It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, with much for Felix to look forward to. His boss had decided to be nice and not rob him of his weekend by summoning him to the office, his favourite football club (Chelsea) was featuring in an English FA Cup game in which they were favourites to win (they had been pitched against a club in the lower divisions), and Omoye, his girlfriend of eight months, was cooking up a delicacy, in a bid to save the pots in his house from loneliness.
Felix had been through his fair share of “trials and errors”, but after a great deal of scouting, he was somewhat convinced that Omoye was the one. She was quite the dream girl: beautiful, courteous, great sense of humour, laudable hygiene levels, busty without the excess flesh. Damn, even his friends loved her, to the extent that they ‘scolded’ him whenever he hung out with them without bringing her along. She knew how to get physical with a man too; she was an acrobat in the sheets, the sounds she made whenever his hands collided with her skin were all so stimulating, and she treated his little friend like an ice cream cone whenever she got her lips round it. She tasted good on his tongue too, and her fragrance was such that often left him reluctant to wash his sheets after she departed.
Felix was so into her that he had been indefinitely suspended from Bachelors’ Anonymous. It mattered little to him though. After lots of ‘emotional frisking’, he had found the rib, the last right angle to make his life a complete 360 degrees. He had plans of taking her to his mother in the coming weeks, and then visiting her family so soon thereafter. This weekend however, he wanted private acting classes with Omoye (she was a first-class graduate of Theatre Arts.) He had changed the bed-clothes, and looked forward to a thrilling ‘rehearsal’ once he was done with the Chelsea game and Omoye’s cuisine. Though he had eaten at her place, this would be the first time she would be cooking at his.
“Hey lovey, how is it going?”
“Be patient Honey, I’m halfway through”.
That voice of hers. The way the word “Honey” sounded in his ears had almost begun to create a bulge in his shorts. He suddenly began to crave for Omoye’s voice and skin, itching to hear her from a much closer range. He began to tiptoe towards the kitchen, with the aim of sneaking up to her, then tickling her and kissing her from behind. He was almost at the kitchen door when he began to hear voices. He was stunned. No one else was home. Who could Omoye be talking to? He placed his ear near the door and listened closely.
“Mummy, I have boiled the meat as you instructed, for fifteen minutes. I have also sliced the vegetable. What do I do now? Mummy! Mummy o! My boyfriend is already asking for the food o!”
“Ok, now put some palm oil in the pot and let it bleach.”
“Ok Mummy, what next?”
He could not believe his ears. His girlfriend was taking cooking lessons from her mother over the phone, with the call on loudspeaker mode! Why, why had he not noticed all along that Omoye was deficient in Kitchen 101 (Introduction to Cooking Dynamics)? It was then that he realized why she had been hesitant when he told her that she would be cooking soup that weekend, why she had looked very uneasy when he left her in the kitchen, and why the Indomie Instant Noodles he ate at her place a few weeks earlier had tasted too salty.
He walked stealthily into the kitchen, standing a few inches from the door as the cooking instructions continued. The bulge in his shorts had long gone down, and every word from the conversation stung his ears. A lady, a graduate for that matter, needing her mother to intervene because she was inadequate in the culinary department! He wondered what would happen if they got married. She would either have to call her mother whenever he wanted to eat, or alternatively, she would take the feeding allowance to restaurants so she could buy food, stash in coolers and pour into the pot before he returned home. He was incensed, but tried not to show it.
Omoye soon noticed Felix’s presence in the kitchen. The phone fell from her hand as she stood transfixed to one spot, barely managing to utter a shaky “hey Baby”. The silence that followed was awkward, lasting for nearly ten minutes.
“Go on, call your mother. It should be time for the next step. She must be worried about how her dear daughter’s wonderful delicacy is shaping up”, Felix said, finally breaking the ice.
Omoye did not bother to go on with the cooking. It was clear to see that Felix had lost his appetite. He walked out of the kitchen and into the living room, looking at the television to find that Chelsea had lost the match by four goals to two, ultimately getting knocked out of the FA Cup. “Wasn’t this just a perfect weekend?” he mused. He scrambled for his car keys on the table and stormed out of the house, returning at 9.30pm with Orijin on his breath.
The night was a long one, particularly for Omoye. Felix showered without her for the first time in months, and elected to sleep with his back turned to her. Omoye tried to tickle his skin with her hair, but his reaction was to shift farther from her. She then proceeded to slip her fingers into his underwear, but the man who was usually quick to lead her down there decided to push her hand away on this particular night. She then decided to resort to the age-long tactic: Tears.
“Omoye, why are you crying now, ehn?” He asked, in a tone devoid of any form of passion or affection.
“My baby won’t touch me or even talk to me”, she replied, as the attention-seeking tears dried up.
“Errm, Omoye, see, I am fasting, ok?”
“You, Felix, fasting? Didn’t you just come back from a drinking spree?”
Well, this particular fasting involves avoiding any form of intimacy.”
“But we were together in the bathroom this morning, weren’t we?”
“Well I just got the information this afternoon. I got a text from my Pastor.”
“Pastor? Since when? The Felix I know is never quick to attend church, let alone become familiar with a Pastor.”
“Look, Omoye, as you can see, I’m just not in the mood. You know this.”
“But Baby, I shaved our ‘little house’ clean. I did some waxing, just for you, so you could eat me out this weekend, all weekend.”
“Which part of ‘I nor wan just dey with you this night’ can you not understand?”
That was it. She turned her back to him and dozed off in anger, while he looked up to his ceiling, getting lost in thought. His discovery earlier in the day was heartbreaking. For him, it was not just the fact that she couldn’t cook to save her life. It was more about the fact that she had been deceiving him all along. Save for the salty noodles which she made in his presence, the meals he ate at her place must have been prepared by a friend of hers, or worse still purchased from a canteen before his arrival. How long did she plan to continue with this lie? How long did she plan to make long calls to her mother whenever he demanded for meals on the spot? What skill did she plan to hand down to the kids, supposing he had decided to take her to the altar? Well, the events of that day had put paid to all future plans. He wouldn’t have minded putting her in catering school, he loved her that much, but she had not been honest. Only Heaven knew what other secrets she had been keeping from him.
Felix was up before 7am the following morning. He tapped a sleepy Omoye, without the customary “good morning beautiful”, and said:
“Omoye, go take a shower and get dressed. I’m dropping you off this morning. I want to go to church today.”
“But we usually chill together until Monday. Sometimes you even beg me to stay until Tuesday. Why this, Felix? What on earth has come over you?”
“Well, plans change. I decided to summarise your visit, so you’re leaving this morning……and by the way, feel free to drop that spare key I gave you. It will be useless anyway. I’ll be changing the locks.”
“Baby, I’m sorry. I was too ashamed to tell you that I don’t know how to cook. Next time I will…..”
“Omoye, there will be no next time.”
It was a long silent ride to the park. Felix usually dropped Omoye off at her place, but he was in no frame of mind to do that, so he opted to take her to where she could conveniently find a cab. There was no need to say much anyway. They both knew that it was all over. Anger was etched all over Omoye’s face, but her mood did not prevent her from taking the naira notes which Felix slipped into her fingers. Upon arriving at the park, she alighted without waiting for the car to stop properly, uttering an emotionless “Bye” as she walked away.
Felix stared deeply as he watched her leave for the last time. He would definitely those hips, those moans, those nails digging into his back, but there was more to a woman than all that. Wouldn’t he eat after all the ‘exercises’? For him, he had just dodged a bullet. She may have bagged a First Class at the university, but she definitely had a carry-over to deal with, in a course her mother had failed to teach her in her formative years.
He put his car in reverse and drove back to his apartment. Yes, he had lied about going to church. He decided to check his Samsung Galaxy S5 for any Blackberry messages. He saw one – from Omoye! She had sent a kiss smiley, and followed it up with the words, “This is the last kiss you will get from me.” It seemed that she had been waiting for him to read it, for no sooner had he seen the message than she ejected herself from his contact list. She was gone before he could type a reply. It felt like rapture. He shrugged, stepping his foot harder on the throttle as he reflected on the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi, who had said thus:
“By all means marry, and in your marrying, find a woman who can cook. Beauty is fleeting, and it fades, but Hunger doesn’t.”