I walk blindly into the living room, my eyes smarting from the effects of being dragged out of sleep rudely. I’m totally done with all the visitors coming to see Jiney. I don’t think I can entertain one more person abeg.
I unlock the door and pull it open. Smiling into my face, together with a bright morning, is the last person I want to see.
But she smiles on, unmindful of how I feel about her. And then she does something stupid as her legs leave their present position and she comes for me. I feel her hug me, pressing her huge breasts into me and squeezing me like I asked for it.
I don’t hug her back. She pulls away – smiling, still.
“Good morning, Uncle Jide. I’m finally here. Yayy! I’m so sorry I’m coming in this morning. I flew in yesterday but there was this old classmate from secondary school I bumped into at the airport. She carted me off to her house. So I stayed there and this morning I told her I had to run. So here I am! So, so happy to be here. Where is Aunty Honey?”
Aunty Honey? This person is planning on ruining my wife’s beautiful name. I will not let her.
Guys, allow me do a proper introduction. Meet Ndidiamaka, my younger half-sister.
She came into our lives as a result of the affair my dad had years ago. Remember the woman I saw him with at the hotel? Yeah, she was Ndidi’s mom.
Let me start from the beginning. Or rather, somewhere close to the beginning.
Three weeks ago, we were invited by the old man for dinner. All of us, including Honey who was heavily pregnant then. But it turned out that it was no dinner. My dad had called us to introduce the newest member of the Onuora family who was seated beside him while my mom was in another chair nursing a blank look. She always goes blank when she’s angry.
“Sons, I’d like you to meet Ndidiamaka, your half-sister. She is here to stay and it would make me happy if you welcomed her warmly and treated her kindly.”
*insert long silence, frowning faces and tense atmosphere.
I was on my seat thinking my dad was a joke. Welcome who kindly? We should all just wake up one morning and be at ease with a woman who claims to be his daughter? Were we the ones that told him to go and sleep with her mother? What sort of irresponsibility was that?
“And that’s Jideofor,” I heard him tell her. “Director of Midwifery at the prestigious New Eden Hospital which is partly owned by Omotola, Chukwuemeka’s wife.”
“Wow,” Ndidi smiled at me. The frown that met her made her turn her attention on Emeka who was then being introduced.
“Stop making faces,” Honey whispered to me. “You look like a pouty, little baby.”
I studied the features of this ‘half-sister’ of mine. Chubby, restless and wild in the eyes. Of course, beautiful but paling in gorgeousness when matched with the Onuora wives.
“So, welcome to the family, Ndidi. We are all glad to have you with us.”
Only the wives and Kalu smiled. Nne upheld her blankness. She had had sleepless nights over the girl, and if I wasn’t a grown ass man, I would have been hating my dad for the sudden intrusion into our lives.
Okay, let’s not say sudden. We were informed a week before that night about Ndidi, in a similar meeting. The man had called us together and broken the news that his ex-mistress who had just passed away left behind an only child in his care. Ndidiamaka does not biologically belong to my dad and thus, is in no way related to us. But she had been bearing the Onuora name since she was six years old, just a year after my dad had an affair with her mother. The woman had fallen in love with and chosen him as a preferred father figure over Ndidiamaka’s deadbeat biological father. She changed her daughter’s surname after the affair ended but maintained the lie she had told her through the years that her father was dead.
Her reasons were obvious: to give Ndidiamaka a better name and future if anything ever happened to her, as is the case now.
But here’s the twist to this whole thing. The babe doesn’t know that she’s not family. She believes that twenty-seven years ago, popsi slept with her mother and nine months later, she was born. Her mother upheld that lie until she day she died, making the old man promise to accept Ndidiamaka as his daughter and never tell her the truth about her paternity. Also she ‘came clean’ with Ndidiamaka, telling her that her father was alive, after all, and she was to move to Lagos to be with him. And well, if you guessed that my dad is keeping his promise to his now late ex-mistress, you guessed right.
Nne was mad when he explained the details, as were the rest of us, with the exception of Kalu, who simply said “well, we now have the sister we always wanted. God works in mysterious ways.”
“God does not factor in this,” I told him.
Nne didn’t wait to hear what else anyone had to say; she rose up and left us all in the living room.
“Ndidi will be visiting in a week. Please, she should never know we are not related.”
“But why?” I asked.
“The poor girl has no one. Her mother was considered one of those ogbanje children. She was the fifth after four children who all died really young. Her mother also passed away when giving birth to her. She was then left in her father’s care but he remarried and had other kids, leaving her at the mercy of a stepmother who maltreated her. Ultimately, she ran from home and lived her entire life having no one. She met Ndidi’s father and got pregnant by him. But he disappeared from the scene the day the child was born and has not been seen since then. Ndidiamaka has borne my name for twenty years and she will continue to do so for as long as she desires.”
“Just tell her the truth,” Emeka said.
“I made a promise, son, and I cannot break it.”
“Well, I don’t see a problem here,” I stated. “You made the promise. Not us. We will help you break the news to her.”
“What if I made the promise because I’m comfortable with the status quo?”
“I always wanted a daughter, after we lost ours. Ndidiamaka is a very lovely girl, well-mannered and god-fearing. You all will love her when you get to know her.”
“Pops, are you sure this chick is not your child?” Emeka questioned.
“I co-ask,” Oba commented.
“She is not. I met her mother in 1995. Do the math.”
At that point, I felt it was useless talking to him. He had made up his mind to keep the chick and there was nothing we could do, although I had my own plans not to let her into my personal space. To me, she was as much a gold-digger as was her mother who felt it was alright to sleep with someone else’s husband and dump the paternity of her child on him. I didn’t buy into the sob story then and not even when Ndidi sent a warm smile Honey’s way and the latter smiled back.
“So when’s your baby due?” Ndidi asked.
“In two weeks,” Honey replied.
Ndidi crosses her legs comfortably in her seat. “Boy or girl?”
“We’re not telling. You all have to wait until he or she comes.”
“So, Jide will birth the baby himself?”
I was uninspired by her audacity. What next would she want to know? How the baby was conceived?
“Well…” Honey looked at me. “We’ll see.”
The living room went quiet. It seemed everyone was waiting for the man of the house to end the meeting but he didn’t give the impression that he wanted to.
“So, Ndidi?” Honey called.
“I was thinking that if you wouldn’t mind, you could come stay with us when you get bored of staying here.”
I turned my head and gave Honey a sharp glower.
“Really?” Ndidi responded in excitement. Evidently, Honey was her most favorite person in the room. None of the other wives had been openhearted. Tola, resting her head on Emeka’s shoulder was exhausted from working two night shifts. Yazmin was more interested in her nails which she had been staring at for quite some time. Elsie was going to support Nne all the way, and since the old lady was not smiling, Elsie stayed loyal.
“We just moved into a new house,” naughty Honey continued, “and we have a spare bedroom. I’m sure Jide wouldn’t mind. Right, hotstuff?”
I felt her hand rubbing my knee. It was her way of placating me. I lifted my eyes up to find everyone else focusing on me. I concentrated on my mom’s eyes, particularly. She was literally begging me to take the intruder off her hands.
“Jide?” Honey pressed on.
“Well, it’s not like it’s a permanent thing, is it?” I probed.
“I’m searching for a job right now,” Ndidi answered. “Once I get one, I’ll find my own place.”
“What type of job?” Tola enquired.
“Something that has to do with event planning. I love weddings. I planned two of my friends’ weddings, from start to finish.”
“That’s great!” Honey exclaimed. “My friend owns Novocaine Knights. We’ll see if they have an opening.”
I gave up on Honey.
“You know Mrs. Ditorusin?” Ndidi asked with disbelief in her eyes.
“Yeah,” Honey answered.
“Oh my God! For real? I love that woman to death!”
“I will talk to her on your behalf.”
“Please do,” my dad implored and I suddenly felt it was time to leave. I stood up.
“We have to leave,” I announced. Honey took my hand and I helped her up.
“Thank you, Uncle Jide,” Ndidi said. “I’ll be leaving for Onitsha first thing tomorrow morning but I’ll be back in a week.”
I didn’t give a reply. I prayed that something would stop her from returning.
Honey and I left the house. Roughly an hour later, while we were at home preparing dinner, she apologized for her stupid decision to bring a total stranger into our house.
“Nne and I spoke last night,” she explained, rubbing the back of my neck this time. “She begged me to offer to accommodate Ndidi. I’m sorry, I didn’t tell you. I knew you’d be against it.”
My anger instantly vacated me like a demon exorcised from a soul. The look in Honey’s eyes melted me. I still haven’t found the secret to staying mad at her for long periods.
“I’m more worried about you. Will you be fine with her around?” I asked.
“Of course. She’s going to help with the cleaning and the baby and all of that. She’s not here for osho free o. By the time I’m through with her she’ll turn to lepa and run away by herself.”
We laughed, and that unfortunate night was forgotten. Ndidi never crossed my mind until this moment. She stands before me with nothing less than four travel cases behind her. I give her a good look, observing her physical features in the daylight. I still find her fat. And short. And with a nose ring I didn’t notice the other night.
“How did you locate this place?”
“Aunty Honey sent me the address.”
This Aunty Honey needs to be caned.
She bends and picks two of the suitcases while I help with the other two.
“Wow. Your house is so yellow and so beautiful,” she exclaims when she steps in.
I don’t respond.
“And your wedding pics are so beautiful.”
She is referring to a series of framed photos hanging off one of the walls. Honey and I hadn’t had any theme in mind when we were putting them up but somehow they worked well with the entire décor.
I lead her into an empty bedroom right beside Jiney’s.
“Kitchen is that way,” I inform Ndidi. “The backyard door must be closed at all times to prevent flies from entering. The baby and my mom are next door, so no noise, no loud music. And erm…as for house rules and chores, Honey will brief you when she wakes up.”
“Thanks, Uncle Jide.”
“Just Jide will be fine.”
“Okay. So, can I see Jiney? I’m following you on Instagram and I see all her pictures. She’s so cute. Don’t mind all those bad belles that were bashing Aunty Honey for that breastfeeding picture. We Africans and our hypocrisy.” She hisses. “Don’t our old mothers in the village carry around their sagging breasts without clothes? Who is telling them to cover up? But they won’t let young mothers be. The same people will attack any woman who feels ashamed to breastfeed her baby in public. I just don’t understand Nigerians sometimes. So, can I see Jiney?”
Have I told you that Ndidi talks like her mouth is suffering from dysentery?
“Jiney is sleeping.”
“Oh,” she lowers her tone. “Later then.”
I turn back.
“Please can you follow me back on IG? I know you have like almost two hundred thousand followers and I have only one thousand and you don’t follow people like me but please follow back. Please!”
I turn again.
She comes to me and lifts her phone in the air above us for a selfie.
“Duck face, Uncle. Erm…I mean, Jide.”
I frown. The shutter goes off.
“Thank you.” She giggles and dashes into her room, banging the door in my face. I stare after her quizzically. What a strange being.
Before I get to my room, I hear the sound of a notification. I pick my phone. Ndidi has tagged me in a photo.
Me and my big brother, @husbandmidwife. Love him to bits. We woke up like this #TheOnuoras #Family #grateful
For some reason, I smile.
∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞
It’s morning in the Ditorusin mansion. Genesis and Dominic are whipping up breakfast in the kitchen. The twins are with them. Just learning to stand on their own, Zach and Zoe find it a good pastime to flex their legs while playing with a yapping toy dog they soon would destroy. Vhasti, the cat, sits beside one of the fridges, watching the scene. She’s not a fan of the twins. She does all she can to stay away from them and this is quite hard, being that Zach always enjoys going after her.
He spots her now and yells some gibberish, stretching out his hands in her direction.
“Zach, no.” Genesis points a finger at him as he begins to crawl towards her. Vhasti looks at Genesis and meows for help. Genesis walks to her, picks her up and dumps her outside the kitchen, closing the door. Somehow, this upsets Zach and he begins to cry.
“Shut up,” Dominic mutters. The toddler bawls louder. Iya Idaya, the housekeeper, comes in and lifts him up. Zoe crawls to her, demanding to be carried as well.
“Abeg, just take them upstairs,” Genesis orders, carrying a tray of two plates of boiled yam and scrambled eggs out to a small sitting room she and Dominic prefer to use. Dominic joins her with water and juice and they both sit to breakfast on a couch. For Genesis, this is her first meal with him in days. She had been busy planning a birthday party for the governor’s wife, a three-day event that ended the night before. She is happy to finally have quality time with Dominic who has largely been occupied with the mall.
As it is with them, they fall into hearty conversation with Dominic having Genesis in fits over some experience he had on his last trip. She leaves her meal half-consumed eventually, dabbing away moisture from her eyes as her laughter dies down.
“I can’t… I can’t, anymore. Please, stop,” she begs.
Dominic puts away his plate and hers and relaxes on the couch. She rests her head on his laps
“Come with me on my next trip,” he proposes.
“It’s going to be all work for me but then I get to spend my nights with you.”
“Are you serious? What happened to your never-mix-work-with-pleasure policy?”
“You’re the exception, sweetheart. You have no idea how crazy I am over you.”
She blushes, turning her attention to the wall behind them.
“You think I enjoy my trips away from you? No. I’m thinking of you half the time, worried about you, knowing you’re lonely as I am.”
“I’m almost touched.”
“So, let’s go away for a while. A whole week. I know you’re tired of traveling but I’ll make this trip worth your while. A second honeymoon of sorts, before your Mamisi comes into our lives and uses her witchcraft to separate us.”
Genesis gives him a harmless frown that holds a smile underneath before going back to her meal. He keeps his stare on her for a while. It’s nothing new to her. In the earlier stages of their relationship, his stares had been longer, like he was trying to read her. It had made her uncomfortable. These days, she pretends she doesn’t know when he does it, understanding that it is his way of expressing feelings he finds hard to let out.
“Nick, this is the fourth day and Lexus is still locked in her room. She says she’s fine but I’m worried.”
“Ignore her. She’s going through some sort of heartbreak, or should I say breakdown.”
Genesis raises her head a little. “What did you do to her?”
“Nothing. We just had a talk about her life and where it was headed. In my opinion, the talk ended well. She got my message.”
“Did you go hard on her?”
Dominic doesn’t reply.
“Yep, I did.”
Genesis sits up. “Why nau?”
“She’s not a kid, Gen. She just turned twenty-eight. She should know what she wants in life by now.”
“Nick, I did not know what I wanted in life until I met you.”
“You had a half-woman, half-fish as a mother.”
Genesis rolls her eyes.
“Lexus had and still has everything, yet her life holds no direction,” he continues.
“You and Eva were hardly there for her. The foundation was very faulty. You have to give her time to understand life, to understand herself.”
“Nick, I don’t like this at all. At all.”
“Well, it gets worse. I told her to move out.”
Dominic spreads out his hands and shrugs.
“Where do you want her to go?”
“Anywhere but home. I’m done cosseting her. Her mates are married with kids…”
“I hope you didn’t tell her that.”
He shrugs again.
Genesis shakes her head in disappointment. “You are impossible. Sometimes I wonder why I married you.”
She stands up.
“If Lexus leaves this house and goes out there and anything happens to her, I will not forgive you.”
She flings a napkin at him and starts out. She climbs up the stairs, the sound of music drawing her towards Lexus’ bedroom. She finds the door slightly open and walks in. Lexus, who is in the middle of folding a pair of jeans, looks at her, and turns back to her activity.
Genesis takes in the bedroom which is a mess of clothes and boxes. Lexus seems ready to leave the house; most of her things are folded neatly in the boxes. Genesis tries to imagine the room without her and it doesn’t feel right.
“Can I turn down the music?” she asks. Lexus walks over to her electronic stand, picks a remote control and soon the music is off.
“So your dad told me that you guys had a talk.”
Lexus doesn’t respond. She is now folding a pair of leggings.
“Lex, I’m sorry for anything he said that hurt you, but I want you to know that he has good intentions…”
“Gen, please stop. You don’t have to waste your energy explaining anything. He’s right. I need my own place. It’s about time.”
Lexus pulls up the jeans shorts she is wearing which can’t quite stay on her waist. Genesis notes that she has lost some weight, going back to her original body size before she left Nigeria. It upsets Genesis. The girl has only been around for a total of two weeks and she is already showing signs of stress.
Genesis closes the door. “Can we talk about it?”
“No.” Lexus slams a face cap over a pile of folded clothes in one of the boxes and moves to the next which is half-filled.
“Please, don’t shut me out, Lex. Something is going on with you and I want to know what it is.”
For a stepmother and stepdaughter, their relationship is enviable. Genesis over the past year became Lexus’ go-to person whenever she felt the need to vent out. Genesis held a lot of Lexus’ secrets, ones she could never tell anyone, including an abortion she had in New York that almost messed her up psychologically. Genesis had played the role of a shrink, holding long phone and Skype sessions with her until she pulled through.
“Talk to me, Lex.”
Lexus lowers her weight over the box for a while and then turns around to sit on the floor. She heaves a sigh and her eyes throng with tears. She starts to sob. Genesis slips in beside her.
“Chichi is moving into Kasi’s today.”
“Are you for real? She’s in the country already?”
“She came about a week ago and they went for a DNA test and it was positive. Trinity is his baby.” Lexus’ voice thins out through trembling lips.
Genesis takes her hand.
“I mean, I knew she was his kid but I was kind’a hoping she wasn’t, you know?”
“But she is, and it fucking hurts. I’m looking at Trini and I’m thinking she should be mine. I should be the one having his baby. I shouldn’t have aborted mine. I should have told him I was pregnant and stayed with him. But I didn’t. I ran off because I was scared of commitment and responsibility. And now, there’s Chichi with his baby and I have to live with that every day. Every fucking day, Gen.
“To worsen it, Chichi’s mom made a phone call to Kasi’s mom and told her everything. Two days later, Kasi’s mom was in Lagos to see her granddaughter. She then made Kasi promise to marry Chichi but first she said he had to give her accommodation in his crib so he can have a relationship with his daughter.”
“What nonsense. And Kasi agreed to this?”
“You have no idea how he is with his mom. She’s gold to him. He had refused to her demands at first but after she went into a hysterical crying fit that made her ill, he agreed to all she said.”
“No, that’s wrong. That’s just plain wrong. I’ll have a talk with him. Bringing Chichi to his home is going to be a disaster. That girl is so manipulative.”
“I thought she had changed and I honestly forgave her and let her in. I should have listened to you. I’m so stupid sometimes.”
“Lex, you did the right thing, hon. You made Kasiobi responsible and I am proud of you. How he handles that responsibility now is the issue. I have to make him see that the route he’s taking might ruin him.”
“Please, just let him be. I’m moving on.”
“Tonbra you love Kasiobi.”
Lexus shakes her head, not in denial to the statement but as a way to stop another crying spell.
It doesn’t work. Genesis stretches an arm over her shoulder and pulls her in for a side-hug which soon turns into a full embrace.
She had warned her about getting into Chichi’s life but all Lexus had wanted at that time, after hearing Chichi’s story, was to redeem herself. The abortion had left her in pieces. The instant she had done it she fell into some kind of rut. The pain never left, no matter how much Genesis had tried. She only succeeded in lessening it. Lexus’ relationship with Russell had been nothing more than a distraction until Chichi sent a direct message to her on Twitter. Lexus then told Genesis in an elated voice over the phone that fate was giving her a second chance to redeem herself. From then on, she lived vicariously through Chichi’s pregnancy. The moment Trinity was born, she made plans to see her. When she eventually did, she called Genesis and told her it had been an amazing moment but it was not powerful enough to drive the guilt. Rather it came with its own sting in the tail, and now she is forced to watch the man she loves commit to a relationship that should not be.
“Chichi is suddenly acting distant after getting what she wants,” Lexus reveals, pulling away from Genesis.
“But what did you expect, Lex?”
“Bitch used me.”
“She uses everyone.”
“Well, she should enjoy. Like I said, I’m moving on. Dad’s talk helped. He was harsh and I hate him for the things he said and I’m probably not going to talk to him in a long time but dude was right. At twenty-eight Eva already bought her first car from cash she got off acting. But me, all I can show is the money she left me and what my dad gives me. I’ve not made a single cent of my own. That’s crap.”
“So what are you planning to do with yourself?”
Lexus let out something akin to a smile, wiping her tears.
“I have this idea. It’s huge.” She sniffled.
“I want to open an art center.”
“Not like your average art center but a hub for artists to do their thing and get paid doing it. All sorts of artists, from the one who does makeup, to the painter, to even the graphic artist. Everything will be there, including art classes.”
“That sounds like a great idea, Lex.”
“Yeah. It’s huge too. I’m so afraid to start doing it.”
“You don’t have to be. I’ll help you by getting someone who can see through the details and get things started. All you have to do is supervise. He will get a good spot for you, fix it up the way you want, register the company and do everything else.”
“That sounds expensive.”
“Yeah, guys like him help build businesses from scratch for a price but we can negotiate. Just leave it all to me.”
“No, I want to be involved.”
“That’s fine. Once you’ve moved to your apartment and you’re settled, we’ll start.” Genesis smiles. “So proud of you, Lex.”
“Can we not tell Dominic?”
“You’re welcome. Now, for that makeup you have been promising me.”
“Yes, o.” Lexus rises up and after flinging off a few clothes over a pile on her bed, she takes out a state-of-the-art makeup box and opens it, stunning Genesis.
“You of all people bought this?” she says, getting up.
“This is not anyhow shit. Cost me thousands of dollars. I got it after my three-day crash course in makeup. Didn’t even see such a big deal in the whole thing.”
“Oshey Van Gogh.”
Lexus laughs. Someone knocks on the door and she invites the person in. Iya Idaya peeks in and announces to Genesis that Mamisi is waiting downstairs.
“Tell her I’ll be right down.”
In Iya Idaya’s absence, Lexus makes a comment about not being a fan of Mamisi.
“She’s creepy. Her eyes…”
“I know, right? When I was little I used to feel like she could see into my soul.”
“But you know you kind’a look like her, right?”
“Apart from the eyes and your dimple, you guys look alike. Same shape of face, lips and even nose.”
“Very funny. What weed did you smoke this morning, girl?”
“I’m not kidding. You look like her.”
Genesis walks to the door. “I’d rather look like Lucifer.”
She left Lexus’ room and trudged downstairs. Mamisi is waiting in the living room, feet crossed together, legs neatly put side by side and back held up straight. As usual, she looks nothing like her age. Today, Genesis notices that she goes for a simple look, wearing a modest gown of animal print. But her feet are a different matter. They are clad in a pair of stilettos that leave Genesis wondering what their use is for if all she had done was gotten into her car and driven over from her house which is just a walking distance.
“I thought I wouldn’t meet you at home,” Mamisi comments. “You’re always busy.”
“Good morning, Mamisi.”
“Come and sit.” She invites Genesis to the three-sitter couch she is seated on. Genesis sits, leaving a full space between them.
“Are you enjoying your new house?” she inquires.
“Yes, I am. But how are you? How are my babies?”
“When will you bring them over to spend time with me? That house is lonely.”
“I’ll come and visit, Mamisi.”
“Please do. And come with them.”
She gives Genesis a sweep of her eyes. “You’re looking so basic this morning, Gen. Or is your husband not home?”
“Then why are you dressed this way?”
“What way?” Genesis takes in her appearance. She feels her casual attire of leggings and a shirt is satisfactory. In fact, Dominic hadn’t given rest to her nipples pushing through the soft cotton material of the shirt all morning.
“You’ve not even showered.”
“You’re not acting like the girl I raised. Your man has to see you fresh and perky at all times. Give him the image of eternal beauty, of perfection.”
Genesis chuckles while her eyes roll. “Mamisi, I’m so done with that your perfection thing abeg. There’s nothing like that. Dominic has seen me at my worst.”
“And that is why you still smell of breastmilk?’
Genesis takes a sniffle of the shirt she has on.
“You’re still breastfeeding?”
“Zoe has refused to be weaned.”
“That is such a disgrace. How do you handle her in public?”
“I give her what she wants.”
Mamisi claps her hand. “Breastfeeding in public is classless, Gen. Please, stop it. Wean the child. She will not die. I weaned you early too.”
Genesis pulls a frown. “Me or Nancy?”
“Sorry. I meant, Nancy. And thank God I did because despite all my efforts to housetrain that your sister’s voracious appetite, she still turned into a warthog.”
Genesis shakes her head. “So not nice.”
“But please, stop nursing Zoe. Wear strong, supportive bras and express all the milk before having sex with your husband or funny accidents might happen.”
Genesis looks away, embarrassed. Funny accidents had happened already.
“Mamisi, is there a particular reason why you’re here? I see it in your eyes. You want something.”
“I’m glad you asked. I want a few things, actually.”
“I’m all ears.”
“Or rather a few people.”
“I’m short of household staff.”
“I need a cook, for one. I find culinary activities rather boring these days. I also need a housekeeper. If she can cook, perfect. I need my gateman changed to a security guard just like the ones you have here.”
Genesis lifts her brows.
“And lastly, I need a driver.”
Genesis swallows for lack of what to say.
“Wow, Mamisi. That is a lot to ask. What do you need a security guard for?”
“Gen, I have nightmares from what happened to me. I wish I had altogether not gotten my memory back but I have and I’m having nightmares that someone will break into the house and snatch me away to kill me. Only God knows if the person that tried to kill me before is still out there.”
“Mamisi…” Genesis complains.
“And also, I wouldn’t mind if my driver is a bodyguard too.”
“How do you want me to find all these people? And who will be paying them?”
“My accounts are frozen because of that case I have with the crimes commission. The goddess will punish those bastards that tried to ruin my name.”
“Mamisi, you were recording videos of highly placed men having orgies. What did you expect?”
“Let’s leave the past where it is, my darling. Let’s talk about now. When will I be able to get the new staff?”
Genesis feels frustration coming up.
“You’ll have to let me think about it.”
“And how long will this thinking take?”
“I don’t know. Just…give me a few days.”
“Thank you, anyway. You’re always a sweetheart.”
She leans forward and kisses her on the cheeks.
“Oh, before I forget, I brought some clothes that need to be laundered. Can you have your maid come get them from the car?”
Genesis feels sudden weakness in the bones. “Her name is Iya Idaya.”
“Is she not a maid?”
“No, she is family.”
Mamisi shows a confused stare. “I hope she doesn’t boss you around?”
“You better put a tight rein on her. Maids can never be part of family. They are what they are.”
She stands up.
“Walk me to my car.”
Genesis accompanies her outside. When they get to her car, Genesis takes out a bag of dirty clothes from the backseat, hugs her and watches until she leaves the compound. She then looks up and sees Dominic staring down from his office window.