Chapter 88. How i came here.
The events of the past have shown me that no matter how clever or smart we believed that we were, we still need luck. Luck was the major driver of every success. Luck was the reason why we achieved everything we ever achieved because it was luck that kept us alive in the first place. When i sat down to analyze certain things that happened in my lifetime, i understood clearly that many of my mates had died on the road to the future. The road to the future was full of uncertainties and full of troubles as well.
It wasn’t my being clever that made me found Esther the day i came to Milan and the day i left Milan. Luck played a major part in it. We may never know how it worked but our lives must continue.
As we sat on the train heading South West to Marseille, Esther lay on my legs and slept. She was tired of life and tired of running from one Country to another. She had gotten the shock of her life after being abandoned in a hotel room without money or working telephone. That was not her picture of what she wanted to become in Europe.
According to Esther, she had wanted to become a hair stylist, something she did in Nigeria before she came to Europe. We were already very close to Toulon. All through the night from Novara to Torino where we boarded a bigger train, she had been telling me how she came to Europe. She had started with, “Do you know that i was a hair stylist in Lagos?”
I had told her that i wasn’t interested in knowing how she came to Europe anymore, she had scared me as well.
“Esther, i am happy that i found you again. I understand that you didn’t want to tell me anything about yourself, you can forget about it” i had said. She insisted on talking but from the way she approached the issue, i could detect some fears in her voice. She had witnessed my wrath first hand and despite finding her, she knew that things could have gone differently, especially when i told her that i threw my phone into the lake.
“I went to live with my aunty in Ogba Ikeja Lagos when i finished secondary school. I was going to look for admission into the university but for the time being, i followed my aunty to her shop everyday. She owned a hair saloon somewhere off Allen Avenue in Ikeja. I learnt the hair styling business and became the best in the big shop. Every rich and influential people around the area always insisted that i was the one to do their hair. I wa s becoming popular around the area and what surprised everybody was that i was still very young; the youngest girl in the shop.
Then this woman came to our shop one day and told my aunty that she returned from France. She said that she also owned a hair saloon in Paris and wanted to take me to France where i would perfect the art of hair styling. My aunty was excited and to tell you the truth, i was very excited too. Who wouldn’t be excited at the chance of going to Paris?” Esther had said.
She was right. I would have been excited at the chance as well especially if it came that way. She said that Aunty Franca had come with a large Toyota Landcruiser which had impressed everybody in the vicinity.
“She had given people money when she was leaving the shop. Everybody became happy for me because I was chosen by Franca. She returned to the shop the next day and told me that we were going to Delta State to meet with my people. It was then that i knew she was serious. My aunty and I had followed her to Delta state where we met my parents. Franca had promised them that she would take good care of me and before we left Delta state, she had given N50,000 to my poor parents. They had blessed and wished me goodluck. We had driven back to Benin City where Franca claimed that we will stay over for a week so that i will know her place while she made arrangements for my travel documents. My aunty had left back for lagos without us. I was taken to the immigration office where they made an International passport for me. She sent the passport to lagos and two weeks later she told me that i got a visa to Italy. She said that she didn’t trust me very well and was scared that i could run away with her money when we get to France. I told her that i wouldn’t do such a thing to her. As a result, she took me to one Native Doctor who made me swore that i won’t run away with her money. I didn’t suspect anything at all, i believed that i would never take any money from her hair saloon and run away. I didn’t know what she meant by taking her money. After administering the oath in the forest, they took my Bra and underpants and hang it on a rafter inside a small hut. The native doctor said he was going to send it to Olokun in the middle of the night. When we got back to her House, i told her that i wasn’t interested in going to France again but she told me that it was too late. She said that i would die one in two weeks if i didn’t follow her. That was how i came to Europe. First we stopped in Rome airport and took a train from the airport to Paris. Five days after i arrived in Paris, i didn’t see the hair saloon or hear anything about it. The people who visited Franca only talked about how they slept with one Oyibo or the other one. It was then that i knew what i came to do in Europe. She had taken away my passport with the pretence of keeping it safe for me. I was already in bondage right from Nigeria before coming here. I was very scared of dying, there was nothing i could do. It was when i heard that you took Naomi and Lisa away that i began to doubt whether Olokun could actually do anything. Then you came into my lie out of nowhere. Solomon i want to tell you that many girls you see on the streets were tricked into coming here. Not all of them are bad as people think. They are scared. They need help. If only there are a few more people like you here in Europe, the lives of the street girls would change forever. Please forgive everything i did to you. This things gets to my head sometimes and when it does i don’t usually have control over the things i do or say. I am sorry…” That was the last thing Esther said before she slept. I had felt her tears on my laps as she cried to sleep.
A few more tears dropped from my eyes too.
The fight was not yet over, a new phase was about to begin but first of all, I needed to go to Berlin. Jennifer was getting married and she wanted my presence as my last gift to her.
I was going to Berlin.