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Wow! Don’t you just love a beautiful monday morning; I wonder why some people groan about going to work on a monday. Probably because they’re tired of the routine their job brings, who knows?  It sure isn’t tiring or boring for me; I love what I do. Besides the air is clear and has a certain delicious smell; literally and figuratively. I could taste it. The sun was ready to rock and roll, even though It was just 8am. Say hi to vitamin D this morning!  Chineke daalu!

I boarded a minibus to Etuk street, where our beauty saloon was situated. Yikes! I haven’t mentioned my best friends; Imaobong and Osebhajimede; they’d pound me to mush if they were in my head right now.

The “jelly beans” are always wanting to be in the fore front of my affairs. Huge thorns in my flesh they are. I love them like that though.

 We pooled resources to start up ‘The Trio beauty palace’.  As our names already imply, we’re from different tribes but good old NYSC brought us together. We had just finished our service to the nation when Ose, who is from Edo state brought the brilliant idea, it was obvious she didn’t want to go back home. Imaobong was originally from here and I literally grew up here with my parents.

While applying for jobs, we thought it’d be best if we put our extracurricular skills to work. You know the situation of unemployment in Nigeria; God forbid that ‘worn out shoes and faded clothes’ should be our portion.

 We also planned to improve on some digital skills subsequently. It wouldn’t hurt to have multiple streams of income, would it?

I met my girls at the entrance of the salon. It was as if we planned to arrive the same time. Who says there aren’t coincidences? We began the day with great gusto. Customers flooded into the salon so much I had already done ten hairstyles by the time it was 2pm.

 My hands hurt from the braids and twists which were my specialty. As elegant as the finished look is, they take extra time and energy. I had to take a moment to recharge. I was slurping up the last of my ice cold pink fruity smoothie which I usually make for the shop, when a tall dark stranger walked in.

The atmosphere in the shop went so silent you could hear a needle drop. It was like a high tension energy filled the shop.

“Hello Ladies!” He wore a very charming smile on his face and seemed to be taking note of the insides of our shop. He didn’t stand at the entrance like a real stranger would, but walked in quick strides and sat on the only free seat in the salon.

For someone looking for directions, he seemed so sure of himself. Legs crossed, he said, “forgive me, I’m new in the area. I need directions to Akpa na edem market”.

For a moment, we looked at each other; I wonder what the girls were all thinking. I cleared my throat and described the route he should take. I watched as he slowly nodded to all my directions.Without further ado, he stood up and walked out of the shop with a backward glance. I turned to see fifteen pair of eyes focused on me like fifteen owls.

To be continued…

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