I couldn’t sit in the shop …
Mama had explained to me the importance of making good sales this weekend so, I stood outside and beckoned on customers to come in and buy their already cleaned “fresh fish”. Inside the inner room, Runo was busy cleaning the fish as fast as she could … getting the money for my school fees had become a family project.
Mama got back and like she predicted, Uncle Dafe didn’t fulfill his promise. We all sat down and counted the money we had made for the day. It was Fifty-seven Thousand Naira! we screamed as mama knelt down to thank God for providing my fees. With the savings and today’s sale, mama could send me off to school.
I arrived at my hall of residence at about midday and the porter went through a list where he ticked my name Tega Mudiaga. I walked into Room B16 with mama and we introduced ourselves to three beautiful ladies. Mama in her typical style; lectured us on remaining focused on our studies and then she rounded off with a very lengthy prayer.
My university life began …
I had never been away from home so everything was new to me. I was particularly surprised at the life my room mates lived; drinking, smoking, partying and men. I wasn’t enticed but I was curious as to how they made the money they spent.
Unlike me, they ate whatever they liked and whenever. They called friends and family and just chatted away without thinking about how much airtime they had to use. They took a taxi everywhere and wore very nice clothes and perfumes. They always had money …
It would be great not to budget all the time, I thought. Faith does indeed come by hearing because soon enough I started pondering on the futility of living a “self-righteous” life. It wasn’t as though the girls weren’t born-again. They were …
I spoke to the girls about wanting to join them for their next party and while the others had a good laugh, Bisi took me out and bought very nice clothes, bag and shoes in preparation for the weekend.
After lectures on Friday, I ran off to the room to do a dress rehearsal … the dress was beautiful but too short and clingy. I didn’t feel comfortable but I wore it anyway. The hotel was so beautiful and big too. We went up the elevator and into a very big hall with loud music. I tried to comport myself as this was utterly nerve wrecking for me.
Just as I was about to take a seat with the girls. I saw him … tears filled my eyes and I stood up and walked towards him but I stopped!!! I remembered mama. She would be heartbroken to find out that I was in a hotel at almost mid-night I couldn’t afford to disappoint her.
I turned around and made for the door. Bisi tried to pull me back but I couldn’t let him see me.
I got back to the room and wept so bitterly. I didn’t even realize that I had slept off until I felt Bisi tapping me. I woke up and she told me how I had missed an opportunity to meet a generous “Big boy” Chief Benson Mudiaga. Big Boy??!!! A sixty-four-year-old man is a boy?
She told me how Chief wanted two girls at the same time and she had to pick Lola although she wished she didn’t have to. She brought out crispy clean notes and waved it in my face. A Hundred Thousand Naira!!!
Tears just flowed freely as I remembered how this “generous big boy” threw us out of OUR home with nothing. I was only twelve years old and I remember his last words to mama; “Your girls will amount to nothing”
By the next day, I felt sick and needed to speak with someone. I knew I couldn’t speak to my only confidant; mama.
I decided to attend the campus fellowship and it was all I needed. The speaker spoke to me as though I had confided in her and right away I knew what to do.
I called mama and pleaded with her to let me go to school from home. I couldn’t live with Bisi and the girls without being corrupt. 1 Corinthians 15: 33 emphasizes this and I explained this to mama. After much negotiation, she agreed.
Going to school from home was stressful but I didn’t have to deal with the constant teasing I received from the girls. watching them live a relatively “ better life” was also a torture…
I had not seen Bisi for months and so, I decided to visit the room but I was told by the girls that Bisi had also moved home. She was sick.
I called her and she sounded weak … Bisi was very bubbly and hearing her speak in that tone got me really sad. I went home and told mama and she told me uncle Dafe had informed her that “papa” was also sick.
Could it be from that night at the hotel?
My thoughts were everywhere…
Had God used Papa to save me from living a promiscuous life?
Is the illness a deadly one or am I just making assumptions?
Whatever the case, I am grateful to God that he forced me into the right path.