oga buy this one o, this unripe plantain sweet pass the ripe one’ Deborah screamed as she ran after the moving car, the man ignored her and she retreated back to the camp of hawkers near the Abak rd. traffic light.
She sighed, today had been the worst day since she started hawking, life hadn’t been very easy since their father had abandoned them for his new wife in the village.
He had wanted an heir, a male child who would carry forward his name, her mother had only given birth to her and Enobong, her only sister.
She was then diagnosed with an infection causing her womb to be removed through surgery.
Her father could not bear the thought of being married to a ‘barren’ woman as he called her and with the help of his family he got married to another and abandoned them in Uyo.
‘wetin dey ur mind’? Sara the garden egg Hawker asked, she was her best friend around here, others did not flow well with her while the other young girls envied her because she was extremely beautiful and had lots of customers.
‘nothing, just that today has been a very bad day, and my sister needs money to register for her upcoming NECO examination’, ‘so na why u dey worry like this?
U no get work, instead of to worry, u no pray make dis God send us customer’, Debora simply sighed and continued swimming in her thoughts.
She often wondered when her life as a hawker would come to an end, she was not getting younger, but she had to do this to increase the income for feeding.
She prayed desperately in her heart for a favour from God, she needed to breathe, to sleep without waking up early to run to the market to but ingredients for her mother to prepare moi-moi for the student cafeteria in the University of Uyo.
That business had helped them a lot, her mother had rented a little shade in the student market and they usually patronised her, her mother was a hardworking woman, she kept telling her children that one day, anyhow, they will one day study at the University of Uyo.
Deborah smiled and wished that day could come quickly, she had finished her secondary education
for three years now but due to the obvious conditions she couldn’t go further but she believed
Strongly that her dreams would not die, she remembered how she sneaked into lecture halls to have a feel of what it felt like to be a student, but the students always knew her as the Hawker and looked down on her shabby dresses that’s why she stopped attending the lectures.
What made her quite known was her beauty, many times she had heard the students especially females whisper ‘ she is too fine to be a hawker, God forbid’, yes she was too beautiful, but how could one change their parentage? many boys on campus had approached her but she turned them down because she didn’t believe in premarital relations, and her mother had raised them with a firm her.
‘be proud, hold your head high even as a poor girl’ she remembered her mother instructing them, one of such male student advances had gone sour that was how she met Captain her best friend on Campus, she had served a group of rough looking boys and one made advances towards her, when she declined he broke the glass plate and began ranting.
‘who you be sef, na only u dey dis skul, see dis dirty a-s girl o’, and he started making calculated efforts at her, before he could lay his hands, a bottle smashed his head and he fell down bleeding, by now the attention of the Security was drawn to the scene.
‘what have you done to him?’ she had cried to her savior, ‘Girl you should thank me, this guy is a troublesome dude and he is known around here, so basically I saved you’, she sighed ‘thank you’, when the security arrived and recognized the person who was being hit, they hissed and turned back.
‘if I ever see you here again, I will break your head into tiny bits and send them to the Lord’ her saviour said pushing the guy outside roughly, he wiped his hands and returned, ‘ my name is Felix Eggon, am known as captain though’.
‘Deborah’ she replied hesitatingly, he smiled ‘ don’t you have a nick’? ‘ like Debbie, Debo baby or Yellow sisi’ he teased, this made her laugh, she shook her head, he was silent for a while and suddenly lifted his face ‘sweet chocolate’, ‘what’s that’
She asked, he simply replied, ‘nickname’, and that’s what everybody even her own mother came to call her.
‘pick me at the airport, we are almost on the ground baby, luv ya baby’ she said sweetly, Morgana Esio, was the luckiest woman in the state, at least that is what she thought, she was an accomplished legal practitioner c-m fashion designer, the only daughter of Chief Charles Esio Peters, coming from a high-class family she had met the most wanted bachelor in the state.
Aniebiet Briggas, an engineer by profession, the manager of three branches of Briggas Construction Companies in Africa popularly known as BCC.
Aniebiet was all a woman could dream of, all her desire, he was not just physically appealing but he was very rich and hardworking, and that was exactly the kind of man she needed to maintain her high-born status.
She had dated him for about four years now and her love for him grew stronger by the day, but it bothered her, as they landed on the ground, she wondered if he felt the same way, its not as if he didn’t care, but she knew for a fact that she was his most long-standing girlfriend.
Aniebiet had dated strings of women dumping each when he was tired, this made her have more hope, maybe he loved her that’s why he held onto her for so long, and because she loved him she had overlooked his flirtatious behaviour.
She walked briskly from the plane and walked towards the waiting area when she spotted her worst enemy, Inemesit, her one-time best friend who had an affair with Aniebiet, ‘ who am I seeing here?’ she sneered.
Morgana ignored her and moved on, ‘seriously, you are getting too old for this, why do you act like you’re better than me, remember you also cheated on him with my boyfriend, so revenge is beautiful’ she stopped and walked towards her.
‘I slept with your boyfriend? But you told me you didn’t love him, and you knew very well what Aniebiet meant to me and you stabbed me, back off,’ Inemesit did not flinch, she simply stared back at her, ‘ what do you want from me’?
Morgana asked, ‘ I need your help, there is a big fashion show am organizing and you have the props I just may use’, Morgana was about to say no, but this girl needed to be taught a lesson, and she would do her dirty, she smiled and walked off ‘ Okay, meet me at the Drokie’s, we will discuss there’.
She spotted Aniebiet’s car and increased her footsteps, he came out and hugged her, ‘welcome darling, how was your trip’? she hugged him and whispered ‘ am tired’, after packing her luggage, he pecked her forehead, she smiled and they drove off.