6:13 AM the following morning met Nora sweeping the back of the large compound. Although she was well covered in her night robe, the cold air rubbed against her neck and cheeks in a soothing manner. Since Mustapha was away, Mr Adepoju had woken up early to put on the generator; as electricity was out. He had gone right back to sleep afterwards.
Who could blame him? It was Saturday. What better day was there to rest than Saturday? The man and his wife had been out every day of the week, working their asses off just to make ends meet. Well, it wasn’t as if ends weren’t meeting. They worked to ensure it continued to meet.
That aside, Nora was happy. Every Saturday, Mrs Adepoju volunteered to prepare breakfast. Her volunteering gave Nora a little relief and she could effectively do other chores. If Mustapha was around, he’d have trimmed the grasses and swept the compound. Well, she wasn’t complaining. After all, she got a raise whenever she did extra chores. That aside, Tunde took care of some of Mustapha’s responsibilities too.
About 15 minutes later, Nora had swept the backyard and was already sweeping the left side of the compound when she heard the engine of the lawnmower. The humming sound came from the flower garden.
“Huh? Did Mustapha suddenly come back from break?” She left the sweeping temporarily and went to check.
“Oh dear.” She said, ducking back behind the building. From there she peeped at well-built muscles fixing parts of the mower. His four packs and raised chest made her eyebrows shoot up. The sun, already rising, shone brightly on his fair skin; a complexion he inherited from his father. His hands moved steadily, a sign that he was in charge. subsequently, he started to mow the lawn; taking it a bit at a time.
If anyone had told her Kay would be able to work a lawnmower, she’d have laughed at that one’s stupidity. But then, wasn’t he the one who arranged his own room the previous night? Tayo didn’t come home until 8:05 PM. When he saw his elder brother, he was happy. A happiness that was soon cut short when his mother discovered that he did not arrange the room as instructed.
“Why are you so stubborn and difficult?” She demanded. The next fifteen minutes was full of yelling and threats. Mrs Adepoju was ready to do anything to put her teenage son in line.
Having served the family dinner, Nora left them to solve their issue and went up to put the said room in order.
“Don’t worry,” Kay told her. He was already in the room, preparing to arrange it. “You still have a lot in your hands. I can handle my own room.”
“No. You have just come from travel and you need to rest.” She insisted. “I will do….”
“I said I can handle my own room, miss.” He said, taking his eyes away from her startled face. She was just too beautiful, even though she was sweating and smelt of Maggi, fish and pepper soup. By the way, he didn’t need her distraction; not when he had other things to do.
Seeing that she wasn’t needed, as he definitely wouldn’t allow her to touch a thing, Nora turned to leave but quickly turned back again. The guilt of what had happened earlier still ate at her heart. “I’m sorry about earlier.” She apologized. “I didn’t know who you were, and you didn’t tell me either.”
He smiled then. The same smile that made her almost forget her name, earlier. “I didn’t tell you because I was enjoying the drama.” He confessed. “And besides, you were doing your job. The house help before you would have done otherwise. Any stranger is free to come in, as long as he is male. Then she will seduce that one and collect her pay afterwards.
“Wow! That was…” Her voice trailed off. He had taken off his shirt in preparation for the cleaning of the room. His muscles were well built and his raised chest pushed against the white singlet which happened to cover the rest part of his body.
“You were saying?” He asked without looking in her direction. Obviously, he was unaware of the effect he had on her.
“I was saying…”
“Kay!” Tayo’s voice interrupted as he appeared in front of the open door. “I’m sorry I didn’t arrange your room.” He apologized. “The room is all so junked up and dusty. I didn’t know where to start.”
“I will accept your apology if you get a broom and duster,” Kayode said. “We are going to do the cleaning together.”
“Oh, Kay now. No. Let Nora do it. That’s what she’s here for.”
Kayode frowned at his brother’s last words. Then he looked from Nora to Tayo.
“Nora!” He called as if trying to be sure it was her name. It was the first time he was saying her name and it kind of sounded odd.
“Sir?” she replied.
“Don’t you have other things to do?”
“For now, no. I’ve set the table and dinner is ready.”
“Cool. Tell my parents not to wait for us. Tayo and I have a lot of cleaning and arranging to do.”
“Kay! Don’t start sounding like mum and dad.” Tayo complained.
“Are you going to help me or not?” Kayode asked, tartly.
“Yes, but…but not like this.” He mumbled the words.
Satisfied that everything was under control, Nora left to attend to the elders in the house. It looked to her that Kay was very capable of handling his kid brother.
Now it was morning, and he was up early, mowing the lawn. Who’d have ever thought he could lift a…
“Nora!” She heard Mrs Adepoju calling out to her from somewhere in the house.
“Oh, Jesus. What I’m I even doing? Spying on a man?” She quickly left her position and ran into the house.
At 12:00 PM, the house was quiet. Everyone had gone out for a birthday party, except Nora. She would have loved to go out. She wanted so badly to see her parents and siblings. She hadn’t seen them in over a month but she made sure she sent money home, regularly. Unfortunately, she couldn’t go out. If she did, no one would be at home and her employers wouldn’t like that.
Wanting to kill loneliness, she decided to watch a documentary on Nat Geo Wild. A good thing her employers were nice enough to get her television and decoder. It would have been hard killing boredom. Especially since she could hardly concentrate on reading a book. There was always some chores to be done and it interrupted her a lot. For that reason, she decided to let the books be.
About an hour, thirty minutes later, she woke to the clanging of the doorbell. She didn’t realize she had slept off until she woke up. She was that tired; after spending the entire morning, cleaning the house and washing all the dirty clothes. Thank God for the washing machine, she would have been extra tired if she washed with her hands. That done, she prepared lunch, just in case the others came home early. Well, it seemed they were home.
Jumping out of bed, she rushed out to the main door and opened it, after confirming who it was that rang the bell.
“Good afternoon, sir.” She greeted. Kayode stood outside with two shopping bags in one hand and a big brown carton on the other.
“Good afternoon.” He replied, his eyes appraised her; just the way they did the day before.
Ignoring his appraisal and painfully remembering she wore no bra underneath her woolly strap top, she grimaced. “Let me help you with that.” She offered, trying to divert his attention. He allowed her to take the bags and together, they went in.
“Just put them on the bed,” he said when they got into his room. “I will take it from there.”
“Can I get you something to eat, sir?” She offered, after placing the bags on the bed.
“Kay. I prefer Kay.” He said. If the plan he had for her was going to work just fine, he needed her to feel completely free with him.
“Oh. ok. So can I get you something to eat, Kay?” She re-phrased.
“No, I’m ok.” He smiled at her. “I have a better idea. Instead of food why not sit and keep me company? I will like to get acquainted with my new housemate.”
Housemate indeed. Nora thought. “I’m afraid I’m no good company.” She lied. “I may bore you to death.”
“Bore?” He chuckled as his eyes travelled over her body and finally came to rest on the two points of her bosom, pushing hard against her top. “I doubt you will.” Nora felt very embarrassed. In as much as he was handsome and was her boss’ son, he had no right to think he could easily have his way with her.
“Get your eyes off my body, sir.” She said, calmly. But her eyes were filled with rage.
“And why should I?” He asked, suddenly more interested in what she had to say.” By the way it…”
“Because I’m not cheap!” She replied, cutting him short. Her chin was raised and expression, grim. “I’m not one of those house helps who go about being intimate with their employer’s children or their employer himself.”
“Hmmm…” He sighed, running five fingers over his head as he paced the length of the small room. She was right. He had no right to look at her like that but he couldn’t help himself. Since he came home the day before, it had been hard for him not to notice her beauty. Like that wasn’t enough, she was standing right there, being all sexy in her strap top and shorts, not to talk about her pointed nipples.
“Look.” He said, finally. “I didn’t mean to hurt your pride. Neither do I think of you as cheap. The thing is, you are very beautiful.” He admitted. “It will be hard for any man not to run his eyes over you. So let’s just let this pass, please. I will take that food you offered. What did you cook?” He asked, changing the subject.
“Yam and Beans.” She replied, relaxing a bit.
“Ok. I will eat, as long as you eat with me.”
“No buts, Nora. Prove to me that you’ve forgiven me, eat with me.” He insisted.
“Ok. But I can only eat with you in the kitchen.”
“The kitchen?” He asked, a smile tugging at the side of his lips. “What’s wrong with my room?”
“Nothing. But I prefer the kitchen.”
Lord Jesus. He thought. What does one do with a woman who loves to have her way? “Ok. the kitchen it is.”
When they first got to the kitchen, neither of them had expected to get along so well. In short, they turned out to be like two lost friends who just reunited. It started with Kayode praising Nora’s food. He rained compliments on her and she melted like jelly. From then on they moved to different topics. From school to work, movies, books, music, society, business and much more.
Talking about business, Kayode came prepared for business. His father had once told him that being employed never made anyone rich, but business did. Although he went with his parents and brother to a friend’s birthday party earlier, he had left them so as to carry out surveys on what type of business would do well in Lagos.
“So what business do you think I can do, here in Lagos.?” He asked, purposely wanting to know if she had any ideas. She sounded intelligent and he wanted to see if he could pick her brains.
“Oh, business.” She chuckled, revealing a white set of teeth. “I have a few ideas.”