Dear reader, by popular demand I have begun a series. I’m not sure how long it’s going to run for, so be sure to follow my blog! This is a FREE story.
It has been seven years now since the death of my father and sometimes I miss him so much. Today is one of those days, when I’m reminded of how life used to be: full of hope. Alhaja has come for me like mother said she would and I am ready. Although my mother was the third wife of my father Alhaji Olagunju, we had been comfortable. Upon his death however, his brothers and other family members took over all his properties leaving my mother and her colleagues penniless. We had to relocate to Osogbo, to my grandparents’ where my mother has been selling food in a kiosk by the roadside. Although this caters for our immediate needs, we are constantly in need when it comes to the bigger expenses such as school fees and bills.
Alhaja is my mother’s customer. She especially likes her amala and abula garnished with bokoto and ponmo; her maid Biliki comes for it every afternoon. She told my mother about one of her friends who lived in Lagos and was in need of a house help; a young girl who was semiliterate and could communicate effectively with her other rich friends. I would be well taken care of; her friend wouldn’t have her house help dressed in rags or inferior clothing. Her friend was willing to pay fifteen thousand naira monthly. I would have to open a bank account, she would pay my salary directly into my account. Alhaja thought I was perfect for the job. My mother was excited. Last night she went on and on about how large I should shine my eyes. I am seventeen years old and my body has taken the shape of a curvaceous young woman. Puberty came early. My mother doesn’t even have to say too much. I am tired of this life of wanting.
Alhaja was right about the house. It is magnificent. The security guy opens the gate and greets Alhaja effusively. His reward is swift. She promises him a tip on her way out. Before we enter the house she warns me again to be on my best behaviour. I promise I her would. We enter the house and Alhaja calls out to her friend telling her that she’s brought me. A beautiful middle aged woman with warm eyes comes down the stairs in a few minutes. I like her. I go through an interview and she seems satisfied with me because she tells Alhaja that she hopes I pass the test. What on earth she is talking about? Am I an animal that is to be examined before it is bought? I am not one of those other house helps from Togo or Benin. I am a school cert holder simply faced with the harsh reality of life. I am about to object when Alhaja says “You better set out now so you can make it back before the rush hour traffic. My fate is sealed. However I have enough confidence left to ask “What kind of tests ma?”
“See this foolish girl, what kind of question is that? Do you think she wants to use you for blood rituals?” Alhaja snaps at me, furious that I would dare to be audacious.
“Ah ah Alhaja don’t worry about it. It’s just a simple question. You are going to do a pregnancy test, HIV test and any other tests the doctor advises” she calmly explains.
Now I am afraid. Since my encounter with that unfortunate man, Lasun, Alhaja’s driver I’ve been experiencing itching in my private part. We set out in her jeep and although I am enjoying the elegance of the vehicle’s interior, I am anxious.