I continued running.
I didn’t know where I was going but I also knew I will never go back to that house again.
The saying was home sweet home but ours was home bitter home.
With the little money in my skirt pocket,I boarded a bus to another town entirely.
I never knew I had gone so far until 6pm in the evening when I realized I had also lost my way.
I found an empty store and sat down,the tears rushing down my face.
I was just a child… with no one to care for.
I looked at the back of my skirt,there was stain on it…blood.
What do I do with myself now?
I stood up from the place I was sitting down and tried to hide the stain on my skirt.
Where would I go to?
It was getting dark.
I walked into a street with big houses.
I stopped at each houses, looking at it and wishing it was my house cos it looked so beautiful and peaceful.
The street was quiet but there were few people looking at me.
I must look so strange.
I came across a particular house and saw a notice on it.
A maid was needed.
I thought it was a blessing and time for me to see where to lay my head.
I looked all over at myself.
Will they accept me?
I did not bother to think about it and knocked at the large gate.
I knocked again.
Then at the fourth knock,I heard the grumbling of a man who was no doubt the gate man.
‘Who is out there by this time of the day!’,he shouted as he opened a little space on the small gate.
He pocked his eyes out and I watched it grew large with amazement.
He snatched away his head and closed the space on the gate.
I heard him opening the gate.
He came out and stared at me… I was stood bold and greeted him.
That has always been the good thing about me.
I was always bold in front of people especially those I was meeting for the first time.
‘I saw a notice in front of here and I was thinking if I can apply’,I said.
The man in his early 40 stared at me.
He looked at me for a little while and aved his head, indicating no.
‘I don’t think madam needs a child like you.
She wants adult who will not only serve as an ordinary house maid but she also wants a nanny for her daughter’,the gate man said.
I liked him instantly because he took his time to explain things to me while also talking reasonably.
‘Sir…make my presence known first…there is nothing I can’t do…I can do anything.
Am not just a child,am very strong’,I said eargerly.
The gate man told me to come inside.
He closed the gate and asked me to wait there beside the gate as he left.
I looked around the house.
Heavenly father…it was magnificent.
I thought there must be royalties living in the house.
I saw movement upstairs in the mansion and looked up.
The gate man was standing behind a beautiful woman, richly dressed and adorned with costly make ups and jewelries.
She was staring at me with no expression on her face.
I bowed down my head, looking downward.
They were talking about me and she was probably deciding whether to bring me inside the house.
She turned and went back inside while the gate man came down to meet me.
He was smiling at me.
“Small aunty, please come with me’,he said to me.
My heart made a fast double flip as I followed him into the building.
It was well decorated and huge.
In the first living room,the woman I saw earlier sat on a large cushion.
She looked at me as we came to her.
I stood boldly although I had my own fears.
‘Ma,I’ve brought her in’,the gate man said.
‘Yes a I can see that…you may go’,the woman said and looked at me as the gate man left.
‘What do you want?’she asked.
I told her about the notice outside and also told her I wanted to apply.
‘You are not only going to be a maid…can you take care of my daughter who is about your age?’,she asked.
‘Yes ma’…there is nothing I can’t do’,I answered.
Just then,the main entrance door opened and noises filled the room from two nagging people.
‘I don’t have to be your reporter!
Report it yourself that you fought again today…fighter!’,a boy shouted as they came into view.
I turned to look at them.
The woman’s kids…no doubt.
They stared at me before greeting their mother.
‘Mum,who is this?’,the girl who was my age asked.
She stared at me with disdain unlike the boy,who stared at me with amazed expression.
‘Oh,Tiffany…it’s our new maid,she came today and wants to apply for the maid job’,the woman said.
Tiffany looked at me again.
‘Are you sure this one will be able to do what Mofe was doing when she was here?’, Tiffany asked.
I looked at her, surprised at the hardness in her tune.
I thought she was too small for that voice.
The woman whose name I latter found out as madam Magret smiled.
‘Don’t worry darling,she will…as you can see,she is willing to work here’,Madam Magret said.
‘I wonder when this will even stop… can’t you ever do anything on your own?’,her brother said, walking upstairs.
Tiffany sneered at him and she stared a over at me.
‘Follow me to my room’, she told me and walked away.
I followed her upstairs to her room.
I was amazed.
It was as huge as the sitting room.
A little girl like her?
Her room was well decorated and arranged with beautiful teddy bears all over the bed.
She put off her school jacket and turned to look at me.
‘In my house here,I have a set of rules for any maid who is gonna work here.
I won’t waste my time to read it out…hope you can read English?’,she asked and I nodded.
She handed a list over to me.
‘When you go out there you can read it.
I will show you your room but before that,get some of the clothes in that basket washed’,she said pointing to a large basket beside the door.
I turned to look and felt my heart beat stop.
There,a pile of dirty clothes were laying inside the basket.
This is going to be though…I said to myself….