By: Faith Lucky.
“Hope I didn’t take too long, Mr Rodney” I asked as I hurried into the house with polythene bags.
Rodney was there in the sitting room and I walked past him into the kitchen to keep the bags.
“Of course, you did” I heard his voice from the sitting room and I smiled.
Everything about him was cute.
“Don’t worry, Mr Rodney. I’ll get to work immediately” I replied and started bringing out the items from the bags.
Just then, Rodney also joined me in the kitchen.
“How can I be of help?” He asked as he held an onion.
“What’re you doing Mr Rodney?” I asked, surprised.
“I want to take part in the cooking as well. I want to make sure I don’t get bunk for lunch”.
“Oh! You sound so confident. It seems you’re a good cook”
“Well, not really. Jocelyn was also not a good cook”.
He paused and the onion he held fell from his hand. I turned to look at him.
He didn’t even realise when he mentioned her name.
He was beginning to feel the pains again.
I bent and picked the onion from the floor.
Suddenly, I remembered something.
“Oh my goodness!” I said aloud and hit my forehead.
“Is totally forgot. Um…Mr Rodney. I…I think I need to leave. I need to report to work immediately. I’m supposed to be on the morning shift…”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to your manager” he cut in and I stared at him.
“Uh…really?” I asked and he nodded affirmatively.
“Okay then. thanks”.
I went back to arranging the ingredients and soon, I was done. I turned on the gas and put a pot on it and next, I turned in the butter to heat.
“Have you ever prepared this before?” Rodney asked as we watched the butter melt.
He was beginning to brighten up a bit.
“Yes – twice” I replied as I tried taking the diced onions, but Rodney took it first.
I stared at him in surprise.
He still handed it to me and I turned it into the pot.
“Just tell me if you need anything” he said and I nodded.
“Okay. Um…hand me the garlic, sir”
“Right here” he replied and gave the garlic to me.
I poured it into the pot and added thyme as well. Then, I went ahead to sauté it.
“Um…Mr Rodney, when did you finish college?” I asked.
“Last year. Why asking?”
“Um…nothing. just wanted to know”.
Soon, the onions were wilted and I added tomatoes and Worcestershire which Rodney had given to me.
“Hm. This smells good already” Rodney said as he closed his eyes to perceive the aroma.
“Well, I told you, Mr Rodney. I’m a good cook” I replied with a smile.
“Hey, don’t forget I’ve been handing you the ingredients, okay?” He said and I laughed.
After a minute, u poured in the chicken broth and bbq sauce.
I was trying to bring out the cayenne pepper when Rodney poured salt into the pot.
I screamed at the quantity of salt I had seen him putting in.
“Oh, my God! Mr Rodney; the salt is excess. It’s three much” I grouse as I stirred the content.
“Is it?” He asked and took a taste of it.
With the look on his face, it was gross.
“Let’s add water to it” he quickly suggested and took out water, but I was quick enough to stop him before he’d turn it into the pot.
“No, no, Mr Rodney. You don’t add water to brunswick stew” I said and he kept
the water back.
We were stranded.
“It’s not that bad anyway. We can still manage it.” He said without a diffident look and I sighed.
He’s not even remorseful.
After sometime, I added the chopped chicken and pork and stirred.
“What’s your favourite meal?” He asked as we waited for the food to stimmer.
“Um…well, I don’t really have a favorite meal. But if I’m to choose, then I think I’ll
go with pasta” I replied.
“Hm. Just pasta?”
“Yes. What about you, Mr Rodney?”
“Me? Well, I think I’ll go with French fries. It was also Jocelyn’s favorite” he replied, but this time around, he wasn’t really affected by it. I smiled and poured in the corn and lima beans.
“I think we’ve used up all the ingredients’ Rodney said.
“Well, we’ll just allow it to cook for some minutes” I replied and he nodded.
Then, he left for the sitting room while I remained standing in the kitchen. I
admired him as he walked away.
Jocelyn’s such a lucky person.
Not long after, I heard him shriek from the sitting room and I rushed over to see his finger bleeding. He had injured himself with a sharp object.
“oh, my God! Mr Rodney; How did this happen?” I asked with a worried look as I went over to meet him.
“It…It was a mistake. But don’t worry; I’m fine” he replied.
“No you’re not” I said and took him to sit.
I also sat, facing him as u held the finger.
“I’ll be right back” I told him and left and returned with a bowl of water, little napkin and a piece of cloth.
I took the finger and began cleaning the blood on it with the napkin and water. We remained quiet and I could tell he was staring at my face, although I fixed my eyes on what I was doing.
“Why do you love singing?” He asked after the short silence and I took a glance at him.
“Um…I don’t really know. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do” I replied and he smiled.
“Jocelyn also loved singing” he said with a rueful smile.
He really can’t do without her. He can’t stay for an hour without mentioning her name.
“Her favorite song was love story” he added.
Oh! Now I understand why I was lucky enough to get a second chance in the contest.
I thought of what to say. I didn’t want to remain silent, and I also didn’t want to say anything that’d upset him.
I could tell he was already emotional just mentioning her name. So, I felt scared going on with the conversation.
“She was a good singer, huh?” I finally asked.
“Of course she was. As little as she was back then, she was the best.
By that time, I was done with the cleaning and took the piece of cloth to tie it around the finger.
“Does it hurt?” I asked and he scoffed.
“No it doesn’t” he replied.
I tied it carefully around the finger.
“Sorry, this is the best I can do for now” I said aas I fred the finger. “Wow! I never knew I had a nurse with me” he replied and I laughed. “Hold on, Mr Rodney. A little adjustment over here”
I took the finger again and tried dressing the cloth on it.
“You need to be more careful , Mr Rodney. I don’t want your parents to think I was maltreated you in here” I said and he chuckled. “Yes, doctor. Sorry, nurse or guardian”.
And I laughed again.
Suddenly, a burnt smell filled the house.
“Hm. What’s that smell?” Rodney asked with a crumpled look.
“Oh, my God! The food Mr Rodney!” I exclaimed as I sprang on my feet while Rodney followed me behind.
I quickly tuned off the gas and opened the pot while coughing uncontrollably with Rodney.
Smoke puffed out from the pot and I had to wait for some time for the smoke to clear before stiring it.
“Oh, God! What a mess” Rodney said with a displeased tone as he looked into the pot.
“I’m so sorry Mr Rodney. I totally forgot”.
“And how could you forget?”
I looked at him and flinched.
We sat in the sitting room, facing each other with a round table in between and a plate of the brunswick stew in front of us.
Rodney squeezed his face as he gulped down large quantity of water while I forced myself to swallow the little quantity of the brunswick stew I had managed to taste. “This is a complete mess” Rodney grouse as he took in some juice.
“it’s too salty Mr Rodney. I think it’s a result of the excess salt you added” I replied and drank a little quantity of water.
“Hold on; are you trying to blame me for it?” Rodney asked.
“Even when it was salty, it was still manageable but the problem now is the burnt taste which you caused and that makes it your fault”. “I totally disagree. It’s too salty and that’s the problem.”
“No. The burnt taste is the problem. How could you forget you left a food on the gas?”
“But I was carried away attending…”
“That isn’t an excuse. A good cook should never be carried away no matter what”. I looked at him in surprise. Was he such a strong argument-master? Trying to put all the blames on me?
He’s lucky he’s such an important person else, I’d have punched him in the face. “You finally ended up ruining my lunch and now I’m so hungry. What do I do?” He asked and clicked his tongue.
I stared at him, seething with frustration.
“Um…If you want, I could rush over to an eatery and get some food for you” I replied and he shook his head.
“How am I sure you won’t end up spilling the food right at the doorstep?” He asked and stood up.
“I think I’d have to go by myself. I’ve had too many disappointments already”.
“Huh?. M…Mr Rodney, you’re going out?” I asked and also stood up.
“Well, yes. It’s almost evening and I haven’t even had lunch yet. Indeed, there’s no place like home”. He replied.
I stared at him from behind and rolled my eyes.
“Um…are you going alone?” I asked as he walked into the bedroom, probably
going to change.
“But I’m also hungry…”
“Well, you can eat your precious brunswick stew, miss chef”.
Chai. This people will not kill somebody.