What I Experienced As A House Help In My Brother’s House – A True Life Story you need to read.
In 2007 when I finished my secondary School, I came home to our house and as a new secondary school graduate, I was determined to show that I have arrived. My father’s house is a storey building where we all grew up and used the ground floor because the upper floor was yet to be finished, though roofed.
However, I demanded that my dad allows me to have my own room as I was now a big girl, my dad said except any of the rooms upstairs since no one is there at the moment, Hurray! I was so happy, I went up to scrutinize the rooms, though plastered but dusty and kinda lonely, I loved it, I wanted my privacy or so I thought, I was ecstatic, went there, selected a room, cleaned it and begged my sister to help me drag the spring bed from downstairs to the room upstairs. My siblings were amused at my energy which they observed, should have been channelled into something better.
I never cared about their jests however, I was determined, having being in the boarding school for six good years, I felt I have arrived and should be practicing University life so as to get used to it.
I set up this my new room, packed my bags up there, and I planned to be scarce downstairs so as to earn my ‘big girl’ respect. To me, I was in high heavens and now living the life!
A fortnight after I became my own big girl, my dad called me one morning, he told me to prepare, that I was going to stay with my elder brother in Lagos! “Oh my God! No ooooo” I screamed, “Eh?” My dad answered, he was surprised at my outburst because to him, I should have been leaping up in joy because I was going to become a Lagosian, I didn’t like the idea for obvious reasons:
1. I had been to that my brother’s house before for holiday and the experience with his wife was better not written.
2. I was now a big girl and should not be condemned to such life again.
3. I already had my plans for University.
I summarised my fears to my mom who in turn encouraged me to go, at least I now have a phone, unlike the first time, and can easily communicate with them if my brother’s wife starts her problems.
Very reluctantly, I packed my bags from my precious room and left with an uncle the next day.
Fast forward to Lagos days, my sister in law started off well initially, but that was just welcome party. It got to a point where I did practically everything in the house and she won’t lift a pin, even as a house wife then. She can scream my name even if I went to fetch water to come pick a hair band on the floor in her room where she is. The last time I paid them a visit, one of my cousins who was living with them then saw hell. The lady was pregnant and blamed the little girl for every issue or mistake. A day came when she fell in the bathroom and bled, she almost killed my little cousin, accusing her of witchcraft, she flogs her all the time. So this and more made me forbid coming there again, but who was I to say no to my dad?
My sister in-law would wake me up when her baby cries in the night, she would ask me to feed him, and play with him till he is tired, ,that boy doesn’t sleep, he would usually wake by 1am and some times stay awake till 3am and I would sleep after that, only to wake up by 4am to prepare things for my brother because he lives early too.
When big bros leaves, one would think I would now go back to bed, for where, I would wash, oh yes I washed every blessed day, cook breakfast, go to market when need be, fetch water, oh that was the worst chore for me. There was never water in that house, every drop you see, I drew from a nearby well and brought home. Drinking water, I got from a borehole in the neighborhood. I was always on my feet even in the night.
My sister in-law can nag someone to the express. Nothing was enough in her sight, even if I stood for 24hrs, she would still complain.
There was another one of contention, religion. I was born and bred a Catholic, my brother opted out after wedding, they attended Mountain of Fire, I didn’t have any problem with their choice of church, my only issue was the wife would always sing songs to my ear, why I should join them, they would practically drag me to their church and force me to shake my head like the MFM do, that shit gets me very dizzy and those ushers wouldn’t let me be. My little nephew was so big and weighed like a five year old kid, the mother would always force me to back him and tie that wrapper on my chest, While I preferred carrying him in my hands or shoulder while going out. I had my reasons, backing the boy was telling in my young growing breasts which where still painful and sore. It sagged my breasts even before they matured, I noticed it was his weight, so I was determined to rather bear the pains on my hands and shoulders rather than my chest where I also developed chest pain.
I once asked my brother for money to get sanitary pad and my sister in-law nearly roasted me alive because of that. She insisted I tell her anytime I need something and when I do, she would complain there was no money. My brother was always out early morning and comes back in the night so it was just her, my nephew and I at home.
One day, when I was fetching water in the night, there was no light, I brought in a bucket of water on my head, used my hands to trace the booter in darkness, she was at home, but didn’t put light, probably waiting for me to get home and do it, so I had to trace with my hands, when I got to the container, I never knew the lid was closed, I emptied my bucket on the container and it splashed water everywhere! Oh my God! I was finished, this woman came out and there was nothing she didn’t call me that night. She screamed out her lungs, I hurriedly kept my bucket and started cleaning, she threatened I must fill all water containers that night, I was tired and exhausted, I cried so bad that night, after cleaning, I pretended I was going to get another bucket, I actually did, I got back, left my water can outside the kitchen door and ran off! To no where in particular, I wanted to go from Obadore to Ikotun that night, on foot, to my other sibling’s house, the distance was far. I had a rethink, I was confused, I sat in someone’s shop, if I had money, I would have hopped in the next bus to the east that night. After a while, calls started coming in, I knew my brother was back, it was late and the street became lonely, the news spread, family and friends called and begged me to go home with a promise that if leave soon. I went home, every where was quiet. I guess the husband asked her to hush.
With no good soap to bath, no care, I was looking like shit, the number of pimples on my face would go round a community. I ate spaghetti almost every morning. Even if everyone would eat something else, she would insist I cooked spaghetti for myself. Most times, I cook it, and eat it till the next day, I dreaded spaghetti, I swore after there, I would never taste it again, I hated spaghetti, I brought me sad memories, she would send me to buy her one agege bread, and satchets of milk and Milo, I would beg to taste tea and bread once again but no! Not when spaghetti was still in the house.
Long story short, December reached, I made arrangements to follow my uncle in his car to the village when they told me they didn’t have money to give me for transport fare. It was yet another plot to keep me, the woman became friendly all of a sudden, Promised me admission in LASU, promised me heaven on Earth and made life easy, but no, my mind was made, I won’t miss the opportunity.
Eventually, the day came, I traveled with my uncle, and guess what my mom and siblings at home screamed when they saw me? “Jesus! Who is this”? Not because they were not aware I was coming back, but because I looked like a rejected sacrifice!
I am grateful for peace, and I have forgiven her, yes I know because I can now share the story without tearing up.
Share your own experiences below. Have you lived with someone else apart from your parents before? What were your experiences.