Tears of a Helpless Woman


© Pauline Mumbi 
I sat reading a novel on my bed and being grateful
for all I had, a part of me wondered whether my
uncle was regretting his decision. Why would my
own family neglect me?
Suddenly, I heard a loud knock on my door.
“Come in” I said before put my booking down.
“Mr. Atusaye.. Hai..” I said wondering what he was
looking for.
“Hi Mwansa.. Is this a novel?” He asked as he sat
on my bed.
Read also TORN
“Yes it is sir, can I offer you anything?” I asked.
“Oh no.. Just came to see how you are settling in
that’s all” he said.
“OK thank you..” I responded and I went back to
reading my book.
Mr. Atusaye was still on my bed and he started
pressing his phone. I was very uncomfortable as I
did not want Mrs Martins to start doubting me so I
excused myself to go out outside.
“Don’t worry she won’t know, its your boss you’re
afraid of right?” He asked me.
“Yes I’m a lady and you know she might take it the
wrong way” I quickly responded
I was still standing ready to go outside when
suddenly I heard a knock on the door.
My heart was racing and I had no idea what to do
at that point.
Atusaye quickly rushed to the bathroom and I
opened the door.
“Hi… You can come and prepare supper now as we
are about to leave” one the maids said.
“OK I’m coming soon..” I responded calmly.
“I saw Atusaye come this side have you seen him
by any chance? Madam is looking for him” she
My body froze but I managed to shake my head in
“No.. He has not been here” I said.
She did not look very convinced and I was now
more nervous.
“OK dear in case you see him tell him Mrs. Martins
is calling” she said before walking away. I quickly
shut the door and took a sigh of relief.
Atusaye walked out of the bathroom and found me
sitting on the bed looking very worried.
“Relax she won’t say anything” he said.
“That was scary.. Sir please you need to leave now”
I said.
“Oh you think she has gone? … She knows I will be
out any minute so she’s waiting to see me” he said.
“But I thought you said she will not tell anyone” I
“That’s still no reason to feed her suspicions..” He
“OK sir please lock up I’m going madam has called
for me” I said before walking out.
When I got to the kitchen everything I needed to
cook was on the table so I picked the apron and
straight away got busy.
At a the back of my mind I was worried that
Atusaye may be seen whilst leaving the apartment.
“Oh you here..” Mrs. Martins said as she walked
into the kitchen.
“Yes I’m here” I responded shyly.
“OK you will have dinner with us but tomorrow you
can stock up your house, I will give you some
money” she said.
“Thank you madam.. I mean Mrs. Martins” I said.
“About your uncle..
what does he do?” She asked.
“He is a geologist” I responded as I continued
“Really that’s very surprising” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well because I do not know a geologist who
becomes broke..” She said.
“Some do” I responded calmly as the pain hit me.
My uncle wasn’t broke but he just didn’t want me.
“My husband works for the mines..” She said.
“So what is for your birthday tomorrow?” She asked
“Just being alive is enough for me” I responded.
“Oh come on.. you should celebrate.. It’s your day
and it comes once in a year” she said
I just smiled without a word.
“You know Mwansa I like you a lot from the
moment I met you .. You are so humble” she said.
“Life is humbling madam..” I said.
“Oh what do you know about life young lady” she
“Little.. Very little” I responded.
“Did you finish school? Actually I wanted to ask..
Why do you just want yo be a maid? I mean if
you’ve been to school you should be able to do
something more decent” she said.

When Mrs. Martins noticed that I had suddenly
gone quiet she apologised.
“I’m sorry dear, hope I wasn’t offending” she said.
“No you weren’t, I only went up to 7th grade” I
Mrs. Martin’s did not ask any further questions until
I was done with supper. After setting the table she
asked me to join her so we could eat together.
“Atusaye is a nomad heaven only knows where he
is..” She said
Immediately my heart skipped when I realised he
had not left the apartment.
Mrs. Martins said grace and we got digging into the
“Would you like to go back to school?” Mrs Martins
I wasn’t expecting that question but I quickly
“I would love to but I’m already too old” I said
“Too old? No dear you’re never too old to go back
to school” she said.
“Anyway.. I have decided you can have the job and
for a start you will be getting k800″ she said.
“Oh thank you so much madam”. I said as tears
rolled down my cheeks.
“No don’t cry dear, just do your best and will be
together for a very long time” she said
I was so emotional that I even failed to finish my
food, Mrs. Martin’s couldn’t understand because she
had no idea what I had been through.
After dinner I cleared the kitchen making sure it was
s₱0tless clean and I said goodnight to Mrs Martins.
“Goodnight dear” she responded as she remained
lying on the couch.

I went to the apartment very excited and thanking
God. He is indeed a miracle working God. Who ever
thought I would be getting paid?
To my surprise Mr. Atusaye was fast asleep on my
bed when I returned.
“Sir.. Sir” I said as I shook him.
“You’re back dear” he said as he stretched himself.
Mr Atusaye got up and then came close to me.
I was very uncomfortable but he quickly pecked my
forehead before i could stop him.
I rubbed my forehead and moved away from him.
“Relax that’s how white people say goodnight” he
“I’m not white” I responded bluntly.
“Well you will soon begin to behave like one.
Loosen up and get settled into this environment” he
“Sir you can’t come here again, this job here is my
life I have no where to go after this”
“Oh no no no.. ” he interrupted.
“You have many places to go, this is just the
beginning and yes.. You’re right… I shouldn’t be
here. I promise not to come in here again” he said
before walking out.
I took a deep sigh of relief and got on my knees to
thank God for this new chapter in my life.

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To be continued… 
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