That was Ama’s reality.
“Wash this, clean there, sweep here, slice this, fetch those, help them!”
These words kept ringing in her ears as she stomped past the frail coconut tree that had become her friend for the past three weeks. This is where she would come for a much needed pause. A pause from the torture that she had come to know.
What was this?
Was this the route to where she thought she was going?
Why would anyone expect anyone to work like that?
Life is really unfair.
Ama kept straddling, taking her thoughts with her. Actually fighting with her thoughts. At the same time she needed the money so desperately. What she felt quite contradicted her need. That need for the basics, food and shelter. Clothing was not part of it. She seemed to have enough old clothes that would accompany her for this new occupation. Ama could not believe her situation.
In her hometown, although Ama’s mother toiled to put food on the table, she was a queen and her own boss. She was respected and had people serving her. Aunty Maamuna’s other apprentices were at her beck and call. There was a hierarchy there, of course Aunty Maamuna was her mother’s friend, Ama had many privileges the other girls would never have.
Is that why she has ended up here?
She was of course the first to be selected to accompany Auntie Maamuna to Accra.The girls were extremely jealous. They gossiped and gave Ama dirty looks when they heard the plan, eavesdropping a conversation Auntie Maamuna was having with one of her sweaty customers,
Ama felt she was being punished, her thoughts beating her and the guilt surrounding her. She had not sought her mother all this time and realized she would have worried and tired herself of it. She did not dare contact her now, after three weeks!. Ama knew how she could, though. Kwame the butch mobile phone salesman could be their link. He could call Maame for her but Ama knew her mother would be very disappointed and angry and was not ready to allow herself to hear that in Maame’s voice.
Maame had been good to her. Since her sixteenth birthday , which was also an approximation, when Papa passed, Maame had been her pillar. She scraped and fetched to give Ama the few opportunities available to them in their town. That was the best actually. Although Auntie Maamuna’s sewing shop was dilapidated, there was a queue of girls wanting that opportunity, to sacrifice and be the next big madam in the town.
Had Ama blown her chance?