“Really?” asked Sam’s mother while facing Eddie. “This beautiful young lady is your fiancee? That’s nice. Very good. I’m very impressed.”
Senami blushed. As hard as she tried to steal a glance at Eddie, she just couldn’t pull it off. She smiled awkwardly at the elderly woman and spoke to her. “Come, ma. I’m sure you’ve had a very long trip. Let me show you to your room so that you can shower and rest. What will you like me to prepare for you, ma?”
“Well, let me see…” Sam’s mum seemed to ponder as she cast disdainful looks at Andrea. “I’m hungry and it’s late. You know that old women like me ought to eat dinner very early because our digestive system tend to become very sluggish.”
“We’ll see to it that you eat early from tomorrow, ma.” Andrea offered with a smile. “We weren’t expecting you today.”
“Of course, you weren’t.” Sam’s mum left the sarcasm hanging in the air. She turned to face Senami. “Can you please make some Ogi for me?”
Sam gasped, Eddie chuckled, Senami smiled and Andrea asked, “Sorry, i didn’t quite catch that. What was that you wanted, ma?”
“Er… she wants Ogi. That’s Pap in English.” Sam offered. “It’s this local semi-solid meal made of ground corn or something like that.”
“I see.” Andrea said.
“Of course, you do.” Sam’s mum fired and then her attention was back on Senami.
“I’m sorry, ma.” Senami replied. “But we don’t have any of that here.”
“Can I get ‘Eko’ to buy around here?” Sam’s mum asked.
Sam winced, Eddie excused himself to use the bathroom, Senami smiled and Andrea raised her hands in exasperation. “What on Mount Apollo is that?” she asked Sam.
“Corn meal.” He replied her. “Think of a more solid form of pap and you got ‘Eko.'”
Sam’s mum got up at this point. She had obviously had enough. “Alright, you can take me to my room, please.” She said. “I’m too tired and too old for all these.”
Senami helped her with her bags. Andrea also offered but Sam’s mother declined the offer asking her not to bother.
When Sam’s mum and Senami left the living room, Andrea crashed into one of the sofas. There was silence for a moment but it was Andrea who broke the silence. “Guess it’s an established fact that your mother hates me.” She told Sam.
“No she doesn’t hate you.” Sam responded. “Though I’ll concede the fact that she doesn’t like you either.”
Andrea raised her face to look at him with an expression that seemed to say she would like to punch him in the face.
“Your tact is rather impressive, isn’t it? She asked.
“Sorry if that didn’t come out right. I’m very tired right now.” He said.
“What are we gonna do now, dear?”
“I honestly don’t know. We’ll have to keep this charade up until she leaves.”
“How long will that be?”
“Not less than two weeks, I’m afraid.”
“Oh gosh! I was hoping you weren’t going to say that.”
“I’m sorry then. So how’s Eddie taking this? And how were you able to convince both of them to play along in this game?”
“I gotta admit it wasn’t easy. He raised all kinds of Hades. But he finally agreed. Though he said he’ll hold on for just one week. So we have just a week to clear this mess.”
Sam got lost in thought. Shortly after, Eddie walked into the sitting room and settled down on the sofa too.
“Thank you, my daughter.” Sam’s mum said as Senami helped her unpack and settle down.
“You’re welcome, ma. It’s really nothing.” Senami replied as she helped put away a bag in the wardrobe.
“Hmmm… You strike me as a very hardworking and respectful woman. That Eddie must be really lucky to have you. I wish you were my son’s wife and not that ‘afin’ (albino).”
Senami laughed. “Come on, mama. Andrea is a half caste not an albino.”
“Makes no difference to me. All I know is that Sam should have done better with his choice of wife.”
“But Andrea is a very sweet lady when you get to know her. She is very kind and i like her so much.”
“Of course I expect you to defend her. Isn’t she your friend? So why has she been hiding my only son from me? Or she thinks i won’t know what she’s doing?”
“She hasn’t done anything like that, ma.”
“Then why did Sam suddenly change after he got married? I’ve not seen my son in over a year?” Sam’s mum was getting upset now. “He barely calls and neither does his ‘sweet and kind’ wife.”
“I’m sorry about that, mama. But things are very complicated around here…” She noticed that Sam’s mum had suddenly turned alert so she changed tact and hoped the old lady wouldn’t catch on. “erm… I mean this is Lagos and people are very busy. Leaving home early in the morning and getting back so late.”
“Hmmm…” The usually paranoid elderly lady had sniffed something but there was no way the young lady would ever know.
“Anyway, mama, what will you take? We don’t have Pap and we most definitely do not have Corn meal but I can get to the market tomorrow and buy the raw materials to make pap for you tomorrow and whatever you want to eat. But what will you eat tonight before you go to bed?”
“Just get me water, please.”
“Water and what? Should i make you custard or a cup of coff… i meant to say tea?
“Hmmm…. Tea doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Please, make me tea in a kettle. Lipton. And bring me some milk. And no sugar. I’m too old for all that. Do you have any bread in this house?”
“Yes we do, ma. Sliced bread, ma.”
“Hmmm… I’m not exactly fond of sliced bread. It tends to break too much when you dip it in tea but I guess I’ll have to manage it. Thank you, dear?”
“I’ll soon be back, mama.” And Senami left with a grin on her face. She allowed herself a soft laughter as she walked away. Sam’s mum wants to dip bread in tea. She wondered if Sam was once like that. So some people still do that. Anyway, she’s an old lady so it’s expected. That puts away teacups from the equation. Maybe she’ll have to take a jug or a bowl along for the woman to drink her tea with. She immediately chastised herself for this thought but still laughed at the thought.
“What’s the plan now, guys?” Eddie asked. “How long is this going to last?”
Andrea spoke, “I just suggest we should be of our best behaviour and If Sam’s mother sees that we’re fine, then she’ll just pack up and leave.”
Eddie clapped. “Such a brilliant plan, Andrea. The last time i heard a plan this brilliant, Pinky and the Brain actually took over the world.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Eddie?” Andrea snapped. “I don’t like that tone and neither do I like the dark sarcasm.”
“Then tell me something that makes capital sense. And while you’re at it, you might want to bring your voice down a little lest the roof and your perfectly planned charade come crashing down upon us.”
Andrea glared at Eddie and then she sighed after a while.
“Okay, Eddie. I concede this plan is a long shot but what we can do is hope. Chasing the woman out of this house is out of the question so we have to do all what we can. Let’s just stick to our roles, look and act busy and hope she gets bored enough to leave.”
“That sounds better, sweetie.” Then he was quiet like he was pondering something. Finally, he faced Andrea and said, “I guess I have to learn to stop using all these endearments for you during this period, right?”
It really hurt Andrea to see the look of pain in Eddie’s eyes. She knew a part of her would never forgive Sam for what she was forced to do to Eddie.
“Eddie, I’m sorry you have to go through this but you have to bear with us for a week. It’s same for me too and I promise you that somehow, I’ll make this up to you, love.”
Eddie sighed and nodded he understood. He now faced Sam who had been silent all this while and addressed him, “Nothing to say about this, Sam? This is after all your mess we’re trying to clean.”
Sam got up from his seat and made to leave. But before he did, he said, “I’ve had a bad day and a nagging headache. I need to go rest now. We’ll talk about this tomorrow or so. Goodnight.” With that, he left them and just as he passed Senami who was on her way just at that time to the kitchen to get Sam’s mum’s dinner, he stopped briefly to whisper to her; “Be very careful around my mum. She’s very smart.” He left her feeling confused as he headed up the stairs to his room. She wondered why he had said that because she thought the woman was just a sad mum who had missed her only son who she hadn’t seen in such a long time. She put the thought out of her mind as she went to get what she came for.
“Senami!” Andrea called out to her.
“Yes ma.” She said as she hurried to meet her boss.
“Look Senami,” Andrea started painfully as Senami came to stand by her. “I’ve told you to stop using this ‘ma’ or ‘madam’ for me. When you are around, you can sit down on the sofa too and stop acting like a housemaid. You’re more or less part of this family now. And you’re supposed to be Eddie’s, you know…(clears her throat) Fiancee. Please, act it!”
“I’ll try, ma.”
“You used ‘ma’ again the other time. You’re going to blow your cover and compromise all we’ve been planning.”
“I’m sorry, m..Andrea.” She smiled sheepishly for the near slip.
“How’s the woman settling down?”
“She’s okay. I want to get her something to eat right now.”
“Please do just that, Senami. We’ll talk when you’re done. So much we need to polish on. Okay?”
“Okay, Andrea.” She replied with a smile. She was obviously pleased with herself.
“Very good, Senami.” Andrea smiled back.
Senami looked at Eddie as she left and she blushed.
Eddie waited till Senami was out of earshot then he bent towards Andrea and asked, “So what is this ish you wanna iron out with her? Or you think I shouldn’t know?”
Andrea leaned towards him too and replied, “On the contrary, you should know because this involves you and Senami and your cover.”
“So what is it?”
“I want to school her on some basic things like how you met, where you met and also some other basic stuffs that two lovers would know about themselves. I don’t want the woman to think we’re running some drama school here.”
“I guess that makes sense.”
“Good. Since you’re here, maybe i should start prepping you a little before you go to bed.”
“Your bed or mine?” Eddie cooed.
“Stop it, Eddie! This isn’t the right time or place.” She admonished.
“Yeah. Can’t I joke anymore?”
“Just watch it, Eddiekins. Now back to business. This is how you and Senami met; you were supposed to travel to Abuja for a conference…”
She had just finished using the bathroom and she felt oddly invigorated. All she had to do was take her dinner and she would be off to bed. But for an elderly lady who had had the kind of day she had had, she should be in bed but sleep hadn’t come yet. She had to occupy herself by taking a walk around to have a feel of the place. She should be able to sleep after then.
There was a knock on her door as Senami came in with the tray containing her dinner.
“Thank you, my daughter, thank you very much.” She helped Senami place the tray on the bed as she set about making her tea. When Senami was about to leave, she stopped her and asked her to sit down with her on the bed.
“So tell me something, my dear daughter,” she started as she started to eat her tea-soaked bread, “how did you and Eddie come to meet each other and how did you meet my son and his wife?” She put another another soggy piece of bread in her mouth as she looked expectantly at Senami.
A sudden feeling of Nausea seemed to sweep over Senami there and then.
You can follow the story of Andrea and show her some love by clicking and liking the link…www.facebook.com/Andrea.ThePolyandrist.
I wish you all a Happy New Month! Sorry I’m biased about the month of August. It’s the best Month!
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