Hotel Palava - Episode 4
My search for the speech-impaired lady was fruitless. No one could testify to having a speech-impaired maid working in the hotel.
To be more certain, I decided to inquire from Mrs. Haruna.
"Ma'am i'm curious to know; I was shocked to have stumbled across a speech-impaired maid who works here, i never knew the hotel hire such, not like i'm against it or anything"
"Sir we have never done that." Mrs Haruna answered, "B-b-but i..." I stuttered, i was puzzled and then It dawned on me that i had been deceived.
She has to be a good actress to have fooled me that way. Damn she's good! I had to hand it over to her.
She's damn good!
Being fully aware of Adesuwa's deceit, I ran towards the maid's quarter
. The lies came streaming through my mind. I couldn't believe that someone would stoop so low as to pretend to be dumb.
Wonders shall never cease!
On getting there, after much description, i found out the person in question was named Adesuwa and she was off duty and had left earlier in the day.
"Damn it!" I muttered as the interrogated maid, Bukola as she is called, stared at me.
"What did you call that name again?" I asked to be sure.
"Adesuwa" she replied.
I left the hotel unfulfilled. I wished i had met Adesuwa
. I imagined giving her a thorough interrogation and a piece of my mind.
After pretending to be dumb, I walked into Mrs Haruna's office. The only reason I finally met the manager was because she demanded to see me in her office.
I hesitantly walked in after being invited in. "What's it with the long face?" She asked and I shook my head.
"Is it that time of the month?"she asked and I shook my head again. This time, slowly.
"Then what? Have you suddenly gone dumb?" She asked and I hissed within. Oh if she knew!
"I'm just having a crappy day"
"You're always having a crappy day Adesuwa. For once in your life try to smile and worry less in life. Don't take this life too serious or you'll commit suicide"
"I'm not crazy. Why did you call me here? This one that you're not yelling at me or threatening to fire me" I stared suspiciously at her and she hissed.
"The slot of the secretary and assistant manager is still open" "So?"
"I was hoping you would go for it." She answered and i threw my head back in intense laughter. Was she being serious?
From her response, it appeared so.
"Are you being serious?" I asked and she hissed.
"I don't joke around Adesuwa. You should know me by now"
"I mean assistant manager? That will be a miracle" "Don't you think you're deserving of the position?"
"If there's anyone who deserves that position it's you. You know this hotel better than anyone." "And you're a brilliant woman" she commented and I smiled and the compliment.
"Wait.... Was that a compliment?"
"Shut up" she snapped then we both laughed.
"At least the secretary slot is still open"
"I'm not going to go through this again. The last time I submitted my resume I got employed as a maid." " Mr. Henry Babalola seems like a good man. He's not like the others"
"They are all the same! Slimy pigs who want nothing but s*x. All men are pigs"
"Adesuwa!" Mrs. Haruna yelled.
"I'm married to one and he's not a pig. Just submit the damn CV and see if you would get the damn job"
"Okay" I answered.
I reality, I wasn't going to submit anything. How would I appear before the manager for an interview without getting caught?
The next day at work, I tried my possible best to avoid the Boss and thank God I was lucky enough.
I arrived home in the day from another exhaustive day at work.
I sighted Chidi kneel down in front of the compound. It was unmissable.
I stood still, kind of embarrassed. I wasn't sure whether to run, or face the issue head on.
"Will you marry me?" I heard him ask, he had a pathe tic look on his face, he whispered that i tamper his proposal with mercy.
I took a quick look around the street. Cameras were flashing from different direction, both far and near.
I was completely puzzled. I had no idea on what to do.
If i reject his proposal in front of the public's eye and camera, i would be embarassing him.
I took a deep breath, then I looked up to the heavens for help.
Saying yes wasn't an option.
I can't inconvenience myself for Chidi's convenience! I don't love him.
"No" I blurted out coldly.
"Chidi...i'm not the right woman for you. Trust me, you'll know the right one when you see her" I added walking out on him. Then I heard loud jeers from the neighbors.
I felt horrible, he would probably be freezing from the cold way i rejected his offer.
I resumed work the next morning. I walked into the maid's quarter, opened my locker where I removed my uniform from it.
By the door were two maid staring at me, Uju and Bukola.
"Any problem?" I asked, "Nothing" Bukky answered.
"Manager came looking for you yesterday" she answered keened to see my response.
I slowly turned my head towards Bukky with a surprised look on my face.
"Why?" "He didn't say"
Suddenly Lillian dashed towards me. She was looking at something on her phone.
"Girls!" she muttered to herself, "Are so heartless" she added.
That was her cue if she wanted me to pay attention to her.
"Why do you say so?" I asked, "Good morning dear" she said as if remembering she had forgotten to greet me.
"There's this video online...everyone is downloading it. It's a video of an evil witch heartlessly rejecting a guy's proposal." Lilian added shaking her head.
"You should have seen the guy....so handsome! The girl sef ugly!" she continued looking into a mirror on the wall.
"Did you see the girl?" Adesuwa asked, "I didn't oh; i only watched the end from someone's phone. But i dont need to see a witch before i know she's a witch."
"Was the girl putting on a red top and jean trousers?" I asked silently praying for a "No". I sincerely hope for it to be another internet viral video.
"Yes" Lilian hissed then turned over at her.
"Wait...you don watch the video?" she asked and I slowly shook my head.
"I don't need to...that girl...i" i stuttered, "That girl in red is me Lilian, that's me the wicked heartless witch."
"Oh" Lilian paused.
"Did i say heartless witch?" She asked, "Wait... I being hear something like that for street" she paused.
"But babe you wicked oh, how could you have had the mind to reject him in public. Some people they find this marriage oh"
"I don't like him Lillian. I can't just say yes to someone I don't love. I'm sorry but I can't"
Deji sat opposite me in my office watching a video. He found whatever he was watching pleasing and amusing.
"Stop the cackling deji, you sound like a chicken" I complained with a chuckle and i watched him take his gaze off his phone.
"Just watch the video Henry. Trust me, cackling will be the trend of the day."
"Another akpos joke?" I asked, "Even more interesting!" he answered handing the phone to me.
I shook my head when i noticed that the guy in the video was on his knee. I knew it was definitely a proposal gone wrong.
"This guy has some crazy guts. I'll never propose in public"
The video was blurry, it felt like it was shot with Nokia 3310 camera. Five minutes into the tense short movie, I notice another thing. There was a blurry face i thought I recognised. Carefully observing the blurry face, it finally became clear.
It was indeed someone i knew.
There was no need debating over it.
"Adesuwa" i muttered.
I couldn't believe my own sight. "Adesuwa" i muttered once more...
"Seriously" i added, my left palm unconciously covered my lip.
"The video was suppose to make you laugh not leave you startled" Deji retorted and I gave him back his phone.
"It's her Deji, it's the girl...that speech impaired chick, the one who walked into me naked" I explain and he raised his brow in disbelief.
"I think this girl has some serious issues" I continued.
"Serious mental issue." Deji agreed. "First she walked in on you naked, then she faked dumb. This girl is crazy, let's call her a psychiatrist!" Deji suggested.
"Now you're over-exaggerating it"
"You don't know, we might be doing that babe a huge favour"
I stood up from the chair walking towards the door.
"And... where the hell are you going to?" He asked, "To talk to her"
"Deal with this like the boss you are! Get rid of the girl."
"Not without an explanation. See..." I paused in thought, "There has to be a reason, the lies...and the video...i just need to ask"
"Well it's not your business Henry!"
"Sorry man, but i'm making it mine" I answered going back to take my phone and I saw Deji roll his eyes then he let out a long hiss.
"You never change! Go now! Carry person matter for head."
Henry and I have been best of friend since we were teens. I lost my virginity to him in secondary school. Actually, we both lost our virginity.
From then on, I swore that I won't get married to any man that isn't Henry Babalola.
His education in London caused a rift between us, though he would visit and we would continue in that line but slowly it stopped. Henry stopped coming back and I became disappointed.
His mother would assure me that he would soon be back for me. She would try to cheer me up and let me know that if it isn't me, Henry can never be with another.
Fine Henry wasn't the only man I've had s*x with, there have been several other. I try to stay out of stringy relationships.
It never goes beyond sex.
My joy knew no bounds when I heard Henry was coming back to Nigeria. The evening I got the news, I received a marriage proposal from a friend, my best friend. A proposal which I bluntly refused.
Henry was coming back!!! I couldn't contain my joy.
Days after he came back, he didn't pay me any visit. It was annoying and frustrating. I complained severally to his mom who was on a vacation in India with her husband.
I finally got a call and a date venue. The date went well but I did notice some differences about my Henry. He wasn't the same Henry I knew, he wasn't trying to have a direct eye contact with me and he was obviously avoiding some topics.
I didn't care, at least I was now with him. I had butterflies in my tummy and I was just so freaking turned on at the sight of him.
I already saw myself waking up by his side the next morning.
Things didn't turn out as planned as i noticed he wasn't making a move towards sex. I felt bored so I decided to have a little video chat with my girlfriends.
I stared at my two friends, Emmanuella and Ayo. "Tell me you finally did it with him" Ayo assumed, and I shook my head.
"He's playing virgin, acting all gentlemanly. It's annoying" I pouted, "He has no idea how much I want him"
"Then show him how much you want him" Emmy suggested, "I don't want to look like a slut or look too desperate"
"Babe, you need to be desperate, his mom is rooting for you! What are you waiting for ? Tell him you want him"
"I don't know" I whined, "Just remember to let him know that I need a job sha" Emmy chipped in and Ayo laughed.
I dressed up in my sexy lingerie, over a skimpy robe and I walked into his room. His door wasn't locked.
"Hello Henry" I called out then I slowly hopped on the bed. Suddenly I saw him run towards the door. What was he scared of?
Was I being scary?
"What do you think you're doing?" He asked, and I shrugged, "Come on Henry, doesn't it look familiar?" I asked, "It's what we used to do years ago" I concluded and he shook his head.
"That was ages ago Jummy, you need to get out now" he requested opening the door for me to leave. It was so embarrassing!
"Are you being serious right now?" I asked and he nodded icily.
I scoffed then i walked up to him touching his chest.
"Don't reject me Henry" i pleaded, "And don't make a fool of yourself too. You're better than this" he retorted sharply, then he pushed me out of the room.
I started working at May hotel shortly after Adesuwa. Adesuwa and I have been friends for ages. I can't recall since when. We all grew up in Rashidi Bello street.
I've been with her through thick and thin. Her life has always been disappointing. I worry about her now and then.
Whenever she tells me she is cursed, I try to convince her that she's not but conversely, I think she is.
Nothing good ever happens to her. It's like she's somehow jinxed; like anytime something good is about to happen to her, something awful would happen.
She's lucky, but her luck is always quick to turn sour.
With her walking into the manager naked and acting dumb in front of him, I was more than convinced that my best friend was cursed.
I felt bad that she had to look for another job.
Adesuwa suddenly sunk into a bad mood after seeing the video, she immediately breezed out and i followed her. I called her name severally bit she didn't respond.
"You dey go house?" I yelled, but she gave no reply.
"What if supervisor con ask of you? Adesuwa!" I yelled all to no avail.
Shortly after, manager walked towards me inquiring on Adesuwa's whereabout.
"She just left"
"Gosh!" He groaned and I wonder what was going on. "How long?" He asked, "About two minutes ago. You can still meet her..." I paused realising i was speaking to my superior.
"I'll run over to her now..." I stammered running towards a door.
After running down the long stairs, and jumping out the gate like an action figure. I felt like a heroine-in-the-making, i found out that my efforts were in vain. She was no where near sight.
"Yeye pikin!" I yelled under her heavy breath.
. "See as she take allow me run"
"I guess she escaped again" I heard Mr. Henry say behind me. I wonder why he said that.
"She...had stomach pile or stomach upset..so...she went back home to purge it out" i lied.
Things I do for that girl!
"Pile...wow must be really hard for someone who's speech-impaired to pass that kind of information" He folded his hands then let's out a scoff.
"She... Ade is good at pointing and making hand gestures" I answered. I wonder where he was getting at.
"May hotel doesn't have any speech impaired employee...i know your friend faked it, so stop covering up for her."
I stood still, my breath literally stopped and I bent my head in shame. I assumed it was over for me. I would definitely be kicked out with Adesuwa.
"Meet me in my office" he ordered and my heart pounded in fear.
I walked into manager's office, he ordered that I sit and I sat opposite him,with my heart beating fast.
"You don't need to be scared.... Lilian right?" He asked, and I wondered how he knew.
"Yes...i'm sorry for lying sir, all i've ever done is try to help my best friend, yet she keeps putting me in wahala"
"All i need is her address. I can get it from her files if i want to..." he paused realising how he sounded.
"I don't plan on firing you Lilian...just give me her home address."
"What do you want to do?"
"I want to get to know her. I think she's a mess, I want to know her before firing her, if the a cause arises to."
"She's not that bad Sir, she's only in this because of crazy circumstances" i answered.
There was a brief silence. It seemed like he was in thought.
"So what do you say we keep whatever we just spoke on a little secret from your friend?" He requested and i blinked my eyes a bit confused.
"I don't understand"
"Don't let her know that ....I'm aware that she can speak."
"She's my best friend"
"This is the least I can ask for, just do this for me." he begged and I gave it a thought.
To be continued...