Staying Safe: The Afters

Staying Safe: The Afters

Ebube strolled into the kitchen and the sight that met her eyes was nothing short of a disaster. The place had been scrubbed to glistening perfection, all the plates had been washed and put away, and the kitchen had finally looked like a place worthy of producing food fit for consumption, when she’d left in the morning. It was back-breaking, finger-cracking work, but she’d done it happily, and it was well worth it.

But now…now. The kitchen was a premium mess. No, that was an understatement. It looked like a tornado had taken a quick nap in the area before she returned. Her eyes stung and her body ached at its effort being wasted. She converted the liquid behind her eyes to fuel for her temper. She’d had enough! It was as though she was being punished for being at home. And she had both the COVID-19 pandemic and eternal ASUU strike to thank for her predicament. The endless errands she’d had to run, the silly ‘jobs’ that needed doing that invariably fell on her, even now, she was only just returning from the market under the scorching sun, on foot.

She turned on her heels and retraced her steps to the sitting room as she fumed with anger. She shouted for the entire house to hear, “Abeg, who enter this kitchen? Who enter kitchen scatter everywhere like this? Who con cook eba wey no sabi say hin suppose pour water inside the pot wey hin use?” Her voice cracked with tears that she quickly swallowed. “Wetin I do all of una sef? Which kind life be this now? How I go take comot house, come see kitchen wey I wash – ”

Why you con dey shout like market woman nau? No be ordinary pot?”

The switch on her anger blew. How dare he? Of course the culprit would notice that she was shouting, but not that he did wrong. And ‘ordinary pot?’

She marched to the source of the insult. “Ordinary pot abi wetin you talk? If you no want make God punish you for where you dey so, make you carry yourself go that kitchen now now, make you reset am to how the place take be before. If not, this house no go contain me and you today.” She banged her brother’s door shut.

She marched to her room and plunked on the bed, head in her hands. She was miserable. Months of limited contact with her friends and the outside world was sufficient to make her irritable. Added to that was being the glorified servant girl in her own father’s house, because she’d not been enterprising enough to learn a skill that would keep her busy and render her unavailable for silly, ridiculous errands.

Collapsing on her bed, she prepared to sleep. She’d made up her mind. Nobody was going to be fed today, until her kitchen was set to rights. And if she knew her family well, it was going to be a long nap.

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