Morenikeji: “Ehn ehn? Hmmmmmm… God is our strength o. Dear girl, are you sure this is what you want for yourself? To live your life waiting for a man who is never even around? And as his second wife for that matter?” she looked at the girl softly.
Iyabeji: “What kind of question is that? Akanke don’t answer her jare” she had to chip in sharply when she noticed the girl was becoming thoughtful.
Akanke: “Okay Iyabeji” she replied slowly still looking thoughtful.
Morenikeji: “Are you done with your university education?”
Akanke: “I only just wrote jamb”
Morenikeji: “And you don’t think your education is what you should concentrate on for now? How old are you?” she persisted with her queries.
Olori Ebi: “kilon se omo yii gan na (what exactly is wrong with this child?)” he asked looking at Iyabeji as if she could answer the question.
Iyabeji: “Se emi mo ni (do I know?)” she replied.
Akanke: “I am 21 and yes, this is what I want” she replied in a matter of fact manner.
Iyabeji: “You for no answer am Akanke. What does she think she is to be questioning you like that? You are not here for a job interview but to be the wife in this house” she blurted out angrily.
Morenikeji: “Hmmmmm. Okay then. Who am I not to accept you? I just hope he accepts you too cos this is not the first time they will bring a new wife for him. It has become habitual for them and I wouldn’t be surprised if after a year and you didn’t give birth, a new one will be arraigned before us both” she stood up, scooped her bag up wearily and headed for the adjoining corridor which led to her bedroom. “There are two guest rooms upstairs by the left, choose any of them you like and decorate it to your taste. The doors are unlocked” she added without looking back.
Olori Ebi: “What do you mean by that? are you using style to disrespect us in our presence? This must be the reason God is punishing you with calamity upon calamity. You don’t respect your husband’s family and you think it will be well with you?” he called after her.
Iyabeji: “Olori ebi can you see how disrespectful she is? Is she not supposed to show her the room even if she cannot offer us something to eat? My dear, hope you got her description? Go and drop your bag in there and come back to prepare amala for us to eat jare”
Akanke: “Okay ma” she stood up and disappeared into the corridor.
Iyabeji: “Omo daadaa (good girl). Now we can come here with peace of mind anytime we want now. I am already feeling like the owner of the house sef” she said laughing.
She had walked as far from the vicinity as her legs could carry her not wanting to spend from the little money she had been able to save up while staying with her sister. Knowing she had gone far enough from home and from her sister, she entered the nearest market, bought a bowl, some bottles of minerals and canned drinks, pure water and arranged them all neatly inside the bowl putting the ice block at the centre. She placed the bowl on head and started hawking around the market not minding the fact that she had nowhere to go later.
Later that night when she sat down to count her proceeds, she found out she had made more than she had used to buy the stuffs and if not for the bowl she bought, she would have made even more than that. suddenly it stuck her that she had nowhere to lay her head that night and all the joy she felt at making profits evaporated like a mist. Where she sat in front of a store, she looked ahead and saw people trooping out of a redeemed church. She quickly stood up and went over requesting to see the pastor in charge. She was taken to the pastor whom she noticed looked kind enough.
Morenike: “Good evening sir”
Pastor: “Good evening madam. I was told you wanted to see me. Please have your seat” he beckoned for her to have her seat, flashing her a wide toothed smile.
Morenike: “Thank you sir”
Pastor: “So what can I do for you?”
Morenike: “I need a favour from you please. You see? I am not from this area at all and I have nowhere to go neither do I have money to rent an apartment. Please can I stay in the church for the main time? All Id be doing is sleeping here since id be going to work during the day. Please sir I beg of you” she pleaded meekly.
Pastor: “Hmmmmm you seem like one who has seen bad times just that I no longer trust people who request to stay in the church like this because of our past experiences. Some of these people ended up stealing the church properties or doing profane stuffs in the church. These have happened on several occasions and i don’t think I still want to walk down that road” he said shaking his head.
Morenike: “Please sir, I am not someone like that. I promise that nothing will go wrong while I’m here. I have nowhere else to go and if you turn me away now, I’d probably end up sleeping in the open and that is dangerous. Please sir” she pleaded on a bended knee.
Joseph: “Sir?” his eyes became misty immediately.
Mary: “Oh please o, not me o” she replied from where she laid on the floor.
1st Robber: “Hurry up and choose, time is no longer on our side”
3rd Robber: “Talk you this man” he kicked him hard in the butt and his two friends laughed.
Joseph: “Please don’t do this. I will give you more money next time”
2nd Robber: “Abeg talk jare. You dey craze? Do think sey we come here for negotiation?”
Joseph: “Okay take my daughter”
The three guys exchanged shocked looks.
“What?” they all chorused.
2nd Robber: “Your daughter? How can you choose a girl im sure is not even up to five years yet over your wife who has fucked like a thousand times over? You are a disappointment man”
1st Robber: “Let’s waste him”
Joseph: “Please don’t kill me. It’s the work of the devil” he said peeing on himself.
Abiodun: “Daddy how can you choose Kemi?” he said with disappointment even though he did not really understand what was going on but he knew it wasn’t something pleasant.
2nd Robber: “Boy you see? I don’t think you have a father. This one has been brainwashed by an evil woman” he cast Mary a disgusting look and beckoned for his guy to follow him.
They began to leave…
Abiodun: “Please take us with you” he said sharply and they stopped in their track, exchanging looks.
1st Robber: “Why do you want to go with us?”
Abiodun: “We don’t want to live here anymore. We want to look for our mother. Please take I and my sister out of this house” he pleaded desperately.
Question: Will they agree to take them? Is it better to leave with the robbers or remain with their wicked step mum and father?
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