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One week passed and the idea of being a maid in my husband’s house was still like a bomb. Each passing day added to my shock and dismay at this display of impunity. I have never felt more like garbage like I did now, having to work with the maids in the house. Ever since Corper walked out of my room, I hadn’t set my eyes on him. I was careful to ensure that we never happened to be in the same place together. My hatred for him grew with each passing day, but my love for him was not eliminated either. I still could not understand why thoughts of him still plagued my dreams. Every time, I entertained the hope that he would change and love me the way he professed in the village. Unfortunately, there was no indication that this would ever happen.
My pale state and vomiting had made it known almost immediately I arrived that I was pregnant. Tina had been very helpful, encouraging me and making me laugh whenever my mood turned sour – which was almost all the time. I had been careful enough to avoid the subject of my child’s paternity whenever she tried to bring it up. Changing the subject had always been my way out of that sticky situation. Tola, the cleaner, on the other hand, had been a real pain in the butt. She never spared a change to throw well-aimed insults at me. The fact that I had to share the house chores with her, instead of making her happy, made her terribly furious. We became instant enemies and she never stops expressing her wish that I would ‘go back to whatever stinking village I come from’. Even though Tina was constantly coming to my aid, dealing with Tola’s sharp mouth along with my other problems was beginning to really get on my nerves. The fact that I should naturally be the madam of the house was what stopped me from bantering words with her. It was infuriating that someone who should naturally report to me was giving me a really tough time; it made the idea of being a maid sink in.
One fateful morning, I woke up extremely early, partly from lack of sleep and also from the desire to use the general maids’ bathroom before the other girls, since we had to share bathroom and toilet. I was certainly in no mood Tola’s ranting. After a refreshing shower, I dressed myself in the maids’ uniform and still had too much time to myself before starting the house chores. After drinking the bitter village herbs to drive away nausea and dizziness, I decided to lose my already rough hair. The ‘all back’ had lasted way longer than it ought. Loosening it took just a few minutes and I combed my hair out, letting the long strands fall freely past my shoulders. Satisfied that I looked a bit better than before, even without a mirror to confirm that, I straightened up my bed and decided to start the house chores, regardless of the time.
The work was a good thing for me because it helped me to keep myself busy and push away depressing thoughts. I could not imagine how terrible it would have been if I had to just sit idle and watch the ticking hands of the clock. As I cleaned the furniture, songs of sadness escaped my lips. Thoughts of corper stayed permanently on my mind, probably because his picture frames hung all around the extra-large sitting room. He had seen the product of our union as a crime, but I refused to see the life growing in me as the cause of my sadness. Notwithstanding the circumstances surrounding my conception, I vowed to give my child all the love and care that he or she deserved. Even if the child never knew the love of a father, I promised to fill both the spot of a mother and that of a father in my child’s life. At first, recapturing corper Bello’s love had crossed my mind, but considering all that I was being made to go through, I was not sure I even felt anything but hate for him again.