The maid danced to loud rap music which blared from a music set on the floor. She wore white shorts, a red tank-top and black heels. With her make-up, she looked like a hooker working in the notorious red light district of Las Vegas.
Ngozi entered the room without knocking and threw the maid off her rhythm. She turned down the music but didn’t greet Ngozi who stood by the door and looked at the posters on the walls. Her eyes settled on Snoop Dog smoking a cigarette.
“You did better than I expected,” Ngozi looked around the small room with disdain.
“I told you I could pull it off. Shade is no match for me,” the maid boasted.
“What exactly did you tell Shade?”
“Everything you asked me to say.” The maid lied.
That morning she was about to confess the whole thing to her madam before she threw up in the visitor’s toilet. A part of her still felt she shouldn’t have done it. She liked Shade and Tola her daughter. The woman had been kind to her. She didn’t want to be the reason why she left her husband’s house.
“What? Is that a look of remorse I see on your face?”Ngozi looked closely at the maid.
“No, it isn’t. I was just thinking about everything.”
“I am not paying you to think. I paid you to do a job. Is that understood?”
The maid nodded like an obedient puppy before she sat down on the bed. Continue reading
Shade couldn’t breathe properly. The walls seemed to move in on her like zombies from a horror movie. She felt the floor move under her feet and she held onto the door of the bathroom for support. She entered the bathroom and splashed some cold water on her face. She felt better.
She returned to the room, brought out a valise from the wardrobe and threw it on the bed. She looked out the window at the setting sun. It would soon be dark. She didn’t want to spend the night in the same house with Gbenga and the maid.
She tried to arrange the clothes but she was depressed and order was the last thing on her mind. She opened a drawer, picked up some underwear and threw them into the case.
She stopped in front of the dressing mirror and looked at herself. She looked dishevelled. How she looked was the last thing on her mind.
Voices rose from downstairs. Ngozi asking Gbenga to confess his misdeeds.
“Why did you do such a thing to my friend?” Ngozi shouted.
” I didn’t do anything. I am innocent,” Gbenga insisted.
Looking at herself in the mirror, Shade realised that her job was killing her. She made a lot of money but she had aged in the past four years. She looked like a forty five year old woman but she was only thirty five.
The room swayed before her eyes. It felt like someone with absolutely no talent was using her head for drum practice. The pain throbbed. She slowly sat down on the bed.
Shade sat on the edge of the recliner with her hands covering her face.
“Are you okay?” Ngozi touched her on the shoulder and Shade lifted her head. Her eyes were blood shot, like the eyes of an Ijaw fisherman drinking ‘ogogoro’, the local alcoholic beverage, before casting off in his rickety boat to dare the treacherous sea.
Shade seemed to have aged in the last two hours. She blinked a few times, trying to focus on who was standing before her. The scent of Channel No.5 in the air made it easy for her to recognise who it was.
“Ngozi, thank you for coming back.”
“Shade you are my friend. Of course I will be there for you anytime you need me.”
Shade ran her hands through her Brazilian hair and exhaled.
“Do you know that you were prescient?”
“About what?” Ngozi looked confused.
“This morning you told me to watch my maid very closely because she could be up to something with my husband.”
“Well, you were right.”
“She confessed to me this morning that she is pregnant.”
“Pregnant for who, Sadique the security guard?” Ngozi asked.
“How I wish. She’s pregnant for Gbenga, my husband!”
Ngozi immediately broke into a cold sweat. Her white blouse stuck to her slim body. “Ewoh!”She lamented like a mother whose only son had been conscripted to join the rag-tag Biafran army. A dark cloud, like a plague, settled on her pretty face. She dropped her bag on the floor, put both hands on her head and slowly knelt down on the floor beside her friend. Continue reading
She brought in two cups of coffee on a tray, set it down on the table in front of the two light skinned women sitting on the couch, genuflected and left.
The morning sun streamed in through the open window enveloping the women in a surreal glow. They looked like sisters except the taller one had a chiseled look and the shorter one had a round face.
Ngozi , the taller of the two turned to her friend Shade.
“Why do you allow her wear such clothes in your home?”
“You mean Yemi? What is wrong with her clothes?” Shade turned to look in the direction of the kitchen. She never bothered with what her maid wore.
“Where did you find her?” Ngozi asked.
“She is the daughter of some distant relative from my husband’s side.”
Ngozi looked in the direction of the kitchen. “Maids! You have to watch them very closely.”
“Here you go again, suspicious of an innocent girl.”
“Have you looked at her?That is not the body of a girl. That’s a woman.”
Shade lowered her cup. “Ngozi, she’s barely 21.”
“My friend, I think your bank job has blinded your eyes. Look again.”
Shade sat forward in her chair. “So, what are you saying exactly?” Continue reading