“Mom, come see! We’ve a new neighbour!” Jamal was ecstatic as he beckoned her with a wave of his hand.
Ozaram and Deziri, who were seeing a movie, rushed towards the window to glimpse their new neighbour. As soon as they got there, they began to ooh! and aah.
“Mom, you should see who our neighbour is,” Deziri shouted so her mom could hear her.
“It is rude to stare at people,” Harida replied from the kitchen.
“No, it is not. We are merely feeding our eyes. Besides, they can’t see us.” Ozaram added.
“I doubt they can hear us either,” Deziri said, and they both giggled.
“He is perfect, mom,” Ozaram noted dreamily.
“He seems taller than dad and has a nice car too.” Jamal added, “It looks like the latest range rover, mom!” Jamal jumped on the sofa excitedly and accidentally hit Ozaram’s head with his elbow in the process, and she screamed.
Jamal stuck his tongue out instead of apologizing.
“You are so dead, Jamal!” She threatened, rubbing the part of her head where it hurt.
Jamal still failed to apologize, and she chased after him in hot pursuit, leaving Deziri, who kept ogling their neighbour.
“Zara and Jamal, please keep it down!” Harida yelled. She stuck her head to see what Deziri was up to, and she shook her head when she found she was still staring at the stranger.
“Okay, kiddo, that is enough staring for the day. Do you think you can help me over here?” When there was no response, Harida repeated, “Deziri dear, I really need you to help me set the table.”
There was still no response.
Harida sighed, placed her hands on her waist and said, “Chideziri Azubuike!”
“Yes, mom!” Deziri responded, jolting back into reality.
“I need you here.”
Deziri hurried towards the kitchen, reluctantly waiting for her mom to say something about their neighbour. When she didn’t get any response from her, she began, “mom, our neighbour seems cool, you know. Don’t you think we should invite or introduce ourselves to him?”
Harida paused briefly, then continued with the dishes, “you should empty the waste bin and clean it.”
“Why do I have to do all the work, and Ozaram has to play her time away?” she murmured to herself rhetorically.
“I didn’t catch that; what did you say?”
“Are you sure about that?”
Deziri nodded. When she returned, she asked, “Are we expecting anyone?”
“Yes, we are. Your aunt Miracle will be here first thing tomorrow morning. Please rinse your hand.”
“Aunt Mimi will be here for reals?” Deziri’s eyes brightened as she did as Harida instructed.
“Yes, she will.”
Deziri hurriedly sat on the counter, “mom, our neighbour waved at me when I went to empty the bin.”
“That is kind of him.”
“I got a full view of him, you know. He is hot. Don’t you think we should invite him over for dinner?”
“Why? Because he is hot?”
“It is a neighbourly thing to do.”
“We will see about that.” Harida laughed.
“Does that mean you don’t mind me saying hi?”
“From a distance, yes.”
“Mom, can I go see Cassandra?”
“Yes, you can.” Deziri rushed to hug her mom.
“Thanks, mom. You are the best.”
“Well, I am not done yet.”
“I am all ears.”
“You have to reheat the soup in the microwave and call your siblings to the table for lunch, and you have to be back from Cassandra’s before 6:30 pm.”
“On it, thanks, mom.” She replied happily.
Harida was grateful Miracle was coming around. Her presence was going to up things around. It had taken time for her kids to adjust to their new life without the extra fancy.
Ozaram and Deziri rushed towards the window to glimpse their new neighbour.