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The voice of the man could be heard at the gate as the house helps listened, at the same time, pretending to be occupied with their chores.
"You’re too lazy, what’s wrong in waking up early to prepare me a decent meal? I go out every morning and come back late because I’m struggling to keep this family in line with whatever is in vogue, all I expect is your loyalty and submission but no, you lie in bed and ask the maids to prepare my meal and you know I don’t like it."
Claire didn’t say a word. She was battling with morning sickness and she doesn’t even know why. She suddenly has the urge to throw up at the smell of food, she feels weak each morning or is it the saliva that has started forming a lake in her mouth. She watched her husband shout, he deserved to be angry. For the two years they’ve been married, she’d singlehandedly prepared all his meals, he doesn’t eat out except snacks so she gives him breakfast, takes his lunch to his office and then makes dinner before he returns. She only goes to her mall during the weekend when she gets new supplies. She left the mall in the care of her younger sister who just graduated from ANSU last year.
Her marriage has been perfect until she started feeling strange two weeks ago so she understood that Michael, her sweet husband has the right to be angry.
"You can lie in bed all day if you want but I’m not eating that food. Don’t make me eat out because if I do, Claire Njama if I eat out, you won’t like it."
Claire sat up at once, she tried to speak but her mouth was filled with saliva so she ran into the bathroom, washed her mouth and came out, only to meet him about leaving the room.
"Baby, I’m sorry okay, I’ve not been feeling too good and …."
"That’s what you’ve been saying for two weeks now Claire. If you’re tired of being my wife, tell me." Michael interrupted angrily.
"I love you Michael and I won’t get tired of performing my duties but look at me nau. You know I’m not like this biko.’
Michael looked his wife over. She had added weight and he didn’t like it. Topping it, she’s started ignoring him. She must be seeing another man.
He hissed loudly, opened the door and walked out.
He went downstairs and walked to the dinning where he met Amara who was dishing out from a bowl of egg sauce. Beside her was a plate of white yam.
"Good morning bro Mike. How was your night?" She asked with face full of smile.
"Morning Amara. Who made that?" He asked eying the egg sauce which was so inviting, with the tiny pieces of liver he could see sleeping in it.
"Oh! I brought the sauce from the deep freezer, sister Claire must have made it sometime, then I boiled the yam"
He smiled and sat down, signalling to Amara to serve him. What is white yam? It doesn’t mean anything since its his wife that made the sauce. Hr finished just as Amara was about putting away her plate.
"You’re ready to leave for the mall right?"
"Yes bro Mike. I’ll just clear the dishes and leave immediately."
"Alright. Hurry up so I can drop you". He said, picking his briefcase and walking out.
Amara smiled. She was tired of trekking to the bus stand. Maybe if she wakes up early everyday, he would help her by dropping her at the mall which was in the centre of town.
She carried the plates to the kitchen where the house helps were gossiping and cleared her throat. They scampered to different corners of the kitchen.
"Its still not 9 and you’re already gossiping, useless things."
She jammed the plates on one of the girl’s hand before dropping them and walking out.
"She is just a sister to madam and she’s like this, chukwu ekwekwala ihe ojoo (God forbid bad thing)". One of the girls said
"Upon say she fine like this" another one added.
"Beautiful girls are the ones with the disgusting attitudes". Gertrude, the head maid said. " let’s just go back to work, she’s not worth the time".
Claire watched from the window as her husband and younger sister got into the car and drove off. He had taken time as she had been standing there since he walked out. Maybe he drank tea or was just waiting for Amara so he can drop her. She sighed and sat on the bed, bringing out her iPhone to send him a text.
"I’m sorry baby, tell me what you want for lunch and I’ll bring it to you okay, don’t be mad at me for long. I love you to the moon and back."
She sent it and hoped for a reply. Tomorrow, she would go to the hospital and get some tests done. She won’t ruin her marriage because of some illness.
She laid on her back, hoping to get some rest only for her to fall asleep.
It was that bad.
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