“I told you…I am trying my best but a lot of things are
happening now…my cousin is at the hospital and I have a fake sister at home
“Don’t give me any buts…I am sick and tired of hearing your
buts Tara!…” Shouted her mother at the other end of the phone.
“What do you want me to do? I am so tired…I wish you’d understand.”
Tara’s voice cracked.
“Fail me one more time…just fail me one more time and we are
done. Understand?”
“Yes.” Tara whispered.
“I didn’t give birth to a weak child but a strong one who
does as her mother asks. I hope you haven’t forgotten so soon the condition
I’ve found myself in. I am crippled, disabled, trapped in a wheel chair for
probably my whole life and chances at getting a husband are slim. I want you to
go out there and bring your daddy to me, I don’t care how.” Softening her voice
she said again. “You both are all I have now, my life depends on you and your
dad. Do you want me to end up alone? I’m sure you don’t! Yet there’s a woman
sitting in your father’s life who doesn’t deserve to be with him, she has a
good pair of legs and has four children and can marry again, why can’t she let
go?” Tara’s mother sobbed.
Tara gulped and nodded.
“Do this for me Tara and I promise, I’d make up for those
years of love you’d lost in the hands of that evil woman.”
“Okay Jumai…I’d do as you say.” Tara replied, she had still not gotten used to calling her mother ‘mummy’ but Jumai.
“Have you set the first trap yet?” Her mother asked.
“Not yet…”
“What the hell have you been waiting for? How long does it have to take you?” Her mother screamed.
“I’m sorry…I won’t be this slow anymore…this time, I’d be fast about it.” Tara said.
But her mother had already hung up.
“I never see your face for here before, you be housegirl?”
Asked the man.
Temi shook her head in denial and nodded in affirmative at
the same time.
“You daft? Na housegirl you be?” The man asked again.
“Oga parol abeg leave am joor, even if na housegirl im be,
wetin you wan use am for…abi na dat ya small salary you wan take manage am?”
Said a girl who had just crossed the street to meet them.
“Caro mind ya own dia ooo…I shook ya mouth enter dis matter?”
Oga Parol said, very vexed.
“My dear, leave am joor, na useless man.” Caro said.
Oga Parol angrily walked away, Temi stared at her slippers
encased feet.
“Wetin be ya name?”
“My name is Temi.”
“You get fine skin ooo…you no resemble housegirl at
all…wetin you dey do for Bee?”
“I am her…her…” Temi was shocked that she didn’t know her
position in Bee’s house.
“Okay, abeg forget that question. Na wia you from come?”
”I have no idea.” Said Temi.
“Ahh you dey speak fine English, you and Bee be sister?”
Temi shook her head.
“Na ya papa bring you come Abuja?”
“Is this Abuja?” Temi asked stupidly.
Caro laughed loudly.
“Wia you think say you dey? London?”
“Sorry I asked…” Temi said again but suddenly felt a float
of memory down her way.
“Temi, once we are
through with secondary school, I am going Abuja! I’ve been in Lagos all my
life joor. Tara you do agree with me right?”
“Temi…you well so?”
Temi suddenly felt drawn back to the present as the memory fled as quickly as it came.
“I’m fine…please where can I get a pack of cigarettes?” Temi
“Mallam Musa get shop for faraway yonder……” Caro continued,
while chewing a pink gum noisily.
“Thank you.” Temi said and walked away.
Deep down she knew something wasn’t right, how come she knew nothing about her background?
“How are you Yemisi?” Asked the nurse.
“I feel better but my throat is parched…”
“That’s what you get for almost taking your own life…why did
you do it?”
Yemisi’s eyes watered.
“Life is not worth living when your family doesn’t believe
in you…” Yemisi replied.
The nurse sighed, checked her pulse and continued speaking.
“The  ‘Hope For Girls Foundation representative will come and
speak to you soon, I’d ask that you pour out your heart to her. She is here to
listen to you, and after you have done that, I would like you to forgive your
family for not understanding you…” The nurse said.
“I will never…and I repeat, never forgive all who have hurt
me. Never!”
“Why? You are too young to carry all these hatred inside…don’t ever speak like that…I know how you feel…” The nurse said.
“Have you ever been raped? Molested? Do you have a mother who pretends your problems don’t exist?” Yemisi asked in a matter-of-fact voice
“No…” The nurse whispered.
“Then you do not know how I feel…” Yemisi said and turned her face away.
Oni dragged in a deep breath and stared at Yomi in silent
“You win Yomi! You win!”
“Yes…I win and I am not through with my victory… you still
have one more job for me before you leave.” Yomi said.
“I have done everything you asked of me, I have taken all
the drugs to the different customers you sent me to, sometimes without any
money for transport. What else do you want from me? I am sorry for being a bad
cousin to you, I should have stood by you all those while, now I know better,
please can you let me go? Granny grans might have a heart attack if she doesn’t
see me soon…”
“Then so be it! Let her have a heart attack! Are you her
only grandson? I am her grandson too yet she didn’t flinch when she disowned me
and sent me out of her house…so let her die of a heart attack. I don’t care.”
“Please…please…don’t do this to me!”
“You have one last job, then you can leave…you can go back
to the warm embrace of your grandma….what a sweet name…grandma!” Yomi laughed.
“We have been so dry for the past one month and due to our debtors haven’t been
paying back monies owed, we might die of hunger from this business. So, I need
you to do something for me, something small and simple.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“That’s the spirit bro…you are learning quiet well…I want
you to rob a bank!”
Oni’s mouth was open wide.
“A bank? Are you crazy? A bank? I am not ready to die…”
“You’re silly, not a real bank moron…I mean a drug-lord
with so much money. He has refused to pay, so it’s logical that we rob him of
all his money and you are the best man for the job.
Temi walked down the street, she had just bought a pack of cigarettes and was making her way back home. Bee’s house was not too far from her sight. Suddenly the clouds changed and a cold wind blew, her body jerked in shock and she felt dizzy. Everything around her began to spin but she stood, contemplating on whether to fall or stand, suddenly, another gulf of memory seized her, this time, it wasn’t pleasant.
“Tell us your name…now!” The man shouted.
“Please I want to go home…I made a mistake, I will never leave my home again..I thought he and I could build a life together but I was wrong, please take me home..” Temi cried.
“Home? Did you say home? What is your name?” Screamed one of the men.
“Your name is Julliet…I will not remind you again…Julliet!”
“Temi…my name is Temi…Dolapo…”
“This girl is not serious…Boss, I don’t think this drugs is taking effect on her. Her system is too strong for it.” Said another.
“I don’t care…give her an overdose…” Shouted the Boss.
“But she’ll die….if we give her more than the prescription, she’ll die.” Said the man.
One of the men walked up to her and pushed her roughly to the floor, when she fell, he kicked her hard on the abdomen. Temi threw up what was left in her stomach, the pain was unbearable, her voice was lowered to a whisper..
“Daddy can you hear me? Mummy? Tara? Yemisi? Please help me… I made a mistake, I should never have eloped…” Tara cried.
“We are spending too much time on this girl already, we have big clients who are interested in buying merchandise…let’s sell her now and …” Said one of the men.
“Sell her now and what? Face the consequences? Do you know she can trace the police to us? And when if her memory is not wiped clean, she’ll remember the phone numbers of her family members? I cannot risk that…look at her! She can’t even change her name…” Shouted the Boss.
“What do we do?” Asked another of the men.
“Chief is our biggest client and he wants a permanent house slave, there is no way we are letting the big cash he has for us disappear…no way!” The Boss shouted.
“Why don’t we get these local girls from villages, they are easier to brain wash…this girl seems too intelligent, our drugs are not working on her.” Said one of the men.
“We bought this girl from the local villagers, there is no difference.” Said another man.
“She is different, she speaks English well and sounds educated…this girl is smart and we could be in trouble with her.” The Boss said.
“So what do we do? We can’t kill her, we’ve invested in this girl.” One of the men said sounding disappointed.
“Then we have not choice other than to use our last option.” The Boss said.
“The electric shocker!!!” The men echoed.
The small drops of rain fell on Temi’s body and it brought back memories…memories that weren’t good. Temi hurried back to the house with the pack of cigarettes, Bee was seated at the balcony with a young man, the man smiled as Temi approached with the pack of cigarettes.
“Thank God! There you are, I thought you had lost your way.” Bee said, taking the pack of cigarettes from her.
“Who is she?” The young man asked.
“A gift from my father.” Bee replied and dragged in cigarette smoke.
“Hmmm…interesting…what’s your name?” The man asked Temi.
“Julliet…my name is Julliet…” Temi answered silently.



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