She had thought it was a figment of her imagination until the door bell rang the third time.
Hastily, she dropped the knife she was holding beside a divided portion of yam on the tray before heading for the door.
‘Hello Kathy.’ His smile was dazzling, so was he in chinos trousers under multicolored T-shirt and leather sandals.
‘Kelvin.’ She gasped, stared and then hugged him. ‘What a surprise to see you!’
‘If I knew my coming here would have earned me a hug, I would have been here a long time ago.’ He beamed as he took in her dressing of black straight cut gown that stopped just above her knee, he knew her face was void of anything yet she looked stunning.
Katherine chuckled before she took his hand and led him inside. ‘Welcome to my abode.’
‘Thank you.’ He told her and glanced around.
Kelvin noticed the sitting room was well furnished and homely but was void of photographs. ‘
‘Please sit. What can I offer you sir? ‘ Immediately she corrected herself. ‘I don’t have variety you can chose from, so I will offer you what I feel you will enjoy. ‘
‘Whatever my ADG says.’ He said and sat back on the sofa.
She came back with a minitray containing a cold can of strawberry juice. She set it on the side table beside his seat and brought it to his front.
‘How come you did not come with a tumbler, we should share?’
‘No,’ She sat. ‘I was actually making breakfast before you arrived.’ She picked the remote. ‘What TV station would you like to watch while am away for few minutes?’
‘I will join you in the kitchen.’ He picked the can and stood.
‘This is serious. ‘ She chuckled at his serious expression before leading the way.
You know what is been said about living the life of a fire brigade. She was an example. So he thought to himself.
Kelvin adjusted one of the dining chairs so he could watch her.
It was past eleven.
‘We will have boiled yam and egg stew.’ She began peeling the slices of yam, dividing into sizeable cubes and dropping them in a bowl of water.
‘Can’t the yam be sliced and cooked without peeling?’
She flashed him a smile, ‘some people actually do and peel after cooking, even back in secondary school one of my teacher told us that cooking yam with the peel gives the nutrient zinc.’ She transferred the washed yam into the pot of boiling water and added salt before placing the pot lid. ‘It’s all about choice.’ She glanced at him.
He watched for a moment as she emptied the yam peel in the waste bin. ‘Are there other ways of preparing yam?’
‘Ha…plenty of ways.’ She brought out tomatoes and pepper from the fridge.
‘There is roasted yam, fried yam which are sold in some part of the city. We also have pounded yam which is eaten with choiced soup. It can cooked with beans too. White or plain yam like am cooking now could be eaten with egg sauce, garden egg sauce, vegetable stew and locally, with palm oil, salt, grinded fresh pepper, onions and some people add some kind shredded vegetables to it. Hmmm…’ She halt from slicing the onions thoughtfully. ‘There is yam porridge, peppersoup and others I don’t know about.’ She concluded and wondered if he could cook.
‘Let’s eat it with the local type.’
She laughed. ‘Fresh pepper might be too hot for you.’
He pouted making Katherine chuckle but said nothing and looked on as she sliced the tomatoes, diced the pepper, broke three eggs and beat in a bowl.
Satisfied after checking with a the yam with a fork, She drained the water.
‘What we will use to eat the yam is egg sauce.’ She glanced at him before setting the pot on fire.
She added little groundnut oil, salt, pepper, stirred before adding tomatoes. Barely two minutes, she added the eggs and stir.
‘I don’t like to add seasoning to my egg sauce.’ She told him.
‘You almost sounding like my sister.’ He smiled at her before inhaling deeply. ‘I am so loving the aroma.’
Kelvin helped her set the table.
They eventually sat to eat after she said the prayer.
He complimented her on the meal and assisted her in rinsing and wiping the dishes afterwards despite her protest.
They later strolled around the house and out to the estate.
Kelvin told her about how he started out in Nigeria.
She mainly listened and avoid saying things that will make him want to broach what she minded discussing.
They shared pineapple and water melon, played scramble with Katherine winning, teased each other, laughed long and hard, even at a point Kelvin had tears in his eyes before he eventually left past the hour of 2pm.
Not forgetting to tell her in no small words how much he enjoyed himself and how well she fed him.
Kelvin was lying belly down on the rug of his sitting room, his upper body supported with a throw pillow watching the world news on CNN.
‘Sir.’ The house keeper called to gain attention.
He looked at her. ‘Your meal is served.’
‘Ouch! I am sorry I forgot to tell you I won’t eat lunch because I’m still filled from what I ate out.’
‘Was it a business lunch? ‘ She asked smiling.
‘No, I went to see a very good friend.’ He beamed.
‘That friend must have really filled you real good for that smile lightens your face. Continue your news now.’ She excused him.
Kelvin chuckled as he directed his eyes to the LG 84-inch LED TV but his mind drifted to the beautiful lady he had spent the better part of the day.
One of the reasons that prompted him to visit her was when the admin director told him he had refused her official accommodation.
She had told him in their conversation that the house was hers and she did leave alone. Not wanting to pry further, he couldn’t ask for long.
He sighed. Visiting her had left him exhilarated but confused, more confused. Who in the world do not keep photographs in their sitting room?
He exhaled and closed his eyes.
Dear Jesus, you know it all, you know my heart. You know why you’ve placed us on same path. I feel like there is a lot she going through or masking. Lord please… guide me and help me not to run ahead of you.
Katherine placed a mug of gingered tea on the dining table, pulled out a chair and sat.
She had never had a guest in her house, he had surprised her and she liked it.
Her brows darkened. He had favored her so well beyond measure, one who had believed in her abilities so much and threw caution to the wind to give her opportunities. Thankfully God had helped her and all she had learnt from her family.
She felt good friendship with him but she was not going to forget who she was, what had happened and what the great book says about the heart of man.
She was cautiously afraid.
Katherine lifted her mug and sipped.