WHAT LIES BENEATH
By AMAH’S HEART.
I silently sat in the sitting room watching Eziaku set the dining while my Mom was back to her room and I can hear her making calls.
Ezi looked towards my end and I quickly returned my eyes to the television.
I saw her coming but i pretended like never noticed her.
“The dinner is set on the dining… please come and eat” she said as she stood close enough for me to feel her pres£nce to my very skin.
I did not reply as I keep watching the television without turning to look at her.
From the corner of my eyes I can still see her standing.
She made attempt to tap me but held back her hand.
“… sir… Austin… Aus…
She was about calling my name again when I turned.
“What is it… what do you want?
I barked with a harsh voice.
“I said that the dinner is ready and the table is set…”
“Okay…so? What do you want me to do with this information now..? I asked with an annoying smirk
She breathed speedily and replied.
“To eat…to go over to the dining and eat.
I returned my attention to the television without another word.
“…can I go and inform your Mom? I don’t know if is okay by you… should I…
The guest room opened and my Mom came out at that moment.
She walked towards us and said
“Ahaa! Just within few minutes two of you’re already talking. I wonder why my son was acting all of that drama in my pres£nce when he obviously wants to settle things. Ezinne…my dear daughter is the food ready? I can perceive the fine aroma…
Eziaku told her that it was ready. She turned and followed her towards the dining.
I can hear her whispering something.
“, He’s still not talking to me ma”
My Mom gently tapped her shoulder and asked her to relax that I will come around.
I sighed and went back watching the television. Come which around?
I’m not talking to her she shouldn’t talk to me either.
It may seem childish but I’m loving my childishness. They should all leave me alone.
I’m very hungry but going over to that table to sit with them and eat the food Eziaku prepared will make my Mom think I’m cool and I actually came around like she predicted or make Eziaku feels I have soften up.
I’m not going anywhere, I will endure the hunger until tomorrow morning.
“Son… aren’t you eating? Please come over let’s have dinner…” My Mom beckoned on me to come over to the table.
“I’m not hungry Mom… I’m fine”
I replied, trying not to show any sign of how hungry I was really.
I wanted to check out the face of the food and why the aroma was directed to my nose.
I stood, walked over to the fridge , and pretend like I wanted to take water.
I stretched out my neck to check out their meal and just then my Mom caught me.
I quickly looked back to the fridge as she began to laugh.
“My dear son, don’t allow pride keep you away from this delicious meal Ezi prepared. I know you’re hungry because you did not eat the food offered to you at the program hall this afternoon. Because you are careful of eating outside food. Come and have a taste is very yummy… come, just take a spoon and if you don’t like it then you’re free to go.
My Mom was already wining me over. I’m seriously salivating, my stomach chose that exact time to make a sound.
Eziaku turned and looked at me, I stared back at her to stop looking at me.
She returned her face back to the food in front of her.
My Mom kept urging me with her sweet words. I made a face as I sluggishly went over to the table and join them.
I took a spoon, then another followed and so it continues.
“It tastes great right? My Mom asked and hope she was not expecting me to answer that.
“…Ezi is not just a beautiful, caring, loving lady… she is also a great cook.
Ezi began to blush shyly as she stylishly turned to look at me again.
Why is she even looking at me instead of my Mom that was filling her head with praise.
I focused more on my food as I took a bite of my fried fish and began to munch quietly.
“…who taught you how to cook like this Ezi? My Mom continued
Ezi who never stopped smiling and was not really eating much maybe because of my pres£nce turned and looked at me again.
“Austin taught me some of the things I know. Especially, how to prepare some of this English food which I was not really used to because I didn’t grow up in the city. Ma, your son is a fantastic cook…”
Eziaku said and my Mom laughed out before saying.
“He learnt from the best. I thought him well….Right from his younger age he was always ready to learn both how things are done in the kitchen and in general. Austin is not only a good listener, he also grab things fast. Just like his father. My husband is very patient… I won’t be able to last a year in marriage with an inpatient man. That’s where Austin got part of his nature from….
My Mom continued laughing as she drank water from a gl@ss cup before setting it down.
I couldn’t help but smile because the whole atmosphere was changing for my good and I was enjoying the whole gist
Maybe because they were both praising me like a little boy that came home with a good grade.
“Dad was not very patient when we were young Mom, I can still remember how he will s£nd us to our room upstairs anytime we play around the house… maybe he becomes more bending with age”.
I said as I wiped my mouth with a serviette.
“Your father had always been cool headed… maybe more with me. I can get on his nerve sometimes but that man will never raise his voice. He has always been calm and patient with everyone. You and your brother at a younger age usually disturbs his study time with your noises and that’s why you are mostly s£nt off to your rooms.
A drank water before getting up from the table.
My Mom was done too. So we stood up together.
I was happy that I ate because I feel light headed now.
The wonders of food.
Thank God that my Mom persuaded me, I would have allowed my pride get in the way of my stomach.
I stood without saying a words to Eziaku.
My Mom called me back as I was walking away and asked.
“Won’t you atleast say thank you to Ezi for making the delicious dinner?
I raised an eyebrow as I looked at my Mom.
“..yes, thank her for the meal. That was how I raised you…”
“Mom, I have lots of email to reply tonight. I need to go please…
I said pleadingly to my Mom that was holding my hand and stopping me from leaving.
“Not after you have thanked her. She deserved it Austin and you have to show some gratitude and stop all this pea¢0¢k pride on your shoulder. Anyway, Olisa will be very pleased to have her as a wife. She is a great cook…I know that your cousin likes food. He will be delighted when he learn that Eziaku is the woman he has been searching for all this while. alright, you can go and attend to your mail…”
My Mom left my hand to go.
I hate it whenever she brings Olisa to our conversations. I don’t like it because is annoying.
Can’t Olisa find wife for himself. Why must it be…
I paused from my thought and said more like a whisper to Ezi
I don’t care if she heard me or not.
I know Ezi actually heard me because mare looking at her ears they were positioned like radio antenna.
My Mom smile as I walked away to my room.
I replied some office mail and s£nt out some.
I also s£nt messages to Angela on what to do tomorrow that is Friday.
It took me about an hour before shutting down my laptop.
I went into the bathroom and had my bath then brush my mouth for the night.
I wiped off my body and was wrapping my waist with the big towel while stepping out of my bathroom.
I suddenly exclaimed out as I saw a figure sitting on a cushion close to my bedside.
It was Eziaku.
“What they… what are you doing hee..re?
She quickly said defensively
“I didn’t see anything, I was not even looking at you as you stepped out of the bathroom…”.
she replied while looking from my face to my chest.
I felt embarr@ssed and wondered why.
“That wasn’t the question I asked you Ezi, I said what do you want and why didn’t you knock before coming inside?
“I knocked ones before your Mom asked me to go inside. You were in the bathroom when I entered not quiet long. Can I atleast have my bath and get something different to wear for the night? Mom said I should sleep in your room…
I looked at her before going over to my wardrobe to get dressed.
When I picked up my night wear, I turned to look at her and she was staring at me
“Can you excuse me? as you can see I want to dress up…
She apologized as she stood up and walked out of the room.
I got dressed, set out new towel because I don’t share my personal towel with anyone.
I brought out new toothbrush for her before stepping out of the room for her to go and bath.
She was sitting in the sitting room as I came out.
I asked her to go and use only the stuffs I kept on top of the bed for her.
She thanked me and went in.
After about 20minutes my Mom came out and asked me to go and call Ezi for night prayer.
I went inside after a double knock to avoid walking into her while she was dressing.
She was standing in the middle of the room confused with a towel wrapped around her chest.
She was done bathing and washed the cloths she wore earlier.
“What is it? My Mom is calling you for night prayer.
“Okay… can i get something to wear for the night.. please?
“You disturb a whole lot Eziaku? I said acting frustrated.
“Or maybe you shouldn’t worry, I will go and ask your Mom if she have cloth that will size me. She asked me not to hesitate to ask for whatever I need…”
I looked at her puzzled. Isn’t it weird asking my Mom for such?
I asked her to hold on. I walked back to my wardrobe checked through my things.
I saw the remaining T-shirt she ones got for me in the past, I pulled out a material short that I have not worn before and tossed it towards her before walking out. And did not reply her thanks.
She came out after few minutes. We all did a night prayer as my Mom led.
After the prayer my Mom said goodnight and went to the guest room.
Eziaku after sometime stood up and went to the room.
I lay on the couch for some time before going in to take a duvet.
I have decided to sleep in the parlour.
Getting into the room, Eziaku has already spread a blanket on the ground and lie down on it with one of my pillows.
She was literally lying on the ground and the air condition was on.
I couldn’t ignore, I called her to climb the bed because I will be sleeping in the living room.
She told me that she was fine sleeping on the ground that I should not worry.
As much as I want to pretend like I don’t care but I know she can’t possible sleep on the ground when I have a family size kind of bed that is wide enough to take atleast three adults.
After a little more persuasive words she agreed and climbed the bed.
I left the room and slept in the sitting room like I intended.
I really don’t want any problem.
My Mom woke up early, she came out to the sitting room and saw me with a duvet.
She smiled as I greeted her. I didn’t have a good sleep because I wasn’t comfortable on the couch but I refused going inside the room.
My Mom surprisingly did not say anything about me sleeping in the sitting room.
She asked me to call Ezi for morning devotion.
I walked back to the room after double knocking.
Ezi was already awake and was about coming out.
She greeted me and we walked back to the sitting room and had our morning devotion.
My Mom asked me to lead and I did.
Ezi began to tidy up the house while I went back to my room to freshen up for the day because I will be driving my Mom out again.
Mom asked Ezi to come with us after having breakfast.
She agreed to do that.
She wore the washed clothes that was already dry by morning.
We went to the program and it was a long day before it finally ended.
I was gradually getting back my ground with Ezi.
I felt free talking to her now and responding like we never had issue.
I @ssisted as we made dinner that night and even laughed together.
She mentioned of going to school the following day and even when my Mom asked her to come back to the house after her cl@ss I was silently hoping she will say yes.
But she had excuses and said she had a customer to attend to after cl@ss and won’t be able to come.
Mom mentioned that she maybe going back to Lagos on Monday.
Eziaku promised to come back on Sunday.
With the calm atmosphere unlike Thursday night, I was already contemplating in sleeping in the room that Friday night with Eziaku.
I’m getting all emotional attached and the way Eziaku has been getting close and we are having body contact again I don’t know how the night with her will go.
But I can only wait and see, hoping it goes well this time unlike before.
What lies beneath episode 38
WHAT LIES BENEATH