Esther, the mousey 21 year old maid of the Amadis walked into the well-furnished living room with a stranger in tow. It was exceptionally hot in Port Harcourt that afternoon and the visitor had sweat patches on the armpits of his navy blue shirt. Grandma had heard the doorbell ring and rightly assumed the maid would get it. But didn’t Esther know better than to let someone into a home without first confirming with its occupants? She stopped rocking the bouncer 8 month old Chinenye was napping in. The little darling didn’t even stir. Grandma adjusted her glasses and squinted up at the stranger.
“Yes good afternoon?”
“Good day ma” he bowed slightly, “My name is Thomas Kobani. I just asked to see Mrs. Amadi, she is expecting me. I’m from the hometutor agency.”
“Oh my daughter has gone to work, besides we have no children old enough to start school, much less require a tutor”
“Perhaps she called on behalf of someone else, but she didn’t specify, all she said was for me to come and see her this morning. You know what? Let me call her”
The young man pulled out his Tecno mobile then began to look downcast as he kept trying Mrs. Amadis number to no avail. Grandma offered him a seat and ordered Esther to get him a glass of cold water. She empathized with him on the unreliability of network providers as he tried fruitlessly to make the call,
“I can’t reach her; I will come back. Thank you very much ma” He dropped the now empty glass on the side table and got up to leave. Straightening out the invisible wrinkles on his pants, he asked to use the toilet. It was outside the living room, opposite the kitchen, just under the stairs leading to the bedrooms. Grandma called out to Esther who had retired noiselessly to the kitchen to show him the way. A few minutes later she heard the front door being locked. She lay down on the black leather sofa, closed her eyes and joined her granddaughter in snooze town. She was 72 years old and almost always tired.
After dinner that evening, she remembered the visitor and said to her daughter who was changing the baby’s diaper
“The lesson teacher came today, he tried to call you.” Mrs. Amadi looked up in surprise “teacher for whom? I didn’t ask for any”
“That’s what I thought, but he insisted. His name is Thomas Kobani; he said he would be back”
Mrs. Amadi was perplexed. She called for her maid and asked about the visitor. But Esther’s story was in line with that of Grandma and she still couldn’t make head or tail of it. She didn’t even know anyone named Thomas or Kobani. It was rather peculiar. She would wait till he came back. Although she felt sure it was some sort of mix up, she went to bed still thinking about it.
The next morning, Wedding Saturday. Mrs. Amadi decided to wear her silver teardrop earrings with the teal and coral asoebi for her niece’s wedding. She opened the first drawer, no earrings. Opened the next one… then the third. That’s when she realized all her jewellery was gone.
“No no no” she muttered to herself, refusing to take it in as she emptied drawer after drawer on her bed, opening boxes and flinging clothes out of the closet anxiously. There was no point; the secret corners where she hid her money and valuables in had been cleared out.
She couldn’t believe it, all her jewellery; real gold, panda, real stones, fake ones, money, everything. Gone. She remembered the “tutor” and moaned, she was going to be sick, they had been blindsided. She almost called out to her mum then thought better of it. The guilt would literally kill her.
Mrs. Amadi went down to the guest room where Esther slept and knocked on the door. She knocked and knocked. There was no response. She turned the knob and pushed the door open, Kemi was gone. No trace of her. All her bags, her personal effects, gone! Poof! Like she had never been there.
There was nothing the Amadis or the police could do; Esther and her accomplice had gotten away with their flawless crime. They were almost halfway across the border heading into Cameroon and there was nothing to stop them.
But karma would eventually catch up with them a few months down the line.
I know this because I’m Esther and I’m awaiting trial for burglary, 419 and kidnapping.
Have you ever been the victim of theft from househelps or tutors from your children, why not share your own experience and let us hear it in the comments section.
Ms Ssygala, is the mother of two rambunctious kids and blogging is her last line to sanity
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