I had just brushed my teeth and was heading to the kitchen to prepare breakfast when I bumped into Oga, his face looked pale and I felt he was still shocked over his wife’s reaction yesterday at the police station. ‘who sigh’ I said to myself as I walked past him as though he didn’t exist. Madam had asked me to stay and who was he to say otherwise, silently I praised my madam, she really knew how to coil her husband round her little finger. I stepped into the kitchen and was surprised to see madam at the sink washing vegetables, I made to collect them from her but she raised her hand in silent refusal and I stepped back. I looked around the kitchen for what to do next then remembered that I didn’t do my primary duties of the morning, sighing deeply I said.
“Madam shebi I fit carry ya pikin go school today?” I asked eager to continue my former chores.
My madam turned to look at me and shook her head.
“My son is at my sister’s place.” She said silently.
I nodded quietly and bit my fingernails which were rather dirty. Suddenly we heard the door bang hard and moments later the motor engine fired to life which signaled that Oga was on his way to work. The tension eased a bit and I dragged a small wooden kitchen stool and sat on it taking in deep breaths at intervals, I was shocked when madam asked.
“Senorita! Who is the other woman?”
Somehow I had known that madam had brought me back into her employ to question me about the woman Oga had in his life and even while I decided to sit back and wait for Madam’s next line of action, I wasn’t prepared for her question.
“Madam I no know ooo.” I innocently replied.
“Do you know that if I never dropped the charges against you, you would rot in prison? Are you ready to tell me who the other woman is or should I force it from your mouth?” She asked.
I stared at the woman who I overpowered yesterday in a small wrestling contest and almost laughed in mockery but I couldn’t, there was something else masked within her façade that made me doubt she still had blood running in her veins. She looked like a killer.
“Madam, wetin I know be say…the woman get big booby and her yash come small.” I reply.
“Is she light skinned or dark skinned?” Madam asked further.
“For where? Bleach wan kill am…na so so cream full her body, she no yellow reach me.” I answered, boasting with my complexion.
“I need more details, how did she speak? Is she mature? How old do you think she is?”
“Errr…she fit don near thirty five, she get open teeth and she dey talk like pesin wey nose dey pain am.” I blurted.
At that instant, the knife madam held in her hands fell to the ground in a clattered heap, I rushed to pick it up but she pushed me away. Puzzled by her attitude, I move away.
“Does she have a dimple?” Madam asked.
“She no get pimple.” I supplied.
“I didn’t say pimple, I said dimple…the slight indentation on the cheek or chin.” Madam explained, showing me by placing her finger on her cheeks and pressing it low so that I could understand.
“Yes…madam she get for her two face…” I said, gesturing with my fingers as I placed them on my cheeks.
My madam held the kitchen sink for support and I saw her eyes water, after a while, she walked out of the kitchen but came back later with her phone. Shoving the electronic device in my face, she showed me the replica of the woman whom I had described.
“Ehnn madam!” I exclaimed “As I tell you how the woman be, na so you go snap am picture?” I ask dumbfounded.
“What rubbish are you talking about?” Madam asked me sounding irritated.
“Na the woman be dis na…na she.” I exclaim.
Madam stare at me in the face and shake her head in disbelief; right there before me, she dials a number.
“Hello Clara, where are you? Can you come to the house now? Okay…I’ll appreciate it. No…my husband isn’t home, I just really need a friend right now…. I think he’s cheating on me…please come over to my place….yes, an hour is fine.” My madam cried as she spoke on the phone.
As soon as she dropped the call, she straightened herself and stared at me in the face.
“I just called her…” Madam said
“Who?” I asked.
“The good for nothing woman who has been dating my husband.”
I couldn’t be more shocked, ‘there were miracle workers in this house!’ I said to myself.
“Wetin? You call am?” I asked with mouth hung open.
“My husband introduced her to me as a girlfriend of an old friend of his, I can’t believe I was gullible to let them deceive me. How long has this affair been going on? One year? Two?” madam spoke, more to herself than to me.
“Ehh ya…sorry.” I said, trying to sound sympathetic.
Madam gave me a sharp look and I was once again scared of what lurked beneath her gaze.
“Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned. Senorita! I need your fighting skills.” Madam said.
“Fighting skills?” I echoed.
“It is no news that you are a very big fighter, after the ‘jack-up’ you gave me yesterday, I want you to do something for me.” Madam echoed.
I nodded, priding myself in the fact that even madam had reason to fear my fighting skill.
“First things first…..” Madam started.
The doorbell rang as the clock struck eleven that morning and it did for a while but I didn’t answer, I and madam had hatched a plan that would make even the devil shiver in fear. After a while, the bell stopped and there was a loud knock at the door, I didn’t reply, I was kneeling behind the bar waiting for my prey to step into the house. As we had thought, Clara walked into the house speaking softly and calling out my madam’s name. I recognized the voice instantly, 'it was really the other woman and she had arrived.' After seeing no one in the sitting room, she went further to open the doors leading to the bedrooms. Sighing in frustration, she exclaimed aloud.
“Where is this woman? Why would she call me to her house and not be here. Sandra! It’s me Clara, are you home?” She called.
Nothing. No reply. The woman went to the kitchen and came out again to the sitting room. She sat on the sofa and waited for madam while dialing her phone. Immediately she dialed, Madam’s phone which sat not too far from the sofa began to ring.
“Stupid woman…so this is where she kept her phone. I have more important things to do rather than sit here all day and wait for her. Or wait a minute…did she go out to commit suicide?” she laughed and mocked “Imagine a woman whose husband can never love her, good riddance to bad rubbish.”
I was already sweating as I crouched behind the bar, it was time to pounce and I wasted no time. I jumped out from the bar space and landed a few feet away from the unwanted visitor. Her screams could be heard miles away as she almost had a heart attack as soon as she saw me. Now, I’ll explain my appearance and how I looked.
Before Clara came visiting, madam and I hatched a plan, it involved a little drama. Madam was to leave the house as though she had gone to quickly get some drinks for Clara in the supermarket while waiting for the right moment to come back home innocently as though oblivious to what was happening. I in turn was to wait for Clara to show up so that I could beat her up. My alibi would be that I was at the market at the time Clara came in, thus, dispelling any suspicions of being closely linked to the occurrence which was deemed to take place at the house. We had agreed to scare Clara in the most unfamiliar way and have her beaten badly by a frighteningly unknown specimen which would be-me. This was to make sure that she doesn’t recognize me when asked questions after the incident. Early this morning, as soon as madam and I left the kitchen, we proceeded to the spare room where madam proved her skills as a gifted make-up artist. Within fifteen minutes, she had transformed me into a very vile looking creature with red teeth and bloodshot eyes. With professional make-up, madam made me look hideous and unrecognizable and as soon as a mirror was placed before me, I almost ran for my life. I looked terrifying and every inch a vicious monster. She applied something black on my body and tore pieces of rags and clothes, transforming them into a suitable costume. I couldn’t believe my horrible transformation, I was aghast by the results.
“Jump out from the bar and attack her like a ferocious animal, make sure you tear her into pieces.” Was madam’s command as she stared at me.
I nodded, eager and willing to please.
“Then, as soon as you are through, run back to your room and wash yourself fast. I will place the market bag in your room filling it with yam and red oil. Emerge later from the back door as though you are just coming from the market but not to worry, I would be back by then and ofcourse I’ll act surprised when she tells me that she was attacked by a horrible creature.” Madam laughed.
I joined in too.
“How you wan make I beat am? Make I give am chance to run comot?” I asked
Madam gave me a very threatening stare.
“I am not paying you fifty thousand naira for nothing, beat her till she’s almost unconscious, then run away. She will not be able to tell what attacked her and to anyone, she’ll sound paranoid.” Madam explained.
I had nodded in agreement. Now, as I stand before the woman in question while listening to her loud screams, I jump on her and attack. I bite and beat the life out of her body, in the process, most of my make-up smear on her clothes but I don’t care, I was eager to please my madam. Clara kicked, screamed and tried to fight back but in the end, she fell limp, I thought she was dead except for the small moans she made with her mouth. Suddenly, I heard the door crash into the sitting room and turned to see some hefty men rush towards me. Survival instints take over as I jump over the sofa and run towards my room and opening the door I run inside for safety. The men were fast, they followed me in and tried to grab me, I screamed and shouted loud as I grabbed my window’s burglary proof and climbed to the window top in panic. Turning back to face the men, I couldn’t believe my eyes, my room was littered with all manner of make-up and smeared with the paint my madam had used on my body. At that moment, my madam walked in looking forlorn and dejected. Facing the men, she said;
“Thank you for coming…I can’t believe I had a pervert in my home all these while. Even when my husband locked her up for hawking my son on the streets of Lagos, I still pitied her and brought her into my home again. Now, look at what she has done to my friend, the poor lady can…cannot speak, and I fear she has a stroke.” She cried.
My mouth hung open in shock and the effects of the shock must have affected my hands as I didn’t know when I let go of the burglary iron rail and landed on my bottom. All the men rushed at me and using some clothes they found scattered on my bed, they bound me hands and feet. I couldn’t be more astounded, suddenly my Oga storms into my room and demands an explanation as regards the incident in his house. Madam runs to him and hugs him in tears while one of the men proceeded to tell him what transpired.
“We think this young lady is possessed sir. We were sitting at the beer palour when your wife ran to meet us screaming that she heard a scream in the house. Apparently, she was on her way to the store to buy drinks for her friend who she was expecting when she realized she had forgotten her purse at home and on returning to retrieve it, she heard screams coming from her house. Scared over what could be happening, she ran to us for help and we rushed to the rescue only to see a horrible looking person attacking her friend, we are relieved to find out it’s just make-up paint. We chased her down and here we are.” Said the man.
“Honey…she took all my make-up…she used them for this…this evil thing. I’m so sorry I brought her back home…I feel so ashamed of myself.” My madam cried
My mouth hung open, ‘wasn’t this a pact with madam? Why was she acting like we weren’t in this together or…. did she set me up?’ I watched my Oga’s face contort as he advanced towards me in a bid to strangle me but was restrained by the men.
“We will take her to the police station…they’ll take it from there.” Said another of the men.
They bundled me up and carried me away and as I was carried past madam, I heard her mutter for my ears only.
“Thank you for being my means to a triumphant end.”
I shook my head in disbelief and at that instant I knew that I had been taken for a ride; how did I expect a woman whom I had roughly placed her child on the streets of Lagos and in the same bid, kissed her husband, a truth she knew already, forgive me easily. At that moment I realized that I had to wisen up, Lagos wasn’t for kids and if I ever managed to escape my present predicament alive, it would be a total revamp for me. As I was bundled out of the house, I shouted aloud in frustration;
“Lagos…chai! Na like dis we go dey dey?”