Chapter 28. The new girls.
After settling down in Maria’s room, i took my bath and put on a short jean and a T shirt. The weather was cold in the coastal town of Castel Volturno but i wasn’t going outside anyway.
After making sure that i was settled, Maria said she was going out to meet a customer. Whatever she meant by customer.
”Don’t go near my girls Azubuike” Maria had joked while leaving.
”But i can tell them that you are my sweetheart” i shouted back at her. She had laughed until she went out of the house.
Ten minutes after Maria left, i came out to the sitting room and called the girls out.
One of the girls refused to come. I went into their room and dragged her out against her wish.
”Listen carefully, i don’t know you or where you come from but if you disobey me here for once, i will send you back to Africa with the next available flight” i said to the stubborn girl.
”I don’t care, you can send me back. What am i even doing here” she said.
‘What am i even doing here’ what a line of speech, i thought.
”Maybe you girls think that i came here to sleep with you or take you away. That is not why i am here. I am going to start asking two of you questions. For your own good, please answer the questions” i said.
I pointed to the stubborn girl and asked, ”What is your name” she said she was Fatimah.
”Fatimah huh, are you Hausa” i asked.
She kept quiet.
”What about you”? I Pointed to the other girl.
”I am Ngozi” she answered.
Ngozi? That meant that she was Igbo. Strange.
I knew there were Igbo Prostitutes too, i had also met Igbo girls in Europe whom i didn’t know what they did but it was my first time of meeting an outfield Igbo Prostitute in Europe.
”Which part of Igbo are you from”? I asked her.
She said she was from Mbaise in Imo State Nigeria.
”What are you doing here” i asked in Igbo Language. She kept quiet.
The strubon Fatimah had gotten bored or angry and had gotten up to leave.
”Sit down Fatimah” i said.
She Ignored me and went back into the room.
”When did you come here Ngozi” i asked.
She said she came to that particular place two days before.
”Do you know the name of where you are now” i asked again.
She said it was Italy but didn’t know the name of the city.
”How did you come here”? I asked.
Ngozi left Nigeria over five months before arriving to Napoli. She had actually lost the count of time. According to her, the parents lived in Benin City of Nigeria. She was born in Benin city in November 1992. She was about 17 years old. Her parents had lived in Benin City for over 22 Years. Her Father was from Imo state while the Mother was from somewhere called Ubiaja in Northern Part of Edo State Nigeria. She had returned from Church one Sunday and met a strange woman in their compound. The woman came with a bag of rice and some tins of Tomato paste. She had gone into her room to change her clothes when her mother called her to come out.
”Ngo, this is Mama Maria, the woman who owns the Supermarket along the Lagos road. She had come to talk to you” the mother had said.
”I sat down and listened to the visitor talk. She said she was from Ekpoma and had relocated to Benin City one and half years back. I asked her how i was connected to all those stories. She said that her daughter who lived in Italy had asked her to look for two beautiful young girls whom she would bring to Italy. I didn’t know where Italy was. I had just finished Secondary School and was searching for admission into the University. The woman told us that her daughter was a rich girl who owned a jeep and a boutique in Lagos. She also said that it was her daughter who had opened a supermarket for her in Benin City and moved her from Ekpoma To the city. She said that i was lucky to be the chosen one. Before the woman finished her story, my mother jumped into the matter and started telling me how Italy was such a nice place and how i was going to be very rich like Maria. My father was not around, he had gone down to the village to attend a burial ceremony. I didn’t know what to say. It was all planned out to happen in the absences of my father. When i asked my mother if my father knew about the development, she said that she would call my father in the night. Mama Maria left our house after my mother assured her that things will work out” Ngozi said.
At this point, she started crying. Her tears didn’t move me a bit. I had seen similar cases and heard similar stories. For a second, i thought that the girls made up such stories to attract people’s sympathy.
”So what happened when your father returned” i asked.
With tears in her eyes, Ngozi said, ”I never met with my father again. My mother had come out of her room that very Sunday night and told me that my father approved the journey. She told me to pack my things up and get ready to move the next day. The whole thing was urgent. I didn’t get to talk to my father because i had no phone. I went to my friend who lived near our house and told her what was happening, she said that i was very lucky to be chosen”
”That your friend who told you that you were lucky to be chosen, where is she from” i asked.
She said the friend was an Esan girl from Edo State.
In life, a lot of mixed up factors determined how things turned up in our lives. I believed that if Ngozi had approached someone who knew very well, what she was going to do in Europe, she could have been discouraged, especially if the person was from a good Christian family. But she had gone to a friend who believed that prostitution was such a lucky job especially if it was in Italy.
Ngozi’s story nearly drew tears from my eyes. She was mentally defeated. She had no hope of becoming a film actress which was her ambition. She had not spoken with her father or siblings for over six months. Above all, she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know how she got to Italy. She knew she flew with an airplane and landed somewhere but that was it.
Why Maria, why?