Lasting Solemn Days

Jealousy is what you might call it. Men heart holds than it can say all sort of things.

The day was always hectic with running Helter-skelter to attend to customers and also making the food. They worked their bones till midnight also and joined the other girls that worked in Mama P's restaurant in the room given to them. They shared the room with three other ladies that were older than both of them and more experienced in city life. Stella and Sandra were close friends from the village, while Grace was brought by Mama P herself. There were so many things going on in the room, like wearing another person's cloth without permission or scattering another's load to look for things that were not theirs. Bewa was so much annoyed and disgusted by such an act, but there was nothing much she could do than make sure she did not leave her valuables in the room. She still had many bothering thoughts. She wanted Abena to start school since she was fifteen already, and it was going to be easy to start senior secondary school. 'The work of the restaurant is even too strenuous for her, she thought.' They were overworked and worked more than they were given, but no one had any choice but to either continue or leave.

The first month's pay was given to Bewa, but Abena's own was cut by 20% with a backup that she didn't work as much as the other girls. There was nothing much to do or say; whatever the boss says is final. Since Abena felt pains too often in her body, Bewa concluded that enrolling her in morning classes was the best, but she wondered if Mama P would allow her to still stay with them in the room if she no longer worked in the restaurant. Bewa waited till the second month, and when Abena's pay was cut by 30%, she decided to take the risk of asking her if Abena could leave.

Mama P was a light-skinned woman who had patches of red and black color on her skin too because of bleaching cream effects. She was often very rude to people, too, and mostly sat at one spot in the corner of the restaurant, either chewing gum and watching videos on her phone all day or eating a large portion of food at all times. "I wonder how she is not fat and has managed to keep her just plump body," the girls always gossiped among themselves.

"Every food went to her throat, and insulting people have taken away the energy." Many people who patronized Mama P's restaurant liked Abena because they often commented about her very pretty looks, smooth skin, and long hair. Some even joked that she could be Mama P's daughter because they were both light-skinned but that she was much prettier than her mum. "Na her papa she resembles," some even insinuated. "Mama P, "Bewa started, "I would like to ask if Abena can work part-time from 2:30 till night for half of her pay." "What is she going to be doing in the morning," she replied coldly with irritation in her eyes as her gaze fell on Bewa's tall standing figure. "She would go to school." "School!!!" her loud voice thundered, sending shivers down Bewa's spine. "Who wants to pay for that," she pressed. "I will pay for it," Bewa explained.

Her laughter resounded loudly around the room as her arms swerved left and right weakly around the small chair that fitted tightly to her shooting buttocks from both open sides of the chair. She could not help but roll around as she kept a stern face again. "You want to bite more than you can chew. I took you homeless children, and you want to steal my money to send your sister to school. Okwaya, how would this mere salary send her to school? And then you want me to give her half of the pay for just afternoon till evening? Would you do your mother's business like that?" She blew hot at Bewa, whose feet felt so stiff. She was under fire and lost her words to defend herself. "I will just buy books to study myself, Sister. Then will save more, and I can start school next year," Abena soothed. Bewa just nodded helplessly as she could not think of anything else to say. Very soon, Mama P made Abena hawk food saying customers were not patronizing as before. Things started to get messy.

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