“Are you sure of this??” Yemisi quizzed. She had seen it done differently on Maggi kitchen.
“Yes now, that’s how it’s done” Mary intoned “When you wash it and it’s dried then you put it in the pot, it comes out nice and delicious”.
Yemisi having no reason to doubt her friend did exactly as she was told, she put in all the sliced bitter leaf (onugbu) into the pot, stirred and inhaled the aroma stifling from the pot….hmnnn..it smelled delicious!..Dozie would love it!, she was making him his favorite Igbo dish, he will bite his fingers today.
She and Dozie have been married for three fantastic years and he's been a very sweet husband. He doted on her & spoilt her silly. Because of her several miscarriages, her doctor advised that she stayed clear from strenuous physical exertions and because of it Dozie employed cooks and maids to cater for and take care of the house while she merely supervised. She’s experienced marital bliss in every sense of the word much unlike what her parents had. She was barely seven when they separated, her mother went with her brother while she stayed on with her father. Till date, she never knew the reason for the separation, few times she tried asking, she got rebuked and seriously scolded by her father.
Recently, however she noticed that Dozie had been complaining a lot about food. It’s either the food is too salty, or there’s no pepper or it’s too watery….she wondered when he started taking particular attention to food. Dozie was not a food-food person, he could whatever was been served him. She remembered when they just got married, she would serve him anything ranging from gbegiri, to ewedu to efo and he would eat with relish without realizing the difference between it and his local igbo soup. All of a sudden, he wakes up one morning and begins to insist that she must start doing his meals again. “Honey, I am tired of all these food I’m served”, I want you to start doing my meal again”.
“See me see wahala oh!”, she complained to Mary during their early morning exercise at the gym “ Dozie doesn’t eat anymore oh!, , he says I must cook his meals otherwise he wouldn’t eat, must I when I have maids and cooks??...his complaints are becoming tiring. “It’s your duty as a wife to cook for your husband so you must, you can win his heart more through his stomach,” Mary was always the voice of reasoning. So she went ahead and sacked all the cooks and made up her mind to start cooking for her man.
Dozie had called from the office earlier that day to say that he was coming home with a friend. She wanted to surprise him hence the cooking thing she was doing. She gave the soup a final stir closed it and turned out the burner.
Minutes later, Dozie’s car pulled into the compound. She hurriedly set the table and went on freshen up. She greets Dozie with a light kiss on the check
“Welcome honey”, hope your day was good.
“Sure,”...here, he quickly introduces the middle-aged man with him, “meet Mr. Wilcox, he’s the new head of finance ”
They exchange pleasantries and she soon gets them seated around the table. The soup melt so good. “My wife is such a great cook”, he bragged to Mr Wilcox who seemed all too eager to start with the meal. She sets the food before them. At first, she thought she imagined her husband’s expression when he contorted his face after he swallowed the first ball of eba, then Mr. Wilcox exclaimed “tufiakwa!” and spat out the portion he had put in his mouth….
What was wrong??...this was the meal she spent time preparing…”Honey what’s the matter?” she anxiously walked towards them…
Dozie’s eyes were full of embarrassment, “Yemi, what is this??..pls take this poison away!,”
“Poison??, Poison?, how could Dozie call her food poison, the food she spent so much time and effort making for him.
Dozie apologized profusely to Mr Wilcox and led him out through the door and they went away. Hot tears stung at her eye. What has she done wrong?..why would Dozie treat her so callously like this…
She was dabbing away the tears clouding her vision when she decided to taste the soup, she had not tasted it even while cooking. As scooped it into her mouth, she almost gagged.
“Arggghhhh,”!!, she spat it out, what is this??.....the soup was bitter!!!!...whatever happened?, she followed Mary’s advise ….. then all of a sudden, it dawned on her. She had been misled again. Mary had done it to her again. When will she ever learn her lesson?.....