By Praise George
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.
“Are you sure you didn’t arouse her suspicion or create doubt in her mind in any way?”
“She’s out of this house, isn’t she? Isn’t that what you wanted?” The maid asked.
Ngozi ignored her question. “Where are the remaining pills?”
Yemi opened her bag, brought out a plastic bottle containing blue pills and gave it to Ngozi.
“Are you sure there will be no side effects?” The maid asked.
“If you took it the way I told you to, you should be fine. You should stop throwing up by tomorrow morning.”
The maid looked worried. “My body feels very different.”
“I said you will be fine!” Ngozi snapped. “I know what I’m doing.” She reached into her bag and brought out a bottle of yellow pills. “So that we are sure, take this for the next three days. It should stop the vomiting.”
The maid put the bottle in her bag. She planned to throw the bottle away the moment Ngozi turned her back. Who knows what this wicked woman put inside this bottle? Yemi liked her madam but she was in this for the money, Ngozi’s money.
Seven months ago, Ngozi began visiting the house regularly when Shade her friend was out of town. She also began to give Yemi gifts. Sometimes she gave her clothes, sometimes money. But whenever she came to the house, she had a gift for her. One day, Ngozi told her what she wanted from her. She listened as Ngozi made her an offer and outlined her plan. The woman was devious. But she promised her $5,000 if she could pull it off.
“So, what do I have to do?” Yemi asked.
Ngozi told her what to do.
The maid carried it out flawlessly.
Two months ago when Shade was out of town, Gbenga returned from work and Yemi served him his dinner. Tola was already asleep in her room. Yemi returned to clear the plates from the table, by then she had changed into a mini skirt and a blouse. Gbenga didn’t think anything of her dressing. He was drinking and watching Barcelona demolish Arsenal in a semi-final game. Yemi washed the dishes then returned to the living room, this time, Gbenga noticed her.
“What do you want?” he asked, by then the pill Ngozi gave Yemi to dissolve in his drink was having the desired effect on him.
“I am not feeling too fine,” Gbenga said. He tried to stand up from the chair but fell back into it. Yemi helped him up the stairs into the bedroom and placed him on the bed. Soon after Gbenga passed out. The next morning he woke up to see Yemi’s clothing scattered all over the room. He was scared that something had happened between himself and the maid while he was drunk the previous night. He promised to give Yemi some money if she kept her mouth shut.
Ngozi opened her bag, brought out three bundles of cash and threw them on the bed beside Yemi. She smiled, picked up the cash and kept it in her bag.
“Now, pack you things and get out of this house!” Ngozi pointed at the door with her left hand. “I don’t ever want to see you again!”
Yemi didn’t budge.”You promised to find me another job,” she protested.
“Well, plans have changed. Take the money and leave.”
“What will happen to madam?” she asked.
“That is none of your business. You must leave this house tonight.”
The maid didn’t move. “I have nowhere to go.”
“I don’t care what you do as long as you don’t do it here. You have enough money to rent an apartment. You can move in with the driver if you want to. Do you want to tell me that you are not sleeping with him?”
The maid stood up from the bed. “Who I sleep with is none of your business,” she said rudely as she packed her bags.
“Yemi,” Ngozi whispered.
The maid turned around to face Ngozi. There was a dangerous look on Ngozi’s face that the maid had never seen before.
“Listen very carefully,” Ngozi said. “I don’t want to see you near this house ever again. And the day I catch you near Gbenga, for whatever reason, I will leave a permanent mark on your face. Do you understand me?”
The maid shook her head.
“But I will leave tomorrow morning. Do you want me to carry this load on the streets of Lagos tonight?”
Before Ngozi could reply,there was a knock on the door. It was Sadique the gateman.
He looked surprised to find Ngozi and Yemi in the same room. He thought Ngozi hated her. Why was she talking secretly with Yemi? And why was Yemi dressed like that?
“Oga wants to see you,” he told Yemi.
“Sadique, the maid would be leaving this house tonight. Make sure she takes only what belongs to her.” Ngozi said.
“But oga said I should tell Yemi to come,” he protested.
“Don’t worry about oga, just do what I tell you to do,” Ngozi said and left the room.
Ngozi found Gbenga drinking in the living room. He looked like a man who had resigned to his fate.
Ngozi sat beside him. They looked into each other’s eyes for a few seconds then Gbenga’s eyes settled on her chest.
Ngozi reached for him and kissed him. Gbenga pushed her away.
“Ngozi, we shouldn’t,” he protested.
“There’s nobody in the house, but us,” she caressed his thighs.
She tried again, this time he responded and kissed her. She stood up, gently pulled him off the couch and headed for the stairs. Gbenga followed her like dumb sheep being led to the slaughter.
Under the moonlit night, with a frown plastered on her face, the maid watched them through the window like a lioness stalking her prey.
To be continued.