By 9:00 the following day, we checked out of the hotel and went to the city center. The western union business were managed by banks. We filled out the forms with Alice’s name and address and gave them the equivalent of €527.
Alice called Maria some minutes later and gave her the clearance codes for the money. We walked around the city for two hours before we took the bus back to Stockholm.
Back in Stockholm, we drove to Alice’s place. The Ghanaian who owned her apartment was around when we arrived, we greeted her and walked into the room.
Alice picked up two other clothes and a pair of extra shoes; then she stuffed them inside her bag and declared she was ready.
We followed the train down to my place which was in the outskirts of central Stockholm.
As soon as we arrived, Maria called from Italy and said Fatimah would be moving the next day. She had cleared the money from the western Union and had thanked Alice for it.
“What are you going to do with Fatimah when she arrives here?” Alice reminded me of her previous question in Nykoping.
“This is the second time you are asking me this question, i told you that my job is to remove these teenagers from the cold streets of Europe. I would have done the same for you but you have managed to do that for yourself and by yourself. We are going to help her take asylum here in Sweden, then we will try as much as possible to convince her that Olokun can not kill her here in Europe. Everything they do is out of fear for deities back home. I need to find a way to remove that fear from them” I said.
After eating Spaghetti made by Alice, i called William who said he was at home.
We walked to his apartment and met him there.
He was a little surprised to see me with the lady who haggled over the price of Frying pan with us at the African Market. He recognized Alice instantly because they nearly quarreled over the price of the pan.
His mother in-law was around as well. She had invited herself to the sitting room and started talking about how good my parents back home were. I believed she did that to impress Alice but right inside me, i wanted her to just stop. There were some things i didn’t want Alice to know about me yet. Peharps the old woman was trying to encourage us to get married there in Sweden; it was obvious that they needed a second family up there in that cold country since they were alone. But there was something else, William’s elder sister back home in Nigeria had a beautiful daughter whom my family back home has been encouraging me to marry when I return to Nigeria. Her name was Ify and she was a beautiful young girl as well. I believed William knew about it and he must have told them back home that I showed up in Sweden. Ify had sent some of her pictures to me through e mail and I had done the same too. We didn’t know each other but as it stood, that wasn’t an issue. It was obvious that William’s mother in-law didn’t know about it yet. I wasn’t thinking along the line of marrying the girl back home but I needed to make my mother believe that my mind was still at home.
About an hour after we arrived at Williams, a Nigerian Reverend Father came to their house. He was an Igbo man who was on a kind of Pastoral work or on a course to further his discipline. He greeted and blessed us before he sat down. His name was Father Onuigbo. It appeared he had conducted the child dedication of Williams daughter the previous Sunday and had been invited by the family for refreshments.
We all sat there and talked about religion. I had already developed a negative view about some of our churches years before that moment but in the interest of avoiding argument, i went along With his own ideologies. We talked about why i stopped attending Churches, why i stopped going for confessions and why i stopped receiving holy communion.
“Father, i found out that i was lying to myself and God; therefore i stopped going for confessions. I understand i was made to go for confessions when i was a kid and each time i finished confessing, I would go ahead and do the same thing again. As a result, i stopped” i said.
He asked the last time i went for confessions and i told him that it was in the eve of 2006 somewhere in Braga or Porto Portugal. He was surprised to know that i had been to that part of the World.
All his questions were revolving around “But Why” which he asked repeatedly.
“But why did you stop? But why didn’t you go again?”
I almost got fed up with his questions but since there was nothing else to do, i followed along.
Eventually he announced that he would conduct a confession for me right there in William’s apartment. The other people were told to give us a few minutes while we did the confessions. It was an awkward moment since i had gulped down a bottle of beer from William but the Father assured me that God understood.
“Tell me your sins” He had said after making the Catholic sign of the cross.
“I don’t think i have committed any sin recently” i fired back.
“Do you mean you haven’t lied or fornicated or cheated recently” he said calmly.
“I believe there are necessary lies Father and i don’t believe there are sins” i said.
“Can you explain what you mean by necessary Lies?” he asked.
“Father, i read from somewhere in the Bible where apostle Peter was approached by those who wanted Jesus dead. They accused him of being a follower of Jesus but he denied. Isn’t that right?” i asked.
“Yes you are right but Jesus already told Peter that he would deny him” he said.
“Very good, but it was still a lie”I said.
“It seems you like argument a lot” he said.
“Yes Sir, i learn more from arguments Father” i replied.
He eventually forced a prayer on me and asked God to forgive me my since citing that i was ignorant of the wrongs i had done in the past. When he finished his prayers, i said, “Father, there is something i will like you to do for a girl. She is coming to Sweden the next day. She was brought to Europe by human traffickers and they had made her believe that she will die if she decided to stop selling her body to men and making money for them. She is a Nigerian teenager who is not more than 18 years, i will bring her to you when she arrives. I want you to convince her that the deities she was made to fear back home in Nigeria cannot kill her here. If you can be able to achieve that, i might repent and start coming to your Church or start receiving holy communion again. I think that should be the real work of the Church instead of telling us about the God above whom nobody has ever seen or heard from since Jesus died over 2000 years ago” i said.
He stared at me for several seconds before nodding his head.
“Bring her to me when she arrives here in Sweden” Fr. Onuigbo said.
“You must have crossed the river before you may tell the crocodile he has bad breath”