By Janice Johnson Pemida
The relief I felt after leaving my dad’s house was unfathomable. My joy could not be quantified. I felt so happy to have left hell. Mrs Gbadebo’s home was like heaven on earth. I couldn’t believe I, Adeoye Rabiat could ever in my entire life live in such a sophisticated house and environment. This woman was gorgeous and had very pretty kids, two girls and a boy, aged 9, 7 and 5 respectively.
She showed me my room as soon as we got to the house and asked me to feel at home. She showed me round, told me I could eat anything I wanted. I was really elated. The next day, she took me to where I was supposed to learn the hair dressing. It was a very huge and beautiful saloon owned by a very pretty young lady with over 30 apprentices. We were told all the requirements and within one week, everything was sorted out and I started learning the trade.
The first one month of staying with Mrs Gbadebo was beautiful. Her children got attached to me and everyone seemed to like me including her husband. However, soon her attitude towards me began to change. She started by giving me a lot of clothes to wash and so many house chores to do, that I ended up going to work very late. Sometimes I got to work at 12.00 in the afternoon when I was supposed to resume at 9am. There were times she gave me her under wears and panties stained with menstruation blood to wash for her. I did all that without complaining because, to me, life there was still far better than anywhere in my father’s house. So I endured it all.
My madam at work began to complain and I told her it wasn’t my fault. Soon, my madam became my close pal. She was like a mother to me. I could tell her everything. She would call Mrs Gbadebo and complain about my lateness to work which was making me to miss out on some of the hairstyles being taught in the morning, but she would not listen. She continued to delay me by giving me more work to do and then insults set in. At the slightest provocation, she insults me and reminds me of where I am from, my no good father and my mother who left me because I am useless. She told me I am a bad luck child. Yet when we go to church on Sundays she was the most loving woman ever; always saying good things about me to people around and trying to treat me so special.
Two months before I finished the hairdressing course, Mrs Gbadebo’s husband started sneaking into my room at midnight to have sex with me. I refused him when he attempted the first and second time. Then he suddenly hated me, started complaining about me to his wife and telling her how disrespectful and stubborn I had become. Whenever his wife was not around, he would tell me that very soon he will tell his wife to send me out if I refused to cooperate with him. He continued until I allowed him to have his way when I got tired of fighting. I didn’t want anything to stop me from leaving the house before completing my hairdressing course. I knew there was no way I could report to his wife because she wouldn’t have believed me. So as usual, I told my madam. She was very disappointed but in order not to cause trouble that could affect me, she kept mute about it but promised to get me out of there as soon as I finish my training. This continued till I finished my one year hairdressing course. My madam was so proud of me because despite everything I had been through, I was able to learn the job perfectly well and faster than she imagine.
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