Maduka licked his lips hungrily as the aroma of the boiling soup filtered into the room overlooking the kitchen at the back of the house. Hypnotized by the smell which further fuelled his hunger, he cast his gaze through the window at the direction of the mud kitchen situated few metres away from the main building.
Unable to resist his hunger pangs, he screamed at his wife, like a baby in dire need of breast milk.
Nma chuckled in swift response. Gone were the days when the middle-aged man’s tantrum used to bother her. Sixteen years down in their marriage had taught her the exact formula to tame him at such times.
‘Cry, cry baby,’ she thrust a small piece of meat through the iron bars of the window into his hand.
The famished man beamed and watched in admiration as the rounded figure of his wife moved in rhythmic manner the moment she resumed her chores.
‘Nma please hurry up,’ he spoke incoherently struggling with the bone, ‘or else, I will be forced to eat you up.’
The busy lady obviously did not hear him judging from the blank expression on her oval-shaped face. Her whole attention was fixated in making sure she finishes her preparations before the arrival of their guests. Each time she stirs the broth, a gush of hope caresses her lovingly assuring her of a better tomorrow; of a life devoid of poverty…


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