Kalu put the mattress back on the bed, spread a green bed sheet on it, then Yemi sat down.
She watched as he arranged the room he had scattered over an hour ago.
“So you wanted to steal my money?” she asked.
“I was borrowing it.” Kalu replied
“Does this look as if you wanted to borrow it?”
Kalu stopped arranging the shoes and turned to Yemi. “I needed some money urgently. You were busy with your boss, so I had to search for it.”
“If you want this money, you can have it.” She threw the money at him. “I have suffered too much in this house and this money is the least on my mind. I am going for bigger fish.” She got up from the bed and entered the bathroom. A moment later she returned wrapped in a white towel. She picked up the black bag. “Don’t even try leaving this compound. I told Sadique to set the dog on you if he sees you near the gate. You will remain here until I am ready to release you.”
Kalu’s mouth hung open in shock. “You can’t do that to me,” Kalu protested. “I have to be at the church this morning. You and your boss have delayed me enough.”
Yemi ignored him and shut the door to the bathroom.
“I am not your prisoner!” Kalu shouted.
The maid peeked out of the bathroom. “Do you want to come in here and take a warm shower with me or do you want to keep shouting like a barbarian? What will it be?”
Kalu’s eyes lit up like a hungry dog thrown a juicy bone. He kicked off his shoes as if they had been invaded by a colony of vicious ants, rushed to the bathroom door and started taking off his shirt.
” Mischeew!” the maid hissed. “I knew you would like that. I was just teasing you,”the maid said and slammed the bathroom door shut in his disappointed face.
“You said you didn’t want her to ruin your life. I will not allow you touch that woman again!” Segun shouted at his friend. With nose flaring, eyes bulging, arms swaying, Segun was ready for a fight.
Gbenga would never get into a fight with his friend, but this was about his pride, his manhood was being put to the test. He would never allow Segun steal Yemi away from him.
“Yemi is carrying my child. I have decided to make her my second wife.” Gbenga said without really thinking about it. If Yemi was good enough for Segun, then she was good enough for him.
“What about your position in Church?” Segun asked.
“I don’t care what the church thinks. I am going to take her in as my second wife.”
“Have you lost your mind? You will become the laughing stock of all your friends. The church will totally disown you. Nobody will want to have anything to do with you.” Segun warned.
“I don’t care. Yemi is mine. My friends can think whatever they like but I am not letting her leave with my baby in her womb.”
“Have you lost your mind?” Segun asked. “Do you want to throw everything away because of a…a maid?”
“Now she’s a maid? How convenient. A few minutes ago when you had her in your arms she wasn’t ‘a maid.’ Tell me Segun, how did it feel holding her in your arms, kissing her, do you want to tell me the truth? Did she feel like a maid then? You want her for yourself, don’t you? You want to take MY Yemi away from me!”
Segun sat on a chair looking downcast. He lifted his head. “What about your wife? What are you going to tell her?”
Gbenga sat opposite his friend. “I will tell her the truth. The maid is carrying my child. I will not throw that child into a rubbish heap or murder it in an abortion clinic. I will do the responsible thing. I will marry her.”
“You don’t have to marry her. Just take responsibility for your child.” Segun said.
“Why shouldn’t I marry her?” Gbenga sat forward in his chair. “Is she too good for me to marry?”
Segun shook his head with disappointment. ” You are going to make the greatest mistake of your life if you marry Yemi. If you try this you will lose Shade.”
“Is it my fault that Shade hasn’t given me a child after so many years of trying? I am tired of waiting for a miracle to happen. I am tired of visiting fertility clinics with my wife and being prodded like an animal in their examination rooms. I am tired of consulting pastors who promised to perform a miracle. God has finally answered my prayer and the answer is the baby in Yemi’s womb.”
The back door to the kitchen opened and Sadique the gateman slid out quietly from the kitchen into the garden. He entered the gatehouse, brought out a phone and made a call. “Good morning ma. It is me Sadique. You said if I heard anything I should call you immediately. Yes ma. I heard something just now. The maid is pregnant.” He listened for a few seconds. “I don’t know who owns it. I will find out ma.” He said and ended the call.
Ngozi almost held her breath as Shade lifted the cup of coffee to her lips and took a sip. Shade kept on talking about some of Ngozi’s escapades in the university. Ngozi shook her head, pretending to listen to what her friend was saying but was actually waiting for the drug to kick in.
Suddenly Shade dropped the cup clumsily on the table and the dark liquid spilled on the white table cloth.
“I don’t feel too well,” she raised a weak hand and touched her forehead. She tried to stand up but fell back on the chair.
“What is happening to me?” she asked, alarmed.
Ngozi was expressionless as she watched her friend struggle with the effect of the drug.
“Ngozi, help me!” Shade stretched out her hands towards her friend. The drugged woman held on tightly to the dinning table cloth, pulled it down with her and crashed to the floor, cups and coffee pot falling down on her.
Ngozi waited for her to stop moving then stood over the still figure on the floor and smiled.
“I thought you were never going to drink that coffee. You almost gave me a scare.” She kicked Shade on the side. “That was for wasting my time this morning. You just kept prattling like a fool and I thought you would never stop. So glad you’ve shut up so that I can think!”
She tried to lift the drugged woman from the floor but she was too heavy.
“This is why I don’t like fat people. How do you expect me to get you on the bed?” she asked.
She managed to drag her near the bed and left her on the floor.
“I will be back to deal with you later.” She looked around the room to make sure she left nothing behind. She put the room’s electronic key in her bag, put out the ‘Do not disturb’ sign outside the door, took the elevator downstairs, got into her car and brought out her phone.
“Listen carefully. I don’t want any loose ends. The maid has to go.” She listened for a few seconds.
“No you idiot! I meant you have to get rid of her. I don’t care how you do it but you must kill the maid today!”
To be continued.