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By SHEILA SANDA

After a delicious meal of pounded yam and egusi soup, Chief Okeke belched heavily, leaning back on the couch. He felt a sudden movement in his stomach and sat up , projecting his buttocks outwards and farting loudly. It was a smelly one and Adanma, his 13-year-old house-help hailed him. It was a standing rule in the house to hail chief whenever he polluted.

“Come and scratch my back,” Chief Okeke told Adanma who quickly took the plates with which Chief ate his dinner into the kitchen sink. She understood Chief’s coded language. She knew what Chief meant whenever he asked her to scratch his back. She knew it would go beyond scratching Chief’s back and rubbing his stomach, to his touching her sensitive young body, breasts, protruding buttocks and then dipping his fingers into her womanhood. Chief always did that and even though she didn’t like it, she was always too afraid to complain. Only that recently, she found herself beginning to enjoy the action and even look forward to it. That had been her lot since she was brought into the big mansion eight months ago by aunty Ifeoma to be the house-help. Adanma was made to realise that Chief paid her mother N15,000 every month for the services she rendered as a house-help. But in addition, Chief had also given her tokens and the last time she checked her purse, she had up to N3,600 as her savings. Chief always gave her tokens of N200 to N300 after touching her breasts and dipping his fingers into her vagina. For about two months, he had been going as far as penetrating her vagina with his manhood and Adanma always screamed whenever he forced himself into her.

Afterwards, Chief would give her N500 instead of N200 and would promise to do many things for her if she continued to cooperate. Just last Christmas, he gave her mother N20,000 when she visited her and Chief also took her mother inside the room and spent long hours with her to discuss her problems. Adanma felt her mother looked quite funny after staying with Chief and she couldn’t attribute it to anything. Only, her mother couldn’t look her very straight in the eyes.

That was before Chief started going deeper with her. The other night after it rained heavily, Chief had invited her into his bedroom and slept with her. Adanma had this feeling that Chief was doing the wrong thing and Madam would be very angry if she found out what Chief was doing. But she needn’t worry about that.

Madam was rarely at home. Adanma could count the number of times madam had slept in that house. Madam was a big business woman who spent most of her time travelling to Dubai for business or to UK to see their children. Chief and Madam had three children all of whom were schooling in the United Kingdom.

Two days ago, Adanma overheard them saying on phone that Chief’s first son would soon graduate from the Medical school and both Chief and Madam would be required to be present at his graduation in the United Kingdom. From what Adanma overheard, that journey wold take place within the next one week.

Madam was suggesting to Chief on phone from Dubai where she had gone for business that Chief’s younger sister, Aunty Uju should come to stay in the house during Chief’s absence. Adanma did not like that. She did not like Aunty Uju because of the way Chief’s sister always looked at her as if she knew what was going on between her and Chief; as if she knew Chief had been having carnal knowledge of her.

But what she didn’t know was that Aunty Uju would come much earlier. That day, Chief had told Adanma that he was going to process his travel visa at the British Embassy and would be home in the evening. The gateman had secured the locks and immediately came after Adanma, chasing her around the house.

“Wetin dey do you sef? Wetin I do you?”, Adanma has asked.

“I wan touch you. I get am for money kwo. Chei, I dey see as schief dey touch your tangerine each time you dey give am food,” Adamu replied.

“So, you wan begin dey enjoy wetin Chief dey enjoy?”, Adanma asked him, “So you and Chief dey for the same category abi?”, asked Adanma in a manner that suggested that sleeping with Chief was an achievement. Adamu wanted to say something and then realised there was somebody at the gate staring at them. It was Aunty Uju. She came earlier than expected. Adanma hissed and began to walk away as Adamu went to open the gates. Aunty Uju walked in, eyed Adamu and followed Adanma inside.

“I have seen how you spend your time whenever alone with Adamu, very soon, the result will emerge, what was done in secret would come out in the open,” she told Adanma who wanted to say something in response but vomit came up into her mouth from the depth of her stomach. She rushed to the sink and vomited.

“Didn’t I say so?” Aunty Uju lamented throwing her hands up. “Chief must hear this O. So, you have allowed the Mai-guard to impregnate you Adanma? Aunty Uju began to make frantic phone calls, sizing Adanma up and down with her eyes as she did. But Adanma wasn’t worried because she knew she was not pregnant. She just had fever and it would go down. It wasn’t the first time it was happening to her.

It had been happening for about two weeks but she always felt better afterwards. The only problem Adanma had was staying alone with Chief’s sister. Aunty Uju irritated her and now, she had started to touch the tables, the doors, the chairs and surveying the whole house, looking for imaginary dirt. Nothing she ever did impressed Aunty Uju who would sit in the living room, ordering her around.

Chief was shocked to see his younger sister when he returned. Uju was a spoiler and her presence meant he would not be able to touch Adanma for sometime. Uju had always had an eagle’s eyes and would smell trouble miles away.

“Welcome Chief,” Uju greeted her elder brother, going on her knees. Chief patted her shoulder and pulled her up. Despite her short-comings, Uju remained his favourite sibling and their mother on her death bed made him swear to take a very good care of her last child. Chief had lived up to the oath he made to his mother.

He had practically spoilt his youngest sister and despite being married and having her own husband, she had looked up to Chief, rather than her husband for everything. Chief had built a beautiful bungalow in her name and was the one taking care of her three children.

As a child, Uju was called radio without battery because she would see everything about everybody and talk.

“Adanma is pregnant,” Uju announced to Chief.

“Preg…. what?”, Chief froze, looking from his sister to Adanma. “How can a little girl like her be pregnant? Who did this?” he asked carefully. Adanma was shocked. She couldn’t speak as Chief landed several hot slaps on her tender cheeks.

That evening, Aunty Ifeoma who brought her to Chief’s house came visiting and thoroughly harassed Adanma. Chief Okeke asked her to take along the little brat she brought to his house as a house-help back to her mother when going . He also had the time to warn Adanma never to mention his name in her predicament or she would be sorry. Chief also gave her N2,000 and gave Aunty Ifeoma N15,000 to pay Adanma’s mother.

But Aunty Ifeoma didn’t take Adanma back to her mother. She took her to the house of another woman. Adanma passed the night with the woman called Omumu and the next day, she was taken to a remote village in the outskirts of the city where she stayed until she had her baby.

There were more than twenty other pregnant young girls in the home and as each of them put to bed, Omumu had women who took away the babies and paid her money and everyday, more pregnant young girls came to join while those who put to bed earlier became pregnant again.

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