SAMUEL COBBY GRANT
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny. KL woke up early to prepare for church. He was ironing his attire when he got a call from Pat whom he had decided to check up on his way to church.
“Would you be going to church today?”
“Of course. How’s your foot?”
“Healed completely, thank you. I was wondering whether you would drive me to Trinity Presbyterian Church. I have been invited,” she asked.
He was suddenly silent. It wasn’t as if he didn’t want to drive her there, but that was her Mother’s church and seeing them together could make her jump to the wrong conclusions. She might think that Pat was his girlfriend or something.
“If it bothers you, I’ll take dropping, don’t worry,” she said due to his long silence.
“I will take you there,” he said, shouting.
“Are you angry with me?” she asked.
“No,” he said and breathed in deeply. “Sorry, that was rude. Yes, I will take you there with pleasure.”
They ended with the call and he continued with the ironing, angry with himself for almost making Pat a victim of his issues with his mother. What he didn’t know was that, since the last time his mother spoke to Pat on his phone, they had exchanged phone numbers and had been catching up on things, and they had planned on the three of them spending the Sunday afternoon at her mansion after church.
He got ready, intending to drive her to the Church and leave for his, to pick her up later. She sat down, her foot had healed miraculously and as he drove, she surreptitiously sent a message to his mother informing her that they were on their way. She even sent her the registration number of the car.
They arrived at the church’s premises and as he escorted her to the large doorway, he saw to his consternation that his mother was on her way to the car park. He cringed when he saw her. She went straight to where they were.
“You didn’t tell me that you’ve bought a new car.”
“This isn’t my car. It’s for this beautiful lady,” he said, indicating Pat.
“Good morning, Ma,” Pat greeted.
“Good morning, my daughter, how are you doing?” she replied, keeping up the pretence.
“I am fine, Ma,” also keeping up the charade.
“Why don’t we all go in and sit down?” Mad. Lawrencia said.
“Why don’t you ladies take the lead, I’ll join you soon.”
But his mother, knowing what he was capable of, looked up at him accusingly.
“You are not thinking about running away, are you?”
“No, am not.”
“Yes, you are,” his mother said, with a trembling voice, as if she was in distress.
Pat stared at both mother and son and left to find a place to sit. She didn’t have to wait long for KL and his mother to join her. Church was good but she could sense some coldness between him and his mother. Kuuku suffered through the whole service, with a feeling of suffocation. He had a hunch that his mother had planned everything with Pat to bring him to church that day, and he wasn’t amused about it at all. Frustrated, he wished she would allow him to live his life since he didn’t want Pat to learn of his issues with his mother. That was the reason why he had left the mansion to be on his own.
He put up a semblance of I-dont-care’ attitude
After Benediction, Madam Lawrencia introduced him and Pat to the Reverend Minister and some elders of the church, making it seem as if they were dating without actually saying so. And Kuuku, in order not to make Pat feel bad, refrained from any further argument with his mother. But his patience was highly tested when an old friend of his mother asked if the two of them have set the wedding date yet.
Kuuku pretended not to have heard her, and even his mother backed him on that.
“I’ll see you at Women’s Fellowship, Auntie Eunice,” his Mom said and shooed them to the car.
“Can you guys please give me a lift to the house? I didn’t feel like driving today.”
“I see,” Kuuku said and gave a massive smile, encompassing them all in it. He now had no doubt whatsoever that the ladies had something up their sleeves.
He waited till they were seated comfortably in the back seat and zoomed off on the way to Chapel Hill where she lived. KL smiled to himself when he caught them through the driving mirror smiling at each other victoriously.
They soon got to their destination. He drove through the massive iron gates, along the stretch of road that had been laid with terra cotta, making the imposing edifice look much older than it really was.
There were three other cars in the driveway making it obvious to Kuuku that she had guests who couldn’t resist Madam Lawrencia’s ever-popular Sunday lunch of fufu and seasoned goat soup.
“I think my guests are here already,” she said and dashed into the house through the kitchen entrance, leaving Pat and Kuuku behind.
He was now convinced that he had been played but he took it all in his stride, wanting to see to what extent they were going to see this through.
They weren’t going to like the outcome, he promised himself. Especially, Pat, for poking her nose into places that it didn’t belong to her. It was because of these schemes that he left the mansion to be by himself.
“Well, let’s see how it goes,” he mused.
He held Pat by her hand and smiled charmingly at her, to her surprise and led her through the large entrance with its heavy teak door into a very large living room with teak furniture. Everything in there was made with polished teak. From the heavy settees to the extra-large dining table with its long-backed chairs. There were large windows that ensured that the rooms were very airy, and the four ceiling fans whirled ceaselessly to ensure that it stayed that way.
He saw that there were six other guests there already, and all of them were known to him. They were friends and associates of his mother.
Two of them were neighbours, Mr and Mrs Rockson. There was another couple, Mr and Mrs Hagan, and two ladies who were members of the Textile Sellers Association. He drew Pat closer to him and placed his hand around her shoulder. She looked up at him sharply with a quick intake of breath that left her slightly disoriented.
“Kuuku!” Mrs Hagan called to him from across the room and he changed direction to go to her, with Pat by his side.
“When Lawrencia told me that you were bringing a girl home, I knew I had to be here.”
He just smiled at this confirmation that it had all been planned behind his back
“You know I like beautiful things,” he said and introduced the now tongue-tied Pat to them without saying anything about any relationship. Done with intros, he gave her a tour of the house, introduced her to the domestic staff who were all on a first-name basis with him.
Pat was overawed by the opulence of the whole place. The structure, the lawn and the hedges and how well run it was. But she was mystified by his sudden closeness to her and looked at him with suspicion, but he smiled at her, disarming her with his handsomeness and warmth. Her heart flipped, making her vulnerable. He saw from the corner of his eyes that his mother and Auntie Aya, who had broken his virginity when he turned 18, were looking at them through the kitchen window and whispering conspiratorially.
Presently, a maid brought them some pineapple juice and informed them that lunch was going to be ready in twenty minutes.
“This is nice,” Pat said, taking another sip.
“My mother blended this herself. I hope it’s as good as your mom’s,” he said with a smile, but his eyes had gone hard.
Pat flinched at his words but said nothing. She put her glass down and her lips trembled.
Lunch was announced and it was Mankani fufuo with Aponkye nkakra with additional soup that had grilled tilapia and salmon in it.
Lunches at the Laing household were legendary and it was no different that Sunday afternoon.
Pat ate the food with gusto, stuffing herself to the full.
She looked at Madam Lawrencia with awe.
“This is delicious Ma, I will certainly come for tutorials,” she said.
“You must if you want to keep my Kuuku here,” Mrs Hagan said and helped herself to more soup.
“I concur,” Mrs Rockson said, drawing the bowl of tilapia towards her.
“No need for that,” Kuuku said softly, but loud enough for all of them to hear what he had said.
“She claims her mother’s cooking is better than mom’s.”
The guests gasped at this apparent blasphemy. Madam Lawrencia’s eyes opened wide as she sat, tight-lipped.
“No, I didn’t,” Pat said, her lips quivering.
“Yes, you did,” Kuuku shot back at her, chewing on a goat intestine unperturbed.
Pat stood up suddenly, her eyes teary and ran out of the house.
To be continued…[insert-comment-form] [insert-comment-form] [stextbox id=”info” caption=”JOIN US ON WHATSAPP“]
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