Derrick unseated me from his laps and went to grab the keys to open the gate. He came back with Meena, his sister trailing behind. She had a bright pink bag on her shoulders. The moment she saw me, she laughed.
“So you, after all I told you about my mum, you’re here acting like a baby?”
Derrick sat by me and asked his sister, “What are you talking about?”
Meena dropped her bag on the floor, slumped into the sofa as she removed her shoes.
“Come on, you know how mum can be sometimes. She called me yesterday in the afternoon, going on and on about how she was enjoying her stay here with dad away.”
“So what brings you here?” Derrick questioned.
“Oh, hmm, is it not one of my annoying clients? They contacted me about a project and here I am. It’s too late to go back to my end so I decided to drop off here for the night”
I didn’t think Meena would be like her mum. Meena was the funny and lively one. Well that night my husband had to leave us to go to bed. Meena kept me up all night with her stories.
When I began yawning successively, she told me to get some rest and that she was also going to do the same. The next morning, I woke up late. Derrick was off to work and had left us some breakfast. As I pulled the chair to sit down, Meena walked in and leaned on one of the chairs.
“Good morning Mrs Derrick” she teased. “Did you sleep well?”
“I did” I smiled at her as I ate. She pulled a chair back, took a sausage and took a bite.
“So what’s for lunch?”
“I don’t know”
I began to think. Didn’t this young woman say she’d be leaving today? See, it’s not that I didn’t want my husband’s family around. I had a load of work to do that day. I mean, my part time job. I had some documents to transcribe and I didn’t want her feeling alone or not seen to.
“Why don’t we make some yam and peppery egg stew?”
I told her I’d think about it. She took two more of the sausages on the plate, stood up and left.
When afternoon came, I was so engrossed in my work I had forgotten that Meena was still around. I was sitting in the corner of the hall, where I had set up as my office, busily listening and typing away.
Meena came to stand by me and tapped on the table. I looked up from my work at her.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“It’s almost 2:00pm, I’m hungrrrrry”
“Oh” I replied deflated. I put my work on hold and asked her what she wanted. She reminded me about the yam and peppery egg stew. I said ok.
Immediately I said okay, she told me she was coming. She didn’t appear anywhere around the kitchen until I was done. She gingerly walked to the kitchen, inhaled the aroma and started singing my praises.
She asked that we eat together but I wanted to finish my work so I told her later. Around 4:30pm, my stomach was rumbling and so I decided to go for the rest of the food. I got annoyed and sad when I got to the kitchen. I don’t know how Meena dished the stew or ate. Parts of the stove top was covered in stew, she had left the dirty dishes in the sink. When I opened the saucepan with the yams, all of it was gone!
“Herh! Meena!” I marched angrily to the guest room where she was sleeping peacefully.
I went back to the kitchen, stood there for a while and thought. I decided to wait for Derrick, when he returned, we could have the same thing for diner. In the meantime I took a can of chilled malt from the fridge, opened it and took a big gulp.
That week was a stressful one. Tuesday came and Meena was still around. Wednesday, no hope of her leaving. Thursday she went to meet her client and came back late. Friday same, Saturday same. Each day also came with an annoying and infuriating act of hers. Tuesday, she ate and didn’t clean up after herself.
Wednesday the same thing happened, then she made calls and was loud on the phone. I needed the peace and quiet to work and reminded her on several occasions but well, Princess Meena couldn’t be bothered. Thursday she repeated the previous day’s acts as well as finding me doing laundry and dropping her laundry on me with a sad pleading smile.
Friday, she repeated all the actions of the previous day, she saw me cleaning and went to sit outside. Then she commented that my egg stew had been too peppery, that next time I should reduce the amount of pepper used.
Saturday she made noise with her calls, watched TV and left it on while she went into her room for hours to do something leaving wrappers of biscuits and an empty drink bottle by the sofa where she sat. We had fufu on Saturday and I had to do everything myself because Derrick wasn’t around again. Princess Meena was on call the whole time.
On Sunday just before church, she asked Derrick to drop her off because she needed to deliver something to someone. I was annoyed with her and tried not to show it so I said a clipped goodbye to her. When my husband retuned in about 15 minutes I was curled up in the sofa asleep. Since he didn’t want to wake up me, we didn’t make it for church. By this time I was drained but the real “drainage” was about to start.