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*continues*

“what?, you mean eight thousand naira” she exclaimed with a wild gesture,

“yes” i nodded quietly, a bit scared of her reaction. Surprisingly she breathed deeply and calmed down.

“i totally understand your plight. With all you have passed through you may be thinking that i’m all out to take advantage of you, but on the contrary i’m just offering you a chance to be free and make something out of your life” she said sweetly, while i looked down, unable to meet her gaze.

“my dear come sit here” she said, gesturing me to come sit by her side, which i did polietly.

“your little girl has no place with you in this hard country. Tell me what can you do with a child always strapped at your back. You don’t have a decent education nor money, and you just got a nice roof over your head due to my kindness. Tell me what is it you plan to do with eight thousand Naira??, Because it’s quiet a lump sum” she curiously asked, while i kept quiet.
“i will add five hundred for you. Four thousand five hundred Naira is yours” she said with complete assurance. I bravely looked up into her eyes and shook my head.

“i need nothing less than eight thousand naira” i said with a heavy mind. She quickly grew serious, frowning as she drew back in disgust. This time she was terribly upset with me, it clearly showed on her face.

“your daughter is already under my care and i’m just offering you this money to satisfy my conscience, you can take or leave it. I don’t really care.” she said angrily, shocking me with her words. My heart froze while my legs shook

“what has she done with my daughter?” i wondered fearfully, standing up unconsciously.

“you can now return to Ona. She has alot to teach you today, because your first outing is just few hours away. Remember time is money” she said seriously, leaving me terribly disorganised.

Ona was quick to console me when i poured out my fears to her as she prepared me for the lessons ahead.
“just accept the money she’s offering and forget about your little daughter. Eight thousand is too much of a price when one can easily pick an abandoned child in the streets. But if you don’t really want to sell, just appear cool and run away with your child. She’s still here with us, i’m very sure about that” she advised calmly.

“but how do i run away with my child when i don’t have access to her, i don’t even know where she is??” i asked with tears.
“stop worrying” she smiled.

By the end of the day i was very perfect in the art of cat-walking, seductive smiling, posing and creative make up. I was equally taught how to fix myself {toilet} under a minute. By 8pm i was good to go.

“be a good girl, remember you arn’t a virgin anymore” Ona hugged and advised me, before leading me to a black 504 wagon which was waiting. Three other unfamiliar girls were already inside. The driver cursed me for delaying him and zoomed off immediately.

That was the begining of my one too many escapades as i struggled to survive.

To be continued.

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