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Cross communication!

By Treena Kwenta
Hi readers! At any given time, trust nanny to be on Seb’s side. After the bombshell from Michel that Seb wanted me to put up Peace, the lady ‘on trial’ from Jos, I confided in nanny and asked her her opinion. As for me, the request filled me with horror. Was it because Seb bought the duplex for our children and me that he feels entitled to use it to house his guests?

“Ah, madam, please don’t see it like that,” protested nanny. “Oga must have a very good reason for asking us to allow the woman to stay here while in Lagos.”

“Sorry, nanny, I don’t share that view. I’ve thought the whole thing through and it just doesn’t make sense that he should involve me in any way about housing his lover.”

“Are they lovers yet, madam? I thought they have only just met.”

“How naive you are, nanny! So, you really believe that Milwan’s father would invite the woman he had chosen out of the three he saw, down to Lagos without trying her out first.”

“It’s possible, ma.”

“It isn’t, nanny. Let’s not see innocence in Papa Milwan’s invitation for the lady to come to Lagos.”

That kept her quiet for a moment, then she said I could be right, and that Seb wouldn’t ask the woman to come if he hadn’t had some pleasure with her which he felt could be developed.

“Exactly, nanny. The question is; should my place be the venue for a continuation of that pleasure? Certainly not!”

“But madam, where would he send a woman who’s in Lagos for the first time? He can’t ask her to stay at his place because his fiancee is there, and you’re the closest person to him in Lagos that he can ask such a favour.”

“You seem to be building up a case for yourself, nanny, but have you ever heard of a place called ‘hotel’?”

“Ah, ma, decent women don’t stay in hotels!”

“What do you mean? I’ve stayed in hotels many times, here in the country and abroad. I don’t have a relation to stay with everywhere I go on holiday or for a conference. It’s very old fashioned to think that no decent woman would stay in a hotel. Hotels are no longer mainly for indecent things, nanny. Yes, you can’t control what people who lodge in hotels do with themselves, but not everyone who stays there should be seen as doing indecent things. Papa Milwan can lodge this his female guest in a hotel, and he can go meet her there.”

“Won’t people conclude that they’re meeting there for er, er, something indecent, ma? I think oga is too big for that. He knows many important people.”

“Well, I’m not going to worry about that, or what he may or may not do with a woman there. He was using hotels and guest houses all over the place when we were still married. You know that.”

“Yes, madam. That’s why I don’t think he should lodge this woman there and have to go there again.”

“Has he stopped using hotels as meeting places for his women, nanny?”

“Er, er, well, I don’t know, madam. Can’t we just help him out this once, since he’s never asked us to house anyone, male or female, before? Or, is it the reaction of his madam that we’re uncomfortable with?”

Nanny knows me well. She knows that I hate to be thought of as a coward. But I didn’t take the bait this time and so I didn’t defend my stand in not wanting Peace as my guest. I simply turned the page of the discussion.

“Thanks for your view, nanny. I really appreciate them. Let’s go to sleep now and wait for Papa Milwan to contact us. Luckily, we’re still on ‘shut down’ in my place of work, so, I don’t have to get up early.”

“But madam, what if he doesn’t contact us before Michel brings the woman from the airport tomorrow afternoon? Isn’t it best to let oga know how you feel about his request now, so that he can make alternative arrangements?”

“That’s a sensible advice, nanny. Thanks. But let’s keep calm. If as Michel said, Belinda is keeping all Papa Milwan’s phones, it means I can’t hold such a discussion with him even if she takes the phone to him when I call. He knows that I’m expecting his call since I rang off before he could take the call I made to him today. If Michel brings Peace here before Papa Milwan contacts me, I’ll simply ask for the woman to be taken elsewhere. I don’t have to allow her into my premises. I pray it doesn’t get to that, but I don’t want to disturb my sleep worrying about all that. Good night, nanny. Please go and lock up.”

I took a nightcap of hot chocolate drink and retired with a nice old fashioned Barbara Cartland’s romance novel. I struggled to keep awake for Seb’s call, and I even placed all my phones by my pillow so that I wouldn’t miss his calls, but none came through by midnight, so, I allowed myself to slip into sleep. I slept like a log and woke up refreshed.  I could hear nanny moving about downstairs, and soon she appeared with a tray of sandwich toast and coffee. Bliss. I allowed myself to be fussed over, as she brought over my housecoat and helped me into a chair.

Nanny may be illiterate, but she has the French culture in hospitality, and she knows precisely what to do to make the boss comfortable. Michel had tutored her well. Thank God.

As I savoured my breakfast, I noticed nanny hovering around me. This was unusual as she normally disappears after setting down my tray, and would come up later to take down the tray and do the room. This special treatment is limited to the holiday period as I normally take my meals in the dining room.

“Nanny, thanks for the meal. You have something on your mind?”

“Er, it’s oga. Er, have you heard from him? Is he coming here today? If he is, I’ll have to go down to the market to pick some items for amala and ewedu. I’m sure he’ll like some. Is he coming?”

“Oh! Frankly, nanny, I’ve forgotten all about Papa Milwan and his request. Here, let me check my phones to see if there’s a missed call from him.”

Nanny brought over the phones, hope written all over her face. When I told her that there was no missed call on any of them, she looked baffled.

“Madam, should I ring Michel to find out if…”

“Find out what, nanny?”

“When he’s supposed to bring the woman from Jos here.”

“Nanny!” I called sternly. “Enough is enough! Let’s not tie ourselves into a knot over Peace, Michel, Papa Milwan, etc. This week is the last week of the year. Let’s spend it thinking of ourselves and loved ones. Papa Milwan knows what to do. I’m not going to fret about that. After lunch, I’ll go down to Festac to see auntie Becky so that I can use her swimming pool. All I’ll say is that you shouldn’t allow any stranger into my house in my absence.”

“Alright, ma,” answered nanny in a low and dejected voice.

I chilled out at Becky’s for several hours, without any word from Seb or Michel, or even nanny. On my part, I resisted the urge to ring her to find out if Michel had come with the lady. ‘No news is good news’ I told myself, as Becky and her husband told me stories of deliverance that occurred in their end of year crusade in Ibadan. Healings galore, they claimed. I was impressed. I was on Festac bridge on my way home when Seb’s call came through.

“Treena, where have you been and what have you done with your phones?” he asked heatedly. “I’ve been trying to get through to you all night and all day.  I just couldn’t get through.”

“Ask the service providers,” I told him calmly. “My lines were open. So, how are you?  Michel said you wanted to talk to me about something.”

“Yes. Belinda seized my phones as she normally does at this time of the year, to prevent what she calls ‘illegal calls’ getting through to me. You women have funny ideas sometimes. Hm! So, I asked Michel to ring to seek your permission for a guest of mine to stay in your chalet.”

“You mean my chalet in your place in Ikeja?”

“Yes. You may not be living there, but I can’t put a guest there without your permission. Coco is still in the other chalet, so, yours is the only one suitable as I couldn’t ask the lady to stay in the main house.”

“What lady is this, may I ask?”

“You’ve met her. It’s Peace. I thought I should humour the family further by allowing her to come to Lagos on a visit. Michel went to collect her from the airport. You don’t mind if she stays in your chalet, do you?”

“No, I don’t, but just this once. My things are there and I wouldn’t like anyone messing around with them.”

“Michel said so. He’s locked up all your things, and left only one room open for Peace to use. I’ll bring her round to your place tomorrow since you’re still on leave.”

“You’re welcome, Seb.  Er, what about Belinda? Is she comfortable with this visit?”

“Papa and mama rang her up to tell her. She stormed out of the house. I’m sorry, but how does one oppose one’s parents?  She’ll come round. Meanwhile, I have a guest on my hands. I have to ensure that her five days here are pleasant.”

You see Seb?

Tara.


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