On 1 December 2004, the Italian government sent me a letter.
My resident permit had been finally approved. I was finally going to have my papers.
I traveled to Rome to get my International Passport.
Despite the fact that the incident with Ano was years back, i still feared to run into him.
As for Jacob, i never heard from him since he was taken to Prison.
He and his friend were convicted of Rape and thrown to Prison even without requiring our testaments.
He was caught in the act by the police which meant that the court didn’t require us at the witness box.
Rumor had it that he was sentenced to 5 years in Prison but i didn’t care.
The prisons were not like the Nigerian ones where people suffered.
He was going to be alright. It was his fault. I had warned him to leave me but he refused.
I was sure he would come for some kind of revenge when he got out but i waited for that day.
I had managed to soil my hands in a few more places apart from Ano and Jacob but then it was understandable because i was an illegal immigrant, trying to survive illegally in a country far away from mine.
When my international Passport came out, i took it to the lawyer and gave him the required amount for the job.
On the interview day, i wore a Suit and a decent pair of shoes and went to the Foreign Office in Sicily Island where i applied.
I answered all the questions they asked and they found out that i had lived in the country since 1999.
That was how i got the Italian Resident permit which would eventually give me the freedom to do many more things.
For months, the resident permit remained a dream to me. I had finally become a recognized human being.
The first thing i did after receiving the permit was to visit the Volturno Beach.
Somehow, a large badge of fear had been lifted off me.
Visiting the beach was a luxury i couldnt afford to do in the past.
Not that i was stopped from going there, but there was this sense of inferiority when you visit such places.
Lilian and I had visited the beach once in the past but i didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t even remove my clothes to play like the Camerounian and the Ghanaian girls.
It was difficult for me because i knew that all animals were never equal, some were more equal than others.
The sense of freedom was not there.
So many things were mentally holding me down then including the fact that i still had thousands of Euros to pay Madam Philo.
Slaves were not meant to live happily.
But with My resident permit card inside my bag, i played at the beach like there was no tomorrow.
I wore tight pant, bikini and splashed water everywhere.
My freedom had come fully at last.
Melissa was not as lucky as i was. She also applied for the permit but hers name never came out.
She didn’t get the permit and from the moment i got mine, she started misbehaving in the apartment.
She would get angry over small issues and would frown her face as if i had done something terrible.
I was aware of the reason why she did What she did, therefore i monitored her closely until her misbehavior became permanent.
I confronted her one afternoon.
Another friend of mine had visited me one Sunday afternoon after Church.
She had demanded for something to drink and since i was tired, i told her to pick up something in the fridge.
Her name was Elizabeth but we called her Liz.
Liz had gone to the fridge and took a Plastic bottle of Coca Cola that belonged to Melissa.
Out of nowhere, Melissa had busted into the sitting room and started shouting.
She asked my friend why she took her Cola.
I was embarrassed because Cola was as cheap as Drinking water but it was obvious that something was wrong somewhere.
Melissa had turned to me and continued shouting.
As she vibrated, i decided to keep quiet.
I had made up my mind that she was leaving the apartment, We had lived long enough.
Since she had embarrassed me in the presence of my visitor, i also decided to shoot her down in the presence of her own visitor.
Therefore i waited for almost two weeks until her boyfriend came to the house one evening.
“Melissa” I had called out as they walked past me into her bedroom.
“What is it?” She responded.
It was clear that we were no longer in good terms and it was better that we separated before things went worse than it worse.
“I have decided that we have lived together enough” I said.
She ignored me and continued walking into her room.
But i continued talking to her, raising my voice to make sure she heard me.
“You will go and find another apartment before the end of the month. That is two weeks away. If after two weeks you still remain here, i am going to the landlord” I said.
Right from that moment i told her to leave, i stopped eating anything she cooked in the house. I would buy food on my way back and ate inside my room when i returned.
I also kept a sharp small knife under my pillow because i felt that she could attack me one day.
I had become scared in the same apartment that marked the beginning of my freedom.
At a stage, i had to invite one of my friends to stay with me in my room. I was scared that Melissa had gone insane and wouldn’t hesitate to attack me any time.
Two weeks came faster than she wanted but she didn’t move.
Then i went to the Agency that gave us the apartment.
Max was no longer in Napoli. He had called one night and said he had returned to South Africa. He told me months before then, that he would return to his Country but i didn’t believe him.
We were no longer what we used to be but had sex occasionally.
He was fed up with my life style because i had gone wild and never listened to him.
But before he left, he had taken me to the house agency and changed his name to mine. It meant that the apartment was on my name.
While going to the agency, i had decided that either Melissa moved or i moved. She had known so much about me and wouldn’t hesitate to set me up if nothing was done urgently.
It was such a shame how we ended up but she had to go.