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I didn't know I had been sleeping till I felt a heavy bag thrown over my body. ‘Had I been dreaming?’ I asked myself as I fuzzily recalled Johnny and Benson and the time we had spent together at the back of the dry cleaning office. My thighs were still sore from the exercise.
Suddenly, someone shouted and I suddenly jerked up.
“Na woman ooo…”
I opened my eyes to an unbelievable sight. I was at the top of a great garbage heap, my body oozed of rotten foods and rodents and I was half-naked.
“Chai…na only God fit helep him pikins dem ooo… see de fine gial wey carry herself come dorty…” Said one man.
"You no sure say she never craze?" Asked another man.
I stood up and almost fell, I was weaker than I imagined and the world seemed to rotate around me. ‘Where am I? Where are Johnny and Benson?’ I asked myself.
“De gial be like pesin wey nor know wetin she dey do hia ooo…” One young boy said.
I took a step forward and fell down, rolling down the heap in the process. I eventually ended my fall at the bottom of the garbage heap and everyone made way. I was in familiar territory, the garbage disposal place was quite close to my office. I immediately picked myself up and ran off wildly through the streets. You should have seen the crowd of people that followed me as I dashed wildly to the office I shared with Johnson. It was at the early hours of the morning and the sun wasn't up yet but most people were already out of their homes heading either for work or school. My race ended at the frontage of my office and as soon as I reached it, I fell to the ground, screaming and in tears;
“Johnny ooo…Benson ooo…”
People kept staring at me and I pointed at the door to the office while I spoke to them;
“Na hia we dey yestaday ooo… we even totori for back… I nor know wia dem dey, abeg God, make sometin no happen to dem ooo.” I continued.
“Dis na craze ooo… u sure say dis gial no need deliverance?” One lady asked.
I stood up, ran to the door and started banging hard at the gate.
One man walked out of the back of the office and stared at me in disgust.
“Who are you and why are you wailing in front of my shop.” The man asked.
“Na lie…no be your shop be dis! Na me and my oga get dis shop…I be im seke for hia.”
“You are crazy… look at you. What makes you believe I’ll listen to what you say… dirty pig. There is no one here, this shop has been empty for the past three months. I traveled and just came back yesterday so as far as I am concerned, you have no point.”
I wail loudly and roll on the floor in my dirty state as the owner of my office pushed me away from his property.
Soon, huge vans pulled up to the scene and a young lady ran up to me with a microphone and a camera man at her heels. The camera man zoomed his camera on me while the girl spoke into her microphone.
“We are here at a scene in Mobo housing estate where a young girl was found in a nearby garbage heap. The girl in question is here and she has been crying for the past thirty minutes. BAT TV brings you the juiciest news of the day, we beat the bloggers at their craft." She said, pausing for a while to smile into the camera. She quickly continued her report.
"When we received the news this morning from a concerned pedestrian, we rushed quickly to the scene and unfortunately, the girl had left the garbage heap and had ended her journey at a nearby building, let’s listen to what she has to say.” Turning to me, the reporter spoke, “Hello young lady, could you please tell us what happened?”
I look up at the camera and the lady and I burst into tears, I had somehow managed to gather a large crowd and I wailed louder so that a lot of people could come. I needed to ask people where Johnny and Benson were and whether I’ll still keep my job as a secretary, I needed answers.
“Na yestaday ooo… na today … no yestaday… I don even forget sef…” I launched into the tale of how I started working for Johnny and how it all happened.
The noise from the crowd was deafening as they shouted;
“Na 419 ooo…Touch and Go!”
I didn't understand what they were saying till the reporter faced the camera with her final speech.
“This is a sad case of 419 also known as false people, swindlers or crooks. This young girl seems to have just come for the first time into the city of Lagos and it’s a pity that she fell into the hands of shallow minds. From what we hear, she was duped and even used… such a sad story. Thank you guys for watching, this is Funke, reporting for BAT TV. Don’t forget to sit glued to your television sets as we bring to you the hottest news on the continent.”
As soon as the reporter finished, she whispered some soothing words in my ears and walked away. People dispersed as they came till I was left alone. I cried loudly and beat myself on the ground till I fell asleep.