Lady B: “did I just hear you say you are interested?” she asked, finding Toke’s cooperation to easy to believe.
Toke: “yes, I mean no” she quickly added after having a second thought.
Lady B: “what are you saying? Yes and no, what is that?”
Toke: “please ma, have mercy on me. I cannot do it, I can’t just imagine it” she said.
Lady B: “you are a very ungrateful girl. I gave you a ride all the way from the village to this place even though I didn’t know you. As if that was not enough, I had pity on you and brought you into my house to live with me even though you already confessed to me that you are a wanted criminal. I didn’t mind the fact that the police could also get me arrested as your accomplice. For the past 3 months that you have been here, I have shouldered your responsibilities and I have made sure that you lacked nothing. I fed you, bought you good clothes and cosmetics, gave you a room to yourself and opened up to you as I would have done to my younger sister if I had any. All these I did with the money I made from women. Now that it is your turn to join my trade and help me expand, you are backing out. Thank you” she said, pretending to be sad. She was breaking the girl psychologically, the same way she had been psyched when she refused to join her friends in the trade after she left the village.
Toke: “please don’t misunderstand me, ma. I appreciate all that you have done for me and I wish above all things to repay your goodness but it doesn’t have to be this way. Any other thing you ask me to do, I will but not this one please”
Lady B: “you are such an ingrate and don’t you ever call me ma again, I am not older than your mother. Now, pick your things and get out of my house this minute”
Toke: “please” she said falling on her knees and holding on to her benefactor’s feet.
Lady B: “what am I even saying? Which things did you bring to this house? Even what you are wearing now, I bought for you so basically you have nothing in this house so move!” she barked.
Toke: “I beg you in the name of God, don’t do this”
Lady B: “will you leave finally or do you want me to call the estate security to throw you out?” she threatened and Toke got up, wiping tears from her eyes.
Toke: “at least let me spend the night here and then I can leave tomorrow morning, please ma” she said.
Lady B: “no way! You are leaving my house tonight and that is final. You cannot do the kind of things I do to make money but you can sleep in a house i got with the money I made from women, how hypocritical. Get out!” she said and pushed Toke out of the bedroom, out of the sitting room and out of her house”
“Good riddance to bad rubbish!” Lady B said as she secured the bolt of her door but deep within her heart, she felt a fire burning for the girl and she knew that their paths would surely cross again.
Afraid of the danger that lay outside, Toke decided to sleep very close to Lady B’s flat at the estate. She was alone, without any possession, not even a mat or a wrapper to help shield her from the cold harmattan wind.
Toke: “I will spend the night here, who knows if Lady B will have mercy on me in the morning and allow me back into the house? The truth is that I have nowhere to go in this city and I cannot go back to the village” she soliloquized.
Toke was beginning to doze off where she sat when she felt a hand touch her. She opened her eyes and saw that it was Adamu the gate man.
Toke: “Adamu, good evening, you almost scared me because I didn’t hear you approaching” she said, rubbing her sleepy eyes.
Adamu: “how I go hear am for me when I dey sleep for here”
Toke: “Adamu, you won’t understand jare” she said sadly.
Adamu: “but wait o, wetin I dey do for here by this time?”
Toke: “Adamu, you are very funny sha. How will I know what you are doing out here at this time of the night?”
Adamu: “no be me, na I” he said in his thick Hausa accent.
Toke: “which one is me and I? Abeg, don’t add to my confusion this night” she said.
Adamu: “You, what am I doing outside here?”
“Oh, you mean what I am doing out here? Okay, well, I guess I will spend the night here, I don’t have a choice” she said sadly.
Adamu: “I no fit sleep for here. It is against the estate rules. Enter inside or leave am for this premises”
Toke: “why can’t I sleep here?” she asked suddenly getting worried.
Adamu: “because estate people say make them no dey allow anybody hang around here for night” he explained.
Toke: “but I am not anybody now, don’t you know me? My aunty have sent me to give you things countless times”
Adamu: “Na wetin estate management tell me be that abi I want them to sack me for my job?”
Toke: “how will I want them to sack you? See ehn, Adamu, my aunty has sent me out of the house o and I don’t have anywhere to go, let me spend the night here and then I will think of what to do tomorrow” she said.
Adamu: “no wahala now, enter my room come sleep for there, that my small mattress go do me and you” he said smacking his lips.
Toke: “are you sure you want to share your space?”
Adamu: “yes but na fifty-fifty we go do am. You go sleep for my room and me go sleep with you all night. Kai mana, I sabi do am well-well, you go enjoy am no be small”
Toke: “God forbid that I sleep with you. What is it with the people in this place seff? Can’t you just help someone without asking for anything in return?”
Adamu: “you no fit sleep with me ba? Oya come dey go” he said and pushed her out into the world of danger and cold.
She was alone with only the nightwear she had on. A pretty young girl penniless and homelessl out in the middle of the night, a night filled with all the terror and danger that was better imagined than experienced.
Back then in the village, baba Gift who was rushed to the hospital after Toke ran off was recuperating and had been discharged from the hospital.
He was glad to be alive but he had one mission and that was to find Toke and make her pay for sending him to stay several weeks in the hospital and for making him spend his money on medical bills and medication. However, he didn’t know that had kept him alive so that he could see how Toke would become great and successful and how he and how calamity would befall he and his family.
Question: How does God intend to make Toke great and successful now that she has been thrown out of the house?
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