I woke up in the middle of the night and heard madam and her husband whispering in hush tone. “Give it to me harder,” madam whispered breathing heavily. My heart skipped some beats as I thought madam was in distress but I kept calm and listened further. The squeaking sound of their bed increased and madam’s voice filtered once again into my room. “Ouusss…mmm…ahhh,” she moaned.
At that point I knew what was happening. Madam and her husband were at it again and another baby could soon be on the way. Some minutes later madam’s husband started groaning aloud and everywhere went quiet afterwards. “Darling you’re so wonderful,” my madam said. “And you too my queen,” the husband responded and let out a short laugh.
I didn’t know when I slept off and by the time I woke up it was morning. I got up immediately and went to do my morning function. Within one hour I was through so I sat on the mortar in the kitchen waiting for my madam to wake up. Part of the warning madam gave me was that for no reason whatsoever was I to sit on the padded seats in the sitting room.
“If you feel like sitting down,” she instructed. “Sit on top of the mortar in the kitchen and never in the sitting room.”
For no reason whatsoever was I to touch the remote controller in the sitting room no to talk of putting on the television. The dining room was also out of my bounds so I ate in the kitchen and on top of my mortar.
Madam woke up very late that morning around 11am and came and inspected everywhere but saw nothing to complain about yet she wasn’t satisfied.
“Who put on the toilet light?” She asked frowning her face. “I don’t know ma,” I replied. A very hard knock landed on my head and I shouted in pain and ran towards the toilet to off the light.
Then she went back into her room. “Darling I suggest you take it easy with that young girl,” I overheard my madam’s husband admonishing her.
“That girl can be very annoying,” my madam replied. “Can you imagine that she hasn’t scrubbed the toilet uptill now,” she added, which was a very big lie.
“Just be patient with her,” my madam’s husband insisted. “I believe she will learn,” he added.
“I hope so,” my madam responded.
I felt very bad. The toilet my madam lied that I didn’t scrub was actually the first thing I scrubbed that morning. Why my madam was being so wicked to me was what I couldn’t explain. I was doing all my best to please this madam of mine yet it seemed like all my best wasn’t good enough.
I swallowed hard and let the annoyance pass. By noon, madam ordered me to prepare and escort her to the market. Her husband stayed behind with the baby and waited for us to come back. We boarded a bus and madam sat down while I continued standing. A passenger alighted at the seventh bus-stop and left a free seat which out of exhaustion I decided to sit. Madam’s hard blow on my thigh sent me to my feet in no time.
“Who gave you the permission to sit down?” She fumed ogling at me. “Will your dead father pay for the seat or your wretched poor mother in the village?” She asked still staring at me ferociously.
Her words hurt me as much as the blow on my thigh but I endured.
“Madam please take it easy,” one man sitting behind us pleaded. “She will learn with time.”
My madam kept mute and didn’t utter any word in reply. When we got to the market, Madam bought everything we went to buy and I carried them on my head till we got to the house.
“Wash those vegetables and cut them,” my madam instructed. “Cos I’ll cook soup this evening.”
With tiredness and exhaustion I set to work immediately. Within 30minutes I was through with the vegetables. Then I proceeded to cut the okro as well. When I finished, I was very tired so I went into my small room to rest for a while…
I didn’t know when I slept off in the course of resting till a very heavy lash of wire landed on my back and sent me to my feet in agony. I rose to my feet immediately and soon saw where the lash of wire was coming from. My madam stood in front of me looking very mean and angry.
The time was around 4pm in the evening and I was supposed to have cleared the dustbin by then.
“Who are you waiting for to clear the bin?” My madam asked raising her hand very high to unleash another lash on me.
Just then the doorbell rang and my madam held her hand in check.
“Go and see who’s at the door,” she commanded.
I ran to the door and swung it open. An old man and woman stood in front of the door.
“Are your people around?” The old man asked.
I kept silent a bit confused of what to answer. I remembered that there were times when my madam didn’t like seeing visitors and often instructed me to tell whom-ever it was that she wasn’t around. I was battling with my confusion when madam entered.
“Ah daddy,” my madam gasped as soon as she saw them. “Daddy good afternoon, mummy good afternoon,” she greeted immediately.
“Ah my daughter,” the old man replied. “Good afternoon nwam.” He added.
“Please come inside,” my madam invited.
I gave way immediately and the old man and woman entered the house.
“What of your husband?” The woman asked.
“He’s gone to work,” my madam replied.
“And the children?” The woman continued.
“They’re sleeping inside,” my madam replied. “Adaeze!” She called.
“Yes aunty,” I replied and ran to answer her.
“Go and buy drinks,” she instructed handing some money to me.
I ran to a nearby shop and bought the drinks without wasting time. Then I served it before the guest and went back into the kitchen. I then carried the dustbin inside a polythene bag and went to dispose it. I went over to my friend’s compound to call her.
Chidimma was a househelp in the neighbouring compound and we always went together to dispose our refuse. We gisted on the way as we went. Chidimma narrated to me of how ruthless her madam was. Of how her madam uses the sole of her high-heel shoe to hit her on the head when she makes a mistake.
She even revealed to me of how her madam’s husband sneaks into her room at night to have carnal knowledge of her without her madam knowing. All these weighed down on her and she wanted to let it off by confiding in me. I consoled and encouraged her not to lose hope that things would one day change for the better.
She thanked me profusely for my words of encouragement without knowing that my own madam at home was as ruthless as hers if not more; only that her husband doesn’t sneak into my room. Nonetheless I acknowledged her gratitude and encouraged her not to lose hope. Then we disposed our refuse and headed home.
To Be Continued Tomorrow… Watch out!!!
I hope you guys will enjoy this new episode. “Agonies Of A HouseHelp” This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues are products of imagination and are not to be constructed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or person is entirely coincidental. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the copyright holder.
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