Abducted – Episode 5
© Onyinyechukwu Mbeledogu.
She felt hot and in need of a shower. She also needed to attend to her private needs. She found him in the sitting room, his face hard and unsmiling. What was his problem anyway?
‘What do you want?’ he snapped.
‘I need a bath.’
‘Do you expect me to bathe you?’ he asked, deliberately misunderstanding her words.
She flushed angrily. ‘Pervert. You know that’s not what I meant. I need hot water to bathe with. I doubt if you have a heater.’
‘You’d have to get your own water, whether cold or hot,’ he informed her rising to his feet and walking across the sitting room, towards the kitchen.
‘I can’t believe this! There is no water running in the house!’
‘If it ran past then I didn’t see it.’
‘And you have a warped sense of humour.
‘Ha! Ha! Very funny. You fetch water from the well.
‘So you brought me here knowing that there is no water. In my home, there is constant water and I can use a heater when I need a shower.’
‘Here if you want something, you get it yourself. You want hot water you heat it if there’s light or boil one in the absence of light.’
‘You are no gentleman.’
‘I never claimed to be one.’
‘If you were going to abduct a woman with class, common sense demands that you take her to at least a four star hotel,’ she told him, wrinkling her nose as she looked around the room.
He ignored her, retraced his steps and walked through the corridor opening a door. He returned with a bucket which he thrust in her direction. She looked at it, her expression fierce.
‘I have never carried a bucket of water in my life.’
‘There’s always a first time for everything.’
He thrust the bucket at her once more, wrapping her fingers about its iron handle and asked her to follow him. They went through a door in the kitchen ending up outside. The well was a few feet from the wall and covered. She had only seen well in pictures and programmes on the television. She could just imagine how many diseases she would have to treat once she got back home. The mere thought gave her goose pimples.
He stepped aside.
‘Well?’ She demanded.
‘Aren’t you going to help me out?’
‘Why should I?’
‘Because I don’t know how to.’
‘Spoilt brat!’ He muttered.
He took off the cover of the well and threw in a rope with a small bucket, pulling it up to pour clean water into the bucket. She could tell it was clean, courtesy of the light from the kitchen door but that didn’t mean that there weren’t hidden bacteria that could be caught beneath a microscope. He handed the rope to her and she realized that he was not going to offer further help, she decided to do it herself and teach him that she could do it as well as he.
It took her minutes to fill the bucket, pouring more water on the soil than into her bucket. He watched her amused and she cursed him with words that could render a puritan deaf.
She hefted the bucket with both hands past him leaving a large drop of water in her trail as she struggled with the bucket. He didn’t offer to help her.
She dropped the bucket before the bathroom door and pushed the door open. The bathroom was tiny with a flat tiny white bathtub, with just enough room for you to stand in, a toilet and a sink. She noticed a big barrel that occupied a major space in the tiny bathroom enough to make one claustrophobic. Heck, the entire house was small enough to make one claustrophobic!
She deposited her bucket in the bathtub and lifted the lid of the barrel shocked to find it filled with water. And to think that that nameless man had made her fetch her own water.
She told him her mind as she left the bathroom.
‘The water is mine,’ he informed her. ‘You want water, you fetch it.’
He held out an old towel to her.
She threw back her head in disgust. ‘Surely you do not expect me to bathe with that!’
She thought of the rashes the use of such a towel would leave on her spotless body. This man was just desperate to give her craw-craw before he freed her!
‘I didn’t ask you to. I expect you to use it to mop the water you spilled.’
‘There is no way I’m going to-’
‘Don’t make me mad, brat! You pour water, you mop.’
He thrust the rag at her and compelled her to bend over and start cleaning the trail of water she had left behind, supervising her.
‘I have never been so humiliated in my life,’ she cried.
‘Look at the bright side. At least you can add this to your curriculum vitae: can clean exceeding well.’
‘Don’t you dare mock me. I never done this before. Not even in my own home.’
‘That’s just too bad. Now clean up.’
When she was through, he made her rinse the towel and showed her where to spread it. She glared at him but it had no effect on him. He took the back door keys with him taking the short corridor and going into his bedroom.
She marched towards the bathroom, upset but his words “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Stopped her.
‘What!’ she snapped.
‘Soap, towel and sponge.’
‘You’ll do no such thing.’
‘Surely you don’t expect me to share such private things with a peasant!’
‘You don’t have a choice.
He forced them into her hands and pushed her gently into the bathroom shutting the door behind her.
She seethed in there, hating him. She deposited the items on the tiny cabinet attached to the wall and walked over the tight space to the sink where she found a new tooth brush besides an old one and a Maclean’s toothpaste.
She tore off the seal and pressed the toothpaste unto the brush. She missed her very expensive toothpaste at home. She thought as she began to brush her teeth.
She was going to leave this place one way or the other before she lost her mind. She never bathed with cold water but she was going to cope with it rather than give him the pleasure of knowing that she couldn’t do the simple task of heating water.
She unwrapped the lux soap he’d given her. It had a nice smell but lacked the fragrance of the soap she used back at home. A big pink soap and very expensive.
She spent over half an hour in the bathroom, washing herself clean of the sweat that clung to her body. When she was through. She wrapped herself in his big blue towel.
She left the bathroom in the towel, her undies and the wrapper in her arms. He gave her a disinterested look before returning his attention to the television screen.
She went into the bedroom she was occupying and returned a moment later.
‘Hey!’ She called to him insultingly.
He didn’t even look at her.
‘Excuse me!’ She amended.
He turned. ‘What do you want?’
‘I need my clothes.’
‘And I won’t have you trying to escape.’
‘I can’t move around in this towel.’
Without saying a word he went into his bedroom returning with a T-shirt and boxers which he tossed to her.
‘Weren’t you taught hygiene in school?’ She asked insultingly. ‘You don’t share clothes and definitely not inner wears.’
‘You are in no position to complain.’
‘Excuse me! Well I’d rather have the towel.’
‘Suit yourself. But I’ll need it when I take my bath in less than an hour’s time and I won’t have u strutting about my house in your birthday suit.’
She flushed angrily. ‘This is a deliberate attempt to annoy me isn’t it? What’s your name anyway?’
‘That is not important.’
‘Then I’ll call you, stoneface.’
‘You do that and I’ll give you so hard a paddling that you won’t be able to sit for a full month.
‘Then give me a name.’
‘I’m sure you can come up with something better.’
‘Very funny. But I’m not amused.’
‘All right, Richard. That’s one of my favourite English names. So you should feel privileged.’
‘So Richard, were you serious about keeping me here for three weeks? My N3m offer is still open.’
‘Two to nine months depending on my mood.’
‘Two to nine what! What exactly do you want from me? I’ve already promised to give you N3m.’
‘When I need the money I’ll request for it but for now-’
‘I have a life even if you don’t have one. And I hate being disorganized. I have people to meet, places to see.’
‘That’s just too bad.’
‘I don’t know what you want from me Richard but I’ll tell you this, you won’t get it easily.’
‘And what do you think I want from you?’ He questioned both hands on the wall on either side of her face so close she could inhale his clean male scent.
She held her breath.
‘You know you shouldn’t be giving a guy ideas when you are dressed in only a towel. You might get more than you bargained for,’ he warned.
Her eyes grew wide and he stepped back from her.
‘Pervert!’ She thought.
He told her to change into the clothes he’d given her and return the towel to the bathroom. She grumbled as she went into the bedroom wishing the door had an internal bolt. She hurried into the clothes after pulling on her underclothes, and then returned the towel to the bathroom like he’d ordered.
She couldn’t believe that she was taking orders from a peasant! Two days ago she would have thought it impossible but it was happening.
She felt ridiculous in his clothes. Clean or otherwise.
‘First of all, he kidnaps me, then he insults me and now I have to smell like him! You’ll pay for this Richard or whatever your bloody name is!’
To be continued