Hector Ebuka Henshaw glanced at his three thousand dollars wristwatch his father bought for him as a birthday gift last year to check the time. It was six o'clock in the evening and he knew it was time to leave his father's mansion where he resided. He is a grown man of thirty-three years and still proud to live in my parents abode. It was not because he was not capable of living on his own, buy or build his own home to his comfort. He was a rich man, a fifthly rich handsome bachelor. He managed his father's empire, an oil company worth millions, not only of naira, but also of dollars.
It was a tradition pledged by his father Chief Emeka Henshaw to have all his children still live with him and their mother until they get married. No one dared to question or argue about it. He gave his children whatever comfort they needed. Money, cars, jewelries, visit to any country they so desired. So why should they question his authority. He got dressed in an all-white casual. He was prepared to go meet his two closest friends Felix and Weyinmi at their favorite spot, a bar before they would leave later to a club at midnight. It was a Friday night! Hector was beamed with smiles because he knew that at the end of drinking booze, clubbing and dancing with different chicks he will surely take his kind of woman to spend the night with at his own hotel.
The kind of women he was attracted to for his pleasure must be endowed with massive breast, a bulky behind and light in complexion just like him. He wasn't kin on their facial look. Hector, a man who did not give a damn about what people thought of him or say about his lifestyle. To him he was a complete man with a well-endowed package between his legs. A pompous man that believed he could get any woman he desired for his sexual seasoning, even the married ones but they were certainly not his type. Married women were off his list!
He would brag about how sophisticated and exceptional he was to his sisters, friends, and even his fiancée. Hector felt he was the luckiest man to have the best fiancée, the woman he engaged few months ago. After their engagement, he asked Melissa for an open relationship. She was shocked and felt relegated. She accepted it just because he told her if she agreed he was going be the most faithful husband after they become husband and wife and he would do whatever she wanted in the marriage. Melissa loved him and worshiped him. She was never going to cheat on him no matter what. Losing him would destroy her heart and she believed that one day he was going to be a changed man.
The day Hector revealed the agreement to his two siblings Hope and Hilary they could not believe it. Reserved Hope, his elder sister told him to his face that Melissa was a fool in love, an insecure woman. His younger sister, Self-absorbed Hilary told him it was his business, his own life and he could run it anyhow he desired. Hector laughed it off. He didn't give a hoot what they said. They could talk cabbage about the woman he was going to marry. He did not care or love her, never did and never will. Love? The word love he knew nothing about. He didn't believe in it. Love was just a fairy-tale to him, an illusion. A Cinderella story.
Neatly dressed Hector rose to his feet and headed towards the door to unlock it when a pleasant knock came. He opened it without asking who was it, only the mere sight of who was standing in front of his doorstep made him frown. The appearance of the young housekeeper irritated him. To him she was the ugliest housemaid he had ever laid his eyes on. Her color of her dark skin was no different to charcoal. He wondered what his mother saw in her after all his complain. He believed she must have lied claiming to be an Igbo girl instead of a Ghanaian.
"What is it Ebube?" he asked her harshly.
She bowed down her head. The look in his eyes frightened the shit out of her. "Sir, your father wants you downstairs at the living room." She dared not to speak in Pidgin English, he was disgusted the first day she was employed, Ebube spoke in vernacular, he warned her in a fierce tone and an aggressive behavior never to try it again.
He sighed. "Do you know why my father is calling me?"
She shook her head. "Not really sir but Aunty Hope is around."
"Hope is around?" he asked surprised. "For how long has she been here?"
"I think it's close to two hours now."
"And you couldn't come to tell me? What is your problem? In fact I think you have issues and you need to go sort it out in your village."
"I'm sorry sir, I didn't know."
"Of course, you will not know. How will you know when you are daft, brain dead and dull. Get out of my sight!" She ran down the hallway almost in tears. Hector walked into the living room. An exquisite and serene parlor with leather chairs and a giant center glass table, three, big painted art work were decorated on the beautiful colored wallpaper. He saw his parents and sisters seated. Hope sprung on her feet and hugged him closely. She was his favorite sister but he always wondered why she was different. Hope was not facially beautiful, she had a muscular stature like their father and always kept to herself, more of an introvert but he loved her more than Hilary, the spoilt brat of the family.
"I didn't know you were around," he said to Hope. "I would have come to see you immediately you came in."
Hope gave a tired smile. "I didn't want to disturb you." she replied him in a fruity voice and sat down.
He turned to his mother. "Mom you see why you need to sack that Ebube of a trash. Isn't she supposed to inform me Hope has been around?"
Gracefully aged Harriet, his mother didn't answer him but surveyed Hector with her perky eyes. "Are you going out?"
He shrugged. "Yes but that will be after Hope leaves. I've missed her and I want to spend some time with her before she goes home."
"That's good to hear," she said.
A tall, lanky man with a hardened face, Chief Henshaw erected up and said to his son.
"Now that you are here, there's something I urgently wanted to discuss with you about but your mother insisted she's in the best position to do that."
Hector gave a weak frown. "That won't be a problem dad."
He looked round at his wonderful family. "Excuse me everyone." Henshaw said. "I need to have some rest in the bedroom." He went over to peck his wife on the cheek before leaving them behind. Hector went to sit close to Hope ignoring Hillary peering eyes because he did not want to start a conversation he could not finish.
I am upset, distressed that whatever discussion necessary to be discussed should be from my father and not from my mother. She is a difficult woman just like my younger sister Hillary. I always try to avoid the both of them because they are a pain in the neck. I completely prefer Hope because she's a strong, married and above all an ambitious woman. Unlike Hilary who does nothing but travel around the world, go for shopping, looks down on people because of their poor status. Well, the only thing foxy about her was her appearance. Truthfully, she is a very pretty lady, a damsel, the replica of our mother.
I am a hardworking man despite being born with a silver spoon. I went to one of the best schools. I graduated with excellence, did my masters abroad and got a job in my father's company. Unquestionably I'm capable of getting appointed anywhere without the help of my father if I wanted to work elsewhere but as the only son, heir to the throne I have to nurture my father's investments, the company, filling stations, bakery, poultry and restaurants across the country when he retires.
Hilary spoke. "Hector can I briefly see you privately?"
I turned to her direction surprised. "See me for what?"
"It's very important," she said.
I agreed and followed her into my favorite place in the house, the kitchen. She closed the door immediately we entered.
She diverted her face to my direction. "Why do you hate Ebube?"
I erected my eyebrows. I did not expect such a question coming from her. "I don't hate her, I dislike her."
"Whatever. Why do you dislike her?"
"What do you care?"
"I do not like her too but she is a hardworking girl. Ebube wakes up very early in the morning to clean and tidy up the house and getting someone like her again can be difficult. So don't ever threaten her or persuade mom to sack her."
"And what will you do?"
"I will simply tell mother you're cheating on Melissa."
I laughed loud. "You have no proof."
"I don't need to have that now but I will have you followed."
"That's because you're a couch potato and jobless."
She smiled sheepishly. "I love my life."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Just free Ebube alone. Let her be. Don't get her sacked just because she's not your type and you can't sleep with her."
"Then get my type." I said in a serious tone.
Hilary made a face. "Get your type? You want a maid of your type so that you can be having sex with her? Have you no shame at all?"
I didn't answer her but I must confess she was right. I can't have a non-relative working in my house when I can't have my way with her. It makes no sense at all. Ebube just have to go.
She continued, "If you want her to leave why can’t you ask the same of Mrs. Bola?"
Mrs. Bola was our cook. I answered her weightless question. "That's because I have no business with a married woman. She's close to mom's age and she is effective with her job. She's a good cook and I love her food. I will like advice you to go get married as soon as possible. At thirty years of age still single, are you not ashamed of yourself?"
Her jaw dropped down to her throat. "How dare you?"
"How dare me? Hope is not as charming as you are yet she's married. I will not have blamed you if you didn't have any suitors but you have them many. Why can't you get married to any of them?"
"They are not my type," she said boiling with rage.
"Really? I asked calmly. "So you also have a type? But you know you can never have Peter Jones."
Peter is our brother in-law. "You think I don't know you are in love with our sister's husband? If you don't mind your business in this house I will reveal to Hope that you're not a sister or a friend but a foe."
She stamped her right foot on the ground. "I met him first!"
Tears were already dancing around her eyes and I was absolutely satisfied and delighted to do that. How dare she threaten me? A whole me.
I said to her. "You both met him together and he chooses to be with Hope."
"But I'm more attractive than Hope. How could he choose her over me?"
"That's because of the kind of person that you are."
"Really?" she asked. The tears in her eyes finally dropped. I was joyful to see that.
"Well I don't need to blame you for all the rubbish you are saying to me because we are both alike." She wiped her face with her hand.
I shook my head. "We are nothing alike."
"Yes we are." she said. "You care only about yourself, you are a liar, a cheat and a self-centered asshole!"
"Are you done?" Her eyes were angry.
She pointed a finger at me. "Don't ever mention it to Hope," she said to me.
"And what if I intend to do that?"
"Are you threatening me?" she asked.
"No." I replied. "It's a warning."
Who was she to ask me such a garbage question? I brushed her aside by the shoulder and walked away to meet the other two most important women in my life.
To be continued....