I raise my brows as I exchange glances with Mine and we cackle as we hum in response. Maggi never stays at our door long enough to get a response for her greeting. Neither does she ever come into the room when we’re together, even on instruction. Silly girl! One day, I was forced to ask her what she feared to see if she came in on our instruction. And she flashed those cream-coloured set of teeth that never closed on each other, scratched her scruffy hair thickly and said quietly; Ah, Madam, I no fit shout!
I’m beaming with smiles and exclaiming a wild ‘WOW!’ Mine has just announced that we’ll be preparing dinner together. I hurriedly change into a strapless top and a bum short, my perfect outfit for home work, while he puts on a light polo shirt and a knee-length short. I drop baby with Maggi and get to work in the kitchen. This evening is her moment of grace away from the kitchen, and I can see the lines on her fore-head already smoothened out.
We’re preparing egusi soup with pounded yam and the only thing Mine has helped me with so far is washing the already peeled yam and putting it on the fire. I’ve caught Maggi’s eyes severally darting in and out the kitchen from the sitting room where she’s fondling baby on the floor, and I’m forced to wander what she’s wondering. Probably, she feel we’re actually crazy.
The broth boiling on the fire has filled the room with its spicy aroma, a good sign that the soup would be coming out nice. Mine begs to help me shred the ‘ugu’ leaves and despite my strength highly spent out, I decline vehemently. I can’t risk my special anniversary meal turning out bad because of an avoidable cause. Someone who doesn’t even know how to peel yam!
Mine has taken his seat on the low stool in front of the door and I’m enjoying warm feel of his eyes on my body. I know in a short while he’ll find something to pass a comment on.
‘Honey, don’t you think we should add the ‘yams’ on your legs to the one boiling on the fire?’ he says with an amused smile propped up at one corner of his mouth. I turn to look at him with a smile hid underneath my bent lips and he bursts out laughing. He knows what he has done. He had only just teased me with the words I usually did him.
‘I’ll scrape my hair if you see this pair of legs two’ I reply with my eyes fixed back on the vegetable I’m shredding.
Food is ready, and already served in transparent glasswares set out on the dining table. But I’m too filled to eat. Mine decides to feed me himself and each time he raises his hand to my mouth, Maggi buries her head further into her plate of food.