He gave me a 10 Euro note and i pocketed it first.
How much was that in my Country?
About 1600 Naira then. That was how cheap we had become in Italy, an European country for that matter.
We had heard news about how much some Edo girls made in Abuja, in Accra, in Abidjan, Dakar, Lome and even our own popular Lagos.
Melissa who also worked as a prostitute somewhere in Ojuelegba Lagos, told me that she used to collect up to 2000 Naira for a quickie and even much more sometimes. But there along the Domitiana highway, Sxs had been reduced to 10 Euros and the worst part of it was that the Mafia who controlled the area, had made a law, that any man who came there with as much as 10 Euros, must get Sxs. All they cared was their own share of the money and nothing else.
We the teenagers were the victims, victims of circumstances. Victims of the life we were forced to live in other to be called good girls.
Almost everyone of us was confused. We all believed that we were doing the right thing.
Mr. Casablanca had left after our quick Sxs and i was left alone in the bush. As i sat on the mattress, i tried to recollect how it started.
Tears started rolling down my cheeks. One thing was very clear to me, and that was that there was still a very long way to go.
If i had spent three or more years in the game, i would have been encouraged to live that kind of life just to be able to pay Madam Philo and get my freedom but i was just a couple of weeks old in the system.
My mind was clouded with uncertainties. It was almost impossible to think beyond the next day. I was going to live like a whore for many years to come.
Paying out Philo wasn’t the only problem, i was also expected to start making my own money after that.
Madam Philo had said that i would pay her 25,000 Euros. I had heard that she spent about 3000 to bring me to Italy but she had insisted that i would pay 25000. The reason was simple, the Italian Madams had organizations depending on which area they operated.
In that organizations they decided how much each new girl would balance before being set free.
It didn’t matter how much money that was spent on bringing the girls, what mattered was just the set price and the profit.
Since some Madams had spent far more money to bring their own teenage prostitutes to Europe, it was good for the general market, that they set a price that would cover both those who spent large and those who spent small in bring their girls to Europe.
In a bid to make more profits, the more greedy Madams among them had chosen to bring in their girls through North Africa. That way, they would spend far less than those who chose to bring their girls through the airports.
It was all about making profits. They didn’t care whether people died on their way to Europe or North. Their slogan was simple ‘I came through that way too’.
Whether things had changed over the years was no longer their concern.
What baffled me the most was how i fell for that cheap lie about Coming to do trading business in Europe. I had a feeling that my family knew what i was going to do in Europe.
Africa had a problem, a very big one. We were never organised. News had it that they were prostitutes from other continents but they never showed up everywhere in the street like we did.
They were people from South America and Asia. They were very organised and did everything inside the house. They worked with a lot of unity among them but as for we the Africans, we were already divided back home before coming.
Ghanaians saw Nigerians as their enemies. Nigerians saw Ghanaians as their enemies. The same was the case for Nigeria and Cameroun, Nigeria and the Entire East Africa.
We were still living in colonialism because everything the white people made us to do were still in us.
Despite being Prostitutes, we still believed there was a loving God somewhere up in the sky who would console us after our suffering.
Of course our problems were man made, so it wasn’t from God.
It was from our elder sisters from the same place who somehow, found themselves stranded in European countries and the only way they could survive was to transport their younger ones to the same place where they were stranded.
Through that way, the pressure of survival would be reduced on them and increased on the teenage girls that roamed the streets blindly.
I was sitting on a small mattress inside a small bush crying to God for help. But the problem was that i couldn’t even find a space in my head to think of how the God was supposed to help me out.
If i ran away from Castel Volturno to any other part of Italy, i would still meet the same fate.
Perhaps i would not be sleeping with men in the bush but where was i supposed to go?.
I didn’t know anybody anywhere else in Europe. The people who had made any kind of travel from my life were Ayo and Tricia. I had called them a day before and what i heard from them was so pathetic that i eventually asked them to return to Castel Volturno. They said they had not eaten for the past two days and had slept inside a Church for one week.
The little money they had with them had finished and they could not even transport themselves back to Castel Volturno.
Ayo and Tricia, Just like me, were illegal immigrants. Despite the fact that we were documented and finger-printed, we were still tagged illegal immigrants.
The Italian authorities had not given us legal documents to move around. They wanted us to leave the Country and head to somewhere else but where were we supposed to run to.
We knew no place and nobody anywhere. We were just teenagers who were supposed to be enjoying our fresh years in the university, smiling in the hostel and discussing about our boyfriends but fate had somehow managed to tie black clothes on our eyes and took us to a society that hated the colour of our skins, our eyes, our hair and everything nature gave us.
Our first and biggest problem was that we were never welcomed to Europe. Not then, not now.