Amina: “Not yet, sugar”.
Landlord: “Heyyy! She called me sugar, My Chi has picked my call today o”, he says, grinning from ear to ear.
Amina: “Picked your call? What do you mean by that?”
Landlord: “Ah!, I have been calling him concerning your matter long ago but his line has been busy, but it’s like he has finally answered me today, this one that you are calling me sweet names”.
Amina: “Hahahah. Oga landlord you won’t kill somebori o”.
Landlord: “my dear, call me those pet names, e dey sweet my belle”.
Amina: “Okay, sugar”, she gets up and meets him. “You have to give me time to think this through. Actually, I love you and would be glad to be your girlfriend but you have to give me time to break up with Kamal, he may harm you if he finds out that I am sleeping with you”.
Landlord: Oh common, don’t be silly. Kamal is in jail, it’s just you and I in this room, nobody will know if you don’t tell them”.
Amina: “I know but Latifat saw us when we came into your room and you know her mouth says anything that her eyes sees”, she pauses and continues when she observes that he is buying in to her lies. “Let’s get Kamal out of jail, then you give me like a month to break up with him, after that I can even pack in with you if you want”.
Landlord: “Kut Melesi! One month din mai. That is too far. What I will give you is two weeks, after which you become mine, look for a quarrel and break up with that good for nothing boy, that’s the best I can give you”.
Amina: “Okay, two weeks. It’s a deal. Now can we go and get him out of the Police station?”
Landlord: “Baby’m just like that? Nothing to even tantalise my body small? I don’t mind you giving me a head, that won’t take much time, you know?”, he says rubbing his pot belly with his right hand and attempting to unzip his trousers with the left.
Amina: “A head? Oh-oh, you mean I should give you a blo…okay, never mind. You will have an over dose of that after I do away with Kamal. Let’s go to the station, it’s getting late”, she gives him a bare side hug and drags him along.
Amina arrives late to work the next morning, luckily for her, her madam hasn’t resumed. She meets Wasiu and Jummai cleaning the shop and she joins them after changing into the shop’s customized T-shirts.
Jummai: “Aunty Mino, this one wey your eyes swell up like this, didn’t you sleep last night?” Jummai who dropped out of Secondary school in SS1 has the habit of mixing Standard English and Pidgin English when communicating”.
Amina: “My dear, it’s a long story. I barely slept all through the night”.
Wasiu who is busy taking out some goods for display chips in. “Wetin happen wey you no sleep for night, now? Armed robbers come una area?”
Jummai: “What kind of nonsense is this, ehn Wasiu? You see me and person dey gist, fiam! You just commot from nowhere join the gist. Better face your work o, I don’t know what concerns a boy with ladies’ talk”.
Wasiu: “Mind yourself o, Jummai. Who be boy? I no talk to you, abi you don change name from Jummai to Amina? I no be your mate o, na poverty and condition humble me so”.
Jummai: “Abeg, pass face the sales boy job wey you come do for Abuja, aproko, woman wrapper!”.
Amina: “Jummai! Haba, it’s okay. Why you dey enter Wasiu like that, now. If you like am and him no wan toast you, just tell am. No need picking up quarrels with him at the slightest provocation. Wassy my guy, no vex, iyeh?”
Jummai: “Love who? Allah ya kyauta!”.
Wasiu ignores her and continues with his work.
Jummai: “Amina, abeg give me the gist as e dey hot”.
Amina: “Well, I had a long day trying to bail my fiance out of Police net yesterday but when I got to the station for the second time, they refused him bail saying it was late already. All through the night, I couldn’t sleep, knowing that my man was there suffering. I had to wake up early to go back there this morning and I waited for hours before they finally allowed him out”.
Jummai: “Ah! That matter still dey? I thought you people settled it that day, now. That your landlord wicked sha. But wait o, why you dey call Kamal your fiance? Shebi you told us that he hasn’t proposed to you? I no even know why you love the bobo, seff. No be say him even fine”.
Amina: “What is your business with what I choose to call my man? Why do you like poke nosing into other peoples’ affairs? I don’t blame you, shebi its me who brought myself down to your level. Mtcheww”.
They finished cleaning the shop and settle down when Amina raises up her head and sees Kamal walk in. She is shocked as she has warned him never to check on her at work because her madam is against it. She gets up and faces him squarely.
Amina: “What are you doing here? I told you never to come here to see me. I will be in trouble if my madam meets you here.”
Kamal: “Common baby, I can check on my woman anytime and anywhere I want. There’s no food in the house, so I thought of coming over to get some cash from you”.
Amina: “You should have called me. Anyway, I don’t have any money on me right now and Jummai has gone to buy food. I will go ask Wasiu for some money to borrow”. She leaves him in the shop and goes to Wasiu who is sitting outside, watching the goods displayed out and reading news update on Inside Arewa blog with his phone. “Wassy, I fit get 1k borrow from you there? I go pay you later in the day”.
Wasiu: “Shuu! 1k this early morning? Country hard o, na only 500 huns I carry from house and…
“Who is that customer in my shop that nobody is attending to when I have three workers?”, their madam who is just coming in to the market shouts, startling Amina and Wasiu.
Amina and Wasiu runs back in to the shop with the madam trailing behind them, fuming with anger.
Wasiu: “Welcome, ma. No be customer him be, na aunty Amina fiance”.
Amina: “Wasiu!”, she signals him to keep his mouth shut but her madam sees her.
Madam Shine: “Have I not warned you all that I don’t tolerate anyone in here apart from customers? Ehn, Amina, what is this hungry looking man doing in my shop? And you even had the guts to leave him alone inside and gist with Wasiu outside. The day my goods will get missing here, I won’t accept please ma o. Tell your boyfriend or whoever he is to get out of my shop”.
Kamal Leaves after some persuasion from Amina.
“Who took the N100,000 I kept in the safe after closing hours yesterday? Who is that thief o, everybody come o!” their madam’s voice rings out, terrorizing Amina and Wasiu.
Question: Who could have stolen the money? Could it be Kamal? Is the money stolen or missing? Where is Jummai? Could she have run away after stealing the money? What will Amina do?
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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