“Who is your Madam?” Uncle continued.
I went on to tell him who my Madam was and how i made some money in Milan and paid for my freedom.
“I know Philomena” He said, “She opened a restaurant last year. Why dont you work with her in that restaurant?”.
That was a question i didn’t anticipate. Despite having been freed, i could have easily asked Aunty Philo to employ me. But then, it would have sounded awkward.
The problem was that i had already told her that Max who paid for my freedom, wanted to marry me. If i asked her to employ me, i would have to answer numerous questions concerning my relationship with Max.
Although Aunty Philo was not into organising run girls as Uncle did but i had always felt that it was only a matter of time before she started it.
“Uncle i dont want to work with her. She is not a good woman” I said.
“Your friend, has she finished paying for her freedom as well?” Uncle asked.
I looked at Melissa. It was her question and she should answer it.
“No Uncle, i have not finished mine” Melissa said.
“I will contact your Aunty first to find out if you people have really settled. You are still very young and i am sure my customers will like you very much but i must confirm your claims from your Madam” Uncle said.
Melissa and I ate Fresh fish in the restaurant before we left.
The way uncle talked to us, it was very clear that he was going to bring me in to his work. He was right, i was very young and men loved the younger ones better.
Who wouldn’t want the younger ones?
The older ones had been into sex business for ages. They had probably slept with every kind of men in town and out of town. But the new and younger ones had not been into the business for long.
The way i saw it, i was going to make a lot of enemies in Uncle’s place but i would hold my ground. It had always been survival of the fittest.
Since i had the mind to run away with Ano’s money, i believed that i could do anything.
I slept with Melissa in her one room that night.
I had intended to give her 500 Euros from the money i had but after visiting Uncle in his restaurant, i found out that things could change quickly. If Uncle managed to employ me, i would have to rent my own place in Castel Volturno.
There was no way i would be shuttling from Max’s place in Napoli to Uncle’s Restaurant in Castel Volturno everyday.
Secondly, Max had not even asked me to stay with him and i was yet to ask him if i could stay.
Before i returned to Napoli, i gave Melissa 100 Euros.
When i got back to Napoli, i called Nigeria.
Madam Anna was available as always and had thanked me again and again for the small money i asked my mother to give her.
She had asked if i wanted to speak to my mother.
“Yes Ma, but please call my father too, i want to speak to two of them” I had said.
I waited for twenty minutes before i called again.
My parents were already there.
I talked with my mother first.
It was time for them to start the building project. I had made up My mind that the money would be used for the building.
If Uncle employed me as he said, i was going to start saving up small money again.
I told my mother to give 500,000 Naira to my father to start work on the building immediately. She wanted to complain about starting a business with the money and using the profits to build the house.
“Mama, do what i said. Dont start any business with my money. After the house, i will send you money for your business” I said with a raised voice.
She noticed that i was getting angry and as a result, she agreed to my demand.
When i spoke with my father, i told him that my mother would give him half a million naira immediately.
I urged him to be economical with everything so that the house would be completed without having to wait for a long time to do that.
He thanked me and prayed for God to continue blessing me.
There was no need wondering if he knew what i did in Italy because i was sure he knew. My mother knew too, they all knew i was a prostitute because ladies who had returned from Italy in the past had given out stories of what they did to make money. It was an open secret in town that every Edo girl in Italy was a prostitute.
I wasn’t interested in the business thing my mother was proposing. She had tried out that business twice and failed to prosper. It was about going to Cotonou to buy used handbags, clothes and shoes, then returning to sell them in Benin City.
I had heard in some occasions when the Nigerian Custom Officials seized their goods and they returned to square one.
That was the business she wanted to go and do with my money.
The woman who introduced her to the business, had only covered the profit aspect of it, that was the area my mother focused. She never analysed the business very well to find out that there was the loss angle as well.
After the calls, i returned to Napoli.
I was surprised when i received a call from Uncle that evening. It was less than 24 hours after we visited him. He had told us to expect his call in two or three days.
“Hello Uncle” I said on the phone.
“I spoke with your Madam today. She confirmed that you have paid for your release, congratulations. You can start work at the restaurant any time you want” He announced.
I had just been employed as a run girl.
I was returning fully back to prostitution but this time, i wasn’t going to be standing along the streets with skimpy skirts and transparent blouses that exposed my breasts to every eye that walked past me. I was going to be sitting down in a lavishly decorated parlour, sipping alcohol like the other senior girls and smoking cigarette if i wanted.
Men were going to be coming there to take me away but not before buying some expensive meals for me.
I was going to be getting well paid from each business i did.
But the first thing to do was to rent my own apartment in Castel Volturno. Max was never going to allow me to do such work from his place, i wouldn’t allow that too if i were him.