UJU – Episode 5
Written by Amah
I wasn’t myself through out that day, I keep wondering how the money disappeared, I couldn’t say who among my two room mates took and how possible was that, I only told Ada at work and she said i should return it or give it to her to return for me of which i told her i will return it myself and i never did, and she didn’t even know i took it home until i called her this morning and asked her if she happen to see the missing purse and she was angry with me for asking her such question when i never told her i was taking it home, I called Bibi and she sounded surprise with the news and said i should still search properly I may probably see it, I can’t accuse her because she sounded innocent enough to me and she was asleep and it couldn’t be her, so who then? I keep asking myself that question, did the bag develop wings and fly away while everyone was asleep, I was still shock as i dressed up for work but knowing what i will face, how can i even explain it, my regrets was if i know i would have returned it to the manager or give it to Ada like she suggested for her to take it to the manager, now how do i explain that the bag and the money disappear, even Ada is very angry with me for not listening to her knowing well she has being in the job before me and knows better, and she’s the one that took me to the place,
I pay my dues to her and even give her some part of my tips, if i get lots of tips for the day i give her and Bibi some of it and still cook, just to show that I’m grateful, why will i now become so greedy and wanted the whole discovered money for myself,
Alot of thought was hitting my conscience like a stone as i arrived at work, I quickly changed over to my uniform, Ada and Bibi were getting ready to sign out, Immediately Ada noticed i was around she came to the changing room
“you are here Uju, dress up fast and come out the manager is calling you”
“wait Ada, did you tell him, you told him about the bag… Why do you think his calling me?
“Uju, go and find out yourself, stop asking me, but remember whatever happens you brought this on yourself
“I know you are angry with me, I’m sorry Ada, please don’t leave me now, you know you are the only one i know over here”
“you should have thought about that before being greedy, before trying to act smart or to go ahead of me, you actually thought you are smart.. I asked you to give me that bag to take to manager and you agreed to take it to him yourself only for you to you cornered it without even telling me, I will show you how stupid and foolish you are, I took you from the village to have a better live and you think you can outsmart me Ujunwa, you actually think I’m stupid or blind to see how desperate you are, your plan is to outsmart me…hahaha…i will beat you to this game because before you even take a step I’m 100miles ahead of you… manager want to see you and the owner of the purse that contains the cash you took is also here, today is your judgement day, I warned you didn’t I?
“oh my God, Ada why are you being so mean, I always give you every of my tips, both the one you know and don’t know, I contributed my own part to the house, sometimes even more, I never said or had it in mind to be ahead, I was only trying to fend for myself and save up for my family too just as you are doing, anything I’m not sure of i always call your attention to it before telling anybody because i believe you know better than me in this job or in Lagos life as a whole, you are my friend and we are age mates, why do you say I’m trying to outsmart you… You are like a sister to me please don’t deny me now that i really need you, the money disappeared and i don’t know how, still can’t tell how…
“story for the gods, come and explain yourself to them”
I later went out to face my jury, it wasn’t easy at all walking down, every step was dreadful to me, I finally got there and saw the manager and the purse guy with few others, Ada was also there looking at me as if it was her money i stole, the manager started with
“Tracy, this young man was here last night, his face is regular here, I guess you know him, he lost his purse here and he’s sure it was here he lost it, I know you were one of the staff in charge of the VIP lounge this week and you were also the person that attended to them, I doubted him at first because i know that no staff here can keep such thing without my information, we don’t steal here, I was trying to convince him when Ada came to tell me you picked it and i wondered how you can pick such item and keep it to yourself, Tracy the young man is here for his purse, we will talk about why you keep such huge amount like that just as he mentioned without reporting it, Ada said she asked you to bring it to me but you didn’t, just get the purse and hand over to him, we will talk about why you did that later, let’s return his purse to him first,
“I….. I…saw it…but…but i don’t know what happened… I told Ada about it…after which….i..
“Tracy, what are you saying…i don’t think any of us understand what you are saying…let me clear you…the reason why we keep things for customers is to show transparency, so that they can keep coming back if they see how we handle things like this, so please go and bring it so that this guy can have trust in us again ” Ada will receive her reward for being a good staff and telling you to return it, she will get an increment in her salary for being a good staff, so Tracy we are waiting for you”
I stammered again, not knowing what to say, what can i even say, no reasonable word came out from my mouth as i tried to explain myself that i don’t know what happened to the money, Ada surprised me further and said to everyone surprise
“Obianaujunwa, go and get the money na, stop lying because i know you very well and know how much you can lie…
As Ada called me my full name in front of the people present, I wanted to disappear, I wanted the ground to open and swallow me, nobody knows I’m Igbo, and majority thought I’m from Kenya, like i lied to them, I started wishing i have stick to my real name, people looked from Ada to me, they asked her who she was referring to with that name, she looked at me and i gave her a pleading look, the missing money was enough trouble i don’t want another one but she was determined in seeing me put to shame as her mouth keep running like tap water, bibi came and joined the mini crowd growing and also tried to give Ada sign to calm down but she wasn’t listening
“everybody, her name is not Tracy, her real name is obianajunwa, we cut it short by calling her Uju, she’s typical Igbo girl from my village, forget all the lies she told you, she’s actually a good liar,
The manager just looked up at me with a disappointed look while others laugh and chorus my name as if it was a song , the manager later said
“okay o, hmmnn we don’t care what her name is what that matters now is the money, we will also put the lies she told all of us to book later, so where’s the money Obianaujunwa, Ujunwa, Uju or better still Tracy which ever one you like, my own concern is the money, enough of all this drama, please answer us
I was already prepared for anything, I thought my real name was left with mama in the village never know i will still hear it within a year of leaving home
I stood confuse I saw smile plastered on Ada face she was enjoying the moment, Bibi was looking at me with that pity look with few others
I still wondered how the money disappeared, who took the money was what i keep wondering,
I became strong for myself because i only got me, I have to be strong for myself, I told them what happened but no one believed me except the owner of the purse he just suddenly stood up and left and told the manager to forget the money because this is not the first time he was loosing money in the club that he believed me and and will try to be careful next time because is his fault ,,he left with the guy he came with,
The manager still want to know what happened to the money after the guy left.
But who took the money, how did it disappear?