Small businesses and individuals scatter about EBI avenue. Ebi; a wonder at night and monster by day. To my Accra people; this place is worse than Circle. Here; Otigba boys are angels. Bad boys dey learn work. EBI avenue is the longest crescent in Teff Town. Ruthless; like Chief Alloysius Ebi, the biggest landlord, Nwoke oma 20 billion. One loved by few and feared by many. Many, except Virgie Nwa Mma; Virginia Oba, the beauty that owns V’s Place, and one of the best chefs in town. Tito carries 4 white bowls of food gently in a bag. She collects her 50 kobo change from Nneka and rushes out. Turns left into the next compound, and climbs the narrow Pink House staircase to the last floor.

Tito steps into the hallway, what the tenants call passage! And everyone can hear Moni’s gist. She is so loud, the entire 4 floors can hear her. “All these ladies wanting tall; dark and handsome men. Especially the reserved ones. Hahaha, ‘Mr. Quiet type’ who’s never afraid to speak his mind. Hmmm, my dear sisters, be careful what you wish for o.” girls chuckle. Christie can’t sit still “na my spec be that o. Moni, wetin na?” she asks, her smile wide and cute like her gap tooth. Moni laughs “if your spec carry you enter inside room, you go fit?!!!!” girls laugh so hard, they encourage Moni’s inner comic. “If he say touch your toes, my love run o! Run o! Because that’s your last chance. Else; thou shall be hooked without remorse!” She drops some phonetics in there and Philo supports with her shrill voice “Room 306!” The 4 ladies laugh extra hard. Tito knocks and Moni responds; “Yes? Come in if you’re handsome and rich!”. Tito walks in with the food. “Correct! Hope say you buy 2 eggs for me ” Cynthia asks. Tito nods to say yes. “Keep the 50. kobo. No. Use 10, buy water come” Moni instructs. Tito nods gently and heads back out. “This girl sabi go message. I go dash her something this Christmas. She dey try.” Moni says. Cynthia replies her with a mouthful “do go born your own; Ashewo!” she chuckles and Moni responds “Na your mama be ashewo! Idiot!”. The rest of the girls have a good laugh. Philo can’t help it, “I dey chop pepper abeg, abeg…” she pleads. Over here people don’t take offense too easily, you have to give them a reason to…

People troop in and out of V’s Place so much that she had to initiate a drive-through days ago; one that’s about to cost her so much more than buying the house behind her restaurant. The first time Mama Nurse does a noble thing, innocent people suffer. 2 vans halt in front of her shop, 5 familiar faces rush out scampering and destroying everything in their way. They chase everyone out of V’s Place. Virginia storms out from the back with a butcher knife and frying pan in hand. White apron tied around her waist “Ni bo! For my yard! Where dem dey?!” she yells. About to set the roof on fire. Girls rush down to her rescue. Moni and Cynthia rush to the balcony. Everyone begins to fight back; Snyder shoots twice in the air. And his bullets restore peace and order. Everyone takes to their heels. “Virgie! Come White House. We get yarns!” he circles his gun in the air and his boys move out in less than 10 seconds. Tires screech as they drive off. Everyone runs out. Virginia cannot believe her eyes…

Author: Nnennaya

In love with creative arts. And living...

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