I spent two days writing down the names of those I had
offended in the past. My handwriting which bore close resemblance to two
chickens in a brawl was deftly on the paper I presented to granny that fateful
morning. I stood as I watched her try to read the names I had scribbled.
“It seems you spent your time in Lagos, stepping on people’s
toes…” She said to me.

“Ma?” I asked, I haven’t climbed anyone’s foot I thought.
“The names here are so many….and I doubt that you can go
around in a bid to ask them for forgiveness.” Granny said to me.
“No….plenty of dem nor wan even see me again lai lai…” I
Granny takes the list and walks to the kitchen, asking that
I follow her behind. I follow her closely, suspecting that she was up to no
good. Granny enters the kitchen and lights the gas cooker, the fire burns on the
burner and she places the piece of paper with the list of names on the cooker.
“Ha! After all my suffer? Why you dey burn am?” I ask in
“You can’t locate all of them can you? I am burning to signify
a new beginning. I am glad you realize that you have offended people and you want to change. I initially thought you’d return with a blank paper but you wrote down lots of names and I am happy about that.” Granny said, turning to me.
“Thank you ma.” I say.
“Do you want a new beginning Señorita?”
I look at her and nod my head.
“Be sincere with yourself. You are not a child and I am not
strong enough to chase you around with a cane. You are not a little girl and
tomorrow you will have to stand on your own. So, look at me and answer me. Do
you want a new beginning?”
I don’t reply and I stare at her as she turns off the gas
while the ashes of the burnt paper stared me in the face.
“Yes ma…” I say, as tears slowly trickle down my eyes.
“Are you sure? I want you to know that everything you tell
me now is in complete trust. Are you sure you want to change?”
I fall on my knees and place my finger on my tongue and
raise it heavenwards.
“I swear ma…I wan change…I go change….I promise…” I
“Don’t bother swearing, I believe you.” She said helping me
up to my feet.
We both walk out to the sitting room where I sit on the sofa
with granny and listen to her speak.
“I have two children and they are both abroad, my house is
empty with no one to fill it. This is why I need you Señorita. I want you to
see this place as your home….a place of dwelling for you and as you help me with chores around the house and take care of me, I’ll take care of you too. It’s
not to late to achieve your Lagos dream and I want to help you achieve it.”
Granny said to me.
Tears fell from my lids, here was a woman who I felt was a
terror to me, and even after all I’ve done, she was willing to take care of me.
“Yes ma…” I reply.
“First thing tomorrow, I am registering you in any learning field of
your choice. Do you want catering, hairdressing, sewing, education? Whatever
you want, I will help you achieve your dreams.” She said to me.
“I wan go school…at least make I speak better English and
write am well…I also wan learn work.” I say.
Granny nodded and smiled.
The next day, Granny hired a lesson tutor to help teach me.
I was very willing to learn and after my first lesson for the day, I asked her
for permission to leave the house and I went to Nkiru’s house. As soon as Nkiru
saw me, she slammed the door shut in my face. I fall on my knees asking her for
pardon and she eventually forgives me. 
I board a bus to the church that had
housed me before my encounter with Gabriel. Tessy wasn’t in church but I wrote
a sincere letter to her asking for her forgiveness. I also dropped a letter for
Solo who a reliable source had informed me that he was not in Lagos anymore.
Even though I hadn’t apologized to everyone I’d wronged, I felt
much better and lighter.
“Na so change dey be?” I say to myself as I return to granny’s house that evening.
Photo Credit:

Señorita ends next week!



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