He hated elevators, he hated air flights, yet he did not know why he thought being in a cable car would be any different. It had being exciting at first, when he could still see the ground below but as soon as the cable gained more height, he became apprehensive and his breath started coming in quick successions, the ground below looked like a bottomless pit of mist and greenery, if he wasn’t so scared out of his mind, he would have taken time to appreciate how in the midst of the corruption and garbage that was rife in the country, there was still a place still mostly untouched by man and basking in its natural glory.
From up here everything seemed so small, so different, like the trees he had seen from the Airport before takeoff, they looked like broccolis from up here, he found himself thinking that if people took time off their problems to look at them from a bird’s eye view, they’d realize how little they were compared to everything else going on around them. Somehow he began to feel better, his thoughts beginning to wander to other matters that didn’t involve the cable snapping and the car plunging down hundreds of feet to their deaths.
Rebecca covered his hands in hers, forcing him to look at her, why was he worrying? She was here; his own guardian angel, nothing would happen to him while she was around. She flashed him a smile and his heart beat quickened again, why did he love this woman so?
“I love you.” He heard himself saying.
“I love you too.” She replied, surprised he had said that out loud, given his reservation for public display of affection.
The other couple in the car with them; Europeans by the looks of them, flashed them a smile and a knowing nod. The wife, a woman in her seventies chuckled and looked up at her husband, whose attention had returned to the scenery.
“You remind me a bit of myself.” She said with a thick German accent. Rebecca smiled. “We met when we were about your age and we have been together ever since. Enjoy it while it lasts,” she pointed to Lawrence, “soon they would be too occupied with trees and fine landscaping to notice you.” She added playfully.
“Come Hannah, you know I will always notice you.” Her husband said in a husky voice and planted a kiss on her lips. She turned a bright red and snuggled closer to her husband.
“He moved to Nigeria in 1998 and I came to join him in 2010 after the last of our kids left home, we have four, those twelve years in between were really hard and despite the fact he shuttled between Bremen and Lagos, it wasn’t easy especially for the kids. One time, in maybe 2003, the whole family spent about nine months in Lagos, that time I did not appreciate Nigeria as I do now.” She smiled her mind wandering. “Now I don tey for here.” She added in manageable pidgin causing everyone to break into a fit of laughter.
The rest of the ride she talked of her love of the Nigerian culture and food, she had a particular liking for jollof rice and egusi soup, they had visited more than twenty states in Nigeria since her husband retired years ago, Rivers was another check on their list of places to visit before they finally returned to their home country.
When the cable car journey ended, Hans and Hannah asked them to join them for dinner, which they readily accepted.
Dinner was filled with laughter and beautiful conversation about the past and future, Hannah was full of questions about the young couple’s relationship which Hans kept apologizing for, but in truth they did not mind answering. She offered relationship tips to then and told them not to give up, no matter how difficult it got, citing her relationship with Hans.
The highlight of the evening had been when she asked them about sex and her poor husband almost choked on his wine.
“Hannah! That is enough, you have put the kids through enough as it is.” He reprimanded her softly. The older woman gave a throaty laugh and soon enough her husband joined her, before long the table was abuzz with laughter.
Rebecca was telling them about her plans after she graduated when his phone rang; he excused himself and moved away from the table, after a brief moment, he returned.
“I am sorry, but we have to call it a night.” Lawrence announced suddenly.
“Aw, so soon?” The older woman exclaimed, “I was hoping you would stay a little longer, it has been fun having another company other than this old man.”
“Well this old man is off to bed.” Hans said getting up, he extended a hand to both Lawrence, which they took, one after the other, “It has been a pleasure, I hope someday you can visit Germany, look us up.” He thrust a card into Larry’s hand.
“Uh, that would be lovely ja?” Hannah added with glee.
“Thank you for a lovely evening Mr. and Mrs. Fischer”
“It’s a pleasure. Good night.”
“Why did we have to leave so early?!” Rebecca asked when they were out of earshot.
“Ice Man is here.” Hopefully, with her new phone and SIM card, she thought. Her parents would be worried sick; Isabella would probably be pulling her hair out now. She picked up pace eager to reach Isaac, sooner rather than later.
“Where is he?”
“At the lobby.”
While he waited in the cool lobby of the hotel, his phone vibrated in his pocket, he went outside to answer it, this was one conversation, no one else should be privy to.
“Hello, Coach.” It was Evans on the line.
“How far, so wetin be the latest?”
“Omo the man dey hospital oh and them say he go dey bed rest for a few days and that go scatter our plans oh!”
“Nothing changes, we go on as planned, tomorrow I will call and demand for the ransom, you and the guys be prepared to move at anytime. I will call with the location of the drop when I have it.”
“Coach!!” he hailed and hung up.