Lost episode 9


Episode Nine

I watched him as he drove off, and then I carried the bowl of water on my head.

As I took the step trying to reach the gate, my stepmother called my name.

When I turned, she was busy laughing at me.

She really made fun of me, saying the dress I wore looked good on me.

I really looked like a house girl with the bowl of water on my head.

It really depicted the picture of a house girl hawking sachet water on the street.

I stepped out of the gate and looked back at the house I came out from.

It was a story building, well painted, and really expensive.

I wasn’t always allowed to go out and not many people knew I lived in that house, let alone being the daughter of Mr. Richard, the popular businessman.

They only knew he had a daughter but hadn’t seen her before.

I wasn’t bothered because they didn’t recognize me.

As I walked out with the water on my head, the first person that called me was a young lady.

She was slender and beautiful, but she didn’t call me by my name.

Instead, she called me “sachet water.”

That’s what we called people selling sachet water on the traffic, and now it became my new name.

At first, I didn’t react to the name, but then I turned, and she said, “Sachet water, I was calling you.”

She removed one of the waters and gave me 20 naira.

I didn’t even know how much the water was sold for.

I also had bottled water in the bowl, but I didn’t know the price of that either.

I didn’t even know how to get to the road, so I had to ask someone.

They asked if I was new in the area, and I nodded in affirmation.

There was no point in telling the truth because who would believe that a 17-year-old girl doesn’t even know the road to the junction?

I followed the path just like I was told, but I got lost along the way.

So, I walked back the way I came and realized I had taken the wrong junction.

After walking for thirty minutes without even selling any water, I finally reached the junction.

It was already 10 am when I got there.

I heard someone mention the time.

Other hawkers were already on the road, and there were cars of all different colours, I hadn’t seen before, and people passing by.

I placed my bowl on the side and sat down to rest for a bit.

Then, travelers on the road started asking for water, and chāos broke out as the hawkers pushed each other to sell their water.

As a novice in the hawking business, I ran along with them and was only able to sell water to a few people.

I even ran into some of my classmates from my previous school, but they didn’t talk to me.

They just looked at me with disdain, and some even clapped and laughed.

I was so embarrassed that I sat there crying.

I couldn’t believe the life I had fallen into.

It felt like everyone had rejected me, and I was all alone and lost without anyone to rely on.

I felt empty and useless. Mom used to say that life wasn’t meant to be easy, but I wished it could be a little easier for me.

I was just a young girl who needed direction in life, not for life to rūin me at every turn.

The other hawkers looked at me with pity, and I hated being seen with pitiful eyes.

I didn’t even turn to look at them.

But then, a young boy came up to me and asked why I looked and smelled so rich but was hawking water.

With what I was wearing, I didn’t expect that from anyone.

I narrated a little of my story to him.

He told me his own story and it was worst than mine.

He lost both his parents in a fire outbreak, and since he had no one, he had to depend on himself.

He hawked water on the roadside to survive.

The water he hawked, he got it on credit and had to give account of every sales.

“And according to him there was no gain in the business”.

I felt pity for him instead of myself.

At least I had a roof over my head, but he didn’t even have a place to stay.

He stayed under the bridge, a place I wouldn’t even dream of staying in my life.

At least I was thankful that there was someone whose situation was worse than mine.

He still managed to smile, and he spoke so well that I didn’t even remember to ask if he had ever been in school.

I felt happy staying there, and there was no one to trouble me or make me feel unwanted.

They all treated me like family.

Unfortunately, I only made 1000 naira from my water business, and I wasn’t happy.

They tried to talk me out of it by telling me how much they made on their first day, and it was smaller compared to mine.

I was a bit relieved. I didn’t even eat throughout the day, and I wasn’t hungry either.

It was evening, and I didn’t finish selling the water, but I had to go home.

The boy I met was of great help to me.

He even offered to take me back to the house, then dropped me at our gate.

He saw our big house and still asked why I was hawking after everything we had.

He didn’t believe I was the man’s child.

Instead, he assumed I was a house help.
I wouldn’t believe it if I were him either.

I opened the gate, which wasn’t locked, and dad was already home before me.

When he saw me, he was standing outside with his arms folded.

He asked me to come over, and he was holding a cāne in his hands.

He used it to hit me until I had marks all over my body. He said I came home late.

When he asked me how much I made, with tears in my eyes, I told him I made 1000 naira.

He looked at me and pointed at the gate, saying, “You will sleep outside tonight.

I’ve always known you’re good for nothing,” he said as he pushed me out and locked the gate.
Thessycute Ekene

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