Read Chapter XX here.
“So today with me on ‘In The Kitchen’ is yet another TV personality whom we all love and can’t get enough of. She’s the enviable wife of one of the big shots in our country and a mother to three super cute children-two girls and a boy. She’s presenter of the much loved TV variety show, Today’s Woman, a feature radio presenter and a humanitarian. Oh yes, I’m talking of the one and only Mrs. Bisi Pratt. Welcome to my kitchen, Mrs. Pratt.”
“Thanks, Judi. And please call me Bisi.”
“Oh I will. This is my attempt of a tribute to your husband for hijacking you on my show when you could be cooking for him instead. In case you’re watching us Mr. Fiifi Pratt, much respect to you. Thank you for releasing her to us today. We promise to take very good care of her.” Bisi laughed.
“Once again, you‘re welcome, Bisi,” Judi said rather excitedly.
“Thanks, Judi. It’s my pleasure to be on your show today.”
“Much appreciated. So what are you preparing for us today?”
“I must say this Bisi woman is one of the luckiest women in the world. She is beautiful, married to a rich respected man, has a respectable job herself with lovely kids. Her life is just perfect. How I wish I could have that.”
“No one’s life is perfect. To think one’s life is one is just an illusion. It is either she’s living a lie or she’s just a great pretender,” Constance said to her friend as they watched Bisi on Judi’s show.
“Come on, look at her, Connie. Does she look like someone who is having issues with her marriage? Her face seems too intact to have an abusive husband. Any man who cheats on a woman like her must have a brain filled with stones. Just look at her!” Constance chuckled.
“She is a strong woman, I’ll give her that.” But her life is far from perfect, or will be soon when I storm this ‘perfect picture’ and halt her blissful marriage, she thought mischievously as she downed her glass of wine in one gulp. Her friend looked at her worriedly.
“Are you okay?”
“Yep,” she replied with a belch and put her glass down.
“So you and your husband are obviously super busy career persons, do you two get to spend quality time with your kids?”
“Oh yeah, that’s one area my husband and I make conscious effort to maintain in the family. And it’s one of the many reasons why I appreciate and respect my husband. He’s one super busy guy but he always makes it home in time to make sure the kids have dinner and spends time talking with them especially on days when I leave the TV studios late. Saturday breakfast is family catch-up time. We spend about two hours just talking till everyone is heard and we all get on the same page about what’s going on in each person’s life. Fiifi and I share our experiences with them, we laugh over them, we advise them on whatever challenges they may be having and at the end of the day, we strengthen the bond we have as a family.”
“Oh that’s nice. So the rice is ready and as usual, Lele rice smells great.”
“Yes it does. I think I need some at home.”
“Yes you do, Bisi. I’m sure your family will fall more in love with you when you treat them to the magical Lele rice. So let’s talk about conflict resolution. Every couple has its rough times. How do you deal with them?”
“Well first of all, I’d say I thank God we hardly have issues with each other. But when we do and there’s a confrontation, we give each other time and space to cool down and gather ourselves together. When tempers have calmed down, we talk about it, put it behind us and move on. We also take time to pray for God to restore any broken pieces and renew every dead area in our marriage and family and let me say, prayer works.”
“It surely does. And on that note, we’ll go for a quick commercial break. You are watching In the Kitchen with me Judi and our special guest for today is the amazing TV sweetheart, Bisi Pratt. We’ll be right back,” Judi said with a broad smile.
Constance snorted at the words “amazing TV sweetheart” and poured herself another glass of wine.
“I know we both wished we could be celebrated like that on TV but it seems you overtly envy her, Constance.” Constance merely shrugged. Bisi was enjoying her marriage because of her contribution to the family; hers. Maybe she shouldn’t have signed those papers, waiving her rights to her son. But she still held enough leverage to cause damage, she thought. And as the saying goes, the devil finds work for the idle hands and she was beyond idle; readily available to be hired. Right now, the Pratts were living in a balloon world of bliss; and she held the pin to burst their bubble. And she was definitely in the mood for some bubble bursting.
“So Bisi’s special meal is ready and it smells and looks good. How did you come up with it?”
“I’ll give all the credit to my two girls. They like to experiment with food, something I don’t always find amusing but for the few successful tryouts like this one, I was really proud of them. It also happens to be my son’s favorite so yeah, it has come to stay in the Pratt household.”
“Great! No meal tastes better than one which is made with love. Thanks for spending time with me on the show and sharing one your family’s special recipes with us. I’m sure people watching us also appreciate it. So, we have a little gift from our sponsors to you and your lovely family.” Judi presented Bisi with a hamper.
“Aww…that’s so thoughtful and it has lele rice in there!”
“Yes it does. We wish you all the tasty goodness that lele rice offers.”
“Thank you, Judi. It’s been a pleasure being in your kitchen.”
“So any last words for your admirers?”
“Admirers, huh? Okay, thank you for your support throughout the years. I wouldn’t be here without your love and prayers. Keep on doing what you love and you’ll be loved for what you do. To my sweet girls and boy, thanks for making me the best mother in the world and to my darling husband, where would I be without you? Love you to bits.”
“And that’s how we wrap up here on In The Kitchen with me, Judi. Make a date with me next week for another edition of the program. Have a good evening.”
“It sometimes makes me wonder where we went wrong. Were we raised wrong or did we go astray all by ourselves? Why would men see some women fit to be the mother of their kids and others as pleasure toys for hire?”
“Because men are like dogs with a bone. They like the chase. You’d be surprised that an honorable man like Mr. Pratt could be cheating on his adorable wife. Why, because he’s probably not getting someone he really craves for.”
“Like what, kinky sex?” Constance shrugged.
“Who knows, could even be a baby.”
“Bisi has three kids.”
“Uh huh…you would never know.” She took her empty glass and bottle and walked to the kitchen. When she returned, her friend looked at her suspiciously.
“Is there something you know that I don’t? You know I don’t like being kept in the dark.”
“No, dear. There is nothing to know. I’m just saying that despite the perfect life the men would give the good women, they still come to us for certain things they need. And since we bailed on being good girls, we might as well as be the best mistresses we can be, right?” Constance said.
“Are you saying you don’t dream of having your own family one day?”
“I don’t know if I still qualify for that but never say never, right?”
“Right.” Constance flipped the channel. The seven o’clock news had just began.
The two ladies chatted for a while and Constance was beginning to feel sleepy when it got to the entertainment segment. They were talking of a corporate health walk coming off the next day. Constance sat up when she heard Fiifi Pratt’s name mentioned among the high profile personalities joining the walk. A sly grin crept up her face.
“I hope you have your sneakers on standby,” she said to her friend.
“Because we’re going trekking.”
Bisi woke up with a throbbing headache. She had had a repeat of her last dream. She now remembered she had dreamt of it earlier and had forgotten about it. Her throat felt dry. She got out of bed and went to the kitchen for some water. Having the same dream twice meant it was serious. She had to pray about it but she was too sleepy. She mumbled a short prayer on the way back to the room, half asleep. When her head touched the pillow, sleep took over.
In the morning after they had prayed together, Bisi looked at her husband questioningly.
“What is it?”
“I remembered the dream.”
“Yeah, I dreamt it again early this morning.”
“Wow…I didn’t hear you wake up.”
“Yeah, you were way gone into dreamland.”
“Okay…what was it?”
“I’m going to ask you something and I hope you’d be honest with me.”
“Of course. Shoot.”
“Have you heard from her recently?”
“Heard from whom?”
“Nhyira’s mother.” Fiifi was taken aback by the question.
“Is she in town?”
“I…I don’t know…why do you ask?”
“Well, in my dream, a woman walked up to me in the kitchen, claimed she was Nhyira’s mother and that she wanted him back.”
“That’s pretty disturbing.”
“Uh huh and it seems serious if I had the dream again after forgetting it the first time. Could it be a premonition?”
“Premonition of what?”
“I don’t know…you tell me. You’re the one who brought him here. I don’t know how things went down when you went for the baby. Maybe it’s because I never asked but I didn’t care for the details back then.”
“And you do now?”
“If it would help me make sense of my dream, yeah.”
“There’s nothing to worry about, honey. She’s not going to appear in our lives. I can promise you that.” He held the sides of her face and looked intently into her eyes.
“Promise me you’ll let me know if she happens to show up. I’d like to be prepared.”
“I don’t think that would…”
“Just promise me, Fii.” He sighed.
“Okay,” he said with a kiss on the forehead. He went straight to the bathroom.
“Ready to go,” Fiifi said as he kissed his wife.
“Are you sure you don’t want to join me?” He asked.
“I wished I could, Fii. But there’s a lot of chores for me to do at home today. I also have to go to the market. We’re running out of food.”
“It’d take like two hours tops. I’ll help you with the chores, I promise.” She smiled and kissed him.
“Go walk for me, honey. I need you fit but this woman here has to organize three stubborn kids to clean their rooms and help with the chores. Don’t worry; we’ll go on our own walk; just the two of us.”
“Look forward to that. Take care and tell the kids I’d be right back.”
“I will.” With a last kiss, Fiifi left the house.
As usual, the sun didn’t disappoint to come out in full force on that Saturday morning. After the walk and some aerobics, everyone was sweating profusely. It was a successful event though and Fiifi was glad to have participated. He needed to burn off some calories. He was seated, drinking water when he noticed someone approaching. He wiped the sweat off his neck with a face towel and squinted.
“Hello, Mr. Pratt.” He stood.
“Okay, this is officially a case of notorious stalking. What are you doing here?”
“Oh come on, I came to exercise my muscles just like you. You know my line of work requires that I’m always fit,” she said with a wink.
“It kind of seems the city of Accra has become way too small to accommodate both of us. I advise you to stay the hell away from me.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t think I can honor your request. You see, I’ve doing a lot of thinking these days and realizing how much of my life I’ve wasted being at the beck and call of ‘big guys’ like you for years, I need to backtrack and appreciate the little things that turned out to be profitable-in this case, our son.” Fiifi flinched at her last words.
“What do you want?”
“I want my son to get to know me.”
“That’s out of the question, you know that.”
“But you can make it happen.”
“I refuse to.”
“Okay…should I talk to your wife instead?” For a moment, Fiifi lost his control and held her arm and squeezed it hard making her almost scream.
“You’re hurting me! We’re in public, Fiifi.” He let her go and looked around. Thankfully, no one was paying attention to them.
“Don’t make me your enemy, Constance. We had an agreement; I did my part and it’s only fair to fulfil your part of the bargain.”
“The problem is life isn’t fair. I’m sure your wife wonders what I look like and would want to meet.”
“No, she doesn’t.”
“Oh I think she does.”
“You asked to see him and God being so good, he came through the door and you met him. That’s how far it goes. And something tells me you’re not doing this because you want to meet the boy. You are after my marriage.” Constance smiled.
“You’re smart, Fii; I like that. I must say, I sometimes wonder if our relationship could have been more long-term. I am available to be your mistress, just saying. I know you guys are into that sort of thing.”
“Ah well, the offer is still on the table. Consider it and I might leave your precious family alone. My regards to your wife,” she said with a wink and walked away. Fiifi exhaled. He could smell trouble and he had to act fast before it sent his whole world crumbling down.
“Mummy, see the pictures of the health walk,” Ewuresi said, giving her the phone in her hand.
“Wow…many people participated…that’s nice,” Bisi remarked, scrolling down the photos. She paused when she a photo of Fiifi caught her eye. He was talking to some woman. She studied the photo carefully.
“Who’s that woman, do you know her?” Ewuresi asked.
“Nah; she kind of looks familiar though. Maybe she works with him.”
“Yeah, because they seem to be having a serious conversation.”
“You know your dad can get into a business mode even during vacation. He’s serious like that,” she said and gave the phone back to Ewuresi.
Although the photo only revealed the profile of the woman, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she had met the woman before. Where do she know this woman, where, where? Her mind kept searching.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter XXII here.