The Way To A Man’s Heart 💌💌
💌💌By Hossana Isaac O.
(Hossy Short Story Series)
Mom entered the kitchen and held the girl’s hand. “come say hi to my son Louisa”
They both walked to me. The girl was wearing an apron.
“hello Mr Mariano” she said. She has Italian accent
“hi” I managed to say despite my confusion. I looked to my mom and she chuckled
“Louisa would be staying here with you as your chef. I know how much you love food and how much you miss Italian food so I brou-ght her to always cook your meals” she said and smiled at the girl who managed to smile back at her. It seemed the girl was a little nervous.
“wow” that was all that c@m£ out of my mouth
“are you surprised?” my mother asked
“hell yeah I am”
“but there’s one condition Jesse, she has to go to school. She wants to get educated and you have to take care of that. You have to sponsor her to college”
“college?” I asked looking at my mom
“yes. I know it’s not too big for you. Come on”
“sure, sure that’s not a big deal. I can do that”
“great! I told you he would agree. You don’t have to be nervous anymore” my mother said and stro-ke her hair down. She smiled brightly. I was right. She was nervous
“thank you so much sir. Thank you”
“yeah. Uhm, what is it that you’re cooking?”
“chicken brea-sts pizzaiol and tisimura for dessert” she replied in her cool Italian accent. No doubt this lady speaks Italian a lot.
“sounds good to me. I’m gonna go change” I said and my mother win-ked at me. Crazy woman.
I pe-cked her cheek and went to the couch, took my suit and l@pt©p and headed upstairs to my room. I had a cool shower and I decided to rest on my be-d for few minutes. I was wearing a white vest and white shorts.
I took my phone and browsed throu-gh it forgetting all the hunger that followed me home. Or was it the thought of finally eating something palatable that calmed me down?
I shrugged and continued going throu-gh Instagram.
I checked the time and found out that half an hour had gone. I was surprised. I looked outside throu-gh the large window and it was alre-ady dark.
“wow” I muttered and stretched myself. I got down from the be-d and wore my sli-ppers then strolled out of the room. I met my mom climbing up the stairs
“ohh pistachio, I was coming up to get you” she said as I started walking towards her
“st©p calling me pistachio. It’s embarras-sing” I lamented and she laughed
“that’s why I didn’t call you that in the pres£nce of the pretty lady. Come on, dinner is set. Let’s eat” she held out for my hand and I gave her. She then walked me down the stairs like she always does.
When I was much younger, I fell down the stairs and broke my arm. It was a major fracture that didn’t heal till one year and five months. At that time, my dad had been killed in a casino where he gambled, lost and didn’t have any money though he said he had lots of money with him as his wager.
Things were difficult for us, especially my mom who had to go back and stay with her parents since she could not pay our rent.
Her parents house was an ancient house, it was from the 19th century. My cousins and aunts and uncles were staying there too.
Just one week after our arrival, I was trying to run down the concrete stairs when I missed one and fell all the way down.
When my arm was treated, I still nee-ded to use the stairs to go to my room. I had developed a fear for staircases and I refused to use the room upstairs. My grandparents wanted to arrange for a room downstairs so the occu-p@n-t could go to my room upstairs but my mom refused. She was determined to help me let go of that new found fear.
She truly helped me. Everyday she would hold my good hand and walk me down the stairs gently. She would also walk me up whenever I was going to be-d. This way, I felt safer because I knew even if I wanted to fall, mom was holding me.
Time flew, and I br@ced myself up and said I could use the stairs like everyone else. That’s how I lost that fear after months of living in it.
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But till today, if mom and I are using the stairs together, she holds that hand
“we’re eating outside today. It’s really beautiful. I bet you’d feel Italy in the air” she said as we approached my courtyard.
I smiled as the sweet smell of food sanitized the area.
In the middle of the courtyard, a table was there. Two big candles lit up the table and the wine in the glas-ses sparkled. The sky had beautiful stars and I began to thank God it’s summer or else outside would be freezing to stay.
My mom led me to the table which was alre-ady filled up with food. I began to wonder if it was only pizzaiol we were having
Louisa was covering the wine bottle when we arrived.
“sit” mom said and drew a chair for me. I sat down and my eyes met with Louisa’s. She smiled at me and I smiled back
“I’ll say Grace” mom volunteered and we all closed our eyes and put our hands together as mom prayed.
To be honest I didn’t hear a word of that prayer, my nostrils blocked my ears. The smell of good food wouldn’t let me be.
I only knew the prayer was over when I started hearing Amen. I opened my eyes and said Amen too.
We began to eat and I couldn’t st©p m0@n ing out loud. This food is the food cooked by angels in heaven.
“this is the best thing I’ve had this year. Gosh!” I said amidst mouthfuls
“you like it?” Louisa asked
“do I like it or do I love it”
Mom nudged me with her elbow as crumbs of chicken fell out of my mouth while I was busy m0@n ing.
“where are your table manners Jesse?” she asked
“I left them standing as I sat down”
Louisa laughed and mom shook her head
I washed the dishes after dinner was over. I was really excited to be in London. I was even more excited that Mr Mariano accepted to sponsor my education. Finally I can go to school, graduate and have a good life. Papa would be so proud of me.
As I washed the dishes and hummed to my local songs, I heard someone clear their throat so I looked back
“Mr Mariano” I said. He was leaning against the wall with his hand resting on the cabinet. Mr Mariano was tall, but I was taller.
“great dinner today” he said and I smiled
“you cook excellently Louisa” he added
“thank you. I’m glad you liked it” I said and he grinned and left.
So he just c@m£ to compliment my food? Hmm
I resumed the dishes and soon I was done. I arranged them in the dish rack after drying them with a dish towel and I rinsed my hands and left the kitchen.
Mrs Mariano was watching TV and her son was seated beside her on the wi-de and long couch. I looked at the television and it was an action movie. I would have loved to watch but I was really tired and I wanted to stretch myself on that hvge, soft white be-d upstairs. Besides, I was shy of the young man and I couldn’t possibly watch a movie with him.
“come join us Louisa” Mrs Mariano said
“thank you ma’am but I am tired. I want to go to be-d” I said
“you’re right. The flight and cooking must have made you tired. You can go to be-d my darling”
“thank you” I said and went to the stairs.
Mr Mariano didn’t even look at me. His eyes were glued to the TV and he was taking sips from his orange jui-ce.
I went upstairs and located the room his mother gave me. I entered and closed the door then heaved a sigh of relief. Thank God I’m finally alone.
I undressed and took a shower then la-id on the be-d and I soon sle-pt off.
I had woken up quite early and I showered and br@ided my hair into two straight rows. I had long w@!st length hair and I loved to style it.
I wore a black pair of trou-sers and a white shi-t. I then headed down and began to make some barley bre-ad for breakfast. I also brewed some coffee that Mrs Mariano had brou-ght.
Barley bre-ad goes well with peanuts and thank God I saw a peanut jar in his fridge.
Before 7 am I had finished cooking and I began to set the table. That was when Mr Mariano c@m£ down with his office suit.
“good morning sir” I greeted him as I filled a mug with h0t coffee
“wait. Breakfast is set? So soon? Wow” he said looking at the table
“cool” he said and sat down. I gave him the mug I had just filled and I covered the remaining food
“you’re not gonna eat yet?” he asked
“I’m waiting for Mrs Mariano”
“why? You’re scared of eating with me?” he asked
“no. I just don’t want Mrs Mariano to eat alone” I replied
“okay, whatever you say”
I then entered the kitchen.
It’s not like I’m really waiting for Mrs Mariano. I’m actually scared of eating with him. I might pour h0t coffee on my white shi-t.
The Way To A Man’s Heart💌💌
💌💌By Hossana Isaac O.
(Hossy Short Story Series)
I soon heard my name from the dining room so I went there. Mrs Mariano was alre-ady seated.
“come eat honey” she said and I gently sat down opposite Mr Mariano.
We began to eat in silence though Mr Mariano didn’t take long before he stood up. He had alre-ady finished his breakfast and was going to work.
“I’ll be off for Italy before you come back from work Jesse” his mother announced
“what? You’re leaving today?”
“yes. I have to. Your brother has to resume school in two days and I have to help me get some things re-ady”
“what time are you leaving? I’ll try and come home before then. Maybe I’ll drop you off at the airport then go back to the office”
“I’ll be going by 10am. I alre-ady booked my flight” she said and lifted up the mug to herl-ips. She made a sound while sipping the coffee, that might mean the coffee is still very h0t
“I can’t come home then. That’s when my meeting begins”
“don’t worry about me Jesse. I’ll still come over and visit soon” she replied and her son bent down and k!$$£d her cheek
“take care mom. Love you” he said
“OH I love you more pis…” he frowned at her and she paused then looked at me. She chuckled
“I love you more Jesse. Go to work now. You don’t wanna be late” she said and he nodded
“bye” he said then turned and began to walk away. After he had gone for about five minutes, Mrs Mariano cleared her throat.
“how do you see him?” she asked
“see who? Your son?” I asked
“he’s… Well… He’s… He looks nice” I managed to say because I really didn’t know what to tell her
“he’s good looking isn’t he?” she asked with a smile
I chuckled “just like Lucas” I said.
Lucas was her other son. He was two years younger than me but he is so good looking. So is his brother
“he can be very n@ûghty at times so be very careful my dear. Don’t forget to always cook in time. And make sure you cook all those lovely delicacies Pablo thought you” she said and drained her mug then cleaned her mouth with a napkin
“I will ma’am” I replied.
But what did she mean by he can be very n@ûghty and that I should be careful. I hope he’s not the type that’s fast to anger. But what does anger have to do with being n@ûghty?
“we’ll go shopping in a few minutes Louisa, I want to get some things for Lucas and Pablo too” she said and stood up
“really? That would be so nice of you” I said as the thought of my father receiving things from London would gladden him. He’s the Pablo she’s talking about and he was a chef almost all his life. Right from when he was fifteen years and now he’s quite old and aged.
“clear the table then go shower. We leave in thirty” she said and walked away
I smiled and quic-kly drained my mug. I stood up and cleared the table then washed the mugs and plates we used.
After I showered, I wore a pair of jean trou-sers and I wore a pink shi-t on t©p. I left my hair in br@ids and I took a little purse then went to the living room. Mrs Mariano was alre-ady waiting for me
“oh you look good my darling” she said immediately she saw me
“thank you” I said with a smile. Mrs Mariano likes everything about me.
“but I’m going to prefer pink shoes to go with your outfit. Maybe we’ll buy some pink shoes at the mall” she said
“oh. Okay. Thank you ma’am” I said and she held my hand as I reached her.
We began to walk out of the house. We got to the road and flagged down a taxi then went to the mall.
I waved at Mrs Mariano as her uber drove her away. I heaved a sigh and entered the house that suddenly seemed too big and empty for me. Actually, my home in Italy is quite bigger than this. It’s an ancient house. My father is the last descendant of a R0m-n Prince who decided to live in isolation. He had his own small castle and lived for decades there. He died and his own son continued to live there. It continued on and on till it reached my great great grandfather who is my dad’s great grandfather. He was a lazy man and wasted all the inheritance he got on alcohol. My father said he was going to sell the house after firing all the workers but a week before the sale, he died. And that’s how his grandfather lived in the house without any workers. Just him and his family. Unfortunately they all died early and only his own father remained and now him.
The house is really nice. Like I said, it was a small castle and it’s for only I and Marcel to roam in. Marcel is my youngest brother of two years, he’s the same age with Lucas. Our mother died when he was being born.
I sank into the only couch in the living room. The hvge and wi-de couch.
I turned on the television and settled to watch TV. Then I felt the urge to eat popcorn. I walked to the kitchen and got re-ady to pop some corn. I made Mrs Mariano buy some for me earlier at the mall.
I made popcorn and left half of it in the fridge for Mr Mariano, just in case he might want it.
I went back to the living room and sat down to watch TV.
After about two hours, the door opened and Mr Mariano walked in.
“Mr Mariano?” I asked in surprise. I thought his mother said he comes home by 5pm.
“just call me Jesse. I can’t hear Mr Mariano at work and still come to my house and hear it. It’s tiring” he said and closed the door
“oh. Uhm, I’m sorry.” I said and stood up. I went to him and collected his suitcase.
“is mom gone?” he asked as he sat down on the couch where I stood up from
“yes. She left two hours ago” I answered. He yawned and re-moved his shoes
“why are you back so early? I thought you would be back in the evening” I said as I stood holding his suitcase, not really knowing what to do with it.
I was so surprised he was back alre-ady. I didn’t even cook anything for lunch yet
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“my boss gave us the rest of the day off, after the meeting” he replied
“oh. I’m sorry I didn’t prepare anything to eat” I apologized.
“it’s okay. We were served at the meeting. But I might get hungry soon”
“okay sir. Uhm, where should I keep this?” I lifted up his suitcase
“you can give me that, I’m heading upstairs” he said and I handed it to him.
He went upstairs with it and with the shoes he re-moved. He looked really tired and I wanted to do something for him to at least take to give him a little energy.
I entered the kitchen and checked his fruit basket. I took two apples and I washed them and diced them. I got a bottle of milk and poured it into the blender with the apples then blended it into a very smooth smoothie
I poured it into a glas-s cu-p and added some ice then took a straw and kept it in it. I had seen some crackers in the fridge. I brou-ght them out and kept them on a plate.
I arranged both the smoothie and crackers in a plate then gently carried it to the living room.
Jesse was alre-ady there.
“Mr Mariano… I mean Jesse. You can take this for now. I’ll go get lunch re-ady” I said and I dropped the tray on the table before him.
He looked surprised. Why should he be surprised?
“wow!” he exclaimed
“why didn’t you come here earlier?” he said and I chuckled
“thank you” he added
“you’re welcome sir” I said and went back into the kitchen
I settled down on the couch after I got down from upstairs. I had taken a cold shower and I was determined to rest. Thank God the CEO gave us the rest of the day off. The meeting was successful. Our company had won the contract we’ve so been working for.
As I looked at the television, I heard movements beside me so I looked up. It was Louisa, holding a tray
“Mr Mariano… I mean Jesse. You can take this for now. I’ll go get lunch re-ady” she said and dropped the tray on the table. It contained a plate of my favorite crackers and a smoothie. From the aroma, it should be apple.
“wow!” I exclaimed. So food can come my way easily like this without me suffering myself to enter into the kitchen.
“why didn’t you come earlier?” I asked and she chuckled.
“thank you” I said
“you’re welcome sir” she replied and left the living room.
I began to eat while watching the TV. I would have hired a chef a long time ago if I knew it would be like this. It was some of my friends that discouraged me from having a chef. They said their own chefs always starve them by not preparing the food when they ought to. They are always delaying meals. And with the man I am, you del@ymy food for two minutes, I eat you raw. That’s why I always went to restaurants where the food was always re-ady.
When I finished up, I picked up the tray and took it to the kitchen. She was there kneading dough and her face had a bit of flour
“hey” I said as I dropped the tray on the counter
“are you done? Sir?” she asked and she st©pped kneading
“yes. Uhm, thank you” I said and she smiled and tried to take the tray but I st©pped that
“no. You continue with what you’re doing. I’ll take care of this”
“okay” she said and continued to knead. I dropped the tray in the sink and washed the cu-p and dish then I faced her
“what are you ma-king?” I asked and crossed my arms
“margherita” she replied and I smiled. She pronounces every word in the Italian accent
“pizza margherita?” I asked
“yes. You don’t like it?” she asked looking at me
“no, I like it. I do”
“okay” she simply replied
It’s been a week since Louisa c@m£. Her meals are superb and the stress of picking which restaurant to go to for each meal has been taken away from me. Now, I just relax and all my meals are set with no stress on my p@rt.
I had alre-ady finished the day’s work. My closing time has been adjusted. I now close by 4pm.
As I opened the door to come out, I saw Alyson standing right there.
‘‘whoah” I exclaimed
“I’m spending the night at your place” she said with a voice that seemed like that was an order.
Her face was in a frown and it seemed she just had a fight with someone
“you can’t spend the night at my place. We didn’t plan to” I said and stepped out of the office.
My secretary was sitting on her chair and she was frowning too
“and when did we start planning our sleepovers?” Alyson asked me.
“I’ve got plans for tonight okay. I really have to get going” I said and walked past her.
“see you tomorrow” I said to my secretary as I hurried away
“see you tomorrow sir” she replied
I heard a loud laughter from her afterwards and then I heard “looks like you just got rejected. Hahahaha”
Those ladies were definitely fighting.
I entered the elevator and went down then left the building, entered my car and drove off.
When I reached the house, Louisa was watching TV. We exchanged plea-santries and I went upstairs for a shower.
When I got back, I met her going to open the door.
She was eating some fries 🍟 when I c@m£ and they were still on the table. I sat down on the couch and took a fry then began to eat.
She opened the door and I heard an exclamation from a voice I heard few minutes ago at the office.
“whoah! Wow! Really?” Alyson said.
I stood up immediately and went to the door.
“Alyson. What are you doing here?” I asked in surprise. I thought I told her not to come over
“I can see you’re busy with the ‘plans’ you have for tonight just as you told me” she had stressed the word ‘plans’.
“did you follow me?” I asked her
“hell yeah I did” she replied
“I’m just going to excuse you both” Louisa said and left
“Italian model I see. No wonder you were in such a hurry to come home alone. Because you have some Italian hands to keep you warm tonight” she said
“Italian hands? No… Louisa is just my…”
“…new be-d mate. I get it, I’ve been replaced by some skinny S-xy girl. But our contract’s not even over till next week. And I thought we were gonna renew it” she said and crossed her arms. I sighed and looked at her
“come in” I said
“what? You want a thr££s©menow or what?” she asked
“Just come in Alyson” I said and helped her in.
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