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What lies beneath Episode 32

Episode 32
We talked about several things but she still did not mention anything about her relationsh!pwhich was the big question on my mind.
Since she did not want to talk about the main thing neither am I going to ask.
And if I will ever ask is definitely not now.
I listened with a smile as she continued speaking freely
“… this is my third time here and I haven’t still met your woman… she must be very scarce and does not come around often…
That’s the only answer I could give her.
“You don’t look so lively today… hope there’s no problem? Last week plate of plantain and fish you liked it right?…I brou-ght another one for you is on the dining table…
“Thanks Ezi..but you could have asked me first before buying it.
“I know, sorry sir but if you’re not interested I will take it home and eat. Nothin to waste.
I looked at her and she started grinning.
I wonder what was funny
“I will have to suspend what I planned to eat today and have the plantain later. But if you desperately want it then you can go ahead and have it. No ha-rd feeling…is fine.
“No sir… is yours. I was only pu-lling your legs.
I nodded quietly and return my look to the television.
I noticed she was looking at me and when I turned to check she looked away.
“Maybe I should be on my way now…”
She said but she was not ma-king any attempt to gr-ab her handbag or get up from where she sat.
“Eehmm… okay…”
I replied back and watched her as she slowly took her bag.
As she was about to stand I said.
“…or do you mind we…w…
I paused to watch her reaction.
She was too eager to hear the rest of the things I was about to say.
“We do what…?
She said as she couldn’t wait for me to complete the s£ntence.
“We eat the plantain you bought together…I may not be able to enjoy it like the last time but if we eat together it will be more fun…
“If that’s ok with you then am in sir.
I [email protected] out then smile as I started moving towards the dining, she followed.
I set up the table and she waited until I was done.
We sat beside each other as I opened the food, said short prayer and began to eat.
She didn’t join me.
“What’s wrong… you are not eating.
I asked and she moved uneasy in her sit.
“Sir,Do you mean we should eat together right from the same plate? Hope you won’t feel disrespected…I mean, you can dish out mine in a different plate. It looks somehow eating with you sir…
I straightened from the plate and looked at her.
“, What’s wrong with us eating together, we have done it in the past. Like the days we ate suya and barbecue together…do you remember?
“, yes sir, that one was suya. This is food and…
I quic-kly interrupted.
“You know what Ezi, if you’re not comfortable then is fine. Take out a disposable plate over there and dish out for yourself. Do whatever you want… alright. Is okay by me…
She remained seated, after sometime she picked up a fork and glare at me.
“Hope you don’t mind sir… I may also end up eating more than you. Ones you notice that I’m rushing the food plea-se tap me because I may get carried away with this plantain…
I nodded jokingly.
She began to eat and she didn’t say anything again neither did I.
Alot must be going throu-gh her mind.
She took out pieces of the grilled fish and stare at it as if she was checking for bone.
Then point it towards me. I raised an eyebrow with a question of “what is it?
Hope she was not trying to feed me. No, Ezi wouldn’t do that.
“I wanted to eat the fish, I noticed you haven’t eaten fish yet, you have been eating plantain only and you should be the first tasting the fish because is your food. So you deserve the first bite… plea-se take it. Or you can take yours while I wait for you before going ahead to eat it…
She wanted me to eat the one in her fork, or take the first bite before she it.
Eziaku literally wanted to feed me, that is funny yet serious.
I took a cu-p of water, drank then set it down. I stare at her while she stare back for sometime before looking away.
“You can have yours, I will take the fish whenever I feel like. I’m more interested in the plantain…
She nodded silently and withdraw back her fork straight into her mouth.
She took two more spoon before dropping it.
Drank a glas-s of jui-ce and stood up.
“You haven’t really eaten much Ezi…
I said reminding her that there were still alot of food left in the plate.
“I’m not comfortable sir, that’s the truth. I’m not satisfied…I still want to eat more but I will rather not. You’re ma-king me uncomfortable with your clos£ness and even to chew feels somehow for me. I don’t want to chew loudly because you dislike it and I can’t chew too quietly because that will be unlike me. I will eat when I get home where i can be myself and eat any quantity I plea-ses…
I scoffed loudly as I went back eating. I was beginning to enjoy the whole meal.
“When does my clos£ness becomes an issue? I mean when do sitting next to you starts bothering you so much? It never bothers you before so why now… what is going on with you… because I don’t have issue with you..
I took a serviette and wipe my oily mouth before I continued with the food.
“Well, it does not bother me it only put thoughts in my head. plea-se do not ask me what thought… I will sit in the parlour and wait for you to finish.
She moved to the sitting room and sat down.
I couldn’t finish the food at ones, I put back the remaining in the fridge for later.
I finished one small bottle water before going to Join her.
I walked to the room, took my wallet, counted money and brou-ght to her but she refused to collect
“What for? What’s the money meant for?
She said without collecting it.
“For the food, you bought a plate last week without collecting money and today again. You can’t be spending the little you have for me when i can aswell pay for the food.
She stood and stare at me with a funny look
“I will be rich someday too… you know. You freely buy things for others but when they try to reciprocate the same kindness you want to show off that you are capable of affording anything you want. If I wanted money, trust me I will ask you to pay me for the food. Even in my little I feel like a big woman… don’t belittle me plea-se because yours is in millions and mine is in thousands…
I looked around to be sure she was actually talking to me
“Wait a second…all this long talk for me because I offered you money which you could have simply said no to and I will return the money back with a thank you smile…
She picked up her bag from the chair and said.
“I’m sorry for my use of words Sir. I didn’t mean it to sound like an insult and wasn’t expecting you to pay me for buying something this little for you. You took me in, [email protected]£d me for a long period, feed and even cloth me. You never asked for any payback, the food is nothing Sir compared to many of your uncountable kindness.
She paused, bent her head and continued.
“…. I pray to be very good at what I do and make big living out of it. Meet a good man, get married and have a family someday…but until then, I will continue chasing the stars for brighter tomorrow…
She sat back, looked at me and try to smile but I can see her struggle.
I was pushed to ask her
“What happened to the man you wanted to marry. Your Uche…I can still remember his name. The man who will make a better husband and father to your kids than I will ever be…”
I paused and sat on the arm of a chair while glaring at her.
She started grinning and I kept wondering what exactly was ma-king her laugh at this point
“I thought you will never ask. I have been waiting patiently for you to ask me since. I said I wasn’t going to tell you until you ask and you finally did. Well, I was going to say it someday anyway but I was wishing that you will care to know and I’m happy you finally did… but I never said Uche was better than you, I said things out of anger doesn’t mean I meant them all.
I nodded with a twist in my mouth.
I wish I never asked and wait until she is re-ady to spill.
“Okay… I finally asked as you wished. Tell me what happened. I care to know…
She breathed uneasy and began to speak.
” Well… nothing serious happened. I did not travel for my introduction as I told you or my colleagues. I only traveled home to see Uche. Maybe seeing him will rekindle our love for each other which seems cold as of then. Maybe we could even take our relationsh!pto another level…all this was my thought.
I traveled and nothin really changed. I couldn’t still love him like i used to seriously do, him on the other side had one or two issue bothering him. He was not also concentrating in the relationsh!p. His uncle was about to sell his late father’s land and Uche was fighting all he can to st©p the man. The case was at the village head court which they go almost everyday to settle their land dispute issues. I know I can’t keep forcing myself to remain in the relationsh!pand he had no time for me really. I even had there was a girl from another village he was secretly seeing while I was away. I met the girl ones and he introduced her as just a friend. I spent a week trying to work out things but my mind was not with him anymore. I was the first to approach him and told him that I can’t continue with the whole thing. He felt relieved from his appearance. I guess he has been finding means to say the same thing too. He nodded and began to confess about this other girl and why how the lady has been there for him physically, emotionally and when he desperately nee-ded warmth and a someb©dy to share things with. I told him I totally un-derstand. I was able to even give him 10k as support to make sure he win his uncle and collect his father’s land. He was dumbfounded…he couldn’t believe that I could afford to give out such a very hvge amount…
I raised one brow and looked at her in a funny way.
She began to laugh.
“… see, I un-derstand that 10k isn’t hvge to you but for someone like Uche it was like ten million and the good thing is that he won the case and claim back his father’s land. When he called me few weeks ago to let me know I was very happy for him. He asked if I was [email protected]!ngI said no, I was more busy ma-king money and trying to better my life. He wished me the best and said that I had a clean spirit and a pure heart…a man well deserving of me will find me someday because he does not deserve my kind of person. He said I’m too good for him… and…
I waved her to st©p talking and she did.
“And you bought his lies…I mean I’m not disputing the fact that you’re nice Ezi but Uche was only saying all of that so you won’t feel bad about the whole break up thing. A smart person won’t fall for that…
“Listen sir, I was the one that approached Uche for a break up not him. If anyone has to feel bad is him not me. I wasn’t interested in the relationsh!panymore…I know we have come a long way but there was nothing holding us again, not love or physical intimacy. We were world [email protected] after two years, spent more than half a year without really communicating and when I finally got a phone our relationsh!pwasn’t strong as it used to be yet I try to see if it will return back to life. I wanted it to…I remained faithful and kept hoping Uche is the man for me but at the end my heart was saying different thing while my mouth was saying another. We ended things amicably and wished each other well. There was nothing to be smart about there because we’re still friends. The only difference is he had this other girl and I had my God and my self. We’re both happy like that…I spent just two weeks before coming back to Abuja. My grandma did not want me to return back to Abuja again, but I promise her that I will be back by this December to see her…
“Your grandma… what of your parents and siblings…
I asked calmly, she frowned at the question. I watched her facial expression changed. But I still wanted to know more about her so I remained quiet.
“I grew up with my grandma. My mother had me at home before getting married to a man from another village and abandoned me with my grandmother. She had a family and they don’t really fancy me. Nne, like I used to call my grandma raised me. She was a very difficult, tough woman and I learnt to adapt and learn a great deal from her. That’s the end of my story sir, hope you enjoyed it.
I smiled, nodded quietly before looking away from her.
“I will be leaving now… this time around, I’m really leaving…no more sitting down and talking…
She stood with her bag again and began walking towards the door.
I followed her behind.
“Will you like to come around next weekend? We can cook together or you buy what to cook while coming…
I asked, hoping she will be around more often.
“I’m not sure sir, I will be starting a weekend clas-s next weekend. Is a [email protected] time study in one college of education. I have been running around to get them to accept me, sitting for different exams and they finally did and my clas-s starts next Saturday. Atleast I will also get a small degree too… not just a skill. I’m putting my time and my little money to a good use. I haven’t paid all the acceptance fee but I promised to do so before exam starts.
“Wow.. that’s nice. I’m happy for you Ezi… really proud of you. Can I as-sist no matter how little… plea-se?
“Thank you sir, I wouldn’t mind but I can handle my own financial problems. Before starting school, I know what was required and I’m re-ady to juggle throu-gh it.
I try to t©uçh her but suddenly withdraw back my hand.
“I insist Ezi. I know you’re the boss lady and you got it all covered. Allow this little boy to as-sist you small ma.
She [email protected] my arm pla-yfully while laughing at my joke and I pretend to be in pain.
She immediately apologize, robbe-d a hand at the sp©t she [email protected]
We stood close to each other, she held her two hands together like she was cold
“, You don’t really have a woman… you only wanted to scare me away…or do you?
She asked me out of the blues.
“No, I don’t. I’m as single as you’re right now. Haven’t been able to love again ever since you walked away from my life. But is ok…I actually moved pas-sed those days…”
She looked up, straight into my eyes and said.
“, I’m really sorry sir. I did not meant to do that…I was actually hurt too…That I felt being with you will hurt me even more…
Her words were sincere and I believed her
“Is alright, is all in the past now. We have all moved on.
I replied back.
“After clas-s next week, I will probably st©p by if that’s okay with you.
I told her it was fine by me.
My emotions began to wage war within me as we stood close to the door together.
I looked from her eyes down to herl-ips and back to her eyes again.
I took few feet away from her and held the door knob.
“I will see you next week Ezi. Take good care of yourself. I will also transfer a token to your account. plea-se, don’t forget to s£nd the account details to me today… thanks for the plantain. Don’t buy another next week, we will cook ours…
“That sound great Sir. Thank you…byee.
I opened the door and she walked out.
I stood at the window watching her leave and wishing I could call her back.
I got hold of myself and went back to the living room.
the following weekend, Eziaku told me she couldn’t make it down because she closed late and had to rush to make hair for one of her customers who have been calling her.
She promised to come the following week.
I really miss her and looked forward to having her around again.
When I resumed work that Monday, Angela was not on seat.
After some hours she [email protected]£ and walk straight to my office crying.
“What happened to you?
I asked concerned.
She was crying heavily and tears kept running down her face.
“Is…is Peter. He dumped me…he broke my heart. I caught him with another babe yesterday as I went to pay him a surprise weekend visit like I normally do. There was another chick in his [email protected], I was very angry that I began shouting at him and he didn’t make attempt to come after me and apologies, instead he said if I was going to create a scene in his house I should quietly leave. He never called since then and when I try calling he did not pick up. I fell for him and he hurt me…he broke my heart….oh Peter. It hurt so much…I can’t bear the pain…
She kept crying uncontrollably.
I felt so bad for her but I was not really into her again
she no longer interest me like initially when I try to see if things will work out between us.
All I did was to try and console her before she cried to her own office in peace.
I know she will be alright because I have been there, I know how it feels to be heart broken.
I only wish I can help her beyond just spoken words because she was seriously hurting and wouldn’t go home.

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