I didn’t sleep a wink that night, if I stay a minute longer
in Granny’s house, I’ll die, I thought to myself as I wobbly climbed out of bed
and made my way to the door. I had left my belongings behind and had not a dime
on me. It was a cold night and even if I had to scale the fence of granny’s
house to escape, I’d do it.

I left my room, tiptoeing to the back door of the house and
hoping that granny was not awake or standing at the kitchen waiting for me to
emerge. I had just pushed open the back door when I heard a loud sound, it was
the alarm. I shuddered, Granny had placed an alarm at the back door with a code,
I quickly pushed the door open and rushed out of the house heading to the fence
with sure strides. I reach the fence and climb expertly like one who had been
doing so for years and in no time, I was at the other side of the fence, free
at last.
There was no one on the road as it was too late for anyone
to be outside, I walked a short mile and found a huge bin beside a tree and
went behind it to rest, waiting impatiently for dawn.
I heard voices, that was why I woke up. I opened my eyes to
see the sun shining brightly and I heard two women’s voices as they chitchatted. I
quickly got up from the ground and stood tall, thinking of what next to do.
“Nkiru…is that not a human being?” One of the women asked
her companion.
“Heeeehhhh…” Nkiru shouted in alarm and addressed me.
“Come…what are you doing here?” Nkiru asked me.
“Biko…let’s go, are you sure she’s not a mad woman?” Her
friend asked.
“I nor dey craze ooo…good morning…” I greeted.
“Didn’t you hear her speak? She’s no mad person…” Nkiru
said. Addressing me she asked. “What is your name?”
“Senorita ma…” I reply.
“Senorita! Where are you from?
Why are you here?” Nkiru asked.
“Na my madam pursue me from
house…” I say, scratching my back.
“Ewwooooo….all dese wicked madams ehn!” Nkiru started.
“Which one is wicked madams! Bia ooo….Nkiru, we came to
throw away trash and not to pick up a new one.” Her friend said.
“How long have you slept here?” Nkiru asked me, ignoring her
friend’s disapproving stares.
“E don tey wey I dey waka everywhere with leg…I never even
chop!” I say.
“Ehhya…poor girl.” Nkiru said in sympathy.
“You are too soft, how are you so sure she’s telling the
truth? She could be a mad woman for all we know.”
“Biko leave me jo, Stella, dis girl doesn’t look or sound
mad to me. She’s a victim of circumstances.” Nkiru says.
I raise my hand to scratch my head and the cane marks on my
arm are revealed.
“Chineke me….what happened? Are those cane marks?” Nkiru
asked me with concern.
“Yes ma…my madam wan use cane kill me, na so I run comot.”
I say.
“But you said earlier that your madam chased you away.”
Stella spat at me.
“Stella, what is it now? Haba! Give the girl a break.”
“It’s okay oo….you know I just came to your house dis morning
after dropping my kids off at school…it’s not like I don’t like minding my
business.”
“Can you come home with me? I’ll fix you something to eat.”
Nkiru said to me.
I fall on my knees thanking her for her kindness.
“Madam, na God go bless you…” I say, still on my knees.
“It’s okay, just come with me okay…” She said.
Soon, I was following them behind, counting my blessings.
Stella kept throwing bitter looks at me while Nkiru kept saying.
“Thank God that I didn’t wait for that my husband’s stupid
apprentice to throw away the trash this morning. If I had waited for him, I’d
never have seen this girl or helped her either.”
“You have to be careful ooo…you shouldn’t take people in
just like that.” Stella warned.
We all walked into a compound not too far from the garbage
place and I was led into a very comfortable flat. Nkiru told me to sit down so
that she could get me something to eat but I refused, insisting that I must
sweep the house first before eating.
“I have already swept the house this morning so don’t
bother.”
“No ma…at least, make I do small work before I chop, na beg
I dey…ooo” I said to her.
“Don’t worry my dear, I’ll fix you something to eat, just
sit and relax.” Nkiru says as she disappears into the kitchen.
Stella doesn’t budge, she sits on the sofa and looks at me
in suspicion.

“Listen to me and listen good, if you are one of these
problematic people who have nothing more to do than to scatter good homes, you
are in the wrong place. I will make sure you’re booted out faster than you can
say jack.” Stella said to me in menace.
I stare at her innocently not knowing what to say.
To be continued…

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