In the cool evening of a Monday, the leaves rustling against themselves, the birds in the sky going about their usual business.Workers coming back from their place of work as I was too. Nothing indicated an impending a conflict about to happen. Even the white top I wore with black skirt had nothing to indicate it.
My mum had a small provision store at the front of our house which I managed. As my usual practice, I went to calculate the sales of the day and close the account of the day. Arranging the money in their denominations, I stumbled on a battered hundred naira note, beyond recognition. Having gotten home with a bright smile, I was taken aback by what I saw and pursued my sister to ask how that money found it’s way into the money purse and the following conversation ensued;
“How did you get this money!”
“The woman at the store a few houses from ours”
Furious already by the time,”I thought I warned you not to collect torn money from that woman”
“I thought I would return it to her whenever she comes to get some goods”.
“Go return it to her right now!”, I barked.
She not as worried as I was, went back to continue her work inside the house as mum had called for her. Calming down, I decided to go confront the woman.
On getting to her shop, I asked her if she brought an hundred naira note that was not good which I wanted replaced. She denied it, claiming she never did. Torn between going back home and lashing out at her, I heard one of her customers saying I should bring the concerned party, my sister to confirm it. Deciding to take that option, I got back home, gave the money to her and asked her to resolve the matter and bring back a better hundred naira note.
Taking a few steps back inside the house, I heard the voice of the woman, shouting and denying ever spending that money. I turned back and was about entering the shop to watch the unfolding drama. As I started towards the shop, I was called by mum to ask what happened. Which prompted the following conversations;
“Sis collected a torn money”, I explained
“And I asked her to go return it”
“Haven’t you warned her from collecting such?”
“I did mum, but she never listens”
“You shouldn’t have asked her to return it”, she queried.
“I did that to teach her a lesson”
“I could have taken the money to work, next time don’t do that”
“I am sorry mummy, I would not do that again”.
My sister barged in, interrupting our discussion. She said the woman wasn’t listening to anything she has to say, only sticking to what she knows. Then she said it wasn’t the woman but her son that came in the morning. Having repented, I told her to forget about the money.
Until we heard a ground breaking noise at the gate of our shop, rushing out to check what happened.Then the real drama begun, the customer knocking on the gate furiously and screaming like a banishee, losing and retying her wrapper. So disorganized by the scene playing like a drama, I asked her to calm down but she wasn’t listening, demanding to see mummy only. She kept hitting the gate and screaming, attracting people attention. Embarrassed as I was, wanted to go call mummy to attend to her”customer”, I saw her, bending down to pick something to throw at the showglass. I immediately screamed,” why are you behaving like an AGBERO” causing mum and Dad to rush into the scene.
She calmed down immediately she saw them, claiming I just called her AGBERO and saying my sister said some mundane things. Then, Dad called the son to confirm, and he replied in the affirmative. The woman became still like cold water was poured on her. Having no other word to say she started apologising. By wisdom, Daddy was able to save the day.
Lesson of the story: Do not be quick to jump on conclusion.
Ojetunde Esther, a first year student of Pharmacy in the University of Lagos wrote in via email@example.com