Few months later, I fell very ill. It was typhoid fever. Mimi, and the other girls rushed me to a nearby hospital. I was admitted for five days, before I was discharged. I had no money home or abroad. Mini settled the bills and took care of me during my recovery period. One cool evening, after I had completely recovered, Mimi and the other girls called me for a girl to girl discussion.
I wondered within me what the meeting was about. It’s been almost four months you arrived Lagos and have been living here with us”. Charity said. Charity was the youngest among the other three girls, she was pretty, intelligent and very smart. “Haven’t you wondered what we do for a living and how we have been able to attain this much? She asked. I have always wondered, especially since you girls do not leave the house during the day. I replied. “Well that’s because our kind of job gives us freedom during the day. Another girl by name Bernice cuts in. “we deal with the timber and caliber of the society” we give them what they want, and they give us what we need. It is just trade by barter. We get for one night what some civil servant get in six months. We play all sort of games with them on the bed just for the money Mimi concluded.
At this point, it became clear what they do for a living “you girls are prostitutes?” I exclaimed.
“Don’t call us that, Sharon the third girl said angrily. We are hustlers or wise babes she added. Girlie prostitutes are girls who sleep with anything on trouser Chi the last girl said, but we deal with men that matters, I think we deserve respect from you, she added. I was already angry at them for such lifestyle. I stood angrily and told them what I felt about them. You all can think whatever about what you do, it doesn’t change the real deal, that you are all prostitutes, low life and disgrace to womanhood, I said angrily.
Charity became very angry at me “How dare you call us all that in our own house, we give you three days to make up your mind to either join us or leave our house. “we no go fit dey work make you dey chop” she said and left, the others including Mimi looked at me in a despicable way and left too.
I knew that very moment I was in for a big one. The girls will certainly not allow me to keep living with them without contributing in any way. They couldn’t be feeding me and housing me at the same time while they go out and work with their bodies. It will be a case of “Monkey Dey work, Baboon dey chop” I was in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t want to live on the streets nor beg for food. Neither did I want to become a commercial sex worker. I couldn’t imagine having sex with different men I know little or nothing about.
It was three days already and the girls came to me asking for my decision. I looked at each of them, not knowing who to turn to, the girls had been very nice to me, but they were tired of carrying my burden. I finally summoned the courage to start, it was like I was in the court room begging for mercy. Girls you all have been very nice, you gave me shelter and food when I needed them most. Each and every one of you cared for me when I was sick as If I were your blood, for these and many more, I will forever be indebted to you all. But I beg you all for the last time, just one more week and I shall leave your house. I beg you all in the name of God, have mercy on an abandoned, homeless child……
My words may have fallen on the fertile ground of their heart. Mimi was the first to speak “Please girls, let’s grant her this wish, I beg of you all, she is like a sister to me, just this one week”. The girls agreed that I stayed a maximum of two weeks. I thanked them and went inside. But deep down my heart, I knew I would be homeless in two weeks as I had nowhere in mind to go.
I went out the next day hoping and wishing I could get a job most preferably that of a house maid, so I could have not only a job but also a roof over my head. I went to the island of Lagos hoping to get a family in need of a maid. Luck was on my side as I saw a house with sign post “Housemaid needed”. I said a short prayer and knocked at the gate. The gate keeper came out and I introduced myself and also stated why I dropped by “you would have to come back in two days , my madam is not around”. Thank you sir, I said and left. I walked round the other parts but couldn’t get any other place.
Two days later, at about 2pm, I went back to the house and met Mrs. Ebe, she looks classic and sophisticated. Her husband according to her is a business man who is never around, but always travelling from one place to another. She had two children who were both in senior high school in a prestigious boarding school. She wanted me to be incharge of the house keeping, and the kitchen. Though she wasn’t a working class lady, she was never around. She dresses sexy and classic. One would never imagine she is married, talk more of a mother of two teenage girls. She wasn’t such of a nice woman, neither was she so bad. She praises me when I impresses her and scolds me at the slightest provocation.
Someone once said that “No matter how you try, you can never satisfy some women” Mrs. Ebe proved that saying right. Despite how much God had blessed her life, she was involved in extra marital affairs. She was living her life to the fullest according to her. Her home and marriage was never her priority. She was always out with numerous sugarboys. (as she called them).
At some point, Mrs. Ebe started bringing those boys home. Who am I to question her? Even though I knew what she was doing was wrong before God and man, I had no right to say a word. Things became bad when one of her sugar boys by name Silas began to fix his eyes on me. Silas happened to be Mrs. Ebe’s favourite as he came more often than others. I begged Silas to take his eyes off me, so that Mrs. Ebe would allow me keep working. But my plead fell on deaf ears.
One evening I was cleaning my room when Silas walked in. He held me and tried to have his way between my legs. I became very confused. I didn’t know if I should tell Mrs. Ebe. I knew how much she liked him, she would do anything to defend him.
The girls soon returned from school as they were on holidays. This was a big relief, as Silas would not be coming around. I was fond of the children, I was 6 years older than pearl and 8 years older than Diamond. I treated them like my younger sisters, I helped them with their homework, advised them and discussed life in general. The girls were happy to have me around, as their mother was never there for them.
It was three weeks and the holiday was over. The girls were going back to school. I would Miss them so much. They were kind, beautiful, intelligent and smart girls. I had come to love them like my own sisters.
Mrs. Ebe was joyed when they left, she could finally resume her ways with her numerious sugar boys. Silas came that afternoon and they both stayed inside her bedroom for hours. I was already getting angry with the kind of life style Mrs. Ebe was living. How can someone disrespect her husband to this extent, I thought. As for Silas, what I felt for him was not fear as before, it had changed to anger.
The following day, Silas came home when Mrs. Ebe was out – Madam isn’t in, I angrily told him. “ I have come to see you dear”. Me? I asked. “Yes I missed you so much”. I looked at him in anger and asked him to get out, but his mind was made up. He came closer and grabbed me, he pushed me to the nearest sofa. He was ready to forcefully have me. I struggled with him, but my strength was no match to his.
Luckily, for me, as he tried to pull down his trousers, I saw the bronze flower vase on the center table. I gently removed the flower while he was trying to pull aside my pants and landed it on his head. He fell down and was screaming in pains. I came out crying and shouting without knowing what to do. Samuel the gatekeeper heard me and inquired what the problem was. I explained to him and he rushed inside to see Silas in the pool of his own blood.
To Be Continued…. . . .
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