EPISODES 19 & 20

Episode 18

Searching for job in this city isn’t for the weak.
My leg is sore from walking around in search of a vacancy.
After checking the third place today which was a fast food, I got the same feedback like the previous, I knew it was time to head home, the sun was burning hard on my skin.

Before I go, I went to one fast food by the road side and left my application with the security man that told me that there’s no vacancy but there’s a girl that will be resigning that month-end because she got an admission in the university.

I begged him to help me submit my application letter anytime there’s a space, maybe if the girl finally re-sign, before another desperate job seeker like me will take the space.

“Doing that kind of big favor for you requires showing of love, you have to roger me..”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand sir. I should rog.. what? I said confused at the slangs he used.

“You’ve to show love, like roger me if you want me to do such a favor for you..”

“Eehh! I still don’t get what you’re saying, you mean money, like I should give you money or… there’s another meaning of rgoer..?

“Are you not a city girl? You supposed to grab what I’m saying. If you don’t, then carry your letter and yourself and get out from my gate..”

“Sorry sir, I don’t have much money on me, is just my transportation that’s with me. If I use it to roger you, I will be left with nothing and you know I’m jobless and do not have any source of income..”

“Stay there and be speaking English. I have told you what to do, you use what you’ve to get what you want. I’m not even asking for anything personal, just for you to submit whatever money you have and you’re busy speaking English. Okay oo, anyhow.. you’re not a serious person..”

“I am very serious in getting a job. Please help me and I will definitely give you something from my first salary..” I replied pleadingly.

He began to laugh sarcastically

“You never even get job, you don they make budget with first salary that you’re not even sure off..”

I stood there thinking of what to do, the truth is that what I have on me is my transportation and little change for snacks.
This was my third week in this city and the month will be ending in few days from now, There’s no hope yet on getting a job.

Ify works in a factory where they produce hair extension, she said the time for taking new staff has passed and before the company will employ again, it will be when they’re short of staff, she told me that they don’t employ one or two but more than ten to twenty workers at once.

I’m trying to manage with what I have while going around in search of a job.

Ify and her boyfriend, Uche gave away some of the food stuffs I came with.

They gave out some of the plantain, yam and even garri to either their neighbor and friend

They did this without even informing me first and when I asked ify, she said Uche gave to one of his female neighbor who is also nice to them, they call her Leba.

While Ify said she gave small plantain, garri and even palm oil to one of her besty at work.

She said is not a big deal because I will get a job soon and start making money.

Just within three weeks almost everything I came with is finished because that’s still the same thing all of us are feeding on.
I carried a full bag packed with different things, about six paints of garri, alot of plantain, oil, leaves for cooking, rice and beans one paint each.
plenty stock fish, four yam tubers, even crayfish and lot’s of other things.

The bus driver even collected seven hundred for my load alone.

I thought the whole thing will last for about two months but is not even upto a month yet and is almost gone.

Uche does not have any legit work, he has a laptop that he’s always using at home
according to Ify, she said Uche’s work is in that laptop and very soon he will make alot of money which is in millions and they will use it and travel abroad, get married and have a sweet Life.

She makes it sound so realistic that I had to believe her.

She even said I should be praying for maga to pay Uche soon so that they will dash me the one room, I will have it to myself and be paying rent.
They may give me some money too.

I guess Uche’s boss is called maga, that’s the person he’s using he’s computer to work for.

I sometimes pray that God will touch the heart of Mr Maga to pay Uche, not until I was talking with Aunty Julie, one of the pregnant woman that lives in the same compound with her husband and daughter and she opened my eyes to reality.
Aunty Julie is caring and nice to everyone
The five tenants in that compound use only one kitchen, i usually meet Aunty Julie in the kitchen cooking and she will ask me how I’m fairing and finding the city.
She will encourage me not to worry I will soon get a job.

I told her why I desperately needed Job because I don’t want the money with me to run out.
Atleast when I get a Job, I will use the remaining money for transportation.

I also mentioned to her that Uche’s boss, Mr Maga will pay him soon and he will take Ify out of the country, leaving the house for me and they may even give me some money.

I will be needing money to renew the rent whenever it expires.

Aunty Julie laugh so hard, she said I shouldn’t mind Uche
That she’s suspecting him to be into internet fråüd.
Where they lïe and scåm people off their hard earned money.

“Chineke m oo (oh my God)
that was what I scréämed after aunty Julie told me what Uche was probably into.

I don’t trust that Uche one bit.

I usually see him with one of the female tenant that they gave some of the things I brought to the city.

Her name is Leba, she’s is well endowed and beautiful.
I have seen Uche going into her room whenever Ify goes off to work and I have caught them in a compromising position, right on the bed where Ify and Uche sleeps.

They adjusted immediately I walked in, Uche followed her out to her room that day.

I suspected something was going on but aunty Julie said i should be careful and mind my business because everyone minds there business in that compound.

Leba is also friendly and plays with little Cassandra, Julie’s three years daughter.

She also goes into their room and I have heard the man cracking jokes with Julie his wife and Leba his jovial neighbor.

I’m in my lane and don’t want any prøblem, that’s why I harken to Julie’s advise to mind my business.

If Uche or Ify decided to throw me out, I have no where to stay and I can’t survive in the street.

I can’t even complain much when they use some of the food stuffs that mama Zaram gave me or give out like philanthropist

Anytime I cook food, before I return from job search is all gone

Uche has finished it all, Ify is the only one working and her salary goes into feeding Uche and herself and also giving him money for recharge card.
Uche will always pressurize her to him money for airtime so that he can speak to his maga.

I’m happy that I brought lots of things from the village, although I wish they will just leave it alone for me so that it will last for about a month or two before I can finally get a job.

I just have to swallow the pain of watching my food stuffs disappearing.

I still have my money which is about eleven thousand now, expenses here is too much.
I’m pinching the remaining money and making sure I keep it very safe because I don’t trust that Uche or even Ify.

I know keeping it in that house is not very safe and carrying it to wherever I’m going is still not safe, after having discussion with Julie, I realized she’s somebody I can confidently give my money and it will be safe, I begged her to keep it for me and she agreed.

Whenever I needed money, I will go to her and she will give me the amount I need and still keep the rest.

That’s why I find it really difficult to roger this fast-food security man and he’s not ready to even understand my plight.

He asked me to get out as I stood pleading.
As I was walking away, he called me back and said he will call and inform me whenever the girl resign which is in few days time.

I thanked him before giving him aunty Julie number because Ify is mostly at work
Aunty Julie stays home, she has a small hair dressing shop close to the house.

She can easily inform me whenever she gets a call for me.
Her number and that of Ify is in my application letter.

I wanted to use Ify’s number to call Mama Zaram one day, so that I can update her what’s happening in my life and also know what’s going on in the village but Ify said I need to buy airtime because she does not have any.

I gave her two hundred naira for the airtime but she later told me again that she was owing the network and they have debited the money.
She said I have to buy atleast five hundred to be able to make call.
I ignored her and went to Julie, who said her phone was bad, she have given it to repairer and will collect when is ready.

I will wait for aunty Julie phone instead of Ify who wants another five hundred before I can make call.

After thanking the security man again, I left and continue looking around until I was exhausted.

I was very hungry and tasty while working around under the scotching sun.

Sweat was pouring from my body, I saw a cold pure water hawker and bought a sachet water from her.
I wanted to buy snacks of hundred naira but I will rather save the money and go home.

I made jellof rice and beans with red oil, crayfish and stock fish.
Mama Zaram gave me enough crayfish and stockfish
I still can’t fathom out how those things don’t things kept disappearing.
I had to lock the remaining food stuffs in Julie kitchen locker before it will all vanish.

It was from there I collected some to cook this morning, I had to even use Julie’s cooking gas to cook the food because our cooking gas has finished since and nobody is ready to refill it.

Ify and Uche are not ready to do so

The second week of my stay with them, Ify asked me to bring one thousand two hundred and she will bring one thousand six hundred to fill up the gas.
I agreed and she went to fill the gas and is not upto two weeks yet the gas has finished.
We don’t even cook much, so how come.

Julie said her filled gas stays more than a month despite she has family and always cooking.
Yet our three kg gas that Ify said she filled with two thousand eight didn’t last.

Julie said one kg of gas is four hundred from the depot which isn’t too far from the house.
Three kg will be one thousand two hundred.
Julie uses six kg unlike us.

I don’t know where Ify filled hers or maybe the gas is leaking but I’m not going to bring money to give to her again.
I will only pay to fetch water or calls the water truck for three hundred naira.

I don’t even have the money to give to anyone, that’s why I’m using Julie’s cooking gas for now.
And she obviously does not mind.

The food I made this morning is much.
It supposed to serve three of us and still remain.
the remaining raw beans and rice is just little and can only serve me once.

I dropped the cooked pot of rice and beans in our room this morning.

I saw Uche sitting in front of the door with Leba
They saw me when I was carrying the pot of food inside.
Uche asked if I was already done with the cooking and I said yes.

Leba smile and said the food smells delicious, she asked me who thought me how to cook and I said I learn while watching people.
She complimented me and said if i get married, my husband will enjoy.

Uche began to laugh and told her that I was only sixteen and getting married isn’t in the agenda yet.

I ignored them and went inside.

Even if Uche take out of the food, it will still remain for Ify and I.

The food supposed last me till tomorrow morning.

I have to go home and eat because I’m seriously famished.

I’m hoping the security man will call me like he promised and I will start work.

But I’m not going to sit and wait.
Tomorrow, I will go again for another job hunt.
Let me take a bus home to g and eat my rice and beans.

I’m hoping Uche will be human enough to leave enough food for me.

(Do NOT take credit or plagiarize AMAH’S HEART STORIES)

Episode 19

I came back to the place the second week, he began to chuckle aloud immediately he saw me by the gate.
“This girl, you again..”

“Good afternoon sir. The girl that wanted to resign, have she left? Were you able to submit my application?

He said I should wait, he was about eating when I came.
I found somewhere to sit down outside the gate.
Is not very busy place, I guess their food must be really expensive, big people walks in and out.
Cars driving in, some are alone while others have partner with them.

Aunty Julie collected her phone three days ago from the repairer and she said she haven’t received any calls yet for me concerning job.
Even Ify said no call came in for me in her phone.
that’s why I decided to come down here again.
Although I came last week and the security said the girl haven’t resigned because the month just ended and he asked me to come back this week.

The month have ended already, this was the second week of the new month, the girl supposed to have resigned.
I don’t want to miss out or another taking the place.

Someone drove out but suddenly reversed back.
“Hey… hey you..” he called out.

Is a young man but with a tinted white bear which was on one side.

I placed a hand on my chest and said “sorry, is it me that you’re calling..?

“Yea… you, come here..” he ordered

I stared at first as alot of things crossed my mind.
What if I go to him and he blow a white powder into my face and I disappear?

I have seen that happen in a movie. I waved off the fear

I stood and walked up to him.

“Do you know Kevy club house? I heard is around here but I’m not familiar with this area..”
He has a clean and nice accent and he’s really good looking both in wealth and in looks but I don’t care one bit because he’s rúde.
He needs a favor yet he can’t ask politely.

“I don’t know sir, I’m not from here..”

“You should go and ask someone, I will park and wait. I need to get to the club..”

I walked to the security gate, knocked and the same security man came out.

“, I told you that I was eating, you should have waited. Anyway, there’s no vacancy yet, the girl didn’t resign again. She said her admission is not out yet, meaning she will continue to work until us out..”

I stared at him, defeated and ångry

“But why did you ask me to wait when I can just get the message and be on my way..”

“Is because I have something I want to ask you, you know you’re a fine girl, do you have a boyfriend? If you don’t I want you to be my girlfriend. I will also help you secure another job and if is this place you want to work, I will try to see if i can fix you up somewhere..”

He makes it sound like he’s the fast food manager.
Gut filled with I pride, I detest people with ego.

I was about turning to leave when a double, loud car horn blasted like a strike.

That was way too loud.
I have forgotten another egotistic man waiting for address while sitting comfortably in his car.

“,Ehee! Do you know a way to Kevy club house..? I asked, trying to sulk up my disappointment and ánger.

“Is not far from here, oh wait! You want to go and meet somebody in the club? Are you a street worker, I don’t think so because you don’t seem like one. Do you want to go and look for job there? Club is not a good place to search for job, they won’t even give you a second look, even if you’re applying as a cleaner. Stick with me and I will make your life easy..”

“Start by making your own life easy before trying to make another who obviously doesn’t need your help..”

“You don’t need my help? So why did you come back here today..if not because you wanted my help. I can get you a good job do you know that? You’re underestimating me because I’m a common security guard in a fast food, you don’t know what I can do. Be my girlfriend first and you will see me in action..”

There was another loud horn again from the same guy’s car.
He shouted something that sounded “what the fvck is keeping you there..”

“Who’s that person horning like that? The security man asked why stretching his neck.

I pointed at the car and told him that he’s the one asking for the address to the club house.

“Sit down there and wait for me because we’ve not finish our discussion. Let me go and give the guy direction, he is obviously rich and may even roger me…”

He opened the gate and started going towards the car.
I crossed to the other side of the road and left.

I was sad as I slowly walked down by the road side.
I saw people hawking things and an idea pops into my head
What if I start selling something instead of searching for a job.

Suddenly, a car speed past me and parked several feet away.
It was the same guy asking for address.

“You left me waiting to go discuss family issue with your poor security boyfriend, he was even asking for a tip after you two wasted my time..”

“Sorry about that..” that’s all I said and kept walking.

“Hey you, come back here.. I’m still talking..” he shouted out.

I ignored him and continued on my way.
I’m having a bād day already and do not need anything adding to it.

“Listen, you don’t snub people, that’s totally wrong. I don’t understand how things works around here but I’m not pleased with any, well except some of the Africa dish..”

I stood with a straight face, maybe he will just drive on and leave me alone since we no longer have any business together
“…Where are you going?

“I don’t know, I’m searching for job and don’t know where else to go..”

“,I see! hop in let me drop you at the bustop. Well, you helped me with address so I’m gonna help by droping you close to the bus station. You can find your way from there..”

I hesitated for a while.
What’s could go wrong?

Alot of things because I don’t know him and he’s not sounding very nice or convincing.
If anything happens to me now, Nobody will care enough to search for me.

I only got myself in this big city, I will do everything to stay out of trouble and be safe.
Even though God maybe watching over me but I can’t be føôlish enough to enter the obvious trap of the enémy.
I have to be wise because that’s what my creator is expected of me.

“No, thank you. I will walk…I like walking..”

He shakes his head with a smirk on his face.

“You’re afraid that I’m gonna hûrt you? Nah na…I don’t do shït like that…”

“…is alright, since you’re searching for a job, I maybe needing your services..”

I became very interesting.

“…Come be my maid..”

“Okay sir, I will. Where’s your house..? I quickly jumped at the offer.

“Woah, slow down, you’re not starting right away. I will be rushing to United States to pick up something within the week and will rush back by next month. You will get my number and only call me by then..”

When he said rushing to United States and rushing back, he made it sound like it was right in his backyard.

I told him that I don’t have a phone to get his number.

“You’re search for Job but don’t have a phone, how unserious can you be huh? You obviously aren’t ready for a job yet..”

He was driving out gently but I kept explaining to him how it works for me.

I asked if I can give him my neighbor’s phone contact.

“That’s bülshít. Just forget it, you’re not ready to work. You wanna tell me that you can’t afford a small cheap phone? You can’t get money from your parents and get a small phone..”?

I almost said I don’t have a parents but I kept quiet.
He should just go with his househelp Job and arrogant.

I’m tired of trying to convince him.

He scribble something into a small sheet and hand over to me.

“That’s my number, call only the time I gave you to do so. I hate disturbance, remember next month end and that’s when I will be back..”

I thanked him as he was about driving off.

“Hey you, what’s your name..”

“My name is Aka..”

“Aka, I don’t usually stoop low for some peasant girl like you, I don’t give a dámn about those with low life and no class. I don’t know why I’m doing this anyway. hop into the car let me drop you at the next bustop. I don’t bite you know… except you’re choosing to walk instead..”

I hesitated again.
I don’t care if I’m a low life or whatever he called me but I’m not getting into that car.
I don’t trust him, especially the way he talks.

What if he turns me into a small rat, put me inside bottle, cover it up and drives away or even turn me into a Calabash that will be vomiting money for him.

He doesn’t look fétish but I can’t trust anyone easily.

“If you’re not gonna accept a ride then take this two thousand and sort out yourself…”
He offered me money.

“Thank you sir, I’m fine..”

“Whatever! Suit yourself..” he finally said and drove off.

The money maybe tempting, I desperately need it but he’s a stranger and I’m not meant to accept things just like that from a stranger, especially not this type of man with gut filled with pride.

I walked to the bustop, I entered the big marker, checked around for any thing I can engage myself in.

There was nothing to do that day, I left and kept coming to the market for several days.

I offered to help some store owners who were looking for assistance, they asked if I have any experience, Ifi tell them that I don’t, they will decline my offer.

I walked around asking if I can help carry goods for customers
I got few offers, but it was hectic.

Others do not even give me a second look.
Some even thought I planned to run away with their goods.

I was able to gather up six hundred at the end of the day, sometimes eight hundred.
There are days I get lesser, like five and even, four hundred.

I collect as low as fifty naira, one hundred or one hundred and fifty naira if the goods are much.
It all depends on the goods and the customers.

I always go home with serious body pain and headache.
I was seriously sick for about a week and didn’t step out during that period

I bought drugs and remained indoor.

It seems the money I realized went into drugs alone.

I don’t think I’m strong enough for such job. I saw people carrying loads, some with wheelbarrow while others with their head and I thought I can do it.

I can’t obviously last long in such job.

I feel so depressed and heartbroken. I wish I have someone I can turn to.

Is so hard out here and I’m getting tired.

I have no foodstuffs left, except for small garri.
My money is almost finished, I have only four thousand left and It will remain three thousand by tomorrow after I fetch water and get something to eat.

I don’t know how long the money will last for me but however it is I hope to still survive.
I seriously need a job, anyone at all.
Everything is frustrating and I’m almost out of cash.

Leba was getting surprisingly close to me, I suspected she’s up to something.

She said she wanted to see me, I asked if there’s any prøblem and she mentioned is about an important job opening.
She wanted to help me secure a proper job.
I went to see her in her room immediately.

“You’re young, beautiful and smart, I have observed you for a long time now and I know you’re perfect for the job..”

I was so excited and already started thanking her, maybe she was God’s sent.
Just in time for my aching heart.

I was so excited until she opened her mouth and told me what the job was about.

“Is a høokup Job. Is not only going to pay your bills, you will be able to get your own place and you will live well. I see your struggles and I’m not happy. I want to help you and make your Life better..’

“What’s høokup? I haven’t heard of such job it like house maid or selling in a super market? I asked because it sounded like one interesting Job. I was interested in the hoøkup and couldn’t wait to start.

“Is none of those things aka. you will be rendering a Private service to mén. Don’t get me wrong, høokup is not like prøstituting yourself to cheap men, is better and more classy than ãshāwo work..”

My jaw dropped open as she began make the høok-up business appear right and legal.
She painted it so fine and was very convincing

“… this hoøk up job, many young girls are into it. That’s what I also do and I’m doing well for myself. I will hook you up with correct chairmen, guys that are ready to spend, those who will not delay your payment after your personal services to them. You will even travel to places, use the latest things, wear designers and meet celebrities…”

“… what do you say. If you say yes right now, I have a job waiting for you tonight. I will give you some of my skímpy outfit that will make you séxy, I will personally do your makeup so that you will look irresistable and very attractive. Trust me, I won’t collect much percentage from you..”
“.. for example, if you’re paid ten thousand per høok-up, mine is only thirty percent from the money and that’s about three thousand. You can keep the remaining seven thousand, it will be all yours. I’m only trying to help you Aka, you will come to thank me later..”

I sat quietly thinking, not knowing what to say or how to react.





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