CAN’T HOLD MY TEARS*
Tina paced the kitchen nervously. Her brain was in overdrive and she did not have the slightest idea about what to do. It has been three days since the abominable Miss Lisa entered the house and the house was practically on fire, but that was not what was getting on Tina’s nerves. Ever since Amara moved into another room, Tina hadn’t set her eyes on her. She had practically locked herself inside the room without opening the door. No single sound came out of the room and it was beginning to scare Tina to death. Since she hadn’t even opened the door, it was obvious that she hadn’t eaten anything for the past three days.
The frustration was too much for Tina to handle and she paraded Amara’s door endlessly, knocking loud and hard enough to rouse the dead and speaking both softly and sharply through the door, but she hadn’t received even a sound in response. She had repeatedly left meals by the door, hoping that Amara would at least eat, even if she did not want to see anyone but she always ended up retrieving the cold meals untouched until Lisa yelled her brains out, threatening to get her fired if she continued to waste her ‘husband’s resources on a hopeless village dropout’.
Fear gripped Tina as she wondered what had happened to Amara. Three days! Yet Amara was not opening the door. She had pushed aside negative thoughts at first but since yesterday, she couldn’t but think about evil things. ‘What if she slipped and fell in the bathroom?’… ‘She might be terribly sick’… All her attempts to stop her fears proved abortive. She had tried to bring the matter up before Mr. Alex but she never got to meet him alone and every time she got to mention Amara’s name Miss Lisa would shut her up instantly, saying that she and her hussy were not interested in spoiling their mood with the ‘village tramp’ and that she should mind her business and do what she was employed to do instead of carrying gossips. Mr. Alex had also seemed to be in perfect sync with Miss Lisa. Tina did not believe that a man could be so cold and heartless.
“Hey” Tina jerked and saw Tola looking at her with a frown. “Do you want to drill holes into the expensive kitchen tiles? What is eating you up?” Tola asked.
Tina did not need to be told that Tola disliked Amara, it had been obvious since day one, but still, Tina felt obliged to share her worry, hoping beyond hope that Tola would put aside her hatred and help her find a solution to this issue. “I am worried Tola” Tina responded.
Tola hissed. “I can see that clearly. My question is why?”
Tina hesitated then threw caution to the wind as anxiety took over. “It is our madam, Amara. She has not opened the door to her room for the past three days. I am getting scared.
Tola frowned deeply, looking terribly worried to the surprise and relief of Tina. “Oh my God! And you are just telling me now? You always spend time with her and since she was always used to staying in her room, I did not notice anything weird” she seemed startled now.
This made Tina more worried. “I know. I should have told you but I thought she just wanted to be left alone and was sulking because of Miss Lisa’s arrival, but this is the third day Tola. She has been in there without eating for three days. I am so scared.”
“Jesus” she breathed. “Let’s go there again” she started out of the kitchen instantly and Tina hastily followed.
When they got to Amara’s room, the knocked and banged endlessly and called out but there was no response. They tried to open the door but it was firmly locked. Sweat gathered on Tina’s forehead and she wiped it away, feeling cold all over. Her heart raced in fear.
“Jesus! What are we going to do Tina?” Tola asked getting equally agitated.
“I don’t know” Tina almost screamed. “That is why I told you. Miss Lisa knows but she does not give a d–n. She hasn’t allowed me to tell Mr. Alex either” she swallowed. “What if… what if something happened to her? What if…”
“Oh Tina, shut up. You are beginning to scare me” Tola mouthed nervously. “Come, let’s see if we can find a spare key to open the door” Tina nodded, even though she had already done that before, searching again was a very good idea.
*back to when Lisa want to take over Amara’s room, that makes her to be indoor*
“Let go of my cloth you this prostitute” I pitched and snatched my cloth from her hand.
She faced me furiously and laughed slightly.
“I think ‘S–t’ should be your middle name you this dirty village girl. Why couldn’t you have found someone else to impregnate you, you had the nerve to choose my Alex. My own Alex! I would show you pepper in this house” she yelled, shaking her body vigorously like someone in battle. She faced the maids. “Pack her things” she ordered.
I blocked the doorway. If someone would remove my things from this room, they would have to first remove me from the entrance. I watched Tola grab my sack of clothes, as that was virtually the only the thing in that room that was mine. Tina looked as though she were about to cry.
“Drop my bag this minute Tola” I said menacingly.
Lisa grabbed the bag that contained nothing of substance to make it heavy and held it up like it was a contaminable disease.
“Do you call this bag?” she laughed heartily. “This thing is not dignified enough to sit in my dustbin” she said, looking irritated.
“Would you shut up” I yelled and before I could even notice my movement, my hand rose and connected firmly with her cheeks, sending her reeling. She fought for balance and red marks showed on her pale white face. She stood and retaliated soundly. The echo of the slap vibrated through me as I staggered. I heard Tina gasp as she made to stable me before I hit the wall. I had some seconds to catch my breath, but those seconds were all Lisa needed to have my clothes out of the room.
“Please don’t do this” Tina whispered. “You have to take it easy, do it for your baby”
I shrugged her off. I was in no mood to ‘take it easy’. All I wanted to do was scream my lungs out until I was completely exhausted.
I paced the cold floors of my new room in total frustration and anger. Lisa and I had yelled at each other, countless number of times and I found that my throat was a bit sore. The serene and quiet house had suddenly turned to a battle field as Lisa and I exchanged heated words. The house seemed to be boiling in tension and I could not even sit at one spot for five minutes without standing up to pace. Both Tina and Tola were on their toes, carrying out the orders of Lisa. The house seemed to be on fire. I couldn’t just calm down.
I did not know when Alex came in because of the strategic position of my new irritating room but immediately I heard his voice some distance from my room, I became alert. He was obviously talking to Lisa.
“Oh, my poor baby, you look so tired” she said. “You sure need to let off steam” I heard her say again.
“Any suggestions?” there seemed to be a smile in Alex’s voice.
There was silence and I told myself that I did not want to know what the silence meant.
“Why don’t you eat first?” she said again after the long silence.
“I know what I would rather eat but I am actually really hungry” I heard him say. “Let me take a shower and meet you at the dinning” he said and she murmured something I could not catch. I heard footsteps and knew Alex was going into his room. I swallowed and opened my door. I told myself that Alex would have to offer me some good explanations for the way he had been treating me.
I walked to his bedroom and paused outside his room, wandering if I should knock or just go in. deciding that there was no need for me to show him any respect when he obviously could not do that for me, I pushed against the handle and entered. He was standing with his back to me.
“Did you have a change of heart Lisa?” he asked, obviously smiling.
“I wish you did” he turned around at that. I had to forcefully ignore his wide opened chest and the shirt that hung openly.
His eyes showed his irritation. “What the hell are you doing in here?” he growled.
“Why? Why Alex? Why did you choose to put me through this? I never asked for this” I gasped out.
“I am not in the mood for this-”
I cut in. “You approached me in the village, making me feel like the most outstanding woman on earth. You told me you loved me and that no other woman could take my place in your heart. What changed? What-”
“It was all a ploy” he cut in.
I started. “What does that mean?”
“I never meant all those nonsense I said to you. How could i?” he asked bewildered, like I was totally a fool for even believing it. “It was all part of the plan to get you into my bed.”
“What are you talking about Corper?” I asked with a sickly pale face.
He exhaled. “All the guys and corpers in the village could not get you into their bed, you know. They were so sure that you were untouchable and they wanted to see who had the capacity to deflower the ‘almighty Amara’. They placed a bet, and I, took the challenge. You were a sweet challenge and I wanted my Service days to be lively. I used those romantic words as bait and when you finally fell into my bed, I showed the guys the blood-stained sheet as the evidence of my victory. So, you see? Stop wondering what changed my feelings because there was never any feeling. I was all a bet”