We gisted on the way as we went.
Chidimma narrated to me of how ruthless her madam was. Of how her madam uses the sole of her high-heel shoe to hit her on the head when she makes a mistake.
She even revealed to me of how her madam’s husband sneaks into her room at night to have carnal knowledge of her without her madam knowing.
All these weighed down on her and she wanted to let it off by confiding in me.
I consoled and encouraged her not to lose hope that things would one day change for the better.
She thanked me profusely for my words of encouragement without knowing that my own madam at home was as ruthless as hers if not more; only that her husband doesn’t sneak into my room.
Nonetheless I acknowledged her gratitude and encouraged her not to lose hope.
Then we disposed our refuse and headed home…
My madam’s parents had gone by the time I came back to the house.
My madam was seated in the sitting room with her baby and children when I entered.
Something about her composure told me that she wasn’t happy but I pretended like I didn’t notice.
I dashed across the sitting room to go into my room but she called me back.
“Why are you coming back now?” She asked frowning.
I kept silent not knowing what to reply.
“Are you not the one I’m talking to?” She asked still looking intently at me.
I remained silent not knowing what to reply.
My mouth opened and closed but no sound came forth.
“Don’t worry,” my madam continued. “By the time you go hungry this night, you will talk,” she concluded.
I stood there ogling at her.
“Will you get out of my sight!” She barked.
I ran into my room instantly without wasting time.
That night, my madam refused to give me food and I went to bed on empty stomach.
Sleep refused to come.
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t sleep.
Hunger pangs kept gnawing at the walls of my stomach and I wondered if I would survive till morning.
I woke up the next morning and went to do my morning work irrespective of the hunger.
I was still doing the work when my madam woke up.
“Are you now ready to tell me what kept you so long yesterday when you went to dispose refuse?” She asked staring at me.
I sprang up from the toilet-floor I was mopping.
“You’ve started having boyfriends outside haven’t you?” She asked.
“No ma,” I replied.
“You will not eat anything in this house again till you tell me what kept you outside,” she continued.
“I was waiting for Chidimma,” I replied.
“How many times have I warned you about that Chidimma of a girl?” She asked.
“I’m sorry ma, I won’t do it again,” I pleaded.
“Sorry for your stupid self!” She snapped…
To be continued…