Rita got to Uncle Olu’s home at a few minutes past five. That man was the most overbearing man she has ever had the pleasure of meeting. It is no wonder he married an illiterate, the story of love and romance he concocted for the family was a tall story.
Uncle Olu has never been patient and would feel threatened by an educated woman. He could be a very irrational man when he chooses to be.
Rita knocked the door for a while before the door swung open and there was Aunt Mistura, fondly called Iya Seun. Her large figure filled the doorway smiling at Rita.
“Good evening ma.”
“Welcome my dear, shey the bus did not eat the fuel?” Iya Seun greeted with an Oyo accent Rita had come to like. She moved away from the door and Rita followed her in.
“No ma. I’m fine, thank you.”
Rita dropped her bag on the dining table.
“Shey you have not been knocking too long?”
“Not at all.”
“Good, I dey wash clothes for bathroom.”
“Where is Seun?”
Aunt Mistura’s face lit up.
“E go play with him friends. E go soon enter.”
“Wetin you go chop now?”
“Any food you have in the house will be fine.”
Rita knew Iya Seun will not take no for an answer and since her uncle won’t be around till late it was better to get comfortable since it was obvious she would sleepover. Rita took her bath and by the time she was back, Aunt Mistura had the table set with fufu, ogbolo soup embedded with lots of crayfish, ponmo and pieces of dried fish and one big beef.
Rita swallowed the morsel one after the other in a slow pace, she was not happy that Iya Seun has choose to sit opposite her and watch her eat. Rita was very hungry and would have thrown away all propriety and table manners but Iya Seun would notice and be sure to make comment about about her slim frame.
Rita could not finish the food, she washed her hands in the bowl of water beside her. she drank a cup of water.
“Ese ma.” Rita thanked the woman.
“You no go finish the food?”
Rita shook her head, Iya Seun smiled and shook her head.
“Food go make you strong, and you go get bodi.”
“I’m eating o!”
“Na im I see for bodi so.”
Iya Seun reply was sarcastic as she packed the plates to the kitchen. Rita followed her, grinning widely. No one would believe how much food she demolishes, she just did not add in weight, size or height. She had past the period of worrying about it. Models were after all slim and most men prefer slim ladies. She shrugged as she stretched her hand to pick the liquid detergent on the sink and started washing the plates she had just used. Iya Seun stood beside her to rinse in a bowl of water.
“When your mama call me, I first surprise say what will have happen ke? But she come say your brother go help you find work.”
“It is not so easy, Iya Seun. I have done some jobs and the pay is very discouraging. Sometimes they don’t pay at the end of the month, until five days into the new month.”
“Ah! Aiye ma nika o! They are very wicked o! Small money, dem no go pay am on time.”
“Sometimes it extends till the second week of the new month.”
Iya Seun sighed in a singsong manner.
“E go better. Our country go change.” She sniffed. “God wey dey for heaven go answer our prayers.”
“Amen.” Rita was not surprised that Iya Seun was in tears already. She had long given up trying to cover that weakness of hers. Iya Seun was easily moved to tears and Uncle Olu was the exact opposite. They were a suited couple, that is one thing the family agreed on.
Uncle Olu needed to rush out of the house before Rita was out to see him. His wife had explained in her own way why Rita was around. He didn’t want to come across as insensitive so instead of facing her to tell her some bad news. It was better he rushed out.
His neighbour had parked a car in front of his and there was no way he could drive his car out. In his red T-shirt and grey short, his tummy protruding, he walks to the door of the neighbour and bangs it.
“Baba Fati, Baba Fatimoh!”
“Baba Fati!” He yells at the top of his voice. “Come and drive your car out of the way. I dey commot!”
“I dey shit, I go soon finish.”
Uncle Olu had to wait but patience wasn’t his forte. His big eyes turned red and they were almost popping out of their sockets.
He marched back to his car, folded his arms, fuming inwards and shaking his leg as he waited for Baba Fati.
Baba Fati took about five minutes before he walked out of his apartment.
Uncle Olu rushed to meet him.
“Which kain shit you dey shit?”
Baba Fati let out a throaty laugh.
“You go give yourself high BP as your body dey quick hot o.”
“Just move your car out of the way, I have no time for this nonsense,” Uncle Olu spoke in an American accent.
“Pele o! Alakowe.” Baba Fati smirked as he got into the car.
“Hello Mom,” Rita picked her phone. She had a brown envelope under an armpit and the other hand on the door handle.
“When are you coming home?”
“As soon as I give my CV to Uncle Olu.”
“May God grant you favourite in Jesus name.”
Rita almost rolled her eyes up.
“Amen. Thank you ma, I’ll call you later.”
“Call me o! You children of nowadays will just ignore the people you left at home.”
“Am I lying?”
Rita closed her eyes and opened them again. This was not the time to argue who was right or wrong.
“Call me when you’re leaving your Uncle’s house.”
“Yes ma.” Rita heard her Uncle shouting at someone. She ended the call and rushed to the balcony barefoot.
“Uncle Olu, good morning sir.”
Uncle Olu looked up.
“Is that you Rita?”
“Iya Seun says you want to see me.”
“Come down then.”
Busted! Busted!! I should have left this compound by now.
He clenched his jaw and a headache started at the corner of his head.
Rita was with him in no time at all.
“I brought my CV so you can help me. I need a job.”
“Ehen? What happened to the one you are working at?”
“The pay is low Uncle, and they pay late most times.”
Uncle Olu stretched his hand and Rita gave him the A4 brown envelope with her. He opened the envelope, brought out her CV.
“Hmm… Okay, I’ll see what I can do to assist you but I make no promises. Also send your CV to my email, so I can remember to attend to this.”
Rita genuflects. “Thank you sir.”
“Are you ready to leave now?”
“No sir, I’m yet to take my bath.”
He dips his hand into his pocket and brought out five hundred naira.
“This should get you home,” he hands the money over to Rita. “Greetings to my sister.”
Here is the second part of my short story – Getting a J. O. B.
If you missed the first part here it is.
Until next time,
You encourage me