The last person Alice expected to see was her daughter Sandra, “What happened my daughter”, Alice enquired as Sandra walked in with her bag on her left hand looking like she had just seen a ghost. “It’s too late mama”, she responded sadly. “Aunty Jessica already picked someone else” she quickly added. Walking towards her room, “I need some time to be alone, I need to rest mama”, she moved sluggishly and dragging her bag behind her.
Sandra had barely got to the door leading to her room when her phone suddenly rang, network service had been bad all day, she had tried reaching Rebecca earlier to find out how the meeting with Jessica went but all efforts made proved abortive as the number remained unreachable.
Alice turned to return to the kitchen where her husband’s meal was being prepared. She longed to hear exactly what happened but Sandra didn’t seem to be in the mood and she wasn’t ready to let anyone at home hear about it either since the entire gist about the trip was an agreement between mother and daughter.
“Are you sure”? Sandra asked Rebecca, “Abeg, don’t get me unnecessarily excited o,” if I narrate what happened to me at that office, even you will weep for me. “She told Rebecca.” I am very sure something bigger is coming your way, please do not hesitate this time around, don’t think at all, just accept it, Rebecca begged her friend like her life also depended on it. “Hmm.., Sandra sighed, she placed her head on her pillow while the rest of her body rested peacefully on her bed. The succulence of the foam connected perfectly with her body as they began to find their own bliss in its warmth as Sandra listened to Rebecca’s gist in ecstasy.
Something didn’t just add up, a part of her giggled with joy as she watched the goose pimples spread all over her body while another part of her tingled in fear. “I haven’t heard from her yet but whatever happens, I will let you know.” she said in utter disbelief. Rebecca, on the other hand, began to pour out everything that happened to her friend, she sounded so excited about the whole thing but Sandra seemed more carried away in her mind by the news she just got.
Sandra left home quite late for her shop, it’s been about three months already and business had gone from bad to extinction. It’s been over a week since Rebecca told her about Jessica’s phone call and she had heard nothing yet. Every phone call to her phone had become so important to her but as the days went by, the reality began to fully sink in. Even Rebecca had started training at the center, Sandra hadn’t set her eyes on her since the night they spoke on phone.
Sandra was moving things gradually out of the shop back home, she had had long discussions with her father and the possibility of returning to school was becoming more real to her than any trip. “Good afternoon ma”, Sandra turned around in her shop and beheld the silhouette of a figure, she stood under a shade close to her shop and Sandra stepped out to get a clearer picture of the lady, young, about fifteen years old with a makeup that created an illusion which made her look older than her age.
“Good afternoon “, Sandra responded, “are you, Aunty Sandra”? The girl asked, “Yes, I am” Sandra answered. The lady stepped out and beckoned on someone outside to come over as she screamed “She is here!” Sandra looking confused and wondering who she was calling became curious as she stepped outside her shop to see who she was waving at. Sandra saw a bevy of girls about the same age range walking briskly her way, she counted about fifteen of them as they approached her shop until she lost count. “We want to make our hair,” the lady spoke as she pointed at everyone else.
Sandra’s eyes bulged out as she did a quick head count of all the girls standing in front of her shop, “How many of you”? She asked, “All of us” the lady responded immediately. Sandra tried to hide her confusion, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing and seeing, ” Are you sure it’s all of you”, She asked again. “Yes Aunty Sandra, we know you won’t be able to finish in one day, but will three days be enough to finish up”? She asked. “We were asked to pay five thousand naira per person since it’s an express job”, as she slipped her hand in her back pocket to bring out a bundle of #1000 notes to be handed over to Sandra before the job began. “We won’t want anybody else to disturb you while you do our work” she added with a wink and a smile on which exposed her beautiful and perfectly arranged dentition.
Sandra’s heart began to beat louder as she pinched herself continuously to be sure she wasn’t asleep or dreaming.
– Bunmi Olaoke