MADAM VS. HOUSEBOY (SHORT STORY)
Hello! Here’s a piece of flash fiction about domestic life. I hope you enjoy the story and share your impressions at the end.
MADAM VS. HOUSEBOY
Kamsi was amused by the exchange between his wife and their houseboy, Ebuka. It seemed that as young as he was (16 or thereabouts), Ebuka was finding it hard taking orders from a woman. The result: he was constantly redefining what needed to be done and how to the chagrin of his mistress, Ncheta.
The latest argument was over his substitution of cleaning the toilet for bathing the kids for bed.
“How many baths do these children need in a day?” he had queried when Ncheta confronted him. “Are we to wash them like clothes? Besides, they are old enough to bathe themselves.”
Kamsi was tempted to laugh at the quip about washing the kids like clothes. He also wanted to agree with Ebuka audibly. He had repeatedly told his wife that at six and four their boys, Chuma and Olisa, needed to do certain things for themselves but she said they were still too young.
[bctt tweet=”Children should be taught respect for authority from a young age.” username=”edithohaja1″]
“What is wrong with you?” Ncheta asked Ebuka in frustration. “Shouldn’t you be following my instructions rather than lecturing me?” She looked to Kamsi for support but he feigned concentration on the paper he was reading.
“There is only one toilet in this flat and it needs to be washed constantly. Would you prefer to see the toilet dirty while I bathe the boys three times a day?”
[bctt tweet=”Watch out for fireworks when authority meets assertiveness. #quote” username=”edithohaja1″]
Ncheta had no answer to that but she felt that something needed to happen fast. The balance of power in the house was tipping steadily in favour of Ebuka and that was far from acceptable.
(Related: Brenda’s Ultimatum)
When Ebuka went to the backyard to fetch water from the tank, Kamsi looked up at Ncheta who had sat on a nearby chair in the living room where the spat had taken place.
“Having trouble controlling your houseboy?” When Ncheta did not respond, he added, “Could it have anything to do with his gender?”
[bctt tweet=”Kids should be taught by precept and practice that females are not inferior to males.” username=”edithohaja1″]
“What are you saying?”
“I am saying that if you had hired a girl, she would probably have given you less of a hard time.”
“Me? Hire a girl?” Ncheta asked menacingly. “God forbid!” she added, circling her right hand above her head and snapping her fingers.
Kamsi was taken aback. “I don’t even want to imagine why you would say that. But I’m advising you – if you want to save yourself the headaches, stop trying to control this boy. He’s actually a man and he knows it. Give him some latitude to take decisions and stop insisting everything must be exactly as you say. Otherwise, I can assure you that you’ll have more trying days ahead.”
[bctt tweet=”Don’t demand your subordinates act like robots. Give them room to show some initiative.” username=”edithohaja1″]
“Is that your contribution? Are you not the man of the house? Shouldn’t you be calling him to order or is this some kind of male solidarity to put down a female?”
“Don’t go forming any conspiracy theories on this. What I have given you is common sense advice. Take it or leave it.”
[bctt tweet=”Domestic issues should not be seen as solely the responsibility of females.” username=”edithohaja1″]
© Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2017
Would love to hear from you:
What would you have done differently if you were any of the characters? (You can take all three, one after the other, if you wish.)
You are blessed!
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