Click here to read Featherlight Heart -Chapter One, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Two, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Three, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Four, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Five, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Six, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Seven, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Eight, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Nine, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Ten, Featherlight Heart -Chapter Eleven, Featherlight Heart – Chapter Twelve
Emeka woke up, his phone was buzzing in his ears, it was Agnes his PA, he checks the time to see that it was past eight in the morning, sighing he seats up on the bed as he answers..
”Yes?” he listens for a few minutes nodding his head “Okay, fix it within the day, I would be coming in late, and fix a meeting with my lawyer and the accountant, okay Agnes, and erm..I need you to do something for me, take down this items and I want it delivered today.” he tells her what he wants.
Cutting the call, he gets down from the bed, Olive wasn’t in the room neither was she in the bathroom, he goes out heading to his mother’s room, empty.
He meets Mama Tito as he walks down the stairs, ”Goodmorning Mama Tito, has my mother left already for her shop?”
She looks up smiling “No sir, good morning, She is in the Kitchen”
”Why? I told her she doesn’t need to do anything, there are a lot of people to cook and clean and carter for the house, she just has sit down and enjoy it all, why is she in the kitchen ?”
”You know how she is now? Despite I keep telling her I will do everything, but when Mama wants to do things her way she does so as she pleases, and right now she has it in her head to teach”
”Teach what and who?”
”Miss Olive, she wants to teach her how to make your favourite dish sir, she seems so excited, having a lady in the house”‘
”Hmmm” Emeka touches his jaw” And Diana, is she there?”
Mama Tito’s smile leaves her face “Haven’t seen her, I guess she hasn’t woken up, I don’t like her Sir, Mama doesn’t, we like Olive, very..very oyibo the way she talks and laughs, she is eager to learn, Mama is even calling her, her daughter” she smiles
”You can go Mama Tito, if I leave you now to continue talking I bet I would soon hear your suggestions”
”You know me well Sir, but if you would please hear an advice, I know I am not your mother and I am nothing but a staff, but I see you as a son and most bosses won’t do half of what you do for us as your staffs, you care for us, pay us more than we work and you reach out to do what you can for our families, see Tito now, in the university because of you, all expenses paid, how do I thank you if not to say it and-”
”Mama Tito, you can’t keep thanking me forever” he tells her
”I know but please take my advice, I know you told Ma’am that you want to marry that other one her eyes is chucking, I know young people of nowadays follow their heart but biko my son, Olive is a nice girl, she is… and your mother is happy with her around, see, you need to go into the kitchen to see how they are relating, it is good, Olive see me this morning and she greet me not well, call me Mama Tito, even your mother with respect, she even helped me in the kitchen, to arrange the house sef early this morning she came down and she and your mother are just happy like that, but the other one, where is she? In her room sleeping, would maybe come out with her room dirty, and come look for food chop!! Not so na, a woman who wants to marry into a family in our place, she must break her knee and show that she is a good wife material not a chicken girl”
”Hain, Mama Tito, which one is a chicken Girl now?” he laughs because it was funny
”Those ones na, that always carry hands like this” she demonstrates with both hands outstretched before her bent at the elbows clued to her sides as one who had fixed long nails, butt out, and heels to high too walk in… she walks for a few seconds back and forth, lifting things with the tip of her fingers and flinging them to the side, ..”That is what they call chicken girl Sir, ones that would not do anything, but walk around as though they haven’t ever used paper or water to wash their bum bum”
Emeka throws his head back in laughter, shaking his head, ”Really, where did you get that from Mama Tito because you are too old to be part of that chicken girl gang!!” he laughs
”Hain!! My son used to tell me the different kind of girls in school and the names they give them, so he says the chicken girls are the worst set, they do nothing but want everything, and that one Diana? She is like that, and her eyes sparkle too much not for you, but for the things around you, see her, what an old woman sees sitting down the young can’t see even standing up” she nods touching her temple
”Okay Mama Tito, I have heard you but, she is the one I want to marry, I have told Mama already” he says trying to smile
She smiles sadly ”Well, I hope God opens your eyes to see what we see Sir”‘
Emeka smiles again, oh my eyes are already open Mama Tito, so open that Diana can’t blind them even if she wanted to, “Don’t worry , God is aware of my plans towards Diana, he has approved”
She sighs “Okay, at the end is your happiness that matters, if you marry her, I will tolerate her… for you”‘
”Should I get you anything? You are supposed to be dressed for work Sir,”‘
Emeka sighs “Yeah!! Late night”‘ he didn’t sleep early, he rubs the back of his neck…
She smiles as if reading something she thought she knew, he frowns “No ..it wasn’t that!!”
”Sir, you are an adult, you don’t need to explain anything to me” she laughs walking away
Emeka looks at her and laughs shaking his head, she had been working with them for a while now, and he had come to see her as family not as only cook, and she was elderly.
He almost didn’t hire her, because she looked like someone who should be enjoying her not so young age instead of working, but she had told him she was a widow, her only son barely nothing to survive on and she had nothing but her hands and she would work for survival, even if it’s to give food to her son and he had been reminded of him and his mother and how they had been left alone by the man he called father and the one his mother called husband, so he had told her she wouldn’t be working for him and had given her some money and told her to come by whenever she needed help.
But the next time she came, his mother was ill, and she rejected most foods cooked by the caterer, until Mama Tito had offered to make a native soup for her, with herbal leaves, something she said she learnt from her mother, his mother had been only able to eat that for straight one week and soon, she began to look and feel better..
When she got better, she had only wanted to eat anything prepared by Mama Tito, and that was it. He hired her, and aside her monthly salary, he met her son, he was a very bright and intelligent boy, he didn’t think twice to take up his education fees.. and whenever the boy was off school, he always had a place to stay in the estate with his mother.
So Mama Tito wasn’t just a cook and help around his house, she was..family in a way, but yet, she wouldn’t understand if he told her about his plans for Diana, neither will his mother, especially his mother, she would want to dissuade him, tell him to forget her and let her, same thing she would say about his revenge against his father, and because it is something he wants to do with his whole heart, he mustn’t tell his mother, she might find out, when it is all over by then it would be too late, he can apologise for putting her into his game plan without her knowing and not stopping her when she danced to the tune he had written for her, he would apologize, but… this he must do.
Have revenge on Diana for breaking his heart, and then the same for his father for being wicked. Karma must visit both of them, and he would be the deliverer of it.
Diana has to feel the pain he felt when she left him, and Ambross, oh he would get his, and neither of them would see it coming.
He enters the kitchen and leans by the door, watching his mother show Olive how to make the soup simmer before she puts in some extra condiments
”He likes his plantain soft, but it shouldn’t dissolve into it, and when you are using fish, you would have to steam it first and when you have gotten the stock instead of pouring everything into the soup, you take out the fish so it doesn’t scatter, Emeka likes to see the fish not bones okay? Ehen, for the oil you will stir fry it with onions and cray fish and a cube of magic… ehen like this, come and do it like this… now take the spatula and stir it, you know what it does right?”
”Yes Mama, when I eventually put the fish, the spatula to stir it would try to keep either the fish and others in good form unlike normal spoons” Olive says stirring
”That is right, I know you know how to cook all those your continental orishirishis but you must learn to cook the African dishes because Emeka is an African man and I would not want him to only have taste buds for foreign dishes, I make sure Mama Tito mixes the menu too, my grand children would also know how to prepare this too. Okay Olive, add the fresh pepper and stir again, then when it is cooked you add the pumpkin leaves”
His mother directs her as Olive does what she says.
Emeka watches them for a bit, just maybe, Olive would be the best thing to come out of this, if only he can let go of this pain and mistrusts, she was a beautiful woman, they are friends, they connect in so many ways and she is understanding, and ..Well, the sex was great, aside the part when it gets sour calling that woman’s name..and if he really puts his mind and heart into it..She may be a great partner for him but..
When all this is done, just maybe they can begin something great.
”Oh, you are here, I thought you would be getting ready for work?” Mercy turns seeing him there
Emeka raises up his head, “Mama, good morning, yeah, in a bit, how did you sleep?” he goes to give his mother a kiss to her forehead, Olive is smiling at him
”I slept okay, woke up early and we are making you your favourite food and I must say she is a good student” Mercy smiles at Olive
”I know right!!” she returns the smile ”So, Odinaka, how do I look in this apron? A good wife material right?” Olive winks at him
”Oh a whole hundred yards worth!!” his mother replied.
”Oh well, since you both already have that planned out, let me go shower and prepare for work” he smiles shaking his head “And, the maid gown looks kinda okay for you” he pinches Olive’s cheeks, she laughs
”Silly man!!” she punches his chest knowing that he purposely avoided the question, she understands “I would help you with your shower but mama and I are making history” she winks at him
”I better let you guys continue” he says walking away
”Ehen Emeka, when you come back we need to talk, shei you remember?”
”Yes mama, I do!!”
Olive leaves where she was and grabs him from the back… ”No hug for me this morning sweetheart?”
He turns around and hugs her, she tiptoes to kiss his jaw, he places a kiss to her forehead “Of course sweetheart, how can I not” they hug.
”Okay, go shower and rush down quick, you are going to eat my food before you get to work” she nudges him out the door and returns back to stirring the food.
As he leaves the kitchen he dips his hand into his pocket to answer a call ”Yes Agnes” he walks past the door, not looking to see someone behind it there.
Diana who had been standing by the corner sees it all; her fists are squeezed in anger.
He saw Diana the minute she was passing, he knew Olive saw her too… when she paused coming back to peep at what was going on in the kitchen, from the reflection of the door he saw anger and maybe jealousy in her eyes, he expected her to barge in and cause a scene, but she didn’t. Maybe she would when he leaves.
So he did, pretending to answer a phone and turning the other way as though he didn’t see her. He drops his phone into his pocket and smiles.
Let it simmer Diana, you will get there, you will.
She had woken up from sleep having that bad dream of Olive and Emeka sleeping together and she leaves her room coming down, pacing the length of the palour wondering if she should go barge into their room to find out if there was any truth in her dream and if by some magic it was happening, she would pull the girl by her hair, but she didn’t want to make a scene because Mercy, his mother wouldn’t side her, and she wouldn’t want to be humiliated like last night so she had waited, hoping that they slept at opposite ends of the bed, fully clothed.
Emeka wouldn’t do anything, but she didn’t trust the Olive girl. And when her curiosity got the better of her she had climbed upstairs only to see Mama Tito.. coming down so she had turned back and gone back to the parlour and hidden from view, she didn’t want her asking her 21 questions this morning, it might wake up Mercy. She didn’t want that.
When she left she had gone back to her room and waited, in anger she begins to arrange her bag and cloths loitered in the room, hanging cloths in the wardrobe and made the bed. At least Mercy wouldn’t come and query her for that like the first night she slept there, she even made sure the toilet was clean and not even a strand of her hair was on the floor from combing.
Satisfied she waited, checking the time, after an hour she had come back only to see Emeka going towards the Kitchen, she had waited and when he was there for more than five minutes she had gone, then she met the scene.
Her first instincts were to use the spatula on Olive’s mouth, what did she mean by wife material!! She folds her fist.
She would have gone in there if Emeka had said yes, but see, Emeka didn’t answer her, she was right, he is still the same good hearted person, but Olive? she had bad motives and bad intention written all over her.
And his mother wouldn’t stop talking, Diana shakes her head speaking under her breath ”Mama, your plans won’t work, you can’t push that girl towards my man, I won’t allow it” she had boiled in anger but didn’t make a sound as she watched it all from the corner, not visible to them.
And when Olive grabbed him from behind and he hugged her and called her sweetheart, Diana had been confused.
They hugged like two people who had history, not friendship. There was something more, and that smile on olive’s face.
Diana felt jealously rise up inside her.
Is Olive his lover, did he bring his lover into his house, is that it??
She backs away as he comes out answering a call, she turns back to them..
Maybe she and Olive would have a word, woman to woman, for now… she needed to have a word with Emeka, something didn’t feel right here.
Emeka enters his room and flings the phone on the bed, he strips to his briefs and was about entering the bathroom when his phone rings, he smiles seeing the caller.
”You finally called me, what were you doing?”
”Well you know, busy with the ladies, so why were you buzzing my phone all night, don’t you know fathers like us sign out after 12 noon especially if something warm is beside us, you okay bro?” Tayo asks from the other side of the line
Emeka rubs his temple “Well it depends, I need to talk to you bro?”
”Work related or the devil or the devil-ress if there is a word like that?”
Emeka smiles ”No not work and yes about that, and no there isn’t a word like that, but we can work with that and yes, the she-devil, something happened last night!!”
”What? Don’t tell me you slept with her, oh dude don’t tell me you have fallen for her again? I warned you!!”
”No no no, of course not, I haven’t, I won’t, not after what she did to me, but hey listen, there was an issue between her and Olive and for some reason after it all played out I felt…” he hears someone come in, he sees the reflection of who from the glass
”You felt what Emeka?” Tayo wanted to know
”I would have to talk to you later, see you in an hour, I will tell you “‘
”Why not now?”
Emeka who had been facing his window turns, ”Because I am… about to hit the shower”
”She just walked in didn’t she? The devil-ress or she-devil?”
”Yes, you are absolutely precise!!”
”Okay, meet you at the spot, and bro, don’t let your guard down, I know what you will say but… the matters of the heart is dicey and the only other thing as strong as hate is love and it is a thin line separating those two son, don’t lose yourself, you don’t need to do this revenge thing, cut it lose, get them off your head and your mind, your father, Diana, they don’t deserve one tiny measure of your time much less the time you are dedicating to have revenge on them, you hear me?”
”Yep, see you”‘
He could hear Tayo sigh “Stubborn fox, okay see you”
Line goes dead.
She shuts the door behind her, then on second’s thoughts she locks it.
Emeka watches her come towards him, he remains standing..
”I have some questions to ask you and I need you to be honest with me, and I am locking that door because I do not want us to be interrupted because I am so angry and I can’t seem to make sense of all this”‘
”Of what Dee?”
”Don’t Dee me Emeka, don’t you dare, what the hell is going on between you and Olive, why the hell do you have her in your house and didn’t challenge your mother when she insisted she sleep here. What was going on in the kitchen, your mother calling her your wife practically and you didn’t even caution her? I do not understand it Emeka, both of you going ‘sweethearts’ at each other, how am I sure you both didn’t sleep with each other last night? What is happening here Emeka, what is this, answer me, was it a lie, what you told me, that you wanted to start all over with me, marry me, was it a lie?”
”No!!” he lied
”Then explain to me why your mother hates me”‘
”Dee, she is just not comfortable with you and feels you are here for something else other than me, and of course that’s not true right? you are here for me, because you love me still, not my money?’
She blinks “Of course Emeka,for you, I don’t care about your money” she lies
Liar, Emeka thinks to himself “Then that is what you need to convince my mother about Dee, she is a great person you know and she liked you well enough then”
”Well, I left you and she hated me then and hates me now”‘
”She won’t forever, look, give her time, she would come around, win her over, she would love you!!”‘
”So you say, and she is already replacing me with that… that fake china Barbie!!” she flares up
”Are you jealous Diana? Are you jealous of Olive?”
She looked shocked he would say that … ”Me, jealous of her, how would I be? All her perfect look I bet she paid huge amount to look that way and-”
”No I don’t mean about the way she looks, by the way, it’s all real her looks, I meant about me and her?”
”How do you know it’s all real?”
”Are you jealous Diana?” he repeats the question and avoids hers
”No!!” she says
Liar! Liar! Emeka says within himself “Good, then why are you worried?”
”I am not worried I am just trying to understand why she is here, what is going on between you too?”
”Nothing ” he lies, nothing that would be revealed to you in due time Dee, a little patience.
”Are you lying to me Emeka, because what I see, the body language begs me to ask so many questions”
”Have I ever lied to you, come off as dishonest, anything of that sort!!?”
She shakes her head ”You have always been honest to me even when it hurts”
”But, why is it that you aren’t coming close to me, you hug her and peck her and let her sleep in your room”
”Mama made her sleep here”
”It’s your house, you have a right to order things around even your mother”‘
He frowns, not allowing it to show “She is my mother Diana, she has a right to protect her son, from vultures!!”
She looks up sharply at him “What does that mean?”
Shit!! He calms his features “Hey Dee, why are you stressing this, you shouldn’t, you are the one I care about and want to marry and will marry, not Olive, don’t let a little hug and peck make you feel invaluable to me”
”Am I?” she steps closer
”Are you what?” he is eyeing her as she leaves the door coming towards him
”Invaluable to you, do I matter to you, do you care, do you love me still the way you used to love me then?”
”Yes you are, ” He lies and he continuous “You mean a lot to me if not I wouldn’t be giving us a second chance at this Dee”‘
”Then why haven’t you tried to kiss me, touch me, make love to me… hardly hugged me, held my hand, told me you miss me… miss everything about me” she is close to him now, barely a few inches apart
”Because we haven’t had time to spend together Dee!”
”Now is ‘a time!”
”I have to get ready for work Dee, I have a meeting in an hour and –” she places her hand to his lips shushing him
”We need only a few minutes and besides, it sort of feels like you are lying to me about your feelings that you really don’t care at all, that maybe this is just some plan of yours to I don’t know-” she trails off
”Now why would you go and think of something like that Dee, does it look like I am lying to you and I don’t want this, want us, want to marry you?”
”Then prove it?”
”Are you kidding me?” he stares at her,
”No Emeka, prove it, someone who loves and cares about someone proves in emotions and actions, I know you got all the actions and ways of proving you care, I want the emotion, that one you never failed to show and express to me years ago, I want that Emeka who loved me with his mind and soul and body and everything, I want to feel him and touch him just the way he used to, that boy Emeka is now a man and I want to be able to know for sure that he is for real if not I will walk out that door and I am leaving forever, so prove it to me, that you want this!!” she touches his stomach, running her hands down his abdomen, tentatively brushing against his flaccid bulge.
Stop it Dee, he breaths.
“I don’t need to, my word is enough”
”Not for me, prove it, kiss me Emeka, then I would know that you are for real” she leans in to him, crushing her body to him ”Kiss me, prove it and kiss me!!” she breaths against his lips..
Kiss me Emeka, and i will show you what you have missed for this past ten years… and I swear you would be eating out of the palms of my hands…
If you think you can tie me in with a stupid kiss or what else, you are mistaken Dee, my heart to you is made of stone…
”Fine, I will kiss you!!” he tells her
She wraps her hand around his neck and brings her lips close to him, she licks it and waits..
Emeka leans in and ..
TO BE CONTINUED