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(To Non-Nigerian Readers: For this story to fit in to the type of environment in which this episode is set, pidgin language is engaged in some part which for easy understanding is written in fluent English Language in bracket.)

Proverbs 5:3-4 KJV
For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

Sandra’s eyes flickered round the pleasant faces of the students of Silver Bird Academy, Ikire Campus as they listened to the Principal’s charge. Her eyes shone with joy and her heart was so full that she stood there motionless for seconds. Who would have imagined that a woman like her with an ugly past would be where she was at the moment? She nodded; God alone had made it possible.

The Students laughed at something the elderly man said bringing her attention back to the present.

The principal cleared his throat; “So, before I tell you what eventually happened to the rat ravaging things in my office, I wish to announce that we are honored to have our Proprietor with us this morning.” All whispered conversations halted and a hush fell on the assembly.

He continued; “I count it a big privilege because out of the 12 Silver Bird Campuses round the Country, she chose to visit our campus first in this New Year. Ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls of this great citadel of learning, join me to welcome Our Proprietor and the Co-President, Silver Bird Group, Mrs Sandra…” Applause and shouts of approbation filled the atmosphere and she smiled.

She moved her legs to move towards the principal when someone patted her; “Mickey.”

“No.” she hissed.

“No, I need this dream to end beautifully today.” Sandra whimpered, then shut her eyes tightly like it could bring back what she had been seeing earlier.

A hand hit her lap again; “Mickey.”

She winced in pain and frowned; who was that again? “Haha! Who is that now?” She hissed.

“Sandra.” The voice barked out.

She stopped. There was only one person who still called her by her given name and that when she was furious.

Her eyes flew wide in fright; “Mama Slizzy.”
Sandra looked up to eyes that literally had daggers flying at her.

She sighed; why did the woman always woke her up at that exact part of the dream? She had dreamt about this four times in a row and yet never seen the end of it. She frowned. Was Mama Slizzy a witch?

As if reading her thoughts, the older woman twisted her mouth in an irritating manner; “Why are you looking at me like I stole your meat? Abeg sit up jare. (Please sit up.)”

“This life ‘sef’! Can’t I sleep in peace again?” She grumbled and pushed herself up.

“Sandra, there is no Silver bird Academy or Group anywhere. This is real life.” She told herself as she used her right hand to wipe her face.

“Mickey, abeg wetin you dey do on bed at this time? (What are you doing on your bed at this time?) This is just 11pm for crying out loud? The day is still young.”

Sandra grumbled. “I’m sorry Mama. My first job tonight was …”

Mama Slizzy glared at her. “Wetin? (What?) You had three men together. And so? ”

Sandra stared at her in disbelief.

The woman continued. “Abeg, (Please) that’s your job. You hear me so? (Do you you understand?)”

Sandra frowned; “Thanks for reminding me.”

“Mickey, I am serious. Get up from that mattress of yours. I am not paying you to spend hours sleeping. Be ready to receive one of the VIP’s in 10 minutes.”

Sandra felt blood drained from her face. “Which one of them?”

Mama Slizzy watched her reaction. “Chief Badejo.”

“Ha!” Sandra muttered in shock.

The older woman pouted. “Wetin now? (What is it again?)”

“Mama Slizzy, I don tire for that man jare. That baba wey go dey do one anyhow. (I am tired of that man. He just handles one anyhow.) ” She hissed.

Mama Slizzy gave a soft laugh and patted Sandra’s back. “No vex henn. He go do you gently. This man na our top customer. I would have said I should assist you but na you he always ask for. (Don’t be angry please. He will handle you gently. This man is one of our top customers. But he always requests for you.)”

“Mama! That man is abusive. As soon as he is done, he go dey slap pesin. (He starts slapping one.) My eye wey he hit the other day still dey pain me. Haba. How pesin go dey behave like that? If he no go do normal he should go front abeg.(I am still feeling pain on the eye he hit the other day. How will someone behave like that?)” She hissed.

“Mickey, please calm down. He’s coming oo.” Mama Slizzy said amidst laughter and left the room.

Sandra sighed deeply. “I’m just tired of this life.” She muttered as she looked round the room that had been her home for the past 5 years.

Her life wasn’t always like this. She had been a happy child who lacked nothing as her parents were both members of the high class society but she lost both of them to a plane crash at the age of 14. It was just like her Father’s siblings were waiting for the misfortune to occur as they quickly took charge of all her parents’ properties.

Aunty Monica, her mother’s only sibling and twin had eventually taken her in. Things had been going on well until two years after her parents’ demise the woman also died mysteriously. Sandra had felt her world crashing in. Aunt Monica had left behind her husband and two children and Sandra had taken the kids as her younger ones.

Not long after her aunt’s death, the husband’s attitude changed towards Sandra. He started treating her specially and nicely which looked like a thing to be thankful for until she discovered he only wanted her to be warming his bed.

As a teen that had watched a lot of movies and understood what the man was asking for, she refused vehemently until one day she realized that if she ever let her guard down, the man would eventually have his way with her without her consent.

Deciding she couldn’t let that happen, one afternoon while her uncle was still at work, she fed her cousins, packed few of her belongings, and left the house.

Sandra sighed deeply as she remembered how she had innocently walked towards Red Cottage. Now she wished she hadn’t and that something out of the ordinary maybe an angel had turned her away from that direction. Nothing had stopped her and eventually she had come in contact with Mama Slizzy.

A shout of cheering came from the front of Red Cottage that moment and disconnected her from her thoughts. She walked towards the small window, drew the curtain aside to see what was going on. Three vehicles had just packed by the side of the road. She squinted her eyes to see who had arrived. The door of one of the vehicles opened and a young man stepped out.

“That’s Chief’s driver but why three cars?” She blinked as she watched the driver open the door for the chief to alight.

Her eyes darted to the two other vehicles. “Okay, let’s see who we have here?”

As if on cue, the drivers of the two vehicles also stepped out to open their door for their bosses. Sandra watched as two men around Chief Badejo’s age stepped out of the vehicles.

She scoffed; “The old hog brought his friends? Mama Slizzy will be glad she has new customers.” She hissed and roamed her eyes behind the vehicles and up Red Cottage’s Street. Her eyes stopped in front of Muliya, the suya seller. She brought down her eye to the ground level and stared sharply at a huge rock by the side of the road: One that had played a significant role in her getting to Red Cottage.

Tears blurred her eyes as images frolicked through her head. That wide huge rock was what she had been sitting on the night Mama Slizzy saw her.

She closed her eyes as she let the past engulf her.

“Are you okay Princess?” 16 year old Sandra opened her eyes to a pair of concerned eyes.

She instinctively pulled her small leather bag closer to her chest; “I’m fine.”

The woman smiled as Sandra looked her up and down. She frowned; the woman dressed like those her late aunt would call ‘omo aye’ (Wayward Children).

Sandra loosened her hold on her bag and pushed her chest out; “I’m fine thank you.”

The woman chuckled; “Confidence now huh?” She looked at the girl thoughtfully for some seconds.

“Anyways, my name is Suliyat, but my girls call me Mama Slizzy.”

Sandra nodded; “Okay.”

Mama Slizzy’s eyes darted to her bags; “Do you need somewhere to sleep?”

“How…” Sandra began excitedly then frowned. Mama Slizzy noticed the immediate switch.

Sandra stood up. “How will this ‘omo aye’ help me?” She looked at the woman once again and moved to go.

Mama Slizzy pulled her back; “Come on Girl. Calm down.”

Sandra stared back in disgust. Mama Slizzy shook her head; “Don’t you know there are bad boys around here that can hurt you.”
Sandra shivered.

“You know what? You can stay in my house. All you need to do is work for me.”

Sandra stared at her wide-eyed; “Like cooking?”

“How about being the meal?” Mama Slizzy winked.

Sandra blinked; “What do you mean?”

She waved a hand; “Never mind! Just say yes and you have a home.”

Sandra looked down the now dark street once again. No, it wasn’t safe for her out here. She looked up to meet Mama Slizzy expectant eyes; “Yes.”

The older lady smiled; “Great. Come with me then.”

Like a sheep being led to its slaughter, Sandra followed Mama Slizzy to a place she would now call her home.

Hundreds of eyes with curious looks stared after her as she followed the woman through the gate, the bar area, the clubbing house and they finally arrived at the Cottage itself. Sandra didn’t say a word throughout their walk as she was engrossed with the sight of the place she had just entered.

“So…” Mama Slizzy said as she tried to get her attention back.

“What?” Sandra turned to look at her when her eyes caught a young man standing at attention by the entrance of the building they were walking towards.

Sandra frowned; “Excuse me;”

“Yes.” Mama Slizzy replied without looking at her.

“Are there security guards here? Does that mean I can’t leave here?” She whispered.

Mama Slizzy stopped suddenly and stared at her; “Where did that come from? I don’t run an illegal business. You will understand later but the thing is I have high class men even top government officials who visit this place and for a business like this, you want to reassure them that their privacy is secured.”
Sandra nodded.

Mama Slizzy continued; “There are Security men round the whole ground. We call them bouncers.”

Sandra frowned. “Bouncers?”

“Yes. And because you are my precious little jewel, you are going to have your own personal guard.” Sandra winced at that description.

“Come, let me introduce you to Jasper.” She nodded towards the man she had seen earlier.

Mama Slizzy walked towards the man with Sandra on her heels.

“Jasper, how are you doing?” The woman greeted as soon as she got to where he stood.

He smiled and gave her a mock salute. “I’m fine.”

“Well,” He looked at Sandra and stilled a bit. “Who is she?”

“Oh. A lost jewel I found.” Mama Slizzy chuckled.

She turned to Sandra suddenly; “Wait, can you believe i never asked for your name. Silly me.” She grumbled as she hit her hand against her forehead.

Sandra’s eyes darted to meet Jasper’s eyes watching her earnestly. She quickly looked away. “My name is Sandra.”

Jasper breathed heavily and nodded; “Sandra.”

He looked her up and down; “And how old are you?”

“I clocked 16 last week.”

Jasper’s eyes changed immediately; “Mama, I know its none of my business but what is she doing here?” His jaw hardened as he turned to look at her. Sandra wondered why he was furious all of a sudden.

Mama Slizzy burst into laughter; “I know you jump into protective mode when you see teenage girls round here. She is like my younger sister.”

Sandra turned to stare at her in surprise. The woman nodded with a smile before continuing; “Plus I need you to watch her around here for me. I don’t want any of those men trying to lay hands on her.”

Jasper nodded. “Well, I can do that.” He looked content to be the one to be trusted with her security.

“Sandra,” Jasper called to get her attention.

She looked up to meet his gentle gaze. Then He smiled. Sandra felt wave of peace within her and for the first time since she set foot inside the wall she felt safe. She smiled dreamily; He was young and handsome and she liked his protective attitude toward her.

He put his hand out and patted her; “I’ll see you around.”

“Okay… Uncle Jasper.”

Mama Slizzy who had been silent all the while burst into laughter. Jasper also chuckled; “You can just call me Jasper.”

Sandra frowned; “I can’t oo.”

Jasper laughed; “I’m just 20. Okay, just see me as your big brother; can you do that?”

Sandra smiled; “Okay, Big J.”

Jasper grinned; “I love the sound of that.”

Mama Slizzy looked from Sandra to Jasper; “I think I don’t have to be concerned about you two bickering. Jasper, let me talk to you for a minute.” She waved towards Jasper and they both moved few feet’s away.

Sandra moved to rest her back on the wall of the building and kept her eyes on the people who were obviously the most important to her at that moment. She relaxed as she allowed herself to study Jasper covertly through her lashes.

He had a solid chin, muscular jaw, and sturdy cheekbones that contrasted with a gentle look about his mouth and eyes.

Has he spoke, his jaw suddenly hardened and Sandra could tell that whatever his boss was telling him wasn’t sitting well with him. He looked towards her briefly. For seconds, time stopped as they both stood there gazing at each other. She stilled; had he been aware that she was watching him?

“Jasper, are you listening to me at all?” Mama Slizzy shouted out with a sharp glare.

Jasper tore his eyes away from her; “Mama, I get you. I’m to stick to what you hire me for and watch those men handle your girls roughly because they pay more?”

Sandra frowned; what were they talking about? She hadn’t meant to eavesdrop but their voices were louder now.

“Jasper, its’ not like I find pleasure in my girls retiring to their room with bruises and all but these officials are the one keeping this place running, do you understand?” Mama Slizzy said with a final authority.

Jasper sighed; “I understand.”

“Good. And I don’t know what’s going on but please try not to get so familiar with Sandra.” She said with a note of finality and thumped towards Sandra.

His boss words seemed to have caught him off guard but he looked above Mama Slizzy’s head, caught Sandra’s eye and smiled. Sandra smiled back.

Out of the corner of her eye, Sandra noted Mama Slizzy’s look of warning but pretended not to see her.

“Come with me.” Mama Slizzy called as she opened the door to the cottage and walked in. Sandra quickly grabbed her leather bag and moved towards the door, before she walked in, she looked back to catch Jasper watching her thoughtfully. Immediately he realized he had been caught, he looked away.
Sandra smiled. For some reason the way he had gazed at her seconds ago had made her heart trip and miss a bit.

She couldn’t wait to find out what Red Cottage had in store for her. She turned to open the door of the building. Without looking back, she walked in and shut the door behind her.

Sandra had settled into Red Cottage well with the help of Mama Slizzy and Jasper. He took the job of protecting her so personally that anyone who tried to get to her knew he would pass through Jasper first.

Mama Slizzy made sure the men who came around had nothing to do with her as she would tell them Sandra was her younger sister. The ladies who lived in the cottage would tell her several times that she had only been reared for slaughter. Whenever she asked Jasper what those ladies meant, he would look concerned for a few seconds, like he was agreeing with those words, but then he would reassure her that as long as he was around, she would be fine.

Jasper became her best friend and gist partner. Since she wasn’t going to school, he also taught her during his free time and would always promise that when he became rich he would make sure she finished her education.

Twenty-one years old Sandra paced her room as her eyes glistered with tears.

“Big J.” She called softly.

Five years ago, she had thought things would get better and she would never have to worry again as she would always have Jasper cheering her on. Only she had been wrong.

One night changed it all for them. She still remembered how much that night had taken from her.

“21/09/2011.” She muttered with disgust.

She lost her pride as a woman, her best friend and whatever hope she had always held on to that night.

Ever since that night, she became Mickey. Mama Slizzy said she was fresh blood and she only gave her to her VIP customers. Her birth name has since gone into extinction except for the days the woman was really displeased with her.

Sandra had since become a night worker, one she was known to be good at, and she had since concluded that if she wanted to have a roof over her head, she had no choice but to dance to Mama Slizzy’s tune.

Sandra bit her lip thoughtfully. She wondered how things would have turned out if she had listened to Jasper.

She groaned! Oh, how she longed for the two months she had spent with him.

“Jasper, where are you?” She asked no particular question.

She closed her eyes as she tried to picture him smiling. She remembered how he told her stories and gave her his phone so she would play Temple Run on it.

“Chai! That game suffered in my hands, ooo. ” She soliloquized, and she smiled.

Jasper was her best friend. She had grown so attached to him that she knew his working schedule and would always look out for his resumption at work. If anyone asked how she truly felt about him, she would have said she loved him. It was during that short period that she realised the practical meaning of all the puberty stuff she was taught in high school.

Jasper had cared for her like her elder brother, and even though the young man had known she was becoming emotionally attached to him, he never took advantage of her.

She breathed deeply. Was Jasper alive and well? Was he happily married with three children, like he always told her he wanted? Could he have forgiven her?

She shook her head. The answers weren’t so much her concern because she knew they would never meet again, but she wished with all her heart that the answer to her last question was yes.

Someone banged on the door at that moment. She jumped.

“Mickey? The Chief is here.” Mama Slizzy called from outside the door.

“Crab!” Sandra grabbed her bed spread and straightened it.

In minutes, someone knocked at the door.

She cleared her throat; “Come in.” She replied as Mama Slizzy had taught her to always answer the door.

The door opened and the said man entered with the two other men she had seen the previous time.

“You are welcome.”

“Sandra.” Make that the second person who still calls her that.”

“Sweet Sandra.” He called again as he locked the door behind him.

She forced a smile on her face; “Chief, who are these?” She pointed to the two men who were grinning disgustingly.

Chief Badejo smiled and said, “Oh, I hope you don’t mind, they will be joining us today. I know you give it to me in many ways and you know what I love about you. You are a submissive girl. I know you are not angry. You will enjoy us tonight, Henn. ”
Sandra hissed.

One of the men was grinning at her; “Mickey Mouse. I hope you don’t mind. ”

“As if I have a choice.” She whispered before nodding.

These men determined if she would still have a home the moment they stepped out of her room.

She sighed deeply as the men began to get rid of their clothes.

It was going to be a really long night.

I believe this is quite an interesting introduction to the life of one of the main characters?

Let me know your thoughts about this first episode in the Comment Section of the blog.

Do well to share the link of this story to your friends and family.

See you next week Tuesday for the second episode of O.RS.


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