Two weeks after Ngozi and Fatimah disappeared into the forest, they reappeared in Lagos. Aunty Philo’s friend picked them up and prepared them for the Journey to Libya.
I was forced to send 1000 Euros for their trip to Libya and was also warned that it might not be sufficient.
I felt that their plan was to keep taking money from me but the truth was that i was already involved.
The only thing i could do was to monitor their movements from Lagos to Cotonou and then to Burkina Faso where they spent a long time.
It happened that the Libya Authorities had decided to set up Soldiers in the desert and were ordered to shoot on sight. Rumour had it that some girls had been killed.
For that reason, Fatimah and Ngozi, together with other teenage girls, were told to stay back in Burkinafaso and wait until the route is cleared.
During their time in Burkina Faso, i did some other businesses to sustain them. I sent them money every week and encouraged them to be strong. I visited Amsterdam over four times and on each occasion, i walked around the Bijlmer, hoping to stumble on the love of my life Zuby, but it never happened.
He constantly changed his phone numbers and that made it impossible to track him down. The worst was that nobody seemed to know him in Bijlmer.
I believed that he might have been using a different name or maybe operated outside the Bijlmer area.
I saw someone who resembled him in a newspaper one weekend but the problem was that the picture wasn’t clear. It was a column where someone wrote jokes. The newspaper was an African one and it was very popular in Bijlmer. The African Bulletin had a picture and names of a young man who resembled Zuby. However, the name on the newspaper were Samson. Zuby never said his name was Samson, i only knew him as Austin and Zuby. There was no phone number to reach him, only an email address. Unfortunately, i wasn’t conversant with Computers and internet.
But on one of my visits to Amsterdam, i asked someone to help me send an email to him.
Whether the email was replied or not didn’t matter because i didn’t see the guy who sent the email for me.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, yet, i couldnt hear or see Zuby. I started forgetting him again. I concentrated on Bola who happened to be my only Boyfriend then.
One Sunday evening, i got a call from Burkina Faso that the Libya route has opened again. I was told to send money immediately for the girls to move.
The next morning, i went to Western Union and send some money to Burkina Faso.
Five days later, i got a call that the girls were safely transported to Tripoli, the largest City in Libya.
My joy knew no bound and as a result, i bought a ticket to Libya.
I wanted to go and see them, encourage and show them that someone was still behind their Journey to Italy.
Due to the suffering they got along the way, they had become very thin and looked tattered. There was no way i could allow them to travel through the Mediterranean Sea in that condition. They could die in the water and all the money i spent on them would be for nothing. As a result, after spending some time with them, i returned to Italy alone and started looking for look-alike Passports.
I did not only search for the Passports in Italy, i asked Bola in Amsterdam to help out. When Bola called and said he found one Passport, i flew to Amsterdam. It was during the annual Kwakoe festival in Bijlmer.
Kwakoe was a cultural festival that lasted all month long. Every major tribe in Amsterdam participated in it; the Igbos, the Surinames, even the Edos and the Yorubas.
After checking the Passport Bola found, i approved of it and paid the owner.
Bola and I went to the Kwakoe festival to have fun like everyone else.
I didn’t know how it happened, i had just picked up the same African Bulletin Newspaper and saw Zuby, this time, the picture was different and clear. It couldnt have been a coincidence. I was with Bola and and his friend and when i pointed the picture to Bola’s friend, he said he knew Zuby. He described him and said he was from Enugu State.
“He could be in the Enugu Stand now” Bola’s friend had said.
I asked him to go and check for me.
When he returned, he was with Zuby, my own Zuby.
Despite Bola my boyfriend being present, i jumped up and hugged Zuby. He has changed a little but it was the same smiley mean face that always reminded me how clever he was.
“You changed your number without giving me the new one” I managed to say amidst Joy.
Zuby said he didn’t want to contact me because he got involved with a pregnant girl.
Since Bola was visibly angry due to the way i held Zuby, i asked Zuby to just give me his phone number.
“I will call you later” I said before he left to where he was.
That evening, i had a serious quarrel with Bola, it seemed that Bola knew who Zuby was all along and each time i showed him the picture on the newspaper, he would deny ever knowing him.
I managed to leave his apartment with anger and vowed never to visit him again.
When i called Zuby that evening, he told me where to come.
We visited the girl whom he said he got involved with, then we went to a night club known as ‘Sinners’.
It was nice to meet Zuby again.
One month after the Libya trip and with the help of Madam Philo, I found two convincing passports and sent them down to Madam Edna in Tripoli.
Plans got under way on how to safely cross them through immigration at the Tripoli airport.
I wanted to return to Libya to supervise the operation by myself but two things held me back.
The first reason was that Madam Edna said she could handle the project properly. She said she did it many times in the past and that all i needed to do was just to send her money.
The second reason was that Zuby said he was in Paris and would come to Italy in a few days.
Despite the importance of the Libya project, i decided to stay back and wait for Zuby. He was more important to me because i hoped to marry him someday.
I loved him.