CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 12


The magic menu kitchen was scented with various aromas, a part of the kitchen was sizzling with the smell of fried egg garnished with shredded beef, another part was flavoured by boiled chicken in tomato sauce with grated garlic and chopped onions, while Damilare’s corner was agog with side talk and the latest gist from the world of the English premiership. Not that he had any interest in discussing the subject at work, but Ikenna had brought an argument about who the best striker in the premiership was and naturally, as a football fanatic, Damilare had to share his thoughts.

Ikenna being a Liverpool fan, argued in favor of Luis Suarez as undoubtedly the hottest striker in the premiership on current form but Damilare was having none of it. He argued that Van Persie was the hottest striker in the Premiership.

‘Persie! You’ve got to be joking. How can he be the best striker in the Premiership, how many goals has he scored this season?,’ Ikenna asked.

Damilare knew that Ikenna was right but he wasn’t prepared to let Ikenna have his way in the argument just yet, he decided to frustrate him with a blind point.

‘He is the best striker in the EPL, maybe not on current form, but to me he is.’ Damilare replied.

Ikenna looked around the kitchen to see if he had anyone’s attention to help prove his argument. He had observed that Musa had been listening to the argument so he decided to draw him into the action.

‘Musa did you hear what Dre just said, he is joking don’t you think?’ Ikenna asked.

‘Yeah I did, but to me I think Fernando Torres is the best striker in the EPL,’ Musa replied with a wry grin.

‘Torres?! Musa it seems you watch your own EPL matches on the radio right. You’re not being realistic. He planted his hands on his face; this guy is an idiot,’ Ikenna said jokingly.

‘Why should I be, I am a fan of Chelsea FC, why will I side with a die-hard Liverpool fan?,’ replied Musa, who wasn’t showing any signs of giving up.

Ikenna was about to berate him when the lady at the front desk announced over the intercom that Chef 26 had a visitor.

Damilare smiled, he was certain that it was Kaima. There must be new business again he said to himself, I wonder why she couldn’t just tell me over the phone, maybe she just enjoys being around me he continued as he walked towards the door where he hanged his apron. He turned back to Ikenna :

‘This argument is far from over, gear up for round 2 when I return,’ Damilare said with a grin.

When Damilare got to the front desk, he was taken aback by his visitor. It definitely wasn’t Kaima. His visitor got up and sashayed towards him there was a sweet smile on her face.

‘Hi, it’s me again,’ Lola said stretching out her hands to shake him.

‘Hi what brings you to this part of town?’ Damilare asked with a smile.

She noticed his prominent dimples.

‘You have lovely dimples.’ Lola said.

‘Thank you.’ Damilare replied.

‘Is there some place we can talk?’ Lola asked.

‘This way madam,’ he said while leading her into the dining section of the restaurant.

When Lola stepped into the magic menu restaurant she was blown away by the beauty and simplicity of the restaurant and the space.

‘Wow! This place is lovely.’ She said still wearing the sweet smile.

‘Yeah it is.’ Damilare replied while picking a spot for both of them. When they were seated, he asked what the purpose of her visit was.

‘I would love to hold a reunion for my family and friends similar to the one I attended where we met.’ Lola replied.

‘Really! That’s great. I’ll have to run your request by my boss, I just do the cooking while she does the planning, logistics and handles the fee.’ Damilare responded.

‘Did you say she?’ Lola asked.

‘Yeah she, my boss is a woman. Is that a strange thing?’ Damilare asked folding his arms while leaning closer towards Lola; she leaned in too, with her face few centimetres away from his.

‘No, not at all; do you enjoy working for her?’ She whispered.

‘Enjoy working for her? I wouldn’t put it that way; I would say I enjoy working with her. It’s like she has everything figured out she is an amazing woman, gifted in organization and planning, she would make a fine wife’ he whispered back pulling away in order to recline on the chair. She is one heck of a woman,’ he added with a deep sigh.

‘Do you like her?’ Lola asked.

‘Yeah I do.’ Damilare replied.

‘The you want to ask her out kind of like?’ Lola asked with more inquisition.

‘What! Hell no Lola! She is way out of my league. I don’t think she sees me that way,’ drawing some interested stares from other diners towards their direction with the pitch of his voice.

‘What about me? Do you like me?’ Lola asked coyly.

Damilare paused for what seemed like eternity. He looked up at the ceiling then down again at the table cloth on the table where they were seated. He was lost in a crowded place trying to find the words which were just a simple yes or no, but they seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth at the moment. He took a deep breath, and then exhaled. His legs felt rubbery, his palms were sweaty. Yes he liked her but, how could he tell her that when obviously, she was way out of his league too. She could use him and dump him when Mr. Executive comes along. Wait she can’t be single he said to himself.

‘Are you single?’ He asked, hoping to avoid the question.

‘You haven’t answered my question.’ Lola replied while moving her eyelids in a flirtatious manner.

‘Yes Lola I like you, but we just met and I don’t think am the kind of the guy you’d be interested in.’ Damilare finally answered.

‘Really! Are you psychic? How can you tell? Is it because I look flashy, overly sexy, and expensive?’ Lola asked.

So she knows, thank God Damilare said to himself. He bobbed his head a couple of times not making eye contact.

‘Well, I have news for you, I like you, and I want to see you more often. But first let your boss know that I want to host a reunion just like the one I attended, with you handling the meals and let me know how much it’s going to cost so I can make a down payment.’ She replied firmly.

‘When do you want to hold the event?’ Damilare asked.

“Next weekend” she replied.

She loosed her right leg from her blue stiletto heels and steered it in the opposite direction. Damilare felt a tingling sensation, looking down, he found one of Lola’s smooth and well carved legs his thigh. He felt very uneasy.

‘What does she think she is doing he said to himself. Does she want to kill me or get me fired?’ His mind screamed.

… be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction