Glimmer Part 14

Blessing was very afraid. Even though seduction was her art, she knew she had crossed the line with Lasun, she had bruised his ego. How could she appeal to a man whose eyes lacked mercy? Still, appealing to him was her only option; any attempt to be audacious would only make her fate worse. The men were out for her blood.
“Brother Lasun” she began
“Now I am your brother? Misturat, you! You opened your mouth to insult me because you are now a Lagos girl. No one has ever spoken to me in such a manner; even my boss knows her limits. But Misturat you felt confident enough to disrespect me!” Lasun said fiercely.
Misturat got her knees, rubbing her palms together “I am only a child, I spoke out of ignorance. You know my grandmother died, it messed me up mentally. Please, forgive me” she begged.
“You’re just a child?” he laughed
“You are no child!” he shouted “No, you are not, we both know you have eaten of the elders’ food” he said quietly with a knowing smile on his face “As a compensation to myself and my good friend here, I’d like to remind myself of the sweetness of our past, at least it is because of that you were bold enough to insult me. When I, sorry we” the men laughed hysterically “when we are through with you, we would be compensated. In fact feel free to insult me again, at least I would have received my compensation. Friend!” he called to the other man “let us not waste any more time”
“Brother Lasun please…” she cried as Lasun’s friend yanked her by the arms and pushed her  face down on to the table as she struggled.
“Somebody help me!!!” she screamed
Afraid that they would be found out, Lasun tore out a part of her skirt and gagged her with it. He then proceeded to tear the rest of her skirt reavealing her fresh dark thighs and lacy panties. His friend held Misturat down, pinning down her outstretched arms. Misturat wept fearfully as Lasun ripped off her panties and smacked her buttocks.
“Whoever does what no one else has done will suffer the consequences no one else has” he said as he loosened his trousers and pulled down his underwear.
“Brother Lasun!” a student called out from a window that the wind had opened.
“Joseph!”
Lasun and his friend quickly abandoned the terrified Misturat as the students ran after them shouting “Catch them, don’t let them escape!”

Various reactions followed the attempted rape. Majority of the stunned guests believed that it was the case of a relationship between three consenting people gone sour. Young girls nowadays were tricksters, seductresses who were only after men’s money. Why would Lasun and his friend who were responsible married men want to rape Misturat a young teenager? Her mother was known to be an easy woman; her daughter must have taken after her. Besides, her dress had clung too tightly on her curvaceous body; she had called for the attention. The remaining guests either felt truly sorry for the girl (for she did seem traumatized and her skirt was torn) or undecided in their opinion of the incident. All in all, it cast a gloom on the ceremony, as people began to leave, embarrassed to have witnessed the incident.
Misturat’s mother believed she had truly been assaulted, because the Misturat who returned from Lagos would not have had anything to do with Lasun. But she was more unhappy because she had had to leave her guests who had only begun to spray money on her when the incident occurred. What bad luck! She had hoped to be able to buy a second-hand fridge to sell beer at her shop. The more men drank, the more money she made.

Misturat was still in shock, she bunched up her knees holding herself and crying gently. She felt miserable and it was all her fault. How could she not have been suspicious of the fact that there was no activity around the classroom? Why hadn’t she fought harder, why hadn’t she spoken civilly to Lasun when he came to her house the other day, why had she made her dress too tight as some of the sympathizers had said? It never occurred to her that she was not responsible for the decisions that two grown men made. Her mother walked into the room.
“Misturat, sorry my dear. That is how men are and I know by the mercy of the god I serve that it shall never be well with those men and their families. But are you sure nothing happened, they didn’t do anything?” she asked suspiciously
“No ma, I have told you that they didn’t do anything” she said wearily “Are they in police custody now?”
“No o, my daughter. The police said there wasn’t enough evidence to detain them”
“What? What about the students who caught them?” she asked stunned
“They refused to comment on that and said I should rather appeal to you and warn you to watch the way you speak to elders. What were they talking about?”
Misturat was more shocked now and hurt. They were going to get away with it?
“I don’t know ma”
Mrs Olagunju looked at her daughter and knew something wasn’t right but she was grateful that the students had forgotten their books in school and come back for them. Now she was more concerned about the future than the past.
“I want you to go back to Lagos tomorrow”
“Alright ma” said Blessing who was already thinking of the same thing.
“But before you leave I want to ask you about your strategy, you’ve spent six months there. Do you think what happened today would have happened if you were married to a wealthy man? We would have been the talk of the town today. Misturat, all I’ve been saying to you is for your own good. How far have things gone between you and your boss’ husband?”
Misturat saw reason with her mother’s line of argument. What happened today would never have happened if she was married to Deji. “I have decided to leave my boss’ husband alone. His younger brother is a better choice”
“Really, that’s good! What does he do?”
“He doesn’t have a job yet. He just finished his NYSC program, but he’s looking for a job and I know he will get one soon because he has connections.”
Mrs Olagunju laughed “Eh! Misturat! You want to leave someone who is established, has money, his own house, and cars for a job seeker? Are you alright?” she asked annoyed
“But Mummy he’s younger and he loves me” Misturat said pleadingly
“He loves you! Who’s talking about love? Didn’t your father love all three of us? Misturat, do what I’m telling you to and leave the boy. Do you need charms to help, you know that would not be a problem, in fact it would make things easier”
“No, no I don’t”
Mrs Olagunju looked at her daughter trying to read her mind. She seemed to be in love with this boy she was talking about, she was so defensive of him.
“Misturat let me tell you the truth of the matter. That boy only wants to sleep with you”
“He’s not a boy, he’s a man”
“Yes, said the child of her classmate!” she laughed
“Look!” she said seriously “He will sleep with you and then dump you. Focus on his brother, the real man. We are all counting on you; your mates are doing it so I don’t see why this should be difficult for you. Stop being selfish!” she said and walked out.

Glimmer Part 13

Misturat
I have been home now for the past two days and I haven’t missed a thing. This morning we had pap, just pap. How do these people live like this? My skin is riddled with mosquito bites and the service here is poor. I miss home and Deji, he hasn’t even called me. My mother’s and grandmother’s friends have been trooping in and out of our house expressing their sympathies over the loss of my grandmother and praying endlessly for me, hoping to get money out of me. Of all the things I have experienced since my return this has proved to be the most annoying. I have worked hard, very hard for my money and then these poverty stricken clueless women come in here and say half-hearted prayers. I wish I could send them all away but I can’t. My mother would be eternally disgraced; I dare not disrespect the elders.
Alhaja has been here too. She didn’t even recognize me. Her eyes were green with envy and she said so contemptuously “So you have returned”. I could care less about her right now, she’s not Aunty’s friend as she claimed. She only said that to gain my mother’s respect, she is actually her business partner who sends her pure yam flour from Osogbo. Aunty then repackages it suitably for her rich friends and acquaintances who are particular about the quality of their yam flour.
As I said I could care less about her, but with Alhaja came her driver Lasun who I had had a brief affair with. He kept staring at me as if he had never seen me before. Finally he got a chance to speak with me when I went out to the backyard to hang out the laundry.
“Misturat…” he said warmly
I looked back at him and then said “Yes?”
“Ah ah your face is not welcoming”
“Ehn ehn why should it be welcoming, are you not aware that I just lost my grandmother?”
“I know… but for old times’ sake I expected you to at least smile or be happy that we are seeing each other again, after all we are not strangers abi?” he smiled and moved closer to me.
I shook my head sadly “Why am I surrounded by foolish people? I just told you that I lost my grandmother and here you are talking about old times! Aren’t you old enough to know the right thing to say?”
Now I knew I had said too much but I couldn’t stand the sight of this uncultured and ignorant man. How could I have ever considered him worthy of my time, much more my body? The stupid things I’ve done! He smells of stale sweat and he’s still wearing this ankara that he’s been wearing since I first met him, just look at those bumps on his cheeks! I am totally repulsed by this man.
“Misturat, are you talking to me?” he said surprised
“No, I’m talking to your shadow. Please, if you do not have anything reasonable to say leave, I have a lot to do.” I turned my back on him and continued my laundry.
Lasun
Me? Misturat called me foolish! Is it because she has been to Lagos that she spoke to me in such a manner, is it not this same Misturat that used to beg me for one thousand naira to buy clothes? I have been disgraced! She can’t get away with this. If not for the fact that my brother is too selfish to think about the good of others would I still be in this town? If he had given me that money I would have relocated to Lagos and started my own pure water company and I know that I would have been very successful. The youngest of my siblings dare not speak to me the way she did. Upon all my investments; the suya I would buy for her even on credit, the times I paid for her hairdo, the clothes I bought for her, we even went to that famous eatery once where I spent a quarter of my salary buying the snacks she wanted for her friends and family. Lasun, you have been humiliated!
It was the day of the burial ceremony even though Misturat’s grandmother had been buried the day she died according to Islamic rites but there was the ceremony to do according to tradition. The dead woman would be honored by her children who have gathered money (they could not get to take care of her when she was ill) to throw a lavish party where they would wear the same cloth, kill a ram, cook pots of jollof rice, amala, ewedu and fried meat, buy crates of coca-cola and hire the services of a noisy excuse for a band whose speakers blared so loud that people who lived miles away became aware that a party was ongoing. The guests would also be honored with souvenirs of plastic bowls, handkerchiefs, napkins and plastic handfans.
Mrs Olagunju (Misturat’s mother) was joyful. Her daughter had funded her own share of the contribution towards the burial. She had bought new shoes and a purse to match the lace fabric and damask which would serve as the headtie. Her other children too were appropriately dressed. Today they were rich and famous, tomorrow would be another story. But who cared about tomorrow when today had not passed? She took majestic steps around the different canopies, kneeling and thanking everyone for coming and making sure that they had been fed. They in turn prayed for the dearly departed and a few gave her envelops containing money- five thousand naira, a thousand naira, five hundred naira. Who cared? Money was money. The ceremony was taking place on the football field of the town’s government owned secondary school. She looked up ahead and saw the grumpy faces of guests who had not been served then looked away unconcerned, they were not wearing the aso-ebi.
She moved around the canopies again until she found Misturat. The girl had totally changed within and without. She was more beautiful and refined but she was now condescending. No one could touch her things and she complained about every meal. She was also disrespectful to her until she reminded her that she nursed at her breasts and was carried on her thighs. Children! She called out to her:
“Misturat!”
“Ma?”
“I want you to go to the music stand and tell the band leader to start calling out our names so that we can dance and our friends can spray money on us. They have eaten now and would soon want to leave. Do it now, I don’t want them to leave yet, do you hear me?”
“Yes ma” Misturat replied glumly
After running her mother’s errand Misturat was going to sit down with her sister when a boy walked up to her.
“Aunty Misturat, Alhaja said I should tell you to go to that classroom” he said pointing to the block of classrooms close to the school’s gate “to get the souvenirs for those wearing the aso-ebi”
“And she mentioned my name?”
“Yes she did”
Misturat was angry. Why wouldn’t this woman let her be? She walked towards the block reminding herself to leave within the next couple of days now that the burial ceremony was over. She walked into the classroom and saw Lasun sitting on one of the tables. Great! She thought.
“”Where is Aljaha?” she asked irritated
The door behind her slammed, from behind it came Lasun’s friend. Misturat looked back at Lasun and knew she was going to be raped.

Glimmer Part 12

Titi held Blessing and allowed her to cry. She seemed so shaken by the news. She had thought of not telling her but her mother did say that she should call her immediately. This was a bad day for the poor girl, first she was sick and now this. Bode came in to the kitchen wondering what was going on.
“Her grandmother passed on” she said in reply to the questioning look he gave her
“Oh! Sorry…” He signaled to Titi telling her he would be upstairs
“Sorry dear…she’s gone to a better place”
Blessing just kept crying. She was saddened by the fact that her grandmother was dead; the woman had been more of a mother to her than her own biological mother. She was more sorry however for what she had sacrificed for nothing. She was no virgin or saint but she had spent the last month convincing herself that she was better than a scheming seductress. Now she was back to her vomit and she could hear the taunting voices in her head reminding her that she was nothing but trash. How would she face Deji again? Dr Famakinwa had even had the guts to call her a prostitute! After she had cried enough Titi reminded her that she needed to call her mother, so she went back upstairs to get her phone.
Dr Famakinwa was livid with rage by the time she got to her room. He was still naked though his clothes were beside him on the floor, he was too scared that someone might suddenly open the door while he was dressing up. He could tell she was the one who came into the room because she sat down on the bed sniffing.
“Where the hell have you been? How dare you leave me like this? First of all, lock the door so I can put my clothes on. Blessing! Blessing! Are you deaf?” he called out to her from under the bed.
“Hello Mummy…sorry ma I was sleeping” she burst into tears. Dr Famakinwa was greatly confused. What was going on? Had they been found out?
“When did she die?…” she cried some more “I’ve not discussed it with my madam yet. But I’m sure she will allow me to come tomorrow…Have you buried her yet?…ok ma…Ma?…I’ve heard you ma” Blessing couldn’t believe her ears. Her mother had asked her to come home with as much money as she could; she planned to give her mother a good burial. What sort of life is this? She wondered.
“Blessing! What happened?” Dr Famakinwa asked gently
“My grandmother died while I was having sex with you”
Dr Famakinwa didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry”
“Oh you will be! The money you are paying me is now two hundred thousand naira”
“What? You little…”
“If you refuse to pay the whole world will know what we have been doing here. I will give you your phone now and you will transfer the money into my account. When I get the bank’s alert I will find a way of getting you out of here and out of my life.”  She tossed his phone to him under the bed just as Kiitan burst into her room
“Aunty Blessing! Mummy said you should come downstairs”
“Ok dear” she said and followed him out, leaving Dr Famakinwa to his misery.
Bode ended the phone call with Dr Famakinwa’s wife and turned to his wife.
“She can’t find Segun”
“What do you mean?
“He’s not home, at the office or at the gym and he’s not taking his calls”
“That’s odd. Where could he be?” Titi said worried
“I just hope he’s not cheating on Toke again. This has happened before”
“Really? I don’t believe that! Segun is a wonderful guy!”
“Yeah! What a day, from a burial to the news of another death”
“Yeah…Bode I think we should give something to Blessing as she goes home tomorrow. You know there will be a burial and she’s been a wonderful girl”
“Yeah she has” Bode said with meaning
“What do you mean by that?” Titi asked suspiciously
“Nothing, I’m just agreeing with you. Look babe I’m tired. Whatever you decide is fine, let’s just got to bed please okay?” he said nibbling her ears
“Hmmn…okay…going to bed is a good idea” she said giggling
Blessing had seen the alert but deliberately left Dr Famakinwa under the bed for the next three hours. When she got back Dr Famakinwa could barely contain his temper.
“You crazy bittch! You left me here for hours!”
“Continue shouting so they can hear you” she said as she started packing her bags
“Blessing please I need to go. Please help me out, I know you’re angry but please help me out” he said calmly
“Come out and put on your clothes” she said sourly.
When he was done, Blessing led him quietly downstairs to the kitchen and out of the house through the backdoor.
“I’ll distract Emmanuel, leave when you sense the time is right”
“OK.” He said, his anger returned. His wife had called him over forty times, the hospital too had called him several times. He was going to have to come up with a very convincing story as to his whereabouts.
“Don’t let me ever see you again. Don’t ever call me”
“I won’t if you’ve not made me pregnant yet. Foolish old man. I’m very crazy now, you better not provoke me” she retorted.
They got to the gate house and Blessing knocked on Emmanuel’s door while Dr Fmakinwa hid behind.
“Emmanuel… how are you? Sorry it’s late. I just wanted to let you know I’m travelling tomorrow, my grandmother died”
“Oh sorry…when will you come back?”
“I don’t know yet. Goodnight, I want to take out the trash. I’ll lock the gate”
“Okay…sorry o” he said and closed the door
Blessing led Dr Famakinwa out.

Glimmer Part 11

“Blessing!” Titi called out. No response. She opened the door to Blessing’s bedroom and found her huddled beneath the covers. Why would she still be asleep at this time? She moved closer to her bed.
“Blessing!”
“Yes Aunty” she responded weakly
“What is wrong with you?” she stood beside her now and bent down to touch her forehead. It was warm.
“I’m not feeling well”
“But you were fine yesterday!” Titi said confused
“I don’t understand it ma”
“Okay just stay in bed and rest, I don’t think you can come with us today although I was really counting on your help. When we get back in the evening, I’ll take you to the hospital”
I can go by myself ma. I’m not sure I can wait until evening” Blessing said weakly
“Will you be able to find your way?”
“Yes ma”
“Are you sure you’ll be fine alone?” Titi asked
“Yes ma, thank you”
Titi left the room, feeling uncomfortable about the arrangement; she felt she should take her to the hospital herself. As soon as she was gone, Blessing threw off the covers, her plan had worked perfectly.

Within the next two hours after the family had left the house, Blessing was dressed and ready to go, she was about to leave the house when her phone rang. It was Dr Famkinwa, she hoped he wasn’t calling to cancel. She had promised her mother she was going to pay some money into her account today.
“Hello sir”
“Yes, Blessing where are you?”
“I’m about to leave the house”
“Good! Don’t leave I’m coming over to your house”
“But…”
“There is no one at home is there? Haven’t they all gone out for that burial?”
“Yes… but…”
“Deji has travelled. There’s no one at home. Emmanuel won’t say anything if he wants to keep his job. I’m coming over.”
“But…Hello?” he had hung up. What is this? She wondered. There was truly no one at home but she was more comfortable meeting with the man outside. So Deji had travelled? Perhaps the guy didn’t care about her at all, he hadn’t even bothered to tell her anything. But she thoroughly missed him! She felt to alone in the world. There was nothing to do now but wait.

Dr Famakinwa pushed open the pedestrian gate. Where was Emmanuel? He knocked on the door and Blessing let him in.
“Where is Emmanuel?”
“He said he was going to see his friends down the street”
“Oh good. Shall we get down to business?”
“I need the money first”
“You don’t trust me! You’re acting like a common prostitute” Blessing didn’t respond, she had no time for this, she just wanted to get over this meeting as soon as possible. She counted the money and when she saw that it was complete she led him to her room.

The burial ceremony had gone on well so far but Titi was uncomfortable. She kept thinking of Blessing and how she must be feeling, she had not taken any of her calls so she was very worried, perhaps they should leave earlier than planned. She didn’t want any trouble because she wasn’t responsible enough to take care of another person’s child. She got up from her chair to speak with Bode and within the next thirty minutes they were on their way home.
Bode on the other hand could care less about Blessing. Ever since that night he had come to the conclusion that Blessing had actually tried to seduce him and although his first instinct was to tell Titi about it, Blessing was truly a big help to her and the kids loved her. Titi’s business was doing better because she had more time on her hands to go the extra mile. So, he had developed a strategy to avoid her and barely spoke to her. He couldn’t understand however why Titi couldn’t see that sometimes her blouse was too low cut or that her jeans were too tight.
They got home and he honked the horn. No one responded. Where was Emmanuel or Blessing for that matter? Bode got down from the car and opened the gate himself, thinking the whole time that the both of them were in big trouble.

The noise of the kids woke Blessing up. Dr Famakinwa was naked beside her snoring deeply. How could they be back so soon? What was she going to do? Their clothes were strewn all over the floor and she could hear the kids coming up the stairs.

Titi  opened the door to Blessing’s room.
“Blessing?”
“Ma…”
“How are you feeling now?”
“Better ma…” Titi touched her forehead, she felt better
“What did Dr Famakinwa say?”
“He said I had malaria, he gave some drugs”
“Ok. Where is Emmanuel?” she asked
“He said he was going to see his friend”
“And he left the house unguarded? Anyway he’ll answer himself when he gets back” Titi turned towards the door but noticed Blessing’s bedsheet was crumpled and damp, she must have been sweaty she thought. “Come downstairs and eat something ok?”
“Yes ma” she replied and watched Titi walk out the door.

Dr Famakinwa was under the bed sweating profusely. This was a mess! Blessing said quietly to him. “I have to go downstairs”
“What? And what happens to me, are you going to leave me down here?”
“I can’t stay with you! Aunty said I should come downstairs”
It was a complicated situation but Blessing was slightly amused. The great Dr Famakinwa naked under the bed! She smiled.” Serves him right!” she thought
Titi seemed lost in thought. From the corner of her eye she saw Blessing come in.
“Blessing!…your mother called”
“Ma?…” she was confused, why couldn’t her mother just be patient!
“She said you were not taking your calls and I told her that you must have been asleep. I didn’t tell her you were not feeling well. She said I should tell you…” she sighed “She said I should tell you that your grandmother is dead and that you should call her immediately”
Blessing opened her mouth to say something but all she could do was cry.

Glimmer Part 10

Dr Famakinwa thanked his good fortune on the way back to the hospital. He couldn’t imagine what he would have told Deji if he had caught him caressing Blessing’s body. Blessing also seemed very scared, perhaps this was the reason she told him not to come. He felt so foolish, his urges had almost cost him everything. From now on he would have to come up with more ingenious ways of meeting with Blessing. He had sworn to himself after the last time when he got an STI that he would never be with Beatrice again but he was desperate and desperate times as the saying goes call for desperate measures. He took the left turn into Johnson Street and pulled up in front of the face-me-I-face-you building that served as a brothel.
Emmanuel was hurt by Blessing’s rejection of his proposal. She had made him feel so inferior that he had become depressed so that he couldn’t eat. Didn’t she realise she was a househelp? Who would marry her if not the likes of him? Although Blessing was unlike the other girls he knew, she was sophisticated for their class. He needed someone like her to better his life and expose him to the things he was ignorant of. Or should he get an education? Maybe she would give him more consideration then. His mother had already been calling to find out when exactly he was coming with his wife, she wanted to make sure she was well prepared. He had told her that it would be soon and promptly ended the call. There was a knock on the gate, it was Kemi and she wanted to see Blessing. He let her in. Kemi was equally pretty, why hadn’t he noticed it before? She was fair and plump and had a very warm disposition. She wasn’t bad at all. He watched her ample backside sway as she walked towards the door.
Kemi had just left after lamenting again about her boss’s ill treatment towards her. Why she didn’t just find a rich guy who would rescue her from her predicament Blessing didn’t understand. She was however relieved that Kemi had chosen to forget the episode with Daddy Teni, if she chose to act on her suspicions she would be in serious trouble. She would be gone from the Cokers and she would lose Deji and losing Deji would be extremely painful for her, because not only was he her ticket to a better life she also loved him. She was however worried now because her mother had called again this morning crying about how her mother was slowly dying without medical attention, confined to the hospital bed because they had not been able to get the funds to pay the hospital bills. Last night she had tried to talk to Deji again about the money but he was engaged in a serious conversation with Bode. She thought of asking Titi but she was in no position to hear it. She was too busy preparing for Mummy Teni’s sister’s burial which was tomorrow. Deji had left the house early this morning without saying a word about it to her. She had seen him leave the compound with a small bag. Where could he have gone?
Her mind was in turmoil; she felt the walls closing in on her and suddenly became overpowered by despair. No matter how hard she tried, she always had to resort to her scheming. She picked up her phone and called Dr Famakinwa.
Dr Famakinwa laughed, life was full of suprises. Yesterday he had called Blessing and she had been all  but warm, she seemed so disinterested in whatever he had to say. Beatrice, his last resort was not home when he called at her place and he had been thinking of who else he could call to relieve the tension in his groin when Blessing called him to apologise for yesterday and ask for his help. He had promised her fifty thousand naira, which was the best he could do. He had felt her hesitation but she must have been desperate because she agreed to see him tomorrow.

Glimmer Part 9

Blessing was on cloud nine. It had been a month since Brother Deji (as she called him) came to live with them and that initial mutual attraction had blossomed as the days went by. She had made a video that was on repeat in her mind; clips of Deji talking with her in the kitchen as she cooked, the subtle intimate moments they had when they watched romantic movies together, the way he laughed, the way he looked when he fell asleep on the couch. She couldn’t believe her luck; she had finally found her prince charming. She hadn’t even been with Dr Famakinwa in all this time, his wife was around and she was grateful for the absence of his attention. She was at peace. Even her mother had not called to give her any grief. She had been able to save up forty thousand and sent it to her mother explaining that things were hard. Her mother had been furious of course but the money had at least thawed the ice between them. She had even gotten new clothes and shoes; Aunty had recently returned from a trip to the UK. Life was good. She was going to church too; Brother Deji went to church on Sundays.
Deji was fascinated by Blessing. She had told him of her unfortunate past and he had reminded himself never to marry more than one wife. She was so beautiful and he admired everything about her; she was a good cook, kept the house well and was emotionally mature for her age. He was almost tempted to take their relationship to the next level but always reminded himself that she was the help. It would be difficult to explain it to anyone especially his mother who was already trying to matchmake him with her friend’s daughter. Blessing had been through too much and he had no intention of making things worse for her. It was becoming hard to resist the temptation to be intimate with her though, her body was perfect and he was notorious for sowing his wild oats.
Anyday now. Blessing expected that he would ask her out soon. It never occurred to her that she was the help, she was in love. Her phone rang. It was her mother.
“Hello Mummy”
“Misturat. How are you?”
“I’m fine ma, hope there’s no problem? You sound strange”
“Misturat it is your grandmother. She is in the hospital, she had a stroke. Her left side is paralysed. We have to pay one hundred and fifty thousand naira for the hospital bill and we need more money for the woman who will help her regain use of her limbs. Please my daughter, this is the time when you need to do whatever you can”
“Alright ma”
“Thank you my daughter.”
Blessing sighed. The struggle just had to continue. Where would she get the money from? Deji would have it, yes he would. He was after all from a rich family. Just as she was thinking of this, Deji walked into the kitchen and saw Blessing’s pensive face.
“What is it?”
“Brother Deji!” Blessing said startled. “I didn’t hear you coming”
“That’s because you were deep in thought. What’s going on?” he asked again
“My grandmother is in the hospital. She had a stroke and now she’s paralysed. My mother needs money to pay all the medical bills”
“How much?” he asked
“At least one hundred and fifty thousand naira”
“Wow! That’s a lot! Where will you get such an amount from?” he asked
“I…err… I was hoping you would help me”
“Help you?” he laughed and then stopped, seeing the hurt look on Blessing’s face
“Sorry… it was just funny to me that you were asking me for that amount. I don’t have it”
“Couldn’t you help me to get it?”
“From where?…” his phone rang “Hello…yeah… who is this?…Funke? This is a surprise I never thought…” he signaled to Blessing that he needed to be excused. Funke was his ex.
Blessing was disappointed and hurt. She had expected better from the guy.
Dr Famakinwa was uneasy. He had been in a foul mood all day and had carried it out on the nurses and a few exasperating patients. Toke was trying his patience, it had been a week now since they had last had sex and she had the audacity to tell him two nights ago that she was travelling again. He actually loved his wife and thought that his infidelities were a way of making his marriage work. It was better that he relieved her of the stress of sex, she needed to concentrate on her research. But lately it seemed this had backfired as she no longer even bothered whether they had sex or not. Every other thing was more important than their sex life, in fact she had acted surprised the last time he had made advances towards her and was totally unparticipatory throughout. As soon as they were done, she got up, cleaned herself and returned to the study. Was she having an affair? He doubted it. Toke would never do that.
To make matters worse, Blessing had acted cold when he called her last night. He had called her several times before she even took his call. She seemed uninterested. What was wrong with the women in his life? Perhaps she was becoming full of herself now that she was wearing nice clothes and living a life she would never have dreamed of. She had told him not to come to the house. Why he had asked? She said she was busy.
He drove to the house now, determined to put Blessing in her place and get a release from all the tension that his wife was putting him through. Blessing would respond very well.  He knocked on the gate just as Emmanuel was stepping out. Emmanuel didn’t dare to ask him any questions this time around; he greeted him and moved on. He knocked on the door and Blessing opened it surprise written all over her face. She couldn’t believe the man had come here. Brother Deji was around, how would she explain his presence?
“Good afternoon sir” she greeted
“Blessing, are you ok? It is me”
“Yes sir…”
“Aren’t you going to let me in?”
“I’m…” Dr Famakinwa pushed his way in, eager to get down to business
“I’ve missed you” he said moving closer to her and rubbing her arms
“Please go sir there is…”
“Is it because I haven’t called you all this while? You know my wife was around now” he said now with both his arms firmly around her waist
“Please leave me alone sir!” Blessing said trying to pull away from him
“I said I’ve missed you” he said between ragged breaths “Are you trying to tease me? It’s working!” he said with his mouth on her neck
“Please…” she begged now fearful. A door slammed and Dr Famakinwa quickly pulled away.
“Who is that”
“Brother Deji”
“Foolish girl why didn’t you…”
“Doctor! Good afternoon sir, it’s good to see you”
“Ah Deji… the corper…how are you now? It’s good to see you too. I was just leaving. I thought the kids were on their mid-term break, I was going to do their routine check-up for them but Blessing here just told me they are not on holiday yet.”
“Yes…but my brother must really be paying you well for you to do home services for them” Deji commented slightly suspicious about the story
“You know your brother and I go way back and his kids are my kids. It’s not a big deal. Well I have to leave now, duty calls!”
“Alright sir let me walk you out”
By the time Deji was back in the house, the kids were with him, they had been dropped off by the school bus just as Dr Famakinwa was driving away. He couldn’t talk to Blessing about the Dr Famkinwa or the call.

Glimmer Part 8

“So what was that?” Kemi asked
“Nothing. He just wanted me to deliver a message to Uncle” Blessing replied
“Uhn uhn!” she said unbelieving
“And why was he looking at you like that?”
“How?”  Blessing countered
“I am not a fool. The way that man was looking at you shows he is interested in you.”
“Kemi don’t annoy me o! Did I call you a fool? Why do you always take things so personally? Did I mention the word fool? This is why your madam hits you, you don’t know the right thing to say. He’s interested in me! A married man! Please if you don’t have anything reasonable to say maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore” Blessing hissed in disgust, entered her compound and slammed the gate.
It didn’t work. Kemi knew Blessing had something to hide, she also knew Daddy Teni’s history with maids. Blessing however was her only friend; she genuinely looked out for her and always gave her a listening ear. It wasn’t too much to ask of her to ignore this distasteful episode, her friendship with Blessing was more important. She made a mental note to ask Blessing’s forgiveness and walked on to her house.
Blessing was opening the door to the house when Emmanuel called her. He was wearing a new shirt, she hadn’t seen this one before and his hair was shining with oil? She wondered where he was going to dressed the way he was.
“Emma, Emma! Nawa o! Are you going to see your girlfriend?” she asked smiling
“Girlfriend? I don’t have a girlfriend o!”
“You don’t have a girlfriend? Why?”
“The woman hasn’t agreed.”
“Maybe you’re not saying it well. What reason did she give?”
“Err…actually I haven’t asked her”
“Ah ah…why?” Blessing asked curious and slightly irritated
“I’m shy…” he said bowing his head
“Are you not a man? Just ask her and if she says no then move on”
“But I don’t want her to say no”
“How can you know if you’ve never asked?”
“Okay…err…Blessing…will you be my girlfriend” he asked timidly
“Are you rehearsing? You have to do better than that o!”
“No, no…I’m asking you to be my girlfriend”
Blessing was dumfounded, where was this coming from? What impression did she ever give this guy to make him so bold to ask her out?  “What?” she laughed “You’re not my type, go and look for your type elsewhere. You cannot take care of me” she said and turned towards the door
“I can! I’m saving money and very soon I will buy a television”
Blessing laughed. This was unbelievable. “You have saved! Is it the one hundred naira you contribute weekly that you want to use to take care of me?”
“It’s three hundred naira….” He corrected
“Please!  I can’t be your girlfriend so let’s just forget this matter” she said and made towards the door
“Blessing give me a chance” he pleaded; he had mustered up all the courage he had to ask this beautiful lady out. He couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. His dreams had been full of her smiling and holding his hands, others had been more intimate. He had bragged about her to his friends back home and told his mother he was finally bringing home the woman that would bear her grandchildren.
“Blessing…”
Blessing walked in and surveyed the sitting room. The TV was on and there was a half empty bottle of water on the stool. On the couch was a handsome young man sleeping. Who was this? Why didn’t Emmanuel tell her there was a stranger in the house? She moved towards him and shook him.
“Uncle…Uncle…” she called
The man stirred and sat up.
“Who are you here to see sir?”
“What sort of question is that? I should be asking that question, who are you?”
“Please I don’t want any trouble. Who are you here to see, I will call the gateman” she threatened
The man laughed. “Call him while I call my brother” he said
“Your brother? Are you Uncle’s brother?”
“Yes, Sister Titi said she would tell the maid I was coming today but I haven’t seen her. I am terribly hungry and here you are questioning me about my identity. Who are you?” he asked observing how pretty she was
“I am the maid. Sorry sir I didn’t know” she said suddenly embarrassed
“You are the maid?” he asked surprised observing her again. She spoke good English for a maid and was dressed like somebody in a higher social class; she was wearing a red V-neck Tshirt over dark blue jeans and her long hair had been let down. Her dark smooth skin glistened with sweat. How was his brother coping with such a beauty?
“Yes… let me serve your food” she said and walked towards the kitchen. This handsome man was Uncle’s brother? She saw that there was a mutual attraction between them. This man would do. Yes he would.