Ness kept his gaze fixed on the food seller as she scooped delicious rice, beans, spaghetti, fried plantain and two big beef chunks into the big silver bowl that he had offered her. He wished he was the owner of the bowl and its content, but that was far from the outright reality. He would soon trek the long narrow street that would lead him back to his workshop – it was the workshop where his father had enrolled him to learn mechanic work due to his refusal to cooperate at school. Ness’ hatred for the workshop was quite understandable as he hates everything that had to do with hard work or serious thinking. What he hated more than that was the situation he now found himself – having to carry delicious delicacies for his bosses and seniors. The threatening aroma which he didn’t get the chance to taste from was the most treacherous event of his life.
“Tell Oga Namdi say I don help am put extra beef for im food.” The ignorant woman said with a seductive smile after closing the bowl.
Ness smiled in return, he knew at once that the meat added was going to be his own profit. As he walked the narrow deserted street back to the workshop, Ness opened the stainless bowl and picked the oily meat and in an instant dumped it in the hole between his lips. His teeth gnashed it with great relish. The woman was an expert at cooking, her meal was better than his mother’s – Ness concluded.
There was a big patch on the food which revealed that something had been taken from it. Ness had to shake the bowl rigorously so that the space would become occupied and it did. As he kept moving, a great idea came into his mind. He knew that his stingy boss wasn’t going to allow him taste from his food and so he concluded teaching the boss a lesson.
First he spat in the food, and shook it again so that it would mix. Not feeling satisfied with that decision, he decided to do more. Coincidentally, some sheep approached and Ness quickly grabbed one of them and made it droll into the still delicious food. He mixed it well still and the food remained pleasant to behold.
“Ness” The boss smiled when he finally saw him approaching, needless to say that hunger had threatened to take away his life if not for the timely intervention. “Why were you late?”
“Sir, Iya Hamina did not have change, she had to look for it everywhere.”
“You could have left her and come, at least, you could go and check back later, and besides she would still come to work tomorrow.”
“I am sorry Sir.” Ness bowed.
The man opened the food and smiled with covetousness. “How delicious! I trust Iya Hamina.”
“Always sir” Ness said supportively.
“But after you left. Mama Sunday came from home and brought me another food.”
“Sir?!” Ness yelled. It was the first time he would hear that his boss’ wife brought food from their home.
“Yes, she brought Ogi and Akara for me. So you can have the food”
“The Ogi and Akara?” Ness asked hopefully.
“No, I would prefer to eat from my wife’s hand, even though this rice is tempting. You should eat the rice.”
Ness frowned immediately, and he had to quickly change the facial expression before his boss noticed.
“Come in, lets go eat in time before we continue repairs on that Nissan Jeep”.
Ness had no choice, he took every spoon with a feigned smile whereas his heart sobbed!