July 31, 2021


Aunty Ifeoma’s kitchen was larger than two rooms in Matilda’s house put together.
It had the look and feel of the ones she had only seen in movies.

Cabinets, utensils, burners and faucets were neatly stacked in thier places by the wall. A large mahogany table stood in the middle, holding a blossoming lily flower in a vase.

Above the table, a bright chandelier lightened the entire length of the kitchen.

A part of the wall was covered in transparent glass, so that it overlooks a lush farmland just behind the compound

Matilda sat on one of the stools by the table grating okro for dinner as Aunty Ifeoma had instructed before leaving for work earlier. Afterwards, she would cut and wash the pumpkin leaves and keep aside. She had offered to make the soup, but Aunty Ifeoma had said No! She would rather cook the family meals herself, especially when it comes to her husband’s favorite. She was that kind of woman!

The door creaked open and her cousins, Paul and Freda came running though excitedly, holding small sized versions of Santa Claus.

Their father followed closely behind, a tall, white bearded man in his late forties. He was holding white bags on both hands.

The children showed her their toys eargerly, crowding around her

“Hello Aunt, look what daddy got me” Freda said cheerfully, showing off gaped tooth typical of a child of six. She was the oldest. Paul was just three.

“O beautiful. Let me see”

Matilda said, trying to sound very cheerful for them. She loved the kids. It was barely three days since she arrived and they had bonded this fast.

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Besides, there was a special spot in her heart that warmed towards every child. It was one of the reasons she had accepted Aunty Ifeoma’s offer to come work in her children’s school as an assistant teacher.

She washed okro off her hands and examined their toys, acting fascinated by them

She greeted Aunty Ifeoma’s husband as he dropped the packages he held on the table. He responded, and told her what were contained in the bags. Salad ingredients to be kept in the refrigerator, toiletries, and a present for her in the other bag. She thanked him.

He was such a good man – Shopping for the house. A man like that holds his family together. He had taken the children out for ice cream after Aunty Ifeoma left the house

He left the kitchen after picking a drink from the refrigerator, leaving her with the kids chattering on excitedly. It was their school’s Christmas Carol the next day, and she wanted to hear all about it.

Freda said she’ll be playing Mary in her class drama and went on to recite her lines perfectly. She also sang a Christmas song, surprising Matilda with the notes she was able to strike, something unusual of a child.



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