“Nnem, Nno! Kedu ke me?” Emeka responded to a loud voice from outside as he hurried down the stairs.
“O din ma. Bia ne ba…Weru.” Aunty Gladie said to her son as she gave him her bags.
“Chi Chi a no ria. She had to go to school for a 100 level activity, but she should be back soon.” Emeka added as he carried his mother’s bags up the stairs.
“That’s is good. I can make Ofensala before she gets back. You pound the cocoyam and yam.” Aunty Gladie said.
“ Aa, Nnem!” Emeka responded as he wrestled the box into the apartment.
“Aunty Gladie, Aunty Gladie! Jukwa. I can smell your lovely soup over the stench outside…he hehe hehe.” Chi Chi exclaimed as she rushed into the apartment. “Please let me help and taste, especially taste.” she added.
“O din ma. You little firecracker. So you have not changed Chi Chi.” Aunty Gladie responded.
“How can…lol.” Chi Chi said.
“Lol. When did you start saying Lol?” Aunty Gladie asked as she stirred the soup. Emeka laughed where he was pounding the last of the yam. “That is due to her new school mother…Mummy Bisi.”
“I am going to tell her you called her that.” Chi Chi teased.
“Don’t!” Emeka shouted.
Both women looked at him curiously before bursting into laughter, such that, all he could do was focus on his pounding.
“Anyway, how are you liking school?” Aunty Gladie asked as she contained her mirth while finishing up the soup.
“I love it, I like my classes and I love my school mum…and it looks like I may not be the only one…he he.” Chi Chi replied with her voice dropping to a whisper towards the end.
“Chukwu dalu. It’s about time. I was worried he would end up building his own girlfriend.” Aunty Gladie responded, resulting in another fit of laughter.
“I am right here.” Emeka complained, at which they both replied, “That’s what makes it funnier.” and fell over each other laughing.
“I am done with the pounded yam, I will be in the parlour watching football if you need me Nnem.” Emeka mumbled as he escaped to the living room.
Wiping the tears at her eyes, Aunty Gladie said to Chi Chi, “Come and taste the soup, like you like to do.”
“With pleasure…Oh… yum yum….wait I need seconds to really get the taste, i nu go” Chi Chi responded.
“Ha ha ha ha, you little kitchen mouse, go and set the table you can lick all the soup you want with the pounded yam. I made this soup with catfish so your in for a treat.” Aunty Gladie directed.
As the family sat down to eat their late lunch, Chi Chi held the floor, dominating the conversation with details of her plan to clean up and recycle waste in Lagos and Emeka just marginally contributing.
“Well, this is exciting but a bit outside my expertise as a pharmacist, however, I know a chemical researcher who could mentor you.” Aunty Gladie surmised. “I will introduce you to her after I give her a call, you guys will hit it off. She is an old university friend.”
“Thank you so much Aunty. I was not sure if I could find a professor to help a 100 level student’s project. Alright let me finish with the dishes and then show you pictures of my school mother, her friends and my friends.” Chi Chi said.
“I really want to see these school mother.” Aunty Gladie said while smiling at her son. Emeka responded, “Why don’t I do the dishes and you guys can go to your room and …emm…catch up.”
“Ha ahah ahhaha hahah!” they both laughed again and went towards their room, sparing Emeka another comment.