We returned to the house and Alice went to the kitchen while i lay on the bed plotting on how to go about the current situation.
When the food was done, we ate together from the same plate. It was an act to make Alice feel comfortable with me. I wasn’t raised to eat with people from the same plates. When we were kids, my parents had bought two plates for every of their children; each time the food was done, we would bring our plates for our shares.
But right there in Sweden, i had to eat with Alice just to make her feel relaxed with me.
As soon as we finished eating and drinking a bottle of wine, i lectured Alice on what i wanted her to do.
“You will call Napoli and get Maria’s phone number. First of all, have a normal chat with her. Your phone will be on speakout. I will be listening to your conversation and will also be writing on a piece of paper. You will be asking her questions based on what you see on the paper i will be writing on. I hope you can read fast and properly” i said.
She nodded and said she could read properly.
After the little lecture, Alice called Italy. Madam Tessy answered the call after just five seconds. The phone was on speakout.
“Hello my girl, how are you and how is Sweden?” Madam Tessy said.
“Mummy i am fine and Sweden is very cold but very nice, how about you and the kids?” Alice said.
After the usual pleasantries, Alice asked for Maria. Madam Tessy said Maria was fine. Alice said she tried to speak with her on the Phone but couldn’t reach her. Madam Tessy said she changed her number after being questioned three times by the Italian Police in Napoli and Sanremo.
“One silly Ibo boy came to Napoli and destroyed her business. He even took one of her girls and ran away. The police found out and arrested her. She was taken to Northern Italy after searching her house but they released her. They even took the girl to camp but when she came out, she didn’t know what to do, therefore she returned to Maria” Madam Tessy had said. I couldn’t help but smiled as she narrated what happened to Maria.
“Mummy please give me her number, let me say sorry to her” Alice said.
Madam Tessy asked Alice to call back in five minutes so she could get the number out from her phone.
From what i heard, Fatimah had returned to Maria after coming out of camp. According to Madam Tessy, she didn’t know what to do after camp. It meant that she had just presented herself to Maria; that would make Maria treat her more like a slave. It wasn’t the poor girl’s fault, it was mine. It was me who started the chain of problems that led to her arrest and sending to camp. Perhaps i didn’t do enough to convince her to follow Ngozi and I initially. I had to find a way to help the poor girl and that was what i was going to do; Only that this time, she won’t have a chance to reject my proposal anymore because won’t see me.
Ten minutes after receiving Maria’s number, Alice called her. I had personally lectured her on what to tell Maria.
“Find out the whereabouts of Fatimah first; then make things look like Sweden is the best place in the World. Tell her that you just started building a house in Lagos and that the Swedish men are paying much more than the Italians. The Swedish government banned street sex for their women a few months ago. It is all over the news. It meant that their women had migrated to Denmark redlight district while the Africans took up their positions. Maria must have heard the news since she is part of the business, Do you understand what i said?” i asked.
Alice said she understood. From the little time i spent with her, it was very easy to notice that she was a smart girl. She picked up everything at once. She was the kind of person i liked working with.
Making her my girlfriend even crossed my mind two or three times but there were some things that nature and destiny took care of on their own.
Alice called Maria. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, she got down to business. I rubbed and massaged her back as she talked to Maria. She painted Sweden so good that even the Americans would get Jealous. Maria narrated what happened between her and one Solomon who arrived from Amsterdam and France. She lied over how she dealt with me ruthlessly before i ran away with one of her girls in her absence. She told Alice how she pursued me until Police rescued me in Sanremo. I nearly laughed out loud but since we were on a serious issue, i held myself.
When she finished, she agreed to send Fatimah to Sweden soon since she had no money at hand.
“Ask her how much she need” i scribed quickly on a paper and showed it to Alice.
“I can send you money to send her here but you will pay me back later. How much do you need?” Alice said.
Maria agreed that she needed about €500 to hire resident permit card. She said she could afford the transport money on her own.
“Tell her to send you details for western union. She Will get the money Tomorrow” i wrote fast.
Alice conveyed my message to Maria and she agreed to send her details immediately after the call.
A few minutes later, a text message appeared in Alice’s phone, it was from Maria. She had sent names for western union money transfer. We were going to send her €500 the following day.
I was sure Maria could come up with that amount but i needed no excuses for delay. Delay was dangerous. Alice could change her mind after a few days or even hours and leak our plan to Maria or someone else. I was going to make sure that i stayed with her until we sent the money to Italy the following day. For that reason, i told Alice to pack up for a short Journey to Nykoping since it was the only other city i knew in Sweden.
We drove to her house where she picked an extra dress and jacket for the Journey. Nykoping was just an hour away. There was nothing i had in mind to do over there but since i didn’t want to let Alice out of my sight for a minute, i decided to just find a hotel and lodge there with drinks and perhaps what a man and a woman usually did when they found themselves slightly drunk in a hotel room on a cold night in a cold country like Sweden. We were going to Nykoping.
“Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.”