THE ADVENTURES OF TOLU (T.A.O.T)
As I reached for my pocket to pay for my meal, I discovered that there was no money there. I was really surprised, because few minutes before I entered the restaurant, I was very sure that I had the money there. The waiter was looking at me as I was checking my pocket. “I’m sorry, but my money has been stolen” I said to the guy. “Oh! You’re trying to be smart right? When you were eating, you didn’t know that you had no money?” The guy said to me. I felt totally embarrassed. It happened that some Lagos guys had stolen from me. They took absolutely everything. Desola was just looking dazed, as the situation was quite a surprise to her too. “You are going to pay every dime” The guy wanted to start dragging me but was interrupted by Desola. “Why are you people so inconsiderate? He just said that he lost the money and you want to treat him that way. How much is the money self?” She said like she was going to fight. “It’s just 1,250 Naira” He replied with a frown on his face. Desola opened her bag, brought out Two Thousand Naira, handed it over to the guy and stormed out of the restaurant without even asking for change.
I ran after her immediately. “Wait! Wait! Wait!” She heard and stopped. “I’m sorry I had to walk out like that. That guy was just too annoying”. She said to me. “No please, I should be the one thanking you for saving me the embarrassment.” I said, thanking her.” You are welcome! I’m sorry, I have to go now. I have a JAMB tutorial to attend and I’m running late already. See ya!” She left hurriedly.
I had lost everything that I had on me so I went back inside and collected the 750 Naira change from the guy. He didn’t want to give me, but I threatened that I was going to report to the manager and he had no choice. I took the money and continued with the journey of no destination. I walked a long distance until I got to an area that has so many houses. I entered the street and walked down. I didn’t know where I was going or why I was going. I saw the sign in front of a very big house with a black gate, on it was written “Houseboy/Housegirl needed. Knock, and come in if you’re interested”. I was very happy because I knew that it was possible that feeding and accommodation would be provided by the house. I summoned courage and knocked on the gate. After knocking several times, a guy opened the gate. He looked like an Igbo guy, but I identified him with his uniform that he was the gate man. He looked quite young, but older than me. “Watin dey happen, who you dey find?” He asked me. “Please I saw the vacancy for houseboy at the gate.” I answered. “You wan do houseboy abi?” He asked me “Yes sir”. I answered. “Na hin you con dey speak English, na for bank you wan work? Enter joor”. He said to me. I entered humbly and he took me to the ‘Madam’ of the house. After waiting in the sitting room for for a while, the woman finally came…..
Me: Good evening ma.
Woman: Good evening. How are you doing?
Me: I’m fine ma.
Woman: I was told that you want to work as houseboy?
Me: Yes ma!
Woman: Are you sure that you want to do this? You don’t look like you’re capable.
Me: I’m very sure that I’m capable ma.
Woman: Where are you form? How come you speak good English?
Me: I was schooling before, but I lost my both parents in a fatal accident and I had no one to help me(I lied). I just came to Lagos. In fact, I know nobody in Lagos ma. But if I can get this job, i will forever be grateful to you ma.
Woman: Sorry about that. I would love to employ you. But there is a problem.
Me: What’s that ma?
Woman: You are almost a fully grown man, and I won’t want to expose my only daughter to danger. I’m just a single mother, and I won’t want any problems.
Me: (I prostrated) Please ma! I can promise that nothing of such will happen. If I leave here now I have nowhere to go. Please ma help me.
Woman: I will do you a favour, I will employ you, but my daughter has to come first. She is not around now, but I believe that she should be back soon. If she likes the idea, you are employed, buy if she doesn’t, I’m sorry I cannot do what my daughter doesn’t like…
As we were talking, there was a knock on the gate. It was the woman’s daughter. She came into the house and I was shocked when I saw her…
TO BE CONTINUED…