Layode held on to her bag in the market while she priced the
tomatoes which had all of a sudden turned to gold in Nigeria.
“How much for that one?” She asked pointing at five small
tomatoes in a bowl.
“Five hundred naira…” The seller said.
“What? For five? Is it negotiable?”
“I even try…go mama Baby shade, you go see say I try…”
The seller said and turned away, calling out to other buyers.

“Ha!” Layode said aloud. She had nothing but five hundred
naira in her bag and she couldn’t use it all to buy tomatoes. Deciding to buy
sachet tomatoes instead, she headed over to the fish seller.
“Auntie…titus fish…” She said.
“Na de one of four hundred I get ooo…” The seller warned.
“Ha….two hundred naira fish nor dey?” Layode asked.
“E nor dey!” The woman said.
“Na wah ooo…pesin nor fit buy something for dis market
again?” Layode asked herself.
She was still contemplating on turning around and leaving
the fish seller when she heard a male voice.
“Please give me fish ….big ones.”
She stood there watching as the woman removed the thick
cloth covering the fish and brought out three medium sized fish.
“What’s your biggest size? These ones nor big at all…” The
male voice said.
Layode watched as the woman dug deeper in her fish bowl and
brought out hefty fish.
“Dis one na seven hundred for one…” She said.
Layode snuck a peek and the man and her heart froze, it was
Elijah.
“Elijah!” She said aloud.
The man turned to regard her and recognition crossed his
features.
“Layode! Ha! Oh my goodness! How are you?” He said,
enveloping her in a warm hug.
“I am fine ooo….how are you?” She asked.
“I am very well…”
“Yes you look it, considering that you’re about to buy the
whole fish in the market.” She said.
“Hahahahaha….that’s not true jo. Where is your fish? I
want to pay for it?” He said.
“I haven’t bought any yet, things are too expensive…”
Layode said.
Elijah said to the fish seller.
“Madam abeg pack those fish for her…”
The woman stared at him in surprise and began to cut the
fish.
Elijah used to work in Layode’s former company as the driver
to their boss but once the company folded, they had lost contact.
“Where are you working now?” He asked.
“My dear…nowhere ooo…I was working for a small firm but
I couldn’t juggle the job with taking care of my kids so…”
“Wait ooo…you were pregnant just before
the company folded.”
“Yes…I was…” She smiled.
“You know that there were rumours that Oga was responsible for that prgnancy…” He started.
Layode kept mum, she stared at the fish that
the woman was cutting.
“I still work with Oga, you know, he came back two years ago
and started a new company which is really flourishing.” He said.
“Oh…really…” Layode said, she didn’t want to keep
talking to Elijah since it he was beginning to pry.
“You know his wife doesn’t have children for him…and
he’s very rich now. In fact, if that child you were carrying back then is his,
it’s goodbye to poverty ooo…” Elijah said.
“Oga has a child…a daughter…I remember clearly.”
“Oh, that one that his first wife had for him, she’s in America studying. That could be the fate of your child you know…” He said.
Layode stared at him and said. “Thank you for the fish…I
should be going now…”
“Here’s phone number, it’s in this card, if you want to
reach out to Oga. You know what to do.” He said as he handed her a small card.
Layode hesitated at first but after second thoughts, she
took the card and her fish and walked away.
**********
Ego stared at her bruised face in the mirror, she cried
hard. Her friend Tina walked into her room with a cold glass of water.
“Do you mean he did this to you when you told him you’re
pregnant?”
“Yes…he walked up to me and before I knew it, two heavy
slaps had fallen on my cheeks and he beat me up…” Ego cried.
“Ha! That’s unusual oo…”
“As he beat me, he kept telling me that he told me not to
ever get pregnant and that I was stupid to have gotten pregnant.” Ego cried
louder.
“Don’t worry…do you know what? Let’s forget about
chief….I’m sure some other man would happily take you under his wing.” Tina
said.
As Tina consoled her, Ego’s phone buzzed and Ego opened the
message and gasped.
“It’s from my bank!” She said.
“What does it say?” Tina asked.
“Chief just wired ten million naira into my account.” Ego
started.
Another message came in and Ego opened it.
“There’s a new message from chief and it reads ‘flush that
thing away with the money I sent you’.” Ego said as she stared at her friend.
“Flush what? Mtchewww…he’s not seen anything yet. At least you’ve gotten enough money to get yourself an apartment.” Tina said.
“But this is the solution…at least I can move on with the money he gave me…”
“And what next? Ego! The economy is hard and girls like us are not going to have things fall on our laps as freely as it used to. Abeg shine your eyes. You need a baby from a child man to guarantee that you’d never taste poverty again. What is ten million? Buy five Chanel bags and it’s all gone!”
“What do you propose?” Ego asked her friend.
“Now, the action
begins, something tells me that Chief would do anything to get rid of this
pregnancy and it’s our duty to do everything in our power to protect it….”
Tina laughed.
Ego smiled, “But you know there’s no pregnancy!”
“That’s the reason, we’re going to make it happen by fire by
force!” Tina said.
Ego looked at her friend and soon, her face broke into a smile. The two women laughed.
Photo Credit:
1. www.alamy.com

To be continued tomorrow….

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