I read Uju’s story last week and decided to share mine too.
Though I do not know how to write, but the blog owner assured me he will edit my story before posting. Luckily for me, I happen to know him personally. *Winks Dan!
Sometime in 2011, some months after my husband got a new job, we moved from Somolu where we were staying to Gbagada.
Then, I used to scoff at wives who brought in maids to live with them. I called them lazy.
Till my twins arrived.
They made my life complete, and my home, well, not so complete. Before they were one, I was already the frustrated housewife stereotype; glazed eyes, scattered hair and creased face.
I have already started looking for a maid before I even talked to my husband about it. ‘Why not tell your sister to come and help, even if only on weekends?’ he suggested.
I shook my head. Since I gave birth, my younger sister whom my house used to be like her second home started avoiding it. She started to breeze in and breeze out.
They first time she called me and said she would ‘breeze in’ on her way back from wherever she went to, I didn’t quite understand what breezing in meant. Till after she walked through the door, smiled at the boys, pinched their cheeks, walked to the fridge and downed a glass of cold water, and then picked her bag to leave.
Her visits turned briefer than breeze itself.
So I finally brought in a maid. It hadn’t been that much difficult. There was a woman my neighbour introduced me to. All you need to do is pay her and tell her the kind of person you seek and in as little as a week, she will bring you someone.
When she asked me the kind of help I desired, I told her I just needed a hardworking Christian girl.
I must confess that I really liked the girl the first day she arrived. She was of average height, dark-skinned and quiet. She seemed intelligent too. Her name was Rose, the name she told my husband and I.
And she got along really well with the boys, so well that over some time I began to think, WTH, a maid is just what every mother needs to complete her home.
The first time I went to the salon and told my stylist I needed to wash my hair, condition and fix a new bundle, the lady was surprised.
‘Did your mother come?’ she asked me.
‘No, my dear. I got a maid.’
‘Wow,’ she said.
I was expecting the accompanying congratulations that usually come with that word, but it didn’t come.
Everything went on well at home though, till I entered Rose’s room one afternoon and found abortion pills [name of drug removed because of minors] under her bed.
I forgot what I came in to check and went straight to the kitchen to meet her.
‘Who owns this?’ I asked her.
She appeared startled. She stared at me, and then shook her head.
‘Where did you get it from?’
She was quiet.
‘Someone gave it to me,’ she said, finally.
‘Who gave it you?’ I asked.
She was quiet.
‘I don’t know!’
She walked out of the kitchen and I followed her. ‘Tell me who impregnated you and gave you abortion pills!’ I ordered.
She turned to me, but said nothing.
‘Did you not hear me?’ I said. ‘Tell me who gave you this?’
‘Aunty, it is oga that gave me the medicine,’ she told me.
My feet froze to the floor.
My mind went momentarily blank.
‘Did my husband give this to you?’ I managed to ask.
She was quiet.
I watched her walk away.
I picked my phone; I wanted to call so many people at the same time—my husband, my mother, my brother-in-law, my sister—but I ended up calling nobody.
I called Rose to come. ‘How many times have my husband slept with you?’ I asked her.
‘I don’t know,’ she said.
I picked my slipper and threatened to strike her. ‘Will you talk this minute?!’
She hissed at me and walked to her room. She started to pack her things.
I came close to her and lowered my voice. ‘Tell me, did my husband force you?’
She didn’t answer me. She kept on packing.
I held her arm. ‘Tell me what really happened,’ I said to her, quieter now.
She jerked her arm off my grip and carried her bag.
I watched her leave.
I felt miserable.
I needed to clear my head.
Finally my husband returned and I asked him quietly.
He looked at me as if I’ve gone mad.
Because we have never been a situation like that before, all my husband did made him appear all the more guilty.
When he asked me, ‘What kind of question is that?’ I breathed, ‘Oh God!’
When he stormed off into the room, I dropped on the couch and felt like crying.
That night we argued and argued. We called each other names. My husband left in the morning without saying a word to me.
When he returned, I asked him again and it was same the reaction.
He even said that I was stupid. Very stupid.
I was breathing fast.
The days that followed were very horrible for me and my husband.
We didn’t talk to each other. We didn’t even sleep on the same bed.
What worsened the whole matter was that my husband appeared to be the one mad at me. He was unashamedly unremorseful.
I didn’t understand his behaviour at all.
It was on a hot afternoon that a text message came to my phone. I opened it and read it over and over again.
It was from Rose. I had saved her number with ‘My Maid.’
The short message read: I am sorry, Aunty. Your husband did not touch me. I was just very angry that day.
It was later that the woman that had brought her told us that she’s been seeing a man from her town. That Rose’s mother has come and they have gone to the village to settle.
It took a special pot of soup and a special kind of bedroom activity for my husband to finally forgive me.