Writer: Mimi Annie
I picked some files in my office and took my laptop with me as I descended through the elevator. I left early ’cause I felt kinda sick all of a sudden. Work was tiring as usual and I couldn’t wait to get home and rest after eating a well-cooked dinner. I chuckled at the thought of dinner. But I must confess, Emilia’s a great cook. These was three weeks ever since she got employed to take care of my kids and I wonder why she hadn’t been kicked out quickly liked the others.
When I got out of the elevator, I walked to the garage and dropped the files on my car seat and sat on the other. At that moment, my phone rang and I picked up. It was Susan
“Hi babe” she said
“Hope you’re doing well?”
“The kids” she asked
“They are good as well”
I heard her clear her throat “I called you ’cause I wanted to let you know I won’t be back till a month time. It seems it wasn’t as I had predicted. There’s just a lot to do here”
“Alright, I wish you luck” I said and I heard strange voices at the other end.
“Sorry I’ve got to be going. We’ll talk later” she said and hung up.
I sighed as I thought about what I just heard. Susan was really making me have a second thought about this relationship. Sometimes I felt like quitting, but then the good old memories will bounce back and I won’t be able to think straight. I checked my wrist watch. It was 6:04pm. I think I should meet Ben. I started the ignition and arrived home in half an hour. Emilia and the kids were racing in the garden except for Emmie and Christie who sat at a corner watching the scene. I walked towards them and I noticed Emmie was reading a textbook. Christie was first to see me.
“Dad!” she squealed and ran to me. She gave me a big hug and I kissed her forehead. The others ran forward too and I hugged them all with kisses on their forehead.
“Evening Sir” Emilia greeted and I nodded
“Dad, Emmie’s having an inter-academic competition in her school and it’s taking place in a month’s time” Jackie announced
“Shut up!” Emmie shouted “I should have been the one telling Dad not you. You talk a lot”
Jackie stuck out his tongue and I frowned at him “that’s bad Jackie. You don’t do that to an elder”
“But dad she did it first” he said “while we were having lunch” I turned to Emmie “is that true?” “No” Emmie said boldly
“She’s lying dad, she did it” Jackie said angrily
“Hey, listen up” I said “right now, I don’t think I care about who did it first or not. I just don’t what the attitude any longer, understood?”
“Yes dad” they both said in unison and I smiled and pinched their noses “That’s my cuties” I said and they giggled and that’s when I realized Kathie had been standing by my side all this while, tugging my shirt. I picked her up and threw her thrice in the air and she squealed in delight.
“Me too dad” Jackie jumped around and by mistake, stepped on Christie’s foot and the latter slapped his butts and he cried.
“Christie you shouldn’t do that” I said as I soothe the crying Jackie “But dad, you saw him stepped on my foot” she defended
“And it was not intentional” I said and she rolled her eyes and Jackie pouted. “Dad, Christie had twenty percent in geometry test to…………….”
Jackie didn’t complete his statement when Dollie sealed his mouth with her palms and Christie rolled her eyes.
“Why do you have to interrupt his statement” I said to Dollie and then turned to Christie “is it true you failed again?”
She didn’t answer, instead she looked away and I knew Jackie was right. I know my kids well, Christie’s a brilliant chap but the only problem she had was solving geometry. She couldn’t perfect in that path and all my pleas to employ a math tutor for her fell on deaf ears.
“I’ve gotta change kids” I said to them and went inside. I came out few minutes later and told them I was going to Ben’s.
“Bye dad” they said and I nodded and got into my car
I knew it was Felix on the line
“I’m on my way” he said
“Whoa! I’ll be waiting” I said “you just thought of it at
the right moment”
I heard him chuckled and the line went off.
“Felix’s coming over” I said to Debbie. She visited an hour ago and was about leaving when Felix’s call came through. She laughed “are you guys that close?”
I couldn’t help laughing “sure, sometimes people mistake us for brothers ’cause we’re always seen around with each other”
“Wow! Just like me and Emilia. They do say we’re sisters” “Yea, your faces doesn’t differ” I said
“You don’t mean it” she laughed “it does please”
We heard a car horn ’cause we were standing by the gate. I knew at once it was Felix. That was the sound of his Lexus Prado.
I opened the big, milky gate and he drove in. I didn’t have a gateman; I preferred doing my things myself since I didn’t have a family yet.
“Bad Apple” Felix cheered as he came out of the car I laughed and we brushed our knuckles together.
“Hey Debbie” he greeted and Debbie replied with a smile
“Hope you’ve prepared a pot of white soup for him before leaving” he asked and we laughed.
“You guys are great cook” he commented
“It seems Emilia has really been taking good care of him” I said slowly and we laughed.
“You can say that again bro”
“Ben, I’ll be going now” Debbie said “it’s getting dark” “Alright. I’ll be back bro” Ben said and walked her to her car.
“I’ll be in” I yelled at him and he nodded while I walked into the house and sat on a cushion in the sitting room. Few minutes later, he walked in, smiling all way round
“Take it easy bro” I teased and he laughed “Bad kitty” he said and we laughed again
“So how’s it been with the kids and Emilia” Ben asked after the long laugh “It’s cool. Seems they’re getting along so quickly”
Felix nodded and soon his expression dropped “Susan” I said
“She called an hour ago” he said
“What did she have to say?”
“She said she’ll be back in a month’s time and that it isn’t as easy as she thought” “I don’t think she wants to continue with this relationship ’cause I can’t seem to understand why she finds it hard to heed my advice. How do you expect me to get married to a woman who would not have time for my kids or me” I added Ben shook his head “don’t take it too far pal”
“What do you want me to do again” said Felix “I’ve tried my best”
It’s been two weeks ever since I began tutoring Christie and we were somehow getting along. Nonetheless, she still had a reserve of her stubbornness but I didn’t care, I just wanted what’s good for her. I took time to drill her on the basis of
mathematics, geometry as a study focus. And although she was slow at first, she was really making steady progress and I could say I liked her kind of brain. Two days ago, I gave her some questions to solve and she did well though she failed one-quarter of it. I was impressed and she too was happy.
I sighed happily and went off to make lunch. I knew I’d finished late so I hurried. I couldn’t make what was on the timetable instead I prepared coconut rice with fried chicken and made salad. I was still frying the chicken when the kids arrived.
Christie held a script in her hand and danced around the sitting-room, shouting and saying things I or the kids could not interpret.
“Taaalaaaa” she sang and stretched the script to me. I took it and stared at it. It was a math test and she scored ninety-four percent.
I shouted “wow! Christie you did it”
“Yea, and guess what”
I shrugged “your teacher awarded you?”
She giggled and rolled her eyes “nope, I topped in the test” “Wow” I exclaimed and gave her a high five.
She danced around the house squealing in delight
“I knew you could do it” I said “I told you it’s just a matter of desperation and consistent practice”
“Thank you so much” she said and I smiled
“Hey, could you at least cut the jubilation” Dollie said “I’m famished”
“Oh dear! I’m sorry but I made lunch out of the food timetable” I pleaded and Christie giggled and walked into the kitchen.
“Does it matter” said Jackie “this isn’t first time” “Now what did you prepare” Dollie asked “Coconut rice” I said with a smile “it’s delicious”
“I hope so” she said and just then Christie walked in holding
a cardboard in her hand. It was the food timetable. “Why did you rip it off the wall” I asked her in surprise
She shrugged and tore it into shreds “I guess we won’t need it any longer” She threw them on the floor “can I have lunch now?” “Christie” I gasped. Was she for real?
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His Kids and I