The Tales of the struggling girl child

  • They have taken over our streets.
  •  
  • At the community wherein I’m observing my mandatory youth service.
  •  
  • These young girls.
  • Pretty little lovelies.
  •  
  • Hawking all manner of things.
  •  
  • Groundnuts, African Salad, buns, kpogi, tomatoes, pepper.
  •  
  • The list goes on.
  •  
  • Yesterday when the rain stalled for a moment.
  •  
  • I rushed out to go visit my friend, who had been ill for a while.
  •  
  • On my way back after visiting him.
  •  
  • One of the girls was standing under the tree that is close to the gate of the estate where my friend lives.
  •  
  • Wet clothes clinging to her tiny body.
  • The rain had fallen heavily.
  •  
  • Definitely not more 14 years.
  •  
  • From her looks.
  •  
  • Her arms were around her upper body.
  •  
  • Seeking warmth.
  •  
  • As she stood trembling.
  • The cold had taken its toll on her.
  •  
  • Teeth chattering.
  •  
  • Her basket containing her fishes, tomatoes and peppers on the ground in front of her.
  •  
  • “Uncle help me buy market.”
  •  
  • “I don already buy, e plenty for house.”
  •  
  • “Oga mi, abeg,my mama go beat me if I go back house with full basket.”
  •  
  • “Since today, I never sell anything”
  •  
  • “She no see say rain dey fall?”
  •  
  • “Dat one no be my mama concern, e go say my mates wen sell market no get two head.”
  •  
  • “Okay, no wahala, i go buy some.”
  •  
  • “Ahhh. God go bless you.”
  •  
  • So I paid generously for 10 tomatoes and peppers.
  •  
  • And she glowed with appreciation as she collected the money.
  •  
  • As I made to leave.
  •  
  • She spoke again.
  •  
  • Her voice lower.
  •  
  • And very unsure.
  •  
  • “Oga mi, If na only you dey house sir, I fit follow you.”
  •  
  • I looked back at her.
  •  
  • “Follow me go do wetin?.”
  •  
  • “Ejoo oga mi Make you no vex, E mabinu sir”
  •  
  • And she kept quiet.
  •  
  • There was fear in her eyes.
  •  
  • I walked closer to her.
  •  
  • She stepped back a little.
  •  
  • “Tell me wetin you be wan talk.”
  •  
  • “Nothing sir. Taink you for the money. God go bless you. Ese gan”
  •  
  • I smiled.
  •  
  • As warmly as I could.
  •  
  • I understood what she had implied earlier on.
  •  
  • But for the purpose of clarity.
  •  
  • I prodded once more.
  •  
  • “Make you no fear. Tell me wetin you be wan talk before. I no go cast you”
  •  
  • She looked at me for a moment.
  •  
  • Then bowed her head as though in remorse.
  •  
  • Silent.
  •  
  • I asked again.
  •  
  • This time comforting in my choice of words
  •  
  • “You no go enter trouble. I swear, I no go tell anybody,  Tell me. I fit help you.”
  •  
  • Still she kept silent.
  •  
  • I spoke again.
  •  
  • This time more confident.
  •  
  • “Oya, I go buy everything wey dey your basket, give you the money, you go still keep the market, I no need am but if you tell me wetin you be wan talk before, I fit help you even pass just buying your market…”
  •  
  • I could feel her hesitation.
  •  
  • She wasn’t sure how I’ll take her next words.
  •  
  • The she sighed.
  •  
  • Just before she said it.
  •  
  • In a low tone.
  •  
  • Looking away from me
  •  
  • Head bowed in self-pity.
  •  
  • “E get some broda dem for hia, dem dey usually buy my market, but I dey keep my basket for one of my sista hand,  I go follow dem, based on say dem dey wan f…k join,  if dem do finish, them go give me one thousand, sometimes two thousand, na d money i dey add ontop of wetin i dey make from selling pepper and tomatoe na him I go give my mama make she add money give me make I use dey dey pay for school.”
  •  
  •  
  •  

Share this:


Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
1
Did you enjoy this story? Then pay a tip:

Tip author


What do you think?

Join The Tell! Community

Read, and write on Africa's most creative community for writers, thinkers and storytellers

Get Started