A Very Wicked Madam – Episode 2
School soon resumed in September and I wasn’t enrolled in any school as promised. I patiently hoped and waited, feeling that perhaps my madam forgot all about it but as days went by I couldn’t help it any longer and tried reminding her about enrolling me in school but my effort earned me nothing but a knock on my head.
‘’you are too young to start secondary school. You have to help in my shop for the rest of the year by next September I will put you in a very good school. So you have to impress me’’ she said as tears quickly formed in my eyes. One full year looked like a long time to me and there was really nothing I could do about it than to try and impress her. I worked all morning in the house and afterwards followed her to the shop to continue the slavery. It truly wasn’t what I planned for myself and my young mind began to dislike her. I wanted badly to go home but had no means.
As days went by Mrs. Johnson began claiming her money was always missing. I truly had enough reason to steal from her but never did and at a point I felt she was just trying to frame me up for no reason. Even though she never beat me over the issue or directly accused me, her countenance fully showed she suspected me. Then one day I caught her first son stealing from her purse one early morning as he was preparing to go to school and with full speed and excitement I headed to the kitchen to report my discovery to her without confronting the boy.
The shock on mrs Johnson’s face was quite telling. She unbelievably looked around like someone caught in a tight situation.
‘’are you sure about what you saw?’’ she asked, instead of calling her son
‘’yes ma, come and see for yourself’’ I begged desperately.
‘’no I don’t believe you’’ she muttered, focusing her attention back on what she was doing before I ran to the kitchen.
‘’’please come and see for yourself and if I’m wrong you can beat me as much as you can’’’ I begged desperately. She stopped and stared at me with confusion. I couldn’t really believe she was finding it difficult to catch a thief when she had always cursed and threatened to deal with whoever was stealing from her.
After some silence, she reluctantly headed to the dining table where her son was already eating, I followed behind her.
‘’did you take any money from my purse?’’ she asked the surprised boy who looked at her, then looked at me before shaking his head.
‘’I didn’t mummy’’ he answered softly. Of course there wasn’t any way he would admit to it and surprisingly Mrs. Johnson turned and faced me without argument.
‘’you see he said no and my son don’t lie’’ she explained with a smile but I was having none of it because I knew I was the only stranger in the family and that was the only way to clear myself from any suspicion of theft anyone could be having over me.
‘’mummy nooo, the money is in his right pocket’’ I screamed and rushed to the terrified boy, pushed my hand into his pocket and brought out a N200 note before he could recover and resist. Mrs Johnson’s face glowed with anger but what I couldn’t tell was if she was angry with me for exposing her son or angry with her son for stealing and lying.
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