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Cyril Sermon (@admin)
Join date: Aug 18th 2022
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Episode 4
©Miriam Edem

After two weeks of staying with the couples, the man decided to return back to his station, that was when I knew he worked in Abuja while his family stays in Benin. Prisca was to go with him to resume school over there and it was just me now.
At first I was not bothered because I had no issues in my few weeks there, I was treated well and I thought it will continue that way even though I will miss Prisca.

That morning they left and his wife decided to drop them off at the airport, I was left with their sons at home which the second is just the same age with Pius. I was in the kitchen tidying up what I hurriedly prepared for them to eat when Nosa, their first son walked into the kitchen and I greeted him.
"Where's everyone? He asked without even replying.
"They are gone, I replied because they were still sleeping when their father left.

"Really? He asked and yawned and looked at me.
"So you're sleeping alone now huh? He asked and I nodded.

"I see, he asked and touched my back and I shifted.
"What's that? I asked.

"Meaning what? I am now the man of this house and I don't want to see you with all this big big skirts and gowns you are walking around with. If you know what's good for you start putting on something decent and stop looking local, Nosa said.
"I don't understand, but this is what I have, I said.

"Who cares if this is what you have? You better start giving out the gowns to a tailor to shape it for you because I won't accept this disgusting sight! He shouted and left the kitchen and I looked at myself wondering what is wrong with my dressing.
Minutes later their mother returned and she called me.
"Welcome ma, I ran to her when I heard my name.

"Yes, as you can see my husband has gone back and I won't be keeping you here to eat and stay in my house without you working for it. Your resting days are over, so you'll be working here in the house and the shop. Is that understood? She asked.
"Yes ma, I replied.

"Though you'll still live here and I'll still be feeding you, but there will be no pay for you, she said.
"You mean no salary? I asked.

"Of course, are you paying for the comfortable room you're staying in or the food you're eating? She asked and I was quiet and bowed my head.
"If you want a salary, then you will have to leave my house and you'll be paid 10,000naira monthly. Which do you want? She asked and I raised my head and looked at her.

"Ma I came to Benin to look for money, I replied.
"To look for money? Are people sharing money on the streets over here? She asked.

"Not that, I came to work for it. I have no problem working for you but the issue of no salary is what I can't take. I need money, I replied and she scoffed.
"I can see you need money, what will you do now? Leave? She asked.

"Can I look for a job elsewhere while I work for you at home? I asked.
"No you can't, you have to work for me and only me or you leave, she replied and I breathed out.

"Its not by force girl, if you have a problem with that please Love you are free anytime to go, she added.
"No problem ma, I'm sorry ma, I said.

"Good, she said and I slowly left her sight.
Running away from the village was not for fun, I came to work and earn some cash. When my mother said those harsh words to me, I saw the need to start fending for myself but this woman offer does not go well with me and I have no place to go either if she pushes me out.
I was to handle the provision shop that is not too far from the house while she handles the big Jewelry store she has. She personally base there so that the girls who work there won't have the chance to steal from her. She opens the store herself very early in the morning and locks it up late in the evening before coming home at past 8pm.

I accepted the offer but was determined to still look for other opportunities that comes with accommodation then I can bid her goodbye.
I turned to be the slave in the house and honestly speaking I was not used to hard life despite I was in the village. My father pays people to work in the farm, and at home the only responsibility I had was in the kitchen. Pius fetches water and washes his clothes together with our father, while I do mine and my mother laundry. The sweeping of the house is done by me while Pius fetches the firewood and that's all.
But here I was washing heavy jeans, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the shop then I'll return to the house to cook dinner. The stress was really telling on me and to make it worst I was not getting a kobo, not even appreciation of 50naira.

One Saturday I had serious cramps but struggled to wash the laundry of Nosa and his brother and spread it outside. I eventually slept off tired but had a loud knock on the door and I opened up,
"So you're here snoring and it's raining! Nosa shouted.
"I'm so sorry, I said and wanted running out but he fiercely dragged me back,

"Where do you think you're going to huh? Besides are this clothes clean in your eyes or are you blind! He shouted hitting the wet clothes on my face.
"She even locked the shop to sleep, is the guts for me? Patrick, his junior added as he folded his hands looking at me.

"Sorry I was not feeling fine, I said shaking.
"You were not feeling fine indeed you lazy pig! Nosa shouted and hit my forehead.
"You better don't let this happen again, he added throwing the clothes on my body and left.

I cleaned the tears that piled up in my eyes and sniffed as I picked the clothes from the floor to the backyard but I couldn't stop crying.
This was not the life I desired and I never knew it will be this way. I thought of going back home but will I trek back to the village when I can't earn a kobo here.
I managed to do what I was supposed to do with the clothes and went in to change up so I can return back to the shop despite the rain was still pouring but Patrick stopped me on the way.

"Sorry about how Nosa acted earlier, he said and I nodded and wanted to go but he stood on the way again.
"Can you just change your pattern of dressing? It's too local and its making him upset, he said.

"How does my dressing concern you and what do you expect me to wear? I asked.
"You're sounding harsh, he replied

"I only asked a question. I am not earning anything here, how do you expect me to buy new clothes? I asked.
"Its alright, but promise me that if I get you new clothes you'll try them on, deal? He asked.

"I don't know yet because I am comfortable, I replied.
"You can't be comfortable because you are getting Nosa angry. Just change the dressing or receive more of his ill treatment, Patrick said and walked away.

I got to my room and looked myself in the mirror turning side by side. Yes my dressing is different from what I do see here in the city. If you know that your time on earth is done and over, just dare to wear trousers as a lady in my father house.
My father has suspended about three ladies who he saw with trousers and if you were holding any position automatically you will be relieved from it. Is it short skirts or gowns or shorts I do see girls put on? You're automatically in my father blacklist, so every clothes I have is always extra large and well covered. Even my school uniform skirt is enough for two students, and to me I saw nothing wrong because I was used to it.
Are they trying to change my dressing pattern now? I asked myself so worried looking into the mirror.

When Mrs Eugene returned that night, she was very excited which was not very usual.
"What are you guys planning for me tomorrow? I heard her asked as I was in the kitchen.
"Oh mom that's a surprise from us, but we'll be going out though, Nosa replied as I came out with her tray of food.

"Love will be coming with us right? Patrick asked.
"And why? Nosa asked.

"Why not? It's my birthday and she has to come, she replied.
"Tomorrow is your birthday ma? I asked.

"Yes, she replied.
"Happy birthday ma, I didn't know on time, I said.

"So that what will happen? Nosa asked and she laughed and I slowly left to my room and checked the calendar there and got sad.
Tomorrow will also be my father's birthday.
I sat on the bed and didn't notice when tears freely flowed from my eyes as I remembered my family and began to compare my life then and now.

I felt life was more better with my father but will he accept me if I go back? Is he still angry I ran away from home and how are they handling the situation now? I kept thinking as I covered my head on my palm.

The next day which was a Sunday, we were supposed to go for morning mass because they were Catholics, but the boys refused to go.
"Don't worry mom we want to do something, Nosa said.
"What is that thing that can't wait till you return from church? Their mother asked.

"You'll see it mom, Patrick replied and she heaved and looked at me and rolled her eyes as I held my bible waiting for her.
"Love don't you have clothes at all? She asked and I looked at myself while the guys laughed.

"Sorry ma let me go change, I replied.
"What's the need as if there's any difference with the ones in your bag, Nosa said.

"I don't know why I always forget any time I want to get you clothes. You cant follow me please looking like this, this is an embarrassment so just stay at home, she said taking her car keys and left while I just quietly looked and Nosa coughed.
"Do you even look yourself in the mirror at all? Are you the only local girl? Very ugly human being, Nosa said but I just ignored and got to my room and brought out my dirty clothes to wash because the day looked sunny and I may not have the time to do that..

I dried them outside and decided to settle down to rest but slept off again.
"Love! I heard Mrs Eugene called and I rushed out to meet her,
"Where are the guys? She asked.

"Maybe they are not home, I replied.
"Maybe? Were you not at home? She asked.

"Sorry ma I was sleeping, I replied checking the time to see it was almost 12pm.
"Its alright I went to see someone though that's why am late. Get lunch ready and remember we'll be eating out this evening for dinner, she said and I nodded and left to the kitchen.

After she was done eating I was loosing her braids when the guys walked in and pecked her,
"Where are you two coming back from? She asked.
"Mommy must not know everything. Are you done or when do you want the outing? Nosa asked.

"Bills on who first? She asked.
"On us of course, He replied.

"Okay let's say by 4 but make sure this treat is worth my time, she said.
"Sure mommy, we'll send pictures to daddy, Nosa proudly said bringing out his iPhone out and they laughed while I just concentrated on what I was doing.

I was done before that time and she quickly drove down to the salon to wash and style it for birthday outing, so I decided to check out the clothes I dried but what I saw shocked me.
"Jesus! I screamed out as I saw my clothes pieced.
"What's the problem? Patrick who heard my scream asked as he came out and I turned showing him my clothes with my eyes red with tears.

"Who did this to my clothes? I asked.
"What clothes? He asked.

"My clothes of course, it was not this way, I replied.
"Who cares? Oh please I thought it was something important not knowing you were shouting for rags, Patrick said and went in and my chest began to hurt.
I just burst out crying as I checked all my clothes to see it torn. Did they do this because I'll be going out with them or what? Because God knows I was not interested in their birthday outing in the first place for them to do such wickedness to me.



9 months ago