Written By Shalomdee
The last glass item had been cleaned and put in its place. Jane stopped and admired her work before smiling with satisfaction. She had finished cleaning and polishing the furniture and house fixtures, and there was still much time left for her. All her other chores had been done, she was only left with the cooking and that will begin by 1 p.m. It was 10 a.m now; she pondered on what activity she could engage in that will occupy her till cooking time. She could read the Biology textbook her cousin gave her yesterday or she could snuggle on the couch and watch Zee World channel. She decided on the latter, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, she thought.
She flipped the channels with the remote as she stood standing opposite the decoder. There was a soap opera already going on, she stood gazing at the T.V trying to decide if it would turn out interesting or not. She felt a hand on her shoulder, because she was not expecting anyone to be in the house by that time she jumped in fear dropping the remote. She turned to see a puzzled looking Lancelot wearing a critical face.
“I’m sorry Brother, I was scared.” She apologized.
“Never mind,” he said waving his hand “What are you doing?” He pointed at the T.V.
“I wanted to watch a drama series on Zee World.” She replied.
“Oh, this? This will only pollute your mind; before you know it you will start thinking of crazy things.” He said frankly.
She gave him a quizzical glance.
“Watch CNN, Aljazeera, CCTV or better still you can watch CBN or Daystar. It’s just a suggestion though, you can watch any channel as long as they don’t show indecent images. I’m going to work, I guess you forgot I was still home?”
“Yes Sir, I thought you left with Sister.”
“Well don’t worry, in a matter of seconds you can have the house all to yourself. Peace.” He took his briefcase and went out of the house. Jane watched from the window as he got into his car and drove out of the gate. She got out to close the gate and returned to the house.
This was the first time he was blurting out instructions to her. In the past he left the running of the house, giving of orders and advising to his wife. He did not bother about what Jane did, watched or said. This man is strange, she said to herself.
For lunch she made pounded yam with egusi soup and chicken stew. She ate hers by 3 p.m and kept Rahila and Lancelot’s own in a hot food flask. Rahila was not to come home till 6 p.m but Lancelot, whose place of work was just a 5 minutes drive to their home, came by 3:30 p.m claiming he was so hungry he could eat an elephant. Jane looked at him thoroughly before setting the table for him. He hardly came home for lunch and when he did, he always spoke to her through his nose to give him his food, he never used any figurative language. When he saw the food, he pounced on it and ate everything on the plate, including all the chicken that was served.
“Thank you Jane.” He said. “Now I must rest before I return.”
“I thought you are supposed to be on duty today?” Jane asked.
“I am not on duty till evening, but I got an emergency call, one of my patients was having an issue breathing.”
“How is he now?” Jane asked candidly.
“I lost him.” Lancelot replied.
Jane looked at him properly; fear and a mixture of wonder filled her mind. How could he lose a patient and be this g-y? Was it because he had gotten so used to losing people that he lost the emotion attached to it, or because he had no emotion in him?
“I’m sorry about that Sir.” It was all Jane could say, she quickly cleared up the dishes and took them to the kitchen to wash. She hoped that as she washed the plates, Lancelot will leave the dining room; she did not want to come back and find him still there, she did not want to look him in the face and see the inward pain he was hiding, the agony of the dead child that he was secretly trying to release from his mind. She felt all of a sudden sorry for him; how many deaths did he have to witness? How many families did he have to comfort? How many children did he have to fall in love with and lose to sicknesses?
She spent longer than she normally would in rinsing the plates. At last she was through, she turned her head to face the dining room and Lancelot was no longer there. She heaved a sigh of relief. Perhaps he was in his room or the garden, questioning his maker. She took calculated steps to her room; she wanted to just stretch on the bed and let her mind wander into oblivion. She threw the door open, Lancelot was in her room, his eyes were scrutinizing her cupboard. She felt fear leaping at her. This man is going crazy for sure, and I am all alone in the house. She thought. Her mouth fell open, she tried to speak but her throat was all of a sudden dried up.
He turned to look at her. “I have a confession to make Jane, you will not like it.”
Oh God, he will say he wants have s€× with me and if I refuse, something drastic will happen. Her mind told her.
“I have been reading your diary and I must confess I am addicted to it, forgive me.”
Jane’s eyes stared wide. “You have been reading my diary Sir, oh come on, that is prying on my privacy. Who does that in this present age?” She asked looking into his eyes, she was doing her best to control her rising anger. How could he?
He shrugged his shoulders. “I deserve to be punished, go on and name your punishment, just don’t report it to my wifey, please.”
She shook her head. “I cannot punish you Sir, and I am sorry for shouting at you. I guess you meant no harm.”
“Sure. I meant no harm, but it was very immature of me. I will make it out to you I promise.”
Jane shook her head again. “I don’t want promises Sir.”
“I am not Pamshak Jane, I am Doctor Lancelot, I will make it up to you, thanks for understanding.” He said and exited the room.
Jane turned to watch him go. This just keeps getting better and better. She thought.
To be continued
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