It’s Another Saturday…#13

A colleague asked me the other day if I get upset when readers tell me my episodes are short. I told her that I don’t. I feel flattered, rather. So, here’s a huge thank you for flattering me, guys.*kisses!*

But if I hear pim! about this episode ehn, I’ll be waiting with cane on the other side.

Enjoy episode 13 of It’s Another Saturday. If you want to catch up, read HERE

But Jide, Why?

black woman in spa

“This is a very stupid move, Hon.”

Saratu is mad at me for quitting my job. This has been her state of mind since I broke the news to her two days ago. Earlier, she took me shopping and now we’re at a spa where she’s spoiling me silly, just to manipulate my mind into staying back.

“He is so going to dump your sorry ass.”

“No, he’s not.” I smile at her when what I really want to do wring her neck. She doesn’t like to see people happy in love. She tried to make Dele’s wife feel miserable when she quit like I did; I’m not surprised that she’s doing the same to me.

“You know I’m telling you the honest truth here, Hon. The guy is already misbehaving sef.”

I stop sipping from the pineapple paradise cocktail in my hand for a second but continue immediately before she thinks I’m taking her words seriously. Jide is not misbehaving. In his defense, he called me three days ago to explain that he’ll be incommunicado for a while because he’s going through something serious, which he would rather not explain to me. He begged for a little time to sort himself out and assured me that his feelings for me were still strong. I was upset, especially over the fact that he won’t share with me what was bugging him. But I didn’t let him know how I was feeling. The best way to drive a man away is to show your insecurities. I’ve done enough of that already; I don’t want him to start feeling choked by my love. So, I simply said to him that I was okay with it and offered him a listening ear whenever he would be ready to talk.

“You know when guys say they need a break it means they’re dumping you, right?”

“Saratu?”

“Sorry. Just…putting it out there.” She moves closer to me, ignoring the frown on the face of the masseuse that is massaging her feet. “That was what chief told me and then he disappeared for a while and returned with divorce papers.”

“Sara, he divorced you because you called his mother a whore and refused to apologize and then she died.”

“I didn’t kill her. Her conscience did. I saw her banging my driver.”

“Technically she was allowed to do that. She was a widow.”

“Stop deviating from the point.”

“And what is this point?”

“You are giving up your life for a man who is half-committed to you.”

“I’ll tell you for the last time, Saratu Gambo, I quit my job for myself. Not for Jide. In fact, he doesn’t even know I’ve quit. I did it all for me.”

“Deceive yourself. Me and you know that in this your tiny brain, you are already seeing yourself pregnant for him and having small, annoying children hopping all around the house.”

I laugh. She hates kids.

“I hope you guys sha used condoms. The worst thing you can do to yourself now is get pregnant for him.”

“Yes mommy, we used protection,” I say patiently and add a smile. Lying beneath her nastiness is a darling.

“I’ll miss you sha.”

“Aww. I’m still here until Monday.”

“Then why were you packing your clothes earlier?”

I’m packing because somehow my mind is not at rest. But I tell her I just want to make sure I have everything set on time.

“Don’t go,” she begs. “Take the job British Airways is offering you.”

I smile and then shake my head slowly. “I can’t.”

Her face goes sad. And then she pulls her feet out of the bowl it’s immersed in and gives me a hug.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. It’s not warm when she’s away. Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. And she’s gone too long. Anytime she goes away.”

Bobby is really proud of the noise he just made in the name of singing. He grins from ear to ear as Ibro compliments his voice. The song is for me, to tease me over my drab mood because they think I’m missing Honey badly. Well, I am but Honey is the last thing on my mind right now. Something more disquieting is killing me inside.

“At least, commot the eye glass and face cap nau,” Bright says, reaching for my sunglasses. I move back and adjust the hat on my head. “The song said ain’t no sunshine and there ain’t no sunshine here. You wan kill yourself because of woman?”

“No mind Jide,” Reno replies.

They go on, making fun of me while I take in our classy environment. It’s a bar and grill. Packed full with customers. It’s a new place and our drinks are on Reno’s tab. Trust him to always find the joints that make all the buzz.

My attention comes back to the table. I’m about to reveal something that will make my friends think I’m crazy but I just have to let it out. It’s killing me.

“Guys, I saw Ezinne,” I drop the bombshell.

They give me half attention.

“I said I saw Ezinne. She is alive. She never died.”

I get total silence now. They all focus on me.

“Which Ezinne?” Bobby asks.

“Is there any other Ezinne you think I’ll be talking about?” I flick a drop of beer off my phone screen. “I saw her three days ago.”

“Guy…” Bobby begins to speak but Ibro butts in.

“No dey play with such things, Jide.”

“I am not. I saw Ezinne with these two eyes.”

They are staring at me with more seriousness now. It won’t be long before I see pity creep into their expressions.

I drink my beer, a tortured man. Beering, as Emeka would call it, is all I’ve been doing since Ezinne made a passing appearance in my life. I stay sober only during work hours but the moment I get home, I hug the bottle. My eyes behind my sunglasses are blood red from all the chugging.

“Where did you see her?” Bobby interrogates.

I travel back to Wednesday. A routine visit to my favorite food joint just down the street from my house is all it takes to turn my life upside-down. I walk into the joint, order my usual of amala and ewedu with two servings of shaki. They pack the food for me, I pay and I’m on my way out when I bump into a woman whose purse, pocket umbrella and phone clatter to the floor.

“I’m sorry,” I say and immediately hit the floor to pick the fallen items. I gather them in my hands and rise up to meet a face that belongs to a stranger but eyes that are Ezinne’s. She gasps, steps back and stares at me with lips parted. My hands holding the items are hanging in the air as we both grip each other’s eyes.

“Ezi?” I pant.

She grabs her belongings and dashes out of the restaurant in a flash. I run after her but find that she has hopped into a waiting cab and disappeared into the rainy night. I stand there for a long time, dazed, confused, wondering what the heck I just encountered or if I even encountered it at all.

“For real?” Bright asks.

“Yeah. I went to her parent’s house that same evening only to discover that they no longer lived there. They had moved not long after they said she was dead.”

I finish my beer and wipe my mouth. My friends are dead quiet. Nobody wants to voice out what’s in their heads. I help them.

“Y’all thinking probably I imagined this, that we’re back to that time when I was very sure she was not dead and I stood by my conviction even without evidence. Well, this is different. The person I saw was Ezinne. The nose and lips were not hers but the eyes…they were her eyes.”

“You know say two people fit get the same eyes, abi?” Reno stated.

“It was Ezinne, Reno.”

My tone brings back the silence. I call for another bottle. A waiter comes along with it but Bobby takes it away from me.

“I can’t let you do this again, man.”

“Bobby, abeg give me my beer.”

“What’s it with this Ezinne chick that messes you up like this? She appears from the grave…”

“It’s not even her,” Ibro contributes.

“…and you turn to this person,” Bobby continues.

“Give me my beer!”

“You have fixed your life, Jideofor. You have a good job and a woman who loves you, man. Get your shit together and get that Ezinne out of your head! Abi na jazz she jazz you?”

His last words hit something hard in me and my hand stretched out for my drink, drops down. I abandon my thoughts of Ezinne and my growing annoyance at Bobby and spring to my feet. My head throbs but I ignore it, pick my phone and dash out of the bar without saying anything to them. I’m sure they’ll conclude that I’ve finally lost it but I’m not thinking of them. I’m flagging down a red cab in a crazy manner. I need to get home fast.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I dash into the house like a madman and barge into the spare bedroom, the one that holds the bathroom Tarela used the day she visited with Mary. I begin a frantic search of any diabolic object she might have planted there. I turn the room upside-down but find nothing.

I stop. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Or just being plain judgmental. After all, she did tell me she had turned her life to God. Why am I still thinking she’s the same person from the past?

I allow utter silence into my consciousness. It’s the only way my instinct works well. I listen real hard and it tells me that something is still off. I turn to the bathroom door absently and then recall that it is the one place I haven’t searched. I push the door open and go straight to the toilet tank. When I take off the lid, I’m not surprised at what my eyes fall on.

I pull out a black box that is soaked in water and has red strings tied around it. When I open the box, I see two voodoo dolls bound together. I shake my head. Tarela! I hiss. Old habits die hard. She has not changed one bit.

I walk into the sitting room, place the so-called juju on a couch and dial Mary.

“I need to see you right away,” I tell her.

“Is everything okay?”

“Please, just come.”

I recline on my three-sitter, scratching my two-day old growth of beard as I stare at the dolls in disappointment.

Tarela was a nice, soft-spoken girl when I met her. It was love at first sight. Crazy, mad love that made my friends envious. She stole everyone’s heart, especially my mom’s. No one would have ever thought she had another side to her. She had it well hidden; even I was fooled. Or maybe I wanted to see only what my eyes wanted to see. When I eventually discovered who she really was, we were both already invested in the relationship and she was wearing my ring. She had even gotten herself this vintage wedding gown with all her earnings. Sadly, I had to end the relationship for my own good but Tarela simply refused to let go. I tried everything and finally resorted to moving in with Ezinne, whom I was secretly dating for a while. My blatant actions shocked everyone and they tried to get Tarela and I back together but my heart was already sold to Ezinne. The more they pushed, the deeper I fell. Soon Ezinne and I got engaged and Tarela’s insanity went into overdrive. She showed up at my birthday party unannounced, gave this long speech about how much of an asshole I was, broke a wine bottle and slit her throat with it.

My life turned to a mess from then on and I swore never to have anything to do with her again. I thought that by now she would be over me but obviously I was disillusioned.

Mary raps softly on my door. I stand up and let her in.

“Hi.”

I take her hand and drag her to the couch where I left the box of voodoo dolls. I point. She looks but doesn’t make sense of what she is seeing.

“This is the real reason your friend came here on Tuesday,” I expound.

“I don’t understand. What is this supposed to be?”

“What does it look like?”

Slowly, realization hits her face.

“Oh God! Pin cushions? Voodoo dolls?”

“Yeah.”

“Voodoo dolls? What for?”

“You’re asking me? You brought the person that dropped them here.”

Mary unslings her handbag and puts it aside. “Jide I don’t understand. I came here with Tari nau. When did she give you this that I didn’t know?”

“She didn’t exactly give me; she hid the box in the guest toilet when she allegedly went to pee.”

Mary is still terribly confused. “But why?”

“Mary, your friend planted jazz in my house.”

Mary slaps a hand over her mouth. Her shock is palpable.

“Clearly, you have no clue who your Tarela really is.  Sit, let me gist you.”

I help her immobile body into a couch and give her a glass of cold water to calm her head.

“I left Tari for Ezinne because I found out that she was using jazz on me.”

“Jide, please stop lying.”

“I was in her crib when I made the discovery. I can’t remember what I was looking for under her bed that afternoon that led me to find a bottle that had a short, red candle, some hair, a used condom and other nameless creepy stuff inside it. I confronted Tari and she swore with her life that she had no idea what it was and how it got there. She claimed one of her friends who hated her might have put it there and suggested we go to church for special prayers. Mary, my feelings for Tari died that day.”

Mary is still shaken. “What if she wasn’t lying?”

“She was. I did a background check on her after that and realized she had lied to all of us. Her parents are not dead. I couldn’t trace the whereabouts of her mother whom I was told, abandoned her, but her father is a witch doctor in their village in Benue state.”

Mary is dizzy with the news. She speaks but only with her hands because she can’t find the words to express herself. “Is her name really Tarela?”

“Yes.”

“She’s not Yoruba?”

“No.”

“Jideofor, why didn’t you tell anyone this nau?”

“To what ends? You were all in love with her. I was the bad one. Besides, she must have been trying to erase a painful childhood, so I felt it would have been heartless to expose her to the people that have shown her love.”

“Love?” Mary stands up in anger. “What love?! She manipulated us! Maybe even jazzed us! She lied! And she’s still lying! I swear I’ll tell everybody, Jide! Wha-wha-wha-what type of wickedness is this?! Even to the extent of voodoo dolls?! Voodoo dolls?! That girl has liver, Jide! I’ll expose her shit, right after I beat her blue-red!”

I know Mary is not bluffing. If I don’t stop her, she’ll carry on with her threat.

“Calm down.”

“Oh God! And Jide you said nothing and took all the insult?”

I shrug. I’m weird like that sometimes. If one simple explanation is not enough for you to believe my own side of the story, then I see no need going to extra lengths to prove myself.

“I’m so mad, Jide, you won’t understand.”

“Actually, I do.”

I calm Mary and beg her to keep what we have discovered secret. We have to find out what Tarela is up to before we act on it.

“But aren’t you scared of…this?” Mary points at the twin dolls.

“No.”

“But…”

“I don’t believe in its potency. What I hate about it is the desperation in Tari. After all these years, she shows up out of nowhere and thinks she can ruin my life again? I won’t take it smiling this time.”

“Na wa o.”

I lose my current mood and slip back to thoughts of Ezinne. Mary picks out that something is wrong.

“Jide, is there more you want to tell me?”

“Mmm?” I reply distractedly.

“I hope it’s not this Tarela’s something that is making you look miserable like this o.”

I look at Mary. “Ezinne is alive.”

She pulls her head back in reaction to my words. I take my time to narrate the details of my encounter with Ezinne. And unsurprisingly, Mary, just like my friends, thinks I’m out of my mind. She even develops this interesting theory as she eyes the dolls suspiciously.

“What if the jazz is already working?” she submits squeakily.

“What?”

“What if the jazz is here to mess with your head and it’s working? Tarela was here on Tuesday, right? And then you saw Ezinne the very next day. What if you didn’t really see Ezinne? And the job of this thing is to just mess up your life and…”

“I SAW EZINNE!” I thunder.

“Okay, okay, okay. Calm down, Jide. Just…calm down…”

“Leave.”

I don’t care to see Mary’s expression. I know if I look I’ll see shock and hurt but I don’t care. I just want her out of my house.

“Jide?” she calls.

“Mary, please leave. If you think I’ve lost my mind or I’m messed up as you said and these two stupid things here are responsible, then I don’t think I can stand you right now. Leave, please.”

“Jide, you’re hurting yourself. Please, stop it. For the sake of your mom, please stop.”

“I’m fine and my mom is fine. The only hurt here is that the people I trust think I’m psychotic. Good. Fine. I am. So you people should just let me be. If you can’t help unravel the mystery of why somebody who is supposed to be dead is alive, then get the fuck out!”

Mary picks her handbag. “I’ll be praying for you.”

“Thank you. Go.”

I hear her footsteps over my floor, loud, in rhythm with my labored breath. The door closes and in rage, I kick the voodoo box to the floor. It knocks over the half glass of water Mary has left and that one also comes crashing in pieces. When the noise dies down, I hear my phone ringing. I pull it out of my pocket. It’s Honey calling. I toss the phone aside and lie back on the couch. The only person I want to hear from is Ezinne. I need answers from her or I’ll go mad for real.

Chilling-on-couch

©Sally@moskedpages

Image Credits: writechangegrow.comkristinandcory.com

It’s Another Saturday…#12

This post is for all the Oliver and Olivia Twists that keep telling me the episodes are short. This should quench your thirst.

Double Trouble

Oh my God! Jide is in love?!!!

I jolt up from my bed as if shot with a thousand needles. What type of useless dream did I just have? What madness is this?

No, I cannot accept this if indeed it’s more than a dream. After all I sacrificed to ensure that his heart remained cold? Mtsheeew! I am demanding my money back or God help me, I will find that useless gypsy bitch wherever she is in this world and force poison down her throat.

I turn on my WiFi and my phone and wait for both to boot up. Immediately they do, I make a video call to Kiya AKA my Egyptian spellcaster, AKA witch doctor. Many ladies in Nigeria go to useless babalawos that eat their money and do nothing for them. But Kiya, she’s the real deal. She has been my savior for years, helping me from across the world to ensure Jideofor’s love life remains empty and useless. It was she who gave me the spell in which I used in binding him to meaningless sexual encounters. It was my own little way of saying, ‘oga, shebi it was another vagina that separated me from you, then vaginas you shall have until you run back to me’.

The spell has worked successfully for five years, even with the Bridemaker twist that I never saw coming. It was supposed to keep working until his life wrecked totally and I stepped in to restore that sweet and special thing we once had. He was NOT supposed to fall in love!

“Hello, dear.” Kiya is smiling. I am not. She is void of her gothic makeup today. Her scanty jet-black hair cascades across her forehead making her reminiscent of a rat that once fell into my toilet tank.

“He’s in love,” I tell her straight. No time for long talk. “You promised he will never fall for anyone again! But now he has!”

“How do you know he’s in love?”

“Remember the girl I told you he’s been parading around town? Remember I told you I had bad vibes about her? Well, I had a dream that he got married to her!”

“A dream.”

“Yes, a dream. And you know my dreams never lie to me.”

“Tell me what you saw.”

I describe in detail how I saw Jide slipping this dazzling yellow diamond ring on the girl’s finger. Then he went ahead and kissed her the way he used to kiss me. That was when I woke up.

“This sounds serious.”

“Like hell! I want you to break them apart! Make him hate her! Or just kill her! I don’t want them together! I want him back to me right now! I’m tired of waiting!”

“Calm down, dear. You will have your man back. However, you might need a very strong spell that will take time to prepare after we undo this one which seems to have weakened.”

“I don’t have time, Kiya. When Jide falls in love, he falls fast and holds nothing back. We could be here talking and he’s out there buying her a ring. That was what he did with me and that other stupid cunt.”

“Baby girl,I repeat, a stronger spell takes time like the one you’re already on.”

“It’s taking a lifetime!”

“Well, a less stronger one but almost as potent, will either need his semen or blood.”

“I don’t need any of that. Jideofor loves me but he’s acting like a typical male. We just need to speed things up.”

“Then it requires an ancient Creole spell in addition with some real voodoo.”

“Now you’re talking.”

“But I warn you, dear. Combination spells are dangerous and so is this particular voodoo. It requires you making twin love puppets that you have to mail to him. If he destroys those puppets, you’re toast.”

“I don’t care. Just tell me what to do.”

“I’m warning you again. It could backfire.”

“And again, I don’t care! I want my man back. I have waited enough abeg.”

“Okay. Give me a minute.”

Kiya disappears and I ponder over her words fleetingly. Dangerous kor, risky ni. What’s worse than surviving one more night without my king?

Kiya returns. “I had the spells in my other phone. I just emailed them to you. If you don’t have the elements, let me know and I’ll ship them from my sister’s store in Cairo and you’ll have to wait to the next full moon. But if you have them right now, you must do them this night since it’s the first night the moon waxes full in your end.”

“Whatever. How much?”

“Hundred and fifty.”

“You dis woman sef! Your own don pass babalawo.”

“Sorry, I don’t speak ebonics, girl. Hundred for both spells. Fifty for consultation.”

“I’ll pay half tomorrow morning and half when Jide’s in my bed.”

Kiya doesn’t complain. I’m her faithful customer.

“You’ll find the first spell particularly pleasurable.” Her smile is naughty. I don’t have time for that nonsense. I dial off.

Her email is waiting. I read the first spell with a smile. I can’t wait to try it. But I quickly put together the second one which has me creating two small voodoo dolls, one from my hair and the other from Jide’s old t-shirt. I bind them together, place them in a tiny box and tie the box with seven red strings, making seven knots. I subsequently put it under my bed where it will remain for seven hours and seven minutes and seven seconds before I take it out.

When I’m through with that, I begin the first spell that is to make him desire only me, which will have him hating his new girlfriend. It is a very powerful act of magic that involves a red candle, some of Jide’s hair which I have kept for years, and then an ancient Creole chant. I follow the instructions and in the end, use the candle, now melted and remoulded into Jide’s penis shape, to pleasure myself.

I stay awake for the rest of the night after that, counting the hours before I take the box from beneath the bed. I pray to the universe that my plan works with no foibles. I intend to use Mary to get the box into the house. She and I have not spoken in years but today, I will mend bridges. In fact, I think I will start mending old bridges to pave way for my re-entry into Jide’s life.

I smile at this ingenious plan of mine. Jide, here I come, baby!

 

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

tumblr_mjx3hvgvrk1ri3wnco1_500

She’s gone. And I miss her already. She’s taken her different tones of laughter, her unassertive eyes, her incredibly soft lips, her enthralling body and her indulgent heart. We had talked and made love all day; and now her scent lingers. I walk into my room. It feels so cold and empty but the bed is yet to exorcise the last memory I have of her in it. She had been sitting at the edge in her underwear, feet to the floor, head buried in her hands, crying. I had come in from the bathroom to find her that way. We had just two hours before her flight to London. I stooped down and took her hands in mine.

“Stop crying, sugar lips.”

I was back to the first pet name I gave her; it took on a whole new meaning after we made love. But she prefers when I just call her sugams.

“We’ll figure out a way, baby,” I tried to assure her.

“The only way is if I quit my job.”

“Then quit.”

She drew a long sniffle. “I don’t know…”

“You still don’t trust me?”

She didn’t reply.

“You think you’ll give up your life and I’ll turn around and hurt you.”

“I’m sorry.”  She let her head down. “I just can’t trust any man in my life again.”

“Honey, don’t say that. For this relationship to work, we need trust. I don’t fall in love so easily but when I do, I take the plunge totally, so I’m wholeheartedly committed to us.”

She wasn’t convinced and I didn’t expect her to be. It would take time. Still, I put up a good case.

“You saw what Emeka did with Tola. He kept his word. That should give you a glimpse of the type of man I was raised to be.”

“I’m just so scared that something will tear us apart, Jide. I feel it.”

“Stop being scared nau. And put that Bridemaker nonsense out of your head.”

She nodded but her tears fell on our entwined fingers. “Promise you won’t leave me.”

“I promise, sugar lips.”

She sought the assurance of my kisses, which ultimately led us into making out. Having kissed her countless times already, I had mastered those soft, silky lips and I took them leisurely, feeding from the sweetness of her mouth. As my hand grazed over her body, I realized I would miss the way her eyes glistened whenever I touched her. But it was my tongue I employed in pleasuring in her. There wasn’t an inch of her that I didn’t want to taste. I wanted to retain her essence long after she was gone and so I sought the secrets of her tight depths with my mouth. She murmured brokenly, but I had only just begun. When I took her, guiding myself in possessively, inch by inch until I filled her completely, she was already pulsating. Her breath on my neck was hot and moist, her fingernails adding scratches over the ones she had inflicted from last night. She arched to meet me, thrust for thrust. The dance was measured, powerfully penetrating and drugging. Neither of us wanted it to end but time refused to have a threesome with us. I told her to let go and it was as if I opened a dam. I felt the first surge and I lost my senses. She has this skilled way of making it rain on me, and rain it did until I joined her in a shuddering, pulsing climax. I palm her breast in my hand. I don’t want to let go. I want to hold on for as long as I can.

 

At the airport, just before she boarded her flight, I gifted her a gold necklace that held a yellow Beryl stone.

“I’m so going to miss you, Jide,” she told me, twisting the stone between her fingers.

“I know.”

“Don’t hug me. Just walk away and let me watch you walk away.”

I laughed. “Why?”

“Because I’m so bad with goodbyes, baby,” she confessed, sniffing. “Go.”

I didn’t listen to her. I kissed her until she couldn’t breathe and people started staring and then I walked away, knowing her eyes were on me.

A profound sense of loss greeted me when I returned home, and it hasn’t eased up till now. I leave my bedroom to the sitting room to watch TV. Bobby has invited me for beers with the guys but I’m not interested. I’d rather stay in.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am in my friend’s apartment in Central London. She’s a divorcee who does nothing but spends her ex- husband’s money and screws him while doing it. Take for instance the apartment we’re in; it’s a recent gift from him. It’s just a two-bedroom but was gotten at a cost of four million pounds and given to her to enjoy whenever she pops into the UK. I have long given up preaching to her to let the man and his new wife be. But she’ll always remind me that in the eyes of God, she is still his wife.

“Honey, here.”

She walks in from the kitchen and passes me a cup of tea.

“It’s relaxing.”

I want to ask her why I need to take something relaxing, then I remember that just a few minutes ago I was pinning over the fact that my job has been restored.

“I think you should just quit, Honey. Your guy sounds capable of taking care of you financially.”

“Is everything about money to you, Saratu?”

“Yeah. I mean, why would a woman quit a high-paying job just for love? It’s stupid.”

“Well, I don’t want to quit for either love or money but for myself. I have goals, you know.”

Saratu rolls her eyes. I doubt her goals go beyond having the next Liz Claiborne purse or Chris Aire earrings. That’s why she is a lot closer to Dele’s wife than she is with me.

“Guess who I bumped into at Selfridges the other day,” she says.

“Who?”

“One of your Igbo exes.”

“Nonso?”

“Nope.”

“Kaycee? Obi? Max?”

“No.”

I make a grimace. “Who then?”

“The one who popped your cherry.”

I feel an eerie chill spread over me. “Ekene?”

“Yes, Kene. He asked of you. In fact, he’s visiting today.”

“Why?”

“Just for old times’ sake. After school, we all just scattered like that. I miss our little clique.”

Yeah, we were one tight clique. Just close friends. Until Kene had me in the back of his uncle’s car and made me fall for him and kicked off my addiction for south-eastern brothers. We dated throughout university but both parted ways when I got my first air hostess job while he began working for an oil company and was taken off shores for a freaking long time. I suffered a major heartbreak and begged him to let me and my heart be because I couldn’t bear the pain of being apart from him for long periods. It was hard for him to let go because he was madly in love with me as well. We parted but still kept the line open and sometimes maybe once or twice a year, we would spend the night together. However, he disappeared from radar almost four years ago and this is the first I’m hearing about him since then.

“Is he married?” I ask Saratu.

“No. But he’s fatter sha. Chubby but in a good way. Smells of good money too.”

“What time is he coming?”

“Anytime soon.”

“And you’re just telling me?”

“I should have told you earlier? Why?”

“Because I don’t want to see him.”

“Why?”

“Because I have enough exes popping up in my life at the moment! The flight I was on was flown by Nonso who had the galls to specially welcome me on board, right on the PA system! My life is enoughly complicated as it is! I don’t need Kene the crazy to make things worse!” I fire up to my feet. “He’ll come here, see me and start declaring love and demanding that I open my legs for him!”

“I never really understood your thing with that Nonso creep, to be honest. The guy is not even that fine or half as rich as Kene sef.”

If Saratu didn’t have this dark chocolate skin that I always envied, I would have given her a knock on her big head this moment. How is her off-topic statement helping my life problems? But wait a minite, I smell a rat here.

“Tellme the truth, Sara. Is Kene coming to visit you or me?”

Saratu, rather than answer me, finds her almost empty cup of tea intriguing.

“Sara?”

“Okay, I met him at Selfridges the other day and he was going on and on about you. I just had to promise him that whenever you flew in, I’d call him over.”

“And you did. Well done. Anyways, entertain him yourself.  Me, I’m going out.” I pick my purse from the sofa I had just risen up from and aim for the door. The moment I throw it open, I see Ekene standing there. He tries to act surprised but his yellow Igbo face can’t hide lies well.

“Hon?”

My mouth dries up.

Memories of the past, please stay in the past. I don’t love this dude anymore. Jide is all I need.

“Sara didn’t tell me I’d find you here.”

“Yeah right.” My angry face is up.

“Are you okay? Why are you frowning like that?”

“I’m not frowning,” I say quickly. “I’m in a hurry. Can you please, step out of the way?”

He’s thrown by my attitude. The last time we met, we said goodbye in kisses. I’m sure he’ll easily conclude that I’m mad at him for going off grid. But I’m not; instead I’m mad at him for popping up on it.

“Maybe a hug won’t be bad.”

“I don’t hug guys anymore. It’s Haram.”

“Are you a Muslim now?”

“No. It’s a personal Haram.” I put out my hand for a shake. He takes it and kisses it tenderly, almost like the wind brushing over my skin. I withdraw quite fast.

“Bye!”

I push past him and start down the street. I have nowhere in particular to go. In fact, I don’t even know this side of London, so I stroll around and do some tourist promenade and window shopping until my legs give in. I get elated when Jide calls. Out in front of a bookstore, with a little dog tied to a lamppost, yapping for no reason, I share with him how my day has been. Like me, he’s not happy to hear the news of my job.

“But it’s the life you’re used to and I realize it was selfish for me to ask you to leave it. I’m sorry I did, sugams. If you want to quit, you should do it for you, not for me.”

I shut my eyes and take in the sunless air. I think God is beginning to give me signs that Jide is the one. If not, why would he voice out the exact sentiments in my heart?

But my mistrust and insecurity won’t let me flourish.

“I don’t understand you, hotstuff. Last night, you wanted me to quit and now you’re saying you were being selfish? Are you giving up on us already?”

“No, Honey. I just want you to be sure it’s what you want when you do quit.”

Give him a break, Honey.

“Okay.”

We converse further under a better mood. There’s laughter and some teasing and pillow talk. He runs out of airtime after an hour and promises to call late at night.

I feel lighter after he rings off. I head back to Saratu’s, hoping Kene is gone by now. Unfortunately I find him waiting. Saratu has just left the house to see a friend down the street.

“I have a boyfriend,” I state clearly, “just in case you think we’ll do what we used to do in the past.”

Kene keeps mum and watches as I take off my sneakers and sit far away from him. Not that the sitting room allows for that type of sitting. Four million pounds for cardboard box with no space.

“You look happier,” Kene mentions.

“Thank you.”

“Sexier. And your eyes… You’re in love?”

I blush. “How do you know?”

“It’s easy to tell. You used to have those eyes for me once upon a time.”

“Well, they’re for someone else now.”

“He’s lucky.”

“How about you?”

“Love keh. Unless with mami wata.”

I don’t get his joke. He explains that because he’s always at sea, he has no time for women.

“Up till now?”

“Up till now o. And momsie is begging me to bring her home a wife. As I am like this, I’m willing to find some reasonable girl and ask her to marry me, just to please the old bird.”

“Don’t you want to fall in love?”

He chortles. “Love? Love is work, Honey. And it takes time to build and nurture. And then there’s all that heartache in-between. Who wants that type of stress? I’d prefer to have someone I’m comfortable with since the one woman I’ve ever loved is in love with someone else.”

“I see.”

“Marry me, Honey.”

He drops the words like a bomb that explodes in my chest, cutting off my breath for a second. Oh Lord! Jide’s Bridemaker thing is no joke.

“What did you just say?” he asks.

“Ehn?”

“You still do you speaking out loud thing ba?”

“Did you just ask me to marry you?”

“Yes, I did. Marry me, Honey. I know you have a boyfriend but I don’t think you two will last like we have. I’ve been so lonely these past few months and I realized it’s because you have been missing in my life. We used to be so good together, baby…”

“Don’t call me that.”

“What happened?”

“I moved on. And now, I’ve found someone else.”

“Someone else,” he repeats. “Does he know you like I do? Has he made love to you to the point you’re lying helpless, finding it hard to breathe?”

“Get out, Kene.” I stand up. I don’t want to hear any more of his crap. I point at the door.

“Has he seen this particular face on you, when you get confused and start acting irrationally because you can’t control a situation? Has he heard you fart or sat on the toilet floor while you pooped? Or held your hand while you aborted a pregnancy you carelessly got after a drunken one-night stand? Does he even know that part of your dark past? And if he did, would he still want you like I still do?”

“Get out, Kene!”

“Does he know you can never trust him, that I’m the only man you trust?”

“GET OUT!”

Ekene finally heeds my orders and stands and walks to the door.

“The next time we meet, you’ll wear my ring. Mark my words.”

The door closes silently as if unaware of the storm brewing in me. I fall back into the chair and cry my eyes out. I feel helpless. Not that I can’t handle Ekene; it’s just that I feel a strong force tearing Jide and I apart. With the way things are going, I’ll give in to the urge to turn in my already-typed resignation letter and run back to Nigeria to be with him. But what if he breaks my heart?

Saratu returns and sees me crying. She tells me she can’t handle my tears, and dials Dele’s wife. Two of them listen to my story and both come up with their different solutions.

“Stick with Jide,” Dele’s wife advises. “I know it’s just two weeks but I think he’s surer of what he wants than Kene is. Kene just wants to please his mom and he always has this sense of entitlement over you just because he disvirgined you. If he really loves you, he would have proposed a long time ago.”

“I disagree,” Saratu butts in. “Talk about a man who has known Honey since teenage years, a man who loves her and still does, despite knowing her shit. Kene has not dated any girl apart from her. What other type of devotion does she want? And he’s not asking her to quit her job to come play loving wife with him like Jide suggested.”

“Honey loves Jide,” Dele’s wife makes clear.

“But she still has feelings for Kene.”

They go on and on whilst I sit, thinking of Jide and how much I miss him. I feel the debate is of no consequence. Kene is like the ice-cream I used to like when I was younger but now that I’ve tasted Baileys, it’s what I always want to take. I don’t hate the ice-cream but I’ll never go out of my way to buy it and I’ll settle for it only if Baileys stopped existing.

“Just sha follow your heart,” Dele’s wife concludes with a little annoyance in her voice because Saratu has somehow steered the whole thing into a discussion of who has more money. If I don’t break the argument up, Saratu will find a subtle way to remind Dele’s wife that her ex-husband toasted her first and she turned him down only to marry a less richer man; and then Dele’s wife will snidely state that wealth doesn’t guarantee a long-lasting marriage to an old man.

“Yeah, follow your heart,” Saratu agrees and we end the discussion. I try to bring up another topic but the mood has been soured. As much as these two love themselves, they fight unnecessarily. Today, I’m not ready to play peacemaker. I thank them for lightening my mood and retire to my room to wait for the night to come so I can speak to my hotstuff.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Mary and her quaint, little life. I find it very cute that she has these adorable flowerpots outside her apartment and the stairs that lead up to the door are painted pink and green. How delightful.

I knock on her door.

“Who is it?” she asks. Like I’m going to answer. I knock again and wait. I hear some sounds and then the door opens. Her mouth widens in surprise.

“Tarela?”

“Yes, bestie!” I spread open my arms and force-hug her, refusing to acknowledge that she is standing stiffly. Well, it’s hard to call Mary stiff. She has this soft pair of generous boobs that make for squishy hugging.

“I’ve missed you, May. Haven’t you missed me?”

She is still dazed.

“Can I…come in?”

She moves aside and lets me in. I walk into a typical Mary space – purple, girly and flowery. Yawn.

I slump on the bed like I own it and kick off my shoes. Mary stands over my head, staring. I notice she has her leg bandaged.

“What happened?”

“Minor injury. Why are you here, Tari?”

“Why am I here? What a question! I came to see you nau. Come, give mommy a hug.”

Mary looks like she wants to slap me.

“Come on, May, let bygones be bygones. I messed up. I am sorry. Forgive me.”

“Just like that,Tari? You accused me of sleeping with Jide so many times and I kept forgiving you and mending our friendship because of your fragile heart. But then you go and stupidly slash your throat and refuse anyone to visit you in the hospital. Yeah, I remember when Shady and I came you were telling the nurse that you didn’t want to see those two demons. Remember?”

“I’m sowee, May.”

“Whatever. Just leave.”

I pout and use my small voice which Jide used to find charming back in the day. “Do you really want me gone? I love you, May.”

“Me, I don’t.”

“Well, I’m going nowhere. I’m sleeping over so we can catch up where we left off.”

“Lai-lai. I’ve moved on, Tari.”

“Come on, May. You know you miss your bae.” I get off the bed and spread my arms open as I go after her. “Come, give mommy a kiss.”

I grab her and plant kisses all over her not-so-pretty face. She used to hate when I did that but it always worked like it is working now. Soon, she gives in and blesses me with her first smile after five years.

“I hate you,” she says with tearful eyes. “You and Jide just abandoned me. I was a total wreck.”

“Aww, poor thang.” I hug her one more time. I hate her perfume. “Speaking of Jide…how is that misbegotten doing?”

“He’s fine. He’s back.”

“So I heard.” I sit on the bed.

“Wait, have you been in town?”

“Yes, not long ago.”

Lies. I’ve been around since I lost my mind and almost killed myself for my king. I never went away because the spell Kiya gave me specified that I was never to leave town for more than three days.

“Wait was it him that got married yesterday?”

“No, it was Emeka.” Mary looks at me suspiciously as she sits beside me.

“What?” I ask.

“You seriously have gotten over him?”

“Tay-tay. I even got meself a little boyfriend on the side.”

“That’s nice to hear. Congratulations.”

“But I’m curious. How is he doing after losing Ezinne?”

“Well, he’s healed. And moved on. He has a girlfriend now. Her name is Honey. Cool chick.”

If I didn’t know Mary like the smell of my own fart, I would have believed her crap. I clearly see the jealousy in her eyes. Bitch is still crazy about my man.

“I want to see him.”

Mary squeezes her face. “Why?”

“To apologize. My pastor says I should go around and mend bridges, especially with Jide. He said my past is holding me back from fully succeeding in life.”

“So…that is why you really came? Because of Jide?”

“No, May. I have put this off for a long time because I was scared you’ll turn me away. I’m back in your life for good. Or don’t you want me back?”

“I do. I’ve missed you.”

I place an arm on her shoulder and draw her into a partial hug. “Me too.”

“Let me call Jide…”

“And tell him I’m around? No, not now!”

“Don’t worry. I just want to tell him I want to see him. I doubt that he’ll have time for me sha. Since he started dating Honey, he’s been cut off from everybody.”

“Ah-ahn, why? I hope she’s not another Ezinne o. Let her not come and tear him away from his family and friends again.”

Mary gives the impression that I might be wrong but she doesn’t say anything to counter my words. I stay silent as she puts a call across to him. They converse briefly and she ends the call.

“He’s at home but it’s too late. We’ll see him tomorrow evening.”

“No wahala. It’s you I’ve missed, not him. So, let’s gist. Load my ears with everything that has happened in my absence. I heard fatty bombom is married?”

Mary laughs. “Yes, Bobby got married…”

Tuesday takes forever to come. And then I’m forced to endure waiting in Mary’s dreary house while she spends the whole day at work. When she returns, she showers and dresses in a pair of Ankara shorts which she terms casual. Wearing a plain black t-shirt on top does nothing to tone down her nicely-shaped onion butt which I’ve always envied.

“When did you start dressing like this, May?”

She laughs. “Celia and Noka literally changed my wardrobe. They stormed in here, took my clothes and dumped them in Noka’s car and drove off. Three days later, they returned with new clothes and now I’m owing them.”

Celia, Noka, Bimpe and Peace. I miss them. We used to be such good friends and I remember them fighting Jide when he dumped me for Ezinne. I’ll have to cozy up to them as well to win this battle of recapturing my king’s heart.

“Are you ready?” Mary asks. I nod. I pick my handbag that contains the voodoo box and we exit the house.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

We’re in a taxi outside Jide’s house. Without noticing that I’ve been paying attention, Mary has checked her reflection in the rearview mirror three times now. I promise myself to do away with her when Jide and I get back together.

“Let’s go in,” she tells me as she opens her door. I hesitate. “Let’s go,” she repeats.

“No.”

She is confused. “Why?”

“Because I just changed my mind. I don’t want to see him.”

“But you said your pastor said…”

“I just can’t, Mary. Not today. I’ll do this another time.”

“Tari, what’s going on? You dragged me to this visit and now you’re chickening out?”

I smile inwardly. She’s falling for my oh-I’ve-screwed-up-and-I-don’t-think-Jide-will-forgive-me act. Dense fool.

“Let’s go in jare. Jide doesn’t hate you.”

“Okay. But if he shouts on me or…”

“He won’t. Ah!”

“Okay, can you not mention that it was my idea? You could say you brought me so we can bury the past.”

“Okay.”

Good girl. Now, lead me like the faithful friend you are.

I alight from the taxi. There’s just one odd thing here, though. I don’t get Mary’s motives for readily agreeing to take me to see the guy she’s crazy about when she knows he has a girlfriend. What is she up to? Or wait…is the spell already working, causing the universe to work in my favor? Nice!

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I slip into a t-shirt and shorts when I hear a knock on my door. I’m very curious as to why Mary wants to see me. She hadn’t sounded worried or sad on the phone yesterday. I hope she’s okay because really, I don’t have energy to handle anyone’s baggage today.

I turn the key in the lock and open the door. Shock is a mild word to aptly describe what I feel when I see Tarela standing beside Mary with this bewitching smile on her lips.

“Hi,” Mary greets. I pull her in and slam the door in Tarela’s face.

What did you bring to my house?”

“Relax. It’s just Tarela.”

Why did you bring her?”

“Because she desperately wanted to come and see you,” Mary whispers. “She has this touching story about mending broken fences from her past but I think she’s up to something, so just be sha careful.”

“Tell her to leave.”

“No nau. Act like you are oblivious of her games.”

“So that she’ll start stalking me? Hell no. She leaves.”

“Just pretend for this evening, Jide. Okay, we won’t stay long. Once she apologizes we’ll go.”

Just because it’s Mary asking, I let Tarela in.

“Hi, King.”

“It’s Jideofor.”

She goes on tiptoe and pecks my cheek. Her lips are cold.

“Hi. Sit.” I offer a couch and they both sit. I look at Mary curiously. What’s with the sexy dressing these days? The thirst for husband must be real.

“Can I get you ladies anything?” I ask.

“Yeah,” Mary replies.

I walk to the kitchen and return with some apple cider for them.

“So why are you here, Tarela?”

I sit and stare straight into her eyes. She hesitates before she speaks.

“I’m listening.”

She begins in a timid voice, telling me how sorry she is for all she did in the past, trying to ruin my relationship with Ezinne, stalking me and then trying to kill herself on my birthday.

“I forgave you long ago, Tarela. This visit is unnecessary.”

“I’m really sorry. It’s important that I hear you say you forgive me.”

“I forgive you. Are you happy?”

She smiles.

“See? I told you it was nothing,” Mary points out. Then off she goes into this lighthearted conversation about her boss at work, trying to lighten the mood. I remain silent throughout,wondering what the tattoos on Tarela’s body signify. They look eerie.

Finally, they announce that they are leaving but first Tarela says she wants to use the restroom. I point her to the guest bathroom.

“Don’t ever bring her here,” I tell Mary.

“I won’t. But you sef, you’re so mean. The only crime she committed is loving you.”

Tarela returns and I walk them to the door. She hugs me, lingering as she plants a kiss on my cheek and caresses a scar at the nape of my neck.

“Stop it.” I move back and give Mary a chummy hug.

In their absence, I pop open a bottle of beer and sit to watch TV. Something was very odd about that visit from Tarela but whatever it is, it can’t be as bad as her popping back into my life. Now she has cozied up to Mary. Next she’ll move on to the wives and then to the guys and I’ll be forced to see her psychotic face all the time.

tarela3

No, I don’t think I can handle the heat it will create. I just have to get Honey back.

©Sally@moskedapages

Image credits: Tumblr.com, Favim.com

It’s Another Saturday…#11

So, I had this episode of It’s Another Saturday since Saturday and I was like, I’ll post it on Monday because of the public holidays. But then on Monday, I think I forgot or something very stupid like that. Then I wanted to post it yesterday but I had another post scheduled. 

So, here it is…the bonus episode. Specially dedicated to erm…to you. You know yourself.

PREVIOUS EPISODES

Taken

I’m not listening to a word he’s saying. All I want is to just get away from him before my feelings turn to hate. I can’t even look into his eyes right now.

“Leave me alone, Jide.”

“Just listen to me. Let me explain. It’s a pretty, simple explanation…”

I shove away his hand resting on my arm and leave the house through the kitchen backdoor.

“Honey!” He comes after me and takes my hand again. “Smoochie, listen to me, please.”

I almost melt at the pet name he has just called me. This is following a heavy make out session earlier this morning in which we got caught by mommy and she gave us the third degree about the dangers of premarital sex.

“Let me go.” I wrestle but he holds me tighter and pulls me closer, wrapping his other arm around my waist. I take just one look into his eyes and I soften but it doesn’t stop the tears from spilling.

“You know you can trust me, Honey.”

“How? After what I just heard? Jide, that’s like the worst thing to do. I’m so disgusted at you right now. Leave me!”

I pry my hand off and walk away.

“You know I won’t go after you,” he says. “If you want to leave without hearing my side of the story, then go ahead.”

I stop and wipe my tears. Okay, maybe I need to hear him but after I’m done listening, I’ll go to his place, pack my things and leave his life. Sleeping with one’s sister-in-law? I just can’t deal.

I turn around and find myself almost in his arms. I step back. He clutches my hand once more and leads me back into the house. Daddy is in a very bad mood. He is ranting in Igbo. Everyone is dead quiet. Mommy has her chin in her hand as she stares at the floor with absent eyes. Tola has settled on a side stool, crying, but nobody pays her any mind. The moment Jide steps in, daddy’s tirade hits the roof. I don’t understand what he’s saying but I think he’s telling him to leave. Jide replies in Igbo, daddy fires back, Jide raises his voice as well, and mommy finally steps in.

“Let him talk, please,” she says to her husband exasperatedly.

Daddy grunts and slumps into a single couch behind him.

“You all want to know the truth,” Jide begins. “This is the uncut version of what happened between Tola and I. Tola, if you open your mouth while I’m talking, I’ll throw you out of this house like a rotten egg. Don’t say a word.”

I have never seen his face so icy. I lean on the wall behind me and listen to him.

“I met Tola at Bobby’s wedding party. We hit it off on the dancefloor. I told her my name, she told me hers. Family or dating history never came up. We ended up in a hotel room where we spent the night. By the next morning, when I woke up, she was gone, and she took my wallet, one of my phones and wristwatch, and then called me to tell me that she was Emeka’s fiancée. She said I was to make sure Emeka got married to her or she would expose that we slept with each other. She also told me she was already five weeks pregnant then. God being my witness, I did not know who she was prior to our meeting. Tola had revenge sex with me because Emeka cheated on her with her cousin. She had it all planned and I fell into the trap. My only crime here was sleeping with someone I didn’t know. I have confessed to Emeka. I told him everything but I am not responsible for his being absent today, although I am happy he is. Tola doesn’t deserve him.”

All eyes are on Tola now. “You knew who I was, Jideofor!” she rants. “Emeka sent you pictures of us!”

“Did I not tell you to close your mouth?!” Jide growls, advancing towards her. She shrinks back and he stops, but leaves a menacing glare on her.

“Omotola, can you dispute all Jide just said?” Kalu asks.

“Mm?”

“Did Jide just tell the truth about what happened between you two?”

Tola strikes a restless pose and I start to dislike her.

“Emeka and I were not technically together when I hooked up with Jide,” she answers in a mousy voice.

“Jesus Omotola! Or whatever your useless name is!” Elsie snaps. “You’re such a ho! And you stormed into this place, slapped Jideofor and made him out to be the villain when it was you who jumped from one brother to the other!”

“I didn’t mean to.” Tola launches into a fresh sob. I want to march to where she is and knock her off that stool this minute.

“Stop that very nonsense cry right there!” Daddy thunders. “What type of woman are you, sleeping with two brothers?! And you came here and made all of us fall in love with you when you had evil intent in your heart all along?!”

“No, daddy. I truly love Emeka.”

“Maybe a little too much,” mommy says in a gentle tone. I don’t see the anger in her eyes that everyone shares. She looks rather tired. “You’re obsessed, Tola. And it’s a bad thing for a woman to be that way with a man. It will make you do things you normally wouldn’t do.”

“Stop trying to understand the reasoning behind the abomination she has committed!” daddy tells his wife. “She is no longer welcome here! Omotola, get up from that place and leave my house this minute!”

Tola lets out a loud cry.

“Lawrence, please, calm down.”

“No! She leaves this minute! Get up, my friend!”

Tola vacates the stool but falls on her knees to plead. I want to feel sorry for her but I can’t. Not when I’m still mad at Jide for giving himself to other women so easily but denying me what is rightfully mine. This fight is so not over between us.

Tola, snake that she is, has crawled up to mommy’s feet and is putting up the shoddiest act, still making the whole thing about her.

“Woman, you are defying my orders by letting this wicked human being stain my floor with her crocodile tears!”

“Mommy, let her go, please,” Elsie begs. “The marriage is off. Her tears are unnecessary.”

Tola moans pathetically and throws herself on mommy’s laps. Mommy rubs her back and looks at her husband dolefully. Daddy doesn’t budge.

“Obasi, call the gateman to come and throw her out!”

Tola screams again, holding mommy tightly. “Mommy, help me beg him!”

As Oba heads for the door, it pushes in from outside and Emeka walks into the house. To everyone’s surprise, he is dressed in his wedding attire.

“Where have you been, Chukwuemeka?” mommy demands. Emeka doesn’t give an answer. He walks further and stands before everyone with a smile.

“I have a son!” he announces.

At first there is silence and then Elsie lets her baby down and gives him a hug.  “Congratulations, darling!”

Mommy cracks a proud smile and calls him over as tears flood her face. When he bends to hug her, he pinches Tola’s cheek and mutters something to her. With the atmosphere suddenly changed, we all congratulate him, except daddy who retains his anger and cold mood.

“Tola,” Emeka calls, “it was this good news I was trying to share with you on the phone this morning but you heard the name Yazmin and totally flipped and concluded the wedding was off.”

“I’m sorry, baby.” Tola stands up. “I didn’t know.”

“Well maybe next time, you should try not to listen to that resident demon in your head.”

“I think they’re more than one demon, Chukwuemeka,” daddy comments. “And that is why the wedding will not hold anymore. There is no way I’ll sit back as your father and watch you marry this woman.”

Tola walks to Emeka and puts her arms around him. They look cute together in their matching attire. Why do I have a feeling that they were once crazy in love?

“Help me beg him, Mex. Beg mommy and everyone else too. I’m so sorry for what I did with Jide. I’m very sorry. I was desperate. And I’m begging you too. Please forgive me.”

Tola goes on her knees again. She holds Emeka’s sokoto and resumes her sniveling.

“Oh well, the secret is out,” Emeka addresses everyone. “Tola really screwed up but I’m taking the blame for this one too.”

“Emeka?” Elsie whispers.

“Please, let me talk.” He focuses on his father. “When we were growing up, dad, you taught us that one of the things that makes a man is when he keeps to his word. You also told me that integrity is more valuable than money. I have lost my integrity, dad. I’ve messed up in many ways. With Tola, with Yazmin, with all of you. All I have left is my word. And I wanna keep it. I promised this woman here, a long time ago, that I’ll be her husband and I’ll keep that promise today. I’ve broken one heart already today; I can’t break another. What type of father would I be to my son if I go around treating women less than they deserve? Yes, Tola slept with Jide but that was only because I screwed around too. She is not this person you see here. A lot has happened between us to get her to this point. It never used to be like this. She was my best friend and was constantly there for me. I loved her and though, I don’t feel that way now, I know we can get back what we lost. I have forgiven her for what she did with Jide and I’m ready to start all over but we need your blessing – again.”

“I don’t approve.” Daddy shakes his head. “I’m sorry, son.”

“Dad, please. Your permission means a lot to us. You’ve been in my life from the first day. Don’t leave me now.”

We all look daddy’s way. He is still shaking his head.

“You want to build your home on a faulty foundation, Chukwuemeka, and I won’t allow it.”

“Daddy, please.” Tola is out of fake tears now. I think I see genuine regret on her face. I’m not sure. The girl is hard to understand.

“No.” daddy gives his final word. He stands again and begins up the stairs. Mommy also stands.

“Lawrence,” she calls, “it’s not like she committed adultery.”

Daddy stops.

“Even those who commit adultery find forgiveness from those they hurt. Emeka has said he has forgiven her. Why should we stop their happiness?”

Daddy turns and locks eyes with mommy in silence.

“Biko,” she drops one last plea.

Daddy lifts his head and stares up the ceiling as if in communication to God, and lets it down in a sigh.

“Chukwuemeka, I’m doing this because of your mother.”

“Thank you. Thank you, mom.”

“Get up, Omotola.”

Emeka helps Tola up and she rushes into mommy’s arms for a comforting hug. The old woman blesses them in prayer, removing any curse that looms over them due to their sins. She calls on God to make them fruitful and prosper the work of their hands. Daddy’s prayer is less extravagant, but he gives his blessing, nonetheless. I’m amazed and touched by this family’s love and forgiving spirit. I don’t think my family would do the same if they were in their shoes. This makes me love Jide more, knowing he has such awesome parents.

“Okay!” Kalu lifts his hand to check the time on his watch. “I think we have a wedding to attend.”

“Before we leave, Tola, there’s one more person you need to apologize to. And from today, you are not allowed to call him by his name. He is either Uncle Jide or Brother Jide or Dede or just De.”

“Yes, ma.” Tola nods and presents herself to Jide in a meek manner. “I’m sorry, Uncle Jide.”

Uncle Jide keh. After knowing each other carnally. I’d like to see how things go from now on. The whole thing still makes my head woozy.

“And please, I beg all of you,” mommy adds, “that what has been revealed here today does not leave this house. This should be one family secret that we take to our graves.”

We all agree with her. As Kalu directs everyone into waiting cars outside, Jide strolls to me. I turn my face away.

“Are you still vexing?”

“I am. Everybody seems to have had a taste of you, except me. I’m supposed to be smiling about that?”

He laughs and takes my waist. I push him away.

“Stop fronting jor.”

I ignore him as I head for the front door. He follows me and forces his arms around me from behind, lifting me off my feet. I squeal. He leaves wet kisses on my neck and shoulders, right in the presence of daddy who doesn’t seem impressed by the brazen display of affection.

“That is how you people will doing now,” he grouches. “After una go say una no wan do again. Na only God go judge all of you.”

Jide lets me down and we join the others outside. Kalu has us in the backseat of Oba’s car. There’s a cousin in front with Oba and they kick off with some gossip about some family member while Jide and I carry on our PDA.

“Have I told you how gorgeous you look, smoochie? Like I seriously want to eat you, right now.”

“Stop teasing, Jideofor. You’re such a tempter.”

He grins wickedly and pokes me in my sides. I can’t help but scream.

“Do I park the car and we wait outside till you guys are done?” Oba asks but Jide motions to him to face the road, and then he goes for my lips. Oh, sweet paradise on earth! This man is such a good kisser.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

tola

Tola got what she wanted at last. I hope she’s happy. Despite all the drama, tears and heartbreak, the traditional and white weddings are going down in history as the weddings that shut the city down. Did I mention that Emeka and Tola have a lot of influential friends? I didn’t know, being that I’ve been away for five years. Tola’s younger sister, Morenike, who is the manager of a multi award-winning rapper made sure she literally dragged the entertainment industry to both events. Then let’s not forget Novocaine Knights and the job they did as event planners. They have become so much of a household brand that people just pop up anywhere their name is mentioned and since the weddings were not strictly by invitation, the reception halls were packed to the rafters.

Honey and I have a good time, especially at the second reception. She loves to dance as much as I do, and we make the most of the dancefloor. At some point we are so lost in each other, the world around us just disappears into fuzzy colors and distant music. She alone is alive in my vista and for a passing moment I look into her eyes and see the woman I saw in my dreams while I was on my sickbed.

But like I said, a passing moment. Everything comes back to reality when I spot Mary being led by Reno out of the reception hall. She is limping and I can see blood gushing down her left leg. I hand Honey over to Bobby and leave the hall. I find Reno and Mary by a tap outside. She has her leg under running water.

“What happened?” I ask. Mary looks down. She doesn’t reply.

“Some idiot cut her with a sharp metal he was carrying.”

“Let me see.” I bend down. Mary pulls her leg away. “Let me see, madam.”

I take the leg and notice that it’s a deep cut.

“You’ll have to stitch this. Does it hurt?”

“Like hell.”

“Pele. Reno, abeg you fit use your car carry her go hospital?”

Reno apologizes. “You know say I suppose don dey work by now sef.

“I can handle myself.” Mary sits on a slab nearby.

“Handle yourself, how? You can’t even stand. Let’s not forget the risk of a tetanus infection.”

I stretch my neck to peer out the street. It’s already dark and I doubt that we would easily get a cab out there. I remember Oba had parked his car where he can access it later with no troubles. I tell Mary to wait while I go get him. Luckily, I find him yarning with some chick in a corner, just outside the entrance of the hall. He hands me his key, the look on his face telling me to handle my shit by myself. I stall. I’m still very uneasy behind the wheel but I don’t want to bug anyone else. I look at Mary; she is in a lot of pain. I breathe in and make the brave decision to take her to the nearest hospital after telling Oba to inform Honey of my whereabouts.

We get into Oba’s car. Mary looks at me as my hand shakes when it aims for the ignition. She touches me.

“You can do it, Jide. Just blank out that night.”

She doesn’t understand. I can’t blank out the most dreadful night of my life. I had experienced the type of horror one only watched in movies. I saw death coming and could do nothing about it. I recall Ezinne’s screams and how she ordered me to start the car as a trailer out of control sped towards us. But my hand had frozen over the ignition and I couldn’t move a single muscle. The last I remember hearing was her hair-raising scream before we got smashed into by the trailer. I can never forget that night. This is my first time behind the wheel since the incidence.

Mary’s hand squeezes mine. “Start the car, Jide.”

Still shaking, I turn the ignition and the car fires up. I can hardly feel myself breathe as I put the car into gear and slowly ease it out of its parked spot. It is with nerve I steer it through the tight street and unto a freer highway. At first, I drive like an old man who can’t see the night clearly but with Mary encouraging me to let go, I ease up a little. Still, I’m not sure I can do this another time.

“That’s a hospital,” Mary points out her window at an imposing structure in front of us.

“It’s a General Hospital,” I respond.

“I don’t care. Let’s just go in. I can’t stand this pain.”

I find a parking space in the hospital premises and help Mary in. Unfortunately for us, we have come in at a wrong time. An accident that had just occurred down the road with a lot of casualties has taken most of the doctors on duty. Mary and I are forced to sit and wait. Even the nurses won’t attend to us after we register.

“Let’s go somewhere else. I’m sure there’s a private clinic around.”

“I’ll wait,” Mary insists.

And so we wait. For the first time in our friendship, we have nothing to say to each other. I feel Mary wants to bring up the incidence that has put this wedge between us but she’s too nervous. And I don’t want to talk about it either.

“Nurse!” I call a nurse passing by. “How far nau? My friend is bleeding here!”

“Ehen? You didn’t see other people waiting? Or is it because you’re wearing shine-shine we should answer you first?”

I frown. She is a disgrace to my profession. I’d like to tell her that but I try a different tactic as I go after her.

“Excuse me, nurse.”

She stops and eyes me. “What is it! I’m busy, abeg! ”

“I know that. And that’s why I’m asking if it’s okay to dress and stitch my friend’s injury myself? I’m a certified nurse and midwife.”

She looks at me from top to bottom, claps her hands together and laughs. “Nothing wey I no go hear for dis place.”

I take out my wallet and pull out my ID. Curiosity erases her earlier expression and she gives me a second look. I put out my charming face that has nothing to do with a smile. She melts.

“Midwife keh.” She smiles. “This is new o. Oya come this way.”

She leads me to a room where she hands me a tray complete with everything I’ll need to fix Mary’s leg. At the same time she checks me out and becomes self-conscious when she decides I’m hot enough to spark something in her. Side note: I’m not that hot.

“You can bring your friend here.”

“Thanks.”

I rush out and return with Mary. The nurse has forgotten that she’s busy as she hangs around to see if I know what I’m doing. By the time I begin cleaning the wound, she mutters to herself and disappears.

“Jide…” Mary winces.

“Yeah, boo.”

“I’m sorry for what happened.”

“Don’t break your head over that morning, Mary. I’ve forgotten it.”

“Seriously, I didn’t know what I was thinking.”

“Sex, maybe?”

She laughs. “Okay. Yes, that.”

“It would have been a disaster afterwards if we did it.”

“I guess so. Or we would end up falling for each other.”

“I already have fallen for someone else, Mary.”

“I know. I’m just saying.”

“But you were willing to throw away your vow of celibacy just to have me?”

“I didn’t make any vow but I’m not making any excuses for what I did either. I screwed up.”

“Okay, this will hurt, boo. Little Ms. Bitchy Nurse didn’t give me any local anesthesia, so bite on my shoulder or something. I’m about to stitch you up.”

Mary rests her hand on my shoulder and I send in the needle through her flesh. She groans.

“That sound is so sexual,” I tease to ease her pain. She laughs and hits me. “Is that how you would have been moaning if we…?”

She lets out again as I make another stitch but this time she is less loud.

“You’re just a wicked soul, Olajideofor.”

“I know, boo. I’m sorry but I’ll forever tease you for that dangerous stunt you pulled because I know one day you’ll get over this silly crush and find a better man.”

“It’s that supposed to be consoling?”

“It should.”

“It isn’t.”

“I know. By the way, nice peaks.”

She pulls my ear; I drive in the needle mercilessly. She screams. I think I hit a really sore spot.

“Sorry.”

I finish the work quickly but neatly, and then I cover the area to prevent infection.

“One last ouch,” I say as I prepare a tetanus shot for her. “Left arm, please.”

She turns but I can’t get to the spot on her arm that I need to inject. “Can I unzip your blouse?” I ask.

“Yeah, torture me some more.”

I smile unnoticeably as I unzip her to let her sleeve down.

I administer the shot. “It will hurt for some days. Please, don’t rub it.”

“Okay.”

I let the zip up again. “Feel better?”

“Yeah. Thanks, Jide.”

“You’re welcome.”

I clean up the mess I’ve made in the tray and turn to see the nurse and two of her colleagues at the door, staring. God knows how long they’ve been standing there.

They all smile at me. The first nurse comes with a file and asks me to fill details of Mary’s treatment, after which she signs her own name. She scribbles on a medication leaflet and passes the leaflet to Mary. As we leave, she asks for my number. I don’t want to be rude, so I give her Honey’s.

“I’ll call you,” she promises as we walk away.

Back on the street, we hit traffic. I start to worry about Honey worrying about me. I would call her but my phone is in her purse. I ask Mary for hers; she tells me she’s out of battery life. We endure the traffic and talk while music plays on the radio. By the time we get to the reception venue, almost everyone is gone. None of my family members are present. I take Mary home and go to my parents’ to drop Oba’s car. There’s a little party there and they invite me to stay but I tell them I need to rest. They inform me Honey left about an hour ago.

I hitch a cab home. As usual, there’s no electricity. It has become the norm in my area these days. As I hike up the stairs, I grumble to myself about being too lazy to service my overworked generator. I let myself into the house and I’m welcomed by the fragrance of scented candles. Honey is not in the sitting room. I find her in my bedroom which is illuminated by candles and moon rays streaming in from one of the windows. She is lying beneath the covers and for a second I think she’s asleep but she stirs.

“You’re back,” she says, without turning.

“I’m sorry, Honey,” I say as I take off my clothes. “Mary got injured and I had to take her to the hospital where I ended up treating her myself. On our way back, we ran into traffic and by the time we got back to the venue, everyone was gone. I’m really sorry.”

Honey stays silent. I sit on the bed, unable to resist the beauty of her silhouette beneath the covers. Without asking, I slip in behind her. I hear her let out a naughty giggle. It isn’t until my hand mistakenly brushes against her nude butt that I realize she is completely naked.

“Honey?”

She turns around and kisses me.

“I thought nudity was not allowed,” I remind her.

“The thing is,” she says, drawing lines on my chest, “I’m leaving for London tomorrow night.”

My brows pull together. “Why?”

“I got a letter from management at work. I’m to come and face a disciplinary panel to explain why I assaulted that woman.”

“Didn’t they already do that?”

“No.”

“But they’ve already suspended you nau. What else do they want?”

“Just normal procedure. The bad news is that I might get my job back and be asked to resume immediately.”

There’s some sadness in her voice.

“Actually, that’s good news, Honey.” I gawk at her lovely face. The glow of the moon gives her a subtle radiance.

“I don’t want to go,” she confesses. “When will I see you again?”

I pull her into my arms; she lifts her head to search my eyes. She wants an answer to her question. I have nothing to say except that I’m going to miss her. I brush my lips over hers gently; my hands feel the smoothness of her bare skin. It is not good for my sanity. I disengage from her clutch and leave the bed. She laments with a moan that drives me directly into arousal.

“I’m sorry, smoochie. I just can’t. I…”

My voice vanishes instantly as she sits up in one swoop and throws the covers off her chest. This is the first time I’m seeing her breasts. Oh sweet lawd! I’m in love!

I’m a tit man. I was breastfed for two years and my mom said from then on I had this habit of grabbing boobs until my dad caned the addiction out of me at the turn of my fourth birthday. Well, he caned the body but not the soul. I still remain loyal. And this is my adulation of my girlfriend’s double D’s—voluptuous, rounded, taut, jutting, heavy, achingly swollen and throbbing. And her nipples—plump, flushed, peaked, pulsing, and of course, waiting. Who knew there were such pleasures beneath all the bras and clothes?

Ladies, my advice to you: STOP. WEARING. BRAS. Really, stop.

“You know I’m leaving tomorrow,” Honey purrs coquettishly and rises to a kneeling position, exposing the lower part of her beautifully-sculpted body. I take two as my eyes fall on her clean-shaven V. I try to look elsewhere. No, actually, I don’t.

“Why are you doing this to me, smoochie?”

She thrusts her lips in a dangerous pucker that snips the last strand of my resistance. My mom’s counsel echoes in my ears but only faintly. Right now, all I want is a dip in Honey’s pot. I dive into the bed and take her down with me. She squeals but I shut her up with just a touch. She hums and purrs all at once, the sound driving me wild.

“Oh, Jide…”

She bites her lip and drives her fingernails hard into my skin.

“How long has it been?” I ask, my lips between hers.

“Two years.” She’s breathing hard, shivering at each touch.

“Oh, you’re so going to get it.”

I kiss my way down her body. It’s going to be a long night. Tomorrow she’ll be gone and I’ll face the four walls of my loneliness again. How do I stop myself from the emptiness that will fill my days? This woman has brought so much meaning in my life in such a short time. Is there a way I can keep her with me?

She giggles. I’ve touched a sensitive spot.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes and squeals again. “I’m sorry. I’m just so sensitive.”

I stop what I’m doing to stare at her. “Don’t go.”

“What?” she lifts herself up on her elbows.

“Honey, don’t go. You hate that job. You hate the life. It’s taken so much from you and it’s about to take us too. Don’t go.”

“Oh, Jide.” She holds a fistful of her hair and falls back on the bed. “Let’s not talk now. Please! Or I’ll rape you!”

“You said you wanted to start your own travel agency. Kalu can help you with that. There’s no business on this earth he can’t set up.”

“Okay, good. I’ll talk to him but for now, please no more words, Jideofor Onuora.”

She drags me back and locks her legs around me. With hot kisses and ravenous strokes of my aching bulge, she silences me. We devour each other like wildlings. Beneath her sweet, calm exterior is a dirty, sassy lover who takes me and my nastiness without baulking. Her waist is a dangerous tool that undoes me in so many ways. I’m usually not this intense with a woman. Sex, before this, was skillful, yet empty, a way to fill lonely nights that were always plagued with insomnia or nightmares. There was never intensity; it was always detached. But in Honey I don’t need to impress. I close my eyes and I freefall. I don’t need to give. She takes, reaching into me and bringing out that part I have long buried. Nobody needs to tell me I’m in love again.

I hold her tight when we’re done.

“I love you, Jide,” she says in a slur as she shuts her eyes in sleep. I doze off after her and wake up at the rise of daylight. She’s still in my arms. If only there’s a way I can merge her soul with mine and keep her with me.

I hear a sniffle. I pull back and look into her face. She’s sobbing. I say nothing. There has to be a way to keep us together and I’ll find it.

Mom, you’re wrong about this one. Nobody can take her away from me.

jide

©Sally@moskedapages

Image Credits: solomonpatrick.blogspot.com, onewed.com

It’s Another Saturday…#10

Afternoon!

Just a quick notice. I realized some of you keep visiting my old blog moskeda.wordpdess.com. Well it doesn’t exist anymore. To search for me on Google, add moskedapages to lead you here or you might end up in 360nobs where I also write. Also the lounge has been open for a while. The private posts can’t be viewed by anyone except me, so don’t think I’m giving special people access.         

Just make this place your one stop for all moskedapages stories. 

Thanks! 

And now here’s a fresh episode of It’s Another Saturday

   The Bride Wrecker

Dele’s wife can be a pain in my ass sometimes. How can one be on the phone for three hours talking about nothing but asoebi, gele and designer clothes? And I dare not tell her I’m sleepy or she’ll give me the silent treatment for a whole week. I have to sit and listen to her patiently. God bless me if I don’t have an opinion about Vera Wang or Chanel. She’ll go “I don’t know how I’m even friends with you. You’re just anyhow.

“Anyhow” means that I’m not stylish. But everyone knows I am. She just likes making me feel inadequate when it comes to my fashion taste because I’m finer than her.

“So how far with Dele and you people’s fight?” I ask from nowhere, cutting off her un-ending gripe about Caitlyn Jenner.

She hisses. “He’s not talking me. Since yesterday. Just because I told him that if he doesn’t give me the money for my business, I’m going to borrow it from elsewhere. He now started raking that he knows I want to ask my ex. I told him to stop shouting like a market man. He sparked and walked out of the house. He’s not back yet. Like who even cares. All I want is my money abeg.”

I shake my head. Married people and their problems.

“When he comes back, just apologize. Then get your knees dirty.”

She mocks. “Na wa o, Hon. You’re extremely horny. The way you’ve been going on about sex these past few days…”

“Abeg shut up. I’m giving you good advice here.”

“You think sex works on men like that. Wait till you get married nau. You will cook food, give brain, give kitty, wait on him hands and feet and still he will do what he feels like. A way to man’s heart is not through the places you’ve been told.”

“It’s through where then?”

“They don’t have hearts. That’s what nobody told us.”

I erupt into uncontrollable laughter. Faintly I hear a knock on the front door. This is my opportunity to zap.

“Babe, I have to go. Jide is back.”

“Wow. It’s twelve midnight already. We actually talked for three hours, bestie. Next time you’ll be the one doing the calling o. I can’t be spending thousands on recharge card like that.”

“Okay, baby. Bye…”

“Wait! How far with you and your sexless boyfriend?”

I have dreaded her popping this question. “We’ll talk next time. Byeee!”

I hang up and jolt up from the bed as I hear another knock. Did Jide forget his key? He usually lets himself in without knocking.

I hurry to the door, pumping up my breasts. I’m very dogged on my mission to get laid by him. So far, he has kept his promise not to make love to me and it’s getting me all sorts of frustrated. Just this morning, I lost my cool and told him how how horny I was. He laughed, told me he thought I sounded adorable. Then on he went and kissed me senseless, leaving me wanting him even more. How can a man be so wicked?

I open the door and thrust my cleavage out.

“Hi.”

There’s a petite girl standing before me. The seductive smile she has on her face disappears when it meets my frown. I stare down at her. She’s wearing this very transparent tank top that makes no attempt to hide her attention-seeking nipples. The view is so bad I can tell that the color of her areola is dark copper red. She is also wearing the smallest skirt I have seen on a female other than a stripper.

“Jide is not in,” I reply her greeting.

“Oh. He told me he was home. I’m his neighbor; I live upstairs.”

“Okay. Well, he’s not in. Is there any reason why you’re here?”

“Yeah…” She shifts her eyes uneasily.

“I came to erm…borrow pressing iron.”

“Pressing iron,” I repeat. “But there’s no light. Or do you have light in your house?”

“No. I was planning to use it in the morning when they bring the light.”

“Why don’t you wait till then to borrow it?” I suggest as politely as I can. I see her struggling with a comeback and tell myself I’m unnecessarily being a bitch.

“My name is Honey, by the way. Jide’s girlfriend.”

“I’m Ele.”

“Do you want to come in?” Curiosity invades my mind. “Looks like you can’t sleep. I can’t, either. And I need company.”

“Erm…”

“I’ll pop champagne,” I say sweetly. She smiles and I let her in. As she walks past me, I check her out. Not bad.

I turn on a rechargeable lantern and we sit with our glasses of champagne.

“So for how long have you been sleeping with Jide?”

Champagne spills from her mouth. I wait for her to clean the mess without taking my eyes off her.

“We’re not… There’s nothing between us.”

“Come on, Ele. See how you dressed up to come and ask for pressing iron.”

“Seriously, we’re not doing anything.”
I pierce her eyes.

“Okay. We were having sex but the last time was like three weeks ago. I swear I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. He never told me.”

“So you guys haven’t done anything lately?”

“No. We’ve not even seen for two weeks now.”

“Okay. I believe you.” I take a sip from my glass. She puts hers down.

“Can I go? I have to go out early tomorrow.”

“Just one more thing. Can you describe how you guys do it? In detail.”

She looks at me like I’ve gone mad. She stands. “Please, can I just go?”

She guns for the door and is out before I can say one more word. I hate myself for what I’ve just done. This is my dark side – the jealous, untrusting, possessive girlfriend. Jide doesn’t deserve this side of me. He’s the awesomest boyfriend ever. In the beginning, I was very certain that we’d be hitting the sheets in the first few days and had gone ahead to play the seductress, but Jide pretty much did everything loving boyfriends do without going down south. In a disturbing confession while we were both baring out issues that could stand in the way of our relationship, he revealed that he had slept with an alarming number of women. He refused to give a figure and told me it was for my own sanity. However he assured me that he was done with his past and was in no hurry honeyofor1to get in my pants. In his words, “I want it to be special when it happens.”
Anyways I gave up tempting him for some days and simply enjoyed the moments we spent together, which wasn’t so hard. The truth is Jide makes loving him very easy. He begins each new day with a new pet name for me and then he would find some untouched place on my body to kiss without being immodest. His touch always leaves me weak, from the manner in which his hand caresses me awake every morning to the moments when we sit cuddled up and he trails his fingertips over my palms and kisses them afterwards.
Somehow he knows nerve-endings on my skin that I never even knew existed.

And then he’s playful too, just as I am, and sometimes we get really rough until someone ends up getting hurt. For example, a week ago I gave him a swollen lip during a pillow fight and had to compensate with a foot massage afterwards. He fell asleep in the process and I stayed awake watching him and wondering what it was about him that made me so invested in my feelings. Afterwards I freaked out that things might go terribly for us. I’ve always been unlucky in love, having all my exes cheat on me unapologetically. Hence, I’m scared that this won’t last, and this was why I resumed playing the seductress a couple of days ago. I need the assurance lovemaking brings. If Jide can be so affectionate without sex, imagine how much loving I’ll get when he eventually makes love to me.

I finish the whole bottle of champagne in an attempt to drown my frustration. I find no respite. I go to bed and sleep it all off.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

mexmex2

Jide’s family is going all out for this wedding. The souvenirs alone cost them a fortune. All morning I’ve been packaging customized tokens, all of which are designer label. No one souvenir box has the same set of gifts. Kalu’s wife, Elsie, joins me halfway and lifts the burden off my shoulders a great deal. She is chatty and pleasant but very observant of everything around her. She keeps me entertained with stories of the family and about how she never used to get along with Mommy. She describes the old woman as being difficult then. Somehow through the years they learned to accept and love each other.

“Jide’s her favorite,” Elsie mentions, “so you’re lucky that she likes you. She didn’t like Ezinne.”

This is the third time that name has popped up since I began dating Jide. I once asked him about her and he explicitly told me she was a topic he was never going to discuss. I know she’s dead but I’m more interested in knowing about who she was when she was alive.

“Ezinne was a video vixen. God! She was sexy as hell. I was even envious of her at some point. She had the perfect body. Sculpted.” Elsie describes with hand gestures. “Nne was very sure she wouldn’t stay faithful to Jide. She preferred his ex, Tarela. In short, everyone wanted him with Tarela, including his friends.”

“Why?” I ask as I place a pair of bling coffee mugs in a souvenir box.

“Ezi was snobbish. Very stuck-up. And her parents weren’t even that rich. She was so hung up on her beauty. Guys were toasting her up and down and she was treating Jide like shit. They were constantly fighting over it.”

“And Tarela?”

“Worse. Crazy, possessive bitch. But none of us knew until she came to Jide’s birthday party and slashed her throat in front of everyone.”

“Oh my God! Did she die?”

“No.”

“Where is she now?”

“Only God knows.”

Elsie and I continue our work in silence. I have more questions to ask but Mommy has just joined us at the table to have a late breakfast.

“Honey, when it’s your turn, we’ll do a lot more than this for you and Jide,” Mommy promises.

“Calm down, Nne,” Elsie tells her. “They just started dating.”

“I know. But I am very certain that they’ll walk down the aisle this year.”

“This year?”

“Why not?”

Elsie shrugs. I simply maintain a plain expression.

“Mommy?”

We all turn. Tola has appeared at the doorway in her nightgown. She’s wearing a pale face.

“How are you, angel?” Mommy asks.
“Come over.”

Tola walks to her and pulls a chair to sit beside her. She rests her head on the table and I see tears spill from her eyes.

“Aww, my daughter,” my mom rubs her back. “You should stop crying. God gives, God takes away. He will give you another baby in due time. Just put the past behind you and thank God for giving you a husband and a family that loves you. Jesus will perfect all that concerns you in time.”

“Emeka has been acting cold towards me. As if I intentionally lost the baby.”

“Tola, be patient with him. He’s under a lot of stress.”

“Me nko? Are we not going through the same thing?”

“I know, my daughter. I know. Just be patient.” She takes her hand. “Come let me make breakfast for you.”

“I’ve eaten already.” Tola sits up. “Can you please ask the maid to come and help me pack my things? My aunt is already scolding me for not being at home.”

“Okay. I’ll tell her. Still, come. I want to show you something.”

Elsie and I watch as mother and daughter-in-law leave.

“Interesting,” Elsie mutters. “It’s ironic that Tola has charmed everyone in this house except the one person she should be charming.”

I smile.

“Why do I have this feeling that the miscarriage was fake as was the pregnancy?”

I reply nothing.

“Well, it’s their business.”

Elsie is about to launch into another family gossip but Jide and Kalu walk in, carrying the items requested by the Adeniyis for Tola’s engagement to Emeka.

“You got everything?” Elsie asks.

“Yeah,” Jide replies and looks at me. He winks. I have not seen him all day.

“And the bride price?”

Jide passes an envelope to Elsie. “Ten thousand dollars. All complete.”

I almost drop what I have in my hands.

“Why is it so much?” I ask. “That’s almost two million naira.”

“It’s not much,” Kalu says. “Ask the madam that is sitting next to you how much I paid on her head.”

Elsie bats long eyelashes at him.

“Besides, Emeka is inheriting half of Tola’s father’s hospital, so it’s good investment in the end.”

“But I feel like when families ask for so much money as bride price, they’re literally selling their daughters.”

All three of them disagree. “See it this way,” Jide contributes. “The higher the bride price, the more treasured the bride. When you go into a designer shop and get an expensive dress, you don’t treat it anyhow. It’s the dress that you spent next to nothing on that you easily forget.”

His analogy makes sense but I hold my argument. “A man who has spent so much on a designer item and ends up not getting his money’s worth is going to feel cheated in the end.”

“You have a point,” Elsie concurs.

“Anyways, in the Yoruba culture, the bride price is not just for the bride alone. It’s for children and elders and wives in the family. Several envelopes are given.” Jide explains. “Which is no different from how the Igbos do it. Although, with the Igbos, what the different age groups are given may not necessarily be money. Every group demands its own list of items.”

“How is it done in your side, Honey?” Kalu asks me.

“It’s not quite different, really, although the list is not much. However, people are beginning to demand as much in bride price as the Igbos do.”

“I guess it’s a Nigerian thing now. Times are hard.”

We all laugh. Jide comes behind me and delivers a kiss on my earlobe. I shyly push him away. He drags me up on my feet and asks that we be excused. We go up to his room where he has me pinned to the wall and my lips loved by his. I want him badly but I put a lid on my urges.

“I missed you,” he tells me as he makes circles with his finger on the small of back.

“Me too.”

“I was very busy at work. But I’m free for the entire weekend and we’ll have mad fun.” He bites my lower lip and kisses all the way down to my collarbone where he stops and pulls away. I sigh in displeasure. He’s hiding a very healthy boner which I have just felt.

“I want to take a shower,” he informs me and turns towards the bathroom.

While he showers, I try, for the second time, the outfit I’ll be wearing for the traditional wedding tomorrow. I look really dashing in it. Mommy’s tailor is badass. I admire myself in front of the mirror for a long time. The moment I take off the clothes and I’m left in nothing but my bra and thong, Jide steps out of the bathroom. He pauses for a second and then walks past me to the wardrobe without a word.

I’m miffed by his reaction but I don’t react. I slip back into my dress and sit on the bed to stare at him. I’m going to be honest here, I find Jide tantalizingly hot. He’s not ripped per se but he’s fit and very masculine. Then he has this thin coat of fine hair over his body that my hands can’t get enough of. And of course, he’s packing as well. I haven’t seen the goods yet but I can tell that he’s not a little boy down there.

“You’re not going to lose me to another man if we have sex,” I blurt out.

He spins around to look at me. I hate the amused expression he has on.

“I love you, Jide. I know it’s too early to say it but I think what I feel is love. I’ve only felt this way once in my life, so I know I’m for real when it comes to my feelings for you. I’m not going anywhere, so don’t be afraid…”

“I’m not afraid.”

“Then why won’t you make love to me?”

“Because, Honey, sex is not everything in a relationship. And I thought we were having a good time. These past two weeks have been amazing. You’re more than heaven to me right now. Sex will just ruin everything.”

“It won’t. We’ll love each other more.”

“That’s a gamble.”

“It’s not fair!” I lose my calm. “Am I
not attractive enough?”

“Haba! Don’t talk like that.”

“Then what is it? You find it easy sleeping with other girls, including your next door neighbor.”

His countenance drops. Oops! I shouldn’t have brought Ele up.

“What did you just say?”

“Nothing,” I reply but change my mind. “No, it’s not nothing. I feel cheated. You can sleep with Ele and any other girl out there but you won’t touch me? It makes me feel unwanted and unattractive. If my boyfriend can live in the same house with me and nothing happens between us, then I’ve failed as a woman. And it also means he might be getting it elsewhere.”

Jide is cut by my words. I can see that in his eyes. He takes a while to speak.

“Should I be worried about you?”

“Worried about me? How?”

“Do you have trust issues?”
I know Ele has said something to him.

“Ele called you, right?”

“You didn’t answer my question, Honey.”

“Yes, I have trust issues but I’m seriously working on them. The thing that happened with Ele… I’m sorry. I just… It won’t happen again.”

“Ele and I are over, Honey. I made it clear to her several times but she’s stubborn. When she called me last night, I lied that I was home. I wanted her to come and see you because she thinks I’m one of those guys who keep sidechicks. I expected you to handle her maturely.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You actually did handle her the way she deserved but I can’t say the same about the way you’re treating me right now.”

“Don’t make this about you, Jide. I’m the one unsure of where I stand in this relationship.”

“So you think sex will secure a place for you in my heart?”

I avoid his eyes. He sits beside me and tilts my chin up to gaze into my face.

“You’re not going to be a statistic, sexy legs.”

“You’re sure you’re not sleeping with someone else?”

“I’ll never do that to you.”

I force myself to believe him. If this relationship is to go anywhere, I guess I’ll have to trust him.

“No half-naked girl will show up at the door again?”

He laughs. I don’t find it funny. My mind has already conjured images of him going over to Ele’s place to have sex with her while I wait downstairs like a faithful housewife who gets none from her man.

“No more surprises, sexy legs.”

I stare at him fixedly. I really do want to believe him.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You dey lie abeg!”

I sip my beer and smack my lips as the cold liquid streams down my throat. My friends do not believe I have not slept with Honey. Bobby is the only one who takes my word for it.

“Bobby, you don see the babe?” Reno asks.

“Yeah.”

“Yes, he has,” I reply.

“How person go get dat kain woman for house and hin no enter am? Jide, you dey lie!”

I simply smile and sip my beer again. It’s Emeka’s bachelor party, organized by his friends. Emeka seems to be having a blast. It’s good to see him in his element.

“But I no understand you, Jydo,” Ibro speaks up. “Why you no wan touch the babe?”

“It’s simple,” Bright replied. “He doesn’t want to make her a bride.”

“Oh!” they all exclaim at the same time, and then make fun of me with unnecessary jibes. I give my alcohol my full attention.

“That’s not my reason,” I say.

“Wetin come be your reason?” Reno queries.

“It’s personal, guys. Switch topic abeg.”

I seriously don’t want to have to explain to anyone that the main reason I’m not sexual with Honey is because I’m on a journey to claiming back my self-control. I have probably slept with more women than the average guy has. It’s something I am not proud of, a history I want to quickly forget. What I’m building with Honey will not be belittled by mere physical pleasures that fade away so easily. I want to know her inside-out. It’s sad that she doesn’t trust me enough to see that what I feel for her comes from beneath the surface. If she gives me time, she’ll get all of me, heart and body invested. Right now, I’m only halfway there.

“But how does it feel?” Shady asks.

“How does what feel?”

“The no sex thing.”

“Fun actually. We eat out, go to the movies, take walks, read to each other…”

“Which kain storybook waka be dat?” Reno butts in. “Una no dey kiss?”

“We do.”

“Romance nko?”

I laugh. “Yes, I dey touch her everywhere apart from the places wey I no suppose touch.”

“You sleep on the same bed?”

“Sometimes.”

“And nothing happens?”

“No.”

“You no dey get hard-on?”

“I dey get nau. I be spirit?”

“I for say.”

They are all staring at me as if I’m from a different galaxy.

“This is the Jide I know.” Bobby puts his hand on my shoulder. “The Bridemaker guy, I don’t know.”

“It’s true!” Shady exclaims. “I remember you were platonic with Ezinne as well! Sotay we come dey suspect say na she no wan give you because she get another guy outside wey she dey service.”

The table goes silent at Shady’s journey back into a past that no one wants to revisit. He gets that he has just blundered; he tackles the topic at a different angle.

“So it’s a mutual decision between you and Honey?”

I nod. There’s no way I’ll share with my guys how horny my Honey is. I find her pent-up sexual frustration very entertaining. Apart from her trust issues, I see no offense in her behavior. In fact, it’s the flavor to the whole thing. I particularly enjoy the moments she acts like she’s doing nothing when in fact, she’s arousing me senseless. She has no idea how much I want her.But these past few days my feelings have taken the lead. Her roots are plowing deep into my heart. I suspect that it would take pain to uproot them.

“Well, cheers to you guys,” Bobby lifts his cocktail glass. “May you find happiness as we all have found.”

We raise our drinks to his toast.

“How about Mary?” Bright asks me but before I answer, Bobby interrupts.

“Ehen! Thank God say you bring up the matter! I been wan ask all of you for this table wetin enter una head wey una dey plan to hook Jide and Mary up.”

“My brother, I tire. Help me ask them.”

“To me, Mary is a better option,” Bright states. “She is well-mannered, humble, respectful, your closest female friend, so she knows you well, then she come love you on top and she’s approved by the wives.”

Bobby hisses. “Abeg!”

“Wetin come be your own?”

“It can never work! Mary is not Jide’s type, physically or otherwise. Jide needs woman wey go give am stress. Mary too goody-two shoes.”

“Ah! She’s not o,” I object. “After the stunt she pulled at my place?”

“Oh!” Shady laughs. “Very hot, juicy stunt. And my guy come fuck up.”

“What stunt?” The others want to know. I’m quite surprised that Celia didn’t tell the other wives. Perhaps Mary asked her not to.

“What stunt nau?” Bobby asks again.

“She stripped naked and asked me to…”

They don’t let me finish as they rend the atmosphere with their whoops.

“Iz a lie!” Ibro is the most stunned. “Our own Mary Amaka!”

“I swear.”

“So how was she?” Reno inquires.

“Dude, no vex. I no try my craze. E never reach dat level biko.”

“But how she look? She set? Is that body a figment of my imagination?”

“No. Babe is banging o. I swear. Curves in all the right places, man. But I wasn’t even half turned on. Apart from the fact that I see her as a sister, she’s not my type.”

“Abeg, no lie! You were turned on.”

I refuse to argue with Reno. He is half-pervert, half-degenerate for the most part of each day. And when he’s not, he’s giving his wife hell.

The discussion goes on about Mary for a while, then it morphs into single women and then, some other topic.

The night drags on and I worry about Emeka. By this time tomorrow, he’ll be Tola’s husband. Is this what he really wants?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Where is Chukwuemeka?” My father’s booming voice takes me away from the conversation Bobby has engaged Shady, Reno and I in.

I look up to see the old man walking down the stairs in his expensively-embroidered Isiagu. On his head rests his traditional red hat that marks him as a man of title and importance in Igboland. It is in such rare moments like this I look at him and I’m proud to be his son.

But this is not a good day to be proud of anyone in the Onuora family. All hell is about to let loose and I don’t know whether to blame Emeka or myself.

“Where is your brother, Jideofor?”

This time it’s my mom asking. We are all set to go to the Adeniyis for the traditional wedding. Everyone is present, including family and friends from afar; even an entire Igbo musical troupe is ready to herald our arrival at our in-laws’ residence in style, but Emeka is nowhere to be found. My tummy does a flip as I recall the last conversation I had with him a week ago.

“I slept with Tola,” I had confessed to him. We were in my house, playing FIFA over cold beers. Oba, who has recently developed a baby crush on Honey was in my room with her, sharing stories about his life.

“Which Tola?” Emeka asked me, not taking a break from the game. He was on a winning streak.

I stopped the game myself.

“What other Tola do you know?”

“My Tola?”

I picked out the huskiness that shaded his voice.

“It happened at Bobby’s wedding after-party. I didn’t know who she was, I swear. But she knew me. She said it was revenge sex for what you did with her cousin. I’m sorry, man.”
Emeka continued the game in silence.

“Mex, talk nau.”

“And say what? You want us to swap stories, like how good her head skills are or how she moans?”

“Jeez! No. I just wanted to know if you believe me that I didn’t know who she was when we shagged.”

“JD, forget that we’re brothers. You’re my homie, the only person, apart from Nne, that I trust with my life. Besides that sef, I know what Tola can do. She lives on revenge like one Mexican soap queen.”

I breathed in relief and listened for more but Emeka switched off and went back to the game.

“So the wedding is cancelled?” I asked.

“Cancelled keh. I told you I already made up my mind.”

“Mex, you don’t love this chick.”

“And who says I’m marrying for love? Who does that these days?”

“You have to be kidding me.”

“Jide, bone. I don’t think I can love any woman in this world.”

“So you’re resigned to the way things are.”

“Yeah.”

“Mex…”

“Die the matter. I’m marrying Tola. In a twisted kind of way, we fit each other.”

I couldn’t argue with that. It was a hard pill to swallow but I took it like a man and began getting used to the fact that Tola was soon going to be a constant feature in my life, which is why I’m quite surprised at this new twist. Where the hell is Emeka?

“Jideofor!” My dad’s walking stick strikes the floor as he calls my name. I tilt my head in his direction, showing my blankest face. “Where is that idiot boy?”

“Why is everyone asking me? Didn’t we all see him last night?”

“Yeah,” Bobby replies. “He was at the bachelor’s eve.”

Female voices filter into the sitting room from the kitchen. Honey and Elsie appear and I get temporarily distracted. Honey is dressed in the aso-ebi the family is using. She has this long, red skirt of deluxe lace, a gold-colored blouse and matching gele. Her wrists and neck are adorned with my mom’s beads. She looks like a million dollars and I fear that she might steal Tola’s shine today. With a smile in her eyes, she looks my way. I don’t return the smile but she understands through my stare that I appreciate what I see. For a brief moment we are cut off from the atmosphere around us that has become dense with my father’s angry words. He’s threatening hell on Emeka and my mom has that look on her face that usually comes before she goes hysterical. Everyone else is pretending to be composed.

“Daddy, calm down,” Elsie says, trying to keep still her eight-month old daughter who wants to be let down to the floor. “I don’t think Emeka will do anything that will disgrace this family. I know he’s around the corner somewhere. Let’s just give him time.”

“Time? It’s past eleven. The ceremony began an hour ago,” Kalu replies in exasperation. “And you know Yoruba people don’t do African time with their in-laws at their weddings. They can send us back or fine us heavily for coming late.”

“Well we have no option but to wait for the groom,” Elsie states. “It’s not like we can go to the Adeniyis’ without him.”

“I just hope he’s okay,” my mom mutters.

“He’s fine,” I assure her.

She asks for a drink of water to calm her nerves and just as Oba steps into the kitchen to get it, a car charges into the compound in a manner that gets everyone’s attention. I take a peep to see that it’s an SUV with tinted windows. Before I can guess who is behind the wheels, Tola steps out in her complete bridal attire but without shoes. She slams the door hard and marches towards the house, screaming as she guns for the front door.

“Where is Jide?!”

I know this is my day of reckoning. My sins are about to catch up with me.

“Jideofor! Where are you?! Ode buruku!”

She barges in and comes straight for me. The next thing she does shocks everyone and leaves me with a ringing ear. Damn! For a girl she can slap.

“Omotola, what has gotten into you?” my mother comes to my rescue.

“He slept with me!” Tola reveals and then croaks in a heartbreaking sob. All I can do is stay silent.

“And then he told Emeka not to get married to me!” she continues. “How can you be this wicked, Jide?!”

I can’t believe she’s playing the victim card.

“You deceived me into sleeping with you and then you ruin my marriage?! God will punish you! You and that bastard Emeka!”

Time freezes for everyone in the room. They are all staring at me and I’m wondering why. Last I checked, it takes two to tango or more like tangle in this case, so they should be staring at the whistle blower too.

I look Honey’s way and I see dread darken her beautiful face.

“Is it true, Jideofor?” my mom asks.

“It’s true, mommy!” Tola responds.

“Shut up!” my mom barks and faces me with inflamed eyes. “Did you sleep with your brother’s wife?”

I try to speak but I can’t find my voice.
“Jideofor!”

“Mom, it’s not the way she’s making it out to be.”

“Oh my God.” My mom takes off her gele and buries her head in her hands.

“Jideofor, why?” Elsie murmurs.

“It wasn’t like I went after her knowing who she was. We…”

“It’s a lie!” Tola screeches. “You knew! You’re just a sick human being! You can’t control yourself!”

God help me not to slap this girl silly.

“Can you just shut up let me talk?”

“What else do you want to say after ruining my life?! What else?!”

She’s holding her chest pitifully, drawing sympathy to her side. I look at Honey; she has wet eyes. She wants me to tell her what she has just heard isn’t true.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper. A solitary tear makes its way down the corner of her eye and she leaves the sitting room. I turn and stare daggers at Tola, my anger mounting. If I lose Honey to this her latest madness, I’ll make her life miserable. These past two weeks have been the best in my life in a long while because I’ve been blessed to spend it with an amazing woman. I will not let anyone stand in the way of my happiness with Honey.

I ignore the judgmental glares and my father’s irate tirade at me and go after the woman my heart wants. The whole world can burn for all I care.

©Sally@moskedapages

Image credit: weddingelation.com, tumblr.com

It’s Another Saturday…#9

The Challenge

“You never called…or answered my calls.”

Honey is standing before me in a little white dress. She is sporting a different hairstyle from the braids I last saw her in. This weave leaves her with short bangs that fall on CT  the sides of her face, almost covering her right eye. Her lips are a soft, pink shade matching the blush she has on her cheeks. A pair of yellow flats adorns her smooth, long legs and I catch myself staring longer than usual.

“Jide.” She has this understanding smile on her face.

“Hi,” I say for the second time, returning the smile as I walk to her. Her scent pulls me closer. I want to reply her accusation but my tongue feels heavy. She had called me twice last night and I was too busy to either take the calls or call back. I apologize, take her hand and lead her back to my office. When I shut the door behind us, I lean on it and gawk at her some more. I’m fighting with my words. They want to adore her and say things that I rarely say to women.

“Talk, Jide.”

I finally speak up. “I want to let you know that I’ve missed you, Honey. I didn’t know how to handle the fact that you were constantly on my mind. I felt out of control. One minute I didn’t know what I was feeling about you and the next minute I’m falling hard. Just like that. What have you done to me?”

“So you missed me,” she says in a whispery tone.

“Yeah.” I want to kiss her so badly. “How have you been?”

She shrugs. “So, so.”

I put my hands on her waist and pull her close like it’s the most natural thing to do. There’s an irksome voice telling me to tread carefully because I know nothing about this woman. Well, I don’t see how that information is helping me right now.

We both go silent. We are at the start of something new but it seems we don’t know how to get in. Some people kick off a relationship with sex, some with a direct proposal but Honey and I unsure of how to proceed.

“What do you feel for me, Honey?” I ask. “And no Shakespeare dramatization, please.”

She giggles and I think it’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a grown woman in a while.

“I’m crazy about you, Jide.”

“How much?”

“If I tell you, you’ll be scared, so let’s just say I like you a lot.” Her hand rests on my chest and she straightens my shirt. I have a feeling this woman will treat me like a king. I smile as I recall the rush of starting something new and exciting, and how it’s always paralleled to none.

“Can I kiss you?” She makes a shy request which I don’t respond to with words. I simply tug her closer and taste those lips I’ve been dying to have for a whole month. They are still as soft as I remember. I make love to her mouth by nibbling and teasing, taking pleasure from the soft caresses of her lips. It is meant to be a short kiss but it lasts for a while. When we pull apart, I give her that snuggle I promised over the phone. And oh, she smells divine!

“Am I going to share you with other girls, Jide?” she asks. I try not to think of Ele and the other two who have been features in my life over the past weeks. They are as good as done. It’s not even a hard decision to make; I’ve always been a one woman type of guy. Once my heart is captured by someone, I have eyes for only her.

“No, it’s just you, Honey.”

There is a knock on my office door.

“Who is it?”

“DOM, sorry for disturbing  you. Erm your intercom is not working…”

“Yeah, what do you want?”

“A patient needs to see you, sir.”

“I’ll be right out,” I reply the nurse outside the door.

“What is DOM?” Honey asks.

“Director of Midwifery.”

“Hmm…boss.”

“But not the boss of you.” I pinch her nose. “You’re my oga now.”

She moves away from me. “Are you going to be long?”

“No. Please wait for me.” I offer her a chair and leave.

It’s the fastest ward round I’ve ever done. I return less than thirty minutes later and suggest we go somewhere for breakfast after we share another intense kiss.

We have breakfast in a café nearby. She orders for fries while I take pancakes that don’t taste as good as my mom’s. I don’t mind, though, I’m listening to Honey retell me how she got herself suspended from work.

“You should sue that chick.”

“Jide, I’m from a country that is homophobic, and I slapped an influential lesbian from a place where homosexuality was just legalized. Who will listen to my case?”

She has a point.

“Sorry about your ordeal. But on the bright side, you have new clothes and six weeks to be with me.”

“You and my dad.”

“Tell me more about your family.”

She tells me about them. They’re not completely Nigerian. Her mother was half-Eritrean and half-Shua Arab. This explains Honey’s light skin tone. But her shapely figure is fully Nigerian, of Urhobo descent from her father’s side.

We touch on other topics before coming back to the subject of our relationship. I’m realizing that she’s the type that likes things spelled out; unlike me, I just go with the flow. She wants me to reassure her that I’ll be devoted to her. I make no promises yet. I don’t want us to rush things.

“I hope you’re not staying in a hotel for the entire time, though,” I enquire.

“My rent expired ages ago, so hotel it is.”

“Why not come stay with me?” This is not me trying to get into her pants. I’m just concerned about the hotel bill she will accrue.

My request makes her smile. “Thanks for the offer but…”

“I’m not trying to sleep with you. I gave my word once and kept it, didn’t I?”

“Jide, we’re so going to do it if I stay with you.”

“Really? You think I can’t control myself?”

“I didn’t say that. What I mean is that the chemistry is strong. We both won’t be able to control it.”

“Trust me, we can.”

“We can’t, Jide.”

“Okay, me I’m challenging myself not to have sex with you.”

She laughs. “Impossible.”

“Honey, I’ve kept a platonic relationship before and I can still do it. Just trust me.”

“Hmm… Kissing, smooching, spooning and cuddling nko?”

“Spooning and cuddling? Haba! Even the pope cannot resist. But kissing and touching are allowed.”

“You can handle that?”

“Sure, I can.”

I see the disbelief in her eyes. It mirrors my own uncertainty.

“Well,” she says, “I love the challenge because I’m not ready to be a bride yet.”

“Oh, come on! You too?”

She cracks up. On my face is an expression of amusement but inside I’m brooding on the matter. I’ve always pretended that the Bridemaker stuff never bothered me but secretly it did, and it still does. And that’s why Honey’s body will stay in the confines of my fantasies and not my bed. I don’t want to know her that way yet. I’ve had enough sex to last me a lifetime. She won’t be treated like the others.

“So, deal?” she asks.

“Deal.”

A mischievous smile is on her face. I’m curious about it but she assures me it’s nothing. We talk until twelve noon and just as we’re about to leave, she vacates her side of the table and sits beside me and takes a selfie. I steal a kiss when she is not concentrating. She pushes me off half-heartedly and I poke her side in a tickle. She squeals, jumping to a start. I stare at her. I can get used to this. It’s been so long since I’ve been this free with a female in a non-sexual setting.

I poke her again. She jumps off the seat and I pull her to my laps where I mercilessly tickle her until she begs me in tears.

“I just found my favorite past time. You’re so dead.”

She turns her face to mine for yet another kiss. It’s a quiet café; no one bothers us.

“Let’s go and see my parents,” I suggest. She gladly agrees.

On our way, we stop to get some red wine for my dad and a basket of fruits for my mom. When we get to the house, Tola and my mom are at the dining area, deep into wedding plans. Emeka is seated at one end of the table, moody like a black cloud.

anothersaturday360nobssad-blackman

When my mom spots Honey, she grins and calls her over. Honey gives her a hug and is offered a space to sit beside her. I hang with them for a few minutes before going upstairs with Emeka. I ask him to update me on his twisted love life. The last time we spoke he had told me Yazmin couldn’t come over because her father wouldn’t let her. The man insists that Emeka gets married to his daughter in Mexico once the baby is born, and both of them are to live there and not in Nigeria or even in the States.

“The poor girl is shattered,” Emeka informs me. “All the stress has gotten to her, thanks to her old man. But I just have to travel for the birth of the baby. The only issue is that Tola says I can’t leave until we get married.”

“When is this wedding sef?”

“In two weeks.”

“I thought it wasn’t until two months’ time. Why is no one updating me on these things?”

“That’s what I’m telling you. Everyone in this house is scared that if I travel I won’t come back. That’s why they’re rushing things. Me I’m just here looking at them. Nne is excited, Popsi has started telling everyone his son is getting married to an Adeniyi. You know how he is.” Emeka sighs tiredly.

“This is serious.”

I can’t believe Emeka is going to tie the knot. I know he doesn’t want to but he is so scared of my dad that he can’t do otherwise. I’m really worried about him and his contentment. Already, he looks depressed.

“You don’t have to do this, Mex.” I sit beside him. “Didn’t you listen to anything Kalu told you the other day? What’s the worst that can come out of this? Popsi disowning you? He won’t even try it. We got your back. And Tola, she’ll move on.”

“The girl loves me, Jide, and I think that’s all that counts.”

“How can you say that? How about how you feel?”

“Does it matter?”

“You will cheat on her like it’s going out of fashion once you get married, Mex. Is that what you plan to do? How you want to live as a married man?”

“Everyone cheats, Jide. Every single married man cheats. If not all the time; then at least, once. See popsi for instance.”

I look at him. “What did popsi do?”

“Oh, nobody gisted you?”

“Gisted me what?”

“When you were away, Nne left this house for like almost four months. At first we didn’t know why. It was later Aunty Chinazor told Oba that it was because Nne found out that popsi cheated like twenty years ago. There was some university chick that popsi used to take to one hotel then. I don’t know the details sha.”

But I do. I remember the time. 1995. I remember the woman’s face and I remember how I found out. I was in secondary school then. Reno, Shady and I were in our SS3 and misbehaved a lot. We always snuck out of school to attend parties and such. On this particular occasion we ended up in Reno’s uncle’s hotel, a place we always frequented. We were with our girlfriends. Reno hooked us up with one of their best suites that had a double room. The problem was that the walls in that hotel were thin. One could easily hear anything happening in the next room if its occupants were loud enough. And that was how we were hearing this couple have really loud sex. The lady was screaming her head off. It was entertainment for us. We jibed and called them names the entire time. When it all went silent, we continued our own little, private party. We were out of cigarettes and I volunteered to get some. The moment I stepped out of the room was the same moment the couple was stepping out of theirs. I don’t know why that night I didn’t ignore the voice that was telling me to turn and stare at them. I obeyed it and when I turned, I was staring into the face of my own father. In his arms was a much younger and curvier girl.

We were both shocked but neither of us said a word to each other. He walked right past me and I recall catching a fever at the spot. I was my mom’s favorite, the one everyone called her daughter, so you can imagine the kind of anger I bore for him from that day. Later he gave me a stupid explanation, the type Emeka just gave now, that every man cheats. Afterwards, he bribed me constantly, giving me everything I asked for without questioning. I forgave him when I grew up and discovered married life is a lot more complicated than two people just saying their vows to each other. Nonetheless, I still believe there are men out there who remain faithful to their women; and I want Emeka to be one of them.

“Wait o, JD,” Emeka calls my attention, “you think Kalu is not cheating on Elsie?”

“He’s not.”

Emeka laughs.

“Is he?” I ask.

“I haven’t caught him but that his born-again, over righteous acting no dey fool me.”

“No, he’s not cheating,” I maintain. “And he’s really born again.”

Emeka keeps quiet and his laughing face disappears really fast. It’s so unlike him. He is truly disturbed over his dilemma. I don’t know why he wants to subject his future to even more unhappiness.

“Just break Tola’s heart now, once and for all.”

“My mind is made up, Jide. They all want a wedding, they’ll get a wedding. I hope it makes all of them happy.”

I can see he is resolute on his stance. I won’t speak further but I won’t let him ruin his life. I make plans to discuss with Tola.

Noticing Emeka has withdrawn, I give him some space as I go back downstairs. My mom has smiles for me as I join her and Honey in the kitchen.

“What’s the grin about?” I ask. The woman looks at Honey and back at me.

“When is you people’s own wedding date?”

“Jeez, ma! What are you talking about?”

“She forced it out of me, I’m sorry,” Honey apologizes.

“What are you sorry for?” My mom scolds. “I would still find out. Jide tells me everything.”

I nod in confirmation.

“I’m happy for you two. When I met you, Honey, I knew my boy will fall hard.”

I tickle Honey. “You naughty girl, you told momsi I’ve fallen hard?”

Honey squirms while laughing. “No o! She figured that all on her own.”

I peck Honey on the lips and my mom doesn’t object.

“I invited Honey to come stay here but she wants to stay at her friend’s house instead,” the old woman reports as she puts a bowl of rice under running water.

“Yeah… She’s um… staying at her friend’s.”

A look passes between Honey and I. My mom doesn’t miss it but she says nothing.

“Mommy, I’ll always be here,” Honey promises.

I ask to be excused again and go in search of Tola. I find her in one of the guestrooms. She opens the door when I knock and a smile fills her face.

“If it’s not my hot brother-in-law.”

Her sassy look has returned. She purses her lips sensually and lets her gaze lower to my midsection.

“Have I thanked you for making me a bride?”

“Don’t rejoice yet.”

I shut the door and turn the key in the lock. Her carefully-shaped brows twitch in pleasure.

“You’re crazier than I thought, Jide. Under your parents’ roof with our partners around. Ooooh… come here, hotness!”

Her madness has returned too.

“Cancel the wedding,” I order her.

“Excuse me?” She stops.

Cancel the wedding.”

“Is that why you came here?” Her countenance drops like a boulder from the sky.

“You’re not pregnant.”

I don’t miss the apprehension that flashes in her eyes.

“What does that mean?”

“It means what it means, Omotola. You are not pregnant.”

“Okay, you just have to leave my room. I’m irritated now.”

I stun her by marching towards her, slamming her slim frame on the bed and pinning her hands down with my knees. She struggles but can’t break free. I proceed to feel her tummy for a ten-week fetus that is supposedly there and just as I suspect, I find nothing.

“I said it. Nothing here.”

“Jide, don’t be stupid. You forget that I’m a doctor. It takes lot more to determine if a pregnancy exists or not.”

I free her and get off the bed. “You are going to tell Mex that you’re sorry, and that the wedding cannot go on because you lied about the pregnancy.”

She mocks with a sinister laugh. “I will marry Mex and there’s nothing nobody can do to stop me.

“You’re not listening, Tola. If you don’t cancel the wedding, I’ll tell everyone we had sex.”

“You’re just so stupid, Jide. Add delusional to your spite. Do you think anyone will give you an award for revealing the fact that you screwed your brother’s fiancée?”

I don’t have words for her. My mind is set on exposing who she really is and saving my brother from a huge mistake. I know I’ll lose a few hearts to this but I can’t sit by and watch Tola ruin things for Emeka, knowing I can do something to change it.

I march to the door, unlock it and stride out of the room. Honey and I hang around for lunch and leave at the appearance of dusk. In the cab back home I seek her counsel over Emeka’s issue.

“If you’re sure he’s just marrying Tola to please everyone, maybe you should call the family together and talk to them. In the end, parents want their children’s happiness. I don’t think mommy or daddy would be that difficult to soften. The only problem would be Tola sha. From her plans, she’s investing everything into the marriage.”

“Wedding. Not marriage. She just wants to be a wife badly. She doesn’t love Emeka.”

“But the way she was talking about him…”

“Trust me, she doesn’t love him.”

Honey doesn’t comment further on the topic. We stay silent in the cab and I busy myself creating goosebumps on her skin as she slowly drifts into sleep. She seems really tired. When we get home, I give her the privacy of my bedroom and go back to the hospital. On my way, my mom sends me a text, asking me to use a condom. I simply smile. Meddling, old woman.

On arrival at the hospital, I’m taken to see a woman who is supposed to have a caesarian section due to some complications but she insists on having the baby vaginally. I am called to help her through the process. I beg her to opt for the surgery but she declines, claiming God had revealed to her through her pastor that if she climbed the operating table she would die.

Being that she is already in labor, the doctors advise that I commence on the birth process. We begin and it takes us a grueling period of ten hours. Finally the baby comes and is pronounced dead by me a few minutes after delivery. The woman goes hysterical. I’m sad by the turn of events but there’s nothing anyone can do. I get set to go home after punishing myself in my office for a long time, going through the unfortunate incidence over and over and asking myself what I would have done differently to save the life of the baby. On my way home, one of the nurses at reception stops me.

“DOM, that woman died o.”

I spin around.

“What woman?”

“Your patient. The one that her baby died.”

I go cold.

“How did that happen?”

“Pulmonary embolism.”

“Oh God,” I groan and settle into one of the waiting benches.

“DOM, it’s not your fault. The woman was stubborn. With her weight, she should have listened to what they were telling her. I’m sure while she was pregnant she was sitting in one place for a long time. That alone can lead to an embolism. And you know the risk is higher with women who just gave birth.”

I recall writing in her file that her blood clotted too fast, asking that the gynae in charge take note. It might be that the woman passed away based on the reasons the nurse noted but I have a feeling there was a pre-existing medical condition which we all missed because we were sidetracked by the complications before us then.

“May she rest in peace sha. And may God punish all these fake pastors that keep causing the deaths of their members with their fake prophesies.”

I add an amen to that before I leave the hospital. I take a bus home. When I get into the compound, I find Ele outside where the water tank is, busy on her phone, wearing nothing but a short bathrobe. I ask her what she’s doing there.

“Oh. Free WiFi. The reception is strongest here. By six they’ll turn it off until twelve in the afternoon.”

I shake my head and enter the building. She tags along. When I get to my floor, she tries to follow me in. I stop her.

“Ele, no.”

“Why? You’re tired? I’ll give you a massage.”

“No. My girlfriend is in.”

“Girlfriend? Since when did you have a girlfriend? Is it the tall one I saw you with last week? Or is that other darker one?”

“No. This is my girlfriend exclusively.”

“When you say exclusively, what does that mean?”

“It means you and I are done.”

She places her hand on her chest. “You just broke my heart, Jide.” She tries to touch me but I move back.

“I’m serious.”

“But I have a boyfriend too na.”

“Since when?”

“Since like forever.”

“And you never told me? You want one small boy to come here and break my head?”

“Relax. He’s not in the country. And he’s not a small boy. He’s thirty-eight.”

“Thirty-eight? Why do you like older men?”

“Why else?” she fixes her glare on my groin area. “Sugar daddy things.”

“You’re so unserious.”

“So you’re saying no more us?”

“Yes. Stay in your house.”

“Aww, it’s not fair o. Anyways, this is what you’ll be missing.” She unties her bathrobe and exposes her nude body. I turn to my door.

“Bye, Jide.”

I insert my key into the keyhole.

“Wait…”

I angle my head at her.

“My boyfriend proposed to me over the weekend.”

My hand freezes.

“Just out of the blue. On the phone he gives this long speech about love and drops the question from nowhere. And I’m like all that one is just talk. Me, I want a ring on my finger. Platinum, preferably, because it is stronger and will hold the diamonds much better than white or yellow gold. But that’s not the point, Jide. Should I commit to him since I’m not ready to leave Nigeria yet? I don’t want a long distance marriage.”

“I believe there are websites dying to have people like you write in to seek their advice, Ele. Email them.”

“You’re just so mean.”

“Bye.”

I enter my house quietly and stop for a second to brood over the fact that Ele has now joined the list of women I’ve made brides. This makes solid my decision not to have sex with Honey. I don’t want to lose her to someone else.

I walk in and find her sleeping in my bedroom, the door wide open. She is wearing a silky nightgown that disappears under the duvet covering the lower half of her body. I have the urge to snuggle in with her but I fight it and move back to the sitting room where I fall on my favorite couch and go to sleep.

I wake up a few hours later, to the sound of upbeat music coming from the television. It is neither loud not irritating. In fact, I’m beginning to doze off again when my eyes catch a feminine form in front of me. It is Honey. She is in black gym pants under a fitted top. Following the movements from an aerobics instructor on TV, she does squats. I want to take my eyes away but I remember that she’s now my girlfriend and no one will fine me for ogling.

She switches to another routine. In this one, the instructor is asking her to spread her legs apart while her hands rest on the floor as she angles herself at 45°. And then she has to commence this twerking movement from nowhere. As in, is the instructor conspiring with Honey to give me a hard-on this morning bikonu? Which kain wahala be dis? Person cannot even sleep in peace again.

I listen to the voice of the Lord, telling me to unlook. I turn my head and slam a throw-pillow over my straining boner. I don’t know what type of wahala I’ve put myself into with this stupid no-sex challenge. It’s going to be harder than I imagined. Only the devil knows the type of thoughts flying around my head right now. God forgive me.

“Hey you!” Honey calls. I look at her. She is facing me and she has that mischievous smile again. It is only now I understand its meaning. She’s bent on making me break my promise to her.

“I know what you just did,” I tell her.

“What I just did?” She asks innocently. “Oh, the aerobics. It’s something I do all the time.”

“On the plane? Up in the air?”

I catch her right there. She releases a guilty smile.

“Just trying to keep fit.”

I point a finger at her but utter no words. She leans over and kisses me, her cleavage in my face.  The sweet smell of her perfume mixed with her sweat intoxicates me. Jeez! This is going to be harrrd. Who sent me message?

“I’m going to have a shower,” she announces and walks away. Well, since I can’t sleep again, I follow her, and stop at the bedroom door, asking permission to gist her how last night went while she showers.

She agrees. As she walks into the room, I take a discreet photo of her backside. I will need it for later. Meanwhile, I’m thinking maybe she and I will have to go through that our agreement again and re-negotiate the terms because I don’t think I can last one more day having her walk around the house like this. She will just have to be wrapped up in a blanket anytime I’m at home.

As I ponder on this, I get a text from my mom.

I had a dream last night, Jide. Please pray. It’s about Honey. She’s your wife but the devil wants to take you from her like Ezinne. Pray against it. And please my son, don’t sleep with her or you’ll lose her. Please pray.

I go through the text again. She used the words ‘please’ and ‘pray’ three times. Interesting.

The old woman dreams a lot, especially after going to bed worrying about issues that don’t concern her. First she sends me a text about using a condom and now, it’s that I shouldn’t make love to my babe. I’m sure before she slept last night, her little head was panicking over her precious Honey being taken by another man the moment I make love to her. Don’t worry, ma, I have no plans to turn her into a bride.

No, but seriously, who am I kidding that I won’t touch Honey? Help me judge, abeg, Am I to unlook when I have this walking up and down in my house?

anothersaturday360nobsyogahoney

©Sally@moskedapages

Image credits: www.informationng.com, tumblr.com

It’s Another Saturday…#8

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The One Who Makes Me Cry

It’s been three days since I last heard from Jide. He has tried getting through to me but I have given him the cold shoulder. Before then, we had communicated really well for over a month via all the social networks and through phone calls. Gradually, we had drawn close and he had even given me the pet name Sugar Lips. It’s not like we have declared love for each other; we just know there’s something there. Or so I thought. Turned out I was building a sandcastle. The problem started when he and I were having one of our phone conversations and I heard a girl in the background. It was supposed to be 2am in Nigeria. What was a girl doing with him at that time of the night?

He told me blankly that she was a friend with benefits. I asked him why he was doing such a thing. He said because he was an adult and could do whatever he felt like. He wasn’t even apologetic. Was I jealous, he then asked? I lied that I wasn’t but I also failed to tell him I was pissed. Giving him a very curt goodbye, I hung up and haven’t kept in touch since.

I have some flaws, I must admit. The worst being that I can’t trust men. Dele’s wife and my dad have often begged me to change. I have tried but I’ve been unsuccessful. The irony is that with me being away most of the time, I still expect the man I love to remain trustworthy and loyal to me. The first inkling I get that he’s unfaithful, I’m done with him. I’ve been told that my head is in the clouds. One of my exes even called me a Disney princess. Whatever. I want my own Prince Charming, my one true love who will walk me into the sunset and give me my happily ever after. I thought Jide was the one. Turned out I was dreaming. I’m still mad at him. And yes, that’s another flaw of mine. I know how to keep a grudge.

My day has begun terribly, and I know it will get worse. I’ve been through different states of mind over Jide’s sexual indiscretions, not sure what to make of his behavior. I fear that all he wants from me is sex. My head tells me it’s commonsense to forget about him but I just can’t. He has sipped into my system in a way no other man has. Right now I’m holding my phone and hoping he’ll call.

“Honey, the captain wants to see you,” a steward informs me. I nod and put my phone away. We’re doing our pre-flight organization, making sure everything is in place before the passengers get onboard. I am not in the mood to speak with any pilot today. In fact, I’m not in the mood for anything.

I walk to the cockpit and find the door open. The moment I step in, it shuts behind me and I get pinned to it by a man I have sworn to have nothing to do with.

Before I protest, he covers my lips with his, giving me this very sexual kiss that brings back a lot of memories I have buried. I try to push him away but I can’t. He kisses on as one of his hands begins to feel my breast. I struggle and break free.

“Nonso, what’s wrong with you?!” I push away from him, stabbing his chest with my open palms. He moves closer again but I stop him.

“Hey, Hon.” There’s a slutty smile on his face. I can’t believe I used to turn to water at that look.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m back.” He laughs.

“I thought you quit.”

“Well, I did but now I’m back.” He takes my waist again and crushes into me. “Back to us for good. My divorce is now final. God! I missed you! Can you feel how much?”

He is referring to his excited penis that is poking me presently. Back then I would have hungrily gone for it but right now, I’m disgusted. I give him another jab in the chest and aim for the door. He pulls up behind me. One hand grabs my breasts and the other lifts my skirt.

“Nonso, stop! I’ll report you for harassment!”

I try to turn but he pins me hard to the door.

“Stop!” I scream and hit the door. I am so mad right now.

“Okay, calm down. I’ll stop.” He takes his hands off me, but not before squeezing my nipple. I turn around and give him a resounding slap. He grabs my hand and pins me to the door once more, making sure to cage my legs as well because he knows I’ll aim for his balls next.

“You’re angry, you’re mad. It’s understandable and I’m sorry, honey bun. I really am. I just had to sort myself out; that was why I left without saying anything. You said you didn’t want to share me with her, so I did the right thing and now I’m back for us, back to make things work.”

This guy doesn’t understand that our love boat sailed long ago. I have cried my tears and asked God for mercy over sleeping with someone else’s husband. I still feel so ashamed of myself for everything I did with Nonso. Both of us called it love then and blamed it on the loneliness in the skies. But it was just pure lust. I told myself I wasn’t hurting his wife and kids, that what we shared had nothing to do with them; and that the demise of his marriage was because of his demanding job. However, inside I knew I was part of the waves that wrecked his marriage. This, I admitted only after he disappeared without explanation.

Now he’s back and wants to lead us down the ruins of our wickedness? No way. Not me. I’ve lived clean for almost two years. I can do well without him.

“Nothing can work between us, Nonso. I don’t love you anymore.”

His grip on my hand weakens. Confusion creeps up on his face.

“Honey…”

“I found someone else, Nonso. Two years was enough time for me to realize I was a husband snatcher and a home wrecker. God will not forgive me if I build my happiness on an evil foundation.”

“Honey, I’m a free man. It’s not evil or wickedness to be with me.”

“Just stop talking trash abeg. We’re through. Step away from me.”

To be honest, I don’t know what is giving me the nerve to speak to him this way. He used to be my only weakness and one of the few men I could trust because he was always with me. I remember times when guilt hit me in the past over our affair and I’ll tell myself not to give into his advances anymore, only to melt at just one smile or touch. Now, I feel absolutely nothing for him. This is what loving Jide is doing to me.

“Who is this new guy?”

“Step away from me, Nonso.”

He sees the seriousness in my eyes and slowly frees me. I straighten out my outfit and walk out, hoping to God he doesn’t crash the plane out of frustration.

Oh well, the flight doesn’t go smoothly. No, Nonso doesn’t do anything stupid. It is the passengers this time. It is one of those days when all the dickheads decide to be on the same flight. Since they boarded, I’ve been fighting to keep my patience. Now, I just can’t take it anymore. I am about to have a nervous breakdown. I just saw a teenage couple making out in the back and the girl has the effrontery to ask me to be on the lookout to make sure no one comes their way.

Nothing wey person no go see for the hands of this opinion people. I’ve asked them to go back to their seats but they want to make a row. Sleeping passengers are waking up and turning our way. I’m exhausting all my professional options. All that is left of me is to slap some home training into them.

Okay that did it! The girl just called me a bitch and the boy is using racist expressions. I’m about to give them both an earful but my colleague steps in and asks to take them off my hands. I move up to first class, glad to meet more cultured people, only to have some randy lesbian bitch put her hand up my skirt after asking me to pick the pen she intentionally threw to the floor. I lose that last ounce of my cool as I shoot up, swivel round and give her a slap that makes the one I gave Nonso look like a joke. The entire cabin wakes up to find the chick crying and threatening to sue me and the airline.

I know I’m losing my job, that’s for sure. And I know this will make the news. I can see the headlines now: Homophobic Air Flight Attendant Slaps Lesbian Daughter Of Prominent New York Designer.

My bosses will have my hide. Lord help me.

I turn to her and apologize before dashing out of the cabin. We get to New York an hour later. Nonso is by my side as I wait in my boss’ office. He tries to hold my hand but I don’t let him. I eventually ask him to leave after we have been kept waiting in the outer office for five hours. He promises to call me later. I wait another hour before my boss appears and calls me in. The man is like an uncle to me but I don’t think he can save my head from going under the block.

“I’ve done all I can, Honey, but I’m afraid you have to go on suspension for a whole month, without pay.”

“Sir, she put her hand up my skirt.”

“You have training on how to react in such situations, Honey. You’re always the cool one, the most patient. What ruffled your feathers this way?”

“I don’t know. Just a bad day,” I respond, wishing Jide wasn’t getting benefits from some friend or that Nonso hadn’t returned. Both men are partly responsible for all that happened today.

“What you did can cost us millions of dollars in lawsuit.”

“I’m sorry.”

“The story is already out there and I don’t know if I can secure your job when you get back from suspension, if you’ll even get back.”

I feel tears pool up in my eyes.

“Fortunately for us, you can save us money and time in court if you go and see her. She wants a personal apology.”

My tummy churns. “She’ll rape me,” I complain.

“Honey, that’s our only choice not to screw this company up. She can’t rape you. Just visit her father’s beach house in the Hamptons, have lunch with her, kiss and make up.”

Kiss and make up? This man throws jabs when my job is at stake. I let my breath out. I know that chick is going to sexually harass me and no one will do anything about it. What type of nonsense job is this?

I leave my boss’ office so helpless. I need to talk to someone. I call Dele’s wife but her number is not available. I sit out in the lobby and try another friend. I can’t reach her too. The next person on my mind is Mommy but I refrain from calling her. I don’t want to load my problems on the poor woman who has her own family issues to deal with.

I hitch a ride to my hotel where I shower and change into a pair of unflattering jeans and a plain tee. I step out of the hotel to see a chauffeur ready to take me to my abuser’s home. We begin my journey to the Hamptons. The sun has just risen up on this side of the world.

When I return, I’m pissed. The trip was just like I imagined it would be. The chick had her hands all over my body the entire time and afterwards, gifted me a whole rack of ridiculously expensive clothes, shoes and lingerie which were my perfect fit. She had me feeling like an escort.

anothersaturdaymoskedapages

I get into my hotel suite and erase the memory of my encounter by trying out the new clothes. It’s better than sitting and brooding over Jide and my job which I may soon lose.

“Abeg use the time to come visit me jare,” Dele’s wife says when I finally get through to her line.

“I will. I’ll also go and see my dad.”

“How about your omo Igbo?”

I don’t give a quick answer. I don’t want to talk about Jide.

“I’ll see him too.”

“Okay.”

We touch on other topics. Actually, I listen to her tell me about her husband’s demands to have another baby. She’s not happy about it. She wants to start a business or she’ll lose her mind existing as a stay-at-home mom. She has a feeling Dele doesn’t trust her to remain faithful to him once she’s out there. I don’t trust her too. She used to be horniness on two long legs.

She rings off after advising me to never give up my dreams just to please a man. I put my phone away and start thinking how fickle women can be. The other day she willingly gave Dele her entire life without flinching, just so she would be counted as a missus.

My suspension letter comes in via email. Six weeks without pay. I have an instant headache. The last time someone was suspended for that long, she never returned. I want to cry so badly. I need a shoulder and a soothing voice to tell me all is well.

I pick my phone, swallow my grudge and call Jide. He answers.

“Hi Honey.”

At the sound of his voice I break down. He patiently waits on the line until I can speak. I relate to him my sexual harassment story and subsequent suspension.

“I’d hug you now if you were here with me,” he says.

I blush in the privacy of my hotel room. Jide is such a Romeo. He likes to pretend that his charming ways come naturally but he knows exactly what he is doing.

“Take a flight back,” he requests.

“Why?”

“Because I want you here.”

The words are enough to put me back on the next plane to Nigeria. And that is exactly what I do the moment he hangs up.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I spent all my money, bought a big ol’ fancy car

For these bright-eyed honeys

Oh yeah, you know who you are

Keep me up till the sun is high

Till the birds start calling my name

I’m addicted and I don’t know why

Guess I’ve always been this way

All these roads steer me wrong

But I still drive them all night long

All night long

 

All you young wild girls you make a mess of me

Yeah you young wild girls you’ll be the death of me

The death of me

All you young wild girls no matter what you do

Yeah you young wild girls I’ll always back to you

Come back to you ooh-ooh-ooh

 

I get lost under these lights

I get lost in words I say

Start believing my own lies

Like everything will be okay

But I still dream of a simple life

Boy meets girl makes her his wife

But love don’t exist when you live like this

That much I know

Yes I know

All these roads steer me wrong

But I still drive them all night long

All night long…

“Stop the song, Celia.”

I’m looking into Celia’s mischievous face as she sings along with Bruno Mars, strumming an invisible guitar for visual effects.

“You asked to see me so we can talk. I’m here and you’re playing Bruno Mars. How does your husband cope with you?”

She keeps singing in that terrible voice of hets. It’s not bad enough that the song is speaking to my conscience, she has to croak along with it.

“We’re in a restaurant, please. Everyone’s staring.”

She doesn’t stop.

“Okay, I’ll confess!” I try to shout her down. “Honey is not my girlfriend.”

She stops. “You sly prick.”

“You asked.”

“Yeah, a month ago.” She hisses. “You just made me miss the best part of the song.”

She stops the song and pushes her phone aside.

“So what’s this talk about?” I ask.

“Mary told me you stopped talking to her.”

“Did she tell you why?”

“Does it matter why? The point is that you’re suddenly on this moral pedestal.”

“Moral pedestal? Mary seduced me in my parlor. She was completely nude. She told you that part?”

“She was drunk.”

“She was not. She was drunk the night before and I gave her my room to sleep, only for her to wake up the next morning and think she can guilt me into sleeping with her.”

“She is your friend, Jide. She wanted you. The best you could do was oblige.”

I can’t believe my ears. Celia has completely lost it.

“You see the problem with you women? You don’t help each other at all. You, Bims, Noka and Peace, you’re all not helping Mary.”

“How?”

“Stop pushing her to get married. What’s the rush for? The girl is now desperate because you shove your marriages in her face and make it look like you’re all living perfect lives when you’re not. Look at Peace, for instance. I’m sure she can’t remember the last time she slept with Reno. Or is it Noka whom Ibro got married to just because she trapped him with pregnancy and has to constantly bend over backwards to please him? Or Bimpe that is suffering in the hands of her in-laws?”

“Or Celia whose husband is stingy,” Celia adds. “Abi? Go on.”

“Behave. You know what I’m talking about.”

“No marriage is perfect, Jide.”

“I’m glad you get my point, so stop making Mary feel like she’s missing the best part of her life because she’s single.”

“All we’re saying is that you’re single, she’s single…make una two help una sef. Or…at least, you could help her get hooked to someone else.”

“How?”

“Aren’t you the Bridemaker?”

Ah! Olorun!

“Celia!”

“She’s your friend. Love her or lead her to love. You do it for others on the daily for free.”

“I do nothing. I just…”

“Sleep around like a mongrel.”

She stares into my eyes, daring me to do or say my worst.

“I think I’ve played with you too much, Cee. You don’t have respect again. You and Mary; and that’s why she’ll be stripping for me because in her mind, Jideofor doesn’t have self-control. He’ll just hop on any available vagina. No problem.”

I stand up from my chair.

“You’re vexing?”

I don’t answer her. I pick my phone and she stops me.

“I’m sorry, Jide. Please, don’t go.”

“Leave me jor.”

I’m genuinely annoyed. I walk away. She calls me back but I don’t respond. As for Mary, she should enjoy the doghouse I put her in.

Outside the restaurant I get a call from an important client. Remember the woman whose husband I told you I greatly admired? Well she just went into labor and she needs me.

My journey is taking me to the other end of town, to a quiet neighborhood and a house that imposes itself above others. But first I have to stop at home to get my medical paraphernalia. By the time I get to the client’s place, traffic and all, it’s almost dark.

There are armed guards at the gate that confirm my invitation before letting me in. I’m being led by one of them to the main house as my eyes absorb the beauty of the grounds around me. The mansion is surrounded by nature, reminding me of my family home. The greenery and clean atmosphere fills me and I find myself slowing just to inhale the air. I hear dogs barking close by and music that is coming from another side of the premises which is demarcated by a short fence. There I see another building; it is a two-storey, sturdy and of modern architecture but not as impressive as the one I’m about to walk into.

The entrance door to the house opens before me and the guard moves away to usher me in, upon which he turns back and I stand facing an elderly woman.

“Good evening, sir,” she greets. I greet back. “Madam is waiting for you.”

I am led up a flight of wooden stairs. I notice that the house is mostly structured with wood. And it is done so skillfully that one can miss it without an observant eye. We come to the top floor and the woman leads me into a bedroom that is ridiculously large and yet cozy.

“Wait here,” the woman tells me and turns back. I am left standing in the private space of my client and her husband. On the walls are photos of them on their wedding day. There’s one photo of the bride and a younger girl who looks like the groom. I come to the conclusion that the girl is his daughter from a previous relationship. My client’s medical history points that she has never had a child of her own. This is her first full term pregnancy after two miscarriages. Her husband had wanted her cared for in a better equipped hospital outside Nigeria but she had declined. She never told me her reasons why.

anothersaturdaymoskedapages2

But let me deviate… She is drop dead gorgeous. Damn! I am not crazy about curvy women but if I ever stray from my preference, I would be found in the arms of someone as beautiful as she is. Her husband is one lucky bastard; I can’t imagine the number of men he has to fight off her. I just hope she doesn’t follow the way of many women and lose her looks after childbirth. It would be catastrophic.

A door squeaks almost inaudibly and I turn in the direction of the sound, straightening myself. My client steps out in all her pregnant glory and I smile at her.

“Good evening, madam.”

“Jide.” She walks slowly. She is tired. Nine months with twins is not beans. “How are you?”

“I’m good ma. How are you?”

She sits on her bed and tells me she is having contractions.

“How far apart are they?” I ask.

“I don’t know. They’re just so painful. I thought it’s supposed to progress slowly.”

I inform her that there is no textbook manner in which babies come, especially twins. Every birth, like every pregnancy, is different.

I ask her to lie down and I check her vitals. She seems fine, no alarms. I tell her I’ll need to do a pelvic examination. She nods and prepares herself for me while I slip on a pair of gloves.

“I’m not ready for these babies o. Their father is coming back tomorrow. They should try and wait.”

I say nothing.

“Jide, are you married? I’m not sure if I’ve seen a ring on your finger.”

“I’m not married, ma,” I reply with a smile as I invade her birth canal with my fingers. She winces in pain and grasps the bedsheet.

“Sorry.”

I realize her cervix is almost fully dilated. It’s a surprise that she is still so calm. When I pull out my hand, I inform her that we have to take her to the hospital immediately. She opens her mouth to speak but she’s cut short by a strong contraction. I ask her to count silently through each breath and tell me at what number the pain peaks most.

“Five!” she gasps when the contraction passes. “Five.”

“We’ll be on our way immediately. You have your bag packed?”

She nods and points at a door. “That’s the closet. There’s a black Givenchy suitcase and a matching baby bag beside it.”

I follow her direction and walk into a quaint but classy closet. I come out with the bags and we leave. Downstairs, a chauffeur is waiting. In the car, she gets a call from her husband. She puts him on speakerphone and I’m forced to listen to her sob as she begs him to take a flight home.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. I still have a meeting before I leave. But I promise you I’ll be there by evening tomorrow.”

“It’s not fair o. You promised you won’t be doing all this travel.”

“Baby, I know. And I’m very sorry.”

She has another contraction and squeezes my knee while I urge her inaudibly to breathe through the pain. Her husband is still speaking. He’s telling her to be strong, to stop crying and remember that he loves her.

“Say that again.”

“I love you,” he repeats.

She’s nodding and squeezing my knee again. He realizes she’s having a contraction.

“I’ll stay on the phone, sweetheart, until the babies come. I’m not going anywhere.”

I see a dimple appear on her right cheek. “You will?”

“Yeah.”

And that is all she needs to pull through. We get to the hospital and I take her to the special birthing unit for women who want to experience something similar to a homebirth but having the hospital as a backup in case of emergencies. With her husband on the phone for an hour, she births a boy and a girl, eight minutes apart, both of them healthy. I hear the emotions in the father’s voice and get infected by it. He stays with her on the phone until I tell him she needs to clean up and take much needed rest. He promises to call back and requests that I send him pictures of his children. After assigning a junior midwife to bathe her, I send him the pictures and turn off the phone. My client sleeps until the next morning when I walk into her room with her babies and give her some bonding time with them.

She resurrects the topic of my love life and rather than give her the complicated version, I tell her about Honey, who has been on my mind all these weeks.

“You know you hurt her with the friends with benefits thing, right?”

“It was intentional. I wanted to scare her off.”

“Because you’re afraid of starting something new.”

“I don’t think I’m ready.”

“But your heart seems to think you are. All the words you just used to describe her are endearing words.”

“Really?” I laugh.

“You didn’t even notice. You’re so smitten. That kiss must have meant something deep.”

“Yeah, that’s strange. I thought it was purely sexual.”

“Well, the heart is not so far from the genitals.”

“That’s the thing. I’m afraid that if we get physical, I might become disinterested, and that would be bad because she’s not the type of girl you hurt. I don’t want to break her heart.”

“Let me tell you about my husband and I. It was pure sex from the start. I got into his life to seduce and ruin him, no jokes. But an empty sexual relationship turned to love and look at us today. Now I’m not telling you to just go ahead and sleep with her. I’m telling you not to see the attraction as a bad thing. Just control it and listen to your heart at all times. It’s a lot better being with one woman, sexually or not, than engaging in meaningless relationships that will lead nowhere. Trust me, loneliness can be worse than hell.”

I don’t tell her that my heart still misses Ezinne, and how I feel Honey is trying to erase our cherished memories so fast. The fear of letting go and finding out that it’s what I actually need is what is keeping me from falling in love with a new woman. But this is something I must do; it is exactly why I came back home after being away in exile. I want to start life afresh.

My phone vibrates in my pocket and I take it as a cue to leave. I inform her that I’m on my way out. She thanks me and I ask for a selfie with her and the babies.

“Can I upload on Instagram?” I request after taking the photo. It’s one of the cleanest I have taken.

“Sure.”

I upload the picture on Instagram.

“Tag me, please,” she says.

“Your handle?”

“@genesis_ditorusin.”

“Done, ma.”

I take my leave and walk to my office to have a short break before I start my ward rounds. I see that I have a text from my mom.

My love, I’ve missed you. When will you come and see your dear old mother? Don’t you miss me?

I reply that I do and promise to see her later. I rest for a while and begin my rounds. Walking down the cold hospital hallway that leads to the private wards, I’m thinking of Ezinne and Honey at the same time. I want something new; I want to really laugh and love again but I don’t want to let go of the old. How do I know what direction fate has prepared for me? Devoted Christians will tell you to simply believe in God. If he doesn’t give an answer, he’ll throw in a sign. Right now, I want both, just to be doubly sure.

“Jide.” A voice comes from behind me and makes my heart leap. I don’t want to turn. God possibly couldn’t have taken my thoughts seriously to give me an express answer. I’m sure this is some joke from him.

I shut my eyes and do a slow spin to face the woman who has just called my name.

“I thought I’d never see you again,” she says.

“Hi.” That is all my mouth can conjure up after all this time. I have missed this woman.

©Sally@moskedapages

Episode 9 comes up at 6pm. Don’t miss it!

PhotoCredit: aomosale.blogspot.com, www.agoda.com

 

It’s Another Saturday…#7

Because this is Another Saturday, I’m posting this. I don’t want it to come tomorrow.
Please comment and share, and help me wish my baby Kayla a happy birthday. It’s her birthday tomorrow, the 5th. I want to save your messages for her.
Have a blissful night and wonderful weekend ahead!

The One He Kissed

When Honey told me she could handle my friends, I had laughed in my head because I underestimated her. But now, sitting here and watching her, I can see that she is doing just what she said she would – effortlessly. Using that powerful mechanism called attraction.

The men literally are cross-eyed as she engages them in conversation. Watching her touch on every topic of discussion without acting all-conversant, and at the same time, showing she is knowledgeable enough, leaves me in awe. It is a skill she has mastered fine, the way she makes every person feel like they’re important in the conversation. It’s all in her physical and verbal expressions; peppered by that endearing manner in which she twirls the tip of a lone braid that has fallen across her shoulder from behind her left ear. Pure sex appeal!

I sit back like a boss with my glass of Bacardi and coke and watch her with smugness as she charms the pants off my friends. They are all giving me that look like ‘where did you get this babe from?’ Earlier Shady had pulled me aside to ask for details but the answer I gave him was vague because I knew he was only being Celia’s messenger.

And Celia…hmmm…

Her and her crew have regrouped in the kitchen under the guise of fixing up the small chops but I know they are poisoning the darts they plan to fire at Honey.

Oddly, they have left Mary behind. And now she vacates her chair to join me on the three-sitter Honey and I are sharing. I have a feeling the extra space has been hers all along. For a while she acts like she’s interested in the topic the guys are discussing but deftly, she arrests my attention with a single line.

“She’s beautiful.”

I turn. “Who?”

“Honey. She’s beautiful.”

I don’t look at Honey. I admire Mary instead, from head to toe. “So are you.”

She pulls at her short gown.

“I’ve always told you to dress like this and you’ve always said it was slutty. What happened today? Who’s the lucky guy you’re doing it for? Is he coming?”

“Lucky guy keh. I don’t need a man to look sexy. I can do bad all by myself.”

I laugh in a low tone. She has just used my line. “Have fun with your vibrator tonight, then.”

She hits me playfully and Honey gets distracted from her gist as she gives us a glance. She turns back immediately, to continue listening to Reno blab about his recent visit to Germany where he went to view the concentration camps.

“That was how you didn’t come for the wedding yesterday,” Mary speaks.

“Sorry about that.”

“You were with Honey?”

“Yeah.”

“How come you didn’t talk about her last Sunday when you were with me or even on Friday when I came to your office and literally spent the whole day?”

“Um…slipped my mind.”

“So you had your own girlfriend but you went and slept with Mex’s own?”

I put a finger to my lips to hush her.

“She doesn’t know abi?”

“No one knows,” I say inaudibly, “now shut up.”

Mary seems upset. She opens her mouth to continue her interrogation but Celia and her horde emerge from the kitchen, trays of small chops in their hands.

“Food! Finally!” I exclaim and spring up to help Celia with the tray in her hand. She wouldn’t let me, as she places it on the center table. Then she takes my hand and leads me back into the kitchen.

“Jide, tell the truth and shame the devil.”

“I solemnly swear to,” I reply, placing my hand on my chest.

“That chick is not your girlfriend.”

I lift my lips in a smile.

“I know Shady called you and told you what happened at the wedding yesterday and you decided to crop this girl up from nowhere so you can foil our plans to hook you up with Mary.”

“Whoa! Slow down. Wait…what?”

I marvel at my own acting skill at times. For a man who beds a lot of women, you just have to learn a little theater.

But Celia is not fooled.

“Olajideofor.”

“Yes, sweetheart.” I try charm. Smartness can’t help me out this time. “I…”

She pauses. My charm is working. I press on. “Have I told you I like your hair? The curls are perfect on you.”

She angles her head in the direction of the sitting room. “Shady, your friend is hitting on me!”

“Kick his balls!” Shady replies.

“As I was saying,” she continues.

“No, I was saying,” I interrupt. “Repeat that part about hooking me up with Mary. That was what you guys planned yesterday in my absence? Have you all gone crazy?”

“Nope. Two of you fit each other.”

“How? Mary’s like a sister to me.”

“Well, brothers don’t kiss their sisters.”

“It was a harmless kiss, Celia. There was nothing to it.”

“Not according to Mary.”

“Look, Cee, Honey is my girlfriend and please, no matter what you do, try not to bring this whole kissing Mary incidence up this night. It will break her heart.”

“Jide, you’re still looking into my eyes and lying like this.”

“I am not.”

“Well, since you won’t tell the truth, I’ll get it from her myself.”

Celia begins to walk away but I stop her. “How?”

Her eyes twinkle and I see little demons dancing in them. “She’s going to be on the barstool.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“It’s tradition, Jide. Every wife-to-be must go on our barstool.”

“I never said anything about wife here.”

“Jide, you know it’s tradition. We have weaned out terrible girlfriends and boyfriends in the past using this stool. If Honey is the one for you, we’ll know this night.”

Didn’t I tell you about Celia and her bag of tricks? Now she has come up with this barstool trash and there’s nothing I can do about it, unless I want to get angry and walk out on all of them, which would be hypocritical since I’ve watched others face humiliation on the stool without doing anything to help them.

“Relax. It’s just a few innocent questions.” Celia giggles like a little rat.

I narrow my eyes at her. “Play nice.”

“Don’t worry, luv. Your Honey’s in safe hands.”

Celia heads back to the sitting room and I stand, watching her walk with swag in her steps. The mischief in the woman is getting out of hand. I wonder how Shady copes with her.

I join them in the sitting room. My former space has been occupied by Bimpe, Bright’s wife. I pick a plastic chair by the corner and try to join the hearty conversation they’re having about Game of Thrones. I have forgotten how my friends are so close-knit, that they and their wives watch the same movies and series. I leave a mental warning not to let my future missus be part of the gang.

drinks

An hour or so passes. Finger foods and alcohol have made their rounds. Everyone is in a chirpy mood now, apart from me. I pretend everything is fine but I’m dreading the moment Celia puts Honey in her hot seat. So far Honey has handled the air around her coolly. Can she take the heat that’s about to come?

From across the room, I catch her eye. She smiles; I wink without meaning to. It’s a hereditary glitch that occurs every now and then.

“Aww,” Peace, Reno’s wife coos with dove-like eyes.

“What is it?” Ajonoka asks.

“I just caught Jide winking at Honey,” Peace replies. “So romantic.”

The other women give her a look. It is not outwardly reprimanding but she gets the message that she’s not supposed to swing the way she just did. She sighs. Just like her name, she’s a peaceful soul, Holy Ghost sister, always head-in-the-clouds. It’s a shame she’s married to a serial cheat.

Pressed from all that drinking, I excuse myself to the restroom. When I return, I see that the food has been done away with and Ojonoka is now entertaining them with a sexy dance for her husband, Ibro. It’s nothing new to watch. Noka, knowing her competition is Ibro’s only true love, always does her best to keep him constantly attracted to her. Of all the women present, she is the most stylishly dressed but she pales in elegance when compared to Honey. That one has stolen the heart of every man present, mine inclusive.

Noka completes her dance and she gets applause. Her husband gives her a kiss, pulling her to sit on his laps. Celia disappears and returns with the scandalous barstool, which she places in the center of the room.

“Who’s going on the stool?” Shady asks. No one replies; he gets the message himself. He looks at me. I shrug.

“Okay,” Celia speaks up. “First of all, I want to welcome Honey to my humble, little house once more.”

“Thank you,” Honey replies.

“You must forgive us if we acted really shocked when Jide introduced you as his girlfriend. The thing is we’re his closest friends and he never told us anything about you. But you’re still welcome.”

“Very much so,” Reno quips.

“However, to be fully accepted as one of us—as you can see we’re practically family—you have to sit on our barstool.”

Honey stares at the stool. “Okay.”

“And we’ll ask you some personal questions.”

“Personal?” Honey scratches the side of her nose. “How personal?”

“Nothing that you can’t handle, sweetie,” Bimpe assures.

“Yeah, simple questions,” Noka adds.

“You’re game?” Celia asks Honey.

“Okay.”

Everyone cheers. Bimpe takes it upon herself to lead her to the stool. “If you don’t want to answer any question, you simply say pass…”

“And we’ll pass you a shot of brandy,” Celia completes.

Honey pops her eyes out and laughs.

“That’s why it’s called the barstool,” Noka says.

“I hope this is not an attempt to get me drunk,” Honey states with a calm face but her eyes keep a steady stare at Celia.

“No. Why would I want to do that? You’re my guest. Relax, dear. Jide is here. He won’t let anything happen to you.”

“You got that right,” I answer as Honey takes the seat. She crosses her legs, giving the guys an eyeful of the long, spotless pair.

“So everyone, including, Jide, gets to ask you two questions. If you answer anyone’s question correctly, that person takes the brandy shot instead.”

“I’m game.”

“Alright, then!”

Reno clinks his glass for sound effects as they excitedly adjust their positions. I look at them with vigilant eyes; it’s as if I’m watching a bunch of old folks trying to revive their youth.

They begin. The questions are downright intrusive. They’re not even playing. It’s like they want to know everything about her in just one evening. They want to know about her first kiss, if sex the first time hurt, the most embarrassing thing she ever did, the one thing she wishes she can undo, the best sex scene she ever watched in a movie, if she loves erotica, if she can keep her body for marriage…

She tackles each question maturely, even the intimate ones. Finally, it gets to my turn and seriously I’m not prepared for the moment. I kill the flow with a long pause.

“Jide, we’re waiting,” Bimpe urges impatiently.

I look at Honey and let out the one question nudging at the back of my mind that I’m uncomfortable to ask.

“Honey, what did you feel the first time you saw me?”

There is pin-drop silence as everyone stares at her. But her eyes are on me alone. She uncrosses her legs and takes a pose.

“I felt light like a feather, flushed and sweaty.” She dramatizes like an actress in a Shakespearean play. “Spots before my eyes…”

Her audience is amused.

“I was simply blown away.” She ends in a low volume after the laughter dies down. “I think it’s called love at first sight.”

She gets more than one ‘aww’ from Celia’s co-conspirators. Seems like the ‘Honeyofor’ bug is biting them all, save for Celia and Mary, who are trying their best not to show their displeasure.

“Did you do drama in school, Honey?” Mary queries.

“Is this part of the questions?” Honey replies. Mary goes shut. I smile at Honey’s cunning.

“We’re not done,” Celia arrests everybody’s attention once more. “Bright, time for your second question. This round is to test Honey’s knowledge on all things Jideofor. Are you ready?”

“Yeah.”

Bright asks, “Jide always does something whenever he’s in the shower. What is it?”

I hold my breath and try to catch Honey’s eyes. She should just take the shot of brandy…

“He sings Michael Jackson’s songs really loudly.”

I squeeze my brows together. How the hell did she know that?

“She’s right!” Bright accepts a shot passed to him by Reno, our designated barman.

“Honey,” Bimpe comes next, “does Jide have more boxers than briefs?”

“He has more briefs.”

Again, I’m stunned. How does she know this?

“I’m next!” Noka yells as if anyone is trying to stop her from speaking. “What is Jide’s English name that he’s so ashamed of?”

“Godspower.”

The whole room cracks up at her answer. My friends never get tired of making fun of my name. But I act like I’m deaf to their jeering. I now know where Honey has gotten all her info about me. I wonder how much my mom has shared with her. The one about the briefs, though, I’ll have to ask.

It’s Reno’s turn. The impish expression on his face makes me sick. “Do you guys have a sex tape we can download?”

His wife smacks the back of his head as the men laugh.

“Not yet,” Honey replies. She gets hoots from them. All I can do is smile from where I sit. I am yet to relax. I cringe as the next four questions come, but one after the other, Honey confronts them expertly, having only to take one shot of brandy for refusing to answer Ibro’s question about if she has ever been part of the mile high club. I jump in when I see her discomposure, and tell Ibro to ask another question that centers around me. Honey chooses to drink instead.

Celia and Mary and I are the only ones left. Mary goes first, after taking a long guzzle from the glass of liquor in her hand.

“If you found out Jide kissed one of his closest female friends, let’s say, just about a week ago, what would you do?”

I flash hostile eyes at Mary as I feel my patience which has been growing thin reach its elastic point. Nevertheless out of curiosity, I want to see how Honey takes this. All has gone silent.

“If he kissed someone else a week ago? It wouldn’t have bothered me because there was no us a week ago. What you see here,” she smiles at me, “is new…and amazing.”

I become uneasy as I take a mouthful of my drink. I’m either falling for this girl or scared of her. How else do I explain this restlessness in my guts?

“You guys want to make me fall in love again.” Peace blows wet eyes.

“Cee, your turn,” Mary tells Celia with as much poise as she can muster. Honey has just weakened their sinister alliance. Celia is their last card, but really what’s the worst she can do? They’ve laid out all their aces already.

“Honey, you know Jide is like our baby brother in this love and marriage business, so all of us here are looking out for him and we want him to have only the best, a woman who truly loves him. And that is why we want to know if you’re with him because you love him or because you heard he’s the Bridemaker and you want him to make a bride out of you.”

WT…F! Celia is such a bitch! What is wrong with her?!

“Excuse me? Come again.” Honey straightens up, her face puzzled.

“You mean you haven’t heard about the Bridemaker?” Noka asks. She laughs. “This is about to get interesting.”

I lose my good mood completely. They have simply gone too far. One stare at Shady’s apologetic eyes tells me he’s not in support.

“Ladies,” he speaks, “I think Jide should ask his question rather. Make una forget dis Bridemaker something abeg.”

Ibro concurs but Honey stops them. “No, it’s okay,” she counters. “Tell me about the Bridemaker, Noka.”

Noka is all happy to share. With so much glee on her face, she gives Honey the Bridemaker gist. While she speaks, Honey keeps an expressionless face but I watch her fingers silently drum on her knees. When Noka finishes, she bravely tells them she would pass on the question and takes some brandy. I am so not happy about this. Celia has a scathing remark waiting but one look from her husband makes her behave.

I stand up and clear my throat. It is my turn. I am annoyed and disappointed at the direction things have turned but I know I can’t react. The only thing I can do is obey the voice in my head. It wants to get even at all cost and silence the conniving wives permanently.

“Honey,” I walk to her, “can I kiss you?”

My question is as much a surprise to her as it is to the others.

“Like, right now?”

I don’t give her an answer. I steal her lips. They are moist and devastatingly soft but tremble at my rude invasion. Yet she doesn’t gasp or lose her composure. She responds to my intrusion by letting her tongue caress my upper lip before she allows me in. I kiss her softly, slowly, sensually, very aware of our audience. But I won’t lie; I am getting lost between those lips. I want so badly to go in hard and deep. I just realize I want to know this woman more.

“E don do!” Bimpe impolitely intrudes.

“No, let them continue.” Reno sounds annoyed at the intrusion. Honey and I pull apart. I search her eyes to see if I’ve done something wrong but her head is lowered.

“If that’s not the sweetest kiss I’ve seen in a while.” Peace sighs dreamily.

“So, Jide, you guys are serious?” Noka asks.

“Yeah.” I help Honey to her feet, wrap my arms around her from behind and peck her neck. I mean nothing by it; just making sure I’m nailing the coffin shut. After this night, they will never try to arrange any chick for me, let alone my closest female friend.

I look at Mary now. Her eyes are not on Honey and I. I hate to hurt her but she needs to set her brain right and find some other man. Celia takes her drink from her. I think she has consumed too much alcohol already. I hope someone has the commonsense to drive her home to make sure she’s safe.

“Cee, Shady, thanks for a fun night,” I announce.

“Are you guys leaving?” Celia protests. “We still have one more game to play.”

“It’s past ten, Celia.”

“It is?” Bright checks the time on his watch.

“Yep,” I reply, distractedly rubbing Honey’s arm. Her skin is warm as milk.

“You’re right. Some of us have work tomorrow but I don’t think an hour more will kill anyone.”

I shake my head. “We have to leave. Thanks, guys.”

“Yeah, thank you for the warm welcome and the fun questions,” Honey tells them. “Hopefully, we’ll do this again.”

We share hugs with them and leave the house. Outside, we meet a cold night. Now alone with Honey, I feel awkward. After all the affection I’ve displayed back at Shady’s, am I to stay away or keep up with the act until we’re well out of sight?

Honey helps me decide. She pulls closer and links her arm with mine, “I’m cold.”

I put an arm around her but under the brightness of a security lamp, I see goosebumps over her skin. I pull her to me and give her a full blanket wrap with both arms as I flag down a cab.

Lord help me, this woman is beginning to overrun my commonsense.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’m quiet in the taxi. All I’ve heard about Jide today has left me a bit unsure of how I feel about him. I stick close to my door, still cold and missing the warmth he offered a few minutes ago.

“Honey, I’m sorry if my friends made you feel uncomfortable.”

“No, it’s fine.” I give him a half smile.

I continue looking out the window.

“You have questions for me?” he asks.

I look at him. I’m liking the way he reads my mind easily.

“I have questions of my own,” he says when I don’t answer, “although I think I know half of the answers.”

“You want to know how I got my answers today.”

“My mom told you my English name, right?”

I nod.

“I hope to God she wasn’t the one who told you about the briefs and the Michael Jackson shower thing. Please, tell me you came up with that all on your own.”

I fight back a grin and recall how last night when I slept over at his, I had strolled into the sitting room to pick my handbag and saw him asleep on the couch with nothing but a pair of Calvin Klein briefs. It had taken me great restrain to leave the place and not stare all night.

“I heard you singing The Girl Is Mine this morning while you were having your bath.”

“And the briefs?”

I turn away from his stare. “Just a guess.”

“Hmm. Okay o. So you want to know about the Bridemaker.”

“Yes.”

“It’s just a stupid gist that has no origins whatsoever.”

“But does it really happen? That you sleep with a girl and next thing she gets married?”

“Coincidence.”

“How many girls so far?”

He laughs. He won’t look at me.

“Can I pass on that question?”

“Are you still in the bride-making business?”

He’s even more tickled at this question. “Bride-making business.” He guffaws. I don’t think it’s funny. “My friends have given you this impression that I sleep around.”

“Do you?”

“No. There’s just this general opinion that once you’re not hooked, you’re a player.”

“Are you sleeping with someone presently? Mary, maybe?”

The laughter drains from his face. “Mary? Why would you think that?”

“Cos I saw the way she was looking at me. If someone had given her a gun, she would have shot me right there.”

“Wow. It was that obvious?”

“She’s a friend with benefits?”

“No. She has this crush on me that I just got to find out today and that was why I asked you to accompany me to Shady’s.”

“So she was the one you kissed a week ago.”

Jide smiles behind pressed lips. I feel I have gone too far but I can’t help it. I’m dying to know him more, dying to hear him tell me he’s not just another Georgey Porgy out there.

“Can we talk about something else, Honey?”

I’m upset but I have to respect his wishes. I apologize and try my best not to sulk. I will not come off looking like Mary. I let out deep breaths and bring up a different topic. He’s glad for the change. We maintain the discussion until we arrive at my hotel. He walks me to my suite and stops outside the door.

“So when do I see you again?” he enquires.

“I don’t know. Soon, maybe.”

“I hope so. Thanks for a wonderful weekend. You’re great company.”

“You too.”

“And the kiss…”

“Yes, the kiss…”

We both laugh.

“Let’s not talk about it,” I say, afraid to hear the words ‘it meant nothing’.

“Well, I just wanted to say that I enjoyed it despite it being an act.”

My insides mush up at his words. He looks like he wants to say more but he simply tells me goodnight and walks away. I stand by my door, watching him until he disappears. I enter my suite and fall on the bed. I ping Dele’s wife immediately but she doesn’t reply until minutes later. I use the time to relive the kiss.

-Babe

I prop a pillow behind my head and ping back.

-How fa?

-I dey jare. How u dey?

-In cloud 9. He kissed me!

-Serious?

-Yep

-How was it?

-Heaven! That’s why I’m in cloud 9

-Hahahaha! U no well. So he’s a good kisser

-I can’t even explain, babe. I wan2be kissin him 4eva

-Se jeje o

-Nothing like jeje for dis mata. I like dis guy die

-But…

I sigh. Dele’s wife can be a bitch sometimes.

-But nothing jor

-Okay o. Hapi 4u. Jus take it easy. U know how ibo guys are

I roll my eyes. I will not get into an argument with her about tribe right now. I won’t even share my fears with her and have her spoil my night. I want to drag that kiss into my dreams and have Jide take my lips over and over until I wake up.

-Babe, I hav to go

-Ah-ah. Jus lyk that? We neva finish gist na. what prompted the kiss. Was dat all u guys did. Gimme more

-Tomoro. I’m tired. I wan2sleep

-Ok o. oya, g.nite. sleep tight.

big-hug-bbm-smiley-

I put my phone away, take off my clothes and go for a warm shower. When I return, I slip into bed and fall asleep with my earphones in my ears, listening to love songs.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

After I drop Honey, I head straight home. Ele is waiting for me. She doesn’t want sex; not like I am even in the mood for her. She wants some money. I don’t ask her what for. I just pass the notes to her and move away when she tries to kiss me. The taste of Honey is still on my lips.

I get into the house and head for my bedroom. The moment I hit the sheets, Mary calls. I hesitate before taking the call. When I eventually do, she is silent for the first few seconds.

“Boo, talk nau. This one that you’re quiet.”

“I want to come over so we can talk,” she speaks up. “It’s important. Is your girlfriend there?”

This is my turn to be quiet.

“Jide.”

“She’s not here.”

“I’m coming over.”

I regret why I brought her over to visit two days ago.

“Can I come?”

“It’s late, boo.”

“Please. It’s important.”

“Okay o. I’m waiting.”

Sleep vacates my eyes. I move to the sitting room, pop open a canned beer and watch music videos while I wait for her. She arrives in good time. I open the door and let her in. She walks in and stands in the middle of my sitting room like a stranger.

“Sit down nau, madam.”

“No, I want to stand.”

I lock my door. “Stand keh. You said you wanted to talk. Now you’re here and you want to do the talking on your feet. You’ve been acting strange all day, shey you know. I don’t even want to bring up this evening and how you were sulking all through.”

“That’s what I actually came to explain.”

I take her hand and make her sit. I realize, from the way she can’t keep herself steady, how drunk she is. I occupy the space beside her.

“Talk. I’m listening.”

She heaves a couple of times before she builds up the courage to speak.

“I…” She brushes hair off her face. “I have feelings for you, Jide. I’ve always crushed on you, since from school days but I’ve been so scared to tell you. But when you kissed me last Sunday…”

Her eyes go moist.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I tried, Jide. I really tried.”

“Mary…”

“But you came today with Honey and I… I just fell apart.”

She holds my eyes in hers.

“Jide, is there a chance for us?”

Chai. Na only me waka come? Dear Jesus, this is the second time I’m asking your help today concerning these women. Can you please handle my matter with urgency? The last time I broke a heart this devoted to me, I had to watch her almost take her life; then I had to suffer the pain of her losing her mind slowly. And from then on, things just went downhill for me.

Now, how do I get out of this present mess? No matter what I tell Mary, it won’t end well. And I love her to death. But not this way. Not just this way.

“Jide, you’re not saying anything.”

I pull closer and hold her hands in mine. I want her to listen to every word I say and understand me well.

“Mary, I love you. Very much. I’ve watched you grow and I’ve grown with you. You have been there for me through the years and you have become part of my history and now, my present. But Mary, boo… I… I don’t feel the same way…”

She bursts into a sob, cutting me off. Her deep alto tone thins out to a wretched whine that breaks my heart. I enclose her in an embrace to comfort her. She clings to me as if to life. I have no one but myself to blame. If a harmless, dispassionate kiss can lead to this, only God knows what the one I shared with Honey will produce.

For the third time, Jesus, please help me.

©Sally@moskedapages

Translation:
Se jeje o (Yoruba) – take it easy