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I sat reading a novel on my bed and being grateful for all I had, a part of me wondered whether my uncle was regretting his decision. Why would my own family neglect me?
Suddenly, I heard a loud knock on my door.
“Come in” I said before put my booking down.
“Mr. Atusaye.. Hai..” I said wondering what he was looking for.
“Hi Mwansa.. Is this a novel?” He asked as he sat on my bed.
“Yes it is sir, can I offer you anything?” I asked.
“Oh no.. Just came to see how you are settling in that’s all” he said.
“OK thank you..” I responded and I went back to reading my book.
Mr. Atusaye was still on my bed and he started pressing his phone. I was very uncomfortable as I did not want Mrs Martins to start doubting me so I excused myself to go outside.
“Don’t worry she won’t know, its your boss you’re afraid of right?” He asked me.
“Yes I’m a lady and you know she might take it the wrong way” I quickly responded
I was still standing ready to go outside when suddenly I heard a knock on the door.
My heart was racing and I had no idea what to do at that point. Atusaye quickly rushed to the bathroom and I opened the door.
“Hi… You can come and prepare supper now as we are about to leave” one of the maids said.
“OK I’m coming soon..” I responded calmly.
“I saw Atusaye come this side have you seen him by any chance? Madam is looking for him” she said.
My body froze but I managed to shake my head in disagreement.
“No.. He has not been here” I said.
She did not look very convinced and I was now more nervous.
“OK dear in case you see him tell him Mrs. Martins is calling” she said before walking away. I quickly shut the door and took a sigh of relief.
Atusaye walked out of the bathroom and found me sitting on the bed looking very worried.
“Relax she won’t say anything” he said.
“That was scary.. Sir please you need to leave now” I said.
“Oh you think she has gone? … She knows I will be out any minute so she’s waiting to see me” he said.
“But I thought you said she will not tell anyone” I argued
“That’s still no reason to feed her suspicions..” He responded.
“OK sir please lock up I’m going madam has called for me” I said before walking out.
When I got to the kitchen everything I needed to cook was on the table so I picked the apron and straight away got busy. At the back of my mind I was worried that Atusaye may be seen whilst leaving the apartment.
“Oh you here..” Mrs. Martins said as she walked into the kitchen.
“Yes I’m here” I responded shyly.
“OK you will have dinner with us but tomorrow you can stock up your house, I will give you some money” she said.
“Thank you madam.. I mean Mrs. Martins” I said.
“About your uncle..what does he do?” She asked.
“He is a geologist” I responded as I continued cooking.
“Really that’s very surprising” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well because I do not know a geologist who becomes broke..” She said.
“Some do” I responded calmly as the pain hit me. My uncle wasn’t broke but he just didn’t want me.
“My husband works for the mines..” She said.
“So what is for your birthday tomorrow?” She asked me.
“Just being alive is enough for me” I responded.
“Oh come on.. you should celebrate.. It’s your day and it comes once in a year” she said
I just smiled without a word.
“You know Mwansa I like you a lot from the moment I met you .. You are so humble” she said.
“Life is humbling madam..” I said.
“Oh what do you know about life young lady” she teased.
“Little.. Very little” I responded.
“Did you finish school? Actually I wanted to ask.. Why do you just want yo be a maid? I mean if you’ve been to school you should be able to do something more decent” she said.
When Mrs. Martins noticed that I had suddenly gone quiet she apologised.
“I’m sorry dear, hope I wasn’t offending” she said.
“No you weren’t, I only went up to 7th grade” I responded
Mrs. Martin’s did not ask any further questions until I was done with supper. After setting the table she asked me to join her so we could eat together.
“Atusaye is a nomad heaven only knows where he is..” She said
Immediately my heart skipped when I realised he probably hadn’t left my apartment.
Mrs. Martins said grace and we got digging into the food.
“Would you like to go back to school?” Mrs Martins asked.
I wasn’t expecting that question but I quickly replied.
“I would love to but I’m already too old” I said
“Too old? No dear you’re never too old to go back to school” she said.
“Anyway.. I have decided you can have the job and for a start you will be getting k800” she said.
“Oh thank you so much madam”. I said as tears rolled down my cheeks.
“No don’t cry dear, just do your best and will be together for a very long time” she said
I was so emotional that I even failed to finish my food, Mrs. Martin’s couldn’t understand because she had no idea what I had been through.
After dinner I cleared the kitchen making sure it was spotless clean and I said goodnight to Mrs Martins.
“Goodnight dear” she responded as she remained lying on the couch.
I went to the apartment very excited and thanking God. He is indeed a miracle working God. Who ever thought I would be getting paid? To my surprise Mr. Atusaye was fast asleep on my bed when I returned.
“Sir.. Sir” I said as I shook him.
“You’re back dear” he said as he stretched himself.
Mr Atusaye got up and then came close to me. I was very uncomfortable but he quickly pecked my forehead before i could stop him.
I rubbed my forehead and moved away from him.
“Relax that’s how white people say goodnight” he said.
“I’m not white” I responded bluntly.
“Well you will soon begin to behave like one. Loosen up and get settled into this environment” he said.
“Sir you can’t come here again, this job here is my life I have no where to go after this”
“Oh no no no.. ” he interrupted.
“You have many places to go, this is just the beginning and yes.. You’re right… I shouldn’t be here. I promise not to come in here again” he said before walking out.
I took a deep sigh of relief and got on my knees to thank God for this new chapter in my life.