I saw Patience strut up to
the small kiosk and as soon as she got to me she handed over her crumpled fifty naira note to me.

“I want rice and beans.”
She said in a very commanding tone for a little girl.
“Shebi you nor see oda
people for queue? You go wait ya turn.” I said in a very annoyed tone.
“I will go to another stall
ooo…” She warned.
“Go na…I dey beg you?” I
said to her.
“I will not go anywhere, I
want to buy rice and beans.”

“Join queue, abi you nor
get sense?” I spat at her.
The little girl joined the
small line of pupils who were standing and waiting to buy food. I measured out
their quantities to them and as usual, I emptied some contents of the cooler
into a black nylon bag which I kept by the side. Mama Nkechi had gone to the
headmistress’s office so I could do what I wanted.
“Oya, it’s my turn now.
Sell my food.” She said to me.
“Look here you dis pikin, I
nor know if you get proper home training or if you just stubborn like goat. I
nor come dis work because of you ooo and if you nor take ya time I go beat you
for here.”
“What did I do to you? Did
I insult you ehn, did I insult you?” The girl’s sharp voice shrilled in my
ears.
“Abegi…how much rice and
beans you want jare?” I asked.
“Rice thirty naira and
beans twenty naira.”
“I nor sell rice thirty
naira.” I said.

“Mama Nkechi dey sell rice
thirty naira for me.” Patience said stamping her foot stubbornly.

“If you like throw yaself
for ground, I nor go sell rice thirty naira for you.” I said closing the cooler
of food.

“Na thirty naira rice I dey buy
everyday…” Patience said.

I shrugged, I really didn’t
care if she moved over to the next food stall.

“I’m going to call Mama
Nkechi…I saw her enter the headmistress’s office.” She said and turned to go.

I couldn’t let her do that,
if she called mama Nkechi, it meant that I wasn’t going to be able to sell the
food the way I wanted and also get some small change for myself.

“Oya come make I sell food
for you but next time, collect enough money from ya papa and mama for house. Tell dem say food don cost.” I said to her.

I reopened the cooler and
began serving the food, I measured barely half a spoonful of rice and a small
spoon of beans. When I handed it over to her, the little girl began to make a
loud ruckus.

“I nor go collect am
ooo…I cannot!” She cried. “The food is too small.”

“Abeg take de food jor…”
I said handing the plate over to her and when she made no move to take it, I
dropped it beside the cooler.

She cried for several
seconds, stamping her foot up and down. When she saw that I wasn’t bothered,
she walked over to take the food from the side of the cooler.

That was my mistake!

I had placed my nylon of
food behind the cooler so she saw it and dragged it out.

“Ole!” She accused, staring
at the heavily nylon of food in something akin to triumph. “I don catch you
today o…”

“Na who you catch? I resemble
thief?” I spat at her, thinking of ways to get the nylon of food back from her.

“See all de food wey you
gather for inside nylon…” Patience accused.

I opened my mouth to demand
that she returned the bag when I saw Mama Nkechi walking down towards us. Sweat
broke on my body and I quivered in fear.

“Pssst…give me back de
food…I go settle you…” I said in a whisper.

“Bribery and corruption!” She said taking the nylon of food and running over to meet
Mama Nkechi.

I stood there watching and praying that the ground will open up and swallow me whole.

To be continued on Wednesday….

6 COMMENTS

  1. Sigh, Abosede is not even a smart thief. Since she knew that the girl has wahala why not sell normal portion for her so she can go?

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