Since the rooms were two and had beds in both of them, i decided to sleep in one of them while Zuby slept in the other.
I had also hoped that he would show up to pet me but he didn’t, he just locked his room and slept alone until i knocked on the door at around 2am.
He opened the door and stood there; I hugged and held him.
“I know my past was not the best but please don’t remind me of it with every opportunity you have” I said.
He seemed to have been softened up because he kissed me and said he wont do that again. That was how i ended up on the same bed with him again.
The following morning, we got ready and traveled to Vadsetna Abbey Catholic Convent to see Fatimah. The city was not too far from Stockholm and as a result, we got there before 9am.
As we were seated in the waiting hall and waited for Fatimah, i wondered how she would feel when she sees me.
She wasn’t my biggest enemy at that particular time because i deliberately sent her out from Italy to Sweden.
I had hoped that she would end up as a street girl when she got to Sweden but i never mentioned that to her. She was supposed to find that out on her own when she got there.
“What if she gets angry because you brought me here?” I had asked Zuby.
I was scared. The environment was too calm for my liking. It felt as if I was in a monastery.
“Whatever she does or says, just keep calm and listen. If necessary, tell her you are sorry for everything that happened between two of you. Make her understand it was destiny that brought two of you together in the first place. If i have to say something, i would surely do that” Zuby said. He was calm too, just like the environment.
Five minutes later, Fatimah came into the hall. She looked up and saw us in a corner and walked up to where we sat, then she sat down and faced Zuby and I.
“Hello Fatimah” I said.
“My name is no longer Fatimah” She responded.
“How are you?” Zuby interrupted us.
He somehow sensed tension between us and it was a matter of a little misunderstanding before one of us would go insane.
“I am alright brother. Thanks for coming to visit me as you promised. But things are different from what i thought it would be. We are being taken care of properly” Fatimah said.
“You said your name is no longer Fatimah” I chipped in, i wasn’t going to keep quiet.
It was true she was now a dedicated servant of the Catholic Church but it was me who brought her to Europe, not the Pope or the Sisters at the Convent.
“Marea, my name is now Marea. It is the same as Maria, the mother of Jesus Christ. We were told to change our earthly names and i didn’t think twice to chose your name” Fatimah said, she was looking me in the eyes.
Little brat, what was she trying to achieve staring at me that way.
“You mean you chose my name in…” I was saying when she interrupted.
“Yes, i chose your name. The journey that brought me here started with you. But i no longer blame you Aunty. It happened how God planned it. They told me that you are a major stepping stone to my journey to Heaven. It would not have been possible without you, so the name is to remember you for the rest of my life” She said.
Fatimah was looking me straight in the eyes. Her face was indifferent and as cold as stone while tears had started gathering in my eyes. It didn’t take long before the tears started falling down slowly.
That was it, that was the most reflective and emotional moment i ever found myself.
Sitting opposite me was the little girl i nearly killed in Castel Volturno some weeks ago, staring at me like a judge and condemning me to regrets. She wasn’t only telling me how much she has changed, she was also reminding me that the life i lived in the past was totally dirty.
Zuby has given me a piece servette to clean my eyes while Fatimah continued what she was saying.
“It is OK, Aunty Maria. You don’t have to cry. You brought me to the best place i never thought i would come, a place I never knew existed. I am happy here and we have everything, this is where I belong. They teach us about the good life of Jesus Christ. That’s something i didn’t know when i was living in your World. The only thing i ask of you is to tell my parents that i am OK where i am. Tell them the truth Aunty. Tell them i found the light and followed it. Tell them i may never seen them again but don’t forget to tell them that i wont ever stop praying for them. Tell my mother that I am sorry for not giving her everything she wanted. I will pray for you and brother Azubuike too. He is a good man, it is now that i know he wanted the best for me back in Italy. I have apologized to him the day he and Sister Eve brought me here. God will always protect him because of what he is doing. Let me also warn you Aunty, don’t attempt to harm him, God will destroy you if you try.” Fatimah concluded and stood up.
She was done, she has finished giving me the message God told her to give me.
I was already crying uncontrollably while Azubuike held me. The security at the Abbey had suddenly showed up to announce that our time was up. I didn’t even have time to say anything to Fatimah. I just stretched my hand to touch her but she was already leaving.
Zuby managed to help me stand up and has brought out his wallet and counted some money.
“Here, keep this. I will be visiting you from time to time” He said as he stretched his hand to give Fatimah the money.
“Oh no brother. You see, we don’t need that inside here. We have everything we need. Our world is different. Just take care of my Aunty for me and two of you must not quarrel. Please teach her how to stay away from being greedy and over-dependent on money. God will bless you” She said and turned around.
Fatimah walked away slowly without turning around. We watched as she disappeared like an angel; her head covered with white long scarf while she wore a long white gown.
She looked beautiful in the attire and i wondered if she was still a human being or whether she has turned to an angel.
Zuby held me as we walked out of the facility and found our way to the bus station. From there, we drove to another city where we boarded a train to Stockholm.
I cried slowly through our journey. I sat beside Zuby in the train and put my head on his laps while the train moved to Stockholm.
Fatimah had just taught me that there was another world inside our world. She made me realise that the journey of life was an individual one.
If not for what Zuby started in Castel Volturno, Fatimah might have ended up being a prostitute in Italian streets. She would have become one of us out there who believed that money was everything.
I was happy for her but my big respect went to Azubuike. He was an exceptional human being who made things happen; he really was very special.
That was the girl i tricked into coming to Europe for prostitution. I was bringing her to God and salvation without my knowledge. I was fighting over her with God without my Knowledge. And the ever loving and forgiving God ignored my ignorance He knew that i knew nothing.
I was just another fool, running up and down trying to out-perform the next girl in money making. I never had time for God. All i cared for was money.
But the event of the day has just opened my heart and made me discover that i was headed for destruction.
Blaming myself wasn’t the best way to go about the incident. I simply had no directions. The only thing i knew was money. If Aunty Philo had taken me to a different line of business, i would have been simply different. My destiny would have been altered. My life would have been better, but she took me to the streets to sleep with men. She forced me to bring back money every day. She didn’t teach me about God, she only told me about making money and how Olokun was going to kill me the moment i even thought about running away.
It wasn’t partially my fault but at a time, i was free and an adult. I was old enough to decide what to do. And what i decided was to continue the same business Aunty Philo was doing. I was confused and there was nothing i could do about it.
Fatimah no longer cared about building a house in her village. She no longer cared about riding a luxurious car and drinking champagne at parties while wearing clothes that exposed her body. She had found peace at the convent. Peace that i never knew existed. Peace that I never experienced despite all the money I came across.
It was Zuby who did it all and to think that i nearly have him killed in Italy made my heart skip. I wondered if i would have forgiven him if he did the same to me.
Ironically, the same man i tried to kill was sitting there with me, handing me servette to dry my tears occasionally while massaging my back inside a public train in an attempt to calm me down.
What a kind hearted human being, yet dangerous to deal with.
The truth remained that i wished i was in Fatimah’s position but unfortunately, the convent was not where one could just go and start living. I was going back to Stockholm with Zuby and as i cried, i promised myself that it was over for me and prostitution business. It was finally over. Fatimah has just rescued me from the streets as well. Wasn’t that ironical?
Dedicated to all the victims of prostitution.
There is always a way out.