“Lilian, please i don’t see the need for this problem happening between us. I am sorry if i am the cause of it but i take you as my Senior sister here in Italy. I will knock before i enter here another day. But please i don’t want us to continue this way. Everybody in the house is ok with each other now except me and you and it is affecting everything. I am sorry” I said as i turned around to go.
“Its OK Maria. Its good you know you are not respecting me enough. I have forgiven you” She said.
I reminded her that Aunty wanted to see her in the room before i left.
I had hoped to sleep before it was time to go out again but when Lilian knocked on our door, she said she wanted me to follow her to buy meat in the city center.
That was an opportunity i needed to take if i genuinely wanted us to mend our relationship.
Ayo and Tricia were surprised to see me jump up to follow Lilian. They wanted some kind of explanations but i told them that it must have been Aunty who told her to go with me.
I had stood up and followed Lilian out to buy meat. It was meat meant to be sold at the Restaurant.
The bus took us to a slaughter area where meat was cheap to buy.
We purchased cow tail and the head. That was what we were told to buy.
I had a feeling it was Aunty Philo who told Lilian to take me along, maybe she had planned to be sending me alone in time to come. I also believed that Aunty Philo wanted to hand everything about money over to me. She trusted me and had taken me as her daughter. Perhaps she sent Lilian in the first place to show me the way.
When we returned, we were told to wash and start cooking the meat.
We were to start selling meat pepper soup.
All of us participated in washing the meat in the kitchen. After the washing, aunty came in and told us how it would be cooked.
Lilian was incharge. We had managed to strike up some kind of understanding. There was no more need to keep fighting each other. Madam, who was the boss had made up with me and it would have been too bad if Lilian, who followed the trails of Madam, had continted to fight me.
By half past 4 in the afternoon, we were already at the shop.
It didn’t take long before Tony and Jacob showed up again. They had managed to become the first callers in day one and day two. It wasn’t difficult to find out that they were not there for the drinks only. Something else was there interests and it was easy to know that it was us; the girls.
“Hello brother Jacob, brother Tony, good evening” I had said first.
The other girls greeted too but none mentioned their names like i did.
Day one: it was Good evening Sirs.
Day two: it had changed from Sirs to their respective names.
Whether i liked it or not, i was becoming closer to them and the same was the case for The other three girls.
Lilian had managed to pretend that she wasn’t interested in them the first day and she was also doing a great job at pretending the same the second day but i knew how such pretence always Ended. It was always a matter of good approach from the guys and everything would be fine.
The girls always wanted the guys to make the first approach. It was almost cultural with the Africans.
“Did you people cook meat like you proposed?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, We have meat now” I said.
The ‘Sirs’ were no longer relevant.
I served them two plates of meat and observed as they stared at my chest occasionally.
I had intentionally positioned myself where they would be seeing me. I had also worn a transparent cloth that revealed some flesh.
Other customers came and we got busy. Compliments were flying from all angles. Some said the meat was very sweet, some said our drinks were very chilled etc.
Things went as it happened the day before until she showed up; Madam Gold.
The moment we saw her walked through the door, we knew there was trouble. She had come and sat down in an empty table.
“I need one bottle of Guinness Stout” She had said.
Since i had seen trouble written all over her face, i had decided that someone else was going to serve her.
“Trish, go give her one Stout” I had walked back to the counter and said to the girl.
Tricia didn’t refuse, she took the stout to her. She knew that i had been serving more customers since we opened.
It didn’t take much longer after the arrival of Madam Gold for Aunty Philo herself to arrive.
She had walked to the store and asked who the lonely woman was.
“Aunty we dont her” Lilian had said for all of us.
We watched as Aunty walked up and sat in front of her.
They started talking but we could barely hear them.
Things escalated when their voices started rising.
Aunty Philo was trying to calm Madam Gold down but she was bent on causing a scene. She eventually succeeded because we watched as Madam Gold grabbed the Guinness bottle and broke it on the floor. She was shouting.
“Do you think you can steal from me, do you not know who Madam Gold is in this Italy. Where are the girls?” She was shouting while standing up.
One could see that Aunty Philo was trying to avoid a fight. It was her store and it would be bad for people to hear that she fought.
Tony and Jacob had stood up and rushed to the troubled table. Tony was begging Madam Gold to drop the broken bottle while Jacob was asking Philo to shift away from the area.
Madman Gold was vibrating and shouting. It happened that it was her who was supposed to welcome Tricia and Ayo to Italy. She had sponsored them all the way to Italy but for some reasons, she had traveled out of Italy the day we arrived.
She said she had gone to the Temporal refugee camp in Pozzallo and asked for the girls’ names and was told they already left.
It happened that she had told Tricia and Ayo to use those names when they arrive to Italy. She had given them their surnames as well and that made it easy for her to track them. The only problem in the Restaurant was that Madam Gold didn’t allow our Aunty to explain anything. She believed Philo should not have hosted Ayo and Tricia.