By: Faith Lucky.
I stood as I watched Rodney go through the things I bought. He held one of the clothes and turned it from left to right.
“The clothes are okay” he said, dropping the shirt he held.
I smiled innocently.
He rifled through the bag and looked at me.
“Where’s the cigarette?” He asked.
“Oh! It’s right here” I replied and checked some of the bags on the table. “Oh, my! Oh,.my! Oh, Audrey. Don’t tell me” I explained and hit me head. “How could I forget something like this? Oh, my God!
“Um…I’m so sorry Mr Rodney. It escaped my mind. But how could I be so . careless? Maybe we should recheck the bags” I said and opened some of the bags again.
“I’m so sorry Mr Rodney. Maybe next time”.
Rodney stared at me and brought out his credit card.
“Go and get it” he said.
“Go back and get it, Audrey.”
“You have twenty minutes”.
I opened my mouth and couldn’t believe him. Was he serious?
“Mr Rodney, don’t you think we can settle this more peacefully?” I said but he only stretched out the card more to me.
Gosh! There was nowhere I was. Getting out of this.
I collected the card from him and left in a huff.
I took a cab and headed to a place I could get a cigarette.
Mr Rodney’s such a spoilt brat; I thought angrily.
I got to the reception and placed the card on the table.
“Hey; I need a cig…”
I was about pronouncing the cigarette pack when I saw someone unexpected – Leo.
I quickly took the credit card from the table and fixed it in my purse.
“Audrey!” He called immediately he saw me.
I guess he was surprised seeing me there.
“What are you doing here?” He asked and I itched my head.
“Um…I think I…just came to get some cookies” I replied and looked around.
“You think?” He asked and chuckled.
“Well, I just dropped by to get a milkshake. But come with me. Let’s get the cookies together” he added and took my hand, leading me to the cookies counter. Oh, God! I’m doomed. How on earth will I get the cigarette with Leo around? And there’s no way I could go home without it. Oh, God! What a misfortune.
We got to the counter and started taking a look at the different cookies that were there.
“I think I like Biggies . their cookies are extra ordinary” he said as he took out the cookie from the counter and gave it to me.
I stared at it blankly and didn’t even know what it was. My whole thought was getting the cigarette for Rodney. If Leo gets to find out, he might get suspicious. “Audrey, what do you think?” He asked and waved his hand in my face.
“Um.. Leo; you know; I am thinking of something. Why don’t you and the milkshake and then, we can meet back at the reception?” She asked. “No, no, no. We can just…”
“Come on Leo. That’s a perfect idea. Go on. I’ll catch up with you, okay?” I said and started pushing him slowly.
“O…kay” he replied and walked away, a little surprised.
Without any delay, I hurried to the cigarette shelf and took out a pack and immediately I turned around, I saw Leo standing in front of me. Holy shit!
I am holding the cigarette in my hand and he stared at it with his mouth open.
“Do you smoke?” He finally forced himself to ask.
Shock was large writ on his face.
Oh, no Audrey. What a mess. What do I say?
“is this the cookies you were talking about?” He asked and I felt sweat on my forehead.
“Um…Leo, it’s not what you think. It’s actually for my mum” I replied nervously,
hoping it wasn’t too obvious.
“Your mum? She smokes? ”
“Y…Yes. I’ve been trying to get her to stop it but, I can’t”.
He smiled and moved closer to me
He brushed my hair with his palm and tucked the left part of it behind my ear. What the hell was that?
“Why were you shy about it?” He asked and I shrugged and stuttered for words. “is there any other thing you need?” He asked and I shook my head negatively. “Okay then. Come with me. I’ll pay for the cigarette” he said and took me to the reception.
I woke up the next morning and made tea for breakfast.
The previous day had been just… normal.
Rodney didn’t say much but just remained kind of isolated.
“The tea is too sugary, Audrey” he said to me as we had breakfast together.
“Oh, sorry” I replied, cringing a little.
We ate silently for a short while
“Um…Mr Rodney, what would you like for lunch today?” I broke the silence, munching on a slice of bread.
“You can just buy from an eatery again” he replied.
“Come on Mr Rodney. That was what you did yesterday. I can cook for you”.
Surprisingly, he chuckled.
“And what makes you think you can cook for me?” He asked with a little jest in his voice.
“You can’t even make a tea properly”.
“Come on my Rodney; it’s just tea. I promise you’ll like my tea” I said and he stared at me and shook his head.
“Okay then. Let’s give it a try. Let’s make brunswick stew” he said.
“Brunswick stew. Great” I exclaimed and clapped my hands.
“I’ll rush to the market immediately and get the ingredients”.
He looked at me and smiled and I guess he must be wondering why I’m so excited. Immediately after breakfast, I collected his credit card and rushed home to take my bath before going to the market.
When I got home, mum had already left for work and Rachel was just the only one at home.
“Hey sis. Happy morning” I greeted ecstatically and Rachel marvelled.
“You sound like you won the lottery. What’s the secret?” She asked and I laughed. “Nothing sis. I just feel happy. Isn’t it normal?
I walked into the bedroom with Rachel behind and I started taking off my clothes. “So, how’s Rodney? )” Rachel asked as she crossed her hands and watched me “Well, he’s okay. He’s fine” I replied while tying my towel. “is he still there? I want to see him”
“You know you can’t, Rachel. I told you, he told me not to tell anyone about it and bringing you around might upset him”.
“Hm. So you get to be the lucky girl, huh?” She asked and rolled her eyes.
I nice laughed and walked into the bathroom while she followed me and stood outside by the door.
“So, will you be missing classes because of him again?” She asked.
“Well, seems so. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up” I replied from inside.
“And why should I worry? Is it my grades we’re talking about here?”: she asked with a huff and I laughed.
“Stop pouring out your frustration on me, Rachel. It’s not my fault you can’t see
him” I said with laughter.
After a while, I was done bathing and quickly rushed out to change.
“Why do you even bother coming home to take your bath?’ She asked as she watched me dress.
“I mean, why don’t you do it over there? Are you scared he might…” “Rachel!” I cut her off and sighed.
“You think too wild. I just prefer coming home to take my bath. Nothing else, okay?”
I finally wore my clothes and rushed over to the sitting room.
There I found a piece of paper and started making a list of what to buy. “Cayenne pepper, frozen corn, lima beans…”
“What are you doing?” Rachel asked, taking a look at the list.
“Oh! Mr Rodney asked me to prepare something for him. – brunswick stew” I replied.
“Wow! So, you’ve started cooking for him already?”
I ignored her and continued with the list and after a while, I was done.
I slipped the list into my purse and went to the standing mirror. There I brushed my hair and applied some makeup.
“Rachel, do you think I should change this shirt?” I asked as I packed my hair into two.
“Why’re you taking out so much time to look good?” Rachel asked, crossing her hands below her chest.
“Has it become a crime to look good, Rachel?” I asked.
“Well, I can’t remember the last time you applied as little as lipstick. So, why the sudden change?
Hm. Are you trying to impress Mr Rodney?” I remained quiet and brushed my brows. “Audrey, you’re falling for him!” She exclaimed.
“Rachel, you talk too much. And what if I fall for him? Is it a crime?” I grouse and turned back to the mirror.
“Hm. So you’re admitting you’ve fallen for him already? But what about Jocelyn? What if she just shows up and takes him back?”
I paused on what I was doing and stared into the mirror for a while.
“Be careful Audrey” Rachel continued. “Don’t fall too deeply for him. Remember he loves Jocelyn and I think he’s ready to chose her over a thousand ladies” I finally shook my head and stopped staring.
“Where do you get these ideas from, Rachel? Mr Rodney and I are even barely friends. I like him as a person and not the other way round” I said vacuously as I added powder to my face.
We remainremained quiet for a while until I was done dressing.
“So…will you be my escort to the market?” I asked and Rachel rolled her eyes.