Sometimes reality seems too much like a movie. It is more difficult to live through life when the reality of your existence begins to look like a badly acted movie. A week after their arrival in Italy, Jasper had introduced her to his ‘godmother’. A woman who looked like she fell out of a Lagos pepper soup joint. Bleached skin, gold jewelry all over, fat arms and legs, a sated existence. He had called her Mama Venice and then nothing more had been said about her.
It was not until Jasper left like a thief in the night that Omotinne realized the significance of that meeting. Jasper had left her. Left her to Mama Venice.
“Who do you think you are? So you think your stupid boyfriend paid all that money for you to come here. My dear I paid all the money and it wasn’t for nothing, you are my girl now and you would do as I say. And look at me very well, I will rather destroy an investment than not reap out of it. You can try me.” Mama Venice’s voice was surprisingly thin. That was all Omotinne could think about at the moment.
But that was not her moment of rude awakening. It would come later that week when some men came around to forcefully eject her from the apartment Jasper had put her. And there she was in the middle of a street. Homeless, cold and hopeless. Omotinne realized finally what had happened to her. She had been trafficked. Trafficking was something that happened to the less exposed, the less educated. It was something that happened to desperate people. Not her. Definitely not her type. She was alone in a country five thousand kilometers away from home, had no papers, could not speak the language no money to her name. She had become a statistic. A victim. A deserving victim in some minds.
Omotinne thought about how her Uncle’s wife, Aunty Ijeoma would gloat if she ever found out what happened to Omotinne. The woman she had lived with since her parents died in the middle of a pandemic has never been happy for her. She was the only one in the whole world who thought Omotinne’s travelling was too easy to be true. Her village people had finally caught up with her – until then Omotinne didn’t realise she believed in their efficacy.