I found myself in a strange land with no family, no friends ,hmmm. How do I start? Though, the lady I was staying with( Tinu ) was really nice to me, took me shopping for clothes and toiletries but I have to contribute too, I was bringing in nothing ,I said to myself. This made me so determined to do any job in order to be able to support Tinu. I looked for a job and eventually got one ,it was in an African restaurant. I used to resume work at 4pm and finish by 11pm.I also registered with a cleaning agency so I could do dishes at the kitchen from 9.30 am to 2.30pm.I must say at 22years,it was one of my toughest periods in life. I was empty, alone , vulnerable, scared and in all ,I felt unwanted (OMG). At such a young age ,I had to go through so much but there was something that kept me going then, it was God. I believe in God so strongly, I will have to say one thing my dad taught me was knowing God, believing in God and serving him wholeheartedly. I was hopeful and believed no matter what one pass through at a particular time ,there would be a change or should I say transformation and things would be ok but I would always ask myself, when?
At the African restaurant where I worked , I met a couple of unserious guys there. There is this belief that when you work at a restaurant, it is either you don’t have the right papers to work and might be desperate for someone to help. This gave a lot of these guys courage to approach me in order to take advantage of me. However, I didn’t give in to the pressure because I made up my mind that I wanted to settle down. What I mean by that is renting my own apartment , get a decent job and be contented. There was a guy who asked me out then but I rejected his request. He would go and wait for me at the bus stop at 11pm,begging me to take me home. In my mind I knew any guy who came with such manner of approach ,only wanted me for sex so I would always refuse him whenever he asked. After many refusals, this guy would come and meet me in the kitchen inside the restaurant begging me to go out with him. I was so shocked and wondered how he managed to get through the kitchen door. Later I figured it out that It must had been my boss, owing to the fact that there were close.
On a Saturday after work around 3am, on my way home, I met this guy again.He started his drama again, begging and kneeling down in the middle of the road just to take me home. After much pressures and also because I couldn’t get a cab, I gave in and got into his car. Unfortunately, instead of taking me home, he took me to his house because it was very late. I was much convinced that night he only wanted sex. He took advantage of me because I was fed up of life and I guess I was just giving up fighting to protect myself.So I gave him what he wanted though it felt like I was raped but I couldn’t complain or report to anyone. Who should I report to? Please tell me ,my esteemed readers . I was an illegal migrant, I came into this country with someone else’s passport. Immediately he was through with me, he offered to take me home. I have tried all my life to be the perfect girl but I couldn’t. I regretted what I did, at 22years with no guidance, what could I have done.
Eventually, one of my Dad`s friend found me a job at Walmart. Immediately I got the job, I moved out of Tinu house and rented an apartment of my own, very close to a friend’s. I met this friend at Millennium station on my way to my cleaning job one day, we went to the same college in Nigeria.
After three months, I was made a supervisor at Walmart. Things got better a little bit, I made good friends , I started attending a church and things were okay a little bit. When I got my place I started drinking alcoholic drinks to sleep at night, you guys won’t believe I called Tolu again that I have got a job and got my own place, lol (crazy).I was lonely, scared , always wanting to feel among. I got a feeling that because Tolu felt he was a big boy that was the reason he did not really want to be associated with a girl like me anymore. But to my surprise , he came to my house one day and he never returned. I lifted up my eyes and looked up to God.
Tolu called me on the 20th of April 2005 around 10.30am to inform me that his mum passed way . I was at work, I felt so bad that I had to leave my work because I just could not work anymore that day. My regret was that I didn’t forgive her before she died. I went there and I was thinking I will be able to see her corpse but Tolu`s girlfriend was just everywhere , I had to leave . My soul was downcast, I felt I was used and dumped. Standing outside the door of that house, I started having reflections precisely on a day Tolu called me from Chicago, then I was in Nigeria. He told me he had a dream that we had an elaborate wedding, everyone was there and we were so happy .But that was in the dream not in reality. Shame!!! We were so excited and talked about it so much, hmm. I got home that night and I wept so much till I fell asleep.
The next day I did not go to work, I was weak, because I cried myself to sleep . He sent me text message about the burial arrangement but I did not go. I was uncomfortable to attend because of the jealousy I had towards his relationship with his new girlfriend. They flown his mother’s corpse to Nigeria and had an elaborate burial ceremony for her. I held on to God and moved on with my life.
Tolu came back to Chicago and there was no communication with him. It was after a year later that I was told he got deported back to Nigeria.Suddenly, rumours were all over the places that he was deported because I placed a curse on him. Ha! wahala don come again. Even my best friend believed it and this caused me much pain . One evening after work, Tolu called me and starting asking me for forgiveness. Wow! So he eventually tagged me “A Witch”. I was so upset that evening and told him I did not know anything about the cause of his predicament . But he said he just needed me to say , ‘’ I forgive you’’. I said it and as some of you would have it figured out, I started calling him once in a while to be sure he was fine.
He was able to get back into Chicago and I was the first person he called when he got back .He called me while he was on his way home from airport to tell me he was back. Few days later, he came to my house and we just sat down not saying anything to each other .Then, I thought of how many opportunities I have had in my life to express myself but I never did. My low self esteem and passiveness attacked my spirit and I refused to stand tall where it was necessary. I had the opportunity that day to express my feelings to Tolu and tell him how badly he had hurt me but I didn’t. I just couldn’t stop hurting myself . I missed that opportunity and it crushed my spirit every time I closed my eye and imagined us sitting together and not saying anything.
Some people believe that there are no missed opportunities, they say where you currently are, is where you are meant to be and you should pay attention to that moment . This is because there is always something to gain, to learn and to process into our next step in life but I am sure by the time you follow me on the next episode you will realise , it’s did not work that way for me.