The Misery Of Mutinta


Episode 17

When I regained consciousness I was lying on my small bed in my small room.
I was very weak and tired and it took me some seconds to recognise where I was.
I looked about myself and saw that I was wearing my usual gown but then the scars on my body reminded me of what had transpired.
I didn’t know the time but looking out of the window with the sun still shining meant that it was still afternoon.

I lay quiet on the bed not wanting to attract my madam’s attention.
I couldn’t predict what she had in mind so it was better to keep quiet and regain sufficient energy before she came around.
I had rested for like one hour when madam came to check on me.
I was feeling very hungry but endured.
Madam came in and saw that I was awake and asked me to come to the kitchen and have my food.

With tiredness I got up and followed her to the kitchen.
She dished rice and stew into a plate and gave me to eat which I quickly ate out of hunger and even needed more though I didn’t voice it out. Then I drank a cup of water.
“Aunty thank you,” I greeted.
“Mmmmmm! thank God,” she replied. “Are you now ready to tell me what my husband came to your room to do last night?” She asked staring at one corner of the kitchen.
I followed her line of sight and saw the piece of wire lying there and my heart skipped some beats.

I didn’t know what to say.
I opened and closed my mouth involuntarily as I silently calculated what was next.
“What did my husband go to do in your room late last night?” Madam asked again rising from her seat and walking towards the long twisted piece of wire.
I started crying instantly.
From the fury in madam’s eyes she was determined to do anything so long as she got the confession she was looking for.
Madam went to that corner of the kitchen and picked up the piece of wire.

I shuddered with fear and rose from the mortar I was sitting on shivering.
The familiar whistling sound came again as the first lash journeyed through the air and landed on the junction between my neck and my left shoulder sending me into fresh untold pain.
“It was him, It was your husband,” I shouted out unable to bear the pain.
“Yes!” madam acclaimed. “My husband did what?” She interrogated.
“He forced me to do it with him,” I blurted out crying hysterically. “He came to my room and forced me and warned me not to tell anybody.”

Madam stopped momentarily, apparently jolted by the confession she just heard but then her eyes flared up again.
“And you agreed?” She asked staring furiously at me.
“He forced me ma,” I replied in self defence.
“He forced you! Forced you! Forced you!” Madam blurted as she unleashed more lashes of her wire on me.

I ran out of the kitchen in pain and towards the bedroom.
Madam zoomed furiously into the master bedroom but on second thought she came back out and into my small room.
“Better start packing your things cos this house won’t contain the two of us anymore,” she barked pointing her index finger aggressively at me.
“Aunty please,” I begged crying.
“Don’t please me,” she barked and stormed back into the master bedroom and locked the door firmly.

Madam later mellowed down and didn’t send me packing as she had earlier threatened though her attitude towards me changed dramatically.
She stopped talking to me and behaved as if I didn’t exist even though she still gave me food.
I knew she was patiently waiting for her husband to come back before unleashing the main war.

Her husband came back a week later and met a very quiet house.
The children were sleeping so everywhere was silent like a graveyard.
Madam was in the master bedroom so I couldn’t tell whether she was awake or sleeping.
It was the sound of the engine of uncle’s car that roused me from where I was sitting in the kitchen and towards the window to peep.
Uncle blared the horn three times in his characteristic manner and I went out to answer him like normal and help him carry his luggage into the house.

The sound of the horn seemed to have roused madam as well and she came out and stood at the door to welcome her husband.
“Honey welcome,” madam said to him which was quite unusual.
The husband was startled.
“Thanks my darling,” he replied and crossed his right hand over madam’s shoulder.
Madam tactically masked her bitterness and resentment.
I trembled slightly as I stood inside the kitchen awaiting the outburst that would emanate when madam finally bursts the bubble before him.
I couldn’t predict what the aftermath was going to be.

Whether I was going to be sent packing or not.
Uncle’s right hand lay across madam’s shoulder as they went in together into the master bedroom.
He had his bath and soon came out to have his meal. Madam came out too trailing behind.
It seemed madam was having a hard time deciding the best time to bring up the issue. She had remained very diplomatic so far to the best of her ability.
Her husband ate quietly and hungrily while madam intermittently asked him about the conference.
“Everything went fine,” he replied. “Even the minister of labour attended too,” he added.
Madam kept silent and listened to the gist of the conference.
When he finished eating, he and madam went back to the master bedroom.

I washed the plates and then settled to eat my own meal. Afterwards I went to my small room.
Night soon came and everyone went to bed.
In the middle of the night I heard madam’s voice waking her husband up from sleep.
“Yes?” he replied with a drowsy voice.
“We need to talk,” madam began firmly.
“About what?” he asked sounding irritated over the disturbance of his sleep.
“What is it between you and our house-help?” Madam asked driving sleep away from his eyes.
“Which house-help?” he asked.

“Your house-help,” madam replied.
“You mean Mutinta?” he asked.
“Do you have another one?” Madam retorted.
“And how on earth did you think that something was going on between me and that rag?” He asked.
His rhetoric struck me like a hammer.
I couldn’t believe my ears but then I had no choice than to control my emotion.
Uncle and Madam continued the argument all night long onto daybreak till I stopped hearing their voice.
Then I wondered what the future had in stock for me…


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