Linda got home very tired and walked into the compound whose gate was left opened by the security man who had gone to the nearby Mosque for Ramadan Tafsir, it had been a very busy day being her first day at the office. All she needed was sleep; food was the last thing on her mind even though she had not eaten all day. She got home and entered her room, locking the door gently behind her; she was used to doing that anytime she wanted to have her bath. She rushed into her bathroom and allowed the cold water of the shower run down her beautiful ebony skin. She was glad that she had finally found a job and she made a mental note to call her father the next day and break the good news to him. Her father, oh how she missed her dearly beloved father. After her bath, she walked naked to her bed and fell on it with a thump; she had no qualms about going to bed naked since the door was securely bolted. She decided to take a short nap before going to inform Tedela of about her new job. As soon as her tired back touched the bed, she fell asleep.
Tedela waited for Linda to no avail. He was in his room and had expected to hear her come in or to even come and greet him and inquire what he wanted to eat as dinner as she always did every evening. When he got tired of waiting, he went to her door and tried to open it but it was locked.
Tedela: “why is she not back by this time yet? I hope that no harm has befallen her o. And I warned her to stop walking about aimlessly in search of a job because Lagos is no place for wanderers. Why must it be this night of all nights when I need to take her to my Shaman for the ritual to be performed on her? Please o, Linda, wherever you are, be safe for me, my destiny is tied to your blood. Stay safe for me” he thought aloud.
He walked back to his room but he couldn’t concentrate on the football that he was watching because he was worried to death about the safety of Linda. It wasn’t like he cared much for her, he didn’t even know why he still allowed her to live with him, probably because she cooked good meals for him at the right time and cleaned his house to his satisfaction at no cost. Now that he had been warned by the shaman that she must be sacrificed, he began to care for her safety.
He got up, shattering his remote which was on his lap in the process. He ignored the shattered piece and went outside the gate. It was a very bright night with the moon shining brightly as on a new moon night. He called the security man who was beginning to doze off, having broken his fast that day.
Security: “Oga, you call am po me” he said in his thick Hausa accent.
Tedela: “Yes, I did. How was your fast today?” he asked trying to remain calm. He didn’t want to give the security man any weird idea about why he was concerned about Linda’s whereabouts.
Security: “Azimi is fine, walahi. Today is the last day pa, tomorrow Sunday is Sallah because Sultan e don announce am for radio say them don sight am for moon” he said grinning from ear to ear. After fasting for 29 solid days, everyone in his shoes would grin like he was doing.
Tedela: “oh, that was fast. Ramadan this year was very fast or is it just me? Anyway, I will pay your salary tomorrow morning so that you can enjoy your sallah” he said eager to get to the business that brought him out to the security man.
Security: “thank you oga. In fact, this azimi this year easy because rain e dey fall everyday and time dey fly very well. If na other year, na so sun go dey hammar us so tey our throat go dry like say tomorrow no dey. Alhamdullilahi, walahi” she said.
Tedela: “Erm, when did Linda go out today and why isn’t she back yet?” he asked impatiently.
Security: “she commot since early morning when I dey chop sahur. I see her hold papers for hand, she say make I pray for her because she dey go find work but she no tell me when she go come back” he said.
Tedela: “Wow, she left before sunrise and she is yet to return by sunset? That is serious? I hope this girl will not ruin me like this? What if she had gotten wind of what I am about to do and had run away? Didn’t she say that there is an old woman that comes to visit her and tell her things? What if the woman has told her that I intend to use her for sacrifice to appease the gods? Am I not doomed?” he soliloquized.
Security: “Oga, you dey talk to me?” he asked wondering why his boss’ lips were moving without him saying anything audible.
Tedela: “oh, never mind. I am just worried about her since she doesn’t know her way around here. Anyway, when she returns and you open the gate for her, call me and inform me before you sleep. Is that clear?”
Security: “yes, sir” he said pushing out his chest unconsciously, an habit he had formed after watching some Kannywood movies where security man behaved that way.
As early as 5am the next morning, Linda set out so that she could beat traffic and get to work in good time. She was determined to get there before 7:30am even though official resumption time was 8:00am. Afraid that Tedela would be angry at her for keeping him in the dark concerning her job, she picked up her phone and sent him a text message.
“I am sorry I didn’t see you nor make dinner for you last night. I actually got a job and when I returned I was so tired I fell asleep whereas I had only wanted to take a nap. I have to leave this early so that I can beat traffic, I promise to see you when I return and tell you all about the job. Do have a nice day”
After she sent the message, she hurried out of the house and woke the security man to open the gate for her. The security man was surprised that she was inside the house without him knowing.
Security: “Aunty, na which time you enter house wey me and oga no know?” he asked running his sleepy face.
Linda: “I guess you were in the mosque when I came in. Don’t worry about oga, I have told him everything. And guess what? Your prayers for me were answered, I got a job” she said excitedly.
Security: “Allah sarki! Congratulations fa. Tor, aunty today na Sallah walahi” he was rubbing his palms together to fight cold.
Linda: “Okay. Don’t worry, I know what you mean” she dipped her hand into her handbag and brought out a thousand naira note. “that is for your Sallah kola” she said stepping out of the compound.
The elated security man blessed her and locked the gate after her.
Linda got to the office about a quarter to eight. As soon as she got to her desk, she began to arrange and sort out some files.
Ten minutes later, the human resource personnel who had employed her got in and fixed her gaze upon Linda like one who had seen an apparition.
Woman: “can somebody tell me what this old woman is doing in this office?” she barked attracting the attention of the workers who were yet to settle down for the day.
Linda: “Good morning, ma” she said and turned around to see who the woman was referring to but there was no old woman among them.
Linda: “Who…who are you talking to, ma?” she stammered.
Woman: “you of course. Mama, what are you doing here? Did you miss your way or something?”
Linda: “me…old? This is Linda, the lady you employed yesterday. I have not changed that much between yesterday and today, have I?”
Woman: “No, I couldn’t have employed you. Not at all. The person I employed yesterday is a young lady, I couldn’t have even attended to an old woman like you. Where is the security man who allowed you in here? Security! Security!” she screamed and three security men came scampering towards her from their duty posts.
Woman: “What is the meaning of this? How did this old woman get here?”
Security: “We are sorry ma. We don’t know how she found her way into this premises. Maybe she is one of those mad old women roaming the streets. Mama, come and be going” they said and dragged Linda out amidst her pleas and cries.
Ouside, Linda sorted her clothes and dusted her skirt.
Linda: “That is it, I am done with this life. Anytime anything good wants to happen to me, an old woman shows up and spoils things for me. I know just what to do, I know” she said and boarded a taxi to the third mainland bridge.
Question: Eyya, Linda sisi, I feel for you sweetheart. Your problem is that you don’t know God and neither do you believe in prayers. What do you think she wants to do? Is that the solution to her problems?
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