By Marymartin Okoabu:
I met aunt EFua through my aunt, aunt Kate. Aunt Kate had called, telling me she would be coming to Calabar on a contract she had gotten for her catering service and will need my assistance. The lockdown was finally over and since school was yet to resume, I had all the time to help her. She will be staying with aunt EFua her friend since childhood and I too will be aunt Efua’s guest. I went with a little of my belongings to Marian where aunt Efua lived alone in a room and parlour apartment. It was too richly decorated for a single lady. Hues of blue painted the wall, with a little pink adding to the beauty. The house effuse wealth, you could tell from its front decor alone that the owner was a wealthy classy lady. My mouth which was already hanging open was clamped shut in another bout of surprise as aunt EFua came into view. She was too beautiful to be real. She was tall and fair with a nice figure. She was on a bump short and tank top that showed nicely shaped legs and tanned skin. Aunt Kate who had picked me from the bus stop introduced me.
“Efua meet my neice, Benita.”
“Good evening ma,” I greeted.
“Wow! She is such a beauty. Come here.” Aunt Efua opened her arms wide for a hug. Her voice was soft and sultry. Hypnotized, I went into her arms and she smelled so nice, expensively nice. “And don’t add ma when greeting,” she gently prodded me as she released me. “I am not married you know.”
I smiled and nodded. I had added ma because I noticed she was quite mature, even with all the makeup. She should be in her mid-thirties. My aunt herself just clocked thirty-one, but had finally gotten herself a fiancee which was good news. I I wondered as aunt EFua led me to the bedroom how she manged to remain friends with my aunt, she was too highly sophisticated compared to my aunt who was very simple. But you can never understand the bond of friendship.
The room was very spacious, with two very large beds in it. “You can keep your bag here,” Aunt Efua pointed to a closet where she had a large wardrobe filled with clothes. I kept my bag in a space I could create in the wardrobe, squeezing the brown leather bag until it looked like it would not fall out when I leave. I came out to the parlour and aunt Efua turned to me,
“I prepared jellof rice, go to the kitchen and serve yourself.”
I went to the kitchen and saw a pot on the gas burner. I sevred the rice which was still hot in large quantity, as the aroma reminded me how long it was since I ate breakfast. I took a piece of chicken and came out to the parlour. They were already watching zee world and I joined them. I silently ate the food, trying my best to eat slowly, since it was not my thing to eat slowly especially if I was hungry. I try my best to eat slowly when I am in public and I considered aunt Efua’s place public. I was finally done and stood up to go to the kitchen, when aunt Efua said.
“You can take more if you are not satisfied.”
I was tempted to nod my head and go for more even though I was satisfied, but I controlled myself. It was not time to be a glutton. ”I’m okay, thank you,” I said instead.
I went to the kitchen and washed the plate before returning to the parlour. Aunt Efua started asking questions about school and we talked and talked, even late into the night. It was very easy to like aunt Efua, for she was nice. She made me feel like I could tell her anything and I got comfortable with her that same night.
Working with aunt Kate was fun. I helped her prepare the barbeque and cocktail drinks and the small chops she served in a dinner party of thirty people. I also helped decorate the hall that was used. I also assisted in the service and had the opportunity of meeting people with ranks in the society.
Aunt Efua owned a very large boutique in the centre of Marian where she deals with women wears and cosmetics. She leaves around 9:00am and returns by 7:00pm at night, but sometimes she stays at home. I joined her when I’m not working with aunt Kate and it brought us closer as friends. She got me things and introduced me to her friends, who all seemed to like me.
Finally aunt Kate had to return to Benin. Aunt Efua drove us early Monday morning to the park. We waited until aunt Kate boarded the bus and left. She had given me five thousand naira the previous night and asked me to always call her if I needed anything. Aunt Efua placed her hands on my shoulder and we went to her car. She drove us back to her house. She had told me I could stay until school resumed and I wholeheartedly agreed. I followed her to the boutique and assisted her for the day.
We returned at night and I went first to have my bath. I returned to the room with my wrapper tied around me and aunt Efua went in. I was dressed and was already on the bed going through her laptop for the movie I will watch, when aunt Efua came in with only her towel tied around her. She untied it immediately and began cleaning her leg. I quickly averted my eyes, feeling shy immediately. Aunt Efua noticed and laughed.
“Don’t you live in the hostel Benita? What is it you have not seen?””
I did not answer her but kept my eyes glued to the laptop screen. Even though I stayed in the hostel, it was different with aunt Efua. She had never been naked in front of me before. And that was because I stayed in the parlour whenever she or my aunt were having their bath, so I could give them the privacy I felt they needed. She finally finished dressing and went to the parlour to get the Pizza and ice cream she had gotten for our dinner. I sat up when she came and we devoured the food. We then lay together and watched movies till late in the night, the topic of her nakedness completely forgotten.