THE PONMO DEBACLE
“Come Leticia, food is ready. Eat and stop crying” Juliet my friend told me as she set down a plate of steaming Egusi soup and akpu in front on me on the small table she had drawn nigh to where I was sitting.
The aroma was quite overpowering and even with the tears in my eyes, I could feel my mouth salivating. Juliet was a good cook and most times we ,her friends, would drop by her place just to sample her cooking and it was usually out of this world.
She had cooking as her superpower. I am sure a man would lose his brains after tasting her food and she had been unable to get rid of boyfriends who she did not like because of this. She is a superpower when it comes to food I tell you.
As I left Magnus and his mother, the one place my mind told me to come to immediately was Juliet’s place. I knew she would make me forget my sorrows and she did not disappoint.
“Eat Biko, eat. Just ordinary plantain and ponmo. Someone is already calling glutton up and down. Are you sure they would have been able to feed you like this if they had married you? Before you know it, you would have been eating cucvmber and chewing leaves like goat because they want to save money. Why did they bring out food if it was not meant to be eaten?” trust Juliet to be on my side without questions asked. They don’t make friends like her anymore I tell you.
“ I think the food was for Magnus and I. Maybe even his mother. But his aunt came and they were taking too long to come back and I just wanted to take one bite” I sniffed, the tears coming again. “now the aunt is calling me a glutton and Magnus doesn’t like me again” I cleaned my eyes with the paper towel I have been strangulating in my hands ever since I told Juliet the story of how my introduction to my supposed future mother-in-law turned out to become an episode of disgrace for me just because I couldn’t hold my ‘long throat’.
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Not to be left out and being that I was already chubby, I joined in and we formed a group. I remember the first day of the diet. I almost died. I was yawning every second and looking at people eating so hungrily, one of my male colleagues had to stop chewing and swallowed nervously when he saw how I fastened my eyes on his chewing mouth and the meat-pie and soda he had in his hand.
I knew Magnus and I would need to talk soon and figure out if just this issue was enough to crash everything we had going for us. I love him and I am sure he knows I do but I have been through enough to have him or a family member make me feel like a piece of rag or look down on me. I would never allow it for my own peace of mind.
“Things will work out well with Magnus” Juliet tried assuring me as the good friend she is while licking her fingers and throwing a big piece of stock fish into her mouth and chewing slowly. She was just as much a foodie as I am and it helped our friendship along.
Looking down with a piece of meat positioned in my hand on the way to my mouth, I noticed it was my phone ringing and the number I saw on the screen made me half happy and half nervous.