This was what she wanted, Sandra reminded herself as she scrubbed the plates in the sink. This was exactly her choice, so she had no place for complaint. Nobody had persuaded her to take this job and her father hadn’t complained about her stay in his house.

As a matter of fact, he had been appalled. So she could have remained at home, waiting for the white collar job she had always envisioned getting.

Instead, when she had seen the offer on Nairaland, she had jumped to apply and after a brief phone interview, she had been employed, and to the chagrin of her father and two brothers, had packed her belonging in a tote bag and travelled from Nembe, the town where she had grown up in Bayelsa, down to Lagos.

So this was definitely her choice, it had been her choice to be a maid. However she decided that didn’t mean she couldn’t complain. Everybody was entitled to a feeling of dissatisfaction once in a while and this was apparently hers.

She looked around the large well-furnished kitchen and wondered what a university graduate was doing tending a kitchen miles from home. She wasn’t from a poor background, she had grown up comfortably and she still had a roof over her head and food on her table at home.

But she hadn’t had money in her pocket and that, as far as she was concerned was a serious problem. She had been tired of asking her father for money to take care of some basic necessities. This job, though not particularly lucrative, took care of her present needs and it gave her a sense of fulfillment to have her own money; money that she worked for.

Plus the work wasn’t exactly stressful, her domain was the kitchen. And but for some days when she had extra duties, her job was mostly cooking for the occupants of the house, which consisted of her boss and her husband, the girls who came in to clean thrice a week, the gardeners, two gatemen, the laundry girl and any other person that showed up unplanned.

So far, she had yet to see the children. How two children could leave their parents for months without checking on them, especially when they weren’t particularly far from home was beyond her but it was hardly her business. She reminded herself each family have its own dynamics and she was ignorant of theirs.

They probably had genuine reasons for staying away – which was just as well because that would mean less mouths to feed.

Although cooking was her forte and she enjoyed doing it, she detested doing the dishes that emanated from it and it seemed like the sink never ran short of them in this house.

Sometimes, she wondered how a house as massive as this would lack a dishwasher but she reasoned that since the boss wasn’t really involved with the work, it was no surprise it skipped her mind.

There were times when she had wanted to throw in the towel and go back home. But not only had she not gotten any response from the other applications she had sent in, employment was also not the only reason she was in the Badejo residence.

She had come for another purpose and if she was honest, it was the main reason she was here. She couldn’t leave without achieving it. It was a matter of necessity that she accomplished her purpose. As a matter of fact, her survival depended on it.

She was so engrossed in her reverie – giving herself a mental pep talk on how she wasn’t a quitter and mustn’t give up – that when the ringtone of her phone went off, she practically jumped off her skin.

She looked at the caller ID and saw an unknown number. Picking it, she said “hello,” cautiously.

“Yeah, hello,” This is Pamilerin Badejo, Editor-in-Chief of Stills Publishing House.  You sent in a manuscript to Stills. Do you have time now? I would like to talk to you about it.”

Sandra took the phone from her ears, regarded the phone number, stunned. She could hardly believe it. Who would have known her plans was going to unfold sooner than she expected, she thought with her lips pursed.
To be continued next week Friday.

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