CRY FOR ME: Part 11 – The End
I resumed work today. The respect from the security men to the Receptionist was notable. I remembered how the Receptionist embarrassed me but today she gave me an oversized smile.
“This is your office” Mr Austin told me.
I looked at the well furnished office and back to him.
“Sir, you’re mistaken. This cannot be my office ooo. I applied as a cleaner.” I told him but he just smiled at me.
“Young woman, is your name not Susan?” He asked
“It is sir”
“Then this is your office. You’re to work directly with Mr Alex” he said
“Alright sir” I said. He closed the door gently behind him but I refused to sit on the chair. What if there’s camera somewhere and someone is watching me. I stood there admiring everything but I couldn’t sit. “I know there’s a mistake and I am sure Mr Alex will rectify it.” I told myself. I didn’t stand long before I was summoned into Mr Alex office.
“Good morning sir” I greeted him
“Take a sit Susan.”
I sat opposite him and as I looked at him I discovered he was the man that almost fainted the first time I stepped into the company.
“How are you enjoying your first day at work?” He asked smiling.
“Sir, you made a mistake. I applied as a cleaner here. Trust me. I can sweep and clean everywhere and anything.” I told him.
He laughed and looked at me so amused.
“You will never be a cleaner here. Henceforth, I am going to take good care of you. Meanwhile, tell me about yourself. I mean everything about your parents and siblings.” He told me looking so serious.
I narrated everything leaving the part wherever mum cheated on dad.
“My parents have a misunderstanding and my two siblings are with mum while I am with my dad. My dad is struggling to take care of me. I can’t further my education because of hardship. Dad doesn’t have the money yet. I needed to work to support him. Do you know how much I love him? she asked as the tears fell. My real parents dumped me but God used him to rescue me. They rejected me sir. I grew up with no love from a mother but he took the place of mother and father. I am a product of my father. But sir, I beg you for one thing, don’t delay my salary” I told him.
“I won’t delay it.
When I looked at him, I noticed tears on his face but he quickly wiped it.
“You’re lucky to have such a lovely and wonderful father. I want you to trust me Susan. I will take good care of you. Your salary is going to be daily. I don’t want you or your father to lack anything.” He told me.
He opened his drawer and brought out some money which he gave me. That is fifteen thousand naira.”
“You’re paying me fifteen thousand naira today just for sitting and chatting with you? Do you know me before sir?”
The question made Alex to laugh.
“Take it Susan and don’t think about it”
I went back to my office and recounted the money to make sure nothing is missing. I raised my skirt and hid the money in the short knicker I wore underneath. When the phone in my office rang, I was afraid to answer it and when I eventually did, Mr Alex told me that lunch will be brought to me. I thanked him and dropped the phone.
The Receptionist brought the lunch and the meal was sumptuous. I don’t know when last I ate chicken. If it was a dream, I never wanted to wake oo. Fifteen thousand for one day. I made up my mind to get some food stuff from the market. I needed to cook something nice for my dad.
I sat in the office doing nothing but watching films and eating snacks Mr Alex brought to me himself.
When it was 4pm, Mr Alex asked me to go home. He counted four thousand from his wallet and gave me.
“That’s for transport.”
I didn’t know when I hugged him. He kept laughing.
“Go home Susan. I don’t want your dad to be worried about you.”
I thanked him again and strolled out but I didn’t go home straight, I went to the market first.
I held the four thousand naira in my hand so tight. I didn’t spend any dime on transport. I trekked to the market first to purchase some food stuff. I had finished buying when I heard a familiar voice behind me.
“Aunty please help me with anything and God will bless you.”
It was the voice that made me turn.
“Cheta” I screamed. She looked at me and screamed the loudest. She held me so tight that I almost fell.
“What happened to you?” I asked with my eyes roaming over her. You look like a skeleton” as I could not hold it anymore. I hugged her and both of us cried. Passerby were looking but we didn’t care.
“Where is Blessing? I asked. I was very careful not to ask of mum.
She was too emotional to respond. I heard her hand and crossed over to the other side of the market leaving the noise behind.
“Where is Blessing?” I asked her again.
She pointed to a building.
She led the way and I followed her. We were quiet as we walked to the building.
“You live here?” I asked frightened. ” This is an uncompleted building Cheta.” I shouted.
“Yes. This is where we leave.”
She went in and I followed her inside. Mum and Blessing were asleep. They lay on a single wrapper on the floor.
As soon as they held our voices, they woke up.
“Jesus… Jesus” was all I heard mum saying. Blessing jumped on me so excited and we all began to cry.
I sat on one of the bags on the floor. My mum and siblings were so tattered and Haggard. One could hardly recognize them.
“Why this place? Why not your grandparents?” I asked my siblings.
“It’s a long story” by sisters chorused.
“Well, I can’t allow my siblings sleep here tonight. I am taking them home” I told mum boldly. I was waiting for her to object but she kept quiet.
“We will leave here with or without your permission.” Said Blessing
“I can’t stop you. You have suffered enough for my sake.” Mum said to them.
“I can’t follow you Susan after all I did to you and your father. I can’t. ” She told me drying her tears with the edge of her wrapper.
“I never said you’re coming with me. I told her.
“Truly, find a place in your heart to forgive me. ” She said sobbing bitterly .
“I forgave you long time ago but the wound in my dad’s heart is still fresh. You’re my mother and we will check on you.” I told her. I raised my skirt and brought out the money I hid there. I count five thousand out of it and gave mum.
I left that dilapidated building with my sisters. We got home late and dad was worried. But when he saw us, his worries disappeared. Dad hug my sisters and cried like a baby.
“Look how thin my girls look.” He said crying.
Dad never asked of mum but trust Cheta the parrot. “Mum learnt her lessons in a hard way.
Do you know how many times a day she do ask God for forgiveness? She told us that anytime we find you, we should tell you she’s sorry and she has repented.”
Dad didn’t comment on what Cheta said rather he asked me how my first day at work went and I narrated everything to him……
CRY FOR ME: Part 11 – The End
Written by Franca Uwuigiaren
Inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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