark outside and he was almost late with his celebratory party with his friends. But he could not appear in a hurry.
“Congratulations on the purchase sir,” Pako said.
“I am very grateful to you Mr. Badmus.”
“The pleasure is all mine sir,” Pako said.
The man stepped out of the house and Pako watched him walk away. He smiled and returned into the house. Of course, this wasn’t his house and it was time to leave. He picked up his wallet and car keys from the table and walked out of the house. He locked the door behind him and walked towards his parked car.
He was about to get to his car when he noticed a strange movement behind him. He stayed calm and slowly turned in the direction of the movement.
“That is him!”
He saw a man pointing to him and behind the man were two policemen. He was not sure who the man was but it was safe to assume the man was one of his unwitting clients. This was not good. Pako turned around and ran as fast as he could. People watched him as he ran but none of them made an attempt to stop him. How was he sure anybody was pursuing him anyway? He had always been careful, how would anybody know where to find him? He got to a corner, paused and looked behind him, the policemen were still after him. He resumed his flight. This was not good at all.
He’d always made an escape plan during his earlier cons but he didn’t make one this time. He was getting confident and cocky. He got to a Tee on the road. He turned to the right, there were more people here and he could easily get lost in the crowd.
As he ran he heard someone shout “thief”. He kept running but this time people were starting to pay attention to him. And suddenly somebody stuck a leg out and he tripped. He stumbled but he kept his balance and continued running. People were trying to grab him now and he had to jump over legs and dodge blows. The policemen coming behind him were shouting for people to stop him and he knew he had to get out of this crowd or he would not escape. He would not be arrested, these people would kill him. He needed a way out.
The way out soon presented itself. He saw an alley not too far away and he ran for it. A few people had joined the chase now, he needed to get away soon. He ducked into the alley and climbed over a fence and in a swift dash, he changed the direction of his run. He removed his shirt and threw it into a gutter. He saw a few men gathered around a local herbs seller and he joined them. He stifled his heavy breathing as much as he could. He was sweating profusely but none of the men noticed. He stood there for about ten minutes and nothing happened. Had he escaped?
He waited for thirty minutes and he didn’t see the policemen or the men chasing after him. He had stopped sweating and he had bought a cheap shirt from a vendor. He had escaped. He smiled, even death could not catch him now.
He got back on the road. He would be sleeping far away from his house today. He thought about ordering a cab from Taxify but he needed to get away from here as soon as possible. The traffic was too heavy for a cab, he needed a motorcycle. He walked past a group of prostitutes and he shook his head; not today.
A few meters from him he saw a man limp on to the road and he paused. Was that a policeman? It was not. He sighed, he could never be…
12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Pako was one of the 30.