I pinched myself to know if it was a dream, but when it sent pains all over my body, i knew that i was wide awake.
Ano had just left the entire building for me. The entire place was neat and organized.
The first thing that came to my mind was to sweep the house, the same way we did back in Africa to show the world that we were responsible girls.
I looked around everywhere but there was no broom. There was a sweeping machine standing in the kitchen but unfortunately, i didn’t know how to operate that. It meant that i wasn’t going to sweep anything.
Standing in the kitchen, i switched on the electric gas cooker and after watching the flames for a minute, i switched it off.
I pulled out the large drawer and saw two cooking pots, they were as white as they were the day they were manufactured. Nobody ever used them to cook anything. The frying pan sitting beside the pots had been used severally, whatever he fried with it.
I opened another drawer and saw no food items, not even salt.
He didn’t cook, he ate outside.
After checking out the Kitchen, an idea came.
‘Cook, Maria cook something he will like when he return’
But what exactly was he going to like when he return? Probably Pizza. I didn’t know how to make that flat food.
I was going to cook Rice, he would like it when he return.
Back in the sitting room, i stood in the middle and took a closer look at everything in it. The Large TV, a long leather Sofa, a glass table, a large art Frame. The place was as simply and tidy as it could ever get.
On the center table, a 50 Euro note was lying there. That was the money i was told to use for food.
I picked it up and examined it as if i suspected it was fake.
I was going to cook descent food with the money. There was a fridge in the kitchen, i would put some there for the coming days. The idea was so exciting that i immediately went into the bathroom and took a bath.
Fifteen minutes later, i found myself outside the building.
There was a mall down the road. I saw it the day before. It was at the perfect place because a hundred meters more down the road, and i could miss the road to the apartment. I was new there and the two times that i had come there, i was in a car.
Since the European malls usually sold every food item, i walked down to the mall.
My phone was in my hand as i write down the prices of the things i picked.
The first thing was rice, a small bag of 3KG wasn’t heavy, so i picked one. I picked Tomato Sauce, Maggi, vegetable oil, salt, frozen chicken and other items needed to make tomato stew. I also bought fish and orange juice.
Back in the house, i started with the stew.
I sang like a newly wedded girl as i cooked the stew for nearly an hour and half. It took that long because i had to cook the chicken first. Done with the stew, i boiled white rice and tasted the food. It was tasty and good for me. However, i had the feelings that Ano may not like it. It might not be his thing.
After eating, i slept on the sofa And had a dream.
Madam Philo was chasing me. She had somehow broken into the apartment and started chasing me around the the sitting room. As she was about to hit me with a stick, i woke up and saw Ano standing in front of me.
I didn’t now what the time was until i checked on my phone; it was already 6pm.
“How are you?” He said.
I didn’t say anything, i just nodded and gazed at him.
Why would he appear at a time i was dreaming about Madam Philo?
Something was wrong.
“When did you come back?” I asked.
He said he just returned, he also asked if i went out at all.
“Yes, i went to the mall” I said.
“Oh, thats fine. What did you buy?” He asked.
Such a nice a question.
“I will show you” I said as i stood up and held his had.
We walked to the Kitchen where i opened the two pots.
“Do you know what it is?” I asked jokingly.
“Everybody knows rice” He laughed.
“Do you want to eat?” I asked.
I had hoped to just present the food to him without asking questions when he returns but the way things were unfolding, it was better that i flowed with it.
“Alright, lets have a little. I already ate on my way back” He said.
“Wait here, dont move” I said and laughed as i picked up a plate and put some Rice in it.
“I can’t finish this, its too big” he pointed at the plate of rice.
With a surprising courage, i said “Dont worry, i will eat the remaining one”.
I had hoped to actually tell him that we would eat together. It was part of how i planned to approach him when he returns. I had practiced everything in the afternoon.
But right there in the kitchen, i had managed to tell him that i would eat the remaining food instead of eating with him.
In the second plate, i put the chicken lap and another meat, then i added fish and packed up two spoons. I was going to eat with him whether he wanted or not.
I was a human being with some senses in me. I knew that the most difficult decision Ano had to take about the whole process was deciding to leave me alone in his apartment. Perhaps he had nothing i could steal in the apartment but leaving me there was still a difficult decision for him. He didn’t know who i was, he just saw me walking along the road and picked me up.
People picked people up along the roads on daily basis, but majority of them usually made sure the stranger left the next day, i had hoped for that but it didn’t happen. Rather i found myself walking from the kitchen to the sitting room with a plate of stew and two spoons. Ano was carrying the rice.
We got to the long sofa and sat side by side while dropping the foods on the glass table.
I put some stew on one side of the rice, turned and mixed it properly and ate. There was a smile on my face while i ate it.
As i took the second food, Ano did the same thing and started eating as well.
“Its delicious” He said.
“Thanks” I responded.
I didn’t know whether he meant it or not but as long as he said it was delicious, then it was delicious.
That was how we started eating together.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com