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“Okada!” I called out.
I watched as the bike men zoomed past me as though I wasn’t
calling out to them. It was almost eleven pm and I had not seen a bus that was
headed towards my area. Common sense told me to turn back and return to
Bidemi’s place and spend the night there but I was stubborn, I refused to turn
back.
“Where you dey go?” A bike man asked, as he rode up to stop
just before me.

I quickly gave him the address of my house.
“You know wia you dey go so?” He asked me, sizing me up.
“You high? How I nor go know wia I dey go?” I asked.
“Ya money na two thousand.”
“Two wetin?”
“Thousand.” He finished.
“My house nor far na…I be dey use five hundred naira come
here before…” I said.
“Fuel don high and your weight fit finish my tyre so…I
suppose hold collateral.” He said.
“You dey craze ooo..” I said.
“I dey goo…” He warned.
I didn’t know what to do, there were no buses and the bikes
were beginning to disappear, plus I had less than five hundred naira in my
pocket.
“Oya make we go.” I said as I hopped on the bike.
“Chai…aunty, you don less de tyre already.” He said.
“Start machine make we go jare!” I shouted.
“Nor dey shout for me ooo…if you know say you wan shout,
comot for my okada.” He said.
I kept silent.                 
       
“Show me ya money, I need to know say you hold enough money
for payment. Day don dark ooo.” He said.
My heart beat frantically in my chest, I didn’t know what to
say to him.
“I hold money to pay you …and I go pay you when we reach
my dormot.” I said. “I nor fit open purse for hia, abeg dis na night….”
The man seemed to be satisfied with my answer and he turned
on the bike and we left the place.
The night was dark and quite scary as I sat behind him as
the wind hit my face, I thought of the humiliation I had suffered at Bidemi’s
house and my stomach growled in hunger again. I wondered if I made the right
decision by leaving Bidemi’s house at night as I couldn’t trust anyone with my
life and definitely not the okada man.
 The bike man soon
passed familiar territory and I was happy that he was indeed taking me home. I
remembered the scary stories I have heard of people being robbed and even
killed when they boarded the wrong buses or bikes at night. Soon, we were in
our street and I suddenly felt some kind of peace within me, as I was first of
all happy that I was close to home and then I was scared that my mother hadn’t
forgiven me yet for all I’d done at my brother’s place. Another fear was that I
had no money to pay the bike man.
“When we reach de place tell me ooo…dis una road dark…no
light.” He said to me.
“Okay…” I said as I thought of what of do about the money
situation.
We were almost at my mother’s shop and I saw that there was
light streaming from there. I knew my mother never stayed in the shop beyond
six pm and her sales girl left at eight pm, so who was there? I thought. I
quickly said to the bike man.
“Oga abeg stop here…”
“Na dis place be de house?” He asked.
“No…but dis na our shop…” I said pointing at the shop.
“Abeg do quick, I dey go Okota dis night ooo….” The bike
man said.
He stops the bike and I alight, heading to the shop to see
who’s there. It’s my father.
“Daddy…” I say in alarm and quickly genuflect in greeting.
“Abosede! Wetin you dey do hia?” My father asked with fear
in his eyes.
“You sef, wetin you dey do for inside shop?” I whisper.
“Shhhh…I wan take small money wey I go use for draft
tomorrow…” He said.
“Ehn! If mummy catch you ehn…” I warn.
“Na you sef dey for inside big wahala….ya mama go beat you
like pikin for de tin wey you do for ya broda pikin.” He said.
“Which kain? I nor do anytin to am ooo…” I deny.
“You go explain dat one give ya mama.” He said.
“You go help me na…” I said.
“Me ke? I nor go even put mouth.”
“I go tell mama say I catch you for inside her shop…”
My father’s eyes widen as he stares at me. We hear footsteps
and soon the bike man enters the shop.
“Sister, wia my money?” He asks.
“Okay…” I stammer and point to my dad. “Na dis man go give
you money.” I said to him.
“Oga give me two thousand sharp sharp.” The bike man said.
“Abosede! I nor get money ooo…” My father says to me.
“If you nor settle dis okada man, I go tell mama say na you
thief her money for shop.”
My father grumbles at first then opens the drawer and brings
out two thousand naira which he hands over to the bike man. The man takes it
and leaves.
“Na wah for you ooo…na so so trouble you dey cause…” My
father said to me.
“Oya carry de money wey you wan carry, make we comot for
hia.” I said.
I watch as my father takes some money from the drawer and
locks it up. Soon my father and I locked the shop and walked the short distance
to our house. My hunger had somehow disappeared as I was more afraid of my
mother than hungry. I was relieved when my father informed me that my mother
was already asleep and as I retired to my room, I remembered the humiliation I
suffered at Bidemi’s place and sighed.
“E nor get any place wey fit resemble pesin house!”
To be continued on Wednesday….

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