BY DOROTHY BUDU-ARTHUR
“Here’s water, soap, a cloth, sponge and a towel. You look worn out. Just have a good bath! The bath room is just behind my hut. I am the only person living her at the outskirts of the town. So nobody will see you. There is balm and shea butter for you to use afterwards.” He said.
Sama was getting confused. She didn’t understand why this stranger was going all that. Was that his way of preparing her for whatever that awaited her that night?
“A rag needs no more cleaning.” Sama finally said still without making any eye contact.
“You gave him two fattened rams to have me for this night. That is why I am here.”
The stranger did not say a thing. But he rather went on to lay a mat stuffed and cushioned at one end of the room, then laid another as well at the opposite end of the room.
Afterwards he said to her, “I am going to have a bath. That is your bed at the other end. You can lay down to get some rest!”
As he left the hut, Sama wondered who he was. She thought of running out of the hut, but then again the feeling of worthlessness inhibited her from doing that.
And not long afterwards, this stranger returned after going to have a bath. Sama looked away when he entered. She just did not want to look at the face of any man to whom she was prostituted. As he stood at a distance, Sama could feel his stare. Her heart began to pound.
“You’re wounded… Your leg!” the stranger who had observed said with concern. Quickly getting some water with salt and a piece of cloth, he went towards her then knelt beside her.
“You’re wounded badly! It is beginning to look infected. Please, allow me!” He said to her as he started to clean her wound.
Getting another bottle afterwards he said to her, “The medicine in this bottle is very good for wounds. It might hurt a little, but it will help you heal quickly!”
He then applied some balm on her legs and her knees. Still kneeling beside her, he looked at her face then said, “You look pale, and hungry. You must eat something, please.”
But Sama would neither look at his face nor eat the food he had brought her. With just the two of them in the hut, she felt afraid and wondered what this stranger would eventually do to her.
And as he got no response from Sama, he said, “Very well… I’ll leave your meal in the bowl by the fireplace just to keep it warm for you. I hope you just decide later to eat something… I will be going to bed now. I hope you have some sleep as well… Here, have this blanket to keep yourself warm. It’s getting cold.”
Sama felt confounded. Had he not given to Kuuku 2 fattened sheep to sleep with her for the night? Why was this stranger saying that he was going to bed then? Why was he being loving and caring? What was this stranger planning?”
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2017