“Where did you say you are going?” I asked Solomon on the phone.
It was the day after he left Bremen. He said he was going to Slovakia with Johnson for business. I didn’t know where Slovakia was and I never even heard of it. I wondered where it was located and how long it would take them to get there.
According to the asylum records, people usually started being posted out of the camps two weeks after their interview. I knew my posting was approaching and I also didn’t know when Solomon would return. According to him, I was going to wait in wherever I would be posted until he return to Berlin.
“How long are you going to stay in Skolova?” I asked.
“It’s Slovakia not Skolova. I don’t know how long I will stay there but I believe it’s not going to be more than one week.”
Life went on as usual except that this time I was no longer under any pressure. Emmanuel had learnt to stay away from me. Somehow he knew I spent two days outside the camp. We met at the dining hall in the evening of the day Solomon left. He said he came to look for me twice but couldn’t see me. He wanted to apologize for picking up another girl but I told him not to do that. I told him he didn’t owe me any explanation and that it was better he stayed away from me. I told him what happened between me and Solomon and made it clear to him that I won’t allow anything to put me in the situation I passed through because of what happened between us.
A day later, Solomon went to Slovakia. I had called him that morning while he was at the train station. He told me not to call him from the evening of that day because he must have crossed from Germany to Austria where he would take the bus to Slovakia. I told him I couldn’t stay for days without talking to him but there was nothing I could about it. He promised he would be back before one week.
Some days after he went to Slovakia, the posting letter came. I, with a few other people were transferred to a small Bremen satellite town called Achim.
Achim wasn’t particularly a place where I could live. Nothing worked there because the people who lived there were mostly the indigenes who never traveled to anywhere. They looked and starred at us as if we came from a different planet.
We were paid some money to settle down.
The government gave us a room each and equipped it with TV and Fridge. Cooking pots were distributed to us as well. We were shown the kitchen where four large cooking gas were installed. That was where everyone would cook.
They tried to make life comfortable for us in Achim but the truth was that I didn’t like the place. I wanted to return to Berlin as soon as possible. I believed I would have even left for Berlin the first day I was posted to Achim if not that Solomon traveled to Slovakia.
It didn’t take long in the Achim Heim before the usual suspects showed up. This time, there were Igbo boys again. There were about 3 of them that lived in the Achim camp. I was told there were many more but they all left Achim camp for other cities and only returned to receive their monthly payments.
As I sat in my room wondering how Igbo boys were able to live everywhere I go, a knock came to my door.
“Who is that?” I fired without caring who it might be.
“It’s me,” the voice said and stopped.
I ignored whoever it was and sat where I was until the second knock came, then I got up and opened the door.
His name was Jack; that was what he said anyway. No one knew what the true name of anybody at the camp was. I for one chose the name Ebot which wasn’t related to me in any way, I didn’t even know what Ebot meant. We simply chose a name from whichever tribe or country we chose to use for our asylum.
“What do you want?” I asked as we stood face to face at my door.
“Nothing, I just want to come inside and talk with you,” he said.
“There is nothing to talk about, you said you want nothing. I am busy and I want to..” I was saying when he walked inside the room through my right hand side.
“I don’t remember asking you to come inside my room,” I said as my heartbeat started to increase.
I was scared, not because I had no answers for whatever question my strange visitor was going to ask, but because I imagined what would happen if Solomon simply walked in there without announcing it, just like he did in Bremen camp. I didn’t put anything past his abilities. I had no doubt he could locate the camp in Achim without even telling him where I was posted. He once told me that as long as I bear the name Ebot, he will find me wherever I go in Europe.
“You are a Nigerian girl. Why are you running away from us, we are your brothers,” my visitor said as he picked up a portion of my bed and sat down there without invitation.
“I am not interested in you or anyone for that matter. I need you to get up and walk away before I report you to the office,” I said.
“Wait, it has not gotten to that. I think I like you and I will give you whatever you want in this Germany. My father is the.. “
“Look, I don’t care who your father is. Just leave this place immediately,” I said as he stood up and made for the door.
“My name is Jack, we will talk again soon.”
“I don’t think so Jack,” I said as I closed the door behind him.
A sigh of relief escaped from me as I heard his footsteps faded away. I couldn’t possibly imagine what would have happened if Solomon had walked in at the time Jack was sitting on my bed. He would not have believed whatever I would tell him. It would have been the end of everything and despite that it wasn’t my fault this time, I would have struggled to convince Solomon that I had nothing to do with Jack.
It didn’t even take long before the second Igbo guy showed up. I was going out to buy chicken to make soup when he followed me to the mall.
“My friend said he was at your room, is that true?” He asked.
“Why should I tell you and who are you?” I fired.
“I am Donatus. We made a bet of 20 Euros each. He said he can go to your room and spend some time with you and I told him he couldn’t,” he said.
“Wait, so two of you fools made a bet with me and the result was to invade my privacy.”
He quickly grabbed my arm and held it tight. “Don’t call me a fool another time.”