My eyes hurt from staring too long at the black dot on the ceiling fan. I blink to get some moisture in my eyes before turning my head to face the only window in the room. Although I can only see little with my back against the bed, I see just enough to know it is evening already. Slowly the last daylight in the room begins to fade out.
Rising to sitting position, I wiggle my toes in anticipation for the cold concrete. I'm a bit disappointed when I don't find it to be as cold as I would have loved it to be.
The heat in here is killing me. I gently walk towards the reading table, my legs feel a bit numb from lying in bed all day.
well, except for the time I got up to bath.
"Ten minutes after seven." I mutter to myself before putting back down, my wristwatch. With my thumb and index finger still attached to it, I study the wristwatch for a while. It was a gift from my mom two years ago, when I had graduated as an accountant from the University of Benin. I had disappointed my parents and I knew it. Even though Mummy pretended all was well, daddy's constant lament was enough proof of mom's hidden thoughts.
I also was disappointed in myself for graduating with a second class upper. I wanted to graduate with a first class, everyone thought I'd graduate with a first class but I failed them— I failed myself. If only I made a different decision and maybe if I'd worked harder, I would be employed by now. Maybe I wouldn't have faced so much rejection. Then I won't have to go through the stress of looking for a new job every time.
Not that I regret losing my previous job or that I am hurt by the death of madam Ivie
I didn't pray for her death either
Working for Madam Ivie was one of the worst decisions I've ever made apart from agreeing to David's proposal. I just wish I didn't lose my only means of fending for my family and myself.
I smile to myself when light from the ceiling bulb, brightens up every corner of the room. I take it as my clue to leave my room. I've been in it all day. When Tolu called me for breakfast, I had declined, telling her I was on fast today. It wasn't entirely a lie because I haven't eaten anything since morning— that is if you don't consider licking a tiny bit of toothpaste when you are at the verge of death— but then it wasn't totally true because I am not on any spiritual fast. This really is more of a hunger strike than fast.
Yesterday I overheard Tolu and her boyfriend talking about how the food in the house had reduced drastically. They weren't raising their voices and they weren't being rude about it but I had felt it still. I know I eat a lot and although it doesn't show in my size, the toilet will tell a different story.
I have decided; since I have no money to contribute to the feeding in the house, I am only going to eat at evening, for as long as I stay here. Today's experience almost makes my decision look impossible but I don't have a choice. I feel guilty enough being a third wheel.
"Hey Rachael, you are out." Tolu has a smile on her face. She is seated on Peter's laps with her hands around his neck pulling his face to her chest.
can he even breathe in that position?
"Yes Tolu, I'm so hungry." I mentally slap myself for being so direct. I guess that's what is called thinking with your stomach.
"Then go cook something. It's not like you've got some slave around to do the cooki........."
"Peter!!" Tolu's voice cut's through Peter's sudden burst of fury.
Peter doesn't speak anymore but his angry gaze don't drop my sad ones either. When he drops his gaze from me, he lift's Tolu off his lap and storms into his room without another glance at me.
I blink back the tears that are building up. I just need to leave here. I've obviously overstayed my welcome.
"Rachael I'm sorry, please don't listen to him. He is just tir........I don't know what is wrong with him." I smile at Tolu's attempt to please me. She's such a sweetheart. We aren't even that close and she's been so kind.
"I understand. I'm at fault. I shouldn't have been so blunt about it. I didn't think much before saying that." Oh I did think, just that it was my stomach doing the thinking and not my head.
"I'll talk to him."
"Tolu it's normal for him to be upset, especially when I ruined his moment."
I laugh as Tolu blushes.
"There's rice in the pot. Please eat something." My stomach rejoices at Tolu's words.
"You are welcome sweetie."
Tolu exits the parlor to the bedroom while I help myself with jellof rice. I make sure to take just a little before devouring it heartlessly.
When I am done, I subdue the urge to lick my plate and clear the dishes. I turn on the tap, slide my plates under and start washing. I just pray I get a job. Tolu introduced me to this site online where I can get the job of a maid or house keeper as I prefer to call it. I applied two days ago but still I haven't been replied. I know Tolu is not asking for updates because she doesn't want it to seem like she's uncomfortable with me living in her house but the truth is I can't stay here forever. She doesn't want to put any pressure on me but her silence is only fueling my guilt.
First, they reduce their comfortability to accommodate me. Second, their feeding quality has reduced and now I've probably caused a conflict between them. I need to leave, I need a job. I blink back tears threatening to fall. Yesterday dad called. He didn't even give me a chance to explain to him, why I haven't been able to send money. He kept complaining about my lack of love for the family and my sick mom but that's not true. I do care for my family, so much so that it breaks me to not be able to send a dime to them. I'm broke; I can't even buy a sachet water as it is. I really am broke.