Short Story: The Last Trip Down The West 4
It was her new employer calling out loud. She started and looked up hastily.
“Are you sure you can handle the duties that would be given to you around here you seem distracted? “He asked, looking like he was ready to put her on e next vehicle back o her “uncle”.
“oga…!” she said as she sat up quickly and tried to compose herself.. “No vex abeg… na that so… so… travel wey we travel dey do me like this. abeg no vex.”she said timidly. He looked at her and decided she might be right. Maybe she was tired from the journey.
“Okay… i will ask the cleaner to show you your duties. and your room” he said and stood up, stretched and started to leave the room. Mary looked at him, surprised and unsure how to react. Did he just say cleaner? If there was a cleaner in the house… why did they need her? What was to be her role exactly?
“oga…” she called with arms
outstretched. He turned around and looked at her. “As you don’t talk say na cleaner go dey show me wetin i go dey do… if una get cleaner… wetin i go come do?”
He looked at her and smiled. It was a sad smile but it was a smile all the same. He turned around and went back to the chair he was in. He motioned for her to sit too and said…
“Mary… you are not here to clean or cook or anything of the sort. You are here to help me keep a secret. ” he stood up and started to walk out of the room” Come with me.” he said.
Mary stood up and followed him. They went through a long hallway that had portraits of a lot of people on the walls.” These people must be important… big big men…” Mary thought. At the end of the hallway was a door that stood alone. Strangely apart from the rest of the building. Even before he opened the door, she knew that what she was about to see would probably change a lot of things. Her palms started sweating and her heart raced rapidly. When he opened the door and stepped aside for her to go in first, she picked her steps carefully and got ready to run like crazy at the tiniest hint of trouble.
The door swung in and Mary walked into a beautiful room. Done in beautiful blue paints and white and blue wallpapers. The room smelled of air freshener. Sweet and neat. It was furnished with a king sized bed that looked like a mini playground. A door was open to her left and she could see that it led to a walk in closet. The room was littered with toys of different variety and colours. Mary looked around, eyes wide at the luxury but also at the anticipation of whatever evil this man was hiding in the house. She waited for him to show her but when he didn’t, she turned around to ask him what it was she was supposed to be looking at and saw him bent over, in silent communication with a little boy of about five years old. The moment the boy saw that she had turned around, he moved swiftly and hid behind the man. Mary’s employer stood up and holding the boy by the thumb, said to Mary…
“meet Duke. My son.” and then he turned to the boy and said… “Duke, meet Mary your new friends”
The little boy looked at Mary once and said without making eye contact.
“Mary is a Jewish name that evolved out of the name “Mara” which means “bitterness”. It is popular for being the name of the woman who was according to the Christian myth impregnated by an invisible power called the Holy Spirit. The holy spirit is not the only one who raped other men’s wives… there is also a character in Greek mythology named Zeus who was fond of appearing to women in different forms and putting his children in them. a product of such affair was Hercules and Jesus and Achilles…” the boy was saying very rapidly and looking at his fingers the whole time. He was tapping his feet on the ground softly but constantly and rhythmically.
“ok… there…that’s enough right now.” his father was saying while he out his hand on the boy’s shoulder but even though Duke’s voice faded, he continued to mumble to himself while still avoiding eye contact with Mary.
“So this is the secret you have to keep Mary, you have to stay with him all day long. He is my son but nobody knows this and I would like to keep that way. His teachers will be here at certain times of the day, all you have to do is stay with him all the time. He should never be allowed to venture outside this door … this is his part of the building. You will live here with him, your room is basically here and all you have to do is keep him occupied all the time. Can you do that?”
Mary looked at the room, she felt dizzy from the grandeur of the room and the sweet smell.
“If you plan to run, this is the best time to do it. Don’t commit yourself Mary. ”
She said to herself. She looked at the little boy again, he seemed to be too small for a five year old even though somehow, Mary knew he couldn’t be less than that. He was now concentrating on the lace of the shoes his father had on and he seemed to be so engrossed with it. Mary looked at him and she knew she could not refuse. She looked at her employer and said
“Yes… i go fit do am oga.”
To be continued soon….