By: Faith Lucky.
I stood as I watched Rodney go throu-gh 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 shi-t he held.
I smiled innocently.
He rifled throu-gh 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 brou-ght 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 [email protected]; I thought angrily.
I got to the reception and placed the card on the table.
“Hey; I nee-d a cig…”
I was about pronouncing the cigarette pack when I saw someone unexpected – Leo.
I quic-kly 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 [email protected]£ 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.
I am holding the cigarette in my hand and he stared at it with his mouth open.
“Do you smoke?” He finally f0rç£d 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 st©p it but, I can’t”.
He smiled and moved closer to me
He brushed my hair with his palm and tucked the left [email protected] 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 nee-d?” 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 bre-ad.
“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 [email protected] 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 alre-ady 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 be-droom 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 clas-ses 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.
“St©p 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 quic-kly 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 ma-king 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 alre-ady?”
I ignored her and continued with the list and after a while, I was done.
I sli-pped 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 shi-t?” 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 che-st.
“Has it become a crime to look good, Rachel?” I asked.
“Well, I can’t remember the last time you applied as little asl-ipstick. 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 alre-ady? 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 de-eply for him. Remember he loves Jocelyn and I think he’s re-ady to chose her over a thousand ladies”
I finally shook my head and st©pped staring.
“Where do you get these ideas from, Rachel? Mr Rodney and I are even ba-rely 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 esc-rt to the market?” I asked and Rachel rolled her eyes.
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 [email protected] 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 nee-d to leave. I nee-d 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 [email protected] and put a pot on it and next, I turned in the bu-tter to heat.
“Have you ever prepared this before?” Rodney asked as we watched the bu-tter 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 nee-d 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 alre-ady” 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 quic-kly suggested and took out water, but I was quic-k enough to st©p 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 skrie-k from the sitting room and I rushed over to see his f!nger 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 f!nger.
“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 f!nger 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 un-derstand 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 alre-ady 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 f!nger.
“Does it hurt?” I asked and he scoffed.
“No it doesn’t” he replied.
I tied it carefully around the f!nger.
“Sorry, this is the best I can do for now” I said aas I fred the f!nger.
“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 f!nger again and tried dressing the cloth on it.
“You nee-d 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 quic-kly tuned off the [email protected] 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 displea-sed 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 flin-ched.
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 squee-zed his face as he gulped down large quantity of water while I f0rç£d 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 jui-ce.
“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 [email protected]?”
“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 cli-cked his ton-gue.
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 alre-ady”.
“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 be-droom, 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 someb©dy.
Dear Jocelyn Episode 17 & 18