6 minutes

6 minutes

I stood in front of the sink, washing the dishes. At the same time, I could hear the wheezing sound escaping from the pot of beans on the fire. Our kitchen was a very big one, beautifully decorated with white tiles and cream wall paint. The sound of the beans cooking on the gas got louder and I quickly rinsed the ceramic plate I was holding to check the food. I opened the pot and peered in, the beans did not look like it was ready. I picked up a plastic spoon from the rack and dipped it into the pot. This way, I could taste about 5 seeds of the beans to be sure of how long it would take for the food to be fully cooked.

As I dipped the spoon into the pot, I felt a loud slap on my back. It hurt so much and stung at the same time like bees had been released on my back. I screamed and the tears flowed freely.

“Stupid girl, so this is how you eat from the pot before serving everyone right? Shameless idiot. Or are you trying to poison the food? village witch like you! ”. Another slap followed.

“Aunty please stop, I was only checking if the beans is ready”, I replied.

“Liar, tell that to dogs who have no brain”.

I heard her daughter giggling behind her. As a result of all the drama going on in the kitchen, no one heard the knock on the door. Or the turning of keys in the key hole and Uncle returned from work. Uncle walked straight to the kitchen as he heard so much noise coming from there.

“Honey, princess, what’s going on? ”, he called out to his wife and daughter.

Aunty, carefully upturned the container of palm oil on the kitchen counter. We all watched it spill on the beautiful white tiles and I inwardly groaned. That meant I would go to bed later than I planned because I would have to clean up the mess.

“Don’t mind this useless girl, she just wasted the palm oil mama sent to us from the village”. Uncle stood at the entrance of the kitchen and listened to Aunty as she continued. “And you know its richer and better than the palm oil they sell in the city. How do I send for another now ehn? ”. Uncle smiled as he heard this. We all knew Aunty and Mama were at logger head. They had been ever since Uncle introduced Aunty to his mother as the woman he wanted to marry. Mama hated her immediately; after all Aunty was not from our region neither did she speak our native dialect.

“Is that why you are beating her? For just palm oil? “, Uncle asked. “I did not touch her, she just finished slicing some onions for the beans that’s why her eyes seem to have moisture in them”, Aunty told Uncle. This made him smile again, he knew his wife and he knew what she was capable of doing.

“Princess dear, is that true?”, he asked his daughter. She just wobbled her head up and down, taking sides with her mother. Princess was dumb from birth. That was another reason why Mama disliked Aunty. She felt Aunty was possessed and so could not give birth to a child with complete faculty. Princess was the first child and only surviving. The other two had died at birth further cementing Mama’s claim that Aunty had some demonic spirit in her. She picked up Princess, ordered me to clean the kitchen and make sure the food was ready soon as she was sure Uncle was tired and hungry. I quickly curtseyed and replied that it would be ready in a jiffy. She nodded like a Queen giving orders to her subject and sashayed out of the kitchen with her daughter.

I picked up the plastic spoon from the floor where it had fallen from my hand after that ear splitting slap landed on my back. I proceeded to taste the beans like I originally planned. It needed just 6 more minutes of boiling and it would be ready for consumption.  And 6 minutes was just perfect for playing. Playing a game I loved.

I had just been in the city for one month. I was sent from the village by Mama who had good intentions. But, only both of us knew what exactly Mama’s wish was. I looked up at Uncle who was still standing at the entrance of the kitchen and smiled. He returned the smile. I knew I had surprised him last night, it was different from the others and he thoroughly and wrapped around my finger as Mama predicted. Phase one of the plan was complete.

Uncle turned around to make sure Aunty had gone into the room. He walked into the kitchen and I knew the coast was clear. “our game, our game and my answer for today is Pink!” he exclaimed. I giggled and tried to suppress the sound by placing my right palm over my mouth while I used the index finger on my second hand to point at him, wagging it in a seductive yet casual way. “Please tell” he said. We played this game every day, on his return from work. I slowly pulled up my jeans skirt revealing the sexy lacy thong I had on. “Yes!!! I got it”, he screamed. I giggled louder.

“What is that? Honey?” we heard Aunty’s voice. He quickly gave me a kiss and walked into the room to meet his wife.

“Oh nothing much, a call just confirmed that I won a contract I’ve been chasing for a while”, uncle said to Aunty.

“Thank God o, I will show those women when we go to the village for your uncle’s burial, they will know I am a proper city woman. I know what I will wear now…”, the sound of her voice droned on as I walked back to the kitchen to check on my beans. Smiling to myself, my fingers itched to call Mama to tell her. I knew she would be extremely happy with me. She just had to tell me what next to do.

34 thoughts on “6 minutes” by Beautiful (@Ruth-Iyayi)

  1. I had to laugh at the end of this. In a way I pity the girl, she sounds young and should not be aiming to be the playmate or second wife of the man. At the same time, the Aunty has shown no dignifying xteristic to make me sympathize with her. Nice and well written, it drew me in.

  2. Lol. This made me laugh. The real manipulator is of course, the Mama. Too bad, Aunty makes it so easy for her.
    Nice story.

  3. Till I got to the end, I wondered why Mama would send her daughter to stay with someone she hated so much. Interesting twist.

    But even knowing the daughter’s real intentions, I still wonder… what is HER motivation? It’s not a small thing for a girl to give up a carefree youth for whatever reason…

  4. Lots of questions and intriguing answers. You may wish to avoid the stereotype of the wicked wife-witch whose wickedness is visited on her children.

    It’s a good story and well told too. The naija/african flavour is refreshing. The maltreatment of the family help…that slap…I could almost hear it. Then came the twist, she ain’t an angel herself. It left me wanting to read more. I hope there is a part two.

  5. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Nice one, Really nice. I like this. No complaints here

  6. Myne took the words right out of my mouth… The househelp is obviously no saint, yet we can’t exactly sympathise with the wronged wife because she isn’t Mother Teresa either… I think that is a nice touch because life is not always so black and white that there is a clear villain and hero every time. I look forward to reading more of your work.

  7. kinda romantic for me..lol
    i love the story and the secrecy involved.
    imagine a woman somewhere else pulling strings .

  8. @everyone : thanks alot
    @Anderson-paul : hmmmm better stop imagining o! *wink*

    1. okay,i will stop imagining o.lol

  9. @ Tola, Mama brought the girl from the village to stay with them. that doesn’t say Mama gave birth to the girl. Mama is “Uncle’s” mother. shey u get now?

  10. Wow, this is lovely. i really enjoyed it. from that slap, which i can almost swear i felt, to the shock of finding that the oppressed girl is some kind of oppressor herself, though i cant feel sorry for wifey…then this very cunning mama whose presence we can feel,though we dont get to meet her. very well written, i musy say. well done.

  11. I agree there was something about the slap that gave it a feel of reality. That’s a huge compliment to ur descriptive style. U sucked us in for a merry ride and crudely shook us with a slap. hahaha-still rubbing me cheeks. Well done (applause)

  12. The fact that the story shifted away from the sterotype of the wicked woman of the house and the oppressed maid made it really interesting..I love the way you portray the husbadn..hé’s obviously a smooth one! Your descriptive prowess too is undeniable…keep it going!

  13. awwwww….thanks so much. *my head is swelling o…lol*

  14. I really like reading this piece..
    Is there a continuation?
    This was good..
    It didn’t have an expected end.. I loved the twist.

  15. I love this story…had me laughing all the way to the end. The absurdity of a bad marriage, the planting of a househelp who is an underocver mistress, this is hilarious intrigue…

    And you can’t help but pity the girl despite the fact that she was sent to…should I say wreck a bad marriage or work towards becoming a second wife?

  16. thanks.

    @2cute4u : don’t know yet if there’ll be a continuation.

    @Afronuts : hehehehe…the girl just had to be pitied…lol

  17. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

    it’s d stupid uncle i want to slap!!!!!!!!!!!! yeye idiot!

  18. That slap was HOT!!
    Silly, ignorant, aunty. she’s about to reap the evil she’s been sowing. Great story!

  19. thanks alot.

  20. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    i’m so glad in ur story, the house-help gets her little revenge…the wife has serious issues as for mama what God has put together…this is only going to end badly

  21. @ Olajumoke: you are so right. Its all going to end badly.

  22. interesting… i thought is going to be sad at the end as it was at the begining but i smiled after reading the whole story….

  23. Didn’t know what to expect when I saw the title…I thoroughly enjoyed reading this..well done beautiful!

  24. This story was beautifully told. I like your use of description. I sympathized with the girl after she was abused by her Aunty. The tears that flowed from her eyes seemed very genuine. Like she was undeserving of the slap. But by the end, my thoughts about her were extremely different. May be she had done certain things in the past, which caused her aunty maltreat her.

    Very good job. I really enjoyed this.

  25. Omo…omo.

    Na so craze dey take start o. See as overtake overtake overtake.

    This story ehn? Haba. You too do well. This is the kinda shit I expect to see in home videos…not those daft plotless things they dare call movies.

    Well done. Very well done.

  26. …wow…beautiful story… i pity the new mistress cum househelp…if the man really wants her, he won’t be hiding what they have, but well, quess time would tell…does it have a part II?

  27. …wow…beautiful story… i pity the new mistress cum househelp…if the man really wants her, he won’t be hiding what they have, but well, quess time would tell…does it have a part II?

  28. Very interesting story Beautiful.Nicely written and I didn’t expect the twist.As a mom,it made me cringe that a mother would manipulate her daughter in such a way and let her be abused for her own scheme.Repulsive!

  29. The day wey aunty go catch una…fire on the mountIn…

    Even the aunty sounds wicked….no pity from me

  30. lolzzzzzzzzz

  31. Haha! NIce one there. It almost felt like I was watching a movie. Not these wack things we call movies but one of the real things.

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