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She layed her baby on the bed,with tears in her eyes
She sat down , thinking.
How was she going to be able to feed her baby? She was just twenty one and a secondary school certificate holder.
Would she be able to get a job?
Lucy got up from bed and went out to take her bath before drifting into an uneasy sleep.
The next morning,she woke up with an headache.
After drinking some pills, she bathed her daughter and dressed her up,then went out of the house to buy cassava flour with the little money with her.
She was closed to the seller,so she got the sugar and groundnut on credit, promising to bring the money by evening.
As she was going home,she took another route and passed by the primary school in the other street and saw a noticed board.
They were looking for a teacher to teach the primary one pupils.
Lucy stopped, staring at the board in front of the school,an idea stroking her.
Should she go in there and try her luck?
She looked at Rachel. What was she going to do with her?
No one was ever going to employ her with a baby.
Lucy breathed in,as she started walking back home.
Who would be so considerate to help her look after a baby?.
After taking the cassava flour,she went back to the seller. She was her only option.
“An an…this one you came back with this small baby,I hope all is well.
Why are you carrying her around in this hot sun na,en?the woman whom was known as Aunty Martha said, taking the baby from her.
She loves little children so much especially Rachel.
She has been married to her husband for eight years with no issue and whenever she sees little children,her heart was always filled with hope.
“Aunty Martha,I have something I want you to do for me. Please,you are my only hope.”Lucy pleaded and went down on her knees.
Aunty Martha urged her to her up and they sat down.
“What is the matter? You are free to tell me your mind.
“Aunty Martha said as Lucy stared down at her hands, trying to fight back the tears that threatened to pour out.
“I have no one else to turn to neither do I have any other choice.
I need to go out there and look for a job to sustain myself and to be able to look after my baby. Please…can she be staying with you from morning till afternoon if I get the job?” Lucy slowly asked, praying she would not say no.
Aunty Martha smiled, looking at Rachel who played with the Hem of her dress.” It’s a very great privilege for me to do that. I will gladly take care of her.
Don’t worry.” Martha said and Lucy smiled happily at her, having rest of mind immediately.
She left her baby in the care of Martha with some money and quickly left, promising to come back on time.
She went home to take her School cert.
She got to the school and entered the school compound, praying fervently that she would be employed.
She needed the job badly.
She met a teacher on her way and stopped her with a greeting.
“Excuse me ma.” Lucy said,as the teacher turned to look at her.
“Yes,how many I help you? Please be quite fast,I have a class right now.” The teacher replied, looking down at her wrist watch.
“Oh I’m sorry. I just wanted to ask you the way to the principal’s office.” Lucy replied quickly.
“Okay. Just go straight from this point to that building over there then take your left turn. The office is there ” the teacher replied and continued barely waiting for Lucy to say thank you.
Lucy walked as directed and came across a single building by the last class.
She walked to the main door and knocked. A make voice asked her to come inside. Lucy breathed in and pushed the door opened, coming face to face with the principal.
“Yes,what do you want young lady?” The man behind the large table asked, lowering his eye glasses to take a close look at the intruder.
Lucy quickly greeted.” I saw a notice board in front of the school gate so I cane inside to apply.” Lucy Saud and the principal answered.
“You can sit down.” The principal, Mr Ekpor said, gesturing to one of the chair in front of him.
Lucy sat quietly, looking around.
“So,what do you think you can do as I what are your potentials?” Mr Ekpor asked.
Lucy handed him her school certificate and he briefly looked into it.
“Well,sir…I know this is not really enough to show how good I am but I’m promising you a very brilliant work.
Please…just grant me this employment and you will never regret it. Please sir…I so much need this job.” Lucy pleaded,almost standing up from her chair.
Mr Ekpor smiled.” It’s okay. I will give you a chance tommorow if you are only obedient.” Mr Ekpor said, looking at Lucy and smiling.
Lucy looked at him wondering what he meant by obedient. Of course,she was going to be obedient! “Yes sir. You don’t have to worry about that!” She quickly responded.
She returned to Martha’s shop with so much joy in her heart. She was going to begin her teaching tommorow. Although,she knew nothing about the amount she was going to be collecting but at this stage in time,she needed anything to sustain herself.
After saying thank you to Martha,she journeyed back home with her baby.
As soon as she opened the door,the smell of cigarette rented the air.
Lucy cane in to see her mother, laughing and making out with one of her male friends,Mr Paul.
A married man who owns one of the big factories in town.
Lucy stood, looking at them disdainfully.
Patricia stopped laughing a d looked at Lucy.”So, greeting has also become a problem to you right? Can’t you greet?” She queried.
Lucy ignored her,still staring at them.”Did I just hear you say greet? Wait….greet who in particular? I will only say this. The smell of this cigarette is affecting my baby, please.” Lucy replied rudely as Patricia stood up.
“In my own house? I will advise you carry your baby and leave this house till I’m done or you will be forced to hear your mother, making sweet sounds of pleasure.” Patricia said,smiling down at Mr Paul.
“Children of nowadays,they have no regards for their elders!” Mr Paul said as Lucy hissed looked at him.
“Elders? Did I just hear you say elders? Are you an elder?
A married man who goes to meet a w—e in her house…is that what you call an elder!” Lucy asked.
“Get oit of this house,Lucy!” Patricia shouted,pointing at the door.
Lucy looked at her,hissed and left the house.
She sat down outside the house, waiting for them to come out.
She say till evening, hearing their laughter.
Rachel fell asleep in her arms and she desperately wanted to go inside but the door was already closed.
They did not come out till late in the night.
Patricia looked mockingly at her as she came out.”Now you can go inside and make sure you lock my door. I’m going out.” She said and went away with Mr Paul in his car.
Lucy stared after her,her eyes filled with tears.
She went inside and put her baby on the bed before kneeling down to pray.
Early the next morning,Lucy woke up and quickly dressed for her new work.
She did her best to look smart in her shirt and black skirt. She was a little nervous but she tried her best to control it.
She dropped her baby with Martha who gladly accepted to take care if her the wh0le day.
Lucy was taken to her class and she quickly adapted to the new work, getting along with the students quickly.
For the first time,the class was lively that even the principal came to greet her.
“You are doing a very good job here. This class is not always this lively when the former teacher was here. Well done”. The principal said and Lucy beaned with smiles.
“Thank you sir.” Lucy said.
“See after closing time. Let’s talk about your salary and other things.” The principal said and left.
When it was closing time,the students joined others for after lessons while Lucy quickly went to the principal’s office to see him.
“Sir,you asked me to come.” Lucy Saud, standing before him.
The principal smiled and nodded, taking away his glasses and placing them on the table.”Yes,have your seat.”
Lucy sat down, waiting to hear what he wanted to say.
“Well,in this school,most things comes with a lot of prices….you know.” The principal started.
Lucy said nothing. She sat still, looking at him.
“Well…your salary will even get increased only if you can be obedient like I said yesterday. The thing is…” The principal said and started to stand up, going round the table.
Lucy’s heart did a double flip as the man started walking directly towards her.
“You have to be brave my dear and use what you have to get what you want.” Mr Ekpor said as he got to Lucy.
He turned her chair around so she was facing him. He sat in front of her, smiling.
Lucy was confused. What was this man trying to do?
Then she understood when he brought his head closer, reaching for her mouth with his dirty tongue sticking out.
His hand reached into her shirt as he unbuttoned it.
Lucy’s heart started to beat fast. What was this man trying to do with her body?
She slapped his hand away, rushing up.”Ex… Excuse me sir…I…I.. don’t understand what you are talking about.” Lucy stammered and the principal laughed, standing up and going closer to her.
“You don’t understand? Well,I want your body and if you want this job.. I advise you use your head and give it to me.” Mr Ekpor said, pulling Lucy to himself,as he started k-ssing her neck.
Lucy was shoocked as her body froze at the touch.
She would never do this! Never! But it was her only hope for now! Her only hope.
Lucy desperately wanted to stop him…wanted to push him away but she found herself relaxing… relaxing at his touch……..
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