Good evening everybody. ‘ Hester
greeted and continue in her purposeful
The three of them who were seated in
the sitting room anticipating her return,
stood as she came in.
‘Honey how was the date? ‘ Douglas
‘Did you have fun? ‘ Empress inquired.
‘Is he very romantic? ‘ Agatha asked with
She was just going to ignore them, she
owed nobody any explanation. She
continued her strides but at an after
thought, she decided not to ignore them.
They watched her with each step she
took making their expectations slip.
‘Oladimeji Adeniyi.’ She tried not to
spiteful and turn around slowly knowing
the kind of expression she was going to
see on each of their faces. ‘That is now a
household anthem I hear in the morning,
noon and night. ‘ Her voice was calm as
her gaze swept their faces. The faces she
had known and loved all her life, her gaze
lingered on her father. ‘That has to
Stop… I can’t take it anymore.
Unfortunately ,’ Her smile was bitter. ‘I
have to realise it just can’t happen and in
line with, Hester got to do what she has
to do. I did not spent all those years
abroad to come home to play around with
the big names in Nigeria. Dad, Mum, I’m
moving out. I will stay in a guest house
until I get an apartment. When I get one,
I will communicate the address to you.
‘You can’t do that! ‘
‘Why not? Independence breeds
destruction. ‘ She met her mother’s gaze.
‘Is that your fear Mum ? ‘
Empress looked away.
‘That independence didn’t destroy me
and be rest assured this won’t. ‘
Empress couldn’t stand her daughter.
‘What is your problem Hester? When are
you going to learn to enjoy yourself?’ Her
elder sister demanded.
‘Probably you can start teaching by
defining enjoyment .’
‘Spare me that crap.’ She waved her off
with palm having fixed fingernails of
different colours. ‘Bury kiddies stuff and
grow into your privileges. ‘
‘Hmmmmm …’ She resolved not wanting
to say in spite of multitude of things to
say . ‘I. am moving out. ‘ Hester began
Empress and Agatha look at Douglas for
‘You are going no where Hester! From
today henceforth till I say otherwise, I
forbid you to leave your room! ‘ His voice
was stern and portrayed no iota of doubt.
Hester couldn’t believe her ears, she
turned around like she. was in a trance.
As an inbuilt rule, she allowed herself to
absorb any shock before expressing
herself. She glared at him.
‘Kasali! Kabiru! ‘ Douglas wasn’t done yet.
Two heavily built guys in grey suit came
into the sitting room.
‘She doesn’t leave her room from today
henceforth. It is an order, I hope you
understand. ‘ He looked from one to
‘Yes Sir! ‘ They chorused.
‘Why? ‘.Her palms were opened before
‘You are my daughter, I am your father. I
have a right to make decision on your
Hester was stunned yet pained. ‘No …no,
this is ridiculous Dad and you know it! Is
this influenced? ‘ Her eyes didn’t leave
his face as she searched his expression.
‘I don’t want to hear anything from you.’
Douglas told her huskily.
Her mind went blank.
Douglas was about to sit when he change
his mind. ‘Give me your phone. ‘
‘I beg your pardon!’ She was shakened
but her voice had much vibe to pursue its
‘Didn’t you hear me? I said -Let me have
She made no effort like she heard him.
‘Are you deaf? ‘ He approached her visibly
angered. ‘Let me have your phone now!’
Agatha didn’t blink surprise his father
could raise his voice at his Princess and
not wanting to miss any of it.
Empress panicked, she had never seen
her husband like that.
Hester removed her phone from her bag,
switched it off and dropped it on the
nearest sofa and without another word,
head for the stairs.
The bodyguards followed suit.
‘Dearest I was surprised by that show of
yours,’ Empress sat and crossed her legs.
‘I never saw that coming. ‘ She said partly
because of the tense atmosphere.
‘Keep quiet! Just shut up! ‘ He exploded
and left for his bedroom with her phone.
Empress was visibly shakened.
‘Nawa for this kind of girl. ‘ Agatha
scrutinized her nails and then hissed
Hester left the open on purpose and took
several steps into the room.
Their eyes took in the room in
‘Kabiru and Kasali, you’re intruding on my
privacy. ‘ It was cold and calm.
‘Your father asked us to ensure you didn’t
leave the room.’Kabiru replied, he was of
‘Get out of my room now.’ Her voice
remained but her eyes dared them.
He thought of her,she had treated her
better than a mere guard, she never snob
him like her sister. He had given him few
health tips the day she caught him
smoking. When he had her father’s
pronoucement, she knew she didn’t
deserve that unless her life was in
danger. He respected her. He nudged his
partner. ‘Let’s go.’
They left the room and close the door
She dropped her bag on the bed and kick
her shoes. She stood at the middle of the
room akimbo. She heaved but that didn’t
how troubled she felt. There was only
one way to calm herself.
Hester got down on her knees and bury
her face in her palms. ‘Dear Jesus,I don’t
understand all this, but please let peace
be still in this situation. Give me calmness
of spirit …’ Her voice trailed as it became
Having had a cold shower, she was simply
dressed in a blue Caribbean and a white
top pampered with different colours of
balloons, her long hair fell across her
shoulders. Hester stood at the balcony
adjoining her room deciding to view her
The brass knocker sounded for the third
time. The door opened and Empress
came into the room and was surprised to
meet the room empty.
‘Hester? ‘ She called expectantly, ‘Hester?
‘ She repeated and check her library,
toilet and bathroom. ‘Hester? Hester? ‘
She was to leave panickingly When she
sighted her through the slided door.
‘Oh darling! ‘ Empress was relieved as she
head for the balcony.
It evening and view the sky and loved the
breeze that carressed her face.
‘Darling I was looking for you.’ She
entered the balcony.
‘I couldn’t possibly have escaped with the
two able bodied men outside. ‘ Her look
was still at the sky.
‘We care about you Esther, I care about
you.Darling are you listening to me.’
‘Why? I know how much not with the
discovery channel lurking every corner of
the Douglas’ mansion.’
‘You sound upset, you know that you
‘Let me tell you how upset I am,’ She
interrupted calmly, ‘if I don’t get my
phone in a couple of hours, there are no
limitations to what I will do even if this
room is filled with guards. ‘
‘Are you threatening your father? ‘
‘Call it threat Mum, I careless, he is
violating my fundamental human right as
an adult. I need my phone …’ She paused
momentarily, ‘ in the next couple of
Empress couldn’t even read her facial
expression, she had backed her
throughout the conversation. She turned
Hester turned that moment, she sensed
another had entered the room.
‘Hester what is your problem? ‘ Agatha
stood with contempt on her face.
‘Agatha what are you doing in my room? ‘
‘What is that suppose to mean? ‘
Hester sidepass her mother. ‘I told you
not to enter my room without consent.’
‘You are very funny girl, I am a free born
of this house. ‘ She swirled like she was
on a runway. ‘I can enter anywhere I so
‘Oh yeah? ‘ Hester gave a short laugh. ‘I
am a slave in this house, at least Daddy
made that clear yesterday. This is the
only privacy I am entitled to and you …’
She raise an index finger.’will respect it.
You must knock. ‘
‘So knocking is your problem? ‘
‘Yes it is my problem Agatha! Daddy don’t
enter without knocking, Mummy actually
hit the brass knocker thrice before
entering. So who are you not to knock? ‘
Empress went wide eyed at that piece of
‘Be careful Hester, mind the way you
raise your voice at me. I ain’t your
mate,respect me.’ She pointed her
‘Respect is reciprocal. Since I came back, I
have not stepped into your room. You
complain that am this and that, leave me
alone and respect yourself!’ She retorted.
Agatha clapped her hands and laughed
haughtily. ‘Another Mike Tyson in the
house. Are you going to beat me if I
don’t stop? ‘
‘Get out of my room now! ‘
‘What! You are crazy for real.’ Agatha
glared at her.
‘I’m sure your ears don’t need to be
cleaned with warm water or probably
some cosmetics. Get out of my room
‘Darling, take it easy.’ Empress pat her at
the back sensing anger from the sparkle
in her eyes.
Hester shook herself free as she advance
towards her sister ‘Mummy if she don’t
leave my room this moment, she will be
recipient of something she wouldn’t be
able to explain. ‘
‘Come on Aggie, let’s go.’ Empress held
fuming Agatha firmly and force towards
‘Oooho! Mummy leave me alone! Leave
me let me teach her a lesson.’ Agatha
‘Come on Sweetheart, you don’t have to
get furious, she is your baby sis. She
doesn’t mean it.’ Empress soothed.
‘I mean what I said about my phone. ‘
Hester called after them.
Hester grabbed a remote and pressed a
button, one of her favorite song began
playing, she increased the volume until
there was space for nothing else.
‘I don’t want to see anyone. ‘ Hester
looked up from the novel she was
‘Aunty Hester, I am the one.’
‘Come in.’ She returned and a smile
formed across her lips.
The door opened and an elderly woman
‘Mama the Ma! ‘ She hailed excitedly, cast
the novel aside and scrambled out of
bed. ‘I’ve not seen you since yesterday.
She place an arm around her and look at
her lovingly. ‘How are you? ‘
‘I’m Fine my dear.’ Aunty Joy, the
supervisor of the cooks beamed.
‘Hope the cough has subsided, Hope the
‘It worked like magic my child. The
chokiness vanished before I realised it .’
Aunty Joy snapped her fingers
‘Good. Don’t Stop taking them until you
have finished them.’
‘You know me now.’ She chuckled. ‘What
will I do without you. Thank you.’
‘Thank God. ‘ Hester grinned
‘Your father asked me to give you this.’
She handed over the phone.
She took Hester free palm in hers. ‘I
heard what happened from the cleaners.
Are you …?’
‘Mama the Ma, I’m Fine.’ She laughed.
Though Aunty Joy was still worried, she
decided not to pressure her. ‘It is well.
Dinner is set.’
‘I am not interested in dinner. ‘
‘Your father sent for you .’
‘My answer remains. ‘ Her countenance
did not change.
‘When you were much younger and you
didn’t like what was served for dinner,… ‘
‘I usually looked for you and whisper in
your ears- Aunty J, can you please make
this for me or that, when others have
retired to their closet, I go into the
kitchen and take my food in the place I
tagged- my favorite spot in the kitchen. ‘
Her eyes shone. ‘I remember like
‘I will package your dinner and bring it to
your room instead, just in case you need
it in the night. ‘ She touch her face.
‘No Ma, I wouldn’t. Don’t worry about
Starvation wouldn’t help matters, it will
only affect your health.’
‘Food and happiness work side by side.’
Hester pat her back.
‘See you tomorrow dear.’
Hester pecked her.’Sleep well. Don’t
forget your medications. ‘
‘No love, I won’t. ‘ She left the room.
Hester dived back to bed.
Aunty J was the oldest and of the
employees in the household, she was also
one of the longest serving. She had loved
Hester interest in cooking, and had
thought her everything she needed to
know and even how to knit. They had to
so close that things we wouldn’t even tell
her mother, she confided in her. Aunty J
also seeked her opinion in other matters
especially health wise. Hester while she
was away used to send her clothings,
medications and other things. Theirs was
more like a mother -child relationship.
Empress hit the brass knocker, Douglas
knocked on the door.
‘Sir, I think she is asleep, she locked her
door forty five minutes ago. ‘ Kabiru told
Douglas knocked once more. ‘Hester, I
want to talk to you! ‘
‘Probably she is asleep dearest. This is
about her sleep time.’ Empress said
agreeing with the guard.
‘No lunch, no dinner, no …no … she needs
to eat.’ He was exasperated. He hit the
Empress glance at her wrist watch. When
is past eight, she hardly take anything
He gave her stern look. ‘You seem to be
remembering the right things at the
She took his arm and smiled. ‘Baby, let’s
go to bed. Kabiru, Kasali, don’t forget
‘Yes Ma.’ They chorused.
She led her husband away.