It was a very emotional moment for all of us. Fatimah had just accepted to go and live in a Convent. I didn’t even know what to make out of it. She was just a girl who had found herself in European streets but circumstances has led her to Sweden where she never dreamt of coming. Above all, she was going to live in a place where Maria may never see her again. I wondered how Olokun was going to attack her there.
“Sister, i want us to move her as soon as we can. If possible we can move this night” i said.
The sister said she had no money with her and would have to call the Convent to send her money and prepare to welcome Fatimah.
“How much is enough to take her there?” that was Father Onuigbo.
“Father you don’t have to worry, i am going with them, i need to know where she is taking my girl. I will take care of the transport fares” I said.
The sister said we will move the following morning. She assured me not to be scared or worried of what would become of Fatimah.
“You don’t have to worry about her, you can stay here in Stockholm; she is going to be alright” she had said.
I didn’t require any consultations with Fatimah or anybody to decide whether i was going with them or not. I believed that the only assurance of safety Fatimah could get was only if i followed them. Among the faces sitting in the sitting room, i was the only person she knew very well. It was true that we didn’t get along very well back in Castel Volturno Italy but i was still the only person she knew.
Father Onuigbo was a Catholic priest and Sister Eve as Onuigbo called her was also a Catholic Sister. But i never really trusted any stranger no matter your profession; Never.
Human beings were a kind of animals that put their interests ahead of any other thing. Bad news about how Christian priests and Bishops had been circulating all over Europe; there were rumors about how priests and bishops violated young seminarians in Belgium, Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere. Not that i didn’t know that things like that were possible but i never expected the news to go viral as it had happened.
For that reason, i was going to Vadstena, the town where the Pax Marie (Peace of Mary) Convent was located.
“Sister i am not worried, i just want to know where she will be spending many years. As it stands here and now, i am her next of kin and i believe it is only proper that i know where she is going to live” i said while staring at Sister Eve. She saw my face and instantly understood that it was either my way or the highway. Right inside me, i already determined that if Sister Eve or Father Onuigbo tried to convince me once more not to go with her, the proposal would be cancelled.
Fatimah was just a teenager who knew nowhere in Europe. She had come from Southern European Country of Italy where the cold and snow were minimal. She was amazed at the hip of snow everywhere in Stockholm. It was then that she knew the differences between hot and cold water.
“Sister Eve, have we agreed that we are moving in the morning?” i asked.
She nodded and smiled at me. A quick look at Father Onuigbo reminded him that i was serious; He nodded at me too as i stood up and shook his hand.
“I will be at the station as early as 6:00” i said and stood up.
I got back home and counted all my money. Half was in Euro while the other half was in Krona. From my experience as a traveler. I knew that no part of Sweden would cost more than €300 by train. Therefore i budgeted €400 each for three of us; then i added another €300 making it €1500. I converted the money to Krona and got Kr13,650. From the Krona i got at the Central station, i picked 27 pieces of Kr500 notes and stuffed them inside my pocket, then i picked another €1000 and put it inside the belthole for unforseen circumstances. I called William and asked where he was. He said he was at the driving school where he was taking exams to become a cab driver in Stockholm. I told him to stop by on his way back. As i waited for him, i washed the cooking pot which Alice had used in cooking the day before. I also arranged the house. When i finished, I picked up the ‘Angels and Demons’ novel by Dan Brown i had been carrying along since Paris days; I started reading it from the middle since i didn’t want to start from the beginning.
An hour later William called and said he was at the door. I openned for him and told him why i invited him.
“Brother pay attention. It is true that my brother and his wife found your Sister’s daughter back home for me to marry. It is also true that i had been in contact with her since my days in Amsterdam. I know they have told you about this development because you must have told them that i came to Sweden. You are a man and you know that we are all hustlers here in Europe. I want to live my life here and when i get home, i will decide if i am even good for that beautiful daughter of your sister who sent me her pictures on Facebook. The reason why i called you here is that i want to tell you something. The reason is for you to know who to ask if anything happen to me. I am going to Vadstena in the morning with Rev. Sister Eve, the one who stays with Father Onuigbo. I brought a girl from Italy to Sweden but her life is in Danger. They want to take her there and teach her some vocational jobs while she served our Lord Jesus Christ. I am going there to know the place. Here is some money, i want you to keep it for me. I will pick it up when i return” i said as i handed the bundle of Euros and Kronas to him.
As soon as he stuffed them inside his pocket, i said, “William, i don’t want anything to happen to this money. It will be so bad for them back home to know that it was you who lost the money i was supposed to use in processing my marriage to your elder sister’s daughter. Secondly i will make sure that i get the money back from you at all cost and by all means if anything happens to it”.
We laughed over it since William thought it was a joke. I said all that because I already knew how easily our people seize and embezzle other immigrants’ money especially if the immigrant had no papers.
“I may also abandon this apartment before the end of its rent duration but we will discuss that when i return” i said.
He left my apartment later in the night while i took a hot bath and spread on the bed like a sack of cloth; then i slept later on and waited for the day to break.
The next few days was going to be interesting because like Alice said, Maria was flying to Sweden to finally get her revenge on Ozoigbondu.
“Bring it on Maria, i am waiting as always”
” Experience is a comb that we receive just when we are going bald”