It was very dark when we got to Napoli Central Station.
Aunty Philo was waiting for us there at the station. She had hugged me and the other two girls as soon as we arrived.
“Which one of you is Maria?” She asked.
She didn’t know who i was. Yes i remembered, we never met. She had only sent money to Africa for a teenage girl but never saw or know who would be coming.
I could also remember that there was never a time my picture was requested. They just told us we were going to Italy and that was it.
Unfortunately she didn’t know Nina as well. And yet i was expecting her to atleast give something to Nina’s people back home. At that moment, i understood how difficult it would be to give something to Nina’s people since she didn’t even know her face.
“Its me Aunty” I said as i stepped forward.
She smiled and said i looked beautiful.
“Welcome to Italy Maria. I am happy for you and your friends. Lets go home first” she said as she motioned us to follow her.
We walked out of the Station premises and entered a waiting Mitsubishi car; Three of us at the back while Aunty and the Driver sat in the front.
The man who brought us from Sicily had somehow disappeared after speaking with Aunty Philo. My guess was that he was just contracted to go and bring us.
Napoli was even a bigger city than Catania. I didn’t know where to start looking to absorb the wonderfully built structures. Everything was just perfect.
Looking around, i could see a few black people walking around. Almost all of them looked well fed and fresh. Food must be cheap or free in Napoli.
We sat at the back of the car and watched as the driver turned from one road to another until he came out to the highway, then he sped off to no where.
We were all tired by the time we got to the apartment where Aunty Philo lived. It was in the city of Castel Volturno.
The three bedroom apartment was neat and decorated with good flower pots. The large sitting room hosted a large Television standing on the ground on its own with DVD machine and Standing Vertical Speakers near it.
It was my first time to see such a luxuriously decorated sitting room.
“Welcome to Italy” Aunty Philo said as soon as the door opened.
She had pressed a wall bell and waited until someone opened the door for us from the inside.
The driver who brought us from Napoli Centrum had left with the car.
“Please sit down, i will be with you in a minute” Aunty had said as she went into the room on the left side of the large sitting room.
“Welcome to Italy, how is Nigeria?” That was Lilian, the girl who had opened the door for us.
“Nigeria is good, thanks” I managed to say.
Among Ayo, Tricia and I, we still didn’t know when to talk and when not to. We were in a strange country and we didn’t know exactly what could put us into trouble.
Lily had continued to talk to us while we waited for Aunty Philo.
The Television was showing an American movie.
“My name is Lilian but you can call me Lily. I am also from Nigeria. I came to Italy last year and i love everything about this country. I am sure you will love it too. Just do everything Aunty asks you to do and you will be fine” She said and stopped.
Aunty Philo had changed clothes and had returned to to the sitting room.
“Lily take them to their room, take away this things they are wearing and give them new ones. Show them the kitchen and make them rest. We will welcome them properly after that” Aunty said as she opened the tall fridge and brought out a bottle of Champagne.
She popped the champagne and said “This is to the new girls” as we were led to the room by Lily.
“This room belongs to three of you now. Open that box and chose the clothes that fits you” She said as she pointed to a large box sitting on the floor.
Three of us dropped our nylon bags and rushed to the big box at the same time. We all wanted to select the best clothes first.
Lily had laughed and left the room.
The large box contained several ladies clothes, gowns, trousers, blouses, tight pants etc.
Some of the clothes we picked out were so tight on us and looked like what prostitutes wore on TV. A few descent ones were there as well. There were also shoes with high heels.
“Wait, since all of us have the same type of body, lets just share the clothes and shoes into three and pick one each” That was Tricia.
She had not been able to pick as many clothes as Ayo and I had done and as a result, i refused.
“I think Tricia is right. Lets share the things into three” Ayo supported what Tricia suggested.
“I don’t agree. We were told to pick the clothes however we wanted” I said.
“Then take all of them” Ayo said as she threw the ones she already picked at me.
At that stage, i was defeated. I had no better option than to agree on what Tricia said.
We were still arguing about it when Lily came in.
“Follow me to the kitchen, let me show you the food” Lily said.
I dropped all the clothes on the bed and followed Lily, Ayo and Tricia came after us.
“Why are you with almost all the clothes?” Lily had asked me.
I had no answers to the question. She had come in at a stage when Ayo had thrown her own clothes at me and it made things looked like i had taken all the clothes.
“Nothing, just checking them out” I managed to lie.
“I bought them for you people today from the market” Lily said.
I asked how she knew our sizes and her answer shocked me.
“Aunty Philo brings only slim girls to Italy. They are good for business. Nobody wanted fat girls here. If you are fat, she will send you to Milan. She has a friend who lives there” that was Lily.
Ayo and Tricia looked at me, we were already inside the kitchen.
“Rice is inside this pot while Stew is on the other one. Take plates and take the much you can eat. Wash the plates after eating. I am going back to stay with Aunty” Lily said as she pointed to a big pot and left.
As soon as she left, Ayo asked, “What did She mean by a friend in Milan, what kind of friend?”.
“We just wait and see” I said.