A Chapter by Abhinav

June 4th, 1999

Derby, England


It was the beginning of June that year. At that time, the whole of England was experiencing torrential rainfall almost every day. My best friend Miles and I were two adventurous 19 year olds who had just graduated from high school. We worked part-time at a small mechanical shop to earn extra pocket money. Both of us were living a gloomy existence in the boring little midlands town of Derby, 150 miles north from London, and were badly looking for a way out of our uneventful lives. Everyday seemed the same now after graduation. There was no fun in our life. It was like we are part of the monotonous soap where the storyline just drags and drags without a climax and a fixed plot. We desperately longed for a way out, a change of scene but we had little money to play with. Unlike most of our friends, girls and sex were the last things on our minds at that time.

 We were frequent visitors to the Red Horse pub and nightclub. It was located in the middle of the Derby city center, by far the most happening place of the city and was a popular haunt of the young people of Derby, like us. So, every weekend, Miles and I could be found at the nightclub, dancing through the night and drinking heavily. Today we sat at the table, right in the corner of the pub, drinking and thinking what to do next. That day was a bit odd because unlike routine, there were many foreigners in there. Usually, only the locals frequented this pub. One of them, a man in his late 20's, we noticed, was standing at the counter dressed in a long and thick coat, which was strange given that it was hot and stuffy inside. He was tall, strongly built, had short hair, and kept staring at us; I found it weird. It was almost as if he was intrigued by us. The man then gently stood up and approached our table with two companions who were standing next to him. As he came into the light I noticed that he had a tiny scar on his face and wore a chain on his left hand. He settled down at our table without any permission and his two companions, who looked like bodyguards, stood on either side of him.

'Do you have a moment?' the man asked us in a polite tone, and motioned his men to leave. He spoke in a deep voice which was accentuated by a Spanish accent.

'Yeah, yeah,' replied Miles, who sounded a bit edgy to me.

'Great! I am Jose Cartier,' said the man, extending his right arm revealing a number of tattoos on his wrist. "And you are?"

'Miles Collins’ he said, ‘and this is my friend Chad Jones’, introducing both of us.

'Pleasure,' said Jose, ‘So do you come here often?'

We all got talking, and the ice eventually broke. Jose, we soon learnt, was the ring leader of a small drug cartel back in his native Colombia. Miles and I were deeply impressed by his novel ways of drug smuggling. We then told him our side of the story, about how we were cracking up in this little town, and how we longed for an escape route out of our dull life. He was a very patient listener, and sympathized with us.

'So, I bet you're looking for some fun, huh?' asked Jose.

'Yeah, it’s almost as if we are dying of doing nothing here' replied Miles, and Jose was amused.

'Well, boys, I have an offer for you' said Jose, and then Jose told us what he was doing in England in the first place.

Two months ago, he was supposed to deliver a packet to Mariano Gonzalez, a big time drug dealer in Colombia. Mariano was a veteran in this field, having been in the business since he was 15. Somehow, probably through a 'rat' as Jose phrased it, the police got wind of the drug deal and Jose had to make a run for it. He booked tickets to England, where he had allies, and slipped out of the country before anyone realized what had happened. The drugs were still on him and he had to get them to Mariano at any cost, otherwise Mariano would be upset and unless a death wish was involved, this was not the side of Mariano one ever wanted to be on. Jose could not take them back himself, as the police was still searching for him.

'So, I want you do that for me.'

'What?' exclaimed Miles, sputtering on his beer.

‘Go to Colombia and return the drugs to Mariano,’ Jose replied calmly, as if he was suggesting us to mow his lawn.

We were stunned.

‘What?’ it was my turn to freak out. Heads turned in our direction. Jose seemed pissed, and he gestured me to keep it down.

‘You must be joking’ I said.

'I could’ve been, but I’m not’ Jose said.

'What’s in it for us?' asked Miles calmer than me. He seemed to have recovered from the initial faux pas well enough. Something in his voice told me that he had already decided.

‘Miles, are you nuts?’ I almost screamed again.

‘Let’s hear him out’ said Miles. There was a brief silence, and Jose spoke in a low voice.

'Well, I know that you want a change of scene, you know, some fresh air and all that s**t, so how about I give you a place to live, and eat, and take in the beauty of my wonderful home country’

He did have a point there. Colombia was a beautiful country, that we knew.

‘And,’ Jose continued ‘by place to live, I don’t mean some old run down cheap motel, I mean the Grand Luximo Resort, a 7 star hotel right on the Colombian beach. All expenses paid for a whole week, so you will get the change you want and I will get my job done,' finished Jose.

Jose didn’t understand what we were trying to tell him.

‘But then, what about the police? How are we supposed to take the drugs into the country? Isn’t there a huge chance we’ll get caught?’ I asked ‘Last time I checked, drug smuggling was a criminal offense.’

Jose simply laughed it off, which I found strange, and judging by Miles’ expression, so did he. Did he not know of the dangers we could face at the hands of the law?

'Honestly my friend, you are forgetting where you both are going. This is Colombia we are talking about, not the U.S.A. The immigration there is piece of cake. Why do you think my country is in such a mess, huh?' calmly replied Jose. ‘Money rules the law if you are influential enough, and trust me, I have my people too. How do you think I brought the drugs into England?’

'I was wondering about that too’ Miles said.

‘You see, I had paid off the man at the El Dorado International Airport, which is in Bogotá. He slipped me past the detectors and rushed me onto the plane. Once you are in the flight you are safe. When I landed at Heathrow, they didn't check me knowing very well how strict the people of Bogota are about illicit people. No one checked me and I took the green line to freedom," finished Jose.

We weren’t convinced, and perhaps 'I also tell you this, the police there will never suspect two 19 year old British tourists. You two will be fine. Just think of the fun you'd have there. It’s a beautiful country with lovely weather, not like here England. I say think about it. Here are the tickets and all the other information you need to know.' said Jose, handing us a big brown bag ‘and here is my card, call me when you guys are ready’

‘Look-’ I started

‘Nah, nothing man, just call me when you think about it, I have to leave now, but I hope you make the right choice for all our sakes,’ He said and then got up and left.
I wasn’t exactly sad to see the back of his head fade away in the crowd.

Miles then turned to me 'What do you say, man?'

'I am not sure about this. He seems like a dodgy person but it’s a very tempting offer. Look at this stuff, I say' I opened the bag he handed to us. It contained a small book, which gave us the details of everything we needed to know about Colombia, an envelope which contained the air tickets and a card carrying information about the reservations at the hotel.

‘Well, the hotel is booked alright; see here, 7th of June to the 14th June at the Luximo hotel and resort.’ I said, reading from the card

‘And we fly out on the 6th, according to the tickets’ Miles said, waving them in each hand.’

We both looked at each other.

'I say let’s do this, man. We will be fine' said Miles

We both debated for an hour or so, and in the end decided it would be a lovely change, to a country like Columbia and that too free. So, we didn’t waste any time in calling Jose and informing him of our decision.

'I knew you couldn't say no' said Jose on the phone to me 'So get ready at 5 am early morning on the 6th of June. Meet me outside the pub with your luggage and we will head for Heathrow International airport together. Boy, will you be having the time of your lives there'

We couldn’t help smiling. We had some packing to do.

© 2011 Abhinav

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Added on January 25, 2011
Last Updated on January 25, 2011



Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Hey People.....My name is Abhinav and my motto is get out before they go down! I like to melt stuff...haha, not serious I love to write,play and listen to music....known to my friends as the fun.. more..

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