Thursday, February 7, 2019

Yejide the house keeper

It was about 11:00pm and Yejide still hadn’t
found a customer. She looked around and
saw that the other prostitutes were already
getting picked up in fancy cars. She began to
get really pissed until a car drove up to her.
She looked at the car and squeezed her face
even more because according to her, she
could tell what a man already had to offer her
by his ride. She looked away and acted like
she didn’t see the car. The man in the car
opened the window and called out to her with
a strong Igbo accent;
“Hey betiful gal, omalicha, kedu? How are
you?”
At this point, Yejide who was still looking
away moved away from the car even though
she knew he was trying to get her attention.
“Betiful gal, I’m talking to you na. Business
don close?”
When she heard this, she got irritated, moved
closer to the car and said her mind;
“Omo Igbo. I no gree now. You dey chase all
my customers. Abeg waka.”
“Ahn ahn! Why you dey talk like dis na. I be
new customer be dat. I get money na.”
Yejide saw how persistent the man was and
not angry even after she spoke rudely to him
so she asked him a question;
“How much you get?”
“Beautiful girl, enter car fest na.”
She finally agreed and entered the car. As she
got in, he brought out some money from a
bag he had kept at the back seat and handed
it over to her. It was a stack of money. She
looked at it and was very surprised to see the
lot but she pretended to the man like it was a
small portion compared to what she normally
got from her other customers. Then, the man
brought out some money out of the bag
again and handed it to her, letting her know
that, it was all he had. She accepted it and
after a little discussion, they drove to a hotel
together.
The next day, Yejide got back home to her
one-bedroom, self-contained house that she
shared with her friend by around past two in
the afternoon. She entered the house to find it
empty as she had left it the previous night.
She yelled her friend’s name but nobody
answered so she locked the door behind
before heading for the bed. As she sat, she
took off her heels and brought out the money
she had obtained from the previous night. She
looked at the stack of money and smiled
boldly but then the smile suddenly turned
into a frown. She became sad and a little
depressed. She had been thinking about the
life she was living and confessed to herself
that she hated it. She knew what it all meant
as a prostitute but according to her and her
friends, it was what put food on the table.
She wasn’t a graduate from the university
neither did she finish her secondary school.
She had wished back then that she would
complete her senior secondary school and
attend a university but life wasn’t as it
seemed. Every time she had this thought, she
only gave herself excuses in order to avoid
the truth or guilt that she felt. So as usual,
she made yet another excuse and shook off
the sadness. It wasn’t long when she saw the
door open and in came Dupe, her roommate.
She put the money back into her bag as a
conversation sprang up between them.
“Ahn ahn ashewo, you don come back?” Dupe
said to Yejide.
“Dupe, ah don tell you make you no dey call
me dat name.”
“Bet no be ashewo you be”
“ah don tell you make you no dey call me dah
name Dupe.” She said to Dupe angrily.
“Oya I’m sorry. No be play ah dey play. You
sef ehn. Yeji baby! Oya I’m just joking. I’m
sorry now.”
“I’ve heard.”
Dupe looked at Yejide with a funny face and
they both burst into laughter.
“Yejide, you funny sha oo” Dupe said.
“No start again oo” Yejide replied and Dupe
immediately put her hands in the air in
surrender. They smiled again before Dupe
asked Yejide about their landlord. She asked
if he had come around again to talk about his
rent and Yejide replied that she just got back
home. They talked about their day and
previous night since they were both into the
same business. After talking about their
encounters and night, they both brought out
money to contribute for their house rent and
not long after, their landlord came knocking
on their door. As they opened the door, they
greeted their landlord who immediately asked
for his rent. After giving him his rent, they
shut their door as he left the premises. They
continued talking until they were exhausted.
Yejide decided to prepare some food while
Dupe decided to go take a bath.
While Yejide was preparing food at the
kitchen outside her flat that she shared with
some of her neighbors, she heard a man’s
voice. It was the voice of oga Lucas as they
normally call him. He was one of Yejide’s
neighbors in his thirties who was not married
and always had something to say whenever
he came in contact with Yejide.
“My wife! How are you?” he said as he
entered the kitchen.
“Oga Lucas, wetin you dey find?”
“My wife, I was, I mean I am looking at….I
mean I am looking for you.”
“Oga Lucas, I know sey English hard but
please I’m not your wife. Stop looking for me
now”
“My wife, don’t say that now. Hmm, dis tin
wey you dey cook, na for me and you abi?”
Yejide rolled her eyes at him before laughing.
He was very annoying but he was also a
funny man. He always looked and acted drunk
even though he wasn’t a drunkard. It was just
his nature to act stupid some times. He
started singing when he saw that Yejide was
trying not to pay attention to him again.
“My wife Yeji Yeji dey make me kolo eh, kolo
eh…”
When he started singing, Yejide got really
annoyed and frustrated so she told him to
leave the kitchen. On his way out, Dupe was
just coming out from the bathroom when she
met oga Lucas coming out from the kitchen
so she greeted him;
“Ahn ahn oga Lucas. Good afternoon oo.”
“Ahh Dupe, good afternoon oo. I just went to
see my wife and she chased me away. Can
you imagine?”
“Oga Lucas! You sef, you’re not tired? Yejide
no gree now.”
“You be Yejide’s mind. No annoy me oo. Ah
don dey go sef.” Oga Lucas said angrily while
leaving Dupe behind. Dupe just smiled and
retired to her room.
After Yejide was done preparing food for both
of them, they ate together and rested. By
night time, they were already dressed in their
business outfit heading for their spot. They,
that is, Yejide, Dupe and all the others used
to lurk around one area in Lagos. That spot
was very populated with prostitutes and even
though several incidents had occurred there,
they never seemed to reduce in size. This
faithful night, Yejide met a young man who
she thought was very good looking. In the
essence that, he looked rich and he was
handsome. She had been given a huge sum
that night by the man and she had happily
followed the man to the hotel as usual. After
a night of fulfilling this man’s desires, they
slept until the following morning. That
morning, she got up early and was dressing
up when he woke up and spoke out;
“Where do you think you’re going?” Yejide
looked at him in a confused state before
speaking up;
“I’m going home.”
“Not until you give me back my money”
“Ahn ahn, see me see wahala oo”
“Why should I give you my money?”
“I will not ask you after this. Give me my
money!”
“Shuoo, Oga which one be dis. Abeg no even
start oo” she said before ignoring him,
putting on her shoes and picking up her bag.
As she was done dressing up and was about
heading out the door, she received a hot slap
on her face that made her fall to the ground.
When she recovered from the slap, she looked
up and found a gun pointing at her.
“Now! Give me my money!” the man said,
leaving Yejide in shock.
She paused for a while, still in shock before
opening the zip of her handbag to bring out
the money he had given her the night before.
When Yejide gave the man the money, she
begged for her life to be spared and
fortunately for her, he let her go. She wasn’t
still herself even after she left the hotel that
day. She couldn’t wait to get back home to
tell Dupe about her encounter. As she arrived
at her compound later that morning, she
quietly walked into her flat, shutting the
doors behind. She sat on her bed, sighing in
relief but almost in tears. In a period of
twenty-four hours, she had given herself to a
man who cheated her and almost sent her
early to grave. All through her reign as a
prostitute, she had never had such encounter.
She stayed awake, just sitting up in bed until
she heard Dupe open the door from outside.
“Dis one wey na me dey always meet you for
house. Wetin dey happen?” Dupe said as she
walked in but Yejide didn’t respond.
“Yejide! This one that you’re looking like they
stole your money. What happened?” Dupe
said again as she walked over to Yejide and
sat on the bed beside her.

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