When I asked her her name, her reply was simple – “Esther”. I didn’t remember to ask for her last name and she never told me. So I just knew her as Esther. From that moment when she walked into my living room for the very first time ever, I never stopped feeling that there was something rather awkward about her. She just did not add up for me at all; for reasons I just couldn’t place a finger on. It wasn’t because of her appearance – she was unimaginably decorous and well-mannered. It wasn’t about how she spoke too, for she was eloquently tailored. It wasn’t even about her poise, because she looked generally compact, and easily beamed in smiles if there was any reason to. So it wasn’t any of those at all, and I was very sure it wasn’t. But what it was, I still couldn’t tell. All I could tell was that Esther was different. Of all the housegirls I had ever kept in my home, she was totally distinctive. And apart from the seeming mystery that surrounded her person, she was also different in so many other ways.
I was expecting a girl quite alright. A housegirl. Of which, I had told my mum who was at the village, to help me find someone. The last two girls I had stayed with, were all from her, and they were really really good girls. They only had to leave and return back to their parents just because their people wanted them back and not because I wanted them to leave. So, I’d be right if I say that I have had a bit of luck with housegirls and was yet to experience all the bad things a lot of fellow mothers keep telling me about staying with house-helps. Moreover, my mom is a generally shrewd person, and has never been one to work by assumptions. She always says she’s never failed to visit the girl’s home as well as speak with people who know her before deciding on bringing her to stay with her daughter. And it has always paid off handsomely. I was on my first issue, after two pregnancies (lost my first child just after birth), and having these girls at the time made things much simpler for me. So, barely days after the last one left my house, I began pestering my mum – who was also staying with me as at that time – to help me get another girl. She agreed.
It was just a day after she had left for the village, that Esther knocked on my door. While it felt strange, given mum could have barely been able to find a girl in just 24 hours, I eventually relaxed when she explained that it was my mother that directed her to my place. Moreover, mum had no cell phone, as I hadn’t bought her one yet – bearing in mind how expensive it was back then in 1999 – so it was just difficult to confirm what the young lady before me was saying. But considering how desperate I was for a housegirl, I knew I needed to accept her in; even with the apparent oddities surrounding her person. She indeed looked very different from the other girls that had stayed with me; even in looks too. She was distinctly good-looking, sharply contrasting what I had ever had in my house; with very thick eye brows that beautifully curled in at every facial expression she made.