She had landed at the Arlanda Airport Stockholm and got delayed at the immigration control. According to her, they wanted to know what she was coming to do in Sweden. After telling them she was coming for a visit, they weren’t convinced. They had delayed her for over an hour before eventually deciding to allow her into town.
Maria and I had waited for several minutes at the airport until everybody who came on the same flight with her had left the airport.
“We need to clear from here or we may have problems. Africans and Arabs are not expected to wait for too long at any important Western establishment” I had told Maria. We had left the airport and took a cab back to our apartment where we waited for over 20 minutes before she called.
Her name was Precious, a native of Ubiaja; Somewhere in Northern Edo State. She was the latest arrival in the ranks of Aunty Adesuwa who according to Precious, had more than three other girls.
She had called from the airport since her Italian mobile phone still worked in Sweden.
“Take a taxi and tell him to bring you to the Stockholm Central station” Maria told her. We had gone to the Stockholm Central and picked her up.
When we returned, we showed her the extra room which has just a bed and electric gas heater. It seemed we still needed another TV and a DVD player for her room since women loved movies.
It was already dark when we settled Precious down. Aunty Adesuwa has been calling ever since Precious left Italy but when we told her that she was with us, she relaxed and stopped calling. She had asked when Precious will start work as if she left any work for her in Sweden. It was sometimes annoying the way they refered to prostitition as work; I never really considered it to be work.
“Let her relax first and know the streets before she can start anything here; Sweden is not as noisy and crowdy as Napoli” Maria told her.
We called out Precious at around 9pm and talked with her in the sitting room. First, Maria made it known to her that she was my fiancee; I guessed it was to draw the line between me and Precious.
We took the resident permit card she came with, with the pretence that the police could come to search our building anytime.
“If they come here, tell them that you arrived from Africa two weeks ago and didn’t know where to take asylum. If they take you away, they will show you where to register for asylum. I am sure you already know the asylum procedures and requirements in Europe; it is the same everywhere here. Just tell them the normal crap about how everyone in your family died except you; cry where you deem necessary” I said to Precious after taking her permit travel card.
The purpose why i took the card was not because of the police invasion; it was to make sure that she didn’t run away from us easily. She wasn’t a hostage but some of those girls were over ambitious and foolish. They wanted quick money as well and felt that the best and easiest way to see money in their hands was to go out in the cold streets and wait for men.
After about 30 minutes, Precious began to relax and Mix freely with us. She knew Fatimah from the streets back in Napoli, they were also at the asylum camp together in Italy. She wanted to know where Fatimah was since her Madam back in Italy told her that Fatimah was in Sweden. It was a delicate situation that needed tact to be managed. Maria had kept quiet since she didn’t anticipate the question earlier. I on my part, needed to come up with a quick and convincing answer. It would have been better if she had followed us to Vadstena Abbey but she wasn’t in Sweden when we visited Fatimah there.
“She is in another city; Sweden is very big. Maybe someday soon, you will join her but for now, you need to rest and tell us how you came to Europe” I said.
“Hmm, Brother it is not easy. If i tell you how i suffered on the road, you won’t believe it. We were three of us that left Lagos and went to Cotonou. There is a place called John Kay where we were taken to work. We spent almost a month there before they took us to Accra. It was after another one month in Accra that they told us that we were going to Libya. Serena went back from Ghana; She said she had heard about people who died on their way to Libya. We told her that she will die if she run away since we took an oath that we will never run away. She left our room in the middle of the night and we didn’t know where she went. Our guards searched for her for three days but when they couldn’t find her, they took Mercy and I to a park where we entered a bus to Bamako. I cried for Serena because i know the oath was going to kill her. We spent some days in Bamako before we took another bus to one town in the desert. I have forgotten the name but it was always very sandy there in the night. I wondered how people survived there. After one week in that dusty town, we were taken to Libya with a truck. We spent days on the road because our truck broke down twice. I even feared we were going to die. We spent some weeks in Libya before God sent Aunty Adesuwa to come to Libya. She came with some passports of black girls. They took our passport photographs and i didn’t know how they did it but when she gave me my own international passport, it was my picture that was in it. I think they used Voodoo to do that. One evening, we were taken to the airport where we followed an aeroplane to Italy. That was how i came here” Precious said.
I listened carefully as she narrated her ordeal. I was already an expert in the prostitution trafficking business and i knew the areas where i wanted to talk about.
“Have you heard from Serena since she left Ghana and returned to Nigeria?” i asked.
“Yes, she was my friend in Ubiaja before we left Nigeria. I called her mother in Nigeria who was very angry with me, she said i should not have allowed Serena to run away in the night since i could have called our guards. She accused me of wanting to succeed in life while i didn’t want her daughter to become somebody influential. She said Serena has been admitted into the Ambrose Ali University in Ekpoma. When she refused to give me Serena’s number, i called her father. It was him who gave me her phone number in Ekpoma” Precious said.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”