Alice raised her head when she heard someone battling with gate from the outside. Everyone in the house had a key that opens every door in the house. It was a few minutes to 10 p.m, everyone else had come home except her daughter who had recently been returning home later than the usual time. Despite her father’s bitter complaints about her late nights, Sandra had always insisted that the load of work on her couldn’t be handled leisurely, as far as she was concerned, she had to meet customer’s needs. Alice, her mum had noticed the sudden change in her attitude towards everyone in the house, she came home grinning from left to right and her eyeballs rolled each time she received a call from Jessica. Anytime her phone rang, it was the same Jessica or a client sent by Jessica. Alice who was aware of the sudden turnaround in business was certain that Sandra’s sudden lively outlook was the result of the change but sometimes she feared she was losing her daughter to Aunty Jessica as she grew even more into womanhood.
Untying her wrapper and wrapping it properly around her waist, Alice peeped through the curtains to be sure Sandra didn’t need any help with the entrance gate but when she realized she was on another call probably with a client as always. She stayed awake to see if she could have a tet à têt with her daughter, but as she stepped into the house, Sandra bent her head to greet her mum while still on her call and walked past Alice straight into her room. Alice waited a little while for her daughter but after about fifteen minutes and Sandra was still engrossed in her call, she retrieved back to her room hoping tomorrow would present another opportunity.
Jessica’s face suddenly turned green and sickly as she watched Sandra’s name appear on her phone severally, after about five minutes, she hissed as she picked up her phone to receive the call. Sandra’s heart melted as Jessica’s voice came alive on the other side. She had feared Jessica was angry again but as she spoke with her, her heart leapt for joy knowing her name was back on Jessica’s good books once again.
While Sandra tidied up her shop in preparation for the students Jessica was sending in for training, they were to be ten in number, she thought aloud as she dusted the chairs and wiped the mirrors clean.
Jessica’s foundation was paying quite a large amount on each one of them and while she sorted the items in the shop out and arranged them properly, she couldn’t imagine nor understand why Jessica’s behavior towards her suddenly took a different turn even though she had in diverse ways expressed her gratitude for her kindness to her.
A young man in his late twenties walked into Sandra’s shop after waiting outside for a few seconds to check if he had come to the right place. Sandra spotted him from afar but waited for him to come in by himself. “Good afternoon madam” He greeted, Sandra’s heart raced 180km/nanosecond as his voice landed in her brain, he was masculine and yet very soft, a Luther Vandross in a gentle young man’s skin, she couldn’t “Good afternoon sir” Sandra answered timidly. “Aunty Jessica directed us here” He continued, “I hope I am at the right place”, he enquired. “Yes, you are sir”, “Are you one of those for the training?” she asked, “Yes, I am ma, “He quietly responded as he watched her smile so heartily.
She signaled on him to come right in as he extended his hand for a handshake (a move that sent some form of vibes and signals through Sandra’s stomach). “Please take a sit while we wait for others” pointing to a chair close to the door. Sandra stood still and stared at the young man for a couple of seconds while he settled into his seat wondering why aunty Jessica sent in a man when the agency was strictly empowering women and certainly not men.
– Bunmi Olaoke