“Can you work as a cleaner and a cook for me? I asked her, she was silent and later said.
” Sir, do you mean like a maid?
She must have hated the word “maid” which means servant. That was my guess though but I decided to upgrade the job description for her, to make it sound better.
” Not precisely a maid. I mean like a housekeeper, a chef and having a total affair of my house. Is that okay by you?
” Of course sir, is very okay but I need to know how much salary you are willing to pay?
I told her the amount and she went quiet. And later said.
” Are you serious sir,? Wow… Yes I’m ready to resume anytime you want me to start.
” How about saving you the stress of transporting to and fro everyday by letting you live in my house, you can pick your day off within the week or during the weekends….
She screamed excitedly into my ear.
” Oh my God. Is this for real? I’m so grateful sir. Thank you so much sir. I won’t disappoint in my duties.
I ended the call and sent her my house address and the day she will resume. I also asked her to bring her curriculum vitae while coming. That will enable me to know who I’m dealing with.
She came the following week with a bag containing few of her things. She handed her CV to me, I kept it on the center table with the hope to check it later. I showed her the room she will be sleeping which was a visitor’s room. I took her round the house and showed her different things and how to carefully handle some of the sensitive household appliances.
She looks so excited through out the introduction. I even introduce her to Musa, the gate man.
I asked her to make a chart for weekly food.
As I turn to leave, she called my attention.
” Excuse me sir, please pardon my question. Are you married or do you have kids..?
I looked back at her and went quiet, wondering why she will even asked that.
” Did you see children’s stuffs in this house? Why did you ask…
She breathed deeply, Clap her hands together. She felt uneasy and it was written all over her.
” I’m really sorry sir, please don’t be offended. The house settings looks more like a family house. Is well furnished, equipped with different things. Like the aquarium in the living room…is beautiful and I haven’t seen such before. Everything is really beautiful in here and that was what prompted my question. But let me get back to work, I’m sorry for asking sir.
She went back drawing a chart on an A4 paper. I cleared my throat and she looked up at me and quickly look away.
” I’m not married and do not have kids yet but my woman comes around once in a while. Whenever she comes make sure you attend to her and do whatever she ask of you. I know she can be over demanding but do all you can to please her.
“Alright sir, I will do exactly that. Thank you once again for giving me this opportunity.
I nodded and as I tried to walk away i quickly remembered that I don’t know her name. I haven’t even open her CV to check her details.
“What’s your name?
“Sandra… that’s my name sir. Everything you need to know about me is in my CV.
I quietly nodded and walked away.
Ireti comes most Saturdays and whenever she comes she sleep over and leave the following day. When Ireti came and saw Sandra she wasn’t happy.
” Why will you employ a matured girl as a maid. You could have gotten a boy not a girl…
“C’mon Ireti, she is my housekeeper not a maid. Why the discrimination? gender doesn’t matter to me all that matters is that she does the job she is employed to do.
” Okay, fine… whatever. I don’t really care. Just don’t cheat on me with a common maid…
Ireti said annoying me with the way she sounded.
” What! why will you even imagine that I will do such… what do I need in another woman when I have it all in you. You are very beautiful, you are classic chic and so smart. What else will I be searching for?
“I’m happy to hear you say that…I know I can trust you.
Ireti said resigning from the conversation.
Sandra was active in her duty. She cleaned, washed, iron, go to the market to buy food stuffs and she was a good cook. I did not bother about the mess Ireti was always creating because Sandra was good with her duty.
Sandra serves Ireti all she demands and does all she was asked to do. Sandra never takes offence in Ireti’s ill treatment to her. She ignored and try not to disappoint me in her duty.
I woke up one early morning to a serious shout in the house. I checked the time it was 4am I flew out of bed and rushed to where the noise was coming from which was Sandra’s bedroom. Ireti was the one screaming down curses on her. Sandra’s body was dripping wet with water
” What is happening here? I asked looking at Ireti’s angry face.
“Can you imagine this fool? This lazy house girl? I woke up and felt like taking fried plantain with egg sauce. I called her to wake up and prepare the food for me and she said okay. Is over thirty minutes, I thought the food was ready only for me to come out and meet her sleeping again. I decided to wake her up with a bucket of water since she is too lazy to get up and make my food.
I was totally pissed with Ireti. But I decided not to scold her in front of Sandra. I lead her into my room
” Baby, you poured her a bucket of water Just to wake her up? Why will you do such? Sandra slept late where she was busy cleaning and washing up all the messed up house which you accumulated in the afternoon. After the day work the least she deserves is a quiet night rest. Why will you still go to wake her up by 3am to make food for you… that’s unfair. Is totally wrong.
Ireti became so angry and started acting violence.
” How dare you support that lazy fool instead of me. She is a maid and should be ready to serve at any point in time. You stand here and defend her lazy ass? Mart at the first sunlight I will leave here. I can’t tolerate this embarrassment coming from you…
I tried to calm her down but she refused to be calm. I move to the kitchen and saw Sandra, she has changed up her wet cloth and was frying plantain for Ireti. She turned and saw me.
” I’m sorry sir, i didn’t even know when I slept back after she woke me. I shouldn’t have because I signed for this job to make sure madam Ireti is always satisfied. I failed in my duty to her and I apologize…
She said with a tired looking eyes. How can she even be apologizing after Ireti bath her with water in her sleep? It saddens me but here she was trying to serve Ireti despite what she did to her.
I began to wonder what kind of soft and patient heart Sandra posses. She was really a rare human with excess kindness.
I couldn’t utter a word. I went back in. This wasn’t the first time Ireti was been so harsh to Sandra who will still apologize at every shout.
Ireti left angrily that early morning even without touching the plantain and egg sauce that she woke Sandra up for. She didn’t touch the food and left. I know she will go on one week of keeping malice with me before coming to her senses.
That afternoon, on a Sunday after Ireti left I saw Sandra sleeping in the kitchen. I guess her mattress was sucked with the water Ireti poured on her while she was asleep which made her to come to the kitchen to sleep.
I try to touch her but withdraw my hands. I took a deep breath before gently touching her but she didn’t wake up.
I called out her name twice and she woke up, and stood apologising again for sleeping in the kitchen.
My house had three bedroom with a big sitting room. So I asked her to go and sleep in the second master bedroom which was connected to my room.
She hesitated and said instead she will go and sleep in her room like that. I insisted because I know her bed was still wet and she can’t sleep in it or she will catch a flu. It took time before she agreed to go. I watch her walk past me and I quickly stop her.
” Sandra, I’m… sorry about what my woman did to you. Her actions shouldn’t be justified and I’m glad you didn’t respond all through her outburst of anger. She doesn’t know better, My woman grew up in the means of maids answering to her every need. Don’t hate her for any reason, it wasn’t her fault making you sleep by midnight or waking you up by 3am to cook for her, is her up bringing. do all you can to please her whenever she is around…
She responded with “alright sir” before leaving.
I took another deep breath wondering what was wrong with me. Sandra is very special and I’m beginning to have soft spot for her.
Ireti is my woman, I cherish her beauty, her class and her high league but Sandra is specially different and filled with kindness. I drove out that evening for some fresh air and to clear my head while Sandra sleeps in another master bedroom connected to mine.
I thought of Ireti, she is still not taking my calls which was her usual way. She will come around after one week. I wish I know exactly where Ireti lives I could have gone down to see her. I have try to get to know where she lives but she told me that her Papi do not like visitors and time will come when she will introduce me to him. I didn’t push or argue but I’m beginning to wish I actually knows where she lives so that I can also go and see her and meet her Papi. She was planning on making my type of shoe for her Papi’s upcoming birthday. Which she said I will be invited to the big birthday party when the time comes and I will get to meet her Papi. is something that I look forward to.
I drove round before going back home. Sandra was sitting by the gate with Musa when I drove in. Musa was telling her a story and she was laughing. She quickly went inside as I drove in. I called Musa asking him what they were talking about.
” Oga, small madam say make i tell am story of my people for North… so, as i dey tell am, she come they laugh. Oga, small madam na better woman pass big madam…
I hushed Musa to shut up and go back to his duty Post. I went inside, Sandra was setting dinner for me on the dinning.
” Did you rest well?
I asked her, she smile and said.
” Yes, I did but couldn’t sleep for long in that big bed. I’m grateful sir.
She had a warm liveliness around her. I smile and sat on the table to eat. She hardly stay close whenever I’m on the dining.
” Have you eaten, if not bring your food to the dining.
She hesitated before bringing her food to the dining. She was shy but she has to get comfortable with my presence.
As we eat in silence, I lifted my eyes from my food and stared at her while she was eating. She felt my gaze and looked up at me before standing up from the table with the excuse to get something from the kitchen. I was done eaten, I stood and went to my room to rest for the night.
As I lay on my bed there wasn’t only one thought, one person that crowded my mind. I just couldn’t think of something else except this special person.