This are times when I which I was the one praying, with the kind of aroma from the different delicacies; rice, pounded yam, pepper soup etc. 5 minutes prayer seems like a 1 hour. After the prayer we gladly answered Amen! My name is Mary and Samuel my husband is sitting beside me. We are invited to this dinner by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson our school proprietor and proprietress, who are also the Director and principal of the school, with the recent exodus of staff and students from the school to newly established schools around us, the school business is one of the most profitable business in Jos, where we are. The dinner has become one of the means in which the owners are using to convince the staff whom they treated as trash before not to leave. It is because of that that an ordinary clerk and driver like me and husband are recognized and invited. Thank you sir for this privileged invitation. Thank you Ma! said my husband and I You are welcome, after all we are like a family. Replied Mr. Johnson see politics, wetin join plateau man with Igbo man from Abia I said to myself Its a pleasure, lets get down to business before the food gets cold. Says Mrs. Johnson. The dinner was a silent one as I and my husband kept our mouths busy with food , when our bellys couldnt take any more we gave up and accepted defeat like our president did last week. Thank sir thank ma for this delicious food. I said You welcome hoped you enjoyed the food. Says Mrs. Johnson
The next thing we heard was sounds of gunshot, where we are, we all rush outside to see or get any news from neighbors. People stood in groups discussing, with some suggesting religious crisis, which is the usual cause of crisis in Jos, others suggesting political crisis. It was while we were discussing that the news of the 24hour curfew declared by the state government came in. With that news we couldnt go home as distance between Rayfield where our boss lives is far from Jenta where we live is with loads of military check points. We all rushed back indoors. “As we said earlier you are like a family to us and we are happy to have you.” says Mr. Johnson “As a matter of fact you are like Godsend, because our maid was hospitalize this afternoon and our guard travel to the village for a family meeting, So you can see that God really works in miraculous ways.” that was how our bad news was beautifully declared to us by Mrs. Johnson. “It’s a pleasure mummy we are like your children.” says my husband, as her last child is older than both of us. “Its a privilege to be of help.” I added as I smiled falsely. Mrs. Johnson showed us the room where we are to sleep. This is the kind of room I dream of having when I was still a spinster beautifully well furnished room with all, but after waiting for 30 years I settled for my husband with thanks. We bid Mrs. Johnson goodnight, and went to sleep.
Morning came too quickly, after the breakfast it was straight to work starting with the last night dinner plates and pots, cleaning up the main rooms and cooking with my supervisor Mrs. Johnson always by my side, while my husband washed the cars, watered the flowers and did some general fixing inside and outside. We work throughout with little rest for launch, then evening came with the only good news of the day; the curfew being relaxed from 6pm to 6am. We were too tired to care much for food, just anxiously waiting for the morning for our freedom so we went to bed early.
The next morning we woke up before anyone as early as 5am we took our bath. We had a quick breakfast .Said our good morning and good bye to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, who pleaded that we stay till noon, but we left giving false excuses why we have to leave. I opened the gate while my husband drove out in the school bus. Outside was very quiet with no one outside but only us as though the curfew was still in place, I looked around and there was a bundle of notes in an open bag in the gutter, “Baby let’s go na, abi u want to continue the free work.” called my husband, I whispered to him “Dear come and see.” “What is it?” he said as he came to my side, looking at the direction of my eyes he saw it too and he moved so quickly, zipped the bag and carried it to the car, I followed him into the car, We drove off. As they say the end of a story is the beginning of another.