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Yellow Tales of a Nigerian Housemaid by Marian Onukwufor

Chapter Four
I know I promised to talk about mama  but there is something more incredible I needed to say. Just like I earlier stated,  there has been immense interest in me especially from the men.
I feel that maybe my aunt has began questioning this sudden interest and has been watching me like a hawk. Her elder sister, aunt Agnes came around this weekend and would spend a lot of time at home. She was still a student (she seems to hate school as she had spent more than ten years in different schools without graduating from any 😂 ). She was married but was yet to be a mum. Simply put,  I detest her. Yes I know aunt Oby was wicked but aunt Agnes was heart wrenchingly heartless. Sometimes I do ask myself if she actually have a heart beneath her skin! Anytime I am told she would be visiting, I would breathe in painfully and accept my fate cos I was certain my pain would be tripled.
                          *********
My recent abuser was someone I respected so much. Someone I had always believed could protect me.
“Let me just touch It” he said pointing at my newly sprout breasts. “You will enjoy it as its not painful at all, and your aunt will never find Out” he begged.
That was my ‘uncle’ per say, my aunt’s boyfriend, Uncle KC.  This ugly scene has been happening more frequently lately and I was being extra careful not to get trapped.
I shook my head in refusal and tried passing behind him but he placed his huge hands against the wall thereby obstructing my way.
“Aunty will soon call me, and she will beat me for being Late” I pleaded. He grinned in excitement cos he knew that in any situation, he was coming out a winner. He came more closer and stretched out his hands towards my breast but in an instinctive defense, I pushed it away and made for the stairs, flying down for my life. Downstairs safely, I looked up at him, he was now very furious and nodded angrily at me. As I made to turn towards the kitchen, I felt a hot slap on my young cheeks. I screamed out in pain and turned sharply to my assailant only to find my angry aunt shouting and raining abuses on me. I tried saying a word but was shut up by more beatings. I fell on the floor crying profusely. She bent over my aching body and snatched her cell phone from my hands. She had asked me to bring it from their room which was where her boyfriend pursued me from. She kicked my back with her legs and walked away in anger. I arose in pain to see her boyfriend smiling victoriously at me. He walked past pushing out his tongue mockingly at me. I only wished I could speak to someone to understand the pain I pass through everyday. Everyone was so busy in their life that none was willing to listen to me.
“If you let me have fun with you, I will stop her from beating You” came my uncle’s voice again.
Apparently he had returned to give me a better proposal. I looked up at him and for a second, I wished the beatings could stop.
                          ********
Mama was a young widow who owned a restaurant in a busy part of the town. I used the term “young widow” because she was among these women who hated being described as old. She was probably in her late fifties, dark, robust and tall for her age. I have seen pictures of her younger days, she actually was very beautiful…
Mama had her own group of friends who I actually refer to as her clique. They were the idiomatic “birds of a feather”. This clique was primarily made up of widows, who were “crazy” and very actively involved in politics. Mama to her credit, also had a permanent boyfriend who was way younger than her. He was married and rode the popular okada within the town. He actually, practically became mama’s errand boy. He would come around in the morning to take mama to her shop, go to the faraway market to buy some provisions and meat mama would fry and sell in her shop, and then come back at the close of work to take mama home.
I just explained mama’s permanent boyfriend,  she still had other flings and I still wonder how she does it.
Mama I believe doesn’t see her life as bad, in fact she few times brought her flings home. I would sleep at a corner of the room while they stay in another. Sometimes I will be forced to  sleep in the parlor on my very little tiny bed while they relax in her room. Hope I didn’t forget go mention that mama loved me sleeping in her room? She says it’s for warmth. She loved the Bible and would always command me to read out to her psalms 35, 91 & 23.
She would always remind me that it was her weapon of warfare.
I can still recall when she had an issue with her closest friend, they nearly fought dirty and it was all because of a man.
                         ********
The holidays were fast approaching and I was gladly looking forward to it. I had tried to put on my best attitude so no one would accuse me and probably deny me the opportunity to go home. But my only worry was mama’s eldest daughter, aunt Agnes homecoming today. I was still reminiscing about it all when I heard an okada drive into the compound, and then her laughing crooked voice. My heart sank into my stomach. I raced out to welcome her and surprisingly, she gave me a warm smile. I was glad as I felt that was a good start.
I took her luggage upstairs and ran few errands for her. Mama came home almost immediately, she was happy too. I was sure something was going on and I needed to find out what. Gladly,  my aunt Oby filled me in.
“Come, better wash all those your stinking clothes,  I don’t want to perceive any offensive odour neither do I want my in-law to choke to death when he finally comes home.”
That’s it!  Aunty Agnes’ husband was coming home after six years overseas and the world needed to hear it. I have heard so much about him and I could tell he was a nice man. This was their twelfth year in marriage but are yet to be blessed with a child. His coming home would be in two months time but believe me,  preparations were surprisingly on the way.
He had sent some money for an apartment to be rented or bought as he didn’t want to stay in the house upon his return. Within few days,  this happiness wore off and my aunt Agnes became the person I envisaged her to be. Her greatest mechanism for punishment was denying me food and yet making me to do all my chores. I would go hungry for days but she wouldn’t bulge. Surprisingly aunt Oby would have pity and sneak in some food for me. I will munch it like a hungry lion and then wipe my mouth as if nothing happened. If she ever finds out that I was fed, the house would turn into Sodom and Gomorrah
I needed to pay her back in her own coin,  I was frantically looking for an opportunity
And just then,  an opportunity came……

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