THE AGONY OF LOVE-Episode 3
I opened my eyes to the tap of my mum’s hand. I felt a bit hot and feverish, having to swallow hard before uttering a word.
Mama” “Amara, your husband has sent someone to pick you up” she said.
My heart beat escalated and she touched my hand, coming instantly to touch my neck. “My God, your temperature is so high, are you sick my dear?” she asked, jumping up at once.
“I am fine mama” I murmured.
“You are not. You are as hot as a boiling kettle. You can’t go anywhere today. Let me get you some drugs, I will tell the guy to come for you tomorrow” she said hurriedly.
I shook my head, “No mama, I would leave this place today” I said.
She frowned. “You are not well Amara, let me take care of you, I know that that useless husband of yours would not do anything” she said with obvious anger.
Her anger was starting to irritate me. “Whether you like it or not, I am leaving this place now. I have signed the contract of this marriage, it is high time I stopped postponing the inevitable and start living the life I signed up for” I tried to get up, hiding my slight discomfort. My tummy hadn’t started protruding because I was just two months gone but as I sat up, I could not escape the sudden wave of dizziness that gripped me. I shut my eyes tight for several seconds until I felt safe to open them.
“Please be reasonable Amarachi” Mum pleaded as I pushed off the bed and slipped on my slippers.
“I am the only one being reasonable here mama” I stopped. “Wait, what am I saying? I am the most unreasonable and senseless person on earth, but I knew mama, I knew marriage to Corper Benson was a terrible idea.” I turned hurt eyes at her. “Mama, I made a mistake, even God knows that I made the worst mistake of my life, but don’t I deserve forgiveness? Do I have to spend my whole life paying for this one mistake that I made?” I cried. “When I discovered that Corper was a wicked man, I was ready to take care of my child alone, I wanted to, I only needed the support of my parents, even if it was only you” I swallowed and shook my head. “But you did not support me mama, you could not stand up to your husband; you never could, even if it was for your only child” I exhaled. “Now, I have done what papa wants me to do; please don’t try to stop me because I would not listen to you”
I opened the door and walked out, leaving my mum white-faced, with tears streaming down her cheeks. I knew I was transferring the aggression I was feeling but I really could not help myself. I had blamed myself too much for my misfortunes and I felt it might ease my burden and guilt if I blamed someone else. As I walked, I discovered that it did not work, if anything, what I just did was making me feel guiltier for making my mum sad.
My dad stood up and approached me immediately I entered the sitting room and I wished I could have escaped him somehow. Anger took over me again as I wondered what the hell he was about to say to me. No doubt, he would insult the living daylight out of me again, and I obviously deserve it.
Immediately he got to me, his face lit up in a broad smile. I was momentarily stunned. Ever since this drama started, I don’t think my dad has ever smiled. He placed his hands on my shoulders and I was forced to look up into his eyes.
“My sweet daughter, you have no idea how much I am proud of you” he breathed out. What? I blinked. This is definitely something you don’t see every day! If not for the fact that I could not perceive the smell of beer, I could have sworn that my dad was drunk. “Oh my dear, I know that I have been hard on you since this started, but it is for a good cause”. He continued, completely rubbing me of my power of speech. “You know, I am so lucky that I have a daughter who uses her head properly. Now, stop beating yourself over this pregnancy issue, it is a gift from the most high. It is definitely the key to our breakthrough. Look my girl, you are rich” he declared. “Very rich! You always wanted to lift the poverty in our family, now; God has just answered your prayers. Unknowingly, you have taken our family out of the gutter and you have placed us right inside the palace.”
“What are you saying papa?” I croaked out.
He put his arms around my shoulders as he propelled me towards the exit. “Amara, you are a wise girl, I am sure you understand me perfectly. Now, what you have to do next is to make full use of this opportunity that landed on your laps on a platter of gold. You think Alfred is so mean and wicked? He might be. But it is just a matter of time. It just takes a beautiful woman with enough sense like you to bend him. We men, we pretend to be strong and invincible, but trust me, all women came through Eve, and inherited her cunning talents. Make use of it my daughter and you would be able to totally change the fortune of our family. All the dreams you have of being a doctor, can still be achieved. Think about it my girl.” He gave me a bright smile. I just could not believe all I was hearing. Vaguely, I saw the car that was waiting for me. “Now go my daughter, your husband is waiting in your new house. Be a good girl. He kissed my pale cheeks and led me to the waiting car. I walked like a remote control robot, still not believing that everything I just heard came from my own father. My mum met us, dabbing at her eyes. I didn’t know what to feel. Was she also aware of dad’s tactics? It was too much to take in.
I slid onto the soft leather in the car and closed the door. The person who seemed to be a driver, started the car. I stared at my parents in disbelief as the car sped off. They vanished from my sight and I was left with the words of my father. I felt as though I did not know my parents again but measuring everything, this seemed like the smallest of my problems as I looked forward to the next phase of my life.
The car entered a large compound that left me momentarily stunned. It was not as big as the senator’s house but the design was exquisite. I would not have imagined, despite the fact that I had seen many houses on my neighbor’s television, that such an exquisite building existed. And to think that someone as young as Corper Benson lived here was so unbelievable. I instantly felt out of place.
When the car was finally parked, I stepped out of it, looking a little frozen. Am I expected to live here? In this massive house? How would I cope with this? I had slept in the BQ in the senator’s compound and even that had been too much luxury for me, even though I barely stepped out of my room. But here, if what I saw outside was any indication, the house itself would be mind-numbing. Getting used to this place would be a great deal of work, no doubt. The only problem was that I would not be able to find joy here, the thought was so painful. Even my shabby village was filled with joy and a hope of a better tomorrow, there seemed to be none of that here. The man I thought I loved, cherished and respected was gone, replaced by this terrifying monster that would do anything to make my life miserable.
The driver took my sack of clothes, holding it with two fingers like it was trash, as he led me into the massive building. I was right. The house was spectacular, so breathtaking that it had me gawking like a fool. A young pretty girl of about my age approached me with an apron tied to her body. The driver gave her the sack and left her as she stared at me vaguely.
“Hello” she said softly as if she were talking to a child. I looked at her silently. “Mr. Alfred told me that you were coming and that I should show you to your room” she explained. I smiled briefly and followed her lead.
She took me through a narrow passage in silence, and as we walked, it occurred to me that the girl would be a staff. Still in the narrow passage, we passed by two doors which faced each other and took three steps further before the girl stopped in front of a door which she opened. There was also a door facing the door she opened but I disregarded it and followed her inside.
A mattress was on the floor, enough to fit one person comfortably. There was a small table beside it, and a big box lay at the far end of the room, by the wall.
The girl smiled, and then frowned. “Oh, forgive my manners, I am Tina” she said. “I am the cook, even though I look small, my food is always very sweet, you could eat your tongue” she boasted with a grin. “My room is opposite yours. You would meet another girl, Tola, she is the cleaner. She went out to get some things. I am sure you are Amara” she ranted.
I was feeling awkward because something seemed very wrong and out of place. I nodded stiffly. “Yes. Amara” I responded. “Where is corper… I mean, Mr erm.. Alfred. Where is his room? Does he stay in one of the rooms we passed?”
The girl laughed. “Of course not. His room is upstairs” she leaned forward to whisper. “It is a very massive room. This place is not as big as his toilet” she grinned. “This is where the staff stays”.
What? What the hell is going on? Before I could voice my panic and question, we heard a car horn and the girl startled. “The boss is here, I have to go and serve his food. He asked me not to talk to you, please don’t tell him I said anything, if he asks.” With that, she vanished.
I stood, still reeling from the implications of what I had just heard. Am I to stay with the staff in my own husband’s house? It can’t be real. The drama just never seemed to end. I don’t know how long I stayed there, at the middle of the room, but suddenly, the door opened and I spun round to see corper Benson crowding the entrance. He entered and closed the door behind him.
“I see you are fully settled” he said with clear indifference. “Well, since you have obviously pushed your way into my life, let me lay down the rules and regulations. You are in this house as maid and not a wife. Don’t ever mention it to anyone that we signed a marriage contract, or worse, that you are carrying something of mine in your tummy” he said with obvious disgust. “Everyone here has been informed that you are the new staff employee, and that is what you would be in this place. You would join Tola in doing the cleaning and other house chores. Never interfere with my food because I won’t want to contact cholera or food poisoning. You would be given the staff uniform, so you don’t have to go around in your pathetic clothes. Do you understand me?”
I stared dumbfounded. He seriously did not mean all he just said, did he? “You expect me to work as a maid in my husband’s house?”
His eyes flashed with fury. “First of all, you are not my wife. Even though we signed a bunch of miserable papers, you can never be my wife. Secondly, you should be glad that I dignified you with a maid’s position. You either do this or leave. You chose to marry me, whatever you see is of your making, not mine” he growled out.
I swallowed. “What did I ever do to you? What is my crime Corper?” I breathed.
“You got pregnant. That is your crime” he turned to leave then stopped. “And while you are here, you should never call me Corper, you call me boss” he opened the door and left.
To be continued…..Stay tuned!!!
The Agony of Love part 5
I carried my sack of clothes effortlessly, as I marched with great vigor towards the sitting room. I obviously had had enough of this melodrama which had been on constant replay in my life. Jeez, it was abundantly clear that I made a mistake, but should I be treated like a rejected leper because of it? Well, all that is coming to an end. This has gone this far because I allowed it. I swallowed, trying to put my anger and irritation under control before getting to the sitting room. I won’t want to spoil my exit by ranting like a rebellious child.
I entered the sitting room unceremoniously and my blood stilled before it erupted into a whirlwind of explosion. Corper sat there in the succulent chair, and the snake of a woman, sat on his laps, curled like a child. She ran her hands slowly from Corper’s chest to his shoulders, and to his face, tracing his bottom lip with a finger. Anger coursed through me, making me feel like I would fly into a million pieces from too much anger.
Corper raised his head and a slow smile lit his face immediately he saw me. I froze. What was going on? Was he expecting me? He surely did not look surprised or angry that I was standing there. It was as if he had known all along that I would come there. He met my eyes and bent to kiss the lady’s shoulder and I almost exploded on my feet. The woman’s head went backwards and in the process, caught sight of me. She stilled and sat up instantly.
“Who are you and what are you doing standing there?” she asked on raised voice. I fixed her with an angry glare.
“I think there is a better place to carry out your impropriety rather than the sitting room” I retorted.
She stood from Corper’s leg, with her hands on her hips. “Are you mad?” she yelled then turned to Corper. “Alfred, what is the meaning of this? Who the hell is she and…” she turned to run her eyes up and down my body. Anger seemed to flare. “…And how come you got a new maid without informing me?”
She had called him Alfred! That alone made me angry. Why hadn’t I thought to call him by his name instead of the ‘corper’ I was used to. Maybe if I had, he would have seen me differently, instead of the secondary school girl and drop out that I am. Anyways, there was no time again for me to re-write that mistake. I am leaving!
Alfred seemed a little shaken.
“Don’t you dare call me a maid” I roared as I stomped my foot.
The girl looked like she would match over and kill me.
“And what are you?” it was Corper – sorry, Alfred, that spoke. He was glaring at me, as if daring me to speak. Oh, I thought sternly. If he thought he had instilled enough fear in me to keep me mute, he surely did not know me at all.
“Oh, I would tell you exactly what, or rather, who I am” I returned as I carefully put a dangerous smile on my face. I turned to face the stunned queen diva, when the door to the sitting room suddenly flung open. I turned round to see the Senator and his wife standing at the entrance. If there was anything like a bad timing, their entrance would definitely be a perfect example. But that did not deter me at all.
“Get back to your room Amara” Alfred ordered but I did not move an inch. The lady clapped her hands in bewilderment, like she was still having a difficulty understanding what was going on. I turned to Alfred’s parents and since everyone seemed to have forgotten their manners, I quickly put that straight.
“Good morning sir, good morning ma” I greeted, kneeling slightly. I moved to them to usher them to a seat. “I am sorry for the scene you witnessed, please make yourselves comfortable” I murmured, feeling proud of myself. I knew that once I got my head out of the clouds and stopped feeling sorry for myself, I could actually be quite entertaining. They walked to their seats in confusion and sat down. The senator seemed to smile secretly, as he stared at everyone.
Before they uttered their unspoken question, I asked quickly. “What would you like to drink? I do believe we have anything you need” I knew nothing about what I was saying but I said it anyways.
Corper – no, Alfred. It would take a little practice, changing the name, I noticed mentally. He seemed to grumble something but I missed it. I swallowed slightly, as I placed a great smile on my face, pretending to be unaware of the tension.
Alfred’s mother glared at me. “I want nothing, thanks” she said sternly.
“Oh, I would have something. Could you get me a fruit wine please dear” the senator said, inciting the glare of his wife. I smile victoriously. I had no idea what a fruit wine was but I surely would not disappoint him.
“Just a minute sir” with that, I floated out of the sitting room, with my bag of clothes left on the floor, at the middle of the room.
I smiled as I glanced back and saw the silent state with which the sitting room seemed to be in. the girlfriend of Alfred seemed to have gone as rigid as a pillar of salt as she tried to make sense of the situation. I smiled to myself. Well, if I would leave, I might as well make my exit a memorable one.
Immediately I entered the kitchen, I saw Tina and Tola staring at me in shock. Tina’s expression was more of bewilderment and Tola expressed her undiluted irritation.
“What did you just do there?” Tina asked in shock. They had obviously been eavesdropping.
Tola snarled. “what she has just done is clear. She has revealed her true nature, behaving like the nuisance that she obviously is by disrespecting her boss. Get prepared to get sacked. Frankly, I cant wait for that to happen” she said with disgust.
I fixed her with a firm glare before turning to smile at Tina. This was not the time to banter words with a fool, I told myself. “Tina dear, could you do me the favor of showing me where you keep fruit wines? The senator requested for it and I would like to serve him myself.” I said in a pleading tone.
Tola laughed hysterically but I ignored her. “See this little fool. The wines are there at the bar in the sitting room. You have no business here little novice” she said.
My blood drained as I heard her. OH no! I had just spoiled the fun. If the wines were there, I could bet that glasses would be there as well, so what would I say I came into the kitchen for?
Inspiration hit me at once and I went to the cabinet and grabbed two glass cups.
“Madam, that is not a wine cup” Tola said again.
I ignored her and rinsed the cups, placing them on the tray. Tina looked confused but, bless her soul, she decided to help me by explaining where, in the bar, I would get a fruit wine. I thanked her and carried the tray back into the sitting room. The room was as silent as I left it and I smiled internally again. I was having so much fun at their expense.
As I dropped the tray on a side table, moving it to them, I quickly explained. “Please make do with these glasses sir. I fear the glasses at the bar might be a little unclean, at it might no well with your system” I was saying arrant nonsense, I knew, but I pretended to mean what I said. “I would just get the wine” I walked to the bar, remembering Tina’s descriptions. I picked the first cherry wine I saw and walked back to them. Opening the wine seemed like a really difficult task since I had never opened one before. I stared at it like a work of art until the senator came to my rescue again.
“Let me open that. Your fingers might be a little tender for this” he said with a smile and I heard Alfred mutter something that sounded like a really terrible curse. As the senator took the bottle from my hands, I realised instantly that he was actually a likeable man. There was no disputing the fact that Alfred got his looks squarely from his father. Although elderly, the elderly man looked exceptional, and coming from me since I am terribly picky, i would say he is exceedingly handsome. He looked so breathtakingly masculine in the dark brown suit he had on and I could imagine several young girls falling for him. Looking at him, I wondered just how handsome he would have been in his youth, if he could be this compelling at 50. When I stared at Alfred, I knew exactly what he would have been like at that age. Alfred was more handsome than he had the right to be. Who would imagine that someone with the behaviour I recently noticed in him would be as handsome as he is? No wonder women were swimming all over him, just to gain his attention. Unfortunately, I happened to fall into his trap.
The senator popped the bottle, snapping me out of my thoughts. He was about to fill the cups when I hastily collected it. I would show them the good daughter in-law they would miss before I leave, I told myself. “Let me do it sir, I am sure you would love the taste of this cherry wine” i murmured and his eyes flashed with something i could not place. I risked a glance at his wife who was practically my mother-in-law. She had an uncertain look on her face, like she had not decided whether or not to accept what was going on. I filled her glass with a smile. “Mummy, I am sure you might want to reconsider your desire for a drink. You must have had a long day”
I stood with a satisfied look on my face.
“Can someone tell me what the hell this maid is doing here? Who is she” The lady’s patience seemed to have snapped. She really is sausy, I thought. I am sure she had not even greeted the Senator and his wife. How can Alfred marry this one?
The senator frowned. “Which maid?” He asked in total surprise. For the first time, he noticed the dress I was putting on and a sharp shock went through him. His wife shifted on her seat uncomfortably.
I laughed slightly and was about to talk when Alfred cut in, talking for the first time since his parents’ arrival. “Don’t you dare talk” he yelled with deadly warning.
I glared at him. “You can’t do anything to me Alfred” his stunned expression registered when he noticed that I used his name. For the first time! I smiled and turned to the senator. “Sir. I was made to resume the duties of a maid, the very day I got married to your son”
“What?” The senator Bensonwed
“Married?” The girl yelled. I wish I could remember her name, but frankly, I keep forgetting. She turned to Alfred, who was glaring at me, making me squirm a bit. He looked uncomfortable and I guessed his girlfriend, or fiancee was the cause. “What sort of shit is this Alfred?” She screamed.
He stood beside her with a pained expression. “I can explain” he said, pleading.
She hissed and picked her bag. “Explain to the dogs” she said and marched out of the sitting room and I was surprised her feet did not drill holes into the tiled floor. Alfred pursued her until he got to the slammed door and the Senator’s voice rang out.
“Bring yourself here Alfred, this minute and explain the trash I just heard”
To be continued…