Melissa took me to the Phils Restaurant and Bar that evening.
She lied to Madam Philo that i was sick.
There were people in the shop but i ignored them and walked straight to our spare room.
Melissa spent an hour with me before she left. We had discussions and she gave me words of encouragement. She repeated what she told me earlier about our conditions being temporal.
When she left, Aunty Philo came into the room and asked what happened to me.
Since Melissa had lied to her that i got sick, i maintained that i was sick. However, i couldn’t come up with any kind of special sickness, just that i was sick.
“Are you sure you are not pregnant?” She had asked.
I didn’t say anything to her question. It was good that her mind started wondering and making guesses; atleast that would keep her busy for the time being.
“You will go to the Dr. Mark tomorrow to check yourself properly. Sometimes the condoms break without the girls knowing it” She had said and left.
It was obvious that she knew how dangerous the damn condoms were. They could break and leak into our body but all they cared was the money.
But just like Melissa had said, we were expected to just go out there and make some money. Everything else didn’t matter.
I didn’t know what i needed such evil money to do at my age.
Oh! It wasn’t my money, it belonged to Madam Phenomena. The ones she was making at the Restaurant and bar was never going to be enough; she needed more from me and so was the other Madams.
Their own lives had been upgraded to just bragging about how many girls they had. That was how they all measured their wealth.
Whether we were dying out there in the street and bushes mattered nothing.
I was not supposed to be surprised but i was. I had expected Aunty Philo to have a long emotional discussion with me about the sudden death of Nina back in Libya but she had behaved as if it didn’t matter.
I also knew that she had been telling people about her financial loss in Libya. We were slaves, told lies and traded like commodities without our Knowledge.
In the olden days, the white men forced blacks into slavery but for us, we were not forced but tricked into the modern day slavery. What baffled me the most was how the Italian Police would drive past us standing along the road with our umbrellas, yet they would drove away without doing anything to us.
The Domitiana Expressway and its environs had been occupied by African girls.
I cried more in the spare room before it was time to go.
Lilian had called and asked where i was.
I told her that i was at the shop and she had asked why i left the workplace without her knowledge.
Back home, as i lay alone on my bed, i wondered where to get the strength to return to that horrible Domitiana Way.
Hooking up a man wasn’t very difficult. In fact, it was the easiest part of our jobs. What i found so degrading was the ‘Sxs in the bush’ part.
People having Sxs in the bush in broad daylight wasn’t part of the memo i got.
The Following morning, i went out to see the Dr. Mark. I didn’t want to go because i knew what my problem was. I wasn’t sick, i was just down and discouraged with what i was doing. But Aunty Philo had called our Pharmacist and told him that i was coming.
He was a Ghanaian, came to Europe during the Nigerian-Biafran civil war. But rather than doing drugs, he had started to do menial jobs which allowed him to attend medical lessons. He had managed to make it to the level of Pharmacist. His major jobs were giving out prescribed drugs and injecting people with drugs. He happened to be the only black pharmacist in town and as a result, all the entire Madams knew who he was.
Dr. Mark as we called him, was almost 50 years. I had come to his shop to do a routine checkup since i knew that i had no medical issue but like most other black men in Castel Volturno at that time, Mark wanted to take advantage of me. He had asked for my phone number and asked me to meet him in a cheap hotel in the night.
Somehow, i had agreed to meet him, although i had no intention of honouring that agreement.
Dr. Mark had touched some sensitive parts of my body before declaring that i was OK.
He said Philo had called him in relation to my coming.
He eventually gave me some drugs and told me not to forget our appointment.
Since he was alone in the drug store when i came, he had attempted to squeeze my breasts which i didn’t care. I was a whore, destined to make men feel happy while they give me money for my Madam. My Madam then gets happy instead of me.
My Madam and the Men wins while i was the game.
Nothing in the entire setup was designed to satisfy the girls. Sxs was no longer fun but stress. The condoms had become the symbol of oppression to us.
Just like the other brainwashed and frustrated Young African girls, I had eventually managed to believe that God would help and see me through the years i was to work as a slave for Madam Philo. By the time, i finished paying my freedom money i must have been fully integrated into the system, and would be expected by whatever friends i would have gathered by then, to continue the divine business of the Edo People, which was to transport young naive girls from Sub Saharan Africa up to Cold Continental Europe.
The madams were competing with each other, trying very hard to out-perform the other one in bringing new girls to Italy. They were building empires for themselves; empires that would fetch them money and fame and bragging rights.
It was all about who was the bigger and a case of when two elephants fought.
But just like the rest of Africa, the God in the sky was coming. His coming was at hand. And when he comes, he would punish the madams and set us free, Except if we had become the Madams during his arrival, then he was going to spare us because we were not yet Madams during the time we wished him to come.
Right there in our teenage minds, we tried hard enough to control the decisions of the Gods but who were we?