“When Rita said she couldn’t walk anymore, i thought she was joking. We had stopped and rested in the sand for 30 Minutes and when we were ready to go, she sat where she was and said she can’t walk anymore. We had started going and when we walked about two hundred meters, she was still there. It was then that it began to occur to me that she meant what she said. I had stopped and looked back and shouted for her to follow us but she didn’t move. She simply lay on her back and didn’t say a word. I had started walking back to her but they held me. They told me that there was no need to walk back because i could just waste more strength and faint. They also told me that the desert troopers will rescue her later but i knew it was a lie because it was getting dark. We saw some bones and skulls that resembled humans. I was sure there were some dangerous creatures in that place. Rita was my best friend among us; she was the closest to me and i was even the person who convinced her to join the party by telling her about a woman from our village who had gone to Italy and returned with two Jeeps. It was my fault that she died. I dream of her all the time and i pray for her too. I hope she will go to Heaven” Rose was saying.
I was paying attention to make sure i stopped her when it gets to the emotional part that will make her cry; I didn’t want her to cry again. We had just returned from a bar where we spent some time drinking whisky.
“Hey, don’t say that again. It was not your fault that she died; it was part of her destiny and it was part of your destiny to witness that. You didn’t kill her because you didn’t force her to go through the desert. The only way you can make sure that doesn’t happen to any other young girl is to campaign against trafficking them to Europe through that dangerous place” I said.
“But how can i do that? I don’t even have documents here. I took asylum and they gave me a card that i renew every two months. It can’t even allow me to travel anywhere except here in Stockholm. Sometimes i regret why i came here. If not that they used Voodoo to convince us, i would never have agreed to come to this place”
They always blamed the deities or voodoo for their problems. None ever believed that she had the powers to decide whether to go to Europe or not; it was always the voodoo.
“Don’t believe such things Rose, they didn’t use Voodoo; they simply convinced you with money and good life. There are many girls who went through the same process. The way you talk, i can easily say that you have lost all hopes in Life. But there is still hope for you” I said.
“Where is your wife?”
The question threw me off balance because she didn’t ask it when i expected.
“She is my girlfriend, we are not married yet” I said.
“I don’t understand, I see your bag here as if you are traveling. You told me she is your wife and that you people will bring your workers to Sweden” She said.
Since we took whisky, i decided that i shouldn’t try to convince her to leave the streets yet. I believed that it was too early. We had told her that we were bringing our girls to the street; therefore it was suspicious to make a U-turn without waiting for some days or even weeks. But the way i saw things, It was only a matter of time before things fall in place.
“Here is the deal Rose; i will tell you about myself and Maria but you will promise not to say a word of it to anybody. Maria is my girlfriend, we are not married yet but we hope to do that someday soon. We are not bringing any girl to Sweden, rather we are taking girls off the street. We have taken more than ten girls out of the streets of Europe. Some of them are in Schools now while some are in different other countries learning some important works. The last person we removed from the street is at the Convent now here in Sweden. She will one day become a Nun and save herself from hell fire. I want to clear one thing for you before i continue; The voodoo you are scared of does not have powers, it cannot do anything to you. If you doubt me, ask any deity to strike me down now; it won’t happen. You still have the chance to redeem yourself and become a better person, if you listen to me. Money is very important but it won’t be important to you when you look at yourself in the future and discover that your body system is not functioning properly. Stop selling yourself to men and send the money to a woman somewhere else because she paid for you. If you died in the desert, the woman would not have done anything for you. You are the one who suffered in the desert; if she contact you about money next time, tell her you don’t have money and that you will pay her when you have money. If she continue to disturb you, tell her that you didn’t beg her to buy you. If she threaten you, call me and tell me about it. You can easily go to another Country and change your phone number, take asylum and just disappear. Ten years from now, you will either become a respectable woman or a prostitute or a human trafficker. Whichever one you are going to become, starts now” i said.
“But how do you get involved with this in the first place” she asked.
“I don’t know, i just got involved” i said.
We were still chatting when Maria called; she said the two new girls were in their room while their Madam had decided to sleep in my bedroom. Maria herself was going to occupy the long sofa in the sitting room; it seemed she had too much respect for Aunty Joy. She said she will cover herself properly with one of the trousers that arrived through post from Italy two days before. She asked where i was and i told her the area where the hotel was located. She promised to visit and keep me company for a few hours the next day.
“Don’t come here Maria, stay there and monitor how things develop. If they pressure you into bringing them to the street, take them to the Dobelnsgatan where we met Rose; i will come there to check them out. Don’t greet or even talk to me if you see me there” I said and cut the call.
“Rose you can sleep now. I will pay you the money we agreed in the morning but i won’t touch you. I am more interested in helping you but that is only if you are willing to help yourself” I said as i pulled down my trousers and walked into the bathroom to sprinkle hot water on my body.
By the time i returned, Rose was already snoring lightly.
I sneaked beside her on the single large bed and covered myself with the large blanket.
Time to wait for the next day.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all by yourself.”