Chapter 37: The Plan.
”Pay attention Ladies. One week from now, we are leaving Italy for France. In France, both of you are going to be free. You will take asylums and go to school. You will become better human beings for yourselves and for your people. If you chose to stay here, one day you will become free after sleeping with more than 5000 different men of which some of them have diseases. If you are lucky and survived that hurricane of sex life, you will be tired of life. Then the next thing you can be able to do will be to get small money and get your own girls, who will continue where you stopped. These are the things you cannot tell your Children or your husband or your people back home. This is something you will never become proud of. But if you go to school, you will learn a new language and a new profession. You could even become lawyers and help me out in the fight against injustices being done to young girls like you. Two of you are not going to pay me for the risk i am going to take. I have money already. I am going to tell you about asylum now but before then, there are some rules that two of you are going to be obeying at all times. I am not your agemate and i am a man.
Do not in any way, attempt to seduce me with your nakedness. If i need sex, i will ask for it and you both have the right to reject my appeal.
Do not call me Master or Oga or Brother, call me by my name.
Do not do anything that could make me angry such as going out without telling me especially when we start our journey. Do you understand”? I asked them.
They both nodded their heads.
Maria had gone out to Napoli. She had wanted me to go with her but i pretended that i was sick. I knew that the girls would start sex work anytime and it was good that they knew that we were still moving.
”As soon as we leave this place, i will buy you phones and simcards. You will call Nigeria and tell your people what happened to you and what is happening to you now. But before that, hear the asylum stories first” i said and pointed to Ngozi.
”Ngozi, From now on, your name is no longer Ngozi. You are to be known as ‘Blessing’. I know they meant the same thing but it would be difficult for Immigration officials to pinpoint Blessing to any one Country or region but Ngozi is simply an Igbo name. Fatimah, you are to be known as ‘Peace’ because you like trouble. Both of you are no longer Nigerians. As from now, you are from Sierra Leone. The reason is simple, no European airline has direct flight to Sierra Leone. It means that you can’t be deported, atleast not easily. They have direct flights to Nigeria and Ghana and so many other West African Countries. It means that they can easily deport you if they suspect that you are from Any of the bigger countries. Two of you didn’t go to any school. You were both sold many years ago to a man who raised and raped you. Two of you decided to run away from the man six months ago. You traveled through the desert for many weeks, drinking Urines sometimes and eating lizards. Some of the people who were with you in the deserts died but you left them and continued your journeys. You came to a town called Gao and lived there for a month, then you continued until you get to another town called Tamanrasset. It was at Tamanresset that you met A man who promised to take you to Italy through the sea. You followed him to a city called Tripoli and that was where he put you on the boat after sleeping with you for days. The boat dropped you with some other people in a city where everybody dispersed. You people have been begging for food and money ever since and that is how you have been surviving. This is the story you are going to tell any Police or immigration officer that stopped you at anytime or anywhere. Don’t ever tell them that you know me. I have a document with me here and it means that i have been living in Europe for long. The good news is that whether they believe your stories or not, they are going to start taking care of you. They will give you temporal residence and food. If they asked for your ages, Ngozi tell them you are 15 while Fatimah is 14, that is the only way they can send you to school” I said. When i finished, i asked them if they had questions. Of course they did. I suspected they would be confused along the line, especially concerning the towns and cities i mentioned. They knew Tripoli well enough but didn’t know where Tamaransset and Gao were located. I explained to them that Since they started their Journey from Bo in Southern Sierra Leone, it was important that they touched Gao in Mali and Tamaransset in Algeria which were two cities along the road from Sierra Leone to Tripoli.
After making sure they understood me, we switched to other plans.
”Two of you are not going to carry any loads with you. Someone who has been on the run doesn’t carry heavy loads. Two clothes each and one extra pair of shoes is enough. I will buy you clothes when we get to France. If we are not controlled on the train, you will take your asylums in Marseille. Like i told you, my girlfriend lives there. She will be taking care of you until you get acquainted with the system” i said.
When i finished, i asked questions. I was satisfied with the answers i got from them. I was convinced that they were ready. It wasn’t easy for them. I knew how fearful it was for new comers to face the harsh realities of life on the run, but i assured them that nobody will ever beat them even if they didn’t believe their stories.
”But Brother how are we going to pay you for all this” Fatimah asked.
”You see, this is why i told you not to make any move on me. You don’t owe me Fatimah. Maria is going to sponsor this journeys. Maybe one day when you become a lawyer or a doctor, you will come looking for Ozoigbondu” i said.
”Who is Ozoigbondu” Ngozi asked.
”You will know him when the time comes. Now go inside your room, a taxi just stopped outside.
”Welcome back baby” I said.
It was my Fiancee.