I sat down on the dining table and in front of me was a plate of vegetable soup with cow leg, stockfish and fat pomo. I salivated at the aroma coming from the soup. I did not need a miracle worker to tell me my system desired the meal. I ate it with pounded yam and cleared the plate because it was delicious. Mrs. Alice has found a new friend and I would make sure she won’t regret working for me and my family.“You enjoyed the food, right?” Hope asked me after we ate and relaxed at the mini sitting room.
“I did. She’s a very good cook.”
Ebube came to inform us that Michael was around and he has gone to see my father in his room.”
“Tell him to come over here when he is done with my father.”
“Okay sir.” she said and left. Hope rose on her feet to meet Michael while I stayed alone. I used the opportunity to call Melissa.
“Hello dear.” she said after picking my call.
“I am not happy with you.”
“What did I do?” she asked.
“My mother informed me you have ordered for your wedding gown, paid for the invitation cards, concluded your father will sponsor the wedding. How dare you not tell me about this?”
“Put yourself together and don’t insult me. You have made it clear we are getting married next month so what did you expect me to do? Wait till it is two days to go?”
Her choice of words baffled me. “You are questioning me instead of answering my own questions? You are not yet my wife, you are not Mrs. Henshaw and you are talking rude to me?”
She hissed. “My dad and your parents will see next week to talk more of the preparations. The wedding planner will reduce the stress for us all. Anyways, your mother said you want to pay for everything. If that is what you want no problem.”
My head was not only spinning for Melissa disrespecting me but also the sound of her voice. “You think because I have agreed to go ahead with the wedding, you can talk to me anyhow? You are already showing me your true color. Can’t you wait after the wedding before exposing your disgusting attitude?”
“Hector you can think or say whatever you like.” she said coarsely. “I have informed some celebrities, friends, my father’s friends, in fact I do not need to explain some things to you. We are getting married soon and nothing or no one can put asunder. I will send you the bill of everything.”
“I love you.”
“Thank you.” I cut the call. I was expecting her to call me back but she did not.
“Why do you have an angry look on your face?” Michael asked me immediately he entered. “Who has offended the almighty Hector?”
“I am not in the mood to interact with you.”
“What’s going on?”
“I need to sleep with a chick to ease the pressure on me. Do you have anyone in mind?”
He assembled himself to sit very close to me. “You are getting married soon and that should make you start living a good life. Be a responsible man for once.”
“You are neither a pastor nor a teacher to lecture me about living a responsible life. I am not a wayward man.”
“I never said you were wayward Hector. Please don’t put words into my mouth.”
“Go to hell.”
“Well with you hell it is.”
“Michael.” I called his name. He looked directly at my face. “You came to see how my father is doing and not to piss me off. Do not incite me more because if you do, I will destroy everything you have.”
He was about to talk when the new cook came to meet us.
“Sir Hector, your mother said I should inform you I am going.”
“I like it when I tell people to do things that I want and they obey. You will be dismissed the next time you address me as sir. You are old enough to be my mother so call me by my name.”
She gave a faint smile. “Okay si..Hector.”
“Better. I am aware your daughter, Renee will also be working here. I do not beat around the bush, I go straight to the point. If your daughter does not have manners, please teach her when you get home. I do not want a bush girl to parade round in my home. She should focus on her job and nothing more. I have the feeling I won’t have a problem with you.”
“Thank you sir for your advice,” she said steadily. “My daughter is respectful and she will not cause any trouble.”
“Good.” I collected my wallet and gave her transport fare but she refused. I persuaded her to take it has a token for her cooking. She took it and counted the money.
“Sir..Sorry Hector, please five thousand naira is too much. One thousand is enough for me.”
“You can throw the money away or give your daughter the rest. You can go now.”
She smiled. “Thank you very much, God will bless you.”
“Amen.” I said and she left.
Michael spoke. “Have you seen the new cook’s daughter?”
“Why did you call her a bush girl and said all those things to her mother?”
I sighed. “I said them out of annoyance. I am not in a good mood.”
“Who put you in this bad mood?” he asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Who will be your best man?”
“I wanted my father to be the man by my side on that day but I’ve changed my mind. You are the one.”
He smiled and gave me his right hand to shake me. “Thanks bro. I cannot wait for your wedding day and I am excited to be part of it.”
I shook his hands with no hint of beam in me. That day would be the worst day of my life.
My mother arrived home with excitement. She entered the house singing worship songs. I allowed her finish before I would say anything to her. She danced round our small living room, hugged me after everything, and sat down. I joined to sit by her side.
“Good evening mum,” I greeted her. “Give me gist.”
“Not only did I get a job but you did too.”
I opened my mouth with an enthusiastic look on my face. “Are you serious?”
“Yes my daughter.”
She gave me the details.
“I can’t wait to work there.” I said excitedly.
“They were very nice to me especially our employer’s son. He gave me five thousand naira for my transport fare.”
I extended my right palm to her. “Give me my share.”
“Which share? You will receive yours when you start on Monday. I will also like to advise you to be careful with the way you talk. I know you are respectful and very loyal but you are never afraid to express yourself."
“Is that a bad thing?”
“It is not madam,” she said. “Do not argue with anyone there.”
I frowned at her. “Why should I argue? Sometimes you talk as if you hardly know your daughter. Has anyone I have worked for complain about me?”
She sighed tiredly. “No.”
“Then why are you saying all these to me. You are hurting me.”
My mother drew me closer and hugged me sideways. “I am sorry. I don’t want the both of us to miss this opportunity.”
I gave her a smile. “We will never miss this opportunity. This can even open doors for you and me. Do they have a lawyer in that family?”
She removed her hands from me. “I don’t know but why do you ask?”
“To sue your brother of course, half of his properties belongs to you.”
“Renee! I don’t need any properties. You are what I need and your happiness is what matters to me. I don’t ever want you to say anything regarding my brother ever again.”
“I will not talk about it but we need an apology from him. He insulted you and my father!”
“Forgive and forget.” she said softly.
I folded my hands. “If you say so mami. How many children does our employer have?”
“I think three but I doubt if one of them still lives there. She was with her father in the room until she came to eat at the dinning.”
“How is his condition?” I asked her concerned.
“I can’t say for now but he’s on medication.”
“I will treat him like my father and make sure he eats on time and take his drugs properly.”
My mother smiled brightly at me. “I trust you for that.”
“You have not told how much is my salary?”
She pushed me slightly on the shoulder playfully. “I know you will definitely ask. Well, you will be paid one hundred thousand naira monthly.”
I stared at her stunned! “100k?”
“Just for me to give him his drugs, answer him whenever he needs my assistance?”
“Yes my daughter ooo. This is a miracle.”
“We need to give testimony in the church tomorrow. Do you know how much I will save in a year?”
“Are you telling me? I know how much I will save too. We will open a big restaurant in the future and your dream will surely come true.”
“Yes but I don’t want it to reach up to a year.”
“Why?” she asked surprised.
“It means I don’t want him to get well.”
She sighed and shook her head. “I understand my daughter. My own salary will sustain us whenever he gets well and I overheard the daughter telling Mrs. Henshaw to inform her son to give you a job.”
“Yes. If Mr. Henshaw gets better, I will summon courage to remind them about the job.”
“Why can’t you talk to the son yourself? I thought you said he’s very nice?”
“Correct but I will talk to his sister first. There is something I noticed about him.”
“What?” I asked.
“I think he has a temper. At first when I arrived, he cheered us all and was accommodating but before I left he said some things to me in an angry mood.”
“Did you get him angry?"
“No but I think someone else did.”
“That’s his business if he has a temper.” I told her. “Just cook whatever he wants and I will avoid him.”
“You don’t have to avoid him.”
“I will because if he accuses me of what I am innocent of I will defend myself.”
She quickly pointed at me. “Renee! Don’t make me lose my job ooo.”
I roared in laughter. “I am joking. I will take shit from the Henshaw’s if that will not make you lose your job.”
“Ah! Please ooo.”
“What happens to your shop?”
“I will think of something and let you know,” she said and rose on her tired legs. “I need to bathe.”
“How much will you earn?”
“When I am through, I will let you know.” She walked inside without the answer I wanted. I am indeed very thrilled to see her very happy after a long time. I grabbed my phone to call my best friend Mariam and tell her the good news.
Later in the evening, Hope and Michael finally left the house. I called Weyinmi to come pick me up at ten for a late night flexing getaway. Before I left the house, I went over to Hillary’s room to look for her trouble.
“Whenever you are going to see Peter after Hope travels, inform me.”
Her facial expression changed radically. “Why?”
“Hope wants the two of us to visit Peter together.”
“That is not what she discussed with me.”
“I helped Hope changed her mind.”
“Why are you doing this?” she asked.
“To stop you from embarrassing yourself and this family, you have no shame at all. It is an embarrassment to have you as my sister and if you ever go there without my permission, I will spill out your secret agenda.”
She tightened her face. “I can’t wait for you to get married and leave this house and me alone!”
“I can’t wait for you to be matured enough and be useful to yourself! You are not only shameless but also very lazy. I pity the man that will eventually marry you.”
“See who is talking? Are you any better than me?”
“You can’t compare the both of us. We are very different. I have my own flaws but I am a good man. No one is perfect.”
“You are a good man yet you love no one.”
“Shut the fuck up!!” I snarled at her. “I love my family with all my heart. I love you and that is why I want you to change and be a better person.”
“I like the way I am,” she said. “I am not complaining.”
I turned by back to open the door and banged it at her. I was not in the mood to argue or exchange words with the nincompoop. I had better things to do with my Saturday night. I followed Weyinmi to a nightclub to have lots of fun. My phone rang inside my pocket many times before I checked to peep at it. I saw twenty-one missed calls from Melissa. I was a bit bothered and hoped everything was all right with her. I went outside to check for a quiet place to call her.
“Where are you?” she asked authoritatively.
I glanced at my wristwatch for the time and it was 2am in the morning. “Have you not slept?” I asked her.
“Where are you?” she asked again.
I frowned at her question. “What’s your problem Melissa?”
“I am going to be your wife soon and I have every right to ask you where you are.”
“But we are not married yet?”
“Will you tell me where you are?”
“Good night Melissa.” I ended the call and switched off my two phones. I inhaled in and out. Hillary was right, my marriage with Melissa was going to be HELL ON EARTH but Melissa cannot be so powerful to stop me from partying hard or getting booties. She can never stop me from cheating.
To be continued…..