NADIA: Have you ever experienced that moment when you can’t find the perfect exclamation to suit your expressions? I was stuck between 'What!?', 'Jeez!!' and 'Wow!'
After keeping my eyes open for about two minutes, without blinking; oh my poor eyes! I finally settled for, "What!?"
She kept on smiling and then threw a pan at me. I almost missed, but luckily, I caught it.
"Focus, Nadia!" She warned and opened the fridge to bring out a frozen chicken.
"Wait, so you mean she is not a rookie? She can actually cook? Why in the world did she lie to me? Why is she keeping her identity a secret?"
She remained quiet as she sliced the chicken into parts.
"Pick up your knife and slice Nadia. With time you'll know. For now, Joyce is more than a cook. I taught her everything I know. I would do the same for you."
She didn’t satisfy my insatiable curiosity.
"Who are you, madam Serena?"
She paused for a while and instructed me to open my new cook guide.
"Open to page 3 and read out the ingredients.
HOW TO PREPARE PEPPERED CHICKEN
Onions, garlic, turmeric, benny stock, knorr, curry powder, thyme, suya spice, grinded pepper, tomatoes
Boil your chicken with thyme, curry powder, turmeric, knorr, Benny stock, and marinate in the boiled stock overnight.
Mix your turmeric with lots of grinded pepper, benny stock, suya spice, curry powder in paste and add your grated tomatoes with little water.
Mix till it's thick, and then mix each of your boiled chicken in your prepared sauce.
Put in oven for 30 minutes.
It was all set! But the look I gave her had to prompt her to at least give me a hint of what I was anticipating to hear. And so, when I asked my last question, she considered before answering.
“You choosing to teach me was planned by you both right?" I asked.
She nodded in affirmation.
"Nadia, Joyce suggested I choose you, that’s why I chose you."
"So it wasn’t a coincidence when you bumped into me that day, was it?”
She shook her head. My mind began to fill with lots of safety measures. I slowly backed away. I understood what they wanted me for, even if she had not said it yet.
"You want to use me to achieve something, isn’t it?"
I chuckled a little, to act as if I was relaxed so she could spill it out.
"Yes Nadia! You have to be the best so I can get my position back."
This was getting deep.
"What position? Am I a tool or something?"
I didn't wait for her to respond before I charged out.
DANIEL: I have to rearrange my thoughts on how to win Nadia's heart. I haven’t forgotten about my uncle who is waiting for me to graduate from the academy either. I trust my mum to keep my seat; she’s a smart woman. I’ve put aside the father stuffs for the mean time; I concluded it was a lie to lure me out. For now, let me concentrate on Nadia; I’ll fight the other battle after the academy.
I know it wouldn't be easy though; this girl has issues, serious pride issues.
"Joyce, spill the bean now!"
She kept quiet.
"I know everything... I mean everything!"
She still remained quiet; I couldn't believe this was the same Joyce who couldn't do without talking for a second.
"Nadia, calm down and listen. You have to be the best."
Oh, God of Israel. I’ve heard that before; the question remains why.
"For what…!? So you both would use me? No wonder your mother has constantly instructed that I trust no one."
She was still calm. I knew she was trying to keep her cool and calm me down, but I wasn't ready for that.
The door bell rang, interrupting us in the process; you can imagine Daniel standing at my door. I didn't even wait to hear what he had to say; I slammed the door long before he could open his mouth to speak.
"Joyce! I’m waiting!"
I charged back at her.
"Nadia, being the best is for your own good! Making a name in this academy is for your own gain. The person you must watch out for is the president's new wife and her daughter, Brenda!"
Continued on next page...
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