The moans from Tayo’s bedroom, upstairs, could be heard all the way down in the kitchen. The love-birds were definitely not hiding their shameless act. Why should they? No one was home except the house girl. She was nothing more than a paid servant who had no right to voice her opinion.
The kitchen, very spacious, with a small dining table in the middle. The door leading to the backyard was open but protected by a door net. The window too was open, allowing the red glow of the setting sun stream in. Along with the annoying moans from Tayo’s bedroom, the aroma of boiling meat filled the kitchen.
Nora sat back at the small kitchen dining; shaking her braided hair as she carefully chopped onion and carrots in preparation for dinner. Being about 5ft plus, she was dark-skinned, moderately slim and had curves the shape of figure eight. The expression on her oval face held nothing but disgust as the moans coming from upstairs got louder. Her full lips mumbled words that sounded like complaining.
Whenever her employers were out, their teenage son brought in all types of women. From secondary school girls to university girls, prostitutes and even some married ladies. She wondered why women who should be taking care of their home, were out sleeping with a boy who was old enough to be their son.
“Money!” She thought, ruefully and then sighed. Tayo’s parents were filthy rich. And they made sure their children lacked nothing. Tayo alone spent about five or ten thousand naira daily but he was never broke.
Having finished his senior WAEC was jobless and free to do as he pleased, at least until he got admission into the university. At first, he went out a lot, just to kill boredom but shortly afterwards, he brought home different women. The first time it started, she tried to talk him out of it but he yelled at her, insulted her and even raised his hand to her face. She could have dealt with him, but she knew it meant being fired. Mr and Mrs Adepoju were strict disciplinarians but all the same, they never took kindly to anyone beating up their children, no matter the circumstances.
If not for the poor employment situation in the country, Nora knew she wouldn’t be in their house, neither would she have agreed to be a maid. She was sound, intellectually; being a first-class graduate from the Department of Fine and Applied Art, Delta State University, Abraka. But after she graduated and things turned from bad to worse at home, she knew she had to get a job. No matter the kind, as long as it could put food on the table for her parents and two siblings, she was satisfied.
As luck would have it, she saw a notice for the position of a house girl in a large compound that had a duplex sitting in its middle. Having tried all other job applications and failed, she decided that any job would have to do. That same day, she applied for the job and was hired right away. She was even happier when she learnt that her monthly take-home was fifty thousand naira.
“Fifty what? It’s more than what some bankers take home.” She told herself, then.
“I’m sure I will be happy with this job.”
Well with time, her happiness faded. Not because she was treated badly. If anything, her employers treated her well. The major problem was Tayo. Apart from being rude and constantly throwing insults at her whenever his parents weren’t watching, she was sincerely tired of his new life. Nora prayed every day that he finally be caught. She didn’t know how long she could stomach the nonsense Tayo was constantly engaging in. Worst of all, she didn’t know how to report the issue to his parents. Who was to say they would believe her anyway?
“Ouch!” She cried, softly. Been lost in thought caused the knife to slip and the blood streaming out from her middle finger was the result. “Oh dear me.” She ran over to the sink and washed it off with clean water from the tap. Funny, the moaning stopped at the same time.
“Those nitwits are tired, abi?” She hissed, locked the tap and returned to her position at the table. “I pray one of these days oga walks in on them. Stupid he and she-goats. Big time nuisance and…”
“Grin…grin…..grin..grin.” The telephone at the right end of the kitchen counter interrupted her. Nora left what she was doing and rushed to answer it. It definitely was Mrs Adepoju. She called, particularly at that time of the day, almost every day, to ask what was for dinner.
“Good evening madam.” She greeted.
“Madam?” A male voice asked from the other end of the line. His voice sounded light, a sign that he was amused. “Have you suddenly lost your head?”
“TY.” She grimaced. “What is wrong with you? Why are you calling me?”
“Is that how to talk to your boss?”
“You’re not my boss. You’re my boss’ son, you prick!”
“Hey! Stop with the insult. I only called so you can help us with a bottle of wine from the fridge, two wine glasses and some food; any food as long as it’s cooked.”
“You know what? Maybe you should hire another maid. A maid who will attend to all your needs because me, I’m totally not going to be at your beck and call.
“Ah! Auntie Nora please now.” Tayo begged.
“Oh! so I’m Auntie Nora now? Mtcheew!” She hung up. “You better get someone else to serve that prostitute of yours.” She said as she went back to chopping the vegetables. The phone rang again but she refused to answer it. “Silly, spoilt brat.” She insulted.
Night came faster than was expected and everybody was soon at home. Nora set the table and served them dinner. After they had eaten, she cleared and washed up the dishes before settling down to eat her own food.
“Nora!” Tayo’s head appeared at the doorway.
“Yes?” She replied without looking up from her food.
“Please, I need your help.”
“I’m eating, can’t you see that?” She frowned; this time looking at him.
“Well, after eating.” He said, coming into the kitchen. He sat at the opposite end of the table with a pleading face. Tayo was so like his father. At 18 he was already showing signs of being very tall. He was light-complexioned, had full eyebrows over dark blue eyes and well-maintained afro. His nose was wide and lips, full. His handsome features were probably the second reason those shameless girls agreed to bed him. “Mummy asked me to arrange the room next to mine.” He said at last. “And you know I’m not very good at arranging rooms,” he said, pleading.
“Yes, I know. You are only good at using them for your immoral activities.” She replied, eyeing him.
“Oh come on! Auntie Nora.”
“Really? I see it’s Auntie Nora again. You are starting to have good manners, TY. I’m impressed.”
“Stop acting like you are holier than I am. Will you help me or not?”
“I won’t.” She replied, tartly. “You better get yourself upstairs and fix the room. If you don’t you will have mummy and daddy to answer to.”
“Is this how you’re going to treat me now? I thought we were friends?”
“No! We can’t be friends unless you stop bringing those whores to the house.”
“If I stop bringing them, will you take their place?” He asked, smiling.
“What?” Nora almost screamed. “How dare you even think in my direction? Do I look like your mate?”
“Easy.” Tayo waved away her stern look with one hand. “You won’t agree to be mine, so, I’ll keep up with my women.”
“Suit yourself.” She barked and then went back to her meal. Tayo could be very annoying when he chose to. At that moment, Nora saw him as nothing but an irritating scum bag who ought to be flogged without mercy.
“What if I pay you to do it for me?” He blurted out. He needed help and was desperate to have it. Nora on the other hand pretended not to have heard him. She kept mum and continued with her food. “You are not saying anything.”
“Because I have nothing to say.” She replied. “Look TY; instead of wasting your time begging me to do something I will not do, use the same time and energy to go get it done.”
Tayo sighed in frustration as he sat back; running all ten fingers through his hair. Nora was stubborn. Ah! very stubborn. The maid before her was easy to manipulate but she; she was a rock that only moved when she felt like it.
“You know what?” He said, suddenly regaining his voice. “I’ll just go and tell my mum that I don’t know how to arrange rooms. When she sees that I’m serious, she will throw it your way.” He stood up and started toward the door but Nora’s chuckling stopped him in his tracks.
“What?” he demanded.
“The last time I checked, your mother is not easily moved by your charms or pranks. So if you want to go that way, good luck.”
“Ahh!” He groaned silently as he turned and walked out of the kitchen. Nora’s chuckle lingered in his head for a while and it made him angry.
It was no use trying to play anyone. Nora knew too well that his mother never fell for his pranks. She will definitely make him arrange the room no matter what. “I got you this time TY.” She smiled mischievously. “I got you.