I dress, departing from the house and abandon Nkoli behind. Before I take my leave, she is in the kitchen cooking. I walk in and pat her on the cheek. My sister had become my best friend these past years. She is five years older, and during our younger years, she was just two years my senior in class. I was far above my peers and she was a year below her peers.
The compound is serene, I move, glancing at the backyard. It is the exact place I think the noises come from, but there is no sight of creepy humans or animals.
A woman is standing there, Mama Femi. She is washing clothes heaped inside a basket. She greets, her voice soft, and I return a compliment by waving.
We live in an expensive apartment and I thought they could afford to get a washing machine instead of her doing the strenuous job every day. She is a housewife but the jobs she does anytime I see her are exhausting. I will fight for an employed woman or man on a salary pay, doing her kind of strenuous jobs. The other day, I saw a social media post on how men said people should not interfere with a couple’s business. With that, I refrained from saying anything to her husband.
A soft breeze blows through, leaving behind a soothing sensation, my hair feels lush. It is sunny, the uncanny breeze is surprising. I open the car door, sit in the driver’s seat, and hum to Beyonce’s ‘formation’ as I drive out of the house. Her songs in my playlist are taking turns to play.
A car honks, jolting me to reality and I stare ahead. I had almost hit a car ahead of me and my car scratches the side of the car. The car stops and a woman walks out of it, yelling nonstop. I know I am wrong, my hands still in the air, waving so she will stop yelling.
She is still hurling invectives, then I recline my head to thecar seat and sigh. A man standing on the culvert begins to yell at her, saying she behaves like a sex worker or a woman who doesn’t have a husband at home. He says why should she be talking to a responsible man like me in that manner. I look down at my outfit, glaring at my well-starched shirt, my suit hanging at the back of the seat.
I peer through the car window again. My eyes meet with the woman, I wink at her, telling her to ignore him. There is a pang of mean guilt written all over my face with a wave of embarrassment. There is a gridlock, cars are honking for us to make way for them. I sigh, rubbing my palms. She smiles, flips a paper into my car through the open window, and walks toward her car. I heard as the engine started…