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*continues*

Mady sent for me later in the evening. My new friend Ona dutifully led me to see her, leading me directly to Mady’s room. A well furnished spacious room adorned with beautiful red curtains and a goldstar colour T.v. I couldn’t help but feast my eyes on the beautiful things surrounding me.

Mady was comfortably sitting on her bed when we got there. A newspaper resting on her laps, making her look like a female military administrator.
She smiled as soon as she noticed our presence and nodded to Ona.

“thanks for bringing her, you can now leave us” she said calmly to Ona, who quickly obeyed and left the room.

“come sit here my dear” she said to me, pointing to a small chair facing her bed. I nervously obeyed without a word.

“hope you are getting acquainted with your new home?” she asked curiously, examining me with her eyes.

“oh yes, thanks alot, you are so kind” i replied gratefully.

“Ona did a good job with your hair. I like your new look” she said smiling, while i blushed.

“anyway i invited you here for something important. I really can’t wait till tomorrow because you know time is money, moreover i will like you to sleep over what i have to tell you” she said slowly, keenly observing my reaction. I nodded calmly, my heart beating furiously. I couldn’t imagine what could be so serious for her to invite me by that hour. 10:30pm the wall clock in her room displayed.

“i invited you here because of your daughter winnie. I will very much love to adopt her. She’s very cute and i promise she will have the best life can offer. Four thousand naira will be yours if you accept” she spoke directly without beating around the bush, while a cold shiver ran through me.

“you want winnie to be your child?” i asked with disbelief, barely managing to be audible.

“mmmm, something like that” she answered as if my little daughter was nothing but an important artifact to her, which made me a bit skeptical of her real motive of seeking to buy my daughter. Even though she Used the word ‘adopt’ i knew she meant ‘buy’, besides four thousand naira was no small sum.

“i need not tell you all she will benefit from me. You know already what i’m capable of, moreover i know you really don’t need the little girl, which i’m offering you a very good opportunity to get rid off. It still dosen’t stop you from living here and joining the other girls in my care to make a good life for yourself. Just sleep over it and give me your reply tomorrow morning. Remember four thousand Naira is waiting for you” she concluded smartly, while i nodded and left the room, too stunned to talk.

______

“whaaat, four thousand naira!!!” Ona exclaimed when i told her about Mady’s proposal. She couldn’t believe her ears.

“four thousand naira for your girl?, you have to take it ooo. Last year she paid sandra three thousand naira for hers” she said seriously,

“and where is Sandra’s baby right now?” i asked,

“well” she shrugged,

“Mady sent her abroad after nine months, she said it’s
good for the baby” she murmured with a confused look, making me more suspicious with her reply.

“my dear the world isn’t a bed of roses. We are all happy here because we have no other alternative. We work very hard to survive here, so don’t look at me that way. In due time everything will be revealed to you” she said before walking away.

I had a very sleepless night thinking over Mady’s proposal and Ona’s words. I thought God sent Mady to rescue me, but it seemed it was the devil who sent her instead.
“No matter what, i have to survive” i concluded before falling asleep.

Very early the next morning, Mady sent for me. She couldn’t even wait for the sun to come up. It was as if she couldn’t wait to have full authority over my daughter.

“so what do you have to say about my proposal?” she asked as soon as i walked into her room.

“oh yes you can have her, but i need eight thousand naira for it to happen” i calmly announced. The fire in her eyes quickly died.

She slowly got up and stared at me speechlessly.

To be continued.

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