The Little Boy Who Learned How To Cook.

I was only allowed one meal a day and that was dependent on whether there were any leftovers. Every night, when they set the table ready for supper, I was asked to step out until they had finished eating. If they happened to leave some food, then that’s what I would eat. Some days I was lucky but most are the ones I was unlucky.

She had a way of tricking him into cooking for her. If there is one thing that she had come to love him for, it was his outstanding cooking. She loved it. He, on the other hand, always fell for her tricks. She would come home and pretend to have had a long day at work, or she would tell him that she didn’t fell so good, or that her long beautiful legs hurt from standing the most part of the day.

Being the sweet guy that he was and with the soft spot he had for her, he never put up any sort of protest. He would gladly step into the kitchen and work his magic for his fair lady. He loved to cook. And he was very good at it. Very good.

I like to think he had learned for some time now about her mischief and her little pretentious games and only let her get away with them simply because she was the love of his life. Furthermore, her love for his prowess in the kitchen added to his motivation. Additionally, he enjoyed more than anything seeing her enjoy herself to his meals. That’s what gave him joy. It warmed his heart even more so.

One evening, as they sat at the table having dinner, talking about nothing important in particular, she looked at him with food still in her mouth, with a smile that indicated how much she was loving the food and asked.

“Babe, seriously. How did you get to be this good? When did you learn how to cook this good?”

He almost choked from her question. He cleared his throat, looking at her as if wanting to say something in response, but words could not leave his lips. He just froze. Her pretty smile slowly faded and confusion now replaced it. Unsure of what to make of his reaction and with concern she asked,

“Hey Sweetheart, did I say something wrong? Or have I offended you in any way?”

He looked at her still in silence, swallowing what was still left in his mouth and slowly placing his spoon on the table, he reached out and held her hand and said,

“Let me tell you a story.”

– I was seven years old when my mother left me and went to a faraway town where she had gotten a new job. She left me under the care of her friend Mrs. Jane. I was to stay with her until mother had set up our new home and had settled all right in the new town.

Mrs. Jane was married to Mr. George and they had two daughters. Carole was the eldest, she was nine and Emily the youngest, we were the same age.A month after my mother had left, I was discontinued from school and all the house chores were delegated to me.

I was also charged with the duty of readying both Carol and Emily for school every morning and I was to pick them up from where the school bus had dropped them off after school. I was to wash their school uniforms, iron them and also polish their school schools. In short, I was reduced to becoming their house help. House maid if you may. Mind you, this I was not asked nicely, nor was it a negotiation.

The change of events was enforced by caning and severe corporal punishment. And every time I didn’t get something done right I was beaten senseless. I was not to question or protest in any manner or fashion. I was terrified and confused and afraid and traumatized with this sudden change in my affairs.

We had no phones back in those days and the only way I could reach my mother was only if I wrote her a letter. Unfortunately for me, I did not have her address and I also did not know where she worked. There was no way of reaching her and letting her know of my situation. I did not know what to do. I was only a child, what was I to do?

I was only allowed one meal a day and that was dependent on whether there were any leftovers. Every night, when they set the table ready for supper, I was asked to step out until they had finished eating. If they happened to leave some food, then that’s what I would eat. Some days I was lucky but most are the ones I was unlucky.

They subjected me to cruelty and mistreatment. My caregiver had turned to become my slave master.This went on for close to five months and mother was nowhere to be seen. I began to entertain the thought that maybe she was never coming back and that this was the deal from the get-go. She had abandoned me, sold me – maybe –  I realized I had to do something or I would die of starvation. I had to formulate a plan, I had to find a way to ensure my survival, I had to make sure at least I had food in my belly.

So, every time I came back from the market – since I was the one sent to buy groceries and stuff – I would hide some of the groceries and supplies somewhere behind the house. I was discreet and very careful lest I was discovered and only God knows what they would have done to me if they did. All hell would have broken loose to say the very least.

After the adults and kids left the house for the day, I would take out my little contraband and I would try and cook myself something. I had no idea what I was doing but I didn’t care at that time. I just wanted to eat. I burnt myself quite a considerable number of times, the food came out burnt almost every time, and the salt was always way over the top.

I did this every day – luckily, I was never discovered – and over the course of time, I began to get the hang of it. Little by little it became easy and my food tasted better each time. In the process, cooking started giving some sort of joy. In a way, I felt some sort of calmness, my sadness, and my sorrows seemed to leave me and I felt free when I cooked. It became my escape. It became my solace. It became my comfort.

So no, you didn’t offend me my Love and you didn’t say anything wrong. You just brought back some old memories – which is perfectly okay – and took me back to a place that was dark for me. A place that curved and engraved in me scars of pain and hurt early on in my childhood –

Trying to change the sad mood and atmosphere that now filled the room and in his attempt to fight back the tears, he said while letting out a weak chuckle,

“That’s when…that’s how I learned to cook. Glad you like it Babe.”

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Letter To My Unborn Child.

Dear Son,

Am writing you this letter many years even before you are born. I write to you in advance as a testament to you so you can know that right from the onset, I thought of you, I expected you, and I wanted you. But more importantly your mother and I loved you prior to your conception. I try to imagine how you will look like, how your voice will sound like, how your walk will look like and what attributes you will possess. As I paint these mental pictures of you am only certain that you will take from me my handsome looks, will power and strength. From your beautiful mother, her kind spirit and warmth of her heart you will draw. The character and personality of Jesus is what I pray most that you ultimately possess.

As I await your arrival, I’m not just preparing for you but rather am preparing myself to be a wonderful father to you. I have so much that am yet to learn and a lot more to work on myself. I need to equip myself with as much as I can and here am not talking in momentary terms. Far from it. Am referencing character, principles, values/virtues, honor, humility, forgiveness, belief, family, faith, love, and God – just to mention but a few. I read somewhere the other day and learned something that tickled my fancy. A line in the book said, “The best things in life are not things” and I figure the above things mentioned are some of those things that are best in life.

The things I plan on teaching you I have to learn myself. For I cannot teach you that which I do not know and I cannot give you that which I do not have. You see, for the most part I have journeyed this life aimlessly, I have roamed this earth with no direction, my life has had no guidance whatsoever and it has been void of purpose. That my son is no way to live life. It is as dangerous as jumping from a plane midair without a parachute or setting sail at sea without a compass. Suicide is more like it. The things I have gone through, the things I have seen, and the experiences I have endured I do not wish for you.

Slowly I am finding clarity, in little strides am walking closer and closer toward self-realization, and in small portions am finding stillness, calmness, harmony and balance in my life. I have taken on being a seeker of the secrets of life and enlightenment and there are things I know now I wish I had known earlier. I am not trying by any means to scare you but, the world is a scary and dark place. It can be cruel sometimes, it has a way of playing nasty jokes on you, jokes that are not at all funny – I think its sense of humor is twisted, ill funded and psychotic – sometimes, the world, for its own amusement; will toss you around, kick you when you’re down, stab you mercilessly, tear you into pieces, chew and swallow your little pieces and then vomit in your face.

I refuse to let that be what life turns out to be for you. That I refuse on the account that life has a flip side. It is generous, it is beautiful, it is forgiving, it is kind and it is filled with untold treasures. I never had anyone to show me this side of life nor did I have someone to guide and give me counsel. Life is governed by certain laws and rules, and life also has secrets. Secrets when uncovered while working in conjunction with the following of the laws of life, one is guaranteed to find happiness and fulfillment on this earth. This discovery I have had to unearth on my own and it has taken me quite a long time. Interestingly, am barely scratching the surface.

A few months ago, I was only but terrified for you. For I only saw pain, misfortune, failure, torment and endless struggle for you. I was fearful that I would bring you into the world only to subject you to untold suffering. For so long this thought broke my heart. But that was then. Now, moving forward, after learning the little I’m learning about life am filled with nothing but great expectations for you. It’s like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and now I see life in a brand-new light. It is my duty as your father to carter for you. It is my obligation to protect you, provide for you, and bring you upright capable to lead a good life. That much I owe you. I have been discharged with the responsivity to go before you and make clear your path and light the way for you. To help you navigate through life with confidence, courage, without doubt and some degree of ease. However, that does not mean you will have it smooth all the way. There are certain things that will not have control over and there are certain lessons you will have to learn on your own. My job is only intended to make it a little easier for you. A little bearable. That’s what fathers do.

Remember earlier I told you not to think in monetary terms? Because what I plan on giving you is so much more valuable than silver and gold. First thing I want you to take with all seriousness is that you can be anything you choose to be in this life. Nothing is impossible. This I’m certain because if America can go from having an intelligent and well equipped man for the job of president of the free world, to having a clown, self-absorbed and reality show celebrity, holding the highest office in the land, then I have no doubt that the impossible is in fact possible. It is as simple as standing in front of the window of life shopping for what you want. Soon as you identify that which you want, you walk right into the store and demand that Mr. Life gives it to you. You just pick and choose, it is as simple as that. Everything you will want, life will generously and freely give you.

I just want to emphasize that you will come into this world and do things only you can do. You will fill positions and stations only you can. For now, I prepare myself so I can prepare you for this life. I ready myself so I can get you ready. I’m excited for you and I wish to tell you in advance that I will be bringing you into a much better world than I found. I love you Son.

Your Loving Father.

PS: You are a perfect idea in Divine Mind and the plans for your life are Perfect under Grace.

Feeling Stuck.

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Will it come to me? will they come to me? These ideas! The great ones preferably. Will the juices ever flow from the creative fountain of my brain? If yes, then when? Because I sit here almost all day, like a knight with sword unsheathed ready to match into the battle of putting words to paper. Fingers on the keyboard, pen on paper but nothing! Nothing seems to come to me. One moment it feels like, Yes. Here comes the big one. Oh, my, this one they will love. It’s going to be a good read. Hell, I love it already.  But almost instantly, in that same moment, it eludes me. Poof! It all disappears. Like a master trickster, the idea just vanishes into mere nothingness. And am back to staring at the cobwebs dangling from my ceiling.

Is this what they told me I will from time to time as a writer experience? Writer’s Block. It’s what they said it was. Seeing as to how this so-called Writer’s Block is resilient and unflinching, I will have it know than I come from a strong breed of stubborn horses. I will take my stand and I will not budge. I accept the challenge and am will to bet the only 2 cents I have in my possession, that I shall be the last man standing soon as this unwarranted contest is over. I will sure play back for the fat lady when she sings from the roof tops.

There’s a quote we are all well familiar with, that goes a little something like this, “I can do anything I set my mind to do” and it’s this words that I shall carry with me in my station as a writer. I love creative writing, but as I have come to learn – its takes a lot of creativity to be a be able to create, and am going to do just that – create.