I sighed and rolled my eyes when my father broke the devastating news that my Uncle Kayode was coming to spend the ‘weekend’ with us. I knew very well that the weekend might turn into months, as this was not the first time. It just really shocked me and I constantly asked myself, does he not have a house? My dad awakened me from my thoughts when I heard him say. “…so make jollof rice for them.”
“Sir? Who is ‘them’? Isn’t it just Uncle Kayode that’s coming?”
“Where were your ears when I said he’s coming with his wife and kids.”
“Jesus is Lord. Daddy please what happened? Is everything alright in their house?”
Just then, my mum strutted in. I looked so much like her, it scared me. I was nearly her height, even though she was fairly tall. She was in her 40’s, but she looked way younger. She walked in wearing a cute knee length floral dress that showed off her long legs and pedicured feet. Judging by the crease at the corner of her lips, I could tell she heard what I said.
“Wuuuurrraaa! Elegbe ni e. You’re not serious. Don’t worry though, they’re staying for a weekend this time. As in three days.” My dad gave an affirmative nod so I decided to take their word for it.
I heaved a sigh of relief and dragged my feet to the kitchen as though it was a separate part of me that just didn’t want to move. Actually, that was the case.
As soon as the aroma of the jollof rice I was whipping up hit my nostrils, all my sorrows melted away for a quick second. Then I heard the gate opening. Back to square one.
Sigh. They’re here. Lord give me strength.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hated Uncle Kayode and his family, it’s just that they…stressed me. They were actually really rude to me, but being a Nigerian, Yoruba for that matter, there was no such thing. Only younger people had to be polite to the older ones, and it pissed me off. Respect is reciprocal. That one, is a story for another day. As I heard them entering the living room, I quickly reached into my imaginary bag of smiles and plastered a plastic one on my face.
“Good afternoon ma. Good afternoon sir. Tomi, how are you? Aww, hello Dami.” I spat out the greetings as fast as I could.
“Wura go and bring our box from the car.” Aunty Rolake said after ‘playfully’ pulling my cheek.
Wow you can’t say please?
And did I hear box? Who needs a box for 3 days??
I developed stress headache as I went downstairs to get their box from their car. I opened the boot of their Nissan and saw a medium sized suitcase.
It was so much better compared to the last time I was told to bring ‘a box’ from the car. I ended up wheeling in one large suitcase and two Ghana-must-go’s. I wheeled the suitcase into the house and dropped it off in the guest room. I really wanted to run off to my room and rest, but the jollof rice was still on fire. I decided to ask my mum to help me finish it up, so that I could go to my room and sleep. With the plastic smile on my face, I walked into the sitting room and addressing my MUM, I told her I was going to sleep, but the jollof rice was on fire. She smiled reassuringly and was about to open her mouth to approve my escape, but my dearest Aunty Rolake spoke up.
“Ahnahn Wura is it headache?” She awkwardly maintained unblinking eye contact with me. I decided I will not be intimidated so I stared right back.
“Ma? I don’t understand.” The plastic smile on my face was threatening to turn upside down, but I adjusted it, only for the sake of my parents.
“Ah Mummy Wura you are spoiling this girl o. This my daughter, Tomi, she cooks all the family meals. My wife and I are enjoying our old age. Even when she had malaria, she was still cooking. I think they are age mates?” Uncle Kayode said.
I was tempted to tell them that that one was their personal problem, but the smell of burning jollof rice distracted me.
Jesus fix it.