I opened my eyes and stared at
my very unfamiliar surroundings, my dress was torn and my feet was bare. I remember running to the balcony of a very small shop and spending the night there. Yawning
and stretching, I struggled to my feet. I knew I looked a sight, my hair was
messy and my dress was ripped at the edges.
“Wetin you dey do for hia?”
I startled as I turned around
to look into the piercing gaze of a man.
‘Sir?” I asked.
“You nor hear me? Wetin you dey
do for hia?” The man asked again.
“Sorry sir, I dey comot …” I
start.
“Nor let me slap ya face ooo…nor
let me use my hand scatter ya body for dis place. Una gials don runz dis big
men finish na to come sleep for aboki shop una dey so. Abi e nor give you
transport money? Dem don use una finish, na to thruway like say una be biscuit.”
The man said bitterly.
I peered at him, he was not as
old as he looked and his ragged clothes made him look sloppy.
“I dey very sorry sir, my name
na Senorita. My tory no be hia oo…if u see de kain run wey I do for last night
ehn!”
“Who wan know about the runz
wey u do last night abi no be runz you dey do?”
“Yes sir, na run ooo…I use leg
run, na so I land for hia.” I continue, mistaking the runz for run.
“Oya gerrout from hia…I come
find aboki and him shop still dey lock. Make you comot for hia before him go
come shop. This place nor be anyhow place ooo…shebi u see de fine fine house
wey full ground gidigba. Deir dog for hia chop pass you ooo…e better say you
tear race now before dem go destroy you.” The man warned.
I nodded hurriedly and step out
of the balcony of the shop. The morning air was cold and the ground was wet indicating that it
had rained during the night. How come I never knew? I asked myself. I had just
walked down the road when I recognized the tall building at the distance. It was
the same one that Chi and I had come to last night. Having nowhere else to go, I
walk down to the place. I get there in less than five minutes and as soon as I neared
the gate, I noticed that one of the security guards was walking up to me.
“Yes…what do you want?” The
guard asked me rudely.
“Abeg…I dey find my madam.” I
answered.
“Which madam be that?”
“E get one woman wey dey hia
last night. De woman carry me and one girl come but we no enter inside de
place. Abeg you know how I fit see am?”
“Look here…e be like say ya
head no correct. We nor get any madam for here.”
“I dey find am…” I say with
tears in my eyes, it was the first time that I was shedding real tears in
Lagos. “I nor get any money and I want make she give me small money make I waka
go my own.” I said wipping my tears with the back of my palms. That woman nor be better pesin at all, na so she pack money full for her house, she nor fit share am for anybody.
The security man laughed and
shouted aloud, beckoning his partner.
“Omo….see dis gial ooo…she come
hia dey find her madam. Abeg we get madam for inside dia?” The security guard
mocked.
“Which kain madam? Abeg send am
comot from dia. All dese yeye girls wey wan use style stay for corner. When
night come, na so dem go come out …ashawo!” The security man said.
I was still glued at the gate
begging my eyes out that I didn’t see or hear a car pull up behind me. It was
when the car door closed that I heard the noise of footsteps approach me,
immediately, I turned back and as soon as I saw them, I screamed and ran.
The men pursued me and I ran faster than I’ve ever done in my entire, then all of a sudden, it wasn’t the men alone that
were hot on my heels. There were dogs, about three of them. I ran so fast that I got
to the wall of a building and quickly scaled the fence without knowing that I could
do it.
I landed squarely on my feet at
the other side of the fence and panted heavily, they had almost caught up with
me. Madame had sent her men to search for me. Realizing that fact almost made
me cry. Suddenly, I heard a male voice coming from a side of the house that I had
jumped into.
‘Who dey there?” The man asked
and soon, came into view.
“Good morning sir.” I greeted.
“Who you be? How you waka reach here?” The man asked in alarm.
My tongue was tied, I couldn’t reply
but shockingly, I was saved by the bell.
“Jide…wetin happen? You just
run comot from house like say you see ghost.” A girl who just came up to us
said.
“You nor see the ghost?” The
man called Jide asked.
“Which ghost? Where e dey?” The
girl asked.
“See am na…” The man pointed at
me.
“You sure say no be the new
cook wey oga talk say e go send come from im village be dis?”
“Which kain cook?” The man
snorted.
“The one wey oga talk say he go train sake of say he wan carry am go put for im hotel for America.” The girl
replied.
“Okaaayyyy…na true ooo. But how
she come enter house na? Abi Johnson no lock gate? Why she nor wear slippers?” Jide asked the girl.
“Auntie…shebi na you oga send
come from village?” The girl asked.
I nodded in response.
“You are welcome. Oga nor dey,
e travel. E go come back in two weeks. Come make you enter house. You don chop?
Wetin do ya slippers?” The girl asked.
“Na …” I start to reply when we
were interrupted by a heavy bang at the gate.
“Make I see who dey bang for
gate like say na im papa get dis house.” The man said.
“Welcome, my name na Rose, the man wey just comot for we front be Jide. Oga tell me say ya name na
Charity.” The girl supplied.
“Yes…my name na Charity.” I
lied, wincing in pain as I dropped my beloved name ‘Senorita’ all for survival.

The girl chatted away while she
led me to the house. I could hear the loud noise from the gate as well as the
bark of dogs and I knew instantly that Madame’s guards were those at the gate, still searching
for me.

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