A Very Wicked Madam – Episode 3
Before she could say another word, I heard her husband bark his son’s name from behind, shocking everyone in the sitting room with his presence. I never knew the old man was at the door listening all along. His voice took us with surprise, Mrs. Johnson turned to face him, surprisingly pleading for her son who was yet to even utter another word in defence.
‘’let me deal with him dear’’ she begged but the old man was having none of it. He ordered the boy to his bedroom and few minutes later I heard the sound of whip and cries coming from the room. Mrs Johnson gave me a terrible look before returning to the kitchen without saying a word to me and from that day I became an endangered animal in the house. I was targeted day and night by the boy and his siblings who of course took sides with their big brother. Money , foodstuffs even my aunt’s personal belongings were always finding their way to my bag and I was always being reported and dealt with by Mr. Johnson who couldn’t believe how stupid I was to be stealing everyday and yet be getting caught and stealing again the next day. I tried to plead for my innocence but nobody was willing to listen because according to them and according to what I proved when I accused the first son of the family “anybody’s belonging found in someone else possession without the owner’s consent was stolen by the person it was found in his possession’’.
Slowly December slowly crept in and Christmas arrived, I was in high spirit. I had hoped we would all travel to the village and it would be my opportunity of staying back and refusing to return with them but unfortunately, they didn’t travel home that festive period, leaving me worried and dejected. January soon arrived and my life kept getting more and more abused. This time around my aunt starved me over any little thing. She equally learnt a new method of leaving marks on my body with hot iron. According to her the marks were for me to always remember the number of times I have done something wrong.
I was truly better off when I was in my village than when I was in Lagos. I feed better in the village, got new clothes more often, attended school and had time to sleep and rest. Most nights I cried myself to sleep whenever I thought about home.
One fateful morning, I summoned the courage and told my aunt that I intend to return hime, shocking her with my request. For few seconds she stared at me, saying nothing.
‘’why?’’ she asked
‘’I have not been a good girl. I want you to send me back to my parents’’ I replied, while she laughed.
‘’don’t worry about that. Your parents already gave me the go ahead to discipline you and so I will be the one to decide whether you stay or leave’’ she answered, waving aside my request as if it meant nothing but I also realized that from that day she never sent me alone to the market or out of the house for errands. She now made sure I was always at home or with her. Nevertheless it didn’t stop me from having the plan of running away, my hindrance was how to get the money. I however soon discovered that she always sent money to my parents, giving the impression that I was having a good life with her which further broke my heart but never stopped my resolve.
Onto the next episode