5th April, 2010
What a rough week it has been!
Despite all my grand plans of waking up early to join my Power Walking group last week Tuesday, I woke up that morning to a pounding headache, achy joints, and a high temperature. I didn’t need a genie to tell me what it was. Malaria! You can imagine that it killed all my gym and diet aspirations for last week. Alas, I am not one of those people whose diet disappears with sickness. On the contrary, the comfort eater in me uses food as a prop, anytime I am unwell. So, for the rest of the week, I was pretty much in bed 99% of the time, sleeping and eating. I couldn’t even make it for Good Friday Mass, which was a real bummer for me.
The good thing that came out of my illness was Chidera’s decision to spend Easter in my house, with her kids. She decided it would be killing 2 birds with one stone; helping me out in my time of need, and not allowing herself wallow in sorrow on her first holiday as a single parent.
So, my dear cousin had helped with the shopping, and even all the cooking! She is now back to her health conscious ways, so there was no ogbono soup going down! Instead, she grilled chicken, fish, potatoes, and made the most delicious pepper soup imaginable. She also did a good job with my prawn and tomato salad, and moi-moi recipes! My Nanny was happy to be entrusted with the task of making the jollof rice, as I knew my kids wouldn’t be in the least bit amused if there was no rice on the Easter Sunday menu.
Thankfully, by Easter Sunday, I was strong enough to get it together, and we had all gone to Church as one big family. When I found out my new friend, Loretta, planned to spend the day alone, as her kids hadn’t come home for the holiday, I’d invited her over for lunch, and we’d had a truly wonderful and blessed afternoon. JJ and Chidera clicked with her on sight, and soon, we were all gisting like old friends.
Later in the evening, Chidera and I sat on the balcony, sipping Baileys and hot chocolate, while JJ played basketball with the boys.
“Thank you for this, Ihunna!” Chidera said, her eyes glistening. “If it wasn’t for you, I can’t imagine what kind of holiday the kids and I would have had. Can you believe that spineless coward hasn’t even called them since he left? Not one phone call!!!”
I leaned over and squeezed her hand. “Chi, you’re my family. I didn’t do you any favour. You’re my sister, and you know I’ll be there no matter what. In fact, I should even be the one thanking you! If it hadn’t been for you, na Mr Biggs JJ and the kids for chop today!”
She laughed heartily, and I was pleased to see that I’d managed to cheer her up in some way.
“I’ve decided to let out our house,” she said, after a while. “It’s way too big for the kids and I. Somto built it mainly to satisfy his own macho desire for a massive mansion. But the kids and I are almost lost in a house that size,” after a brief pause, she added “I also want to be closer to my family. With Somto gone, I’m like a lost soul all the way in Magodo. You and my siblings live this side of town. It makes more sense to be closer to you guys…not just for me, but more so for the kids.”
I nodded pensively, in agreement. “But what about work? If you move this way, won’t the daily commute be too hard?”
“That’s the irony, Ihunna! Do you know how long they have been asking me to move to the Head Office? For years, my Executive Management has wanted me to move to Corporate Banking. In fact, I have missed out on a number of promotions, no thanks to my insistence to remain in a branch! But I have now informed my Group Head that I’m ready for the move, so I won’t have to commute anymore, if it works out.”
“That will be great, Chi! In fact, you know that you and the kids will have to stay here, until you find a suitable place!”
She smiled. “Before nko?! If I should try staying with my sister, it’s in City People you will read our gist…about how ‘two Lagos big girls’ killed each other with their bare hands!!!”
As we laughed, my phone rang. It was Legachi, calling to give me an update on her discussions with the Wedding Vendors. I’d spoken to her, as well as my Dad and Marizu, earlier in the morning, to wish them a Happy Easter, and she’d promised to call back to bring me up to speed with the planning. And from what she was saying, everything was running perfectly. I have to give it to Ogonna’s friends, Amaka and Sochi! Not only were they there for her during our stepmother’s funeral in Enugu, they have been pure gems during this wedding planning business. I don’t know what we’d have done without them!
“Nne well done o! You’ve really tried!” Chidera commended Legachi, as we spoke to her on speaker.
“Thanks Aunty Chidera!” came her shy response.
“So, I hear you are moving to Lagos! I’m sure you’re excited! Now, you’ll be close to Ndubisi!!” Chidera teased the younger girl.
“Who’s Ndubisi?” I asked, looking quizzically at my cousin.
“Ah, you haven’t gisted your sisters about your bobo?” Chidera teased some more. “That night I spent in Enugu, Legachi was on the phone with this guy for hours! When I asked who he was, she told me he was her school boyfriend, Ndubisi, whom she hadn’t seen since graduation, as he had moved back home to Lagos!”
Legachi hissed. “Aunty, biko that is the least thing on my mind. Ndubisi was school love. I’m coming to Lagos to try to make something of my life.”
Chidera and I exchanged a raised brow glance.
“School love kwa! Okay oh! If you say so! Just sha hurry up and come. Your sister and I won’t mind having another babysitter!” Chidera laughed.
As the night ended in laughter, I couldn’t help but be grateful to God for all His mercies…and, despite my illness and my cousin’s separation, for blessing us with an even more wonderful Easter celebration this year.
As for my weigh-in today…I wasn’t surprised to see that I’d gained 0.5kg. To be honest, I was even thinking the gain would be more than that.
So…92.1kg. I’ll take it!