‘How sweet’ I smiled as I fondled the photo album, this must I’ve belonged to Grace I mused. The album contained numerous pictures but none caught my attention like the one she took with Mark, that got me thinking, were they close? I was quite sure the smiling light skinned girl was Grace, I see why my employers freaked out once they saw me, we shared a strong resemblance but our eyes were different. I now understood why Mark was the only one that could tell the difference, from the pictures I saw, it seems they were pretty close, even dating. I arched my brow, that didn’t seem right, I could never date my employer or any of his family members, I smirked and closed the album. I needed to sleep, there was so much work to do the following day and I couldn’t disappoint.
As I neared the cupboard to return Grace’s album, a thin sheet fell from its pages, I quickly picked it up, though the room nowbelonged to me, I had no right to go through her things, I was intruding her privacy. ‘What do we have here’? I straightened the sheet. There is a house on Maryland Street, Cross River State. It has a blue roof and its body is painted milky white. This house is built on Secrets, dirty and dark ones. I pondered briefly on the words of the note,‘a house built on secrets’? what did that mean? I had no idea, it wasn’t making any sense, so I placed the note carefully and returned to my bed.
He watched his wife carefully, she had fallen asleep, he was sure of this, he couldn’t sleep, thoughts of his daughter gave him insomnia, he just had to see her to
calm his nerves. He waved his palm over Helen’s face to be sure she wasn’t awake, certain of that fact, he slipped on his pajamas and left for Rose’s room, they had a lot to discuss, Helen’s recent suspicion bothered him, he couldn’t have his wife snooping around his back like a dog. ‘Open up baby, it’s me your daddy’ he knocked gently on her door. ‘Daddy? I’ve waited so long for you, how I’ve missed you’ she flung her arms round him once she opened the door. ‘I miss you too my darling girl’ he pressed his lips against hers, while his hands roamed her body and searched for an opening in her night gown. ‘Wait, how about mum?’ she whispered. ‘She’s asleep, I assure you’ he slipped a hand underneath her nightgown and reached for her panties.
‘I love the way you make me feel’ she moaned softly against him as his fingers reached her core and stroked it gently. ‘I live to please you’ he replied and carried her gently to the bed.He parted her legs swiftly and plunged deeply into her, he moaned against her hair while her soft cries of ecstasy brought him to his peak. ‘That was awesome, let’s go again’ she smacked his backside. ‘No honey, there are things we must talk about’ he declined and sat on the bed facing her. ‘Things like’? She wondered. ‘Your mother is suspecting me, she feels I’m seeing someone and you know that isn’t right for us. I need her to trust me’ he caressed her hand. ‘Yes, she came to my room asking me questions about the fight I had with Grace, I think she feels you slept with the maid and I found out and fought with her’ Rose replied dryly, not a bit interested in her mother’s suspicion of their affair. ‘What did you say in return’? the Pastor asked eagerly.
‘Nothing, I told her Grace disrespected me and that was all’ she replied. ‘Good, we have to be very careful, that’s why I’m doing this’ he focused on her face. They had to stop seeing each other for a while to mellow Helen’s suspicion, maybe if he spent more time with her, she’d believe he was innocent. ‘Excuse me? Why should we stop seeing
each other, you know I can’t do without you? How do we stay apart from each other? How could you even say this’? Rose was exasperated. ‘Hey baby, it’s for the best, if your mother ever finds out about us, you know what that means, please, you have to understand,it’s just for a while’ he begged. ‘I can’t believe this, so because you’re scared of her, you’re now ending our relationship, tell me, who do you love more? Helen or i?’ She rose to her feet and pointed a finger to his face. ‘I am not scared of your mother, why are
you even asking that’? he wasn’t pleased with the way she was handling the whole thing. It was simple, they take a break and resume when things were alright. ‘Really? Just get out of my room and don’t ever come back, you’ll pay for this’ she scowled.
‘Baby? Why do we have to quarrel about this? Please don’t push me away’ he begged. ‘Goodnight father’ she shut the door against his face and sobbed uncontrollably on her bed. How could her mother jeopardize her relationship with her father? She wiped her face and vowed to deal with the woman later, she had her plans, she knew her mother was cheating, all she needed was evidence, but for the mean time, she needed someone else in her bed.
The morning had come very fast, maybe because I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep or maybe because it was a short night. I did the dishes and swept the house, what surprised me was that my employers were still asleep, it was eight A.M and no one was awake. I sighed and continued dusting the chairs, the house was really unkempt, I began to wonder what Madam’s daughter did in the absence of a maid. ‘Good morning gorgeous’ Mark walked past me. ‘Morning sir’ I became nervous, I didn’t want to get personal with him, I preferred we stayed formal, so I called him ‘sir’. After seeing those pictures of him and Grace, I needed to be careful. ‘Funny, call me Mark or forget it’ he laughed and fetched a can of soda from the fridge. ‘Okay’ I replied silently and continued with my cleaning. ‘Don’t you talk?’ he gulped greedily from the can. I shook my head in answer, what was I supposed to say. ‘Hello, I found an album in my room and I saw pictures of you and Grace’.
‘You know, Grace was a real talker, very lively and fun’ he smiled as images of his love flew past him. ‘You guys must have really been close’ I said. ‘Yes, I wouldn’t lie, I loved her very much, but it hurts me that she didn’t feel the same way, I was ready to do anything for her’ he sighed and tossed the can into the trash bin. ‘What makes you think she didn’t return your love’? I was curious, the picture I saw the night before was a proof that she was crazy about him, she’d seemed so happy and content. ‘She left. She just packed her things and left without saying a word to me’ I could feel the pain in his voice. ‘I’m so sorry, if you really love her, you could search for her and find out why she
disappeared’ I suggested, that was really strange. The Ita’s were a very rich family, why would someone want to leave such comfort? I wondered. ‘I want to make something very clear to you
Ajunwa, I hired you here to work for me and not to seduce my son’ Helen had awoken and to her dismay, she found her son chit chatting with the new maid, that wasn’t the
problem, the subject of their discussion was Grace, the very name that gave her goose pimples. ‘;Good morning Ma’ I bowed my head while Mark gaped at his mother in disbelief. ‘You didn’t have to say that mum, we were just conversing’ he walked out on her angrily. ‘If I ever find you two discussing about that miserable girl, just get your things and pack out of this house’ Helen yelled and left for her garden. She needed to think, she needed to clear her head. ‘Yes Ma’ I nodded. As she stormed out, my eyes followed her, I noticed how angry and defensive she became anytime Grace’s name was mentioned. My being employed was a pure miracle as I shared a strong resemblance to this Grace. Something wasn’t right, ‘A house of secrets’, I recalled the words from the note. ‘If you’re done gaping outside, I need my breakfast’ it was Rose’s turn to terrify me.
The smell of her garden lilies and roses gave her life as their sweet scent infiltrated her nostrils. She needed to think, she needed to plan. First, Nelson and her were never to see each other again, but he had seen something, the decayed hand that he disposed. Now she thought about it, she hated herself the more, she had been so carried away, now he knew something about her family that she wished it to be secret forever. There had to be only one way to end that, she needed to kill Nelson. ‘Here’s your breakfast ma’m’ I placed the tray in front of her, I noticed she was lost in thought. ‘Wait’ she beckoned on me and I waited, at that same moment, her daughter Rose joined her for breakfast.
‘You can go, meet me later’ she dismissed me, I wondered why she had called me, it seemed something weighed heavily on her mind, did she want to sack me? I wondered
as I walked away. ‘Good morning mother’ Rose greeted and shifted uncomfortably in her sit, she didn’t like the look her mother gave her, that penetrating gaze. ‘Morning my darling child, how are you this morning’? Helen sipped from her mug. She had her plans, she’ll set her husband up with the new maid to test his loyalty since he feigned innocence. ‘What’s on your mind? You don’t look well’ she observed her mother, maybe her father was right, they had to slow down else they’d be heading for disaster. ‘Nothing Rose, nothing much, I want to go shopping today, fetch me Nelson’ Helen sighed. ‘Okay mum’.
He woke feeling sated, he’d had a good taste of his darling the night before, it was then time to go about his normal activities. As a pastor, he had a lot of work to do, when he wasn’t organizing programs or attending meetings, he was counseling members of his congregation. ‘It’s going to be a glorious day’ he hummed a tune and rose to his feet, luckily, his wife was not there to start a fight. He checked his file and went through his day’s activities. He didn’t have a Personal assistant like most pastors because Helen had offered to do that job freely, but now they weren’t on good terms, he had to find someone capable of handling his personal files. ‘Mark it will be’ he decided to use his son,
though the boy was busy, he could squeeze out some time to be with his father. He smiled as he thought about his children, years back, they had all been kids, now they were mature, most importantly, his Rose was grown enough for their relationship to blossom fully. His phone buzzed and he rushed to pick it, he never missed his calls, his members called him all the time, and he was willing to pray or give them advice pertaining to whatever situation they found themselves. ‘Hello, it’s Pastor Ita on the line’ he
answered and waited for the person on the other line. ‘I know who you are, what you’re doing makes me sick, I am going to tell’ the caller replied. ‘Hello, who’s this?’ the pastor asked, but the line went dead.
He’d been lost in his own thoughts, though he’d acted like what he saw didn’t bother him, he wasn’t able to sleep the night before, he had a bad feeling. He’d been having an affair with the pastor’s wife, but helping her dispose of a human part is something he didn’t bargain for. Though he’d buried the hand somewhere, his conscience pricked him thoroughly and he knew the only way to feel better was to confront his mistress about it. However, that in itself was folly, he had so much to lose. As her lover boy, he had gained so much, she gave him money which he used to care for his family, so confronting her could cause her to end the relationship and revoke the favours. ‘No’ he shook his head, he had to tread softly till he got what he wanted, once he was done, he’d dump her like she never mattered. ‘Come on in’ he called to whoever was knocking. ‘Mother needs you in the garden’ Rose stepped into his room. ‘Alright, I’ll be there soon’ Nelson rose to his feet. Helen’s daughter was very beautiful, he had eyes on her once but she was snobby and very arrogant, that killed his appetite. ‘Your room is beautiful’ Rose scanned his bare body, she suddenly felt moisture between her legs as she imagined him making love to her. ‘Thank you’ Nelson replied, it seemed she had something else to say. ‘Can I ask you for a favor’? Rose asked sweetly. She was h—y and she needed to quench the fire between her legs since her father had abandoned her. ‘What’s that’? Nelson narrowed his brows. ‘I want you to kiss me’.