The sound of voices and shuffling disturbed Grace as she tried to sleep in, she tossed and turned but even her bed felt like stone. A bell followed by a loud voice jerked her finally awake
“Wake up o day has break, wake up, wake up o” the voice continued followed by the sound of a bell.
Grace frowned immediately when she realized she was still stuck in the staff quarters, it felt like she was stuck in a bad dream that repeated in a horrifying loop.
Grace has felt like she was plunged into darkness since the day Ms. Janet told her she’ll be spending some days in the staff quarters because her room was needed for a guest or something, if only the Chief had not traveled out she wouldn’t have to be here sharing a cramped room with the staff she found annoying.
She sighed deeply before pushing her body to stand up, reaching for her phone the time was still not 5 AM yet. She found out on her first morning that the staff usually get woken up early then addressed on the chores for that day by Ms. Janet and other senior staff, sometimes what to eat is usually decided in the small meeting before everyone sets out to start their chores.
Grace followed the others outside to where the staff was already gathered barely murmuring good mornings to some of the staff. They treated her like she was an outcast after all she was the maid they brought that started getting treated like royalty, she found a good spot to stand away from all the staff that likes to throw disdainful looks towards her.
Soon Ms. Janet showed up and greeted everyone, she started to talk about the chores of the day as Grace zoned out. She imagined Chief coming back and getting back to her room where she doesn’t have to endure the early morning briefings, as she drifted further into her daydream, one of the girls nudged her pulling her back to the present
“Grace? Grace” she heard Ms. Janet calling out
“Yes ma” she answered immediately
“You’ll be assisting madam Ayo with the breakfast and other meals for the staff” Ms. Janet said
“Yes ma” Grace responded
She could hear some murmurs among the staff and she knew they were talking about her but she didn’t care anymore, she just wanted the briefing to be over already so she could go take her bath.
“And Happy Buchi said you should be careful not to touch his shoes while you cleaning” Ms. Janet went on and on
After the briefing she quickly got undressed and rushed to the bathroom where there was a line already, she wanted to groan but sighed instead. She missed everything about her room, especially her bathroom and the privacy she had. There was a woman singing as she bathed inside and a man and lady waiting outside.
“Madam hurry up” the lady complained
The man stole glances at Grace and she pretended not to notice, soon there were more people waiting to use the bathroom and it was getting on her nerves, if only she coúld disappear to her bathroom.
After waiting for what felt like forever she was finally able to take her bath, she dressed up and headed to the kitchen where Madam Ayo was already boiling water to mix tea.
She assisted in every little way she was asked to and soon they were done making tea and poured it into a big warmer.
It got carried to a table in the staff quarters where some were waiting. After everything was set up they started to serve, Grace thought it wasn’t so bad as she poured out the tea while someone else handed out bread.
She noticed that most of the people she served were kind of nice and polite to her, as she poured tea for them although some still threw her nasty stares it didn’t bother her so much.
“Ah ah aunty full my cup na” a skinny staff with a huge cup said
“Na where all the tea wan enter” grace replied jokingly as she added more tea to his cup
“Come my side you go see where when I comot my cloth” he replied grinning.
“No mind am, na ashewo him be” the lady giving our bread said
“Wetin na, Agnes why you wan pour sand sand inside my tea this early morning,” he said as she handed him his bread
“Abeg abeg, just because you get big gbola you no go allow us hear word,” she said before gesturing he move out of the line
What the lady said intrigued Grace but she tried not to show it or look towards the guy but she giggled a bit
“You think say e easy? Oya tell your boyfriend make him get na,” the guy added
“Make we hear word, most of una wet get big thing no even sabi use am” she thought
“Abi o” Grace added and they both laughed
The guy looked like he wanted to say something but decided to just leave instead, Grace felt lighter as she smiled while serving the rest.
After they were done, Grace stuck with Agnes for the rest of the day, helping her out with her chores as they gisted and made fun of the others.
The day went past quicker and Grace was so happy she finally made a new friend, they retired back to the staff quarters after they helped clean the warmers that were used to serve dinner.
Everyone was more relaxed with some of the men drinking and gisting, as they got back the men called them over to join them. Grace looked over to Agnes who nodded so they walked towards the men who sat around some beer and gin as they gisted and laughed loudly.
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