She just sat with a look of concentration on her face. If only I knew what was going on in her head. She sat still and watched me until I finally spoke up.
“I can’t ma, I would rather leave”, I replied. With all the scenarios in my head, I had never once thought that I would be raped by woman and this in such an odd manner too.
“I can help you if you want. Just close your eyes”, she offered from her perch on the bed.
“I’m sorry ma. Let me go now”, I said even though I had no idea where I would spend the night. I was thinking of my chances if I was on the road at night and my thoughts were not kind. Was it better I stayed and be raped by a woman although I had a roof over my head?
“You said you had no tattoos and I want to confirm. I won’t touch you, I am not a lesbian”, she replied with a smile.
I stressed my hand behind my back and unzipped my faded dress. I let it drop to the ground as I pulled down my under skirt which grey and elastic bare from over washing. I stood with my eyes closed when my under skirt followed my dress in a pool at my feet. The elastic around my waist that held my panties up was slack but it still held a little. Of course my brassiere was old as well and it was the only one I owned. I was hot with embarrassment even though the fan was on; no one had ever seen me in this state of undress.
I did not notice she had come closer till I felt her breath on my skin and the light from my phone pierced my closed eyelids.
“You will have to stop picking your face. These blackheads are horrible on your skin”, she said conversationally as if we were discussing something interesting and I was not standing in my underwear.
“Raise your armpits”, she said. I did as I was told.
“Gosh!” she exclaimed. “This won’t do.” I was on fire from anger but I tried to hold it in. “There’s a forest in the making there. Come with me when you are dressed so that I can give you shaving sticks. You must remember that you are a lady. Get dressed”, she said shortly. I pulled on my clothes in no particular hurry although it felt strange for someone to be checking me out.
“Panties, bras, clothes, pads, deodorant”, she muttered as if making a note.
“I’m dressed”, I said watching her chew her bottom lip.
“Let’s go”, she said snapping out of her bubble. I was scared that she was mentally unstable.
She took me through the house showing me where everything was. She told me there were other rooms upstairs but she did not mention anyone else there besides her husband. A part of me started to feel sorry for her, she must be lonely. She left me in the kitchen and went upstairs returning with a transparent purse that contained soap, the shaving stick she had promised, tissue and other things. I thanked her and took the purse as she briefly described how to use the shaving stick, telling me the areas to scrape. I took them in a hurry to my room so that I could prepare dinner although she had not mentioned it.
“Madam, what will I cook for you?” I asked her as she banged pots and pans together.
“Don’t worry for tonight. I would show you how I like my foot prepared. Okay?”
She was making spaghetti and stew (she called it sauce) and showed me how to use everything in the kitchen. Everything looked shiny and new and she even had A.C in the kitchen. She was lucky indeed to be a rich woman. She served me in a glass plate and I carried their food to the table. I had never been treated so nicely and I enjoyed my meal alone in the kitchen forgetting her queer inspection momentarily. The food was delicious and I used my index finger to lick the plate till it shown. I dropped my plate in the sink looking very clean almost like if I had washed it. She followed me to the kitchen when I cleared the table and exclaimed when she saw my plate.
“Tokunbo!” she exclaimed bursting into laughter. “You must never use your finger to lick a plate or God forbid your tongue. Understood?”
“Yes ma. I’m sorry ma”, I curtsied.
She left me alone to wash up the plates and after searching for the soap I called her attention.
“Madam, please where is the soap I would use to wash plate?”
“It’s right there on the sink in that white bottle”, she replied.
Chei! I had been standing there for about 5minutes hunting for Kongi soap, the round white ball I use to wash my koko irin and cooler after my daily sales. All t while the liquid dish soap was staring at me. I used too much of the green liquid which smelled lemony and I had to rinse the plates repeatedly till the foam stopped. But the soap smelled good. I sat on a stool in the kitchen balcony which opened into a garden and listened to the night creatures’ call to each other. I had no one to call to and so I prayed hoping that God would hear, wondering if He was even listening. Perhaps he listened only to rich people who dropped lots of tithe money. I slept off on the stool and Madam woke me up to go to my room. I dropped on the bed like a log of wood.