Episode 7

Cindy was both mad and ashamed. Quietly,she walked back downstairs.

Immediately she came inside, Becky’s laughter almost made her heart jump into her stomach.

She flickered the lights on and was surprised to see Becky fully awake on her bed.

“Guess he did not even open the door for you?” Becky mocked, staring up and down at her.

” What ..are you talking abour?” Cindy fumed, walking quickly to get bed.

” Arnold of course. I knew when you opened the door and slipped out. You are such a cheap b—h, aren’t you?” Becky asked.

Cindy was beginning to boil with a running over anger. She sat up in bed with a warning look..”For the last time,witch! Don’t you dare talk to me!!” Cindy shouted at her.

Becky laughed again. “You must be so ashamed of yourself.

How on earth did you think Arnold was going to open the door for you and let you come in after what I’ve made him feel?

Use your head,bad cook.” Becky mocked and laughed again before laying back down.

“We shall see!” Cindy raved and lay down, boiling with hatred and anger.

Very early the next morning, Natasha woke up and started cleaning the whole house. She cleaned the living rooms and almost all the spare bedrooms. She changed the hallway curtains and dusted the blinds.

Gerald came out of the gate house to use the back garden loo when he saw Natasha, cleaning the main entrance landing with a mopping stick.

He stood, watching her. Since the girls arrived,none of them had tried cleaning anywhere or anything.

Unknown to them,it was part if the competition but a secret. Only the wife material would be able to find it out and now, he’s looking at Natasha who’s working with a lot of zeal.

Natasha turned around as she carried her bucket so she would dispose the water when she saw Gerald. She looked at him and walked towards him.

“Good morning. You are up early.” Natasha said kindly.

Gerald looked at her and nodded. ” Yes. I can see you were up early too. Well done with your work. You are doing a nice work.” Gerald acknowledged.

Natasha smiled. ” Oh come on,I’m.a woman. It’s only natural I do it. Well, today’s our own turn for cooking. I hope to do well although I don’t really care if I win or not.” Natasha said.

” Why? You sound like someone losing hope. Don’t you believe in yourself?” Gerald asked.

Natasha looked up at him and dropped the bucket. “Of course I do. I just don’t want to get hurt again by engaging in another man…not after what Dave did to me. I’m just here… hoping I will find love again but I don’t think it’s working. I don’t see myself falling in love with Arnold. Other girls are trying to get his attention but not me. I don’t just know what to do. I might end up losing.” Natasha said and breathed in.

Gerald found himself coolval Stories looking at her and smiling slightly. “Hmm. Interesting.”

“What’s interesting?, Hey,why are you smiling? Naughty boy. Don’t think I can’t hit you again.” Natasha said, picked up her bucket and walked away.

Gerald stared at her as she left and laughed at the way she waved her hair and walk sharply.

“Oh, before I forget. I want you to be the first person to test my food after I’m done. You must judge wisely!” With that, Natasha went back inside, leaving Gerald thinking about her.

About eight that same morning, Natasha and Maria took their bath got dressed and went to the kitchen.

Aunt Linda welcomed them with a smile. “So,it’s your turn today and I wish you girls luck.” She said and left after giving them all the ingredients they want for the cooking.

“Yes oh. We don come. Abeg,Nathy…I no want disturbance. Face your work. You dey here me so?” Maria threw at Natasha who was busy rinsing her pot.

Natasha looked up from whet she was doing and smiled. ” I should be telling you that. Talkative.”

Maria laughed. She sliced some onions down and smashed some pepper, getting ready for the ugwu leaf on fire.

She was going to make rice and ugwu stew,one or the best food she was good at preparing.

Natasha was going to make jollof rice and spicy stew as a plus.

She put in all her best.

In less than Thirty minutes,the whole house was smelling so great.

“Chai,my dear Arnold go enjoy this one tire.” Maria boasted as she served the food inside a clean large plate.

She was chosen as the first to serve. Maria was surprised to see Arnold already waiting at the dinning with a watery mouth.

“An an,na so the hunger take hold you!” Maria laughed.

Arnold laughed back. Anytime he saw Maria,his spirit was always lifted. She had this cleaver humor about get that marvelled him a great deal although she’s local.

“I hope you made something great?” Arnold said, licking his lips already.

He had this strong feeling that the food would taste like heaven and that was what happened.

One test of Maria’s food, Arnold couldn’t stop till he emptied the plate. He even licked his hands dry.

“Jesus Christ!” How did you get to cook so well!” Arnold exclaimed.

Maria blushed. ” Na wettin I learn very well na. Shey you like am?”

” Like am?? Infact I love am!!”Arnold said and laughed. Just then, Natasha arrived with her own food.

She placed it on the dinning but got the disappointment of her life.

“Take it away for now please. I just had a wonderful meal. My belly is full. I will eat it later!” Arnold said happily bit knowing he was really hurting Natasha.

Does it mean all her hard work was in vein? “But….you have to eat something out of it…”

“Please take it away. I’m full.” Arnold said more sternly.

Natasha could not believe it as she packed the dishes back into the tray and turned away.

Arnold was so happily charring with Maria over her food and praising her endlessly.

Natasha did not know what to do with the food she served. She carried it outside and walked towards the gate house. She knocked twice and the door was opened as Gerald stared at her, surprised at the sad look in her eyes.

“I just finished cooking for him right now…but…he did not even test it. Please..can I come in..at least…eat out of it so I won’t be completely disappointed. Please?” Natasha pleaded, staring at him with large watery eyes.

Gerald finally smiled and stepped aside, inviting her instead.

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