Doctor Stan pulled into his drive way and stopped at the parking lot. On alighting from his car, he noticed the absence of his wife’s car and wondered where she must have gone to at that time of the day. However, he was glad she wasn’t around. He has been quite skeptical about bringing Lillian home, knowing the type of person his wife was. It was better to address her with the topic of the orphan at later hours of the night. He inhaled a deep breath and somehow smiled to himself. His wife was a virago and treating the orphan’s case was going to be hell for him. His wife was the type that could create ants out of an empty anthill and he knew that the last thing she would want was another soul in their house. He took his handkerchief and dabbed the sweat that was rapidly rolling down his oval, well structured, face. Was he tensed about his forthcoming encounter with his wife? No! He murmured and disregarded whatsoever dismay that gripped him. He was the man of the house which made him the decision maker in his family. Having made up his mind on that, he led Lillian into the ambiance of his comfortable bungalow.
Lillian felt at home but her glee at that new experience and sensation did not last long. The sudden arrival of Mrs. Stan Angela spoilt everything; something strong churned up in her tummy and she swallowed hard in dismay.
Angela had entered her house and was shocked to find a total stranger, a girl for that matter sitting comfortably on her sofa, eating her food from her best plates and watching her 26 inches flat screen colored Television. She stopped on her tracks and scrutinized the intruder. She noticed that Lillian looked back at her, but she didn’t miss the dismay that hid behind those big bedroom eyes staring at her as she stared back at Lillian, mouth agape. However, before she could ask her anything or even react at the sight of her presence; her husband entered the sitting room from the kitchen.
“Welcome back, honey” Dr. Stan greeted, embracing his amazed spouse.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear the door bell ring. I was in the kitchen making dinner,” he concluded with a warm smile.
“You are making dinner?” Angela asked in utter disbelief. She could still remember the last time her husband cooked for them. It was two years ago, on the night after their honey moon. But right now she didn’t have to wonder much about the special occasion that warranted that. It was all about the little stranger. She wagged her head slowly, her husband could really be amusing sometimes, but if he thinks that he could appease her with his cooking, then he should think again.
“Why don’t you go into your room, freshen up while I serve dinner. I will be back in a jiffy,” Stan said, still smiling blissfully as he briskly walked back to the kitchen.
Angela smiled to herself, threw a quick gawk at Lillian and entered her room. Lillian heaved a sigh but she didn’t go back to her food. To her, she has just gone through hell and returned.
During dinner Doctor Stan tried to explain to his already impatient wife the reason why Lillian was in their house.
“She was abounded by her guardian at my hospital and I couldn’t leave her in her Madam’s house because of the presence of the woman’s son who almost raped her,” Doctor Stan explained after scooping a spoonful of rice into his mouth. Then he kept mute waiting for the reply of his wife over his explanations to her. But when the mum between them closed to a minute with his wife saying nothing, his thoughts ran wild. What if his wife didn’t accept to let Lillian stay with them until the return of her Madam? What if she wants Lillian to be sent away at that time of the night?
“And so that makes you a Good Samaritan right?” Angela queried looking Stan straight in the eyes.
“It’s just for a short while,” Dr. Stan replied scooping another spoonful of rice into his month. Stan avoided his angry wife’s eyes.
“Okay, I suppose she would leave tomorrow?” Angela asked coldly.
“No” Stan answered, wagging his head. “But she might leave in the next three days,” he instantly added after receiving a penetrating gawk from his wife.
“And you expect me to accept that,” Angela muffled and returned to her food.
Stan said nothing again, but he was blissful that he had managed to convince his stubborn wife to let Lillian stay for the moment. He made up his mind to take Lillian back to her Madam after the end of the third day.
Doctor Stan hooted his car horn again for the sixth time at Madam Becky’s gate. This time, an Hausa man opened the gate for him. He sped into Madam Becky’s compound in rage. He was sure that they knew that he was the one and decided to delay him. He couldn’t imagine why Madam Becky could be so cruel. Her ward had been admitted in the hospital for almost a week and for three days after she was discharged, she didn’t care to know how she was faring.
“What is this world turning into?” he wondered aloud as he gazed into space. He found a space by the huge mango tree in the enormous compound and parked his car, alighted with Lillian. They headed into the main house. They met Madam Becky in the sitting room, watching the television. Doctor Stan wasn’t astonished when she didn’t react on sighting them. Madam Becky only stared once at their way and continued watching her television when Lillian greeted her.
“Goodday Becky,” Dr. Stan greeted, taking a seat opposite her.
“I have seen you doctor,” Madam Becky returned coldly then turned towards Lillian who was still standing there in anticipations.
“And you little church mouse,” She addressed Lillian “Go into the fridge and get me a bottle of hooch”. Then she turned towards Doctor Stan.
“You must be coming from your house, so I suppose you wouldn’t want anything,” she concluded while collecting the drink from Lillian. “You may go now.” she said to Lillian.
“Stop,” she shouted at Lillian who was about going into the kitchen.
“Yes ma’am,” Lillian answered as she awaited further instructions.
“For bringing your new boyfriend into my domicile, I want you to go into my room, dress it up and sweep it. Do the same to my husband’s room and that of my children. Then sweep the sitting room and don’t forget to go into the kitchen and take care of it. By the time you are through, I would gather the clothes you will have to wash for me. I guess that will serve as enough punishments to you. Now go, I don’t have any other thing to say to you,” Madam Becky said dismissively with a wag of her wrist.
Doctor Stan saw Lillian swallow hard then gave a quick stare at him. He didn’t miss to read the missive in her stare before she walked away which he clearly deciphered as “Why did you bring me back to this hell? You have seen it, haven’t you?”
He pitied the poor girl. He really wished there was something he could do to help her.
“I must be on my way,” he said to Madam Becky as he rose to his feet. He had not only come to bring back Lillian, he also came to collect the payment for Lillian’s treatment, but situation on hand forced him to forfeit the money. How could he when the pitiful stare from Lillian was judging him. Madam Becky didn’t say anything to him as he left. What exactly did he expect from her? With heavy heart occasioned by Lillian’s condition, he walked briskly out of the house, sauntered towards his car and drove out of the hurting compound.