120: Journey To Freedom Part 3

posted in: Season 1: Journey To Nowhere | 5

I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?

When Melissa was leaving, i gave her 50 Euros. She was very happy that I just wondered if she would be that happy if she knew how much money i had with me.

Around 5pm, i called Aunty Philo.

“I have returned. I will come to the shop this night” I said.

She didn’t say a word, she just cut off the call.

Madam Sharon was well known around Castel. She was the chairperson of all the Madams around the area and was known to settle disputes all the time. She was the one harboring me and after showing me a room where i would stay, i dragged my bag inside and closed the door.

I stood in the middle of the room and looked for the best place to hid the money. I figured that it would be dangerous to leave it inside my bag. If someone would come inside the room, he or she was most likely going to search the bag.

There were two pillows on the bed but the large cupboard seemed to be the best place to hide the money.

For some reasons unknown to me, i divided the money into two and put one in the cupboard, then the rest inside the pillow.

The room had no locks, therefore it was going to remain open until i return.

“Aunty i want to go and see my Madam. I will come back before 9” I said to Madam Sharon who was watching a Nigerian Movie in the sitting room.

She approved my request and i walked outside.

I took a bus to down Domitiana where Phils Restaurant & Bar was located.

Lilian, Philo and some customers were all there.

I walked straight to where Aunty Philo was seated and knelt down before her.

She was gearing up to shout but as soon as she saw me kneeling down, she asked me to stand up.
That was a nice decision from her not to shout because no matter any amount of noise she made there, the past was never going to return.

“We Will talk when we get home” She said.

I stood up and walked to where Lilian was washing plates.

“Please let me wash them” I said.
Lilian cleaned her hands and stood near me asking questions.

She wanted to know everything about Milan immediately.
I told her it was a very big neat modern city but that there were far too many white men compared to Castel Volturno or even Napoli.

We chatted and made sales all evening until around 9pm, when i told Aunty that i was going to get my bag.

On my way home, i called Max. He didn’t recognize my voice. I had to make explanations before he knew it was me.

“This ain’t your digits” he had complained.

I told him that i changed my phone number a few days back.

“Max there is something i want you to do for me tomorrow in Castel Volturno” i said.

When he asked what it was, i told him that i wish to pay my aunty off and get my freedom.

“I dont have that kind of cash Maria” he almost shouted.

I told him that i had the money and that i just needed a guy to stand as my boyfriend who was paying for me.

After much explanations, he agreed to come to Castel Volturno the following day.

As i got home and pressed the bell, i wondered the kind of excuse i would give to Aunty Philo for not going to her apartment.
I felt the act alone would make her become angry with me but i also knew that within one or two days, everything between us would be over.

I walked upstairs to Madam Sharon’s apartment and to my greatest surprise, i saw two other girls in my room.

Damn! Was it really my room?
How come i didn’t even consider that Madam Sharon might have her own girls.

I would have known how to hide my money properly if she had told me there were other people occupying the room.

“Hello” I said.

They stopped what they were doing and looked up at me.

“Who are you?” One asked.

I kept quiet.

“Oh, its you who scattered my clothes inside the wardrobe” She continued.

I didn’t remember scattering any cloth. However, i recalled lifting up some clothes to hide half of my money.
My heartbeat had increased dramatically as i opened the wardrobe to check for my money.
The clothes i used to cover the money i put there had been rearranged.

As i bent down to scatter the clothes and check for my cash, one of them grabbed and asked me to leave the wardrobe immediately.

I stood up and faced her. “There is something i kept here and i want to check it”

“What is it?” She shouted as i bent down again and pulled up the clothes, the money was still lying at a corner in a black nylon bag.

I picked it up and turned around towards the bed to check the one in the pillow.

“What is inside that thing? Are you keeping Juju for us? Heeyyyy. Aunty come oh, your new girl is hiding JuJu inside our wardrobe” She shouted.

I attempted to tell her that it wasn’t Juju but her voice drowned mine. The second girl was already holding my hand and demanding that i open up the black nylon bag for them to know what  was inside.

At the same time, Madam Sharon entered the room and demanded what was happening.
Everybody kept quiet and waited for me to talk.

“What are you holding?” She demanded.

I opened it and brought out the money.

“Its the money for what i told you” i said.

“Oh, i didn’t know you have it already” Aunty Sharon said.

“I have parts of it but its not complete yet. My boyfriend will come with the remaining part tomorrow” I lied.

“Loveth, why are you shouting?” Aunty Sharon turned to one of the girls and asked.

“Aunty sorry, i thought it was Juju she was hiding in the wardrobe” She answered.

“Give me the money” Aunty Sharon said.
My heart skipped.

I didn’t know why she asked for the money. It could have been to keep it for me or to steal it from me by force but the fact was that i was already helpless. I had no power to decide that i won’t give her the money. It was her apartment and her girls were there too. If they decided to take the money by force, all they had to do was just to beat me up and throw me out of the apartment.
The worst part of the whole thing was that i didn’t even know how much money in that half. I had just divided and hide them before i left.

“How much money is that?” Aunty Sharon asked as she stretched her hand.

Written For http://www.globalruns.com

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