I exclaimed rather inwardly with my lips barely moving and a pin in my throat.. Snapping out of my shock,I hurriedly covered the big bottle containing kerosene instead of vegetable oil and placed it back. Then I grabbed the similar bottle containing vegetable oil and poured some of it into the indomie like it was gonna change anything..
Indomie has always been my brother’s signature food since we were kids..he doesn’t mind if it was garnished or not..as long as the seasoning has been emptied into it,then he’s good to go. But me being me , I’ve never liked it much coz it nauseates me. Serve me a plate of indomie and the next few minutes, if you do not see me puking or holding my throat, you’ld see me desperately looking for something sweet or spicy to consume. I only like it when it’s spicy or when its garnished with sardines,eggs, tomatoes, onions and pepper.
Being kids, my mom would buy cartons of Indomie and keep it alongside other foodstuffs. Then, some days after,ild hear my mom say it seems*so so so* amount of indomie had gone missing..then the matter would be dismissed. “Yeee!!!….Is there a rat in the house??!! Because it seems a rat is what precisely happened to this Indomie oo!..” my mom called, leaving the “attacked” indomie aside and checking on others in the carton. She took the affected indomie and went off to show my dad coz they haven’t seen any trace of a rat being present in the house..She then tied the affected indomie in a black nylon and asked me to throw it away while she carried the carton and left the room.
I knew she was going to keep it but I didn’t bother to follow coz she’ld order me to get back.. whenever Nigerian mothers keep things ehn, yould almost sweat blood before you find it without asking her where she kept it, and if you ever find it anyways just know you’re a pro. Another immeasurable Joy is that of finally locating what your mother kept hidden from you..Trust me,the feeling is undescribable. Tearing my eyes away from the retreating figure of my mom,I looked at the Indomie in my little hands. I wouldn’t throw it away and if I guessed right, I knew just what happened to the Indomie..Caleb happened to the Indomie. I kept it nearby and busied myself with one of my storybooks,gently awaiting his arrival..He was in high school then while I was just about to graduate and get into one also,so he always arrived home last.
I saw the familiar face-cap and white socks,then I heard the familiar exchange of greetings. “Have you seen a rat in the house?…or do you know of anything that happened to a pack of indomie?” mom asked him and he said no. I let him have his shower and change his clothes and just as he was about to eat, I got him cornered.
“I need straight answers. Simple ‘yes’ or ‘ no’. And don’t forget mom and dad are both in the sitting room. It will cost me nothing to take a few steps and go tell them everything, and you know they always believe me coz I’ve always spoken the truth” I told him ,my arms crossed at my back, my eyes looking straight into his as I slowly advanced towards him. “What happened to the Indomie?” I stated, rather than ask, not wanting to waste much time because I needed to get back to one of his English textbook, there was a comprehension there that had caught my interest,so I wouldn’t take time with this. I had noticed that his recent favorite spot had been anywhere around the carton of indomie so I just knew he was what happened. “What Indomie?” he asked. I brought my hands forward and showed him,my eyes were fixed on his. I saw a fleeting expression cross his face and I smirked. It was him. Not good at lying himself especially when he knew I always found him out, he asked me not to tell and was giving me a goofy smile..I laughed and gave it to him and watched as he was snacking on it..I made him promise not to repeat it. Offering some to my little sister, she ate it and exclaimed,urging me to have some too, going on about how it tasted better than when it was cooked..Out of curiosity and disbelief, I yielded to her.. and that was how I tasted the forbidden fruit.. Some days later,we found ourselves searching for the box of Indomie. We had heard mom saying she would restock the box the coming week and that,it was just one Indomie that was left in the box.. Great!, wether that Indomie liked it or not,it has automatically turned to our snack . And so, the Indomie hunt began. We were starting to give up when my brother excitedly pointed upwards and we saw the tip of the box at the far end of the top of the tall wardrobe..and that was another Mountain to scale..
Our brains got to sharp work, and we all started teamwork. We dragged a table towards the wardrobe, then also went and dragged the closest largest and tallest bed and propped it against the wall, and so we climbed the table, and my brother used his toes and climbed up the propped bed before leaping unto the top of the wardrobe and throwing the box down..We helped him get back down and replaced the table..we were stressed and just left the propped bed coz it was too heavy..It was determination that helped us prop it up in the first place but now our attention was on our snack- to -be..
To cut the story short,we consumed it and left little pieces in it.. just to convince our mom that a rat ate it again..then we did the hardwork of placing it back on the wardrobe. Well,she later discovered and we confessed we actually snacked on it.. and she spared us.
Back to the present.
It was my first year in high school and we always had to wake up very early,rush whatever we wanted to do and leave home as early as six. This particular day, while we were all busy rushing,I was asked to cook any fast food and the best shot was Indomie. While cooking,I had just one more signature to add, vegetable oil. It was plain indomie,coz there was no time for garnishing..I had complained that I wasn’t going to eat it coz it nauseates me and my brother had retorted,saying I’m free to go hungry for the morning before recession in school. I was lagging behind and I needed to pick up my pace and get ready along with others. I was about to reach for the vegetable oil when suddenly there was power outage.. I called for light but it was taking someone an eternity to get it to me. I couldn’t wait anymore so I just shot out my hand after making a mental picture of where last I placed the oil.. just as I poured it, a scent of kerosene shot through my nose as I brought the big bottle near my face and my stomach clenched. I froze and muttered just how doomed I would be if mum ever got to taste it.. A ray of light and approaching footsteps brought me back to action..I covered the bottle of kerosene and brought out the big bottle of cooking oil itself and I asked my sister who brought the lamp to stay as I poured the oil..I wanted her to be my witness in case I was called and queried on the presence of kerosene in the Indomie.. I started to thank my stars that my dad was at work while I was dressing up..
I shouted at my brother to hurry up and I put a large portion of Indomie in his plate..I gave my sister a little portion, put two spoons on my own plate and smeared the surface with streaks of Indomie prints, then I poured the rest away to prevent mom from asking if there was any left..I tasted the Indomie myself and noticed the kerosene was slightly obvious coz the noodles was very hot but once I blew it cold,it shot it’s speed down the senses lane..Damn. I threw the rest away and urged my brother to be fast with his food.
My sister wasn’t much of an eater.. she ate one spoon and placed the rest aside,as always. Good, she didn’t notice. Then I focused on my brother through the corner of my eyes.. He was pacing round the sitting room as someone in a rush does, and taking the forkful of Indomie in swallows..then,he suddenly came to an halt in the middle of the sitting room..I knew what it was. “Hmmph!! Something smells like kerosene.” He said,unsure….Then he carefully took a spoon, and then another, and then he dropped the plate on the table. “What did you do to this Indomie?!” He asked me in a deadly tone..I flinched inwardly coz if I didn’t convince him, he would draw mum’s attention and that would be the end of me. Suddenly, I got annoyed at how he raised his voice on me. Arrogantly, I raised my brows and asked him in the same deadly tone,.much icier even..my mom was used to our showdown whenever it comes to it anyways..a quick showdown in the morning wouldn’t be bad after all. “What are you trying to accuse me of, brother?. That, I put kerosene in the Indomie?, Seriously?!!”.. He picked up the plate and started eating it and then put it down back, annoyed and confused..”Why is there kerosene in this food? You cooked it!” He threw the fork into the plate and called mum to come taste it..He was sober and I felt guilty but I wasn’t gonna fuck up..”This isn’t my first time cooking Indomie and lil.sister was there when I added the oil!”..I said,also calling my sister..I knew I was gonna need a witness and I was just right..
My mom came in and picked the Indomie and my sister also came in..My brother was ready to drag this,his favorite food had been abused and he wasn’t gonna let it go…I wasn’t ready to drag but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of winning also.. My sister gave her speech.She couldn’t have done better and I buttressed it up by showing my plate too..(I didn’t even eat two spoons. I never liked plain Indomie anyways and I had said I wasn’t cooking it but,my brother had jeered at me and encouraged mum to order me in cooking.. Mistake happened and boom!, here we are)..I looked at the wall clock and heard the Jaybees opening their gate. I thanked heavens for the timely intervention and grabbed my bag,adjusting my tie and skirt pleats, and dashing inside to grab more chocolates before dashing outside. I yelled a goodbye to mum, and dashed to the Jaybees compound, avoiding their ram which threw me against a pile of sand some days back all because I didn’t give it enough chocolates. Sitting in the car, I waited for my brother to get in coz I knew his frustration would disappear as soon as he starts his usual banter with the Jaybees son.. That didn’t stop him from throwing me a look anyways and I glared back..God was the one who said we wouldn’t have a showdown that morning.
Relaxing into the backseat, I tugged at the seatbelt and was looking forward to the excitement that awaited in school and people I wanted to deal with.especially seniors who bullied my friends.. Most of all, I looked forward to having that favorite ICE-CREAM..to flush away the little taste,…of the kerosene-Indomie..