A Quest for Sobriety – 4


Alice cooks Olo’s dinner naked save for her batik wrapper draped over her breasts. She boils the meat in a broth spiced with fresh peppers so that the tenderized meat will taste slightly hot. Thoroughly washed and shredded vegetables spend about a minute in boiling water.

She cleans the ponmo with the blunt edge of a knife and rids it of the dirty inner transparent layer. She soaks the locust beans in water and breaks the lumps so that the stones will drown under the water. She sets palm-oil in a pot to boil. She adds the gritty blend of onions, pepper, and tomatoes. She pours in dried fish, diced ponmo, locust beans and boiled mackerel to the simmering stew. She pours in the tenderized meat and its broth and covers the pot. She cuts the yam tuber in huge chunks and sets them in a pot to boil.

She pours in the vegetable into the simmering stew. An aroma rends the entire kitchen. “Add this powder while cooking his vegetable soup,” her mother’s instruction comes to her again.

She looks furtively at the kitchen door and pours in the powder into the vegetable soup. She stirs and stirs until every particle blends with the vegetable soup. She quenches the gas flame and brings out the mortar and pestle.

She pounds the hot yam chunks to a white mass soft like an earlobe. She wipes her sweat with the edge of her wrapper.

She emerges from behind the white curtain carrying a tray full of casseroles, walking on egg shells in the direction of the dining table.

She hears a sudden grunt and becomes physically terrified. She looks back and finds her husband snoring. She sets the tray down on the dining table.

As she looks at her sleeping husband, she is suddenly overwhelmed by affection. She pinches the dining table-cloth hesitantly, then drags it with a sudden burst of energy that sends everything crashing down.

Amid the cacophony of crashing crockery and casseroles, Olo, still groggy, asks, “What is that?”

“Your dinner,” Alice says.

There you go, four parts and you savoured every bit!
Was that an ending you expected? Let’s know below and any thoughts you may have about the story.
Next week we continue with Part three of Chronicles of a Disjointed Boy.

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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