It was a rough morning for me and I had had a worse night. I dragged my feet to the kitchen in attempt to make breakfast but surprise couldn’t have been more registered in my head as I saw that my Oga had beat me to the kitchen.
“Taink you sir.” I murmur words of gratitude as I watch him whisk eggs, obviously he was tired of my badly cooked meals.
“I don’t need your thanks; go and bathe Pat and prepare him for daycare.” He said as regards his son.
“Here is five hundred naira, please take a taxi.”
“Okay sir.” I say and still stand there looking at him.
“Why are you still here? Go and bathe my son and take him to school.” He shouts.
“Chai Oga, I dey look the miracle wey ya son do for ya life, no be yesterday you be wan die sake of say I kiss you. Infact that boy great sha.”
“Let me warn you; never ever try what you did yesterday again, even if I have to cheat on my wife I choose them classy and refined. Besides Pat never performed any miracle, he was smart enough to get me an inhaler when I needed it, that’s what!”
“I no understand wetin you dey talk…I no even believe say, na my kiss wan kee you sef.”
“Senorita or whatever you call yourself, leave this kitchen and go prepare my child for daycare now!”
“Why you dey shout? Na wah ooo. I just wan tell you say, you fit use Pat make money… plenty money. People wey dey find miracle boku for road.” I mutter.
“What the heck are you talking about?”
“No…nothing…e be like say you no understand wetin I mean, no worry, you go see am korokoro.” I say and saunter out of the kitchen.
I leave the kitchen then walk to Pat’s room where I wake him up and bathe him and dress him for school but school wasn’t on my mind as I carried the child out of the house and towards the backyard. I had something else in mind as I walked over to the clothes line and pulled out my wrapper.
I knew immediately I spread my wrapper on the ground at the bustop that something was going to happen, it wasn’t the sky which turned dark or the child I had placed on my wrapper who was weeping inconsolably, it was something else and I couldn't place a finger to it. My good luck I guess?
“Miracle baby….come see Lagos wonder ooo…” I shouted for all to hear, while clapping my hands in the process and dancing around.
My Oga’s child thrashed on my wrapper in tears and fear as he couldn't understand what had gotten over me.
“Na ya pikin be dis?” One man asks me, he had just stepped out of a bus.
“Wetin dat one come consign you?” I spit in disgust.
People had begun gathering around us as the image of a young lady and a crying child had caught their attention.
“Dis baby dey do miracle…im fit comot sickness from ya body…with my korokoro eyes I don see am….na Lagos wonder be dis ooo live!” I continue to scream.
“I want miracle ooo how im go do am?” A lady asks.
“Just bring one thousand naira.” I reply.
Some people stare at me as though I had been drugged while others walk away, very few people delve into their pocket and fish out some loose change.
“I talk say na one thousand naira no be two hundred naira.” I chide them.
“Abeg joor…dis na de first time we dey see you for hia, how we go confirm say you be original.”
“Okay…just bring wetin you get.” I say as I collect the money and stuff it into my jeans pocket.
“Wetin you want?” I ask one man.
“I want make my shop dey big, I want make I become billionaire.”
“Oya talk to Pat…na im fit helep you.” I say.
The man turns to my Oga’s son who is still wailing and says.
“Oga Pat…abeg, na beg I dey so…helep me with business, if to say you do am for me ehn… I go surprise you.” The man says.
My Oga’s child continues to cry loudly.
“Why dis boy dey cry na? Abi e no wan work miracle again?” One woman asks.
“Leave am…na sake of say im no fit talk, e fit be say na cry e dey use dey do miracle.” I say.
"You sure?" Another woman asks.
"Wetin I know be say, dis boy miracle no be here ooo...yesterday for my front im papa be wan die, na dis shikere boy helep am ooo.." I supply.
People stared at me in awe as they digested my story of Pat's miracles.
The morning progressed to mid afternoon, by then, Pat was already tired and had fallen asleep while I had two pockets filled with money.
In attempt not to be greedy as my customers had reduced considerably, I hailed a taxi which took I and my Oga’s son to his daycare. As soon as I entered the daycare, I was confronted by one of the child minders.
“Where has he been? We tried calling his father’s phone but network is bad.”
“Ehyah…Pat go work miracle for bustop.” I say.
The child minder stare at me with confusion in her eyes, she stretches out her hands to hold Pat and frown once I deposit the child in her arms.
“What is going on? Is he sick? Why is he smelly and hot?” She asks.
“Dat one na ya tori…if for say I be im mama, I for don remove Pat from dis una school. Na dis one una go notice, if na de miracle wey im dey do, you no for know.”
The child minder stare at me again and carried Pat to his classroom, I look for a bench close to the gate post and lie down, determined to sleep before the daycare closes at two pm. I quietly ask the gateman for the time and he says it’s one twenty-one pm, I sigh in disbelief as I prepare to sleep quickly before his school closes for the day.
It’s needless to say that, the next day, instead of taking Pat to school, I continued to take my business from one bustop to the other and you won’t be surprised at the level of people Pat's miracles had drawn. The toll was taken on Pat as he was growing leaner by the day and falling ill too. The daycare minders were already pissed at the time I brought in my Oga’s child for school every day, it was either before school hours were over or long after school hours. I didn’t care, as long as I was concerned, I was making big money for myself, the last time I counted, my money had summed up to twenty seven thousand naira and I was so happy with the results.
Friday morning was another bubbly day and as I prepared to take Pat to school, I hummed silently, a song I had learnt from my mother, it was a song on hard work and the benefits of being a hard worker. I was jolted by the knock at my bedroom door; I ran to open it, only to see my Oga standing at my door with his son in his arms.
“Oga I be wan carry am go school.”
“It’s okay Senorita…there’s no need to take him to school today, he is not feeling too well.”
“Ehn? im well ooo Oga, nothing dey do am.” I say as I try to take the child from my Oga’s arms.
“He is not too well, I’ll take him to the hospital.” Oga said.
My money making venture was about to go with the wind and I couldn’t let that happen, I told myself. I watched as Oga carried his son out of the house and my mind suddenly struck on an idea. Running out of the house as though chased by wild dogs, I scream.
‘Oga…pesin just enter inside house now…” I say hysterically as I fall to the ground in mock tears.
“What? Who?” Oga asked in confusion.
“I no know ooo, I see am…e be like witch, na so im fly enter house.”
“Senorita…are you sure you are not hallucinating?”
“Sir? Na hallucin…wetin you call am? Abi you know de pesin?”
“No! I’m just wondering whether you’re imagining things.” Oga supplied.
“Ima wetin? Na im name be dat? Abeg ooo…go pursue am comot.”
“This is serious…who could that be? Are you sure about this? I am about to place a call to the police.”
“You sure say police go come quick quick? Dis kain pesin wey dey enter pesin house for korokoro morning get agenda ooo…na only you fit catch am. I don tell you say na witch.” I say to him.
Oga quickly hands his child over to me and taking a huge stick from the ground, he dashes into the house, I, in turn, break into a run with my Oga’s child in my arms. Pat begin to cry, obviously knowing that I was up to no good but I paid him no heed, I ran till I almost reached the bustop but was stopped in time. A couple in a car raced ahead of me and double crossed me at the road side.
“Young lady, where are you headed with that child?”
“Ahhh…na my Oga pikin…I dey carry am go daycare.” I say with a smile while panting breathlessly.
“Is that how children are taken to the daycare? It’s obvious the child is upset, his cries are loud enough to make anyone notice that he’s unhappy.”
I laugh and seeing a chance to market my business, I say;
“Una don see miracle pikin before? This baby na miracle ooo..”
“Oh…yes, every child is a miraculous gift from God.” The woman said impatiently.
“No be dat one ooo…dis pikin dey heal, e dey give money, e dey even cast devil comot, e no get wetin im no fit do.” I say trying hard to convince my prospective customers.
I got the questioning stare from the couple as they neatly killed their engine and stepped down from the car.
“Abeg tell us how dis pikin don work miracle for ya life.” The woman quickly switches to pidgin.
I smile and begin to download them with details, they lure me into their car and I sit and continue giving information, I start my story from the day Pat gave his father the inhaler to the present day. I could tell from the look in their eyes that they weren’t enthralled by my story. After my narrative tale, I coax a smile again and try alighting from their car with the baby in my arms.
“Don’t get up, stay there and you have the right to remain silent.” Said the man who produced a handcuff which he snapped on my wrists while the woman rescued Pat from my arms.
“Shio…wetin dis one come mean na….una wan use Pat make money abi?” I ask them accusingly.
“You are being charged for child abuse…”
“Abuse wetin…I curse am? No be miracle im dey do? Who una be sef? I curse am? See dis people, why una go talk say I abuse am. For my life lai lai, I never curse pesin. Abeg leave me.” I shout drawing attention to myself as passersby stopped to stare at us.
“Give us the name of your Oga.” Said the woman.
“Una dey craze….” I hiss.
“Where is his house? Where do you live?” Asked the man.
At that moment, my Oga’s car slowed down beside the vehicle I occupied and I watched as a very worried Oga stepped out of his car and walk towards us.
“Oga…see this people ooo…abeg tell dem say Pat na miracle baby.”
Pat was happy to see his father and had already started calling out to him in babyish gibberish.
My Oga walked towards me and in anger, he gave me a resounding slap, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He exchanged pleasantries with the couple and took his son from the woman’s arms. He too was needed at the police station as the couple made that clear to him. He didn’t hesitate, instead he got into his car, ready to go with them.
“Who una be?” I asked the couple as they got into the car and kicked the engine to life.
“We are policemen.” They both echoed.
As the car I sat in pulled off the road, I stared at the couple seated at the front of the vehicle and sighed…
“Senorita…na wetin carry fish comot from water? How police take find you for inside Lasgidi so?”