CHEF 26 by Ojeiwa Ojeabu Omo- Episode 19

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Kaima got home angry.

“How can I be so stupid! I cannot believe that I allowed myself to be deceived so easily!” She rebuked herself as she got out of her car and ascended the steps that led to her apartment. After retrieving the house key from her bag and unlocking the door, she entered inside feeling quite tired and emotionally drained.

“What am I going to do now? cook? Sleep? Watch TV?” Kaima asked herself. All the options looked natural, but she wasn’t in the mood to do any of them. How about a drink? She thought as she switched on the lights to her apartment and headed to the kitchen to retrieve some ice and fix herself a drink.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Life wasn’t the same for Cynthia as she lost her will to smile and deliver her comic attitude to family and friends which they had so come to love and know her for. She didn’t attend Aunt Cecilia’s reunion offering her an apology and pinning her absence on the excuse that she was down with a fever. The fever wasn’t induced by a mosquito bite, or a bad weather, it was induced by an emotional response to pain, loneliness, and a mountain load of hurt that had been caused by her best friend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kaima had delivered a stunning reunion party for Aunt Cecilia, everything had been excellent, from the food, to the outdoor decor, the atmosphere was designed for a party that brought out a flourish of positive emotions ranging from Joy to brightly coloured happiness fuelled by great food, good music and the company of family and friends that hadn’t seen much of each other until now. People kept on asking Aunt Cecilia how she had put such a wonderful event together; she smiled and directed them to Kaima, potentially increasing her clientele base.

As the event drew to a close, Kaima was disappointed that she hadn’t seen Cynthia. She had prepared a parting speech that she wanted to deliver to her to let her know that they were done for good.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Damilare didn’t see much of Kaima during the event, she seemed aloof for a long time, and debated on the idea of confronting her with the truth that but wasn’t sure it was a good idea to bring it up at that time as Kaima particularly didn’t look like she was in the lightest of moods.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Days turned into weeks rapidly as Cynthia came to terms with the fact that she wasn’t going to ever get Kaima back. She resumed work, but her colleagues could see that something wasn’t right with her. Cynthia wasn’t humorous anymore; she talked less, never smiled, and kept to herself most of the time. This wasn’t something her colleagues at work were used to. They kept asking her what was wrong, but she kept telling them that she was fine and would be alright in due time.

Kaima tried to give her best everyday at the office, work now seemed more like a burden than a habit. She spoke less to Damilare and reduced the rate at which she ordered food from the Magic Menu Restaurant.

Damilare heard less and less from Kaima, he wondered what was happening to her and how things had changed so fast. He pondered about it and resigned that he was going to let Kaima go and just rivet back to the business as usual relationship that connected them. He thought about Lola and what she said about liking him. As his mind continued to muse, an announcement from the front desk jolted him back to the consciousness of the restaurant.

“Chef 26 you have a visitor,” the girl at the front desk announced. Damilare sighed as he hung his apron and walked reluctantly towards the exit. When he got to the front desk, he wasn’t surprised but was slightly happy to see a familiar face he hadn’t seen for quite some time since the incident with Kaima and Cynthia at the restaurant.

“Hi Lola.” Damilare said with a smile.

“Hey there.” Lola responded with a smirk.

“I was just thinking about you.” Damilare said as he ushered her into the restaurant.

“Really! That’s nice, because I was thinking about you too and that’s why I’m here. I think we need to talk.” Lola replied.

They walked causally, spotting a good place close to a window that revealed the scenery taking place outside that comprised mostly of cars moving sluggishly in traffic and high rise buildings and a few side activities.

Damilare was the first to speak.

“I have been thinking about what you said about you know….” He paused.

Lola brightened leaning in closer, waiting for him to spill the news, she was guessing was a solution to the Kaima and Cynthia drama.

“Go on, go on” she said excitedly.

“I have been thinking, that, that….” He stalled again.

“That what?” Lola pressed on.

Damilare rubbed the nape of his neck, finding it hard to speak.

“That maybe we could start dating he said, hiding his face behind his raised palms, creating a small opening with his fingers so he could see her reaction. Lola giggled.

“Oh baby, but Mummy said I couldn’t have you.” Lola replied with a pout while uncovering his face.

“Mummy? Who is Mummy?”
Damilare asked puzzled, guessing that she didn’t mean her own mother.

“Cynthia.” Lola replied.

“Why?” Damilare questioned still puzzled.

“Well… Cynthia believes you are the only one that can help resolve the issue she has with Kaima. According to her, she believes that if you and Kaima start dating, then, maybe just then her attitude might swing from cold to warm towards her.” Lola explained quickly.

“But Kaima hasn’t spoken to me for a while now, in fact she is even avoiding me, how will I tell her that I feel the same way she does? It’s so hard! Do you know how hard it was for me to tell you that I would like us to date? I practiced saying it every morning in the mirror for 2 weeks.”
Damilare stated seriously.

Lola roared with laughter.

“Yea, yea, yea, laugh all you want”
Damilare protested.

“I am sorry love, not making fun of you. It’s just crazy how hard that can be for some people. Kaima must have also had the same problem
which is why she couldn’t tell you.”

“I guess it is so.” Damilare replied folding his arms on the table as he nodded.

“I know what she sees in you, I see the same thing too.” Lola stated slyly.

…..to be continued

Genre: Nigerian Romance/Fiction

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