Yes I know today’s Saturday, I didn’t finish this until this morning.
“You will kill me Jumoke and I will stroll to heaven laughing”
“And you will think you will go to heaven?” She swatted at the fat fly that tried to perch on the gleaming mass of white on the porcelain plate; that told of sweaty labour on a mortar and pestle.
“Haba! I am not the worst sinner na, am I not better than all your brothers put together”, his slim fingers wrested a big chunk of the mangala fish from the soup and he suspended them just below his mouth before smiling at her and slowly raised the fish to his thick lips.
“My brothers are saints, you are not even fit to dust Juwon’s shoes”
“Ah! Juwon, Commander in Chief of the allied forces of Yoruba Demons and Principalities,” he guffawed.
“You’re jealous because you do not have a hundredth of his sex appeal”
“Will sex appeal increase my account balance?”
“Ask Juwon, he just bagged yet another contract from the governor”
She hobbled to the balcony, the rubber tips of her aluminium crutches swallowing the clang that would have occurred if they weren’t there. She turned to wink at him just before closing the glass door. She was still tapping her left foot to an undefinable rhythm five minutes later, watching people moving like an earthworm family after a salt bath did not bring the customary smile or the peace that came from feeling so far removed from the noise of Lagos.
“Jummy baby, Achalugo, Oyoyom” His voice in her ear made her jerk.
“I hope you have washed the dishes Chiioke” she asked tartly and tapped her finger on his chest.
“My mother tranined me well and you know that,”
“Oh I forgot, her holiness, second in line to the Virgin Mary”.
“Don’t talk about my mother like that” His voice sliced her heart, she exhaled and turned back to the road.
“Baby don’t be like this, let’s not spoil the fun”
“Insulting my brothers is fun but your sainted mother is she whose name should not be taken in vain abi?” she snapped.
“Oya ma binu, let me tell you what happened at the bank today” He cooed and drew her to his chest.
“I am not angry” her voice was muffled.
“I was telling Deji how you made the smoothest pounded yam in this world and how you made pounding look sexy, then his colleague said pounding yam is old school.”
“But I haven’t pounded in years, my fingers are too crooked now Jioke and it would be too painful!”
“She gave me a variety of options, from using food processors to mixers and even your blender. Can you imagine such sorcery?”
“Was she beautiful, like I once was” she whispered.
“How long Jioke? How long do I have before this thing kills me?”
“I will not let you die!” He hit his right knee in a distracted fashion as she sobbed quietly, making his shirt damp with her tears.
“This thing will not kill you, you will carry my children in this womb of yours, we will laugh over our anxieties and I will laugh most because you had had no faith at all”. He continued.
“This morning I dreamt about knives, thirty knives came to visit, they asked me to remove the skin over my belly and watch the blood spurt. It would be pretty they said, they were so polite Jioke in their grating metallic voices.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this in the morning, let me guess- you didn’t want to bother me.”
“When I die Jioke, do not remarry for at least two years. Mourn me properly, I beg you”
“No way! I’m marrying two months later, I’ve started interviewing candidates already…” her punch to his belly stifled the flow of words.
“What did you do that for? No be you wan die?”
“I’m not dying again, I don’t trust you this Igbo man”
I’m totally trustworthy but I will marry immediately you die sef, so better don’t die”
She tilted her head for his kiss and her heart swelled with each dart of his tongue, anticipation sizzled in her capillaries and neuromuscular junctions. She could hardly wait for morning when she’d float to heaven with him beside her, it couldn’t be hell not even the devil was that cruel.
She giggled just before she slipped her right hand up his back.