Episode 3 Continues……….
She came back the next day and we met, she said there was a problem. That I came to Malaysia with a visiting visa without reference so for them to make my residential permit authentic, I have to pay a sum of $2,000. So rather than me going back to Nigeria to process it, the fee would be used to process everything. At first I became suspicious of her demand but remembered she gave me money, she might be a nice woman and she may even help me with a job in that country. I decided to take a shot at it. I went to my hotel room and brought $2000. Though I was having a double mind about what I was doing. Part of me said I should give it to her.
Another part of me said I shouldn’t. She took the money and my passport. She said I looked scared. Why I no go fear, because it look as if there are too much scammers around even though she is not a Nigerian though. She said I should follow her to her house, that she would bring me back. All was just to prove to me that she wasn’t scamming me. Na so she carry me for her car and land for one fine residential estate. I met her kids, about 2. She even prepared one meal like that with carrot. She said she was a single mom. Na so dirty thoughts come dey enter my mind. As she was taking me back to the hotel, I began thinking of how I will date her, even milk her of her money. I presumed she loves me. After dropping me, she said she would come the next 2 days to come and take me to their office to finalized everything and I would be free to live and do anything positive in Malaysia. Na so I happy ooo.
I waited for next two days to come and next two days turned to one week, two weeks and this woman was yet to show her face with my passport and my resident permit documents. I have been kicked out of my hotel room. The once rejected dustbin room I refused at the back of the hotel building was where I was staying. Every night, I try to some around at the bar to see if I could see the woman but no show. Infact the Police were frequenting the bar arresting illegal migrants.
My nightmare started when I began running up and down the building each time I hear the police siren. No rest of mind. No money to call my family at home to tell them what was going on. Infact, eating sef became a problem. That was why some of us in that dustbin looked like hungry demons. Large eyeballs chucked out, long neck, big head and tiny fingers. As a black man, you can’t walk freely on the streets of Malaysia without any security agents asking you about your immigration papers, passport and visa.
This particular night, I managed to move across the street to the estate of the immigration woman. I was hoping and praying that nothing wrong had happened to her because I took her as my mini Jesus. To save me from the hands of hardship and security officers in Malaysia. Not until I knocked on the door of the house she took me to. After knocking for 5 minutes and no one opened, I turned to start going when I I heard chuckles of door opening. The door opened and I a policeman with uniform. He couldn’t even understand English as he spoke in Malaysian language. Me sef no understand wetin he dey speak before the man start to dey shout. He was just shouting and screaming. People started coming out of their houses, fear grippe me. Before I knew what was happening, “wau… wau …wau” was what I started hearing. Sirens were blowing. “give me my gun on the table,” was what I heard from the man that opened the door in front of me. I ran as fast I could. I didn’t even know where I was running to. I trekked to that place, only God knew how I would trek out and get to the hotel. I was just running. The whole streets were shouting, it just looked as if Asians hates blacks because when I turned my back, I saw about 4 police cars with sirens on chasing only one person, me. So many thoughts were running through my head. I remembered what soji had said to me that the police officers have no mercy, they kill blacks like we Africans kill rats when we see them, most especially illegal immigrants like that are blacks.
I was able to run out of the estate into Kuala Lumpur. That was the most difficult because it was easy to chase and identify me. Infact, the way I was running, Malaysians began to run away from me as I got close to them. I ran into a grocery store, immediately, they chased me out. I ran into a tea shop, people inside the shop left their tea and ran out of the shop as if I was a monster. I was just running on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. I didn’t know how to locate hotel plan B. But it was God that helped me. The distance from Hotel plan B to the immigration woman’s place was not that far. I didn’t even know how I got to hotel plan B. sometimes I do think that an angel of God just took me to hotel plan B. But the angel that brought me back didn’t make the the police to stop chasing me. Barely 10 minutes I ran into the bar gasping for breath, the police moved in with heavy sniffer dogs. Everywhere became scattered, people were running out of the bar. As they came in, all illegal immigrants began to run helter skitter. Some find their way out. Those that were not lucky were caught. One was shot dead. Thank God for a black woman who saved me. She told me to hide myself under the table she was drinking. The table had a covering that can shield someone. If not for that, I would have been caught because all blacks in the building were caught. Na to come show say you legal immigrant or visitor for them to release or take them away. Under the table I stayed for 1 hour, sweating with my blood pressure risen. After the police had gone, I came out under the table. The bar had been disorganized and people leaving. The woman who said I should hide under her table asked me to seat. I no even gree seat because I no know if police go come again. She told me to calm down and seat that they were not coming. For my mind, “no be so the immigration woman take use dupe me?” maybe she wants to exploit me again. But now I no get money wey she fit take now.
I sat down as she said. “So you are one of the people disgracing Nigeria, tarnishing our image,” she shouted. She come dey para for me ooo. She began abusing. She said that night would have been my last because the ones they caught, they might likely kill them and their families, no one would know. The Nigerian Government would do nothing. Come see the way this woman dey para for me ooo. She was just shouting at me as if I stole money from her. I was so embarrassed, but couldn’t do anything, maybe the police might just come and nab me. She began asking me series of questions, asked me my name which I told her. He asked me why I was in Malaysia, I told her what happened and how I got there. She laughed at me, saying I had falling victim of ebuka’s scam. She said her name was madam rose and she’s a Nigerian business woman that visits Malaysia once in 3 months to buy goods. She said she often comes to the bar to drink each time she’s in the city so that was the first time of seeing me at the bar. She told me she has an advise for me if I was willing to take it, and infact she was ready to help me out of my predicament. I became happy immediately since she said she would help me. But at a time I wondered, was it not how the immigration woman did to me that she duped me. “Don’t worry, I don’t want your money. In fact am the one that wants to spend on you,” madam rose said in a pompous tone. “ What’s the help you want to render?” I asked. She told me that the help is just a little advise if I am willing to take it. “My advise is, go back to Nigeria now or else you will die here,” She shouted in a harsh tone. “Was that an advise,” I thought to myself. I thought she would tell me that she will give me some money to help me process my resident identity or even student admission status.
After much talk that night, madam rose said I should go and think about what she said, that infact she would even help pay my ticket back to Nigeria. I went back to the dustbin of a house feeling sad and depressed. I nearly lost my life that day, I lost my passport. I have no one to help me. I began thinking. Indeed madam rose sounds like a wealthy woman, buy why can’t she help me. She only help she wants to render is for me to go back to Nigeria which I was not willing to do. I have disappointed my parents with my disobedience, travelled against their will even when they provided the money for me. My dad even sounded it to my ears, that I should never come back to that house without buying him a car. The money he wants to use to buy a car was what he gave to me, so I shouldn’t come back to the house without a personal car for him. Surely, I can’t just go back to Naija without anything. The shame, the disgrace, after bragging to my friends that I was going to build the tallest storey building in Nigeria when i shall return. And it had been long I spoke to my family on phone. I was scared of calling because when they ask me how I was doing, what would be my explanation, what would I tell them?
After that day, I didn’t see madam rose again. I felt she was one of the numerous scammers who are going around Malaysia looking for who to devour their money.
Life was just too hard for me that I began regretting coming to Malaysia. How I wish I knew, I would have stayed back in Nigeria, finish my NYSC, wait for my dad as he said and would genuinely send me to Canada for my Post graduate. But I no gree, stubbornness over took me, now see were it has landed me. In my house in Nigeria, I eat 3x in a day. Sometimes 5x and I even eat what I like and what I want. I had never lacked anything”. As I was thinking about all those things, tears running down my eyes. 2 days now going and I was yet to eat anything. My body was shaking, no food, still stocked behind closed doors at the dustbin house. We are unable to leave, running from the police. No money to buy food. No free movement to even go and beg for money or even food. Everyone is afraid because when one is caught by the police, not even deportation but the torture and sometimes death given to the person would be worse.
As time went on, I was adapting to the torture and pains of being an illegal immigrant in Kuala Laum. All of us in the dustbin house would hustle each day before we could eat. Sometimes no food at all. We go for up to 3 days before anything like food can even enter our mouth. No be say na better food sef, just carrot. In that hotel Plan B, majority of the food, delicacies, cuisine they prepare are done with carrot. Left over are majorly dumped at the waste unit close to the dustbin house I stay. Na so we go dey hustle to chop ordinary carrot. Sometimes we would wait oooo for days and no leftover would be brought to the waste bin. Hunger go dey fry us like fish. We would wait to hear a sound of waste bin been opened so we could rush to go fetch leftover food. At a time I was tired of the whole thing because all my mouth was full of sores. Chewing carrots almost everyday was giving me injuries. My left side cheeks had swollen.
Sometimes we just pray for Sunday to come because that was the only day I noticed that the police doesn’t disturb us concerning movement, depending on the area one is. Every Sunday, we go to a church close to us because they usually share bread and tea at the church. All of us in the dustbin house don’t miss their service because of the bread and tea we are given. Na so me and my guys will be rushing for tasteless and their tea. I noticed most of the members who are Malaysians are not even rushing or eating the tea and bread. Na only we blacks dey chop the church tea and bread. But I no send.
This particular Sunday, hunger don do us something. We had not eating for 2 days and had not taking our bath for 3 days. Thank God we managed to get water which we had to beg one of the hotel staff to open the tap close to our house. Na there we see water take bath. After bathing, we headed to the church service early enough so we could meet up with the tea and bread breakfast session. After the church service, after loading our stomachs with 7 slice of bread and a litter of tasteless tea each, we headed home.
2 hours later, we were having uncomfortable sleep in our dustbin house when we began hearing gunshots. I didn’t even know were it was coming from. But the sounds were heavy enough to predict that it was close by. The room was so congested. Each and everyone of us were scared. Siren was blowing hot. “Bang bang bang” we heard a knock on the door. Na so fear catch everybody ooooo. I couldn’t move an inch. Some of the guys opened the windows. Na so them begin fly comot from widow. But I don’t know what to do before going through the window would be linking me to a minor underground linking to the major roads and streets. I don’t even know if police officers are already there waiting to get us. The voice from outside was screaming louder, “open this door now,” with an Asian accent. The only thing on my mind there was making heaven. I remembered my mother, father and sisters all my siblings. My imaginations were running wild. My thoughts, “if I die, what would my soul be off. How would God judge me? Maybe as a disobedient child who didn’t listen to his parents?” “chaii na so my life take end?” I thought again to myself as the bang on the door became more intense. Many of the guys were jumping out through the window, but fear no gree me do that, because I don’t know what would befall me at the other side. Soji gently moved close to the door and opened it gently. Immediately he opened it, about 4 police officers just barged in with guns. How they discovered that place we were, no one knew. Before I could say “Hovabuzz,” they started hitting us with guns. And we were over 30 the police officers met inside. I was on the floor when I heard, “Poa , Poa, Poa,” gunshots. 3 guys were already on the ground. The police shot them dead while they had tried to escape. They arrested all of us, carried us with a big van. We were packed like sardine to an unknown place that looked like desert. There was houses like that looked like cells. I had only seen that kind of area in Hollywood films. I saw it as a huge detention center because it has barb wires that demarcated each section. We were left in one big room for 2 days without food nor water. No one came to attend to us or opened the door. We were locked inside the place. I had already given up, that I would be killed. But the third day that the place was opened, officers who were wearing mask was what we were seeing. The officers were kitted, with mask on their faces carring guns. As they opened the place, they took us. By then, I knew it was over. We would be killed. We got to the entrance of the detention center, they covered our faces with black cloth. Some people began crying, while some started singing. I noticed one of the voices who was singing “Anointing fall on me.” It was funny but at that moment, it wasn’t. With the black vale on our faces and handcuff on our hands. We couldn’t see, we were only taken as we matched as we walked about 3 minutes and the vale was removed from our face. ‘Na desert I come dey see abi my eyes dey deceive me?’ I thought to myself. Because I looked back and I could only see the big gate of the detention cell. I was thinking it was the place they want to kill us when I heard, “Ok black monkeys, you all can go. You are free.” The officer who spoke was wearing a mask on his face. Or maybe I didn’t hear well. “Did they really ask us to go or they are just joking” I thought to myself. The officers told us to go. But I began wondering were we are going. They set us free inside a desert. Instead of them to take us back to were we where arrested, rather they brought us to desert to set us free. At first I was kind of happy but the way we began looking at the officers that asked us to go and the way they were doing the favour was suspicious. I felt there was another gender they had. They began shouting on us to go, infact run. And we began running but with double mind. Na me be the first person wey start to dey run. Without food and water for about 2 days with that kind of punishment. But I don’t know what kind of energy that came into me that I found myself ahead of others as we ran. Before we could run up to 5 minutes, we started hearing gunshots. Something in me told me not to look back, that I should just keep running. I kept running, but at a time the gunshots were heavy and intense that I began wondering if the officers were just wasting bullets. I turned back and saw the officers on masked face chasing at us.
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