“Ma?” A female voice answered from within and soon appeared. The madam turned to me and asked, “Na wetin una wan chop?” She asked.
“Give her anything she wants.” I answered.
“You nko?” She asked.
“I’m fine.” I said.
“Okay o…” The woman said and turned to Zainab. “Bia, na wetin you want? We get fufu, eba, semo, egusi, ogbono, vegetable, bitterleaf, pepper soup and oha soup. We also get white rice, jollof rice, ofada rice, beans, plantain, spaghetti. Na which one you want?”
Zainab seemed to contemplate for a moment then she said, “Gimme jollof rice, fufu and vegetable, cow leg peppersoup, beans and plantain and three purewater.”
“Shuooo! Only you?!” The woman exclaimed. “Na this small mouth you take wan chop everything? No come die for my shop o.”
“Madam, could you please mind your words?” I scolded the woman. “No vex Oga…” She said indifferently. “Oya, Obiageli, make we go bring wetin she want.”
Both of them returned into the shop and soon the food was served. I watched Zainab eat ravenously as if she had not eaten for days. She refused to eat with any cutlery, she used her hands instead but after I insisted that she washed them. When she was full, I paid and left with her. In the car, I kept glancing at her pregnancy as I drove while she yawned carelessly.
“Zainab?” I began carefully. “Who knocked you up?” When she only gave me a confused look, I decided to change my diction. “Who impregnated you?” She heaved a sigh then placed her hands on her laps.
“Your friend…” She finally said. It was as if a bell rang in my head.
“What friend?” I asked.
“Father Kaka…” She answered. I was confused. That name didn’t ring a bell. I had no friend by the name Kaka.
“Who’s Kaka?” I asked.
“Your friend na…that one… That one with shine-shine head.” She touched her own head. “His head shining in sun.” I heaved a sigh of despair.
This was hopeless. I had no idea whom she was talking about. “Where do you live now?” I asked.
She gave me directions and after several turns, I arrived at an uncompleted building in a bushy and secluded area. As soon as I opened the door, she jumped down and rushed into the uncompleted building. I followed her into the storey building and was not pleased with the sight of it. It was unkempt and she slept on a worn-out mattress that was dirty which she must have savaged from a dump.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa