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Chapter 16:
…   In a final attempt to persuade the love of her life to give her one more chance at love with him, she spoke as softly and clearly as she could.

“Greg, you can have any other woman you want if you don’t want to have me alone. I wouldn’t mind, as long as you keep me as your home girl. I want to be yours and yours only. I don’t want any other man. All I need is for you to want me. I really don’t care if I am not the only one you date, but please, all I ask is one last chance.”

Her desperation eclipsed her wisdom and she was prepared to accept second best. And if that meant settling for only a part of Greg, she was willing to accept whatever she got.

Greg shook his head in repudiation. His heart broke into a thousand pieces when he heard Bernice’s final plea. He wanted so much to shout out ‘yes’ to her, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t tell her the truth behind his refusal either. …

Chapter 14:
…   “Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Greg?” Larna asked and laughed as hard as she possibly could.

Greg looked at Larna, a bit embarrassed at the fact that he was unable to cook well on his own. Not even the country escapades with his friends – Trevor et al – had prepared him sufficiently to woo his girlfriend with some appetizing treats. He looked at the mess he had made in the pan and felt embarrassed.

“That’s not the way I envisioned this,” he said ashamedly. “I saw this coming out differently. The chicken is not supposed to be so black. And I can’t even smell the Curry powder. I’ve watched my mother do this over and over and not once did this happen. Watch; I can’t even see the… This looks like mashed potatoes to me. There are supposed to be hard chunks.”

Larna peeped into the pan of potatoes sautéed in a mixture of curry powder and oil and was surprised at the appearance. It looked as if they were finely mashed and mixed like porridge. She then looked over into the pan of chicken in a similar curry powder and oil mixture, a prerequisite for making the Trinidad-famous and St. Lucia-altered, Roti, and was even more shocked to find that there was no yellow or orange colour which would normally appear when the mixture was done properly.

Larna burst into laughter as she watched a humiliated Greg cling onto the spoon in hand. “Baby, it’s ok. Don’t feel sad. You know I will eat it even if it kills me,” she tried to restrain herself from saying. But the humour in the statement was too good to allow evading her thoughts.
Greg didn’t find any humour in her statement. He didn’t smile.

Larna turned around and held Greg and said, “Let’s do it together now. It’s almost done and I really don’t care if you are not able to perfect the Roti. I love you regardless.”

“Oh so now you love me? A while ago you were making fun of my cooking,” Greg said grudgingly.

“Don’t sweat it my love, you know that I honestly will eat the food whether it’s good or bad. And don’t be mistaken, I will let you know if it’s bad, but I would ingest it regardless.”

“Well thank you,” Greg forced out sarcastically, still evidently embarrassed at the ordeal.

He had never cooked for a girl before and for some unknown reason, it was as if he was holding the future of his relationship with Larna in the success of his cooking.

“Don’t be dismayed, I am not making fun of you, Greg. C’mon, you can’t take this that seriously.”
Greg inhaled deeply then exhaled. “I guess I was just trying too hard to please you again. Sometimes I feel like I have to work extra hard to keep you.”

“What are you talking about? I am not going anywhere. I am here to stay, Greg. You have to stop trying to get me to stay and start enjoying me because I am already here. I am already staying. I am yours, boy. Don’t you get it? I am yours.” Larna kissed him tenderly on his lips. “Nothing and no one can take you away from me, not even your terrible cooking. And, well, let’s hope that looks are indeed deceiving and this Roti will taste better than it looks,” Larna burst out laughing.

Greg joined her in a hearty laugh and then said teasingly, “You know, I really hope that this Roti doesn’t kill either of us. Wait until I mix the potatoes with the chicken. Let’s see what a mess it all becomes them.”

The two lovers laughed at the ignominious cooking debacle. After eating what turned out to have tasted good enough for consumption and a pass for a first try, they spent the rest of the day lying next to each other on the chair in the living room. They soon fell asleep and didn’t wake up until it was after 6:00pm. …

 

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