Chapter 32. Don’t Fear
The following day, Maria called up the two girls and asked them to get ready; they were going to be shown where to be standing in the night to wait for men.
While they were getting ready, i was getting ready too.
”I am coming with you sweetheart. I can’t stay here alone” i had said to Maria. She approved my request but warned me that there were a lot of girls from Nigeria to be seen there. The names of the places were Villa Literno, Bagnara, Scatozza and some other towns near Castel Volturno, There were popular places for African sex workers around Caserta province.
The sex workers also went down to Napoli city center which wasn’t far away.
I had followed them and observed closely as Maria showed them some spots where she used to occupy.
”Make sure you people remember this places” i had said occasionally. I was playing the good husband.
Towards the mid day, Maria said we were done for the day and asked the girls to go Home. She asked that i followed them back if i were tired. She was going to meet a friend in Napoli.
”Its not a man, its my girlfriend” she had joked and laughed as we waited for bus to Napoli. Whoever told her that she was good at jokes.
I took the girls and went back home with a cab.
As soon as we got home, i asked them to sit down in the sitting room.
”Fatimah, i want to hear how you came to this country” i said.
She cleared her throat and started, ”I was born in Auchi. My Dad was from Kogi state but worked in Auchi as a Teacher. My mother was from Esan but lived in Auchi with my Dad. My mother approached me one day and said that she was going to send me abroad to live with her sister’s daughter. I didn’t know who she was talking about until a woman came to our house one day and introduced herself as Mama Maria. She promised to send me to school when i got to abroad. I didn’t know anywhere. I had only gone to Benin city and Lokoja, that was the only two places i knew very well. But a day after the woman visited us, my mother told me to pack my clothes and prepare to go to Ekpoma. My dad had gone to Lokoja to seek for his transfer. We got to Ekpoma and my mother left me with the woman who had visited us. The following day, she took me to Benin City and took my phone. She said that i didn’t need my Nigerian number where i was going. In the evening of that day, they took me with one other girl to a forest. Inside the forest, there was a small house where a priest lived. They asked us to bring the hairs from our armpits and private parts. I thought they were going to kill us for rituals but they said that it was for our own security. Some days later, they took us to Lagos, then to Burkinafaso. We stayed in Burkinafaso for some months before they Moved us to Libya. The girl who was taken to the shrine in the forest with me died in Libya. They told me that she died because she thought about running away. They told me never to think about running away or i will die. It was in Libya that i met with Ngozi. Ngozi was in Libya before i came. She said she had spent some weeks before i arrived. We were taken to the sea one day and were asked to enter a boat but we refused. The water was very big and we were scared. Some people entered but Ngozi and I refused. They brought us back to Tripoli and locked us in a room after beating us. Some weeks later, Aunty came and took us with aeroplane to this place” she concluded. She didn’t cry but i felt she was also coerced into believing that one Voodoo or another was watching her.
”Brother please don’t try to take us away from here. We will die. Aunty told us about people who tried to run away but died” Fatimah had said.
”Now pay attention both of you” I said as i walked to the door and locked it from the inside. I didn’t know when Maria would return but it was safer that she didn’t just open the door from outside, she would have to knock before the door would be opened for her.
”There no voodoo that is holding any of you from running. All those things they told you were just to put fear in you. I know some girls who ran away when they came here. Both of you are still young and can still salvage your lives. If you want to waste your lives here for nothing, fine. But if you want to run away, i have another Esan girl i rescued from Paris and sent her to Marseille, she lives and goes to school there now. I will call her and she will talk to you people. After that, i will start to make plans on how to take two of you away from here. I will send you to Marseille where Naomi, my friend lives. You will go to school there and when you have work, you can start paying your debt to Aunty Maria” i said.
”But brother i don’t understand. I heard when Aunty told somebody on the phone that you have come to marry her” Ngozi said.
”Yes, i told her that but it was to get enough money to take two of you out of this hell” i answered.
”But what if she finds out that we want to run away” Fatimah asked.
”She cannot find out unless one of you told her. If any of you say anything about this to her, i will deny and she will believe me because we know each other for long. Do you understand”? I asked.
They both nodded in affirmative.
”Great. Don’t behave abnormally, don’t pack your clothes. Don’t greet me properly whenever she is around. I am going to start looking for money. As soon as i get the money, we are moving out of this place. We will use night trains to cross the Border to France from Torino. Do you understand”? I asked again.
They nodded once more.
”As soon as you hear a noise at the door, go inside your room” i said.
I walked into Maria’s room and carefully started searching for money. I was hoping that i would find a substantial amount to start work. Since the two girls had agreed to run with me, i had decided to call money from Holland if i didn’t succeed in getting money from Maria.
After twenty minutes of futile search, i didn’t find anything and i gave up. Tomorrow was another day.