My madam’s parents had gone by the time I came back to the house. My madam was seated in the sitting room with her baby and children when I entered. Something about her composure told me that she wasn’t happy but I pretended like I didn’t notice. I dashed across the sitting room to go into my room but she called me back.
“Why are you coming back now?” She asked frowning. I kept silent not knowing what to reply. “Are you not the one I’m talking to?” She asked still looking intently at me. I remained silent not knowing what to reply. My mouth opened and closed but no sound came forth.
“Don’t worry,” my madam continued. “By the time you go hungry this night, you will talk,” she concluded. I stood there ogling at her. “Will you get out of my sight!” She barked. I ran into my room instantly without wasting time. That night, my madam refused to give me food and I went to bed on empty stomach. Sleep refused to come.
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t sleep. Hunger pangs kept gnawing at the walls of my stomach and I wondered if I would survive till morning. I woke up the next morning and went to do my morning work irrespective of the hunger. I was still doing the work when my madam woke up.
“Are you now ready to tell me what kept you so long yesterday when you went to dispose refuse?” She asked staring at me. I sprang up from the toilet-floor I was mopping. “You’ve started having boyfriends outside haven’t you?” She asked.
“No ma,” I replied. “You will not eat anything in this house again till you tell me what kept you outside,” she continued.
“I was waiting for Chidimma,” I replied.
“How many times have I warned you about that Chidimma of a girl?” She asked.
“I’m sorry ma, I won’t do it again,” I pleaded.
“Sorry for your stupid self!” She snapped…
Madam didn’t give me breakfast that morning and by noon I was disoriented. My tummy was on fire and the hunger pangs in my stomach had increased ten folds. Madam handed her little baby to me around eleven o’clock that morning. I carried the little baby from that time till around four in the evening on empty stomach.
Even the pap I was to give to the baby, I drank half out of hunger. I needed to quell the pangs in my stomach and any edible could do. Madam woke up around 4.30pm in the evening and collected her baby from me. She didn’t even mention anything about giving me food and this piqued me.
I didn’t know what to do. I just sat in the kitchen deep in thought. I had no money on me so I couldn’t think of buying food. So I just sat there hoping that a miracle would happen. Around five minutes past five, madam called me and gave me N200 to go to a nearby supermarket and buy bathing soap for her. I took the money and left immediately.
There was a woman selling freshly prepared Okpa along the road and the sweet aroma of the woman’s Okpa suggested new ideas into my hungry mind.
Before I knew what was happening I bought two wraps @ N50 each and sat at one corner of the road to devour it. The Okpa was very hot yet I ate it quickly and hungrily. When I finished, I bought sachet water and augmented the Okpa and my stomach returned instantly to normal. Then I started thinking of a believable narrative to tell my madam…
I concluded to tell her that I got to the supermarket and couldn’t find the money again which after looking for it everywhere I couldn’t find it. I knew the story may not go down well with her but I had no other option. There was no way I could tell her that I used her money to buy Okpa out of hunger so I had to tell her somethingelse and face whatever consequence that would emanate. Madam was sitting in the sitting room with her baby when I got home.
“Where is the soap?” She asked immediately.
“Let me tell you what happened ma,” I stammered nervously. “I lost the money on the way ma so when I got to the supermarket I couldn’t find it again ma.”
“You lost which money?” My madam queried.
“The soap money ma,” I replied.
“You must be very stupid,” she barked. “Come closer and open your mouth!”
I guess my madam had suspected rightly that I used the money to buy something to eat so she wanted to confirm or disprove her suspicion. With trembling legs I drew closer and opened my mouth. Madam lay her baby gently on the cushion and smelt my mouth.
“Ohoo,” she exclaimed. “So you used my money to buy Okpa?” She asked. “And you had the audacity to lie to me that you lost the money?”
Madam descended on me with all the fury her muscles could muster. When her hands started aching her, she reached for her wire and continued. I cried out in pain and agony but madam continued undaunted. A white woman living in the opposite compound was driving by and overheard my voice and stopped to check out what was happening.
She was a lawyer and worked under one Human Rights Commission. Without knocking she swung our door open and saw my madam red-handed flogging me with a piece of wire…
Guess what happened next?
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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