[email protected] didn’t return until night and Ibitoru was very hungry but she would cope with the hunger rather than learn how to use the stove and probably end up burning herself.
She was furious by the time he returned. She went into her bedroom seething. She spent several minutes there hoping he would come over and apologize to her but he didn’t. The minutes stretched to hours and she heard him turning off the lights and locking up; heard him shut the door to his bedroom. She couldn’t believe that he had gone to bed with a clear mind. Without even asking her if she would eat supper or whether she’d eaten all day!
Hunger pushed her out of the bed. She left her room quietly and walked into the kitchen. She turned on the lights and began to search for something edible. Fortunately, she found yam porridge in one of the pots. It was very cold but beggars can’t be choosy, she thought.
She emptied the contents of the pot into a flowery ceramic plate and walked out of the kitchen turning off the lights as she did so. She occupied the sofa and began to eat despite the fact that there was no chicken, beef or fish to go with it. She ate the food to her satisfaction, gulping down a cup of warm water. With every [email protected] hour, the man was just adding to his numerous sins. The light was wasted if he didn’t have a water dispenser or a common fridge. What was the cost of the bloody thing for crying out loud? He had her money, all he had to do was use it for something useful!
If she was to eat yam porridge back home, it would have lots of dry fish in it and peppered chicken parts. And it would be served with wine or juice depending on what she was in the mood for. She’d concede that he was a good cook for a guy although she couldn’t understand why a man would go through the pains of learning how to prepare his own meal. Then again that must be normal for poor men.
She yawned and rose to her feet leaving the plate on the table.
‘Wake up. Now!’ A [email protected] voice thundered, penetrating her dreams and causing her to sit up on the bed with a start.
She saw the man thundering over her like a T-rex in a white singlet and a pair of jeans that showed off his superb physique. He didn’t have to lose the singlet for her to know that he had a six pack, she thought sleepily. He should be participating in one of those bodybuilding competitions instead of going around abducting women!
‘Get up now,’ he ordered.
‘Well good morning to you too,’ she muttered stretching herself out on the bed. ‘I’m sure you had a lovely night.’
‘No smart mouthing this morning,’ he ground out.
‘What is your problem?’
‘You are. Get out of that bed before I drag you out of it.’
‘It’s not like the stupid bed is comfortable,’ she grumbled as she headed for the door.
‘Aren’t you forgetting something?’
She followed the direction of his hand. Her bed. Or rather, the bed in the bedroom he’d kept her in.
‘What about the bed?’ She queried.
‘Do I need to spell it out to you? Dress it.’
‘Geez, you must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed once more,’ she taunted. ‘Either that or you think that you are a drill sergeant.’
‘Dress it,’ he repeated.
‘All right. All right.’
She tried to straighten the bed in the best way she could mumbling bitterly.
‘I’m done,’ she informed him.
He wasn’t satisfied with her best, so he dragged her to his bedroom pointing to the neatly dressed bed in his bedroom, with nothing out of place.
‘I want your bed like this,’ he told her.
‘I don’t dress beds.’
‘Just as you don’t wash your plates after eating. You’ll learn how to do both today. After washing the plate you ate with last night I expect you to keep yourself busy doing some household chores.’
‘And you?’ she enquired.
‘I’m the boss here.’
‘I don’t clean up in my house and I refuse to be transformed into an unpaid maid by you.’
‘You will do as you are told and not question my authority.’
‘Who do you think you are? You-’
‘In case you have forgotten, you are my prisoner. Do not allow me to treat you as one. I’ll do it gladly.’
‘I’m sure you will.’
She marched off, glaring at him and cursing him under her breath.
‘Curses, Miss Davids?’ He taunted. ‘I thought you were supposed to be a polished lady.’
She cleaned up her bedroom, prepared to show him that although she’d never done such a thing it didn’t mean that she couldn’t do it. If she put her mind to it. She straightened the bed.
‘The bed sheets are still sticking out at the edges,’ he told her.
‘You are just enjoying yourself at my expense.’
‘Immensely, my dear, now rectify it.’
He learned against the wall, arms crossed about his muscular chest, looking for all the world like it was the most natural thing in the world to do.
I wish there was something I could use to wipe the expression from his face, she thought.
She kept at it until he gave her a nod of satisfaction like she was a recalcitrant child he was trying to teach some manners. Why didn’t he just go ahead and give her a pat on the head and say ‘very good, my dear, keep it up’? And to her horror, he did just that as though he’d read her mind. She gave him one of her glares that had guys keeping their distances but this guy was obviously made of sterner stuff than that, she thought, when he didn’t react as she had expected but rather informed her that she had more chores to do in the kitchen.
In the sitting room, she found the plate and cup she’d used for her supper still on the table.
‘You should have just taken them into the kitchen when you were drawing the drap-e s,’ she chastised.
‘Sorry, I don’t clean up after spoilt brats. You make dirt, you clean it up yourself. Now pick those and take them to the kitchen,’ he ordered in a voice that broke no argument.’
She grumbled under her breath as she did his bidding. She was beginning to sound like Muttley, d**k Dastardly’s side kick from wacky races!
In the kitchen, he not only made her wash the plates and the cup, he also made her wash the pot.
‘You used it too,’ she protested.
‘But you used it last,’ he reminded her, his voice mimicking hers. ‘Now wash!’
‘You know what! I believe you were given a lot of orders while growing up and you feel you can now take it out on me because I’m unfortunate to be here. Well, let me remind you that I am neither your daughter, nor your little sister.’
‘If you were my daughter, you wouldn’t be a spoilt brat. I would have seen to that.’
‘By flogging me until I learnt some manners?’
‘Maybe,’ he said vaguely. ‘Now wash.’
She washed the pot, seething, and careful with the nails she’d recently fixed.
‘Not clean enough.’
‘You should have got yourself a dish washer.’
‘There isn’t one, so wash.’
‘If you don’t like it, do it yourself. I am tired of taking orders from you.’
He was suddenly behind her. He caught her wrists and dipped her hands into the soapy water.
‘Careful with the nails. I paid a fortune for them.’
‘That’s just too bad.’
‘I’ll get you for this if it’s the last thing I do,’ she swore.
It took her over fifteen minutes to get it right. By then her f!ng£rs were soft and almost white. If she’d thought that she hated him before, it was nothing compared to the way she felt now.
‘I hate you,’ she told him.
‘Tell me something new,’ he returned, shoving a broom in her direction.
She looked at him like he was an alien.
‘What is that for?’
‘To sweep the sitting room.’
‘Oh no you don’t,’ she flared up. ‘I have cleaned my room. I have washed your damn plates and your damn pots. There is no bloody way I am going to sweep your house.’
‘Such colourful words, princess! You don’t have a choice.’
‘I won’t do it.’
‘Oh yes you will. You are going to do your own share of the work here, brat!’
‘You can’t make me. And my name is Ibitoru and not brat!
‘Take this broom, brat!
She cried out as he tossed her over his shoulder like she weighed nothing. She pounded at his back with her fists.
‘Desist from that, you wild cat,’ he warned. ‘before you topple us both and believe me, your head is going to take the full impact of your fall and then you’ll have just your beauty to recommend you!’
He tossed her on the bed she had just straightened.
‘You are going to remain here-’
‘bas***d!’ She spat at his face.
He wiped it with his palm and cleaned it on her thighs.
‘You are going to stay here until you purge yourself of your contempt.’
‘I haven’t had my bath.’
‘Too bad! When you are ready to work, knock on the door.’
He swept the sitting room, kitchen and [email protected] and washed up the bathroom and toilets. He was one of quadruplets – two males and two females and his parents had taught them how to take care of their home. How to fend for themselves saying that it wasn’t strictly a woman’s job.
His mother was half Italian and half American and brought up with a silver spoon but taught her children that it was a virtue to be domestic. And she ensured that none of her kids were spoilt. She had raised [email protected] kids who were not afraid to work.
When after two hours had [email protected] and Ibitoru hadn’t knocked on the door, he realized that she had no intention of doing that. She was probably sitting down on the bed waiting for him to apologize to her. It would be a cold day in hell before he did that.
‘Proud brat!’ He swore under his breath.
By the time he was through with her, she’d be very domestic and useful to someone.