“How did you end up here?” that was my question as soon as we settled in room 311 of the Novotel Hotel Antony Paris France.
The room was magnificent in all ramifications but that never justified and Igbo man paying 350 Euros for it.
Everything in it looked golden; The shower rails, the water pipes and even the toilet cover.
No wonder that Queen girl wanted to come there.
It was so good for her as long as it wasn’t her paying the bills.
The 1000 Euros i received from the Western Union was almost spent just between Queen and Novotel.
No mother back in Africa would be proud to hear that her son paid such money for a one night girl and a hotel room.
“Its a long story” Queen said.
I got up and reluctantly opened the gold coated refrigerator.
There were two bottles of wine and one pack of Heinecken beer that consisted of six cans, two bottles of drinking Water.
The question was if the items were included in the money we paid or if we had to pay for it if we touched it.
First, i counted the remaining money in my pocket.
The money i came with from Amsterdam remained over 1300 Euros.
Out of the 5000 I left with, i sent 2000 to San Marino, gave 1000 to Tina and Kate. I didn’t make any more major expenses except on transports and food.
Whatever the amount of the contents of the fridge was, i was sure the money i had could pay for it. I would blame myself later but after a few days, the things of the past would definitely be forgotten.
As a result, i grabbed a bottle of wine and the opener and returned to where Queen was sitting.
“Angel, Tell me the long story. I hope you don’t mind if i call you that” i said.
“I don’t know where to start, i don’t normally discuss this with strangers but i have this feeling that you are a nice guy” She said.
“Go on, i am a nice guy” I said as i opened the red wine and poured for two.
“I was born in London. But i was sent to Nigeria to study when i was just 6. I did my primary and secondary schools in Lagos Island. But during my final year, my parents returned from London and came to visit me. On their way back to Edo State, they had an accident somewhere called Ore and died” She said and stopped.
They died after visiting her. That incident rang a bell in my head. Fear#
But with just a receipt in exchange for my 350 Euros, i won’t be leaving the room. I wasn’t going to have any accident on my way after seeing her. I wasn’t driving in Paris and The entire train won’t have an accident because of me.
That silly superstition has started to rear its ugly head.
“I am Very Sorry. What happened after that?” I asked as i flushed down what she told me with a glass of red wine.
“I returned to London after my school last year. But there was nothing for me to do there. It was very difficult to get admission there because they demanded for so many documents.
I didn’t want to return to Nigeria either; life there was horrible and my Aunty’s husband who owned the house where i lived attempted to Rape me twice. I didn’t want to return to his house because i was scared. I also didn’t want to return to Edo State. I was the only child.
When i called and told my Aunty here, she asked me to come to Paris. When she introduced me to the prostitution business, i refused. She chased me out of the house and i moved in with Jane” She said.
“Wait a moment, where is that your Aunty now?” I asked.
“She lives somewhere in the city center”
“Let me get this story straight, how did you eventually end up in the street?” I asked.
“What is your name?” She asked without answering my last question.
“Call me Austin”
“We all need money. After the burial of my parents, my uncle his elder brother told me to return to London. He said that life would be better for me out there. When i got to the Embassy in Abuja, they bought my ticket and told me where to report when i got to the UK. I was handed to a British Diplomat traveling back from Nigeria. It was him who told someone to send me to the address they gave me at the embassy. When i got there, they took my names and gave me a room there. It was a Social Security Welfare building. The problem was how to send me to the University. They said since i did my high school in Nigeria, i needed some documents from the school, my guardian in Nigeria and some other places even the local government. It was almost impossible for me to do all those things because when i contacted my Aunty’s husband in Lagos, he asked me to stop calling him. My Aunty herself said that all those things required money to get them and that she has no money. My uncle in the village said he has no money too. There was really nothing i could do. That was why i didn’t think twice before coming to Paris. When i told my Aunty here in Paris, she asked me to come over from the UK. That was how i came. There wasn’t really much problem when she introduced me to the sex business. I thought that since it was all about sex, i could do it and save up some money, then i would send it to my Aunty to get those documents for me in Nigeria or even travel to Nigeria by myself to get them. The problem was that my Aunty here said i must be dividing the money into three; she gets one, i get one and the house bill plus food gets one. After thinking about it, i discovered that it would take me forever to save up enough money to travel to Nigeria for the documents. It was the major reason why i ran to Jane. I didn’t know Jane before, we met here” She was almost crying.
“So, if i ask you to travel to Nigeria to get your documents, would you go?” I asked.
“Of course. I don’t even know how much it will cost to get all the papers but i figured that with 1000 Euros, i can get everything. Then i will also need money for tickets, hotels and more. I could spend a month or more there” She said.
“Well, I plan to visit Nigeria soon, we could go together if you want. I will help you get the documents” I said.
For the first time all evening, i saw happiness in her eyes.
” A lot of men are very intimidated by an attractive woman, and they dehumanise her because our culture perceives beautiful women as commodities. But if you’re able to walk up to a person and get to know them, and you see their flaws and their impurities, and realise that they’re like you, then you can humanise them again”