The tears that suddenly started flowing out from my eyes told them that something was wrong.
“Don’t worry, two of you will be free today. Sorry i didn’t come on time, we were searching for The prison where you girls were taken. Where is your friend?” He had asked again.
“She died” I said after cleaning my eyes.
“What happened?” He asked coldly. It was almost like death meant nothing to him.
“I don’t know. She got sick and vomited. They took her to hospital and when she came back, she died” I replied.
“We come to bail you out of here. They are processing your release papers now. You will go with us” He said.
That was the best piece of news i heard since i left Nigeria. I didn’t know how it happened but i had a feeling that Aunty Philo had a hand in it.
I was still with them when they were summoned into the admin office to sign some papers and when they returned to where i was, they came with a prison official.
“Go to your room and change your clothes, pick up your things, you are free to go now” the prison official had said to me.
I couldn’t help but smiled for the first time since i came into that facility.
I stood up and walked with the official to my room where the Ghanian lady was reading a book, she has been reading that one book since i joined her in that room.
Not that the book was a big one, it was just a small pamphlet with a picture of a black man on its cover.
“I am leaving here Aisha” I had said as i picked up the yellow nylon bag that contained my entire properties in Libya which were the cloth i wore the day i came in, a tooth paste and brush, a comb, an extra slippers and mirror.
“Where are you going?” Aisha had removed her eye glasses and said.
“I don’t know yet. They said i am leaving the prison compound” I lied.
She stood up instantly and protested. “They are going to kill you. Be careful”.
Was she insane too?
Or maybe she knew what she was saying.
Have I been living in the same room with a mentally challenged woman?
The point was that the situation we found ourselves was capable of making someone go mad.
I had even attempted to kill myself twice; therefore being insane was just a small case.
“I will be careful Aisha” I managed to say as the official outside shouted at me to hasten up.
We returned back to the reception where the Hotel manager and his friend were waiting for me.
“You can’t go out with the uniform” a lady official said as she pointed at my cloth.
I didn’t even remember i was still wearing the cloth.
The official had pointed to a room and asked me to go in there and change my wears.
“Please i want to say goodbye to a friend” I said to her.
“No, you can’t. You no longer have access to the yard. You are free now” She smiled.
I felt bad. I wanted to go and tell Jasmine that i had been freed but they refused.
I only hoped she won’t feel bad about it.
After changing back to my original clothes, i followed the men to the main gate where we were cleared to go.
Outside the Prison compound, we entered a car and drove away.
“You will leave Libya to Italy tomorrow night. This man has come to take care of that” the voice said from the driver’s seat.
I thought i didn’t hear him well.
“Your Aunty contacted me from Italy to pick you girls up. Its a pity your friend is dead” The second man chipped in.
I was still processing what they just said in my head but i managed to say something. “I am going back to Nigeria, not Italy”.
“Why?” that was the driver.
What a question.
How could they not have known why?
I just got out of prison for attempting to go to the Sea and someone was asking me why i wouldn’t want to go back to the same Sea.
“I don’t want to travel to Italy again” I said.
“Hahahahaha” I heard from the front seat, the second man. “Your Aunty has spent some money on this project. You can’t just go back now. Its true there was a mistake during your first attempt but that won’t happen again. That’s why i came down from Italy by myself. You also don’t have to worry, if anything happen again, we will find and set you free faster” He continued.
My mind was made up or so i thought.
The only thing i wanted at that moment was to return to Nigeria. However, the stumbling block was that i had no money with me. I wasn’t going to go through what Nkem went through due to lack of guidance and money.
I was still going to be under the custody of those people and since they already said that i would be leaving for the Sea the following day, there wasn’t enough time to do anything.
I kept quiet as they continued to convince and discourage me against going back to Nigeria.
“You will forget all this troubles when you get to Italy. Its is a nice and beautiful place. Your people are many there and they will take care of you”
Did i even have anything to say about all this?.
The truth was that they located and released me from the prison. I didn’t know how they did that or if they would do it again if i got arrested once more but the truth was that i was the bait. I was the one being arrested at gunpoints and being handcuffed. I was the one who stayed for weeks in the prison and ate garbage in the name of food. I was the one who would live and sleep with a stranger since my only friend was gone.
None of them had asked where Nina’s body was taken. Not that i knew where it was taken but they should have atleast asked.
Or did they already knew that it was an irrelevant question.
They were never going to ask for the corpse to send it to Nigeria.
They were all businessmen who were only interested in investing their resource where profit would be made.
No profit would be made by asking for Nina’s dead body.
They knew it and i knew it. They knew that i knew it and that was why they expected me not to push for that question.
I kept quiet and followed them for an hour and half before we arrived back at the hotel in Tripoli.
Then i learnt that “When you don’t have money or power, your life would be determined by those who do”
” Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”