Friday, November 9, 2018

my name is ojo and this is my story

The first work i got wasn’t difficult according to Ada, it was in a club, the same place she and Abimbola works, it was a very big club, Ada has already told me what it is like, she and Abimbola has spoken with the manager who agreed to employ me, Ada also borrowed me money to make new hair and get some wears like bum short, trousers and shoes, since we were giving a T-shirt to wear,
I like looking beautiful and the new cloths, makeups and fine hairdo make me looks very beautiful,
I agreed to pay Ada back the money she borrowed me ones i start receiving my pay,
She took me to the club manager who did a small interview filled me in what my work entails before i fully started,
The manager said the first month will be just to see how well I’m capable, and i tried to deliver my best, I wore my bum short and shake my buttocks at those men, knowing fully well that I’m well packaged just as what Bibi told me, having hips was an added advantage to me, mama will say all her food comes to my waist and eyes, the waist and eyes is becoming useful to me because is what most of the girls here wish to have,
it makes me stand out and got me more men drooling all over me, even the men that came with their girlfriends couldn’t take their eyes off me as i serve drinks with a charming smile,
I started getting alot of tips, so many men want to talk with me, just as i was warned before hand I don’t miss work with pleasure,
I gave my new number to the ones i feel got something to offer,
I paid Ada the debt i owe her even before i got paid she wasn’t happy with the speed i was going, she called me one day and said
“Uju, take it easy, remember I’m the one that introduce you to this work, don’t over speed your self… Think before you act…
“Ada, I don’t know why you keep calling me Uju, I already told you and those men at the club all knows I’m Tracy and I told them I’m not a Nigerian…I’m from Kenya, please don’t go and call me this in front of them before you spoil my market ..
“Uju, you see why I’m saying you should mind your speed, you have already started telling them that your name is Tracy and you are from Kenya, what if you happen to meet a Kenya person and you can’t speak their language, tell a lie you can defend not the one that will hook you, there’s nothing wrong if you tell them you are uju and a Nigerian, even if you tell them that your full name is Ujunwa nobody will question you, it doesn’t matter, those who like you will still like you… please don’t tell me what to call you, you are ujunwa and i call you uju, don’t care if you are comfortable or not with it, I’m comfortable calling you your real name, you can tell people who don’t know you in and out to call you Tracy but not with me.. Please…
“I’m only trying to make it Ada, my people are counting hugely on me, especially mama, if i don’t do what I’m doing i won’t get enough tips or money to start sending home and other expenses, all i expect from you is to understand and stop telling me to take it slow, I’m not stupid, I know what I’m doing Ada, I have always wanted this and I’m very grateful for introducing me to it, you are making your own money Ada, sending home and taking care of your siblings at home, is also the same thing with me, I just want to make it and be able to take care of my people… And if we get enough money we can move out of here to a better apartment, I have paid you the money i owe you, I’m not owning you again I’m just trying to gather money for my own rent and other expenses….i expected you of all people to understand that..
After the conversation with Ada I tried to take it slow, so that she will not feel like I’m trying to out run her in the work she thought me. I was beginning to get comfortable with her calling me Uju, but i still tell people at the club that my name is Tracy.
One day a young man visited the club with his friends and female friends too, he came with a huge purse that was stocked at his right arm, he was a regular face at the club and always takes the VIP lounge, after partying and drinking hard he never let go of the purse, he was always the one that paid for all the drinks, he sometimes flirts with me after which he tips me, I’m always looking forward to his coming and today was no different,
After serving drinks he teased me as usual of which i replied back with a smile, after the whole drinks he was drunk and later left with his friend when i went to clear the table i saw the purse on the floor, I quickly looked round before i opened it and there was packs of cash in it, I looked well to be sure and there was really huge cash inside, I was scared at first, I wanted to give it to the manager on duty like we were told to always return back whatever anybody forgets or left behind in case they comes back for it, I was tempted to return it and also to keep it to myself, it will really change my story, I couldn’t come to a conclusion i called Ada who was around and she came i showed her the cash she said i should return it before they finds out,
I should take it to the manager to keep for the man and i said okay, I didnt return it I quickly close and change up to my normal cloth and hide the cash, I signed out and went home leaving Ada, when i got home i saw Bibi she was sleeping, I quickly removed the small bag of money and hide where eyes hardly go, Ada later came back that night so i pretend to be asleep so that she won’t ask me of the money
I later slept off, when i woke up in the morning Ada was just leaving for work, Bibi was going right after her, they seem to be in a hurry, I checked the time they weren’t late so why the rush…
I was on night duty that day and will be leaving the house by 4pm, so i relaxed back, after I was very sure they have gone far, I quickly went to bring out the money to count so that i will know my way from here although i was still having double mind of returning it, I was already concluding within me i will return the cash ones I’m going to work in the evening, guilty conscience was already eating Me up,
I went to the place i hide the money but it was no more there, I was shocked, with speed i started turning the house up side down, I couldn’t find it anywhere, someone must have taken it, I started thinking who could it possibly be, I only told Ada about the money who didn’t know if i brought it home or not and Bibi didn’t even know about it because she was asleep when i came back, I was shock and confused
i quickly called Ada and Bibi on the phone and they both said they didn’t see anything like that,
I’m finished…who could have stolen the money or did the purse filled with money disappear, what is going on, somebody must have taken it but who? Who took it.
I wasn’t myself through out that day, I keep wondering how the money disappeared, I couldn’t say who among my two room mates took and how possible was that, I only told Ada at work and she said i should return it or give it to her to return for me of which i told her i will return it myself and i never did, and she didn’t even know i took it home until i called her this morning and asked her if she happen to see the missing purse and she was angry with me for asking her such question when i never told her i was taking it home, I called Bibi and she sounded surprise with the news and said i should still search properly I may probably see it, I can’t accuse her because she sounded innocent enough to me and she was asleep and it couldn’t be her, so who then? I keep asking myself that question, did the bag develop wings and fly away while everyone was asleep, I was still shock as i dressed up for work but knowing what i will face, how can i even explain it, my regrets was if i know i would have returned it to the manager or give it to Ada like she suggested for her to take it to the manager, now how do i explain that the bag and the money disappear, even Ada is very angry with me for not listening to her knowing well she has being in the job before me and knows better, and she’s the one that took me to the place,
I pay my dues to her and even give her some part of my tips, if i get lots of tips for the day i give her and Bibi some of it and still cook, just to show that I’m grateful, why will i now become so greedy and wanted the whole discovered money for myself,
Alot of thought was hitting my conscience like a stone as i arrived at work, I quickly changed over to my uniform, Ada and Bibi were getting ready to sign out, Immediately Ada noticed i was around she came to the changing room
“you are here Uju, dress up fast and come out the manager is calling you”
“wait Ada, did you tell him, you told him about the bag… Why do you think his calling me?
“Uju, go and find out yourself, stop asking me, but remember whatever happens you brought this on yourself
“I know you are angry with me, I’m sorry Ada, please don’t leave me now, you know you are the only one i know over here”
“you should have thought about that before being greedy, before trying to act smart or to go ahead of me, you actually thought you are smart.. I asked you to give me that bag to take to manager and you agreed to take it to him yourself only for you to you cornered it without even telling me, I will show you how stupid and foolish you are, I took you from the village to have a better live and you think you can outsmart me Ujunwa, you actually think I’m stupid or blind to see how desperate you are, your plan is to outsmart me…hahaha…i will beat you to this game because before you even take a step I’m 100miles ahead of you… manager want to see you and the owner of the purse that contains the cash you took is also here, today is your judgement day, I warned you didn’t I?
“oh my God, Ada why are you being so mean, I always give you every of my tips, both the one you know and don’t know, I contributed my own part to the house, sometimes even more, I never said or had it in mind to be ahead, I was only trying to fend for myself and save up for my family too just as you are doing, anything I’m not sure of i always call your attention to it before telling anybody because i believe you know better than me in this job or in Lagos life as a whole, you are my friend and we are age mates, why do you say I’m trying to outsmart you… You are like a sister to me please don’t deny me now that i really need you, the money disappeared and i don’t know how, still can’t tell how…
“story for the gods, come and explain yourself to them”
I later went out to face my jury, it wasn’t easy at all walking down, every step was dreadful to me, I finally got there and saw the manager and the purse guy with few others, Ada was also there looking at me as if it was her money i stole, the manager started with
“Tracy, this young man was here last night, his face is regular here, I guess you know him, he lost his purse here and he’s sure it was here he lost it, I know you were one of the staff in charge of the VIP lounge this week and you were also the person that attended to them, I doubted him at first because i know that no staff here can keep such thing without my information, we don’t steal here, I was trying to convince him when Ada came to tell me you picked it and i wondered how you can pick such item and keep it to yourself, Tracy the young man is here for his purse, we will talk about why you keep such huge amount like that just as he mentioned without reporting it, Ada said she asked you to bring it to me but you didn’t, just get the purse and hand over to him, we will talk about why you did that later, let’s return his purse to him first,
“I….. I…saw it…but…but i don’t know what happened… I told Ada about it…after which….i..
“Tracy, what are you saying…i don’t think any of us understand what you are saying…let me clear you…the reason why we keep things for customers is to show transparency, so that they can keep coming back if they see how we handle things like this, so please go and bring it so that this guy can have trust in us again ” Ada will receive her reward for being a good staff and telling you to return it, she will get an increment in her salary for being a good staff, so Tracy we are waiting for you”
I stammered again, not knowing what to say, what can i even say, no reasonable word came out from my mouth as i tried to explain myself that i don’t know what happened to the money, Ada surprised me further and said to everyone surprise
“Obianaujunwa, go and get the money na, stop lying because i know you very well and know how much you can lie…
As Ada called me my full name in front of the people present, I wanted to disappear, I wanted the ground to open and swallow me, nobody knows I’m Igbo, and majority thought I’m from Kenya, like i lied to them, I started wishing i have stick to my real name, people looked from Ada to me, they asked her who she was referring to with that name, she looked at me and i gave her a pleading look, the missing money was enough trouble i don’t want another one but she was determined in seeing me put to shame as her mouth keep running like tap water, bibi came and joined the mini crowd growing and also tried to give Ada sign to calm down but she wasn’t listening
“everybody, her name is not Tracy, her real name is obianajunwa, we cut it short by calling her Uju, she’s typical Igbo girl from my village, forget all the lies she told you, she’s actually a good liar,
The manager just looked up at me with a disappointed look while others laugh and chorus my name as if it was a song , the manager later said
“okay o, hmmnn we don’t care what her name is what that matters now is the money, we will also put the lies she told all of us to book later, so where’s the money Obianaujunwa, Ujunwa, Uju or better still Tracy which ever one you like, my own concern is the money, enough of all this drama, please answer us
I was already prepared for anything, I thought my real name was left with mama in the village never know i will still hear it within a year of leaving home
I stood confuse I saw smile plastered on Ada face she was enjoying the moment, Bibi was looking at me with that pity look with few others
I still wondered how the money disappeared, who took the money was what i keep wondering,
I became strong for myself because i only got me, I have to be strong for myself, I told them what happened but no one believed me except the owner of the purse he just suddenly stood up and left and told the manager to forget the money because this is not the first time he was loosing money in the club that he believed me and and will try to be careful next time because is his fault ,,he left with the guy he came with,
The manager still want to know what happened to the money after the guy left.
But who took the money, how did it disappear?
I was sent home with some security guard to search the house, they searched the whole house and still nothing, after long and hard investigation on me they finally let it go but not without a sack, I was actually sacked after the whole drama, i became jobless,
As if my trouble wasn’t enough for Ada, she gave me one week to leave the house and get my own place, where do she expect me to go, I don’t even have enough money to feed for a month, I don’t have anybody in Lagos,
I pleaded with Bibi to beg her for me since she won’t listen to me no matter what i say, Bibi tried and pleaded on my behalf but she was stiff necked, she refuse to listen to anyone, she said she will soon be packing out of the house to a more better place and i can’t follow her to her new apartment and i can’t stay in the old one because I’m jobless and won’t be able to renew the rent and she doesn’t want anybody to insult her because of me,
I go out everyday in search of job , so that i can convince her to leave the place for me,
Probably if she sees that I have a new job and can pay the rent she will leave the house for me while she move in with Bibi to her new apartment, I wasn’t begging to go with her and Bibi to her new luxury apartment, all i wanted is for her to let me stay in the old one, but she won’t listen, I was still hoping she was probably playing when she started burning some of her old stuff and giving out some to neighbors around, I watch her and Bibi burn and give out their things, with the excuse that they have alot of new ones and won’t be needing the old ones, they go shopping everyday without taking me along or buying anything for me despite they knew that i wasn’t working and i was using the little money with me to feed and transport to drop my curriculum vitae, in some places that has vacancy signs and search for job, I was running out of cash and they just enjoy watching me suffer as Bibi later joined Ada and doesn’t pay attention to me again, Ada was treating me like a stranger and doesn’t talk to me again,
Sometimes all they do is to talk about their new apartment and the shopping they did, they will talk and laugh and Ada will mock me and Bibi will laugh, when the mocking was getting too much I didn’t even pay attention to them again, I will rather sit down alone outside than to hear them taunt me or their sarcasm,
After one week just like play they packed up their stuff and there was a car parked outside waiting for them, probably a cab man that came to carry them and their stuff to their new apartment, I was hoping Ada has finally have a change of mind until she asked me to pack my stuff outside that she want to lock the door and return the key to the landlady, who lives within, I was still trying to understand what she was saying, she started throwing my things outside after which she cleared the room and pushed me outside and asked Bibi to lock the door of which she did,
“Ada, what have i done to you to deserve this, I have said I’m sorry uncountable times to you, yet you aren’t satisfied, is it just because of the missing money or there’s more to it because this is pure wickedness, I thought you are my friend, do you bring me here to disgrace me, now you have thrown all my things outside where exactly do you want me to go, where….knowing well that i don’t know anywhere or anybody here, i don’t have any family member here, Ada please reconsider, remember where we are coming from, if something happens to me will you be happy? I’m not saying i want to go to your new apartment, no, not that I wouldn’t like to, but in other not to have problem please allow me to stay here, with time i will start work and start paying the rent, please…i don’t have anywhere to go to, please let me stay here, I will work and renew the rent i won’t bother you if that’s what you want…i promise to get a job soon I’m making lots of effort towards that, please… Bikonu…eeeh!
“if you like you enter rat hole, anywhere you like go and live but not here, not this house Uju, beg for money and go back to the village that’s where you belong, I made a huge mistake by agreeing to help you, you came and took all my personal customers, those men that give you tips that you will later give me small as if you are doing me a favour, some of this guys were my potential clients, in a day i know what i take home, then you appear like Jezebel and they no longer give me attention, only you Uju, you cornered all the rich guys to yourself, I watch you walk seductively and they flirt with you and give you money that was suppose to be mine, you think your hips that you swing for them can save you, let it save you now….do you even think you are more beautiful than me, so you think you are even fine at all, those men that admires you are only trying to deceive you because you are not even close to being beautiful, if i stand with you who do you think they will pick first…me because I’m the real definition of beauty, you are a big girl like me so save yourself, you see why i will always be ahead of you, I’m moving to my well decorated, furnished apartment, I paid everything with my money because I’m a classy rich girl while you are homeless ugly beggar, I have stripe you of everything i help you to get, you are jobless, homeless and even your abducted or stolen name, trashy or Tracy has being taken from you, you are only left with what you came from the village with, which is Obianaujunwa, I saw the way you hated that name and hate it when your mother calls you, now that’s the only thing you got…let me see you build yourself from the scratch that’s if you survive the street life you are about to enter, in 5years or 7years time i will probably call you to be my housegirl or My kids nanny because by then i will be married to a handsome rich guy and have kids while you will either be in the village by then struggling with your palm win tapper husband that’s if you are able to even get married or you are a prostitute in one of those cheap brothel, stupid girl see where your smartness has finally gotten you, I keep telling Bibi that you don’t know me because if i deal with you you will run once you see me, i also told Bibi that your cup will soon full, Bibi told me that is village mentality that is disturbing you and she was right about that, gradually like that you fell into the well set trap i kept for you, now you deserve whatever you get foolish girl….
I listened to her i didn’t even know what to say again, I looked at Bibi and she looked away, maybe her guilty conscience is disturbing her, Ada was really wicked, obviously she’s not the type you can mess with, never knew she has being holding so much hatred for me all this while and gossiping with Bibi behind my back, she left me there when she was tired of insulting me and entered the car with her friend Bibi and they left,
People saw how i was humiliated some showed concern after they left while others sigh and laugh but no one want to at least accommodate me, i understand them because most of them are married and will be scared that i may probably collect their husbands if they agreed to take me in, I saw the fear written in their faces and i don’t blame them, Ada has already painted me black before then them,
if i had that money that developed wings and fly away i would have use it to get an apartment and probably open a business and quit club job before they quit me, I would have given Ada and Bibi share too,
now I’m just sitting down here no house no money no job,
Who knows how Ada got the money she used in getting a new house and other expenses, she probably took loan from work plus her new increased salary and probably those her customer she said i took from her assisted her too, I don’t know why she’s so wicked to me,
I wish i know how that money disappear,
i wish for alot of things right now but most importantly is a place to stay and a job, i knew within me i will get one, I’m a strong person and Ada throwing me out without a place to go won’t weaken me,
I sat there and tried to smile but tears poured down my check i quickly wipe them off and try to think on my next move.

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