“Why do you keep going there when I have my own house?” Kathleen hissed at her mother angrily the moment herself and Isioma walked into the house.
“So because you have a house I shouldn’t step outside? I don’t blame you. It’s me that left my husband’s house to visit you. Shey if you were married I would leave your house to another man’s house?” Her mother asked as she sat down on the couch, “Anyways I’ve prepared dinner. Go in and serve yourself.” Her mother said before sitting up to look into Kathleen’s face, “What were you both discussing in the car earlier?”
“Office issues. How did it go with Isioma today? Were you able to go to the hospital today?” She asked, wanting to change the subject.
“Yes. Chidi carried us around. He said your boss asked him to take us wherever we wanted to go. He is a very good man. You should go and thank him.” Kathleen’s mother said with a smile.
“He did?” Kathleen asked in surprise.
“Yes. Thanks to him the whole movement was very comfortable.” Isioma said with a nod.
“I’ll just change out of my work clothes and go over to thank him. I nee-d to check on Amanda too.” Kathleen said as she headed for her room.
Just as she dropped her on the dresser to take off her clothes, her phone started ringing and she smiled when she noticed it was a call from Chuka. She picked it and placed it on loud speaker while she went on to take off her clothes.
“How far?” Chuka asked immediately she took the call.
She didn’t nee-d to be told what he was asking about, “I just got home. It was just as you said. You won’t believe he held the door open for me when we were leaving the office. He even took me to that same restaurant.” Kathleen said with a giggle while Chuka laughed out loud.
“You don’t mean it! Did you do as I said and acted ignorant?” Chuka asked curiously.
“I was tem-pted to tell him o, but I didn’t sha. I even went as far as telling him I was going to try to [email protected]£ you, and he suggested I don’t go into any relationsh!pbecause I won’t have time to take care of his daughter, can you imagine that?” Kathleen asked ma-king Chuka chuckle.
“I told you he likes you. Now the ball is in your court.” Chuka said and before Kathleen could respond, she heard her be-droom door open and her mother walked in. There was no doubt in her mind that mother had been eavesdropping on her conversation, “Let me call you back.” She told Chuka before ending the call and standing up.
“What is it again?” Kathleen asked impatiently.
“Shey you heard him? The ball is in your court. Sit down.” Her mother instructed as she walked past her and went to sit on the be-d.
“I am tired. I nee-d to freshen up and rest.” Kathleen complained.
“The earlier you sit down and listen to me, the sooner you can leave here and freshen up. So if you like keep wasting your time.” her mother said indifferently as she balanced on the be-d.
“What?” Kathleen asked irritably as she sat down on the be-d.
“I was thinking just now, maybe you were shy yesterday because Isioma was pres£nt. So I want us to have a more pri-vate conversation like the one you were having with your friend just now. You are interested in your boss, right?” She asked ma-king Kathleen want to cry.
“Mummy nau! Not this t©pic again. We are done with it alre-ady. You said smile often, I heard you. You said dress fine, I heard that too. Leave me alone nau! Just focus on the reason you’re here and take care of Isioma, plea-se. You’re going to make me go into depression at this rate.” Kathleen pleaded.
“So does that mean you like your boss?” Her mother asked, ignoring all her rants.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I guess it’s a good thing that you don’t know. Not knowing means you don’t hate him, cause if you hated him you would definitely know.” Her mother said with a satisfied smile.
“I know he likes you alre-ady. He just nee-ds a little push for him to ask you out.” Her mother said as she stood up from the be-d and headed for Kathleen’s wardrobe.
“What are you doing?” Kathleen asked her mother as she stood up to st©p her.
“I want to pick out what you will wear to go and say thank you to him.” Her mother said with a wi-nk.
“Mummy! Are you not a Christian? These clothes are not born again nau! Where did you even get them from?” She protested when her mother picked out a crop t©p and a r!pp£dbu-m short which revealed her bu-tt cheek.
“I bought them for you when we went out today, don’t worry, I alre-ady washed them And just so you know, there is nothing born again about you being unmarried at this age. God gave a commandment to be fruitful and to multi-ply and replenish the earth. If you don’t get married how will you obey that commandment? Besides I didn’t say you should go and fornicate o. I’m just saying give him a preview of what he will be missing if he allows another man near you. See, what do these people call it, ehm… yes! Movie trailers! What you’re doing now is showing him the trailer. He has to come and marry you to see the real thing.” Her mother said with a wi-de smile, feeling proud of herself.
“What are you doing?” She asked in alarm when Kathleen picked up a [email protected]
“I want to wear my [email protected]…”
“It’s late alre-ady. No nee-d.” Her mother said as she took the [email protected] from her and dropped it in the wardrobe, “I’m your mother, so trust me on this one, okay? Just go there. Say hi to Amanda, thank him and come back. I’m not saying s£dûç£him or do anything. Your clothes will do all the work.” She said with a smile.
“And I re-ad somewhere that asking for a man’s help makes him feel important… Amanda said her father exercises in the morning, so I was thinking you should ask him to take you along when he exercises.” Her mother said with a wi-de smile again.
“You have really planned this thing.” Kathleen said in a resigned tone.
“Yes. If Naomi could do it for her daughter in-law, Ruth, then I should do for my own daughter too. This way by the time I’m re-ady to leave, I want to see real progress between the both of you. Now go and do this one first. When you come back I will tell you how it went at the hospital, then you can tell me about that your friend you were talking to just now.” Her mother said.
“Wait, one more thing. Try to make it seem like you dressed that way because of Chidi and not him. We don’t want to be too obvious.” Her mother added with a wi-nk.
As Kathleen opened the door to Pete’s [email protected] some minutes later, she couldn’t help being self-conscious. She tried to pu-ll down the crop t©p over her abd0m£n, but just as she did that, Pete who was heading to the door to lock it for the night, sp©tted her adjusting her t©p.
One look at the surprise on his face, and Kathleen guessed he was probably thinking she had been adjusting her t©p to look S-xy, “It’s not what you think.” She blurted out quic-kly.
Pete who had a lump in his throat on seeing her dressed in that way, reluctantly moved his eyes from her b©dy to look into her face, and almost smiled when he saw the [email protected] on her face, “What do I think?” He asked trying to maintain the blank innocent expression on his face.
“I mean I wasn’t trying to adjust my t©p to look S-xy or…”
“You weren’t?” He asked in amusement. She looked naturally S-xy without even trying to, so he wasn’t sure an explanation was nee-ded.
“No. I… I mean, I.. *clears her throat* I just [email protected]£ to check on Amanda, and find out what I’m preparing for breakfast tomorrow, and to thank you too. Yes, thank you for asking Chidi to drive them around.” Kathleen finished, sounding very flvstered.
“Are you uncomfortable?” Pete asked when he noticed how her hands kept going to her expo-sed abd0m£n to cover it.
“Me? No.” She lied.
“Good. You should come in, you’re still standing by the door.” Pete said as he turned around and headed for the living room.
He had no doubt that her mother had put her up to this, seeing how uncomfortable she looked in what she was wearing. The same person who had went in to put on a [email protected] un-der her clothes the night he had gone to her [email protected] couldn’t just come to his house dressed in this manner now.
“Where is Chidi?” Kathleen asked, looking around the living room like she was looking for him.
“He has retired for the night. Why?” Pete asked curiously.
Kathleen made her face fall like she was disappointed, “Nothing. Was just hoping I’d see him.” She said with sigh ma-king Pete’s brows pu-ll together in a frown.
Had she dressed that way because of Chidi? Did her mother now prefer Chidi over him because she had spent more time with him? Pete wondered with a scowl. That wasn’t possible anyway, since he was sure her mother knew the house was his, and Chidi was only squatting with him, he reasoned.
Kathleen stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to say or do, now that neither Chidi nor Amanda were… Speaking of Amanda, she raised her head to look at him, “Uhm, what about Amanda? How is she? Has she done her @ssignments?”
“She is okay. She is in her room studying. And yes, your sister helped her with her @ssignments.” Pete said trying [email protected] not to look at her as he sat down with his legs crossed and pretended to be watching the television.
“What would you like for breakfast tomorrow?” Kathleen asked not knowing what else to say.
“You should sit down. You’re not my house girl.” Pete reminded her ma-king Kathleen reluctantly move into the living room to sit down on the couch adjacent to his.
“So what will you like to eat?” Kathleen asked again.
“I’ll figure something out in the morning. Just relax your back. It’s been a long day.” Pete suggested.
“In that case I should return to my…”
“Is there a reason you’re always in a hurry to leave whenever you’re around me?” Pete asked curiously.
“I’m not in a hurry, I just feel I should go and get some rest since neither Chidi nor Amanda are available.” She said ma-king Pete sit up.
“They’re the only people you care to see in the house?” He asked ma-king Kathleen frown.
“I haven’t seen Chidi all day, and I haven’t seen Amanda since we dropped her off at school in the morning. But I saw you at the office and even watched you while you ate dinner…” Kathleen reminded him.
“Does that mean you [email protected]£ here dressed this way just to see Chidi?” Pete let his eyes roam over her b©dy as he asked the question which had been on his mind since she asked after his cousin.
Kathleen shifted in her seat uncomfortably, “I beg your pardon?” Kathleen said, even though she was beginning to feel [email protected] by the way his eyes was now travelling down her b©dy.
“Do you like him?” Pete asked, deciding to be blunt.
“I’m not sure that is a question my boss should be asking me.”
“He is my cousin, so I have a right to know.” Pete said ma-king Kathleen scoff.
“And what if I like him? Are you going to st©p me?” Kathleen asked, deciding to see just what he had in mind.
“Did I hear someone say she likes me?” Chidi asked as he joined them. He took a step back when he caught sight of what Kathleen was wearing, “Ah! Nne I am your red carpet, biko step on me!” Chidi exclaimed in his Igbo accent, ma-king Kathleen giggle, while Pete looked at Chidi with a slightly raised brow. Which kind of line was that one? I’m your red carpet ke?
“I thought you retired for the night alre-ady?” Kathleen asked without bothering to look at Pete.
“I had retired before, but my spirit kept asking me to come out, so I [email protected]£ out. Now I un-derstand why. My spirit didn’t want me to sleep without beholding your majestic beauty.” Chidi said as he sat down beside Kathleen on the couch, and turned his back to Pete while facing Kathleen.
Pete didn’t like that he had been trying not to stare at her all evening since he felt it would be disrespectful to look at her, while here was Chidi taking it all in and singing her praises while she grinned like an idiot. He contemplated excusing them and going into his room, but changed his mind. This was his house and he wouldn’t give them any space to be alone together.
“Thanks for carrying my mom and sister around today” She said, but Chidi quic-kly waved it off.
“Your mother is like mother to me, and Isioma…”
“Since when?” Pete asked before he could st©p himself. Was Chidi indirectly trying to hit on Kathleen with these lines?
“Huh?” Chuka asked distractedly.
“Since when did her mother become like a mother to you when she only just [email protected]£ yesterday?” Pete asked.
“Since I met her yesterday. She is fun to be with.” Chidi said without bothering to look at Pete either.
“Your mother even told me to feel free to pick any of her daughters, that she would like me to be her son in-law. She even showed me the pictures of your younger sisters.” Chidi told Kathleen who looked surprised to hear that.
“Yeah. But I told her I wanted to work things out with you first. She also promised to prepare ban-ga soup for me tomorrow.” Chidi said with a wi-nk, which made Kathleen narrow her eyes suspiciously.
ban-ga soup? Her mother didn’t like ma-king that soup because of all the work involved in pounding and washing the palm fruit. The only way her mother would have agreed to make it, was if Chidi was doing something for her in return. Had her mother put Chidi up to this? To make Pete jealous? That woman!
“Work things out with her? What do you mean?” Pete asked, trying not to scowl at Chidi. He was beginning to un-derstand why Chidi’s boss had fired him. He would fire him too if he was in his boss’ shoes.
“You know, like try to work on the chemistry between us. You feel it too, don’t you?” Chidi asked Kathleen who just kept smiling at him without saying a word.
“You should go to be-d now. Tomorrow is a work day.” Pete suggested to Kathleen when he could no longer ignore the conflicting emotions churning inside of him. He didn’t want to hear Kathleen’s response to Chuka’s question, and he didn’t want them to continue with the t©pic either.
“Yeah, you should go and get your beauty sleep. What are we having for breakfast tomorrow? So I can wake up early and come out and help you while we gist.”
“Hm, he hasn’t said anything yet.” Kathleen said turning to look at Pete who was glaring at herself and Chidi.
“Chidi excuse us for a moment, I nee-d to speak with her pri-vately.” Pete said, turning to look at Chidi.
“Alright, let me get a bottle of water from the refrigerator and pick my phone from my room. I will be back soon.” Chidi said, giving Kathleen a wi-nk before walking away.
“If you like don’t even come back.” Pete muttered un-der his breath as Chidi walked away.
“For someone who doesn’t have a b©yfri£nd, are you planning on two-timing my cousin with your friend?” Pete asked the moment they were alone.
“I don’t see why that should bother you. If it’ll help you feel better I will let Chidi know I went out with a male admirer today.” Kathleen said with a straight face.
“He’s now a male admirer? Didn’t you say he was just your friend earlier?” Pete asked with a confused frown.
“Is there a reason you’re so interested in my personal life? If there isn’t, I’ll like to leave now. Amanda will have tea in the morning, and take macaroni to school.” Kathleen said before standing up to leave.
Pete’s heart skipped a beat when he got a clear view of her backside as she turned her back to him. Her @ss was this big? He asked himself as he looked away from her bu-tt cheek. Being a gentleman was a serious problem for him at a time like this. He wanted to look at her properly, but he didn’t want to [email protected] either of them.
“I’ll see you off to the door.” Pete said as he followed her. He didn’t mind her leaving since he wanted her to go home so she wouldn’t speak with Chidi again for the night.
Pete instinctively raised a hand to her shoulder to balance her, and they both froze for a second as they looked into each other’s eyes, before she quic-kly took a step back and looked away before clearing her throat.
“I was saying…”
“Let’s talk tomorrow.” Pete said as he quic-kly turned around and walked away. He nee-ded to put some distance between them. He wasn’t thinking clearly at the moment. He would have k!$$£d her had she not moved away, and that was very crazy.
He knew without doubt that whatever she was trying to achieve by dressing this way, she was definitely going to succeed. Ken had planted the lvst and de-sire in his heart, and now he couldn’t get the thought of tou-ching her out of his head. How could he even resist such a temptation when she was dressed this way?
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 49