Exactly 2months after i gave birth, i summoned up courage to go talk to my Uncle. I was scarcely noticed in the house. My aunty took a maternity leave from work and even with that, she focuses on the baby, forgetting the fact that i gave birth to him. They named him after my Uncle and everyone refers to him as Junior.
I noticed my aunty replies to my greetings grudgingly and i couldn't help but wonder why.
It was on a Saturday evening and my Aunty wasn't at home. She had gone out with Junior to visit her friend who lives in another part of Abuja. I had waited for this opportunity for a long time. Soon i reached the front of the room and heard my Uncle making a call. I am very disciplined by nature and normally, i respect people's privacy but that afternoon, i was propelled to eavesdrop on my Uncle's conversation. I stood outside his door and placed my left ear on the door. My Uncle must have been discussing something very important and he tried as much as possible to speak lightly.
"Okay......and are you sure the guy will be able to do it" my Uncle asked the person on the other end.
"Alright.....and how much are we talking about.......50k?....that's no problem, i'd definitely spend more if I'm to send her abroad so that's okay by me"
I jerked. I'm the one he's talking about? I couldn't believe it, so i paid more attention to grab what exactly he's talking about.
"So do you have a plan or you want my wife and i to device one for you. You know how neat we need the job to be done. We can't afford to have blood on our hands............it's alright then......i'd run the arrangements pass my wife and we will get back to you about payment......alright, bye" He ended the call.
I went straight into my room, locked the door behind me and sat on the bed. I was shaking and sweating - wait, did i just hear my Uncle order a hit on me? They want me dead?
I was in tears. I didn't know what to do.
For 10mins, i was pacing my room, shaking with my heart beating fast
"i need to leave this house today, but where do i go, who do i tell. I don't have a phone"
These are the thoughts going through my mind as i paced my room.
Even Funsho wasn't home and I'm sure my Uncle couldn't have expected me to hear that conversation. Probably he thought i'd be in my room since that's the only place i feel safe in the house.
I thought of how to leave the house. Usman, our gateman follows my uncle's order to the core. He'd never let me out of the house without knowing where i was going and after that, he'd take permission from either my Uncle or Aunty Jemima to let me go. I started thinking of how to deceive him. I decided to act like i was going to get my Uncle airtime from the nearby supermarket which was a 10mins walk from the house. I checked my jean pocket and saw one N100 note. It was the last cash on me and also a proof to Usman that i was telling the truth.
I checked the time, it was 7.30pm and i had a feeling my Aunty would soon be back. Quickly i wore my slippers which i had removed out of devastation when i got into the room, it was the best thing to put on in order to erase any suspicion.
I tiptoed pass my Uncle's room. I could hear him taking a shower in the bathroom. I got downstairs and went out of the house.
"Aunty" Usman called with his hausa tongue. He was washing his legs beside the small building designated for him.
"Yes Usman" i tried to cover my shock. "Uhmmm, i just want to quickly get airtime for my Uncle down the street, at the supermarket. I will soon be back" i showed him the N100 note and he nodded.
"Buy me kulikuli when coming back o" he joked and smiled, showing off his black stained teeth.
"I will ooo Usman" i smiled back at him and got out of the gate.
I walked hastily, looking left and right for my Aunty's car. Immediately i got out of the estate, i ran for my life. I didn't know where i was going but i kept on running.
It was few mins past 8pm and it was already dark.
I thought of going to church but immediately it dawned on me that would be the first place my aunty will come looking for me once she realised i was gone.
I stopped running only when i was sure I'm a bit far from home. I tried recollecting Funsho's number and i branched at a call center to call him but his number wasn't going through.
"Please try again" i told the call girl out of frustration
"But aunty, I've tried it 5times now"
"It could be the network. Please try again"
The girl tried again but it was the same story. She shook her head.
"This number is not reachable aunty. Are you sure you gave me the right number"
"Yes, I'm very sure it's correct"
"Then the person's phone is probably off"
I put my two hands on my head and hot tears rolled down my cheeks.
"Where will i sleep tonight?" i thought
I stood motionless at the call center. I didn't know what to do or where to go. I managed to put back the N100 note i had brought out to pay the call girl then i felt a paper stuck in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw a phone number written on it. I tried recollecting whose number it was then i remembered Moses. He was a member of the choir and had made several attempts to be my friend. He had written his cellphone number on a piece of paper one evening after Bible study and asked me to give him a call several months back. I collected the paper and promised to give him a call, i could remember folding the paper and putting it inside my jean pocket but i forgot to keep my promise.
I hurriedly went back to the call girl who was already packing her things and calling off for the day.
"Please, try this one"
"Ooooh aunty" she groaned angrily "I told you the number isn't reachable. I tried it right here in your presence"
"No No. This is a totally different number. Please just try it please" I was already in tears. It was my last hope. The girl stared at me for a while, then searched for her phone which she had packed alongside the recharge cards she was selling. She collected the paper from me and input the number, she placed the phone close to her ear.
I almost jumped for joy.
"But the person isn't picking" the girl said.
"Please try again one more time"
She didn't complain this time. She handed the phone to me immediately she heard a voice at the other end.
"Hello Moses. It's me Gina"
"Gina? Good evening. How are you?"
"I wish i could say I'm fine. Actually, you are my last hope right now. I need a place to stay for the night please"
"Where are you right now?"
I gave him a description of where i was and 20mins later, he came with a cab to pick me up.