Maria, Precious and I went to the Reverend Father that evening. He opened and welcomed us into the already familiar sitting room in the sixth floor of the large modern building. I didn’t wait for permissions before i lowered myself in one of the sofas. I had visited the place more than three times in just a week; I was no longer supposed to be considered a stranger.
“I believe this is the girl you told me about on the phone” Fr. Onuigbo said to me as soon as i settled down.
I nodded and remained quiet. I wanted the priest to initiate and finish the advice by himself; It was time i start to let him know that i respected his position and status as a Catholic Reverend Father even if i didn’t agree with all of his teachings and ideologies.
“Let us pray” He said as he stood up and made the sign of the cross; we did the same.
“Merciful and Gracious God, we thank you once more for rescuing your child from the hands of the evil men and women. We ……………” The Rev. Father continued his payers until it was time to say ‘Amen’, then we all said Amen and opened our eyes; Not that i closed my eyes in the first place.
The prayers from the Rev. Father has almost become an initiation for the new girls. He previously prayed for Alice in William’s apartment, though that was a general prayer; then he had prayed for Maria, Fatimah and now Precious. I believed that in my bid to convince the girls that the Power of the Christian God is bigger than that of Olokun, i have been stressing the Rev. Father but prayers was part of their works; their main work actually. It was time to start giving him something in return; Priests do have needs as well.
“Welcome to Sweden Miss ehm…” The Father was saying.
“Precious” Maria Chipped in.
“Miss Precious. Sweden is a nice place to be if you are close to God. You can see the people are very happy here. What do you intend to be doing here?” It was Fr. Onuigbo.
“Asylum, she is going for asylum first; then when she is done with that, we will look for a decent job or school for her but i prefer school because she is still very young” I chipped in before any other person could talk.
The Rev. Father agreed that it was important to go for asylum first.
After spending over an hour there, we returned to our apartment. We ate our dinner and sat in the sitting room watching a movie that featured a certain Ramsey Noah and Ini Edo.
In the movie, Ini Edo was a poor wretched girl while Noah was the first son of a rich king. The story was that Noah’s parents had found a wife for him from a wealthy royal family while Noah himself wanted Ini Edo. It was the same kind of story i have seen on Nigerian movies over and over again and as a result, i slept on the Sofa while the two women watched the movie into the night. Good a thing that electricity was natural in Europe; it never went off.
Maria woke me up later in the night and demanded that we go into the room.
The following morning, i bought two tickets to Uppsala. Maria had decided that she won’t be going with us but she saw us off to the train station.
We were half way to Uppsala when a text message came into my phone; it was from Maria. It Read, “Make sure you don’t touch the girl, i saw how two of you were looking at each other last night”. I didn’t know if it was a joke or not but it nearly angered me because the truth was that i never for once had a crush on Precious. Despite the fact that she was young, i didn’t like her that much personally. Perhaps it was because she had been invited strictly for business.
I wanted to call Maria and shout at her but i needed to be calm over the text message because it could cause an unwanted problem between two of us. She was definitely going to pay in due time.
Uppsala was not far from Stockholm Central. I had known that when the woman who sold the ticket to us said that the prices were Kr70 for each person; it was less than €8.
We arrived at the Uppsala train station and walked outside like every other person that came down from the train. It was usually risky to ask people about the asylum camp in their country since many of them were usually angry over the government payments to the foreigners.
William did a good job at describing the camp location for me, therefore it wasn’t important to ask people where it was.
Like i was told, we took the bus to the camp and stopped at the bus stop near the entrance.
“This is where i say goodbye Precious. As soon as you are cleared, you will be allowed to be visiting the city but they may not allow you to sleep outside this place until you are posted out. I don’t need to tell you about this because you already know about the process since you have gone through that in Italy. Take care of yourself and make sure that you don’t contact anybody from here except me or Maria. Don’t call your Madam in Italy because if you do, i will know and if you call her, i won’t help you find a school when you come out. You are here to become a new and better person. As it stands, you are no longer a prostitute and I don’t want you to be afraid of any deity’ they have no powers. The Rev. Father already covered you with the blood of Jesus. The money which will be used to pay for your school fees will come from your Madam in Italy” i said.
“I don’t understand what you mean. How is the money going to come from her?” She asked.
“Maria and I will call her as soon as you settle down here. We will tell her that you have been kidnapped by one Nigerian boy who refused to release you until some money is paid. She will send us money from Italy for your release. If she refused, i will find money from another place and pay for your school fees but i will make sure that she pay me later. She brought you to Europe as a slave and a sex worker while your mates are in Nigeria going to various universities. You will go to the University here as well and she will have to pay some of the money. This is why i don’t want you to contact her or even your people in Nigeria. Don’t tell anybody where you are” i said.
She thanked and hugged me as i looked over her shoulder and saw three men coming up the road hurriedly on foot.
“Run to the gate and go inside. Don’t look back” I said to Precious.
She was confused until she looked back and saw the men coming up fast towards us.
“Run, i think they are Police” I shouted at her again as she ran fast into the already open gate.
“The first step in achieving prosperity and wealth is learning to appreciate what you already have.”