Location: El Deols, Anthanna.
Date : 17 – 08 – 2015
Time: 07 : 42
Henry heard the knock on his door a second time and it was accompanied by her voice this time. He rolled out of the bed quickly and ran to the door like a kid going to welcome his mother.
He opened the door and saw her smiling with a tray in her hands. He opened the door wide enough to let her come in. He closed it as soon as she got in and followed her. She dropped the tray on a footstool and sat at the edge of the bed.
“Good morning Henry,” she said to him with a smile.
He smiled back, “Good morning.”
He noticed she was well dressed and knew she must be heading out to somewhere. He suddenly felt bad because he might not get to enjoy her company for that day, most times when she went out she always returned late.
It was only fifteen days after he left the hospital and nineteen days in total since he had come out of coma but he was already so used to her company. Whenever she was in the house, she made sure he never felt lonely and spoke to him even when he wanted to keep to himself.
“I see you just woke up,” Sheila said, judging from his appearance. He was still putting on his pajamas and his eyes still looked sleepy.
“Yes, I woke up a few minutes ago but I’ve been lazy to get out of bed.” He replied and sat at the other edge of the bed.
“I’m about to leave the house, so I brought your breakfast,” she said. She took a closer look at his face and noticed that the scar on his face had begun it’s process of fading away after he began to apply some skin therapy that was recommended for him. “How are your wounds now?”
“Better, I don’t feel any pain this morning. It has been like that for three days,” he said and stretched his body in demonstration to her, he also stretched his legs and shook his ankles.
“It’s okay, stop!” she said with a hand gesture to emphasize her word. “You should remember that the bones aren’t strong enough yet and you’re not supposed to stress them yet.”
“I remember,” Henry said and stopped making the body movements. “When are you returning today?”
“Ermm… I’m not so sure but I’m sure I would return late.” She replied. “Everything you need would be taken care of by Lesedi and she would keep you company.”
Henry let out a breath. Lesedi was one of the maids in the house. They were two, the other one was called Esther. Lesedi was a young woman of partial South African descent and Athannaian. Already thirty one years old, she looked busty and had a round face and chubby cheeks, one would think she’s a mother of several children even though she was yet to have any. Henry wasn’t sure that he would enjoy Lesedi’s company like he did Sheila’s, it wasn’t his first time of being left alone in the house but it was Sheila’s first time of promising him of Lesedi’s company. He however decided to take it in good faith, acknowledging that Sheila had her life to live and was only being kind to him, he was not supposed to take it for granted. Sheila left and he was left all alone in the room. He stood to take his bath and wash his mouth before having breakfast. After breakfast, he took his plates back to the kitchen and met Lesedi on his way.
“Good morning sire, you should have called me to come for the plates,” she said as she collected the tray and entered into the kitchen with it. He followed her and stopped halfway. He stared around the kitchen for a while. He could tell it was well kept, even though he wasn’t sure he knew how clean a kitchen was supposed to be, it still looked good to him. Lesedi and her partner was doing a great job, he thought to himself.
“Good morning sire,” someone greeted from behind. He turned back and saw Esther walking in. She was dressed just like Lesedi, in their uniform and a kitchen apron.
“Good… Morning,” he answered slowly. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“No sire, please you don’t have to bother about helping us with anything.” Lesedi replied him quickly, turning back with a smile.
He nodded gently and turned back. He walked out of the kitchen and found himself at the back verandah of the house where he leaned his back against the balcony rails, admiring the beauty of the structure of the house and the environment in which it was built. Random thoughts came flying through his mind.
He was alone for close to an hour before someone joined him there.
“Sire…” he heard Lesedi’s voice and turned back. Here she was , the company sheila promised him.
He saw the look on Lesedi’s face but couldn’t tell what it meant. He watched in silence as she joined him lean against the balcony rails giving a little space between.
“You’ve been in this same position for close to an hour, and you haven’t moved,” she stopped to look at his face, her eyebrows gathering together to form a curious look. “Or did you change position when I wasn’t watching?”
Her questions revealed two things to Henry; the first was that she had been watching him which he believed was probably on the instructions of Sheila. The second was the fact that he had truly been standing in the same position without moving any part of his body until she joined him. He had his bum leaning against the concrete rails, making his waist to down to his feet slightly slant. His arms were folded across his chest and his feet were crossed over each other. That was how he had positioned himself since he got there and he hadn’t moved any other part of his body except for his neck, when he turned to look at Lesedi.
He folded his arms and uncrossed his legs, he stared at Lesedi with a questioning look. “Yes, I’ve been standing like that since I came here. Am I supposed to have changed my posture? Is something wrong with the posture?”
“No no no,” she replied with a smile. “It’s just the way you stood rigidly without shaking. It looked so firm, like somebody who had undergone a military training. A normal person should have moved or changed position”
“Military training?” He chuckled. “Well, I don’t know about that. I just found myself standing like that.”
Lesedi also chuckled. She knew she could be right, with the man’s physical features and the way he had been caught moving and standing on various occasions, he could have been in the military at a time in his life. She knew a little about him and how he had lost his memory, she had heard it from Sheila and Tom while they were arguing about him once in the house. Apart from that, she knew nothing else about the man except that he was Sheila’s guest.
“So Lesedi, tell me about yourself.” Henry broke the silence. Lesedi smiled and looked at his face. She rarely found anyone asking to know more about her.
“Well… I’m Lesedi Zuma born of a man from Pretoria South Africa and a woman from El Deols in this country…” she began and went ahead to talk about how she was left to be on her own from an early age and how she survived up till when she met Sheila. She added some details which he was yet to know about Sheila.
“So Sheila is nice to everyone,” Henry said thoughtfully.
“Yes, she is a really good woman.” Lesedi replied pleasantly.
“And do you know that man that came home with her some days ago?” Henry asked.
The smile on her face vanished immediately and was replaced by a frown. She knew he was referring to Tom. She preferred not to talk about him. Nobody was in Tom’s good books and discussing him with someone else could only make matters worse.
“I’d rather not talk about him,” she said trying to force a smile. Henry knew she was forcing the smile.
“Why?” He probed further.
“Ermm…” her face was contorted with a smile. “Sire, I’m sorry I would have to leave you now. I have to take care of the laundry and I would be back after then.”
“Hmmm,” Henry shrugged, he wondered why she was scared to talk about Tom.
“Are there dirty clothes in your room?” she asked, hoping to get away hurriedly from him and avoid answering questions about Tom. The last time Tom had caught her discussing with her colleague about him, he had asked Sheila to do away with her, not considering the fact that she wasn’t saying anything bad against him. It had turned into a heated argument between him and Sheila and got resolved several days after. Since then she always avoided him like a plague whenever he was in the house
“Well, I have my pajamas and a few clothes. I was hoping to do the laundry myself since I’m not busy with anything.”
“I’ll take care of the clothes.”
“I’ll come along to help you,” he offered.
“No please, I’ll do it alone by myself.” she said. Henry didn’t press further. He noticed she was no longer comfortable discussing with him.
“It’s okay, I hope you come back later.”
She bowed slightly and quickly hurried away. He watched till she was out of sight. He turned around and placed his elbows on the concrete rails, taking a view of the beautiful garden. He had taken strolls around the garden several times since he began to stay in the house.
He took in a breath of fresh air. He realized he was missing Sheila more than he imagined he would. She never got tired of talking with him whenever she was around and always answered his questions pleasantly. But he had learnt from his discussion with Lesedi that even though Sheila had always answered his questions truthfully, she never gave him more details than he asked for. She had told him about her family when he asked but never told him how wealthy and well known her father was in the country. She also never told him she was the CEO of her own company. He smiled to himself as he wondered how she could be so humble despite her father’s wealth and influence.
17 : 38 PM
The day had been a long one for Henry. he managed to make it less boring by engaging himself with some of the books he found in his room and with the apple phone Sheila had gotten for him. Lesedi had come back like she promised but he was already busy then having newly discovered a website where he could read thrilling fiction stories. He was just playing a crime game on the phone when an advertisement popped up showing the banner of a tough looking man and woman both holding guns and looking ready for war. The picture had caught his attention and gave him some strange kind of excitement that he could not explain. He clicked on the banner and was led to the fiction stories NATASHA on pobsonline.com.
He was already busy reading an action story on the blog when he heard the sound of Sheila’s voice. She was already close to his room. Though he was hesitant to leave the story he was reading, he managed to put down his phone and sit up. He heard a soft knock on the door.
“You may come in,” he said.
The door opened gently and she walked in slowly. She managed to put a smile on her face even though she looked tired from work.
“Hey Big man! Don’t tell me you locked yourself in all day,” she said, raising her brows mischievously.
“No, I actually spent more time outside today.”
“Good,” she smiled again. “Okay, I need to take a shower and deal with some other things now. I’ll call for you in thirty minutes.”
“Okay,” he smiled and watched her walk out before returning to his phone. He continued with the action story he was reading. He discovered he was more interested in the fighting and gun scenes. It felt so real to him and he found himself clenching his fists occasionally and positioning his fingers like someone who wanted to use a gun.
Thirty minutes passed by and Sheila wasn’t back. It was so unusual of her, he thought to himself. He waited for an extra ten minutes before he decided to go look for her.
He stopped when he got out of his room, trying to decide whether to go look for her in direction of her room or to the main living room. He finally decided to go look for her at the living room and advanced in the direction.
It was a large house and he had to go through a major hallway and a smaller one before getting to the main living room. He was close to the curtains covering the living room from the hallway when he began to hear some sounds. He couldn’t tell what was happening exactly, but he knew the voice heard was Sheila’s. He moved closer and the voices became clearer, he could also hear the voice of a second person.
Sheila was laughing so happily as if she was being tickled.
“But you know we are in the living room right? Can’t you just…” she was saying before she burst into another round of laughter.
Henry stood at the entrance of the hallway and watched Sheila and Tom continue their romance on the sofa. He felt like turning back immediately but somehow he felt glued to the spot. He watched as Tom covered Sheila’s lips with his.
“Argh!” He shook his head in a sudden movement as the picture of a woman flashed across his mind.
He remained there with his eyes closed, trying to keep the picture which flashed through his mind but he couldn’t keep nor retrieve the image.
He opened his eyes to find Sheila staring at him and disengaging from Tom. He realized the sound he made attracted their attention.
“What? Is he why you’re getting up?” Tom asked in a disgusted tone as he looked back and saw Henry. He was annoyed that Sheila was disengaging herself from him because Henry was seen watching them.
“Oh! I’m sorry Henry, you have to forgive me for not keeping to my promise.”
“No, it’s fine. I’m sorry for interrupting you,” Henry quickly said and turned back immediately, feeling somewhat embarrassed. He walked back to his room.
“What? You want to go with him?” Tom scoffed, his anger clearly written all over his face.
“I’m sorry Honey,” she turned back quickly to Tom. She sat on his laps to prevent him from getting up. “I’m sorry, I had promised him I was going to call for him in thirty minutes time but you came and I totally forgot him.” she explained, looking again in the direction of the hallway.
“And so what?” Tom raised his brows.
She looked at his face again. “You know he’s not supposed to be neglected, I have to help him recover faster.”
Tom sighed. He was getting tired of the attention she was giving the stranger already and he wasn’t willing to understand her actions anymore. Solely because of the stranger’s presence in the house, he had reduced his visit to Sheila’s place and only visited once since he got to the house. Now that he had decided to visit again, he was dividing their attention.
“Give me a minute Tom, I’ll be back.” Sheila said and kissed him on the forehead as she got up from his lap and hurried towards the hallway.
“Sheila!” he called but she only reaffirmed that she was returning soon without looking back. “Are you leaving me for him?”
She stopped at the curtain and turned back briefly. “I only need to apologize, I’ll be back here in a minute.”
Tom stared at her without knowing what response to give until she got out of sight in the hallway.
He was furious! He wasn’t going to have anymore. He picked up his car keys and bounced to his feet, he glanced towards the hallway before he stormed out of the house.