Benita had just returned home from her tiring journey when she received
the frantic call from the young woman she’d placed guard in Gregory’s home. She
had meant to return home first thing tomorrow morning but since her grandmother
wasn’t responsive in the ploy to end the life of the little girl in Gregory’s
house, she knew it was a waste of time to remain at the village.

“Madam…I have been calling your number since…” The housekeeper’s
voice floated down the line. “Oga and his wife said I should
go…because…that little girl accused me of trying to poison her. They even almost
took me to the police station…I am so afraid.”
“Do you mean the little girl didn’t die from the posion? What is
wrong with you? How can you suddenly become so daft? Benita screamed down the line.
“Stay there! I’m coming!” Benita ordered.
She quickly rushed out of the house and jumped into her car. In
fifteen minutes, she was at Gregory’s gate.
“Who are you here to see?” The gateman asked her with a shaky
voice.
“Are you mad? Yusuf! Why are you acting as though you don’t know
me?” She spat at the gateman.
“My madam dey house and I nor wan lose my job.” He replied.
“You’ll definitely lose your job once I take my place in that
house. I wonder how you can forget so quickly that I am a regular visitor in
this house whenever Gregory’s wife is not home.”
“Madam…please…” He said in plea.
“Open this gate now!” Benita demanded.
“Let me go and tell Oga…” The gateman said and locking the gate,
he disappeared while she waited.
*************
Lillian was mad with fury, how could this be happening? She
thought to herself. She didn’t know why she was so angry but one of her reasons
was the fact that it was Gregory’s mistress who’d brought her to live in her
home and she had fully trusted her. She cringed to think of what would have
happened if Sophia had eaten the food.
She quickly took her phone and called her mother.
“Hey mom…I need you to help prepare a room for Sophia and I
tonight.”
“A room? What’s going on Lilly?”
“I’ll explain later…” She said.
“No…tell me, please tell me. I thought things has been
smoothened out between you and your husband, don’t tell me you guys are
separating.”
“Mom, quit the act okay…” Lillian spat impatiently. “You’ve
always known that Gregory and I had issues and we still do.”
“Lillian…please, think this over.”
“Do you know what? Forget it! I’m getting us a hotel room.”
“What? Okay…I’ll prepare a room for you…” Her mother said with
a sad voice.
“Thank you.” Lillian said and ended the call.
She threw her phone on her bed and paced her room. The words of
the housekeeper kept ringing in her ears. ‘There was another madam?’ she asked
herself. She knew that Gregory kept mistresses but she never thought that there
was one that was referred to as his wife. She felt so mad, she felt humiliated,
she was so angry. There was a small rap at the door and the door opened. Sophia
stood at the doorway staring at her.
“Did you pack your stuff? Remember that you only have to take your
nightie, your school uniform and a few of your casual clothes.”
“I’m not going.” Sophia said.
“Sophia don’t make this difficult for me…” Lillian said.
“No auntie….don’t make things difficult for yourself.” Sophia
said.
“What are you saying Sophia? I demand that you go to your room and
pack your things so that we can go.”
“To where?” Sophia asked.
“My parents have prepared a room for us.” Lillian said.
“Who’ll stay with uncle Gregory?”
“I don’t care!” Lillian spat.
“You didn’t even give him a chance to explain himself…you didn’t
even let him speak.” Sophia said quietly.

“What does he have to tell me? Lies?” Lillian shouted.
“Can you calm down and listen to him?” Sophia started.
“Look Sophia, you’re a little girl and you’re too young to
understand things like this but get it into your head, there’s nothing like a
happy ever after!” Lillian spat.
Sophia bowed her head sadly and walked out of the room.
**********
Gregory was in the sitting room staring at the walls when the
gateman walked in.
“Oga sir…”
“What do you want Yusuf?” Gregory said in a strangled voice.
“Ya…second madam dey outside…she talk say she wan enter.”
“What?” Gregory spat. “Doesn’t she know my wife is inside the
house? What’s she doing here?”
“Oga na fire for fire ooo. De woman say if I nor open gate she go
scatter am.”
Gregory scratched his head tiredly, he brought this upon himself,
he thought. How did he think that having two women would help ease the
loneliness he felt? He sighed when he thought of the housekeeper and how she’d
come highly recommended by Benita and shook his head. Could it be true that
Benita had sent her to poison Sophia and spy on his household as well?
“Has the housekeeper left yet?” He asked.
“No sir…”
“Go and look for her at the boys quarters and tell her to go…”
He said with a sigh.
“But sir…second madam dey for gate.” The gateman reminded.
“There’s no second madam in this house…we only have one and she’s
none other than my wife.” Gregory said.
At that moment, Sophia emerged and stared at him with a smile. The
gateman hurried away.
“I’m sorry…that you’re…” Gregory said, not knowing what else
to say.
“It’s okay…I just wish my aunt would talk to you instead of
trying to run away.”
“I can understand her Sophia and I shouldn’t be telling you this
but things have only come back to normal because you’re here with us. Before
you came, we both lived separate lives.”
“No, it’s not because of me.” Sophia said.
“Don’t be modest my dear, it’s because of you.” He said.
“It’s because of God. God stepped into this family and you opened
your heart to Him and that’s why things changed for the better.” Sophia said.
Gregory looked at her.
“Sophia, sometimes I can swear that you’re not a child but a
mature woman in a child’s body.” He said.
Sophia shrugged.
“The most important thing is that you’ve decided to give your
marriage another chance.” Sophia said looking at him.
Gregory sighed loudly.
“I really don’t know…it’s like it’s hanging on a rope…a thin
rope…” Gregory said as tears sprang in his eyes. “I remember the first time I
spoke to your aunt, it’s the most beautiful experience of my life and when we
got married I thought that all we had to do was remain happy but a lot of
things happened. First of all, we began our search of a child and after receiving
not too good results from the doctors, we began to get depressed and somehow,
we drifted apart…”
“Do you still love her?” Sophia asked, walking up to him to place
her hand reassuringly in his.
Gregory nodded with tears in his eyes.
“Then, why don’t you go upstairs, talk to her and make her listen
to you.” Sophia said.
“Yes, I should…” Gregory said with a smile and hurried upstairs.
“Good luck uncle…” She said.
Sophia watched him leave and as she stood there, the gateman
reappeared again.
“Oga sir…” He called out.
“What is it Yusuf? My uncle is upstairs with my aunt.”              
“Ha…e be like say he want fire to burn this house today ooo…”
The gateman said.
“What is it?” Sophia asked.
“His second madam dey wait for outside and to even add insult to
injury, the housekeeper talk say she nor go leave our house until second madam
tell am to go.”
Sophia shook her head and walked out through the entrance of the
house.
*********
Benita was pissed, she looked at the wrist watch on her hand and
hissed loudly. The gateman was taking too much time, she raised her fists and
banged hard on the gate.
Surprisingly, the gate opened but it wasn’t only the gateman that
was standing at the entrance but a small child. Benita looked at the girl and
felt fear slash through her like a sharp knife.
“Who is this little brat?” Benita asked, and then suddenly said. “Wait
a minute, you’re Sophia, right?”
Benita threw her head back and laughed.
“You’re so small…so little…I could crush you with my bare hands
you know…” Benita said with mockery in her voice.
 “I think you’ve met your
match Benita…get prepared to meet your doom!” Sophia said with eyes slanted.
The gateman was confused. What was happening? Who gave this small
child the courage to talk to second madam as though she was such a big woman?
Benita and Sophia glared at each other in silence for what seemed
like an eternity while the gateman stood there staring at them in total
confusion.
To be continued on Sunday….

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