Nora stood by the open window; enjoying the soothing feel of the cold, night air as it caressed her face. She wasn’t drowsy, how could she be? After sleeping off like a person suffering from sleeping sickness. Sleeping off wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t done at the wrong time. And to think her mistress saw her at it?
Earlier at the kitchen, after she refused Kay’s offer of going to bed, they chatted for a while but then, she slept off. Kay didn’t wake her up. After all, it was what he wanted, for her to sleep. It wasn’t until about an hour later that she woke up to a loud shattering sound. Nora jumped up with so much force, almost knocking her chair over. Her eyes, wide and filled with horror, rested on Tayo standing by the sink. He held a plate and sponge in both hands while staring back at her with a frown.
Kay was crouched by his side, picking up pieces of the broken plate. He pretended not to notice she was awake. As he worked, he cursed, silently. He had tried to do things silently but Tayo had to be careless to allow a plate fall. Nora was awake. Now what?
“You’re washing the plate?” He heard her ask, perplexed.” Oh God! Kay! You two should have….”
“What broke?… I hope no one got injured?” Mrs Adepoju asked, interrupting her as she came into the kitchen carrying some used plates and tumblers. She paused briefly when she saw Nora awake. “Oh! You’re up.” She said, before handing the plates over to a sad, looking Tayo. Mrs Adepoju ignored her son’s countenance and turned to face Nora. “So how do you feel now, my dear?” She asked, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“I’m so sorry ma!” Nora apologized, moving away so as to take over washing the plates.
“Nora!” Mrs Adepoju restrained her with one hand. “You were tired, that’s understandable. Washing plates have never killed anyone, I doubt it will kill my boys.”
“Mum, it does kill,” Tayo complained.
“Watch your tongue,” Kay warned, landing a slap at the back of his head.
Mrs Adepoju chuckled at her youngest son’s lazy attitude. Tayo was forever complaining about anything that had to do with work and Kay was forever putting him in line. They were different from each other, yet, they always found common ground after every disagreement. All the same, she loved her boys. There was simply no doubt about that. Putting them aside, she turned to face Nora again.
“It’s my JOB, ma,” Nora stressed before her mistress could say a word. “I know I shouldn’t have slept and…”
“Nora, I know you worked a lot today.” Mrs Adepoju interrupted her. “The guest hall was extra neat. You even went as far as re-arranging the bar area and the picture frames. You removed the old curtains and put the new ones. The whole place was set for this party. How you did everything within such a short period and still managed to go shopping and cook such delicious meals, is a mystery.”
“Oh! No mystery ma.” I worked my ass off all day. She finished in her head.
“Don’t worry Nora.” The elderly woman urged. “Go to your room and get some more rest.”
Her lips moved to protest but were quickly silenced by a gentle finger. Having no choice but to obey, she went up to her room. Now that she was there, faced with her bed, she couldn’t sleep. How could she? When her mistress, as well as her children, were doing her chores. Although Mrs Adepoju had been very nice, she couldn’t help but feel like she would be fired. How could I sleep off in the middle of a party? She thought, mentally knocking her head.
After pacing the length of the room for a while, she sighed and then walked over to the window. Looking out into the cold night, different thoughts crossed her mind. She shook them off but they were replaced by noise from the kitchen; proof that the guys were still washing the used plates and clearing away leftover food.
“Gosh! Nora pinched herself. How could they do such to her? And to think that Kay looked so happy about her ugly situation. She sighed. Thank God the family was a nice one. They took her as their own, making her feel more comfortable than she should. Then there was Kay; always in her face. What sort of billionaire’s son helped a maid in the kitchen? She thought. Kay was a nice guy who happened to possess the qualities she wanted in the man of her dreams.
Unfortunately, he was way out of her league. The son of a billionaire.
She sighed and shook her head gently as if trying to shake off unwanted images which were already forming. No matter how long she denied it, even to herself, she knew she liked Kay very much. If he wasn’t her boss’ son or the son of a billionaire for that matter, she would have long given into his careful advances. Yes, he was careful, but she knew when a man was after her. There was no being too careful about it.
By the way, the kiss they shared that morning told her a lot. At first, she tried to resist him but, she couldn’t. The kiss still lingered on her lips. She still remembered what he tasted like. The feeling that coursed through her body then was electrifying. If not that she was scared of Tayo finding them out, she knew she would have spent the rest of the day in his arms.
Well, it won’t be such a bad idea. She thought, smiling mischievously. If everyone could just take a holiday then maybe, just maybe…
“Oh, Nora! You did not just go there. This is wrong.” She mentally slapped herself. “Think about the situation on ground instead. Madam may fire you. Then you’ll….”
“Hahahaha…” Kay’s laughter, streaming in through the open window, interrupted her thought. That laugh. She thought, smiling. Whenever he laughed, she either smiled or laughed too. She closed her eyes briefly as she realized that Kay affected her a lot. Denying it didn’t make any difference, but she couldn’t admit it either.
Few seconds past and the kitchen door opened. Nora looked down and saw Kay step out into the cold night, carrying the trash bag in one hand. she observed him as he walked to the dump spot. His strides were bold and very masculine.
Kay quickly got to the dump spot and dropped the trash bag. He was heading back to the kitchen when suddenly he stopped and looked up at her window. Nora’s breath caught in her throat. She moved back, into the shadows. Why would he just look up? She thought. Kay must have known I was watching him. “Ahh!” She groaned. The man just had to know her every move. She knew he’d still be there, looking up at her window. Well, he could stay there and look up all night. That is his own…
“Ahh! Aah!” A loud cry interrupted her rants. The voice definitely was Kay’s and he sounded like he was in pain.
Nora quickly moved back to the window. She almost couldn’t breath when she saw him lying on the floor. The security lights revealed he was holding his middle and writhing in pain.
“Kay!” Her breathing slowed. How? When? What happened? She was about to raise alarm when from the corner of her eyes, she saw a familiar figure in the shadows. In as much as she would have loved to find out exactly who it was, Kay was in pain and needed help.
Before she got downstairs, Tayo and his mother were already out and by his side. Mr Adepoju soon joined them and so did Mustapha. Nora was the last to get to his side.
Not wanting to waste any time, Mustapha quickly carried Kay over his shoulder and headed for the garage. Mr Adepoju ran into the house and was soon out with his car key.
“Where is Tunde?” Nora asked when she realized her boss was going to drive himself. But because everyone was agitated and thought only of how to save Kay’s life, they did not answer her question. Mr and Mrs Adepoju, along with Tayo, got into the car with Kay. Soon, they were on their way to the nearest hospital.
“Where is Tunde?” Nora asked again after she found herself alone with Mustapha.
“Tunde no dey.” He answered sadly, his eyes never leaving the closed gate. Obviously, he felt bad about what had happened to his young boss.
“But I saw someone that looked like him,” Nora said. She wanted to be sure first before voicing her fears.
“You no go leave me? I say Tunde no dey!” Mustapha yelled.
“Really?” Nora got angry too. “So who came into the compound? Who was that person that looked very much like him? The same person who stabbed oga’s son.
“Person? Where…?” He replied, shocked.
“We need to search the compound and find who is here with us. I saw someone in the shadow. I don’t really know if it was Tunde, but I believe this person is the one who stabbed oga Kayode.