LILY

She tossed and turned on the bed, she needed no alarm to realize it was 4.30 am in the morning. She was used to waking up at that time for months, but this particular morning her body seemed to want more sleep. Lily closed her eyes again and tried to sleep but the warning alarm in her head wouldn’t let her be. She hissed as she rose from the bed careful not to wake him. His deep snoring proved that she succeeded. How she had gotten used to that deep snore kept amazing her. She who would have woken up at the slightest sound, marriage had taken so much from her.

As she made her way into the kitchen she made her way straight to the sink and began to wash the dishes, she hit herself angrily trying to deal with the stubborn mosquito that perched on her skin. The mosquito had been singing in her ears what seemed like ”your blood is sweet, your blood is sweet ”. Angry that she had hit herself and the culprit had still escaped she hissed and washed on. Her eyes caught a glimpse of her shadow by the side and it seemed to make a mockery of her, she had to touch herself again to be certain it was her shadow she was seeing and not something else.

How time had changed her, her looks had changed as well. She rushed the slicing of the yams as she glanced at the time, John’s food had to be packed before 6 am when he would leave for work. He also had to have tea and noodles before stepping out of the house as was his usual custom, sometimes he rejected tea and requested custard. They had been married for 13 months but it seemed to Lily it had been for years, he was hardly ever satisfied.

‘Honey you are up, good morning hope you slept well”… she said after catching a glimpse of his tall frame at the door. John was tall and muscular, she was slim and tall too but John was taller than she was. It had attracted her to him at first sight, she liked the way he towered above her. They both looked good together, he was her tall dark and handsome and she had been more than delighted that he had equally found her attractive.

‘good morning, is it yam porridge?” he replied coldly

‘ yes it is’ she responded hoping he hadn’t changed his mind. He walked away to the bathroom and she breathed a sigh of relief.

5.45 am, his meal was packed, noodles ate and he left. As she watched him leave , his bag on one arm she wished he had a car, she watched as he went out of sight. she felt relieved and basked in the excitement of all she could achieve before he returned. She quickly rushed to the kitchen to clean up and tidy the house before running into the bathroom to have her bath. As she hurriedly took her bath she thought of what to wear, she needed to look her best so that she would appear capable enough for the job. She settled on a short skirt ,black camisole and blazer. She looked at herself in the mirror , who could tell she was an engineer… an engineer with a difference, satisfied at the tall, slim and beautiful image she saw, she immediately picked up her file containing all her documents and she dashed out of the house.

She had been in her second year in the university when she made the switch to mechanical engineering department. Having been denied admission to study engineering for three years she had agreed to take the physics option she had been given.

Surprisingly after her first year she got above the cut off mark required to make the switch to engineering and she had been released by the physics department to make the switch. She had been overjoyed.

Engineering school was where she met John. However John couldn’t cope in engineering school, he had to cross to Arts. He later opened up to her that he was attracted to her but was often jealous at the attention she got and how brilliant she was. Their love story blossomed as she had secretly admired his looks.

She had overlooked all of his constant shortcomings and misdemeanor and had agreed to marry him. Now 13 months after, she was beginning to feel she took the wrong decision.

Apart from making her resign from her lucrative job, he made her lose opportunities to work in big construction firms , he also banned her from working, claiming he was going to set her up in business as soon as he had the money. He didn’t want any man ogling his wife.

But Lily had often thought it was sad that she, who finished amongst the top 3 in mechanical engineering class would agree to become a limited stay at home wife. Even if he she wouldn’t be allowed to practice Engineering, she still wanted to work.

She checked to see if none of the neighbours saw her leave, she checked her time it was 7.25 am. She had enough time to go and return before even school students finished from the school. John had gossips who usually inform him if she goes out, she was treated more like a mini prisoner in her home. She snorted aloud at the thought.

As she walked the path leading to the road, she walked briskly, almost running, trying to move away from the neighbourhood as fast as possible before anyone who could tell John, sees her. Her phone began to ring, she was tempted to ignore it and get a cab first but as the call persisted she knew it had to be important so she stepped away from the road and brought out her phone. Seeing it was Blessing, her friend she quickly answered.

*Hello, I just left the house I”m rushing down to the venue… pray for me and wish me luck”*. Blessing knew about the job opening.

She ended the call and hurriedly crossed the road to get a cab, ignoring the catcalls she got as she had gotten used to it the few times she goes out. She was still attractive and couldn’t stop wading off admirers.

As she got to crescent Avenue she began to ask for directions to George and sons. She never imagined locating the venue would be such an herculean task. One fat man walked past her, she asked him and he pointed at an opposite direction different from where others had been pointing. Having walked around in circles she was sweating and obviously discouraged. A security man she approached looked at her and asked where she was headed.

“George and sons, I heard of a job opening there and I want to apply. I’ve been searching for the venue endlessly.”

The security man looked at her again, “are you sure? Because the only George and sons in this arena is still under construction, I only have the information because my friend is the security guard watching over the construction site. If you insist I will take you there”.

Lily was disappointed, the venue was truly an uncompleted site, why then had the call for applicants been placed online? Even the security man had no idea about jobs or hiring.

Lily hurried home dejected and angry. The day had totally been a waste, she had to hurry back because it was almost 1 pm and her nosy neighbours will be out soon to pick their young children from school. As she got down from the cab at the junction to her house she heard a familiar voice call her , she froze… it was her mother -in- law… she was busted…‘where are you coming from ?”

Why would mother-in-law show up unannounced she thought…