UJU – Episode 8
Written by Amah
“wow, are you serious….eziokwu…so you bear same name with my daughter…haven’t seeing somebody in a long time that does…and is really good seeing one now….wait let me call her for you….Obianaujunwa ee… Uju… Obianaujunwa ee…”
“yes mum, I’m coming..”
The young lady walk down to answer the mum, she was very beautiful and her smile was so infectious, she look like the mum, she smiled at me as she approach the mother, she is not more than 20years, for the first time in my life i was proud of my full name, this woman reminded of mama, just the same way mama calls me that’s same way she called her beautiful only daughter, I thought the name sounded ugly despite it has a good meaning, but hearing this girl answer with excitement to her name, very proud of her own name and still wears a beautiful smile as her mother calls her make me wish i have wasted so much time hating a name other people cherish,
this family is wealthy, there house was massive that makes me wonder if such place really exist, the compound was full of flowers and cars, the inside is so massive and beautiful as the securities at the gates ushered me in with a smile, i was scared because of the beautiful house but all my fear Disappeared when i met the madam of the house, she looks simple despite everything around speaks of wealth, and she was warm and welcoming, beautiful daughter like there Obianauju was suppose to be called something like “princess, Anabel, Emmanuella, or all those beautiful sweet name but she looks so proud of her native name, when i was coming down to there house, I thought of a name to use for them and i remembered that living a fake life doesn’t really pay, sometimes it back fires and leaving you in ashes, I’m a living witness to that, so i decided to stick to my real name, and when the woman asked me of my name i didn’t hesitate to tell her my original name which brings all the exclamation, she looks so happy to have found her daughter’s name sake, I became so proud of myself and my name, because the rich and beautiful bears it too, this was suppose to be an interview but is turning out to look like a reunion of a lost old friend, I was happy as i shared in their joy, i will continue to thank God for giving me wisdom to stick to my real name which i was never proud of,
As i sat here I thought of Kala, I can’t remember when last i prayed but that night that was all i got, I pleaded with God not to look at my sins but to have mercy on me and save me like he has always done, i prayed so fervently that night for the first time in a long while I cried to God to save me from Kala and to let my cooking interview to go smoothly, I know i lied about having three years experience when i have non, I confessed all my past and present sins and begged God to help me through because he is the only one i have and looks up-to.
After all the whole night of praying I was still scared, my mind was telling me that i should stop deceiving myself that after all the lies I told, Things i stole and even flirting with men God can’t forgive me just like that,
I was still scared and said whatever will happen let it happen maybe i don’t deserve God’s mercy, I couldn’t sleep as i stayed up waiting to hear the sound of Kala’s car, I was already thanking God that he’s not coming back again that night, I was happy that God actually hard my prayer..
As i was thanking God for answering me i hard the horn of his car, he just drove in, hot chill ran down my stomach, I was so scared, I thought that God has already heard my prayer, but is obviously not, immediately he drove inside the compound i knew God Doesn’t listen to a sinners prayer like mine, Kala is going to unleash hell on me tonight,he will probably rape me if i try to struggle with him,
I was hearing Voices out side, one female voice and a male voice, that wasn’t Kala’s voice, I tried to listen to hear what they were saying
“run inside and get water, let’s pour him, the vomiting will reduce…please hurry up…
“but i don’t know the kitchen or where their stuffs are kept…i don’t know where to get water from..
“go to the next door after Kala’s room and knock on the door, there’s a girl staying there tell her what you need…please hurry now…
I was beginning to wonder what was going on, i haven’t heard Kala’s voice, someone was vomiting, I guess is Kala and his friends were trying to help him, some one started knocking at my door, i wanted to pretend to be asleep but i know is not Kala is the girl that needed water, I overheard that already,
I quickly rushed and open, there she was with her piecing tattoo, earrings was all over her ears, her hands were full of different kind of rings, she even have a nose ring too, leg chain and a long eyelashes and her cloth would have being better if she was naked, I stood there analyzing the girl and judging her forgetting i have no right to judge her, she’s a clubber and i once work there so what’s the difference between us…I wasn’t better than her, I tried not to judge her and listen to what she was saying,
“stop staring at me like a witch and come and get water for Kala, he’s throwing up outside, he hard too much to drink at the club and couldn’t stand by himself…hurry up na…why are you so sluggish…gosh…
I don’t know if i should be happy or sad at the news, but i got the water anyway and took it outside myself to him, on seeing him he was really in a bad condition, I took over from the guy and washed his face, I poured some on his head after which he was taken to his room, his friend removed his soiled cloth leaving him with just his underwear, I left them and went back to my room, I don’t know if i should thank God, pray and rejoice for Kala’s sickness or pray for him, but i was so happy that by morning i will be gone even before he wakes up maybe when i come back from the interview i can face him,
I left very early, I didn’t sleep most part of the night, i left the house even before anybody can wake up, I tip toed out of the house without a sound, they were all snoring, even the ring girl, i gave her a new name,
but i didn’t go straight to the place, I just waited in one vendor shop pretending to be waiting for somebody when it was time to go, the sun was out, i left.
And i was thinking that the woman may not like me and here she was calling her beautiful daughter to come and meet her name sake, when she came and smiled with her gap white teeth and said “your welcome, I’m glad to meet you my namesake”
She gave me a hug to my utmost surprise, I was speechless,
“can you cook bitter leaf soup that’s one of mum’s favorite soup or oha, she love this soup and there’s one other soup she likes so much but i can’t remember the name but Lydia our former cook who resigned after getting married use to make oha and bitter leaf for us but she can’t do this particular soup only mum knows how to do it and she doesn’t always have time to do it, she wish she can get somebody who knows how to do it but even if you can’t she will teach you…mum what’s the name of that your soup again…?
“hahahaha…obianauju you are funny…now you have a name sake we will call her Uju and call you your full name so that we don’t confuse ourselves….okay the name of the soup is okazi soup with moulded egusi…is actually my native soup…i know you wouldn’t know how to do it because it entails a whole lot of things…but i will teach you don’t worry….so which soup can you make Uju?
“I can cook oha, bitterleaf, ogbono, egusi, vegetable and few others but i don’t know how to make Okazi….and I’m willing and will be honored to learn from you ma”
“that’s very good my dear, we will start our teaching next week, the driver will take us to the big market where we can pick all the ingredients, i will show you where and how to buy things because you will be going alone with the driver as soon as you are capable, Uju we are happy to have you in our home you have practically become one of us, you will call me mum not ma, we are all family and no need to move to the boys Quarter you can have the next room close to my daughter’s room, nobody is using it, we are all real people here, we don’t live a fake or general lives, and i tell anybody that’s cones to live or work here, and we are godly people, God first before anything, we do general morning devotion everyday and we make sure things are done properly, don’t worry with time you will adapt to our life style, Wednesday and Sundays are off days for you, we have about 10staffs here and they eat three times a day, i try to make sure of that, that people don’t go hungry when there’s resources to feed them, we will tell you other things later and you will get to meet other workers too, and my son, Victor guess you have already met him, he is a total different man on his own, hmmm, anyway when can you start Uju?
I was like “wow” could this be really true, so God really do answer prayer, I was too grateful as happiness suck through me, i asked her if i can start immediately she laughed and said okay, she asked her daughter Obianauju to be take me to my room and then to the kitchen, I thought of my stuffs, shoes,bag, cloths and other little things at Kala’s place, going back to get them will be deliberately entering the lion’s den, he may not even allow me to go out again so is better i leave them there let him burn it or give out.. Or even do anything he wants to do with it but i will never go back to that house, I thank God enough for last night, for making him drunk and sick last night, cloths won’t be a problem, if i have to beg for cloths to wear here so be it, or i will borrow some money from other staff when i received my salary i pay the person back, but that’s not the problem for me,
I followed my name sake round the house as she showed me places with excitement, and she suddenly asked me about my load, when i will go and get my stuff, I was stammering to answer because i don’t know what to tell her she surprised me and told me not to worry she have lots of cloths to give me, she said after we will go to her room she will sort them out, I hugged her in excitement and she responded by hugging me back, we later went to her room to sort cloths as if we are best friends, she talked about the brother and told me her brother can be very stubborn, she said Victor is not so friendly, and doesn’t give a care to anybody, he lives his own lives, he just came back two months ago from his masters course in America and has always keep to himself but i shouldn’t let him get to me, he likes being on his own or going out to meet friends, I shouldn’t worry he is mostly in his room or out with his friends, he won’t be much of a bother to me if i do what he says or cook whatever he wants to eat there will be peace, I wanted to tell her about the kinds of friends he move with are not good, but i kept quiet because is too early to start contributing to their lives and Victor looks like somebody you can’t easily influence,
The cloths were so beautiful, I thanked her all over again and started work,
I was ready to make my first soup, Oha soup… It reminds me of the oha tree with wicked tiger ants in my compound