Naomi 1 year ago

Hatred Or Jealousy?

This was the third time I was visiting the toilet in three hours. It was frustrating as I had to go to work by 9: 00 am.

I brought out my perfume from my purse and sprayed it around the toilet after flushing. My mom appeared from nowhere immediately. I closed the door to the toilet and began her lectures on how lazy I was whenever my period came. She gave me a black nylon bag containing pills for menstrual pain. "Why don't you just take the day off work today? You are already late", she insisted for the second time. I couldn't take the day off work because of period pains. I had to be strong. What if it was my own company, and I had an appointment worth millions? Would I have canceled? I took my purse, and a cross bag containing my work equipment kissed my mom on her cheek and patted our puppy goodbye. I was in serious pain, but I was determined to go to work still. Usually, I walk a long distance from my house to my workplace every morning, but today, I took a bus. 

Firstly, because I was in too much pain to trek, and secondly, because I was already 30 minutes late. The bus I entered had only two passengers before me. A heavily pregnant woman who was feeding her baby, and a young lady who was pressing her phone and minding her business. I sat next to her and stared directly at the driver. I was too scared to check my phone because I knew my colleagues from work would have sent numerous messages already. Then suddenly, I had the urge to vomit. The young lady noticed it and quickly gave me her water bottle to throw up in. " Period Wahala, I guess? "she said smiling. I raised my head and cleaned my mouth with the back of my hand, and nodded my head. "It's just for a few days; you will be fine," she said, rubbing my back. She proceeded to tell me about Ginger tea and how it could help relieve menstrual pains.

Soon, it was time for me to alight, and she offered to pay my fare. I was beyond happy and thanked her nonstop for her kindness. Immediately I got into the shop; I could hear the whispers of my colleagues. Some of them even stopped their work to inform me that madam wanted to see me immediately. I went straight to the inner room and met her working. She was sweating profusely as the Air Conditioner in her quarters got bad the previous day. " Welcome, Madam," she cheered in a sarcastic tone. I quickly apologized to her and stated the reason I was late. Although she was considerate, she urged me to keep to time, especially because my other colleagues were watching. My madam has always been fond of me, compared to my colleagues. If they were to be the ones that came an hour late to work, she would have told them to go back home. But I, Michelle, found favor in the sight of my madam.

I quickly got to work by helping my madam. She was making two big wedding cakes for events coming up the next day. While my colleagues outside attended to the small chops. We were still in the middle of the baking process when Clara, our senior girl, walked in. It was noon, and they were done with the first batch of small chops, and she had come to tell us she was stepping out to buy lunch. We usually sent one person to buy everyone's lunch as we all couldn't leave the shop at once to buy food. But I wasn't hungry yet, and my madam didn't want to eat until we were done with the icing on the cake. So, Clara left to purchase food for the others.

A few minutes later, we were done with one of the icings on the cake, and my madam gave me a thousand naira to quickly purchase food before we proceeded to the second cake. On my way going to our favorite food vendor, I met Clara coming back. She looked angry, and when I asked her what the problem was, she said the food seller was being partial to her. "Did she not respond to you on time?" I asked as I stood to wait for her response. She looked at me, pouting her lips, then smiled. " Just forget," she said as she escorted me back to the food stand. I didn't have trouble purchasing food there because the woman already knew me as her regular customer and gist partner. I bought A pack of fried rice, turkey and a bottle of water for my madam while I bought boiled spaghetti and chicken sauce for myself. 

The food seller refused the money I offered her and insisted I use the food to take my medications when I told her I was on pills. I smiled and thanked her for her generosity. Clara sneered as we walked the distance back to the shop. "Why did you come late?" she asked. I removed my hands from my tummy as I cleaned the beads of sweat on my forehead, suppressing the urge to use the toilet." I am on my period, and the menstrual pains were really bad this morning," I replied. "But still, that's not a good reason. When you knew there was a lot of work to be done at the shop. Madam didn't even give you the usual punishment". She concluded. I couldn't bear the urge anymore. I needed to use the toilet, or I would excrete in my pants. I gave the food I went to purchase to Clara and quickly ran to a nearby toilet.

As I sat down on the toilet seat to pass out feces, I wondered why Clara had to be sassy. Was it because she was our Senior in the shop? I clutched my tummy tight as I felt another wave of pain. I hated everything that came with menstruation. From the Mood swings to the stooling process and then the weird food cravings. Ladies suffer too much. I reached out to grab the tissue paper but found out there was none. I have to go out to fetch clean water to wash my butt. Typical public toilet system! I wore my pants and took the half-broken bucket to fetch tap water when I saw an unusual scene. People were running in a particular direction where screams were coming from. I dropped my bucket and peeped only to see people gathered in front of our shop wailing. What could have gone wrong? I threw my bucket and ran to the shop only to see the greatest shock of my life. It was my madam, lying on the floor DEAD! 

Her mouth was filled with blood, and a pack of food was lying next to her. But, this pack didn't contain her fried rice; it contained my boiled spaghetti and chicken sauce. My madam had consumed my food instead of hers. " She's the girl that went to buy the food for our madam o," Clara shouted immediately after she saw me. The crowd rushed towards me, pushing me to the ground, asking me to confess. I was shocked. I only went to purchase the food; I didn't put anything in it. But then it suddenly dawned on me. My madam died of poisoning, as the crowd said. But the food she ate was meant to be mine, not hers. Does that mean I was the murderer's target? Who poisoned my food and why? I pondered as the angry crowd descended on me. 

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