The day did not turn out as beautiful as I had imagined. The pitch went great, they loved the concept we had brought to table but they kept talking about slashing the budget in half, and that was not going to work.
We got back to the office few minutes past three. I raced up the stairs dumped the file I took with me. In a few minutes, I was downstairs and sitting at the same table in the refectory with Kofi and Ocheuwa. They traded small talks while we ate. I was obviously more occupied with my thoughts; I paid their discuss no attentions, my problem now is that in few hours from now I would be at home, home alone with Beverly. Even as I thought of her my heart skipped two beats.
“Are you running from her?” I looked up to see them looking at me.
“No, why” I replied immediately.
Now they looked with askance.
“Why?” Kofi giggled.
“What are you saying?” Ocheuwa asked quizzically.
“Nothing, forget I said anything”
Kofi chuckled and mouthed Ruby and winked unwittingly to Ocheuwa.
They continued talking now I listened they had been talking about Ocheuwa’s new neighbor who’s been coming to his apartment to watch movies.
I finished my meal, washed my hand, then headed upstairs. I had not seen Ruby since I got been back, and for that I was grateful. Soon, it was 5 o’ clock, it was time to become anxious, my palms became sweaty, and my bowels rumbling. When I was done using the lavatory. I was no longer skeptical and unwilling to go home for I had decided to go by my cousin’s, the issue there is I won’t know if he is around or not. Since he had no phone. My decision to go to his was perfect. Frankly, I had lost my confidence and I couldn’t mutter the strength to regain it; the battle ahead would most certainly certify me a bitch for hot and hot Beverly.
I arrived Surulere in good time for a Friday the road was pretty free of the usual heavy traffic. I parked my car behind a Vesper motorcycle, crossed the road and entered the compound the same time two other people did. They walked down to the back, took a left and disappeared. I knocked at Stan’s door which was the second room to the right on the line of apartments that ran down along the fence. There wasn’t no answer I turned to leave but the brouhaha ringing from the backyard led me past Stan’s door. What greeted my sight was unbelievable.
I had tried stretching my neck to see over their heads and know what the cause of the noise was. I made out one or two persons covered in blue wrapper lying on the ground. I gave up trying.
“Oga, sorry what’s going on?” I asked the bearded, lanky man in blue coat standing next to me.
“Ha! You no see am?” He asked rudely like I was distracting him from watching Sholay. It wasn’t his fault that I wasn’t tall enough to see above them and see what was on the ground that they were staring and running commentaries on.
I turned to the leave, the crowd had increased since I got there. While I reluctantly forced my way through them to head home, I picked words like
“….na my neighbor…..”
“…..na so he they do, you know….”
“….else if not Uncle Stanley….”
What the hell is going on? Now, I make sense of what I had seen. I made a hard U-turn and forced my way to the front.
There on the floor she la!d with her legs widely spread under Stan who was looking the other way, while she had her left palm over her face.
“Ana!” I sreamed. She adjusted to see who called. As I approached the centre, she peeked at me between her fingers, then took off her hand off her face, and began weeping, I simply stood and watch tears run down her face.
“I am sorry.” She cried. “Honey, help me.” She begged.
“Are you mad?”
“Who are you calling Honey?”
“Look at you.” The onlookers closed in; Stan had moved, turned his head and thus exposed her rolling mammaries which had been covered by his upper torso.
“Please, Am sorry.” She begged. I was disappointed.
“Can everyone see them?” I looked to crowd to confirm that they paid them total attention.
“Ana, let me not see you step a foot in my house.”
“Father, it will cut o!” Stan cried out. “Please, I will die o!” The crowd
rowed with laughter.
I couldn’t utter any words. Indeed there’s nothing done under the sun that won’t be found out someday.
“When did you birthed him? Some man asked from the crowd. That again caused ripples of laughter.
What was I still doing here? even Beverly that had my heart racing I was determined to run from. Yet, Ana, wife, was straffing my own cousin.
Stanley continued begging.
“You haven’t had enough of her na.” Another person screamed within the choking crowd.
“Make nobody pull them commot o else then go die.” The lanky man adviced.
I turned and the crowd made a way for me like they were the Red Sea and I, Moses.
I had no role in their predicament. It was simply an act of God. Yet, I couldn’t justify the goodness in leaving them like that but it’s time my cousin learnt a lesson. Who knows if it had also happened under my roof?
I got home a little past seven, climbed up the front porch rather bravely for a disheartened man walking to his murder. I took a few long breathe before pressing the door bell. Beverly opened the door after a few more chimes. A knife wasn’t what I excepted to see when the door creaked open. I nearly took-off at the sight of the cleaver, if not that she was in an apron and smiling.
“Welcome Tay.” She said, turned and raced into the kitchen. I entered the house but was skeptical about closing the door after me. The fear of the knife had not only rendered most of my senses numb but injected a large dose of adrenaline in my palpitating heart. Cautiously, I took staggering steps towards my room. When I got to the corridor, I angled my head to see into the kitchen. What’s smoking? The aroma hit me. The air within the whole house was permeated with something delicious. I have never perceived anything like it. It made my tongue wet, and my throat dry. I dropped my briefcase there where I stood and directed my feet towards the kitchen.
“What are you cooking?” I queried as I walked into the kitchen. Without waiting for an answer, I took a tour. Garlic, lemons, chicken, olive oil, types of granulated spices, vegetables and fruits chopped into small sizes few of them I had never seen in my life like a leaf I got to know was rosemary.