“Abosede, you go find work wey you go dey do to help de
family.” My mother said to me as though pronouncing a sentence for some kind of
crime I had committed.
I was hunched over the pot of leftover yam porridge in the
kitchen as my stomach growled from the hunger that ravaged me.
“Find work ke?” I croaked.

“Yes…you go find work.” My father said.
I stared at my parents, they didn’t look angry at each other,
infact they looked as though they’d settled the issue of the money quite
amicably.
“Graduates never find work finish, na me go come dey find
work. Work nor dey or una never hia?” I ask, upset that they were disturbing my
meal.
“Me and ya papa don agree say na for idle mind, na im devil
take dey work so, we nor want make devil use you.”
“Devil use me ke? Which kain talk be dat one?” I ask, still
with food in my mouth.
“Abosede, we don set our rule for dis house and if you feel
say e nor favour you, you fit to comot.” My father said sounding serious.
I stared at my parents, they looked serious.
“Which kain palava be dis na? I get work na…” I said hissing
under my breath.
“Which kain work you dey do?” My mother asked.
“I dey help you for shop…” I said.
“I get sales girl.” My mother supplied.
“Ehen, if to say I gree to work, wetin my papa go do? E
never reach to retire and draft nor be work.”
“Nor worry about ya papa, he go sha find how to bring money
come house.” My mother said.
“Which kain suffer head be dis one na?” I ask in
frustration.
“From tomorrow, if you nor get work no food to chop.” My
mother said.
My eyes widened, it was already noon and this was the first
meal I was having after the last one I had at Bidemi’s place. At the rate at
which my parents and I were going, I was going to be skinny before the end of
the month.
I love my size, I know people complained that I was on the big side and wanted me to
trim down and blablabla but no, I loved the fact that I had flesh. I always
defended myself with this experience I had in
secondary school. One day, my friends and I were given punishment to cut
grass for truancy, we cut grass from the break period till
the end of school hours and just as we were done, the rains started but not
without sending heavy breeze as a warning sign. My friend Amina who’s very
skinny by the way and loves to drink nothing but Kunu was serving the
punishment with me and when the heavy breeze blew, it carried her and flung her
to the ground. I ran to the classroom for cover while she cried out my name.
When I reached the classroom, the rain had begun to pour and it brought the
heavy winds with it. Mary, another classmate and I ran out to help Amina into
the class but the wind and rains were so strong. Eventually it took the gateman
and a teacher who was still at the school after closing hours to help drag her in. I was chubby
back then and that was the day I made my resolve never to get skinny. I
didn’t want any heavy breeze to drag me about like what had happened Amina on that day.
“How I go do am na? Wia I go work? I nor get certificate
ooo…” I said to my mother in reminder.
“Na my fault? Shebi we send you go school but you nor gree
learn. We send you go learn work but you nor gree learn. We never try?” She spat.
“You dey talk like say na you and daddy send me go school
and send me learn work. Na only you send me ooo…na draft daddy dey play.” I
said.
“I dey give emotional support.” My father supplied.
“I don tell una say work nor dey…even graduate never find
work and una nor wan hear.”
“Work full ground boku! Na you nor wan work. You fit join
people wey dey carry cement for head, you fit help sell for restaurant, you fit
work for dry cleaner, you fit…” My mother started.
“Back to sender ooo…I nor fit carry sand for construction
site, how you go dey wish ya pikin dat kaim work? I fit manage restaurant work….atleast I go don chop belleful before I reach house, even sef variety go dey…nor be only to chop yam, bread and rice.” I said.
“Na dat one consign you….I don tire to provide for
everybody for dis house.” My mother said and stormed off.
My father stood there looking at me.
“You use jazz abi?” I asked him in anger. “How momsy nor vex for you after I confess say na you take de money?”
“Which kain jazz? She be my wife na…I know am before I
know you sef and as bible talk am, wetin God don join, nothing fit asunder us.”
He said. “Better find work ooo…because no food for lazy woman.” He walked away.
“Na only you know ooo…na for dis kain matter you dey fit quote bible.” I retort.
I knew I had to find a job because I was sure my mother’s threat was
real. I had made up my mind that it’ll be a restaurant work but where do I
begin my job search? I thought as I scrapped the remaining scraps from the pot. There are good restaurants at the junction, all I need to do is identify the restaurant with the highest variety of food and I’ll be fine.

To be continued….

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