Wale I am fine. You are too young to understand. You are still a small child. Your mother will understand why I am crying, but you will not.
“I will Mummy. I am not a small boy. I am a big boy.” I said tossing my body left and right with my hands folded and a frown on my face.
Madam Amaka chuckled. She dried out the tears on her cheeks and drew me closer to her.
“Wale, you are a promising child. A very promising child who will grow into a gentle man. Do not treat your wife badly. Don’t ever do it. Don’t.
Be the romantic man you have been trained to be. Do not change along the line. Do not allow the heart breaks you shall encounter while growing up change you from being the good person you are. Promise me that you will do all these romantic things you mentioned to me earlier.”
I looked deep into Madam Amaka’s eyes. I was filled with compassion for her. I didn’t need an angel to tell me that she meant business when she gave me her warnings. Her hands were holding her ears all the while she spoke.
“Promise me Wale. Promise me you will never treat a woman wrongly. Promise me you will not treat her badly.” She said.
“I promise you mummy Amaka I will not treat a woman wrongly. I will always respect my friends when I do have one.”
“Good boy. Now Come over here” Madam Amaka said, dragging me and holding me tightly to her chest.
I could feel her warm embrace. I could feel the softness of her body. All the days I had known and stayed with Madam Amaka, she had never hugged me. But this time, I could tell that her first hug was a passionate one. It was exactly the type I usually watched on Zee world.
Just like the men in the movie will always act when they were hugged surprisingly by a woman, I stretched my both hands behind her and placed it gently on her naked back. I robbed it gently in a bid to console her.
Madam Amaka took in a deep breath and exhaled deeply. She never let go of me again. Instead, her hug became more tighter, firmer and more passionate. It felt like we were connected. It felt like there was a gap in her heart she needed to fill up.
I could feel the softness of her two breast pressed upon my chest. I could feel her breath upon my small ears. I stopped robbing her back at some point and just held on to it lightly.
“Wale please do not stop. Rob mummy back a little. She is enjoying it.”
I continued the movement of my hands round her back. This time, I kept robbing them even more slowly.
“Wale, you have the softness of a baby’s hands. I love the way it feels on my back.”
“Thank you mummy. But mummy I have a question.” I asked.
“What question could that be?”
“Did Uncle Tunde hurt you while he was alive? Was he uncaring to you?”
Madam Amaka stopped. She pulled me away from her embrace and looked at me sternly in the eyes.
“Why did you ask such question? What prompted you?”
I was scared. Madam Amaka face had changed and her smile disappeared. She looked very angry.
“Nothing mummy. Nothing. Its just that you spoke like one who was not treated right by a friend. Or did any of your friend treat you bad? I know you do not have a friend, you only have a husband. My mummy used to tell me that my daddy is her only friend. So I think it was Uncle Tunde who was your best friend before he died. Did he treat you wrongly?”
Madam Amaka heaved a sigh and turned the other way. She looked at the floor for a moment and turned back to look at my eyes, which was now fixed on her.
“Wale I only gave you an advise. I only told you to keep being a romantic boy when you become of age. I didn’t tell you to ask me questions. Now let us eat before our food gets cold.”
At that moment I felt bad for asking. Mummy had always told me that I was wiser than my age. I spoke like a matured teenager. Yet I was just ten. I knew my premature maturity had led me into figuring out that Madam Amaka was not really happy. She may have had a bad experience with a friend.
A part of me wanted to figure out why she cried earlier when I was telling her what a romantic man does. I wanted to know. I cared so much about her and loved her. But now it was obvious she was never going to tell me. May be I had asked at the wrong time. May be I had asked that question at a wrong age.
I came down from the cushion and sat on the floor. Madam Amaka struggled to open up the cover of the flask. Mama was used to making the cover of her flask very tight. This was to prevent the soup from pouring out I guess.
While I waited patiently for Madam Amaka to open the flask, I turned towards the TV set and caught sight of Jerry chasing Tom with a broom.
I giggled and giggled again. Madam Amaka raised her head towards the TV. She must have been wondering what had made me giggle the way I did.
“Wale. You and cartoons. Oya let us eat.”
I turned back to face the food flask. The aroma of a well cooked vegetable soup sailed smoothly into my nose. My eyes went to the ear of the stock fish which laid in the soup plate. I gulped down saliva and noticed that there was no water to wash my hands.
“Mummy there is no water to drink or wash hands.” I said.
Madam Amaka stood up immediately and walked to the kitchen to get water. She soon returned with a basin full of warm water and two sachet of pure water.
“Wale my legs hurt. Let us eat quickly. I want you to massage them before I sleep. You know you are now my small husband.”
I chuckled shyly as I reached for the basin to wash my hands.
Mama food tasted delicious. Sometimes I wished to learn just how she combined the spice and ingredients that always produce such sweet smelling Aroma. Not only was the aroma sweet, but the soup could make one lick his fingers and even the plate and still ask for more.
Madam Amaka molded a ball of pounded yam in her hands, and dipped in the soup.
“Oya Wale open your mouth let me feed you.” She said, with her hands and the soup outstretched towards me.
Just like a baby pigeon being fed by its mother, I opened up my mouth and she placed the warm pounded yam in my mouth. I chewed a little and swallowed.
“Wont you feed mummy too?” She asked.
I smiled as I reached for the plate to mold my own ball of eba. I dipped it in the soup while she watched with keen interest.
I stretched it towards her and she opened her mouth and stretched her neck towards my hands to grab unto the ball with her teeth. I watched her swallow and reach for her water to drink.
“Tunde never fed me this way when we got married. He only did this while we were still dating.” She said to me calmly.
“Mummy Amaka do you miss him?” I asked.
She starred at me for a while, and then at the ceiling too. “Wale eat your food. Do not ask me any further questions.
After eating lunch that day. Madam Amaka sat with her legs stretched on my laps. She pulled up her wrapper, slightly exposing her fresh set of fair laps.
” Wale come and press my legs a little. I want to sleep.” She said.
To be continued…