“How many days did they pay for me?” I asked foolishly as if the staff didn’t know his job.
“Miss, your friend paid for four days” He said.
I nodded and closed the door behind him.
Back in the room, i couldn’t stand up or sit down or lie down. I did the three at the same time.
I didn’t know how much they paid for the hotel room per night but based on the popularity and standard of the place, i was sure that it was close to or more than 50 Euro equivalent.
I didn’t know the exchange rate between Euro and CFA. It was difficult for me to do any calculation at my present condition. The best thing was just to go down to the hotel reception and ask the price for a night.
But if i paid for a night and another night and another night until my Money finished, what else was i going to do?
It was better that i started looking for a different solution rather than spending the money i had.
The immediate problem was that i would be walking around in Abidjan with my bag and my international Passport.
The bag wasn’t the problem, the issue was the passport and the resident permit card.
I already knew what would happen if i lose them.
My mind flashed back to how i got myself into the entire mess.
It was due to my greed. I wanted quick money and it eventually landed me into a mess.
I believed i would have been more secured if i had taken out time to study the business before venturing into it. But i didn’t have patience.
There was no need crying over a spilled milk, the better option was to start thinking about the way out.
Jamal was still in the equation.
It gave me little hope that I could call him and tell him that i would like to spend the rest of my vacation in his place.
I recalled that he said he would be going to somewhere called Freetown. According to him, Freetown was in Sierra Leone which was also out of Ivory Coast as well.
If i was able to get him on the phone, i would tell him my intentions.
If he agreed, i would pay for extra two days and wait for him to return.
It would also be a security risk to keep my documents at Jamal’s place. He could steal them. I didn’t know him well enough to trust him wtiht such delicate documents.
Then another idea came to me. I could leave Hotel Afrique and locate a cheaper hotel.
I believed there were small hotels where i could pay 5000 to 10000 CFA per night.
If i asked questions, i could locate one within the area i was.
As i thought about my problems, the clock on the wall ticked closer towards mid day.
It was time to start parking my belongings.
I still had a large chunk of the 500 Euros Basil gave me back in Amsterdam but i knew it would be wrong to spend it on hotel rent.
I hoped to save the money for my RAV4 Project but somehow, that dream was fast dipping into the air.
I took a quick bath and wore fresh clothes from my bag.
I didn’t know where i was going but i knew that i was no longer eligible to lodge at the Hotel Afrique Abidjan.
I had forgotten how to pray But it was obvious that it was time to do that.
I applied my cream on my face alone and picked up my handkerchief.
I placed the handkerchief on my head and knelt down in front of the bed.
It was time to seek the face of God.
It was a pity that many of us only remember God when we were in trouble.
Perhaps the reason was because we were never sure that God would answer our prayers.
As humans, it was impossible to know when our prayers were answered.
It was impossible to know the ways of God or gods.
All we could do was just to be hopeful, faithful and optimistic but the real truth was that it was impossible to know when our prayers were answered.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven…..” I began.
I said a few lines of the sheepish prayers used all over the Christendom.
In a bid to say the same prayers at the same time, the Church had deemed it necessary to create Prayers for us.
We learnt it from Childhood until we became adults. At that stage, it was impossible to remove them from our heads, no matter how long we stopped practising them.
It had become part of us, incorporated into our system by the combination of nature and man.
After the general prayers, it was suddenly time to ask God for favours.
“Dear God” I started, “i know i am a sinner”.
Of course, we humans deemed it fit to always remind the Almighty that we were sinners, as if he didn’t know already.
In our little thinking capacity, we believed that he would quickly accept our prayers if we reminded him that we were sinners.
But right inside me, i always knew that God knew everything.
“I am a prostitute and a drug dealer. I don’t deserve your forgiveness but you told us to ask and ye shall answer us” I continued.
Of course, i was a prostitute, how could God not have known that. He knew right from the moment i was conceived.
If he didn’t want me to be a prostitute, he wouldn’t have sanctioned my existence in the first place.
In the past, i heard people said that God gave us the power to chose what we want to become and do in life. What a load of nonsense from black race?
“As i am about to step out into the City of Abidjan, be my guardian and protector. Give me someone who will help me out in this bad situation. Don’t let anything happen to my papers” I continued.
Of course, the only thing we always prayed for was good things for us and bad things for our enemies.
In this case, there was no clear enemy. Therefore i concentrated my prayers on only the good things i wanted God to do for me.
My eyes were still closed when the Knock came to my door again.
It was time to Go. They didn’t wait until 12pm. It was about ten more minutes before the mid day but they couldn’t wait.
I suspend my prayers half way and stood up, grabbed my luggage in one hand and opened the door with the door.
I wanted them to know that i was on my way out.
“Miss, this receipt is for you. Someone paid for another three days in your name” the staff who came earlier said.
I took the receipt and looked at it.