The conclusion of a two-part story. Read part 1 HERE.
Wherever you go, wherever you be, do not say ‘yes’ when you need to say ‘no’.
The voice was deep and masculine, in an angry American accent.
“I said, what the fuck are you a$$*%$#@ doing by my car?”
In the twinkle of an eye, she was off! Angela ran like five lions were after her. I felt like I was the biggest fool on earth. I must have been. Another lie? Oh my God! Suddenly I realised that she had run away with my BlackBerry Z10! Gbese! I ran after her she must have participated in the Olympics before. She ran so quickly and tirelessly, not paying any attention to vehicles. I gave up. Ah! See what lust has turned me into. The girl is not even beautiful sef. I should have known she was a thief, after lying about her name and academics. Too little, too late.
I was still talking to myself when my Nokia 1100 phone rang. It was my aunt. “Henro, I have called your other line twice. You didn’t answer my call, why?”
“Yes ma, I-
“It’s okay,” she interrupted. “I believe you’re done clearing the store now, a girl will be in the house by 4 o`clock today; she`s coming for an interview as a maid. Please conduct it. You know the things I look out for in them. I have already asked her to do the necessary medical tests.”
“O-okay ma,” I responded bitterly. It was 4:17pm. Sitting in the danfo on my way back, I cried bitterly, wishing all that happened that day was a dream. Completely ignoring the other passengers, I shed bitter tears over my lost phone.
Silas’ ostentatious salutation when I arrived home further irritated me. Sometimes I wonder if such people ever get tired of being hypocrites. “Oga,” he reported, “one yellow, abi black woman is wait for you.”
“Okay,” I replied.
“Sorry for the leg,” he said, the fifth time in less than ten seconds. My God! Sorry for yasef! I ignored him and went into the house. Moments later, I ran back outside to Silas like a four-year old who had just seen a spider on her bed. I frantically waved him over.
“Who did you say was waiting for me?” I whispered, nearly peeing my pants.
“The small girl wey dey for parlour?”
“She say she come interview oh. Say madam tell am come.”
My God! I have had reasons to be surprised before. I have had some jaw-dropping experiences. I have seen unimaginable happenings. But the experience I had just had on entering that house will remain unforgettable in a long while. How do I explain that the maid applicant was the same lady I wanted to woo at the clinic? Angela was right there in the living room; multi-colored Nkruru-kinikan kinikan was sitting pretty in my living room tapping away at my Z10, waiting for me to give her a job.
And she was even she was actually on my Z10. The idiot! The frame which housed my picture in the living room broke while the last maid cleaned the house. If I still had my picture there, that would have made her uncomfortable or perhaps she would have absconded and I would not get my phone. I wished my face would change, or I would just grow ten times fatter, or add three inches to my height so she would not recognise me. Since none of these would happen, I braced myself. I was ready for the worst. I went into the house.
After clearing my throat, I sat majestically and said, trying with difficulty to look into her eyes ‘You are the one who wants to work here, am I right?’ ‘Ye–yes sir,’ she answered shakily. She began to sweat profusely even though the standing fan was on and right behind her. I looked at the door to be sure it was locked as she was already on the edge of her seat. Could she have really thought of running away? ‘What is your name?’ the question finally came out of me. In a different mood this time, not the flirtatious mood of the last time I asked. Before she replied, she looked at the door, adjusted her blouse, scratched her hair, bit her nail, looked up to the ceiling, cleared her throat the same way I did earlier, that I almost thought she was mimicking me, then she spoke. ‘My-my- names are, sorry, my name is Nkrurukwuka Epremtoka. ‘Tell me about yourself.’ Her eyes were darting all over the living room at that moment. I had gained more confidence. ‘I attended Kamtokalata Community School and graduated prematurely in S.S. one as a result of financial imbalance. I am from… ‘Enough!’ I shouted, interrupting her. Mocking her, I said ‘And graduated prematurely in S.S. one as a result of financial imbalance. Idiot!’ I was really irritated. I saw my phone on the table; I did not know when she dropped it there. I was already standing. I was infuriated. I looked into her eyes sternly, half singing, half talking.
“Wherever you go, wherever you be, do not say ‘yes’ when you need to say ‘no’.”
I put my phone in my pocket and approached her in anger. She was terrified. Our eyes met and we looked into each other`s eyes for some seconds. It must have been between eight and ten seconds. This girl, I knew was qualified for the job; my aunt loved maids who were fluent, who could attend to her guests courteously. What reason would I give for not employing her? Because I just could not!
But how to face this girl, in this house, after such a dramatic experience? I was confused.
By Akinsiwaju Sanya
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