The white woman stared at me surprised when she came out and found me standing at her gate and crying. I had knocked three consecutive times and it was after the 3rd knock that she came out. There was surprise and worry written all over her face and she stared at me for a while before advancing closer.
“Please I need your help ma,” I begged as she drew nearer. The tears falling from my eyes and the fact that I was crying must have induced compassion in her and she came close and asked me what the problem was. I told her that my madam maltreated me and nearly killed me and I ran out of the house.
She asked me who my madam was and I told her and she instantly remembered the last encounter and sighed.
She told me that there wasn’t much she could do and that she had come to realise that the country was too corrupt and even if she arrested my madam like she did the other time, someone would still grant her bail and the problem would not be addressed.
I noticed without being told that she wasn’t willing to let me into her house because all the while I was standing outside the gate. She advised me to go back to the house and apologise to my madam and be careful not to find her trouble again.
With that she left me at the gate and went inside. I was devastated and confused on what to do. Going back to the house meant doom for me. I didn’t have any other place to go either. I stood at the gate thinking of what to do. I’ve never been more confused in my life.
So I decided to remain at the gate even if it meant sleeping outside. But then I thought of the insecurity in the neighbourhood. All these rough boys living around would be more happy to accost me later in the night and rape me mercilessly.
The more I thought of these, the more confused I became. The day was too long to go. The time was around 10 o’clock in the morning and I didn’t know how to keep busy and for how long. So I decided to go back to the house.
I swung our gate open and went inside. I was very afraid and expected the worst. I climbed the steps infront of the door fearfully and tiptoed towards the door and pushed it gently to discover that it was firmly locked. With the last drop of courage in me I knocked on the door and got no response.
I knocked again and again yet no response. By the fourth knock the door gently opened and madam stood aside for me to enter.
“Please I’m sorry ma,” I apologised at the door kneeling down.
“Won’t you come inside first?” Madam asked abruptly and I quickly obeyed.
As soon as I went in, madam locked the door firmly behind me and I looked and saw the long piece of wire dangling from her left hand. Then she turned towards me. It was the whistling sound of the wire that I heard and before I could say “Jack” it had circled my neck.
Madam knew no mercy. She flogged and flogged and flogged me with the wire that I almost felt I was dying. I screamed and screamed yet there was no relief. Infact madam was determined to kill me that morning. The whistling sound of the wire continued lash after lash producing as much pain as the welder desired as the wire whizzed through the air and landed on me.
Each lash left a peculiar scar on my skin as the flogging continued. At a point the pain became so unbearable and I passed out…
When I regained consciousness I was lying on my small bed in my small room. I was very weak and tired and it took me some seconds to recognise where I was. I looked about myself and saw that I was wearing my usual gown but then the scars on my body reminded me of what had transpired.
I didn’t know the time but looking out of the window with the sun still shining meant that it was still afternoon.
I lay quiet on the bed not wanting to attract my madam’s attention.
I couldn’t predict what she had in mind so it was better to keep quiet and regain sufficient energy before she came around.
I had rested for like one hour when madam came to check on me.
I was feeling very hungry but endured.
Madam came in and saw that I was awake and asked me to come to the kitchen and have my food. With tiredness I got up and followed her to the kitchen. She dished rice and stew into a plate and gave me to eat which I quickly ate out of hunger and even needed more though I didn’t voice it out. Then I drank a cup of water.
“Aunty thank ma,” I greeted.
“Ehee thank God,” she replied. “Are you now ready to tell me what my husband came to your room to do last night?” She asked staring at one corner of the kitchen.
I followed her line of sight and saw the piece of wire lying there and my heart skipped some beats. I didn’t know what to say.
I opened and closed my mouth involuntarily as I silently calculated what was next. “What did my husband go to do in your room late last night?” Madam asked again rising from her seat and walking towards the long twisted piece of wire.
I started crying instantly. From the fury in madam’s eyes she was determined to do anything so long as she got the confession she was looking for. Madam went to that corner of the kitchen and picked up the piece of wire. I shuddered with fear and rose from the mortar I was sitting on shivering. The familiar whistling sound came again as the first lash journeyed through the air and landed on the junction between my neck and my left shoulder sending me into fresh untold pain.
“It was Oga, It was Oga,” I shouted out unable to bear the pain.
“Yes!” madam acclaimed. “Oga did what?” She interrogated.
“Oga forced me to do it with him,” I blurted out crying hysterically. “He came to my room and forced me and warned me not to tell anybody.”
Madam stopped momentarily, apparently jolted by the confession she just heard but then her eyes flared up again.
“And you agreed?” She asked staring furiously at me.
“He forced me ma,” I replied in self defence.
“He forced you! Forced you! Forced you!” Madam blurted as she unleashed more lashes of her wire on me.
I ran out of the kitchen in pain and towards the bedroom. Madam zoomed furiously into the master bedroom but on second thought she came back out and into my small room.
“Better start packing your things cos this house won’t contain the two of us anymore,” she barked pointing her index finger aggressively at me.
“Aunty please,” I begged crying.
“Don’t please me,” she barked and stormed back into the master bedroom and locked the door firmly.
Madam later mellowed down and didn’t send me packing as she had earlier threatened though her attitude towards me changed dramatically. She stopped talking to me and behaved asif I didn’t exist even though she still gave me food. I knew she was patiently waiting for Oga to come back before unleashing the main war…
Oga came back a week later and met a very quiet house. The children were sleeping so everywhere was silent like a graveyard. Madam was in the master bedroom so I couldn’t tell whether she was awake or sleeping. It was the sound of the engine of Oga’s car that roused me from where I was sitting in the kitchen and towards the window to peep. Oga blared the horn three times in his characteristic manner and I went out to answer him like normal and help him carry his luggage into the house.
The sound of the horn seemed to have roused madam as well and she came out and stood at the door to welcome her husband.
“Honey welcome,” madam said to him which was quite unusual. The husband was startled. “Thanks my darling,” he replied and crossed his right hand over madam’s shoulder. Madam tactically masked her bitterness and resentment.
I trembled slightly as I stood inside the kitchen awaiting the outburst that would emanate when madam finally bursts the bubble before him. I couldn’t predict what the aftermath was going to be. Whether I was going to be sent packing or not.
Oga’s right hand lay across madam’s shoulder as they went in together into the master bedroom. Oga had his bath and soon came out to have his meal. Madam came out too trailing behind. It seemed madam was having a hard time deciding the best time to bring up the issue. She had remained very diplomatic so far to the best of her ability.
Oga ate quietly and hungrily while madam intermittently asked him about the conference. “Everything went fine,” he replied gulping down a thick bolus of eba covered with ogbono soup. “Even the Governor of the state attended too,” he added.
Madam kept silent and listened to the gist of the conference. When Oga finished eating, he and madam went back to the master bedroom. I washed the plates and then settled to eat my own meal. Afterwards I went to my small room.
Night soon came and everyone went to bed. In the middle of the night I heard madam’s voice waking Oga up from sleep.
“Yes?” Oga replied with a drowsy voice.
“We need to talk,” madam began firmly.
“About what?” Oga asked sounding irritated over the disturbance of his sleep.
“What is it between you and our house-help?” Madam asked driving sleep away from Oga’s eyes.
“Which house-help?” Oga asked.
“Your house-help,” madam replied.
“You mean Adaeze?” Oga asked.
“Do you have another one?” Madam retorted.
“And how on earth did you think that something was going on between me and that rag?” Oga asked.
Oga’s rhetoric struck me like a hammer. I couldn’t believe my ears but then I had no choice than to control my emotion. Oga and Madam continued the argument all night long onto daybreak till I stopped hearing their voice. Then I wondered what the future had in stock for me…
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.
Copyright © 2015: DYKOLALA [http://www [dot] coolval22 [dot] com/friends/dykolala/profile/]