‘I don’t want to see anyone. ‘ Hester looked up
from the novel she was reading.
‘Aunty Hester, I am the one.’
‘Come in.’ She returned and a smile formed
across her lips.
The door opened and an elderly woman came
‘Mama the Ma! ‘ She hailed excitedly, cast the
novel aside and scrambled out of bed. ‘I’ve not
seen you since yesterday. She place an arm
around her and look at her lovingly. ‘How are
‘I’m Fine my dear.’ Aunty Joy, the supervisor of
the cooks beamed.
‘Hope the cough has subsided, Hope the
‘It worked like magic my child. The chokiness
vanished before I realised it .’ Aunty Joy
snapped her fingers emphatically.
‘Good. Don’t Stop taking them until you have
‘You know me now.’ She chuckled. ‘What will I
do without you. Thank you.’
‘Thank God. ‘ Hester grinned
‘Your father asked me to give you this.’ She
handed over the phone.
She took Hester free palm in hers. ‘I heard what
happened from the cleaners. Are you …?’
‘Mama the Ma, I’m Fine.’ She laughed.
Though Aunty Joy was still worried, she decided
not to pressure her. ‘It is well. Dinner is set.’
‘I am not interested in dinner. ‘
‘Your father sent for you .’
‘My answer remains. ‘ Her countenance did not
‘When you were much younger and you didn’t
like what was served for dinner,… ‘
‘I usually looked for you and whisper in your
ears- Aunty J, can you please make this for me
or that, when others have retired to their closet,
I go into the kitchen and take my food in the
place I tagged- my favorite spot in the kitchen. ‘
Her eyes shone. ‘I remember like yesterday. ‘
‘I will package your dinner and bring it to your
room instead, just in case you need it in the
night. ‘ She touch her face.
‘No Ma, I wouldn’t. Don’t worry about me.’
Starvation wouldn’t help matters, it will only
affect your health.’
‘Food and happiness work side by side.’ Hester
pat her back.
‘See you tomorrow dear.’
Hester pecked her.’Sleep well. Don’t forget your
‘No love, I won’t. ‘ She left the room.
Hester dived back to bed.
Aunty J was the oldest and of the employees in
the household, she was also one of the longest
serving. She had loved Hester interest in
cooking, and had thought her everything she
needed to know and even how to knit. They
had to so close that things we wouldn’t even
tell her mother, she confided in her. Aunty J
also seeked her opinion in other matters
especially health wise. Hester while she was
away used to send her clothings, medications
and other things. Theirs was more like a mother
Empress hit the brass knocker, Douglas
knocked on the door.
‘Sir, I think she is asleep, she locked her door
forty five minutes ago. ‘ Kabiru told them.
Douglas knocked once more. ‘Hester, I want to
talk to you! ‘
‘Probably she is asleep dearest. This is about her
sleep time.’ Empress said agreeing with the
‘No lunch, no dinner, no …no … she needs to
eat.’ He was exasperated. He hit the brass
Empress glance at her wrist watch. When is
past eight, she hardly take anything except
He gave her stern look. ‘You seem to be
remembering the right things at the wrong
She took his arm and smiled. ‘Baby, let’s go to
bed. Kabiru, Kasali, don’t forget your duty.’
‘Yes Ma.’ They chorused.
She led her husband away.