Laye looked away as he shook his head, he brought out the sieve and placed it in a bowl inside the kitchen sink. He grabbed the kitchen napkins, placed it on the pot handle and proceeded to rewash the beans. I just stood watching him because I couldn’t be part of his beans parboiling.
“That beans is not going to be soft, its’ just going to end up half-cooked.” I nagged as he continued washing
“Just stand and learn babe…this is how to cook beans.” He grinned those nasty jaws at me
“Yeah, mr. chef! Have fun.” I replied boiling and wanting to hit him for referring to me like I was a child. Who said I couldn’t cook beans? So his method was the best acceptable means? “Mstchewww!” I hissed
He placed the beans back in the pot and added more water. While we waited for it to get softer, I asked him if he was going the add the green vegetables on the counter and he stared at me like I was a ghost.
“What? Why?” He looked shocked
“Well, they are good and they have vitamins.” I shrugged
“No, thank you. Keep them for stuff like soup babe, not beans. Haba!”
I opened the tin tomato I had previously brought out and mixed it with the onions and tomatoes I had cut previously. I didn’t notice Laye looking at me mouth agape
“What is it again?” I asked spreading out my hands beside me
“What are you doing?” He screamed at me “Why in heavens’ sake are you mixing tin-tomatoes with the onions and tomatoes that we want to use? What is wrong with you? Does this look like we are making jollof rice?”
I was confused. I mean, is adding tin-tomatoes to my beans bad again? People do it and I do it, and the beans always taste nice, so why was he shouting at me?
“Is that why you are shouting? I add tin-tomatoes to my beans by frying it in the palm oil after I have bleached it and mix them all together. You should try it, its’ really nice.” I said
“I can’t believe you!” He marched on to the shelf and picked a large bulb of onion and began to slice it. I watched him wash three baby tomatoes and slice them too. He totally ignored me when I passed the bowl containing the tin-tomato mixture.
“Keep it in the refridgerator. You can use it later to cook whatever you want.” He said as he stood by the sink washing the knife he had just used.
Well then, I should have just stayed in the living room. Why ask that we cook together if it was going to be like this? I mean, he was literally cooking everything by himself without even adding my opinion, why did he then invite me to the kitchen? I thought.
“I’m in the living room” I muttered as I began to move away
“Why are you leaving me alone to do the cooking?” He asked looking at me as he sprinkled in the onions and tomatoes
“You don’t need me here for anything, besides I want to watch ‘jara’ before it ends” I whispered tired and scared at the same time that we may enter into an argument. I really don’t know how to fight and besides I have no strength to even do that, so I quietly began to walk away.
“You always make up excuses to run away from something you don’t want to do. I asked that we make beans together and instead of helping, you’re running away…”
Ha! This man has some nerves sha. Can you imagine what he is saying? He doesn’t need my help obviously because he is Mr.-know-it-all and here he is admonishing me
“How I’m I running away? I’m just going to the living room.”
“Then who is going to fry the plantain? Me?”
“Well, I don’t know how you intend to fry your plantain so I don’t want to spoil anything. I advise you make it yourself since my hands are not good enough.”
“Are you saying that you can’t fry plantain? Please, help me open this knorr cubes.”
“No…” I started as I picked up the cubes and began to open “I’m just saying I may end up frying it too brown that it may decide to look burnt in your eyes and you wouldn’t want that now, would you?” I replied smirking my lips as he squeezed the cubes into the boiling pot.
“Why are you so…I don’t know”
“Laye, just deal with the meal yourself. Infact, I’ve lost my appetite” I walked out of the kitchen feeling irritated.
After a while, he walked out of the kitchen and grabbed me from where I’d been sitting on the sofa.
“Laye, drop me down. Laye…” I squealed
“Look at your tiny self…who’s angry at who?” He asked laughing that deep masculine laugh I had fallen in love with “So you think you’ll just say you’ve lost your appetite and I’ll let it be? No way babe, food is ready and its’ for both of us!”
“Laye, this is not funny, just drop me down.” I said frowning.
He began to tickle me all over as he laughed into my hair. “Oh my baby, what I am to do with you?”
“Drop me jhoor.”
“Only if you agree to eat what we made.”
“We made? Nah, that was just you, I share no part of it.” I said defiantly
“You wish…” He carried me still and dropped me byy the dining. “Here we are Mademoiselle Ehis, Sit please?”
“Laye, I’m not hungry” I said folding my arms, I just want to watch tv and sleep
“Ehis baby, stop this jare. Is it because of that kitchen squabble? Come on…we’re bigger than that.” He kissed my forehead and pushed me to seat as I rigidly obliged pouting with my legs on the dining seat and my knees pressed to my jaw. “That’s my baby” he smiled as he sat opposite me and said a word of prayer.
We ate with me still trying to feign annoyance as he watched me smiling. Funny enough, the food tasted so nice but the pepper in it made me quiver, I was tempted to ask for sugar.
“Sugar?” He said looking at me
“Yes please, help me with it.” I said lip-tight
“Whatever for Ehis?”
“To sprinkle on my beans.” I said half-smiling knowing he was going to reprimand me again.
“I can’t believe I fell in love with you” he said as he stood up to get me the sugar “You are really insane.” He finished with a smile
“Yeah, I know” I smiled as I sprinkled the sugar on my beans knowing fully well that he was watching me.
“That doesn’t change the fact that I love you.” He grinned as he leaned over to peck me on the mouth. I took a spoonful and stretched out my hand to feed him with my beans.
“Never!” He screamed “I’m not eating that poison, have fun babe.”
I laughed out loud “One man’s poison is another man’s food.” I responded as we continued eating.