© Pauline Mumbi
The rest of the day was smooth with Stella, she took every opportunity to tip me about Atusaye. I was shocked how much she knew about him but it was obvious. She had worked for them for a long time after all.
The older maid was busy with laundry the rest of the day so it was Stella and I chatting as we did our duties.
Mrs. Martins did not wake up very well so I attended to most of her needs. As usual she reminded me that I needed to rest for the afternoon before I could go and prepare dinner so I took off to go to my apartment.
However, I suddenly realised I had not seen my phone in a while and I remembered that I had left it in the kitchen so I hurried back to get it.
To my surprise the phone wasn’t in the kitchen where I left it but I found it in the living room. Another part convinced me that I probably left it there.
The moment I got to my apartment i fell asleep and only woke up to a loud bang.
“I’m coming” I responded as I got up from my bed.
I quickly opened the door and Atusaye walked in.
“Atu what’s the problem?” I asked as I let him in.
“What’s the problem really?” He responded angrily.
“I actually thought highly of you, guess I was very wrong” he said.
“Atusaye what do you mean by that?” I asked anxiously
“Actually I would prefer you call me Mr. Atusaye and let’s cut this whole pretense short” he said before walking out.
He quickly drove out of the yard and I rushed to the main house.
“Stella I need to talk to you right away” I said as I pulled her outside.
“Did you get my phone to make a call or send a Message? I asked her.
” of course not, did you lose talk time? She asked me.
“That’s not even an issue, Mr. Atusaye stormed into my apartment very angry and he yelled at me. He actually mentioned that he was disappointed in me” I narrated as I panicked.
Stella laughed and clapped her hands.
“Relax.. Is that why you are panicking? Can’t believe you thought I’m behind it. She said
I didn’t understand her joy so I stared at her in shock.
” what are you talking about? I Asked
” I’m laughing at everything you are narrating because it all sounds familiar” she said.
“Wait Stella you mean you know Atusaye so well and you couldn’t warn me beforehand?” I complained.
“Well dear be grateful that you did not end up like I did” she said.
“What did he do?” I asked attentively.
“He robbed me of my pride and dignity then turned around and blamed it on me. Just like he’s doing with you” she said
“Your pride and dignity?” I asked looking very confused.
“Yes my virginity!” She emphasised.
My stomach suddenly turned when she said that and I felt disgusted.
I was so disappointed, why would he behave like that and to make matters worse he did not even explain himself neither did he wait for me to explain myself.
The following days that followed were awkward. Every time Atusaye was home I had to avoid him or he would avoid me, we were just a spark. I had no intentions of dating him but his behaviour made me feel rejected.
How could a night that went so good turn out that bad. Even though I should have been grateful that he did not use me, I was still angry that things turned out the way they did.
The following day Mrs. Martins sent me to buy airtime but Atusaye was going out at the same time so she asked him to give me a lift.
Atusaye was quiet the whole way until we got to the airtime booth. After I purchased the airtime he drove me to the house and parked outside the gate.
Before I could walk out of the car he pulled my hand. I turned to face him as my other hand held on to the door.
I could tell he had something to say but he just looked at me and then slowly let go of my hand.
I came out of the car feeling very bad. For a moment this man Actually made me feel special and now he had just turned around and showed his true colours. Guess Stella was right.
Anyway guess I was foolish to think that he would actually like a person like me.
This awkwardness went on for weeks and finally a month, it was almost two months and I was used to how things were so formal between Mr. Atusaye and I. In fact we rarely made contact
That evening Mr. Martins was coming back home and I was finally going to meet the much talked about wonderful man.
I remained busy preparing supper while Atusaye went with Mrs. Martins to pick up Mr. Martins.
Stella was asked to stay behind and help me prepare dinner. So that night she was going to share the bed with me.
We prepared dinner as we talked. It was interesting having a friend around and Stella was that one friend I could tell anything.
Stella also mentioned how Mr. Martin’s was such a wonderful man and how he would obviously treat me like a daughter.
She was right, Mr. Martin’s was a very happy white man. He wasn’t old at all like i had imagined and he was so excited to see me, I assumed Mrs. Martin’s had told him a lot of things about me.
Mr Martins suggested that we have dinner together, so the whole family including Stella and myself ate together.
After dinner we started clearing the plates while Atusaye sat and worked on his laptop in the kitchen. The kitchen was very big so he wasn’t disturbing at all but what baffled me was why he was there in the first place, it’s not like the other rooms were occupied and Mr and Mrs. Martins had gone to bed.
When Stella had told me about Atusaye she sounded very bitter but around him she was very different. It’s like a certain calmness had reached touched her.
The two kept conversation and most of it was initiated by Stella while I went on working. In fact I hardly heard anything they said except when the conversation just started.
When I was done packing the dishes I excused myself to go and sleep but Stella wanted to remain although she joined me a little while later.
“Can you imagine he was insisting that I kiss him? He’s such a womaniser” she said as she sat on my bed.
I didn’t respond but I just continued putting some cream on my washed face and tacked into bed.
“Why do you look angry?” She asked me.
“No I’m not angry mama I’m just tired and Atusaye is the last person I want to discuss before I sleep.” I responded.
“Do you want to pray with me before you sleep or are you going to be talking about Atusaye all night?” I asked her.
“OK you lead in prayer” she said.
We prayed and I quickly fell asleep afterwards.
In the morning Mrs. Martin’s called me and told me to be ready as i would be going shopping with Atusaye.
I quickly bathed and dressed up while Atusaye waited in the car for me. Stella seemed to be the one with the mood in the morning as she seemed angry about my going shopping with Atusaye.
When I got in the car I fastened the sit belt and Atusaye started the engine in silence. We did not even exchange greetings.
We parked at a beautiful house and there came Claudine walking like the world belonged to her.
She came and rudely opened the door for me.
“I have to sit in front go to the back” she said.
Atusaye looked on in silence as I quickly stepped out to go to the back.
She didn’t greet me either but I cared less about that too.
As we went from aisle to aisle in the store Atusaye kept telling me what I needed to pick while Claudine kept talking carelessly, I wonder how he managed to keep up with her.
Suddenly I heard a very familiar voice as I picked chocolate from the shelf
“Is that Mwansa?” The voice said
“Come on Mwansa can’t look that good” another voice replied.
There they were, my twin cousins Joy and Faith.
“Hai, how are you?” I said.
The twins came closer to say hai while Atusaye and Claudine looked on.
“You know them?” Atusaye asked.
“Of course she knows us, she worked for us” Joy replied.
That statement alone shuttered me.
“Atusaye how do you know her?” Faith asked.
I was shocked to realise that my uncle and Mr. Martins worked together in the mines and that’s how Atusaye knew them.
“They’ve been to our home a couple of times.” he responded
“Wow its a small world” I said.
‘Its really a small world so you said she worked for you? As what exactly!?” Claudine interfered
I could tell Atusaye tried to come to my rescue by destructing the twins but it was too late. Faith had already shouted out that I was a maid.
“But why work as a maid when she has such a relative like Mrs. Martins who is wealthy?” Asked Claudine.
“Who? Mrs. Martins is Mwansa’s relative?” Joy asked before they burst into laughter
“What? Why are you ladies laughing” Claudine asked.
“I can bet on everything pure that she isn’t related to Mrs. Martins. She is simply a maid and she has poverty running through her veins” Joy responded.
Tears had accumulated in my eyes and I was seconds away from crying.
“No you ladies just don’t know otherwise Atusaye would have told me” Claudine said.
“Or maybe, he actually lied to you” faith interrupted.
“I don’t want to talk about this… Great seeing you ladies” Atusaye said before asking me to move on.
“I had a feeling something wasn’t right” Claudine continued.
“Enough Claudine i said I don’t want to talk about this anymore! Atusaye yelled.
Tears had rolled down my face and people were suddenly wondering what was wrong with me.
Mwansa go to the car park will find you there” Atusaye said.
I walked out quickly and stood waiting for them to check out. I cried terribly, i cried so bad that nothing could explain the embarrassment I felt.
They finally came out and I quickly sat in the car when Atusaye unlocked the doors.
“Come out you fool who do you think will pack these things! you’re the maid after all!!” Yelled Claudine.
“Stop it!!! Don’t talk to her like that ever again!” Atusaye yelled.
“Or what? Tell me Atusaye or what??” She yelled back.
I finished packing the boot and we started off. Atusaye was very quiet until we dropped Claudine.
“Look am very sorry about what happened” Atusaye said as he parked near home.
“Please say something at least before we get home” he begged.
Tears rolled down my cheeks even more.
“Let’s just go, everything that happened there isn’t your fault” I said…
“At least let me make you feel better” he said.
“And then turn around and give me a mood again? What happened the last time you made me feel better? Please let’s just go I’m not complaining” I said in tears.
“Aren’t you the one who told me that I was bothering you and you would report me for sexual harassment?” He asked me.
“I don’t know what you are talking about please let’s just go I don’t want to discuss this any more” I said.
“Mwansa listen to me.. I want to be sure I got your message correctly”
“What message? are you still maintaining that lie? Do you still want to blame me for nothing????
” me blame you? Exactly why would i do that!!?? He yelled
“I’m a maid for crying out loud, a simple maid what makes you think anything you offer me today will change that status? And besides its all for your personal again. Atusaye just stop!” I cried.
“My personal gain? OK that’s going a little too far. Mwansa tell me that you don’t appreciate my friendship and I will let you go” he said.
“Appreciate your friendship? Theirs not been a friendship for the past two months, it lasted a few days before you ..”
“Before i did what? Why can’t you just take the blame!” Atusaye yelled.
I burst into a loud cry as I covered my face with my palms.
“OK fine stop crying. I get your point. I won’t bother you again” he said calmly.
“Please dry your tears.. I’m really sorry” he said before starting the engine
To be continued…
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