HER LAST WISH Chapter 60
HER LAST WISH Chapter 60
Zeemah Writes 📝
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“Mummy, that Aunty is looking at you with bad eyes since” David said and Phil almost drown in shame when everyone turned to look at her.
She tried to look unbothered by their stares as much as she could by turning back to the TV even when her cheeks were burning in shame.
Gosh … Do children mouth run this much??
“Actually, she’s not doing that. She only looks that way whenever … she’s intrigued” Layla lied, cutting through the silence.
Everyone switched their gaze to her now, knowing she’s not telling the truth .
“Eh .. Yeah, isn’t that so guys?” Fel said.
“Exactly!” They all agreed, faking their smile.
Aunt Esther smiled and they all felt a bit embarrassed knowing she caught on.
“Mummy, I want to Goan sleep”
“Okay love, do you still know the way to the room or should I take you?”
“Take me” David yawned.
“I’ll be back in a minute” Aunt Esther said to them.
“Okay Aunt Esther”
On returning to the living room, she noticed Phil wasn’t there any longer.
Actually, she has noticed Phil looking at her a certain type of way even before David had called her attention to it and she really isn’t bothered about it to be honest. Phil doesn’t like her so she expected that.
She sat on the couch.
“I’m so sorry about that Aunt, I’m sure Phil did not mean it” Layla said, they all knew Aunt Esther knew that they had only come up with that. Phil had indeed been staring at her badly.
“C’mon, it’s completely fine. I don’t even care to be honest” Aunt Esther chuckled.
“Is that the reason you all are looking this way. Come on, I don’t need this mood from you guys. You guys make me feel welcome and that’s all that matters”
“Right, let’s get over this. Someone didn’t die after all” Rylan said.
“Yeah” Dan nodded.
“Your cornrows are so beautiful” Fel said to Aunt Esther as she admired her hair.
“Yeah, I love the fact that the lines are so neat and clean ” Anne said.
“Ah..this cornrows, I made it just before coming. Aminat made it for me, she’s my neighbor and she’s so talented in making all sorts of style and you won’t believe she didn’t even learn it o, she didn’t take any classes on it. If you see her make hair ehn, you’ll know some talent are inborn. Ah, that girl is trying”
“Wow” They looked quite amused.
“Yeah, I once told Moremi about her na. Remi, don’t you remember?”
“Oh, I do! I think I also complimented your hair and you told me she made it”
“Exactly, She’s about you guys age, also in her last year in school”
“Wow, that’s quite impressive” Fel said.
“Can you also make cornrows?” Anne asked Aunt Esther.
“Of course, hair making is not that hard, a lot of people…at least in the environment I live in know how to make hair, each person is just more good at it than the other”
“Great! You’re also going to make cornrows for me” Anne smiled.
“I’m in also” Fel said.
“I would gladly do that but your hair is much o and even very long, I’ve never made cornrows with this type of hair but we’ll know how to go about it sha. Moremi, what about you?”
“No” Layla said. Knowing combing her hair alone would have all the strand out, not to talk of plaiting it.
“Why?” Aunt Esther asked.
“You know I already reduce my hair to Bob, it’s not long enough to be plaited”
“No o, this one is not long enough laidis? People with shorter hair sef are making cornrows, don’t worry I’ll help you make it and it’s going to be beautiful” Aunt Esther assured with a smile.
“Oh Okay” Layla said, she’s just going to come up with an excuse the day they decide to do it.
“Am I the only one perceiving pies?” Rylan stylishly asked even after seeing it and knowing so well that Anne had planned to make pies for Aunt Esther.
“Oh…I forgot, Aunt Esther, I made this for you and David” Anne said, happily presenting it to her.
“Oh, thank you so much dear. Wow, this looks so nice” She said on opening it.
“And it actually tastes nice also, you’re going to love it” Anne said.
“Really… Thank you but I’ll have to save this for later, you know I had lunch just few hours ago”
“I know right, it’s quite sad you already ate before I came, I wanted you to eat it as soon as I bring it here” Anne pouted.
“Don’t worry dear, I still have a couple more days to spend here and you’re definitely going to make more pies for me and I’ll make sure to eat it as soon as it’s here, fresh and warm” Aunt Esther assured Anne, who smiled.
“Make sure to microwave it before eating, it tastes better when it’s warm. I know it’s still warm now but it’s not gonna be anymore by the time you decide to eat it and I really want you to enjoy it.”
“Alright my love. Thank you”.
“And I hope you do not mind if I give Rylan and the others a piece each, they look like they would devour it right in my hands” Aunt Esther joked and Anne looked to be thinking about it.
She glanced at each of them and they returned her glance with either a sweet smile or a grin and Fel even blew her a kiss.
She groaned and turned back to Aunt Esther.
“Yeah, but just a piece each.” She said, sitting back right beside Aunt Esther.
“I’ve always known Anne is a very good person” Rylan grinned.
“Please.” Anne rolled her eyes.
They got a piece of pie each .
“Anne, I always tell you this and I’ll keep telling you. Your pies are the best I’ve tasted. Damn” Fel said.
“Did you add extra flavor to it because of Aunt Esther? This tastes heavenly” Rylan said, with a mouthful, he was done with the pie already.
Fel shook her head. “Just look at you eating so ravenously, how can you even finish eating a pie in seconds, everyone still has a piece of theirs in hand but you’re the only one with an empty hand”
“That’s none of your business!”
“You guys, please do not start this again, you had enough argument over the books already” Dan said.
“She started it. Always picking at me ” Rylan said.
“Whatever” Fel smacked her lips together.
“You guys seem to be cat and rat” Aunt Esther laughed.
“Obviously she’s the rat” Rylan mocked Fel who looked like she would pounce on him.
“Isn’t that right? I’m huger than you, the cat is huger than the rat. Simple logic” He taunted.
“You guys can see he’s now the one trying to get on my nerve” Fel said, with a frown.
“I was just joking, how can you not recognize a joke” Rylan said.
“Whatever” She said, rolling her eyes at him.
“Am I the only one who’s still finding it quite hard to believe Aunt Esther is really seated here” Anne said.
“You are not, trust me.” Fel said.
“How time flies. I remember the days we could only call her via video call” Dan said.
“And was it not just yesterday we were eagerly expecting her and now she’s here” Rylan added.
“And it’s quite sad, she’ll be leaving after six days, gosh” Fel said.
“Let’s not dwell on the fact that she’ll be leaving soon. Let’s just enjoy the moment and try to create more moments with her before she actually leaves. ”
“Yeah, and you should get ready Aunt, we’ll be touring the city with you soon” Fel said excitedly.
“Exactly, we need to put the few days she’ll be here to good use” Anne said.
“Aww.. that’ll be nice. Thanks you. You guys won’t stop making me feel flattered” Aunt Esther smiled.
“Remi, what’s wrong?” She asked.
Layla is unusually quiet.
“I bet Layla is still feeling bad about…what Phil did” Fel said.
“Really? I told you it’s fine Moremi, it’s completely fine, you should know I do not take such things to heart” Aunt Esther said.
“Layla, you really need to stop over worrying things, try to just overlook some things” Rylan said.
“Yeah, as long as Aunt Esther didn’t take offense at what Phil did then you shouldn’t bother about it”
Layla smiled. “Alright”
She was actually thinking about herself, feeling bad for herself, knowing she is really going to stop being around these wonderful people soon.
“Geez, guys…the time” Dan said.
“Oh my, how can it be this time already?” Rylan widen his eyes.
“I can’t believe it’s almost dark without us knowing. Damn” Fel said.
“Aunt Esther, we need to leave now” Dan said.
“I don’t feel like leaving yet” Fel whined.
“Same here” Anne pouts.
“C’mon, We should leave her to relax already. You know how long and tiring her trip was” Rylan said.
“Right” Dan added.
“You guys should start going home before it gets really dark, so your parents won’t scold you. Thanks for making me feel so welcomed, it really means a lot to me”
“Thanks for your appearance also, it means a lot more to us” Rylan said.
“Exactly” Dan said.
“You being here is making us so happy” Fel smiled.
“We look really forward to spending more time with you” Anne said.
“And I really look forward to hearing you tell us history, I would love hearing it from you”
“That’ll be my pleasure, you guys make sure to get your ears ready tomorrow because I’ll make sure to fill it to the brim with historical tales ”
“Oh God” Rylan jumped around happily and they laughed.
Layla and Aunt Esther walked them out to their cars and then returned to the house after they were gone.
Aunt Esther engulfed her in a hug and she felt better in her Aunt’s embrace, none of them said anything, they didn’t need to.
They remained that way for minutes, relishing in each other’s warmth.
“Come here, let’s sit” Aunt Esther said, holding Layla’s hand.
They sat on the couch, side by side.
“You really got yourself the best set of friends, I love them” Aunt Esther smiled.
“I know right, they are simply the best” Layla smiled “And shouldnt I go check on Dave, he should be awake by now” Layla said.
“No, he would have come here if he is. Besides, he wakes up with the slightest sound, if you should go check on him, he’s going to wake up”
“You know we really need to talk right, we need to catch up” Aunt Esther said.
“On so many things” Layla nodded.
“But first, I should go ahead to start preparing dinner. David needs to eat once he’s awake”
“No, don’t bother about that. We’re just going to microwave the pies and have it for dinner but you can go ahead to prepare dinner for your Aunt and you also”
“But you can’t have just pies for dinner”
“There is nothing wrong with having pies for dinner. Look, it’s quite much, we can’t even finish it sef, we’ll leave the rest for tomorrow”
“No, I’m going to prepare a proper meal for you, you shouldn’t eat pies to bed, you can just keep it till tomorrow, you need a good meal tonight” Layla said.
“To be honest, I’m still quite filled, all I need now is just a piece of pie or two and I’ll be fine. ” Aunt Esther said.
Layla sigh. “If you insist but David might want a proper meal when he wakes up”
“Well … Yeah, you can make his”
“Alright, I’ll be right back. Here’s the remote control, there are so many interesting channels to watch, you’re going to love it.”
“Oh, thanks dear”
“Do you want a drink or water or anything?”
“No, I’m fine”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’ll come get it myself if I need one. Thanks my love” Aunt Esther smiled. She really appreciates her niece’s effort in making her feel at home.
“Okay, I’ll be back soon” Layla smiled back at her before walking to the kitchen.
Phil walked into the living room just minutes after Layla went to the kitchen.
She sat on a different couch and stared at the TV.
“Here, you probably do not like this channel, I’m fine with any one you choose to watch” Aunt Esther said, stretching the remote control to Phil who glanced at it but didn’t take it.
“It’s fine, this channel is fine” Phil said, turning back to the TV.
“Alright” Aunt Esther said.
Making someone uncomfortable in their own house is the last thing she wants … Because she won’t like it either if anyone discomfort her in her home.
A part of her is glad she chose to stay for just a week.
They both continued watching the TV in silence.
“Mummy” David said, rubbing his eyes as he walked into the living room, making his way towards his Mum.
“Sweetheart, you’re awake” Aunt Esther smiled, holding him close to her.
“I want to drink water” He said and greeted Phil when he noticed her.
She responded with a nod.
“Goan meet your Aunt in the kitchen to give you water, shebi you know the way there?”
“Phil” Aunt Esther called Phil’s attention after David left.
“Thanks for accommodating us in your house even though it didn’t really sit well with you. We’ll be leaving in a week time and we’ll make sure not to inconvenient you till then” Aunt Esther said.
“It’s cool” Phil said almost starting to feel bad. Of course it’s so obvious she doesn’t want them here.
“And thank you for taking care of Moremi till date”
“You shouldn’t thank me, I’m her Aunt, I should be responsible for her after what happened”
“Of course I know that. I just felt the need to thank you”
“It’s fine” Phil said and they both returned back to the TV.
“You know what, you should go to bed, we’re going to talk at length tomorrow” Layla said.
“And I thought we’ll be able to talk o. I’m even starting to feel very sleepy. I’m so tired” Aunt Esther yawned.
David is already fast asleep in their middle, he slept off almost immediately he finished freshening up for the night.
“Yeah, you haven’t even relax since you got here. Let’s just go to bed. We’ll talk tomorrow” Layla said.
She already went to bring her pillow, she’ll be sleeping with them tonight or even nights to come, she has missed them so much to even let them out of her sight for a whole night, besides she wants to spend enough time with them before they leave.
“Goodnight Moremi” Aunt Esther said.
“What is Goodnight in Yoruba?” Layla asked.
“Odaro” Aunt Esther said and they both laughed when Layla tried to pronounce it.
“Are you sure Phil won’t mind?” Aunt Esther asked Layla for the umpteenth time.
They just got back from shopping for ingredients. She’s about cooking lunch and it’s going to be a Nigeria meal.
Layla had persuaded her to, her dad do tell her how delicious African meals are.
“Of course she won’t, let’s go ahead” Layla said, obviously excited to be cooking a Nigeria dish with her Aunt.
“You look this excited just because we’ll be cooking ordinary palm oil rice. Well, I know it’s not random to you though, you’ve never tasted it” Aunt Esther smiled.
“Yeah, exactly why I’m this excited.”
“Just wait till you come to Nigeria, I’ll make sure to serve you several delicacies. I wish certain Nigeria ingredients are available here. I would have loved to prepare series of meals for you. Just imagine the stress we went through getting palm oil, we had to order it from one of the few local stores here and it even looks refined, I hope it doesn’t affect the meal’s taste.” Aunt Esther said worriedly as she looked at the Palm oil.
“I’m only preparing this because it seems to be one of the few Nigeria meals that has almost complete ingredients here, although this is also a very nice meal but I would have loved to prepare something better for you since this will be the first Nigeria meal you’ll be eating but well…let’s get to it”
They both washed their hands, put on their aprons and hair cover.
“This meal actually has different names, it can be called local rice, palm oil rice or native jollof rice. It’s a very tasty meal that doesn’t even require you to spend much, when I was in the university, my roommate and I prepare this a lot because it’s so tasty and just saves us some money. You don’t need much to cook it and you can add things to it if you want, like crayfish, smoked fish, beef, dried fish or even fresh fish..the list is endless.”
“Oh wow, that’s the reason you opted for dried prawns and beef when we couldn’t get crayfish”
“Exactly, now I’m going to blend the pepper, I have to make sure it’s not completely blended, that’s what actually defines the meal”
“Oh okay, I should go ahead to boil the beef then”
“Yes, you can”
“I’m also going to make Nigeria jollof rice also before I leave”
“Really?” Layla’s face lit up.
“And even rice and stew. I know you’re probably familiar with rice and stew but wait till you eat mine” Aunt Esther added, much to Layla’s delight.
“Oh..my. I can’t wait!” Layla said happily.
“Right, now back to our local rice, go ahead with the beef while I blend the pepper”
Aunt Esther sliced the Onions after she was done blending the pepper.
“We’re going to be making a large portion, I’m sure your friends are going to be here soon. I’m going to make sure they also have a taste of every meal I’m going to prepare here before I leave”
“That’s so kind of you”
“C’mon, those people are nothing but kind to me also. Enough talk, lets start.
“So, the next thing we’re going to do is place our pot on the fire and make sure it’s dry before pouring some palm oil into it, we’ll leave it for few minutes depending on how bleached we want it to be… okay, I think it’s fine now, pass me the sliced onions please” She said and Layla handed it to her.
“We add the onions next, it’s going to start building the meal flavor, you leave it for a minute or less, it depends on how you actually want it, I leave mine till I start perceiving the aroma. Normally, what should be added next is locust beans but we can’t find it here, I already told you what locust beans is, it also adds extra flavor to the meal, the blended pepper is going to go in next and then we leave it for some minutes” Aunt Esther covered the pot with the lid. She shifted the plate of dried prawns and the sliced boiled beef closer.
“I’m perceiving the aroma already” Layla smiled.
“Just wait till we add everything” Aunt Esther smiled. “Okay now, it seems it’s fried enough” She removed the lid.
“We’ll add the dried prawns next and then our rinsed rice”
“The rice doesn’t need to be parboiled?” Layla asked.
“Well…I don’t think it needs to. That again depends on someone’s choice but for this meal, I prefer rinsing my rice till it’s clean”
“Oh” Layla said.
“Now we’ve added our rice, we’re going to make sure to incorporate it properly into what’s in the pot”
Aunt Esther sigh after she was satisfied with incorporating the rice.
“The beef goes in next and the beef stock, as you can see .. the beef stock is not going to be enough to cook the rice so we’re going to be adding additional water so the rice can cook well”
Layla happily fetched some water for her Aunt who added it to the pot.
“If you notice, we haven’t put seasoning powder or salt in it yet”
“Yeah” Layla nodded.
“That’s because there’s some in the beef stock but I don’t think that’s going to be enough, before adding more seasoning powder or salt, you should taste it so you can roughly know the quantity you’ll be adding to it, let’s taste it and see”
“It really needs more” Layla said.
Aunt Esther added more seasoning powder and a little salt and they tasted it again, satisfied with how it tastes now.
“Now, we’ll leave it to cook” Aunt Esther said, covering the pot with the lid.
“You guys are right on time, Aunt Esther just finished preparing a Nigerian meal” Layla happily said to her friends.
“Oh my… That’s the aroma we were perceiving at the door” Rylan grinned.
“I told you it was coming from here!” Dan smiled.
“Gosh, I can’t wait. Let’s head to the dining room already” Fel said, leading the way.
“You guys are here” Aunt Esther smiled on seeing them.
“Aunt Esther” They hugged her in greetings one after the other.
“You guys have your seats, Remi we are going to need one more chair o, for Phil”
“Yeah, I’ll go get it now”
“Alright and tell her that lunch is ready”
“Wow, this looks so different and the aroma is great” Rylan said.
“What is it called?” Anne asked.
“It’s can be called local rice, palm oil rice or native jollof rice and you guys are really going to enjoy it. After we’re done eating, we’ll then begin talking about Africa history” She said and smiled when they squeal in excitement.
“Phil, lunch is ready” Layla said to Phil who was seated on the bed.
“You mean I should go ahead to eat that thing that smells horrible?” Phil looked irritated.
“It doesn’t smell horrible, I think the horrible smell is from your room, perhaps you might need to come out and perceive how nice the aroma is” Layla smiled.
“Whatever, I’m not eating that awful meal. Once you’re done eating that thing she prepared, go ahead to make me a different meal”
“I understand if you have no interest in it whatsoever. but do you really have to refer to it as awful? It’s a meal for God’s sake, and just because you do not like it does not mean you should thrash it”
“Just shut up! After all you gave her the chance to cook in my kitchen! And I can’t believe she also did and even used my stuff to prepare her horrible meal” Phil said angrily. The fact that Layla has spent the night with her Africa Aunt and also spent all morning with her is actually the reason she’s being this way.
“Every ingredient she used in cooking, she bought it with her money even when I tried so hard to stop her, ranging from the rice which we have a lot of in the kitchen down to the seasoning powder she used. She got those things with her money, maybe she already figured you won’t be happy if she should use your stuff. And she actually asked me countless times if you’d be fine with her being in your kitchen and I of course said yes because I never thought it wouldn’t sit well with you, you shouldn’t have said they could come if their presence would irritate you so much. Anyway, I’m going to prepare another meal for you once I’m done eating like you said”
Phil sigh after Layla left, she was actually hungry and the aroma of that meal is even making her salivate more. God, shouldn’t she have just kept her pride aside and go with Layla to go eat.
“Where is she?” Aunt Esther asked Layla after she returned to the dining room.
“She’s going to eat hers later, she’s still quite full” Layla said.
“Oh” Aunt Esther said, she was done dishing the meal. They sat, prayed and started eating.
“Wow … Just Wow. This is so nice!” Rylan’s eyes widen after a taste.
“I’ve never tasted anything like this, this is so good Aunt Esther” Anne said.
“I knew it was gonna taste this good when I perceived the aroma and saw how it looked” Fel said.
“A delicacy indeed, I love it” Dan said.
“I also loved it when I tasted it in the kitchen, and the process is quite easy” Layla smiled.
“You should actually take us through the process soon” Fel said.
“Yeah” Anne agreed.
“Of course” Layla said.
“I’m glad you guys love it” Aunt Esther smiled.
“My mummy can cook o, if you eat her Amala, you’ll lick your plate” David said and they laughed…
Phil paced her room, her stomach kept rumbling as she heard them praise the meal.
God, she needs to take something if she doesn’t want to collapse, she hope there is still some cookies left in the kitchen.
She walked out of her room and replied to their greetings as she walked past the dining room, she got to the kitchen and opened the fridge, and felt kind of relieved there are some cookies left but it suddenly lost appeal to her, now that she’s in the kitchen, the aroma of the meal is so strong and penetrating that she didn’t wish for any other thing but that meal.
She found herself opening the pot that was on the cooker and didn’t know why she felt glad there was some left.
She’s sure it only looks and smells nice, it going to taste horrible.
She picked a plate and dished a small amount into it and once she tasted a spoonful, she couldn’t tell how she finished the portion on the plate, she dished another, a larger portion this time and sat on the kitchen stool, eating.
She ate very fast and stealthily because she doesn’t want any of them seeing her eat this, she’s going to quickly wash the plate once she’s done and then return to her room.
She finished eating and then quietly stepped down from the stool.
“I hope you love it?” She heard and almost dropped her plate.
She has never felt more ashamed seeing Layla walk into the kitchen, she has obviously been standing there for a while and watched her eat the meal she thrashed like a glutton. God, is there any greater shame?
” I came to get water” Layla smiled, opening the refrigerator.
“Well…it doesn’t even taste good, it tastes as horrible as it looks and smells. I only ate that much because I was hungry” Phil said, trying to recover from the shame.
“Well…I don’t remember asking you that” Layla said with another smile and the shame Phil was feeling doubled.
“Whatever” She said walking briskly out of the kitchen.
Phil is really something.
She couldn’t hold her laughter, on checking the pot and seeing there was nothing left.
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