Home Essays Flowers And Tears by Victor Oladejo.

Flowers And Tears by Victor Oladejo.


The yellow sun that hung over the building cast a very faint light on the it. The branches of the guava tree , like a man holding his palm over a pot , blocked the yellow rays which inturn found it’s way through the branches and the leaves living rays of light in coin forms on the roof and on the hard earth below. My restuarant as a building is a story on it’s own, or should i say a story keeper , a groit or a patient elder under the moon of a silent night saying stories under the silver light to little children. In my shop i am a cook , a waiter, a comedian and whatever , in as much it keeps the customers coming. My shop and my gem holds all stories i would love to share with my wife when i marry her. The endless cutting of meats into chunks, dicing of carrot and tomatos and feeding customers who always gave testimones of a nice meal or a soup that is rich in too much salt or whole leaves of vegetables that escaped the sharp blades of my knife. The thrill i got however after my restuarant spoke yesterday was beyond what i had anticipated of a day full of colourful pairs in red and white , a day of promises entangled in truth or beautiful falsehood , a day when someone’s heart was shattered somewhere and another was put into mending with glues of forgiveness and pure understanding. A valentine day is always with a bag of surprises , my restuarant in it’s own form , told me a pleasant story through a couple who came to eat in it’s vast space.

When they came , i was washing a frying pan i use often for shallow oil frying. The last customer that came ordered for fried egg and bread which got me coughing and sneezing through it’s process.

“ good aftertoon wole “ the man said and smiled , then he turned the plastic chair the proper way.He wore a black boubou with embriodery of yellow threads in form of fireflies. He is in his early fifties , a tall man with a full beard. Age and growth sprinkled gray curly hairs on the tip of his beard. He is one of my clientele and a very close one who often payed me more at the end of service.

“ good afternoon sir , happy val” i said in reply, wiping my wet hands on the tip of my red apron.

“ that one is not for me joor, anyway today is my anniversary and wife is coming”

“ wow that is fine sir” i said feeling lucky, an anniversary. My mind swung into action. I didn’t want to quabble and searched my mind for the proper word.

“ sir what should i bring? “

“ just give me a bottle of water” he took his android phone “ a bottle wole, let me call my wife , only God knows what would be keeping her at home, she might be playing with my daughter”

I dropped the alluminium plate i picked and stood on my feet. I walked towards the freezer and fetched a bottle of water, at the glass display, i picked a glass mug and arranged them on a tray. I set the tray on the glass table at his front and i walked back to the counter. The tv was on and i had my favourite ballet show playing. The ballerina curved her fingers and pirouetted towards the light source smiling as she did. While i was still watching , the door opened and a beautiful elderly woman walked in. She wore a black gown and a beautiful set of black shoes. My eyes followed every step she took . Mr Adams turned his head towards her direction, he shook his head and smiled. As if the gaze spoke, she smiled back. 𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑖 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑦𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓, 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑖𝑡 𝑎 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑔 𝑐𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑠 ?

“ i thought you won’t come “ Mr Adams said , pushing the plastic chair fot her to seat .

“ i can still go back” she replied. She raised her head and saw me.

“ good afternoon, happy val” she said smiling and smoothing the black of her gown before seating.

“ you know that is not our thing” He said and giggled.

“ but you did it those days ehen”

The couple went on chatting, i brought a bottle of water to their table .

“ please make the normal one “ he said and adjusted the plastic.

“ i smell conspiracy here, she said “ what is the normal one ehen”

I laughed and went back to counter. I began to boil the crabs till they turned bright red . i chopped the vegetable into green strips as i cast occasional glance at the jovial couple. At this stage still funny. Not all clientele behave this way. I didn’t even draw them out of any mood like the traditional way of waiters and customers.

“ do you have snails” the wife called.

“ yes ma, how many?” i asked and turned the water leaves into the steaming stew. I had done this stew over and over again for mr Adams and mr joshua that lives across the street, he once asked me if i had 𝑎𝑏𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑎 𝑛𝑐ℎ𝑎 on the menu.

When i was done with the crab stew, i served them with large slices of yam and potato in crab oil. They ate in silence , they were almost through their meal when i served them the crabs.

“ your stew reminds me of my mother” mr Adams said.” she makes this type of sea crabs well”

“ what of those ones i make at home ehen, so a man can cook more than your wife” she made thid funny look on her face .

“ thank you sir “

“ you see my son, we have been together for years and i can boast she is best that has ever happened to me” he turned to his wife as if seeking permission to go on “ and like i told you today is our anniversary”

I thought she would get angry but she smiled instead and started what i didn’t expect

“ that is true and my boy are you into courtship?”

“ no ma” i replied, feeling surprised, ashamed and excited at the same time.

“ so you are not into this their thing” i nodded. “ that is good, celebrating love in my own opine is for married couples not youngsters. You see when i was about marry, i had a lot of challenges and today i am happy i choosed well”

The woman didn’t reply, she kept on slicing the crabs with her knife.

“ let me tell you something , if you get the right you would know, even if her true self doesn’t show during the courtship, when the hard times comes , if she is a chameleon, you would grow your rose on tears”

I loved what he said and nodded.

“ don’t you ever think of taming a shrew or a virago after you’ve married her, such women sends a man to his early grave”

“ patience is something i adore in men, my husband here stood by me till had my son despite all moves his family made to change his mind, even sending a housemaid”

“ oh lara, she was used, at first she pretended to be a loyal maid then a whore when my wife was on a feild trip”

“ like he said , be calm, what you desire would surely come to you”

I stood from the chair and walked back to the counter. And now in my room at my father’s house narrating this story i have my mind made up, even if the time comes two years i would wait. I am ready to wait for the perfect help mate and very sure i won’t grow my flowers with tears.

Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via victoroladejo95@gmail.com

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