After Stephen drives away, Charity becomes restless under the unbrella where she sits. She is confused on what to do; and ever since she had the dream where she was almost killed. She has been traumatised and dreads visiting strangers in their homes. Here she is, selling recharge cards against her wish and now that an helper has come her way, she does not know if she should trust him or not. She stares at the money he has given to her and she makes up her mind that she will open an account with it so that she can be saving whatever she makes from the recharge card business. Again the thought of Peace and her threats cross her mind, from what she has heard, Peace’ family are known for their use of diabolical powers to crush their perceived enemies. Charity makes up her mind to look for another busy area to move to so that she can leave Peace and her trouble. She is still thinking of where to move to when she begins to doze before an elderly customer wakes her.
Elderly woman: “Give me Glo N100”.
Charity opens her eyes to see an elderly woman brandishing a dirty N100 note before her.
Elderly woman: I say give me Glo N100”.
Charity: Okay, ma. But this your money is old and torn, I am not sure anyone will accept it from me”.
Elderly woman: “My pikin, no vex. Na so them give me the money, na when I reach house I see as e be”.
Charity: Okay, ma. I will collect it because it is you”. She brings the card and hands it to the woman.
Elderly woman: “Help me load the card inside my phone, I no sabi do am”, she hands Charity a small Nokia phone whose battery is attached to it with the help of a rubber band.
Charity recharges for her and gives her back the phone.
Elderly woman: “Check inside, help me dial my daughter number”.
Charity: “Okay, what is her name?”
Elderly woman: “Check inside the phone, na she be the only pikin wey I get”.
Charity: “You are very funny, ma. You need to tell me her name so that I can search for her number. Your phone doesn’t know that she is the only daughter you have”.
Eldely woman: “Her name na Abike”.
Charity dials the number and the service providers reply that the number is switched off.
Charity: “Mama, your daughter’s number is switched off”.
Elderly woman: “Switched off bawo? Wetin be that? Why the number no go after you don put the money inside? Shebi them say I go fit talk to her if I put money inside the phone?”
Charity: It is not my fault, mama. The recharge card is already in your phone but your daugther’s number is switched off so you can’t talk to her”.
Elderly woman: “Why I no fit talk to her after I don put credit for my phone? Na the money wey remian for my hands na im I use buy credit so that I go tell her to send me money. Wetin you wan make I do, now?”
Charity: ‘’I am sorry, mama. But…”
Elderly woman: “I no wan hear anything. If I no fit talk to my pikin, carry your credit give me my money, I no wan buy again”.
Charity: “Mama, that is not possible. I have already recharged it and I can’t take it out”.
The elderly woman begins to talk at the top of her voice asking Charity to return her money. Charity trying to avoid embarrsment gives the woman back her N100 and hands her the phone. The woman walks away and Charity exhausted packs her things and leaves for her house.
It has been almost one week since Stephen asked Charity to call him and she hasn’t called him. Worried that she may run out of time to go for her registration; he drives to the place where she sells recharge card and meets Peace in Charity’s position.
Stephen: “Excuse me, hi”.
Peace: “Oga, welcome. How much card you wan buy? Which network?”
Stephen: “I’m sorry, I am not here to buy anything. I am here to see your sister, she used to stay in this same position”.
Peace: “Which sister you give me? Na only me my mama born come this world”.
Stephen: “Erm, last time I was here, you said she is your sister”.
Peace: “Oga abeg, I say I no get any sister. Na you born the sister give me?”
Stephen: “Okay. Please, where is the other girl? I mean your colleague”.
Peace: “She no dey here again”.
Stephen: “Okay, where can I find her?”
Peace: “Shuuu, which kind wahala be this na? How I wan take know where she dey? Maybe she don follow one man go now. No be so so follow follow men she dey do?”
Stephen: “Really? You don’t have her number, home address, nothing?”
Peace: “Oga abeg, I dey take God beg you, commot from my front. I no know where Charity dey, commot from my front make my customers see road come here”.
Stephen: “Okay, her name is Charity. At least I can start from there”.
Few days after, Stephen returns to the neighbourhood and begins to ask traders around for Charity. None of them seem to know where she lives and none have her number. Tired, he turns and makes for his car when he notices a young girl who sells food opposite the place Charity used to sell. He goes to her.
Girl 1: “Oga, welcome. Wetin you wan chop, rice dey, beans , pomo, fried plantain ati….”
Stephen: “No, I will eat some other time, not now”.
Girl: “Eeen, so why you come park for my front like this?”
Stephen: “I need your help. There is this girl Charity who sells airtime across the street. Do you know where she lives? I need to see her urgently”.
Girl: “Ah, Charity, that fine girl. She no dey here again na. Peace and her witch don pursue her commot from here, she go dey house by this time”.
Stephen: “Great! So, where does she live?”
Girl: “I no fit describe the place but I know the house”.
Stephen: “Okay, can you take me there? I will pay you if you take me there”.
Girl: “Na N3,000 be my money o. I go show you the house but I no go follow you enter. I no dey for her step mother wahala”.
Stephen: “Okay, no problem. I will give you N5,000. Can we go now?”
Girl: “I no fit leave my food like that now. Wait my sister come back, I send her go buy water”.
Charity is sitting at home that day feeling frustrated. Ever since she has started staying at home, she has been suffering from boredom as her parents do not allow her to go out. She picks up the bag she used to sell airtime and brings out Stephen’s number. She is contemplating to call him or not when her step mother steps into the living room.
Iyabo: “Have you gone deaf? So, you are here and you didn’t answer me even though I called you twice?”
Charity quickly gets on her feet and attempts to hide the paper containing Stephen’s number”.
Charity: “I am sorry, ma. I got carried away that I didn’t hear you call me”.
Iyabo: “Carried away with what? Ehn, Charity answer me. Are you pregnant? What is carrying your attention away? What is that paper that you are hiding in your hands?”
Charity: “Nothing, ma”.
Iyabo: “If you ever lie to me again, the gods will strike you deaf”. She grabs the paper suddenly from Charity’s hands. “So, it is your boyfriend’s number that you are hiding from me”. She tears it. “Let me see how you will call him again, useless girl”.
Charity is shocked and tear drops from her eyes. To her utmost surprise, they hear a knock and Stephen walks in.
Stephen: “Charity, dear! Thank God I found you, I searched everywhere for you. Why didn’t you call me? We were supposed to see last week. Oh my God, and forgive my manners. I was carried away with the excitement of seeing you.”. Turning to her step mother, he says “She must be your mother. Good afternoon, ma’am”.
Iyabo ignores him. “Charity, who is this mad man in my house? So, you have graduated to bringing men into my matrimonial home?”
Stephen: “I am sorry, ma’am but I mean no harm. I only…”
Iyabo: “The gods will strike you with madness this moment if you don’t leave my house”. She pushes him outside. Oh, you are still standing here? Okay, wait for me”. She goes in while Charity is persuading Stephen to leave.
Charity: “Please, you have to leave now. My step mother can get very aggressive. Please go before she does something to hurt you”.
Stephen: “No, if I run away, it shows that I am guilty. I mean no harm, I only came here to help, I see no reason why she should take on me like that after all you are not child”.
Charity is still pleading with him to leave when her step mother comes out with a bowl of water and pours it on him.
Iyabo: “I say leave my house, you think I don’t know what you are up to? All these jobles men that will wear uncle dash me suit and and be using that to deceive girls up and down, nonsense,carry your badluck to another house”. She claps her hands on his face and drags Charity into the room and shuts the door.
Question: Will Stephen change his mind about helping Charity? Will Charity stand up to Iyabo? Should she follow Stephen?
…SEE Episode 8 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)
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