By Janice Johnson Pemida
All these while, I had a friend who stayed in my aunt’s area. She is from the Republic of Benin. She loved me so much and was always there for me. So I went straight to her place. She lived with her mum in a room and parlor self contained apartment. She was a product of a broken home, abandoned by her dad. She was happy to see me and after I explained everything to her, she got really mad. She immediately spoke to her mum about accommodating me. Luckily for me, her mother agreed and that was how I started living with them.
The period I lived with them was the best period of my life. They took good care of me like their own and I felt so at home even though my aunt wasn’t happy about it. My friend later introduced me to a family friend of theirs who had a phone call center and I started working there as a sales girl. The owner of the shop began to develop some kind of interest in me and asked me some personal questions. I told her about myself and how I had to drop out of school. She felt pity for me and asked if I would like to learn a trade. I responded in the affirmative and she asked which trade I would love to learn. I told her catering, I was not even sure what I wanted to do with my life yet, I just had to say something. She immediately started making arrangement for me to be enrolled in a catering school.
However, few months later, my dad’s wife managed to convince him to go and bring me back to the house. Apparently she had put to bed and needed someone who would help her with house chores and taking care of the baby. My dad then located my friend’s place and came to make a lot of trouble. She came with my aunt and some of his friends and told my friend’s mum to release me to him because he is my father and that she had no right to be harboring me in her home without his consent. I stood against him and refused to move an inch, so he left. But then, he refused to give up. He continued pestering my life, threatening my friend’s mum day in day out. He even threatened to send policemen to arrest her for kidnapping his daughter.
The last straw that broke the Camel’s back was when he visited the call center to threaten my madam. He embarrassed her and created such a terrible scene that immediately he left, my madam paid me off and told me to stop working there because she didn’t want trouble. That same day, my friend’s mum also told me to pack my things and leave to avoid getting them into trouble as they were just trying to help me. I packed my things and having nowhere else to go, I just went back to my father’s house.
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