“Clarissa, get these utensils out of the table!” Peter’s wife called out. Clarissa sneered at the order.
“The lazy woman cannot wake up from her sofa and do such a simple thing!” Clarissa whispered to herself. How she loathed her boss’s wife!
She woke from her bed and went to the dining room. She glanced at the family and felt a tinge of jealousy. Actually, not a tinge but a huge patch of envy stained her heart.
Dinah had a beautiful family. Clarissa watched as Peter massaged Dinah’s feet.
“Pthoo, like she is the first to get pregnant!” They were Clarrisa’s thoughts.
“Madam, should I take Vera to bed?” Clarissa asked, noting that their five year old daughter had fallen asleep on one of the sofas.
“Oh, she fell asleep already, she was just playing right now!” Dinah exclaimed in amusement. “Yes, yes, take her to bed!”
“How could you notice your sleeping child while all you do is place your stinky feet on your husband?” Her mind spoke again, from within but she smiled at Dinah then bent to pick the little girl.
Then she saw it, the desire in his eyes as he ogled at her derriere quickly enough not to be noticed by his wife. Clarissa had the Aha! moment.
Dinah’s eyes were now fixed on the soap opera in the TV. She did not notice the two glancing at each other in secret communication.
“Clarissa, when you put Vera to bed, bring me a glass of soda. This baby cannot have enough of soda.” Dinah said, rubbing her expectant tummy, as she laughed out aloud. Peter joined her in the laughter but his eyes throwing quick glimpses at their househelp.
“Yes madam!” Clarissa said but did not add, ‘All you do is eat, eat and eat, lazy greedy swine!’
She served Dinah her soda and went back to her room. When she finally laid her head in bed, she slept like a lottery winner. It was an awesome feeling being wanted by the boss. He had finally noticed her after so many months of seeking his attention.
The next day was on a Sunday, Clarissa dressed up to go to church. Dinah was preparing her daughter too. They attended different churches although Peter seldom attended church. He prefered to stay at home on Sundays.
As he lay on the couch watching the local news channel, he heard a knock on the door.
“Clarissa? I thought you went to church?”
“I did sir, but I started to feel sick and I thought of coming back to take a rest.” She said holding her head as if in pain.
“Ok, come in!” He said. She started to stagger and he held her. “Careful! Clarissa why don’t we call the doctor to have a look at you?”
Clarissa shook her head and then suddenly fell down, stumbling him along and he fell on her. They were too close to each other, inhaling from each other’s nostrils, feeling each other’s heartbeats and their groins touching. She went for it, before she lost the opportunity and met Peter’s hungry lips and throbbing loins.
He told himself he was only doing it because he had been starved for too long by a wife whose pregnancy had so many complications that they had not had sex for months.
The two ate the forbidden fruit every Sunday after that day without the knowledge of Dinah who was too preoccupied with the new baby.
Elated by winning Peter over, Clarissa’s respect for his boss’s wife diminished. She started to give her boss the silent treatment and would sometimes even blurt out rudely at Dinah who then planned to fire her at the end of the month.
“I hate it that I will have to start the househelp search all over again but I have no choice. I can’t stand her. She has to go!”
“Mama Vera! Calm down! Think about it. A new face will not be good for our baby now. The baby needs a fixed routine and familiar faces at this stage. Stay with Clarissa for a few more months and we will see what to do next. Maybe I can talk to her about respecting you.”
“Ok. Talk to her now. ” Dinah demanded . Peter hesitated but he knew he had to prove his loyalty to his wife.
“I will…I will…Clarissa!” He said and yelled his paramour’s name.
She appeared with a smile on her face but the look on Peter’s face wiped her smile off.
“Look here woman, I demand that you respect my wife. I do not take it kindly that you are being discourteous to her in her own house.The next time you behave that way I will chase you out like a dog. I will not care about how good you have been to whoever!” He said, ensuring the last statement reached home.
That night, Clarissa turned over and over in her sleep. She was angry at Peter’s humiliation. She could not believe that he could be supportive of Dinah after all the good times they had.
Clarissa would not let that go. Peter had to pay. She vowed to destroy that family so bad that not even a chunk of it would survive. She knew where to get help.
The following day she woke up early, did all her chores and by eight am, she had done it all. When Dinah came to the living room at ten am, she could not help but admire the house, all spick and span.
“Nice job Clarissa, I am glad you have gone back to the old nice you.” She said, happy that her husband had put the fear of God in her.
“Thank you madam.” Clarissa said, “Madam, I have something to request please.”
“Madam, my aunty is in the general hospital in town, please allow me to go see her and then come back in the evening.” She politely requested. Dinah permitted her to do so,after all she had done everything that needed to be done.
“I will allow you to, but please be back by six to prepare supper in time.”
If only she knew, she would not be so content by the turn of events because Clarissa was actually planning to work with the devil himself to destroy her life and family.
Clarissa happily left as Dinah smiled at how things had changed.
When Clarissa came back, she was very apologetic for being an hour late. She ran to the kitchen and merrily prepared the meals for the family.
As she served the meals, she remembered the thaumarturge’s words,
“Sprinkle this powder in his food like you would with salt. When he consumes it, you will only have to cough and he will wag his tail in obedience.”
Clarissa did as she had been instructed. She watched from a distance as the family enjoyed their supper.
“Enjoy while it lasts fam, because this is the last supper!” She whispered with a smug on her face.
True to her word, things took a turn from that day. The once peaceful home became like a house turned upside down. Peter and his wife fought almost everyday most of the times being over the househelp.
The love trysts between the two became more daring and more in increment. She called the shots, he saluted at all of them. He became like an obedient dog that would only bark if the master ordered it to do so.
Clarissa enjoyed the control she had on Peter. She even manipulated him into allowing her to bring her ten year old son from the rurals to come live with them.
“Dinah! Our daughter Vera and her son will enjoy playing together!”
“Peter, are you even listening to yourself? The boy is ten, our daughter Vera is barely six years old!”
Dinah vehemently kept up the fight but she lost to Peter. Later on, he gave Clarissa fare for her son to come to the capital and leave with his mother.
Dinah was starting to think that no effort to salvage her broken marriage would help. The marital bed was getting colder not only from the lack of intimacy but also from her tears. She realised that no one cared how many gallons of tears she filled. It was time she accepted that her marriage was no more.
“No Dinah, Mama Vera, you cannot leave, please!” He pleaded when he saw her packing. He was on his knees, making promises to change. He was willing to do whatever she wanted as long as she did not leave him.
“Fire her now!” She demanded. He promised to do it once and for all.
He called Clarissa. His mouth could not utter the words. Dinah spoke on his behalf.
“Clarissa, Peter and I demand that you leave this house now!” As Dinah said this, Clarissa knew he would jump in her defense but he did not.
“Peter, is that what you want?” Clarissa confidently asked. He nodded. Dinah laughed.
“Madam please, let me go after the weekend, please. Give me Saturday and and Sunday then I will be gone on Monday.” She cried in her boss’ feet. She begged for mercy and consideration, pleading they accept her plea at least for her son’s sake. They did.
That night she was disturbed by the fact that the spell she had on him was growing weaker. But the fools had allowed her to stay two more days. Those were enough to snatch back Peter to herself.
“This time, he will be mine forever.”
That Saturday , she paid a visit to her evil ally, the devil’s agent, to plan a permanent scheme.
“Put a teaspoon of this powder in a glass of anything with milk and give it to him to drink. When he consumes it, he will not want to see any other person, even his own flesh and blood in that house.”
Clarissa keenly heard the instructions. She passed by the shop and bought a packet of yoghurt. Peter did love yoghurt. She laughed that his love for the drink would be the end of his marriage.
When she arrived at the house, she met them all, her son too seated at the living room, watching a local channel programme.
“Enjoy while it lasts.” She thought as she sneaked the tools of destruction to her room then went to the kitchen to prepare supper. But Dinah had been there and had already cooked. Everything was done; food was ready and the dishes were all clean.
She decided to go back to her room and take a rest in readiness to perform the secret act the following day.
She opened the door and saw her son. His eyes were popping out excitedly and he had white powder smeared around his mouth.
“Mum?Where did you buy that glucose? It is so sweet. I licked it all!” He said as he gulped the last drop of yoghurt into his mouth. She felt weak from her knees down. She felt dizzy in her head. With a thud she fell.
She woke up days later and saw her family looking at her with concerned faces. She tried to speak but no voice came from her vocal chords. Her mother tried to give her some water but not a sound was emitted, only endless torrents of saliva.
Now, Clarissa sits outside her home staring blankly at the space. Her son ever since he bolted out of Peter’s house wailing incomprehensible words, walks around the capital in tattered clothes and whenever anyone calls him, he shouts back, “Get out of my house!”