Lagos was not as bad as I thought; we accompanied Hajiya Badmus to her beautiful house in Lekki. She had shown us our room on the ground floor, our temporary room as she described. As soon as we settled in, Miebaka called me for a talk
Miebaka: “Are you out of your mind? Haven’t you heard about stories of how innocent people are used for ritual here in Lagos?”
Me: “I can’t believe this is coming from you. Why are you complaining now? Why didn’t you say no when she offered to help?” I whispered when I heard footsteps
Miebaka: “I kept quiet because you looked happy with the whole idea, I’m just saying, I don’t feel comfortable” he lamented
I knew his fears, I promised him that we would run away from the house if we noticed any funny move; he looked convinced. We ate, had our bath and slept like wounded warriors on the battle ground.
“Shiber baby, are you there?” Hajiya Badmus called on me
We had slept till 1:00pm the following day. I woke up slowly so Miebaka could sleep some more, but who could ever sleep when someone like Hajiya Badmus was talking; she had the voice of most Yoruba women I had known, thick and loud just the way she looked. I opened the door
Me: “Good morning Ma”
Hajiya Badmus: “Morning at this time? Ah You guys must have been really tired o” she mocked
“I did not know you were sleeping, I’m sorry about that…but we need to talk about your job, when do you want to start”
Me: “Start? Immediately Ma” I said, holding my hands together in excitement
Hajiya Badmus: “Ok. Good. Come with me upstairs let’s talk about the salary”
Me: “Ok ma, I’ll be right behind you”
She explained to me, the idea of customer service. My job was simple; I was meant to deliver quality customer service to her clients and at the end of the month, receive Thirty thousand Naira- accommodation and feeding was free, what else would I have asked for. I ran downstairs to break the good news to Miebaka.
Two weeks into my job was a stress free one, I would welcome the guests, take them upstairs and escort them to the gate after their meeting with my boss. On the fifteenth day, she spoke to me about the new arrangement
Hajiya Badmus: “How has it been, these two weeks?”
Me: “Very well ma, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here”
Hajiya Badmus: ‘You are welcome sweetheart. What if I told you, I would increase you salary to Forty Thousand Naira…”
Me: “…in just two weeks? But I’ve barely done anything” I said with astonishment
Hajiya Badmus: “Yes I know, but I would have to add a task to your job” She declared
“Meet my business partner, Alhaji Mohammed Yahaya Abdullah. He is the CEO Kasham Oil and Gas Lltd. You may go. I’ll get in touch with the details”
It was fair. Alhaji Mohammed was a “money miss road” man, he was a Hausa millionaire, according to Hajiya, he was owing the company so much money and all she wanted me to do was try to persuade him to pay, by acting as his personal assistant when there is less work at the office; Miebaka did not like the idea; it was not about him anymore, it was about developing my career.
The first time I went to out with Alhaji, he gave me Twenty Five Thousand Naira, he called it ‘a little souvenir’ and asked me not to tell Hajiya about it. The second time was another Twenty Five Thousand Naira, without instruction, but I hid it from Hajiya anyways, I also lied to Miebaka it was from Hajiya and he advised me to save for my fees to go to the university.
I was really lucky that I saved up to One Hundred Thousand Naira in two months but Miebaka was not happy; he had been going out each day in search of jobs but no one would employ him without a secondary school certificate. He was becoming frustrated; he began to smoke and drink uncontrollably. Several times, I called to discuss the situation but he never wanted to talk about it.
As time passed, I spent more time with Alhaji than in the office. Hajiya’s niece Rifkat, became very close to me; she helped me improve on my skills. I could not tell why Hajiya did not complain about my absence in the office; maybe she was cool with it or maybe my new friend, Rifkat, covered me up, I thought. I got a message from the gate man one evening; Alhaji had invited me to a dinner at a hotel; he had written that he would pay me the sum of Fifty Thousand Naira just to keep him company- enough money to pay for my education and Miebaka’s. Again, I to Miebaka that Hajiya had sent me on an errand and I would not be back that same day because I was going to Oyo State.
When I got to Alhaji’s office, he asked me to sit on his laps, I did, and he gave me the good news; he had paid for my school fees and accommodation and my resumption date was the following month. He had told me there was no party at any hotel, he wanted to know how far I would be able to go, to please him. I did not know when I hugged him, he was a good man, I also did not know that it was so easy to make money as a woman…who ever thought a woman would be that lucky to have everything without having to sleep with a man. My thought was disrupted by Alhaji Mohammed,
Alhaji: “Baby Shiber, willi you marry me?” he asked with all seriousness in his Hausa accent
I was dumbfounded, could not talk about Miebaka because I had lied he was my brother, I needed to think fast and tell him something that would not change his mind about his plans for me
Me: “Haba Alhaji, this is too early. Why don’t we wait till I am done with school. I also need to get my brother something to do, that way I would be free from responsibilities” I tried to convince him
With his hands around my waist, he promised to get Miebaka a job but made me promise I would marry him after school, I did. Anxious to break the good news about the job and school to Miebaka, I took a cab home instead of the bus. From where I dropped at the gate, I could hear two female voices making the same kind of noise, I knew it was from downstairs so I walked very fast to check what was happening. I hoped there was no form of argument in the house, I also prayed there were no guests waiting to be attended to. The gate man smiled as I walked past him, making me feel there was something I needed to see, I ignored and went straight in…it was the soft voice that was louder. I opened the guest room but could not find anyone there, so I decided to go tell Miebaka about the good news, opened the door and behold…
Me: “What is happening here?”
“I say what is happening here…Can someone tell me what is happening here?” No one answered
Hajiya and her three girls were all over Miebaka on our small bed, he looked like he was in his right senses but refused to pay attention to me. Rifkat was the one with his penis in her mouth, she rolled her eyes and continued her job; I had never seen him so erect, Hajiya on her own pulled his face to her butt and moaned noisily indirectly calling my attention…it was a disgusting sight! The other girls played with Miebaka’s nipples and Hajiya’s breasts. The only thing I could grab from that house was my hand bag that had my certificates and the pictures of my family, without letting out more words, I banged the door and left the house.
Was Miebaka in his right senses? Where is Shiber going to? Will she encounter another terrible ordeal?
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