The rest of the day was unusually quiet. I gave Maria a yard and she has systematically started to demand for a mile. She wanted me to tell her that we were going to get married. It wasn’t such a bad thing anyway but it didn’t cross my mind since she arrived in Sweden. I was still busy trying to secure my life from her; she was still considered a security threat despite us living like lovers. Destiny has really did a lot by bringing us together every now and then but the decision to make her a wife was mine.
Rose returned to the house before evening with two traveling bags full of cheap short cloths and shoes. I told her to keep it in the girls room.
At around 6pm, i went to the sitting room and started preparing the girls for the last time.
“I hope two of you still remember where you come from. What is the capital city of Sudan?” I pointed to Sharon.
“Uhm Cameroun, No it is Carton” she replied.
I giggled but controlled the imminent laughter.
“It is not carton. It is Khartoum. Always remember cartoon; the Children’s play. What about you Peace, what is the capital of South Sudan?”.
“Jaguar” She replied.
Where on earth did this girls came from?
It seemed we have two block heads in our midst but there was no time to make jokes out of them.
“Get me a pen and a paper” I said to Rose who was laughing uncontrolably. I was sure she didn’t know anything like the other girls.
She got up and went into the room where Maria was lying. One minute later, she returned with the items.
I wrote ‘Sudan-Khartoun’ and ‘South Sudan-Juba’, then gave it to them.
“Most of your asylum stories revolve around this two places. If you remember them, you can always form a story and insert the names in it. If you forget them, it means that at your age, you don’t know where you come from. It will make the Swedish government to dig more on where you come from and trust me, they will find out you are Nigerians” I said.
“Remember what i said, When you get to the camp, don’t contact Aunty Joy or your parents; they monitor phone calls in asylum camps. You will do that when you come out of camp. If the authorities catch you doing that, they could relocate you to the deportation camp. We are leaving here as early as 6am. We are traveling to a very far place. I suggest that both of you memorize my phone number. If you run into any problem, contact me. I will visit you up there before your time is over. I suggest that you go to bed now so that you can be able to wake up early” i told them.
When they left the sitting room, i said to Rose, “What else do you think you can do apart from standing in the cold? They can’t allow you in their school now because you are past what they consider as teenager”
I needed to start looking for a job for Rose because she was probably going to crash with Maria; i didn’t need that because i wanted Maria to be very relaxed and happy. She was going to be doing a whole lot of work for us.
“I don’t really know” She said.
“I can find a small work for you but i don’t think they will be paying you enough” I said.
“It doesn’t matter how much they pay as long as i have enough to take care of myself. Like you told me, i will change my phone number and make sure that my Madam can’t reach me but first of all, i will call and tell her that i am no Longer interested in the sex work. I know she will be angry. But brother i think your girlfriend is not happy that i am here. Please beg her for me” Rose said.
“What makes you think she is not happy with your presence here?” I asked, just for the sake of contributing to the topic she raised.
“She has been in the room since morning and haven’t talked to me” She said.
“It is not about you, you don’t have to worry but please try to understand and respect her all the time; she is also the owner of this place” I said.
“I will respect her Sir” She said.
Back in the room, i met Maria wide awake as she has been all day.
“What kind of work do you think we can find for Rose” I asked.
“I don’t know” She said bluntly. After a few seconds, she continued. “You know more people than i do here. Ask her what she can do and see if you can help her. When is our operation going to start because i am sure Aunty Adesuwa will begin to call me very soon about Precious.” She said.
“You are right, she will begin to ask for money soon. We will begin the operation tomorrow morning” I said.
“But you are traveling with the girls in the morning” Maria said.
“Yes, i won’t necessarily have to be around”
“As soon as i leave here tomorrow, call Adesuwa and tell her that Precious didn’t return last night and her phone was switched off. First of all, ask her if she heard from the girl. She will definitely say that she hasn’t. Then tell her that she haven’t returned and haven’t called. She will ask you to wait for more time and see if she will call or return. I am sure she will call you one or two more times to ask of Precious before i return from Where i am going. Maintain your story that you haven’t seen or heard from her. The day after tomorrow, we will evaluate the situation and make our next move” I said.
“What if she decides to come to Sweden?” she asked.
“Well, that is a possibility. You came to Sweden to take Fatimah back, did you succeed?. I am in charge of this operations and i know how this game is played. Just do what i say and we are fine” i said.
“No, problem then, i will call her by 8am in the morning” She said.
“Maria there is something i want us to be very clear about. Rose is not comfortable here and that is because she thinks that you are not happy about her presence here. Please i ………….” I was saying.
“No, i am not angry with her, Rose!” Maria interupted me and shouted.
Rose came into the room and stood beside the reading table.
“Please don’t mind my mood today, it is not about you. You can stay comfortably with us here; just know the things you can and cannot do. If out can do that, then we will not have any problem” Maria said.
Rose thanked her and returned to the sitting room where she was going to sleep that night.
I reflected on the current situation and concluded that while other Igbo men were busy selling drugs and sending thousands of scam mails, i was in an apartment with Benin girls trying to get myself in trouble with Italian Mamas.
“You can never straighten what is crooked; you cannot count what doesn’t exist”