I miss my mum. I miss home. I know people back home would roll on the ground amd beat themselves up if they saw the house I am living in now and for a minute, the thought excites me. I can just imagine the look on Testimony’s face when she sees that I’m now living like the wealthy we used to see on TV. Another thing that reminds me of something I used to see on TV is Toluwani’s elder brother. Tall, handsome, dashing, charming, nice, polite, sexy, cool, good people. You know? The works… I have been here for two weeks now and I never saw him get angry. Not once. Not when the laundry guy burnt his very expensive looking suit he wanted to wear out the same day. He just calmly told him not to worry about it. Even I would have gotten angry and I’m just a maid. As much as I try to not shit where I eat, he makes it so hard, you know… How can one person have all these wonderful characteristics? He is beginning to become one of those I’m going to be holding in high esteem even though we got off on a bad start. I find reasons to go to the main building everytime now just to get a glimpse of him and it is costing me a lot because the more I’m seen around, the more I get called to do chores. My hands are groaning. Like today, it is Olaide’s turn to be in the kitchen. She has been a bit friendly to me. At least, we come out in the evening to talk about a lot of things. I wish I was sharing my room with her and not that snotty Bimpe. So, it is only natural for me to want to help her in the kitchen right? Since it is even a Friday. Guests usually come over and the workload will be too much for only her. I should go help. I start to pull off my cloth.
“What are you doing?” Bimpe asks.
I’m shocked that she is talking to me. I never met a better sulker. I’m going to help Olaide in the main building.
“How come you never help me though?”
“No, you have not but it’s okay. I guess Olaide is your friend. I just felt as your roommate, we should stick together.”
By the time she is done talking, I’m tying my apron around my waist.
“I’ll keep it in mind.” I say and flash my practiced smile at her. I close the door gently behind me.
It’s a cold night and I wrap my arms around myself. Everywhere is eerily silent and I get a shiver. I jump as a lizard skitters past me. Why am I so jumpy? I enter the main building through the door my mum and I passed through two weeks ago. Sigh. Feels like a lifetime.
“Hello.” I say to an Olaide whose hands are soaked in the sink. Why don’t these people have machines that wash dishes like in those novels I read? I’m sure they can afford it. She turns to me and smiles in relief.
“Thank you.” She says and creates a space for me to join her. I feel predictable.
I count the minutes go by. I count the hours go by. I dunno why I was expecting he would pop up in the kitchen. If he wanted anything, he could send anybody he wanted to get it for him but somehow, he always comes around whenever it’s my shift. Maybe he’s got the hots for me. I mean I know I’m beautiful and also smart. Maybe he likes me too.
“Hello. Where can I drop this?”
A strange voice asks suddenly behind us and Olaide grasped her chest while I try to still my heart from its frantic beating as we turn. When we turn, the lady our eyes meet is a godsent from heaven. She is perfectly made from her face to her feet. Perfectly made, I tell you.
“Where can I drop this?” She asks again and we are lost for words.
“Hey baby!” A masculine voice that I recognize so well wafts from the passage that leads to the kitchen and sure enough, he appears. Oh God, he is so fine.
“You shouldn’t be doing this.” He says and I almost smile. Yes, I shouldn’t be doing this. This is not my place. I’m not supposed to be elbows deep in soap suds doing dishes for some people that don’t even bother looking me in the face. People that wouldn’t recognize me if they met me on the street. People that would never give me face. Heck, I should not even be doing dishes for myself.
“The maids will handle it” He says and the next thing I know, he is grabbing the tray from her- the strang-her– and dumping it in Olaide’s arms. “We pay them to do stuff like that.” He says and puts his arm around her shoulders as he pulls her away.
“That’s his girlfriend- aunty Chinyere.” Olaide says with a longing sigh and I want to rip her throat out.
I also want to cry.