It’s Another Saturday…#26

Good evening, my people!

I promised to give you info about Boys With Toys. It’s not so good news. So here it goes…

The book is not ready for publishing. I know I promised but I have done everything to keep the promise and yet that little part of me that says not yet has been saying not yet quite a lot. It’s finished but I just feel something is missing. It’s there, edited by my good friend, Uche but I can’t exactly say what’s missing. And I’m not about to put out something that I’m not 100% comfortable with. Usually with such stories, I leave it to rest for a while and review it with fresh eyes later, so hopefully I’ll find that missing thing.

Again, I apologize for raising your hopes. I am as disappointed as you, having planned for something and it doesn’t come out the way I want. But you know me; I will always make up for it.

I won’t sha announce next time until I am very sure. The book will just be published and then I can tell you later.

Secondly for those having issues downloading the Fish Brain Series…

  1. If you have a Blackberry, I’m sorry, it may not work but Aminat (a follower here) suggested using mobogenie app to download okadabooks app. Thanks Amina.
  2. You probably have it already in your book list if you have clicked on ‘Buy’. Check the book list and you may see it.
  3. If none of these work, I’m sorry I won’t be able to help you. You’ll have to contact okadabooks admin or contact me to send you a PDF copy which costs N500.00. For the free copy, I’ll send it straight to your email box, no charges.

And here’s Another Saturday…

Emeka’s Blues

It is Oba who brings her to my house late at night because my parents won’t take her in. They have had just about enough with Emeka and his women issues.

“Jide, if you talk to your brotehr, tell him to be a man, for God’s sake,” my mom pleads on the phone as I open the door to let Oba and Yazmin in. “We can’t keep taking on his responsibilities.”

According to the story, Emeka took Tobe from Yazmin and abandoned her for five days. Presently, she is ill. Oba brings her in, literally helping her walk. For the zillionth time, I want to punch Emeka really hard in his face. Whatever she has done to him, this is no way to treat a woman. It is totally irresponsible and I’m fed up with his nonsense.

“Yazmin, tell me how you feel?”

“Heartbroken.”

“I mean, literally. You feel feverish, any pain, headache…”

“Really, I’m heartbroken.” She shivers. “This is not the first time it’s happening. When Mex dumped me and went back to Tola, I got like this. When he married her, it was the same thing. So don’t worry about me. Just get him here, could you? When I see him, I’ll feel a lot better. And I miss Tobe too.”

I refuse to listen to her. She looks messed up. I walk into my room and return with a stethoscope and thermometer. I take her vitals and discover that her pulse is erratic and her temperature way above normal.

“Any tummy ache?”

“A little.”

“Headache?”

“Yeah. Burning eyes.”

“Have you started seeing your periods again?”

“Yeah.”

“And the last was…?”

“Two weeks ago, I think.”

I read her pulse for the second time. I don’t think she’s pregnant but I can’t be too sure.

“Can I go pee?” she requests. Oba offers to help her up. The moment he takes hold of her hand, she vomits some greenish substance over my floor. Oba jumps back but I take a good look at the puke.

“It’s malaria,” Honey says from where she stands by the door.

“Yeah. I think so too. Yazmin, we need to get you to the hospital to run some tests and probably have you admitted.”

“I hate needles!” she cries.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

The last time I had a fight with Emeka was in secondary school and I gave him a beating he never forgot. Right now, we’re too old for any type of fist fight but I think a good tongue-lashing is in order.

I see his car driving into the hospital premises. I wait beside my car as he parks and approaches me. There is a heavy-set frown on his face that doesn’t move me.

“Two days, Mex. She’s been on admission for two days and you’re just getting here! What type of demon is worrying you?”

“The type that lives down the lane of mind-your-business.”

He makes to walk past me but I put a hand to stop him. He stares down at the hand and slowly lifts his eyes to look into my face. When I stare back into his eyes, I see beyond his façade. He is falling apart.

“Get your shit together, Mex. Treat your wives right. You chose this path. No one forced you into it. So get your shit together.”

“And you suddenly become the elder brother who gives good advice that I need to follow.”

“Don’t be an idiot.”

“Don’t tell me what to do! When I needed your help, you sat on your high horse and refused to be involved! The Yazmin you’re forming Voltron for is the same woman you wanted out of my life! Just because she showed up at your door and told you a sob story, she is suddenly an angel and now I have demons! Well, why don’t you go ahead and fuck her since you’re on a spree of fucking my wives?!”

I ball my fist but by some divine intervention, I keep my hand down.

“Oh, you wanted to hit me.” He laughs. “You for try yourself. This is not secondary school, Jide.”

I have never felt this humiliated in my life. I keep my head lowered as he marches off. He doesn’t go far when I hear what I suspect to be the sound of a palm coming in contact with a face.

I turn and see Tola about to deliver him a second slap but Honey who is behind her, steps in by grabbing her hand. He tries to push past Tola only to be assaulted by her again. This time she jabs his chest, sending him backwards.

“Is that how you speak to your elder brother and how you treat a woman who is lying sick in bed?! Then what happens when you get tired of me, Chukwuemeka?! You kick me out?! Mm? Yazmin is in there, she is not getting better because of you! You are obligated to take care of her no matter what! You put her in this mess! She is thousands of miles away from her family and you are all she’s got and you abandon her?! Your dear, old mother who ought to be resting has been the one by her side! And you waltz in like a boss and disrespect your elder brother! What about your son?! You separated him from his mother! Are you thinking at all, Chukwuemeka?!”

Emeka’s anger immediately bubbles down. “But I’m here to see her nau, doc.”

“You’re scaring me, Chukwuemeka! I don’t know who you are again!”

Tola shoves him aside and marches to her car. I stand and watch his eyes follow her. When he sees me looking, he turns and makes his way into the hospital. Honey and I walk to Tola’s car. She is seated behind the wheels, crying. Honey slips into the passenger’s side.

“I think my pregnancy is making me soft. Or else explain why I was fighting my own husband for not taking care of the chick that’s destroying our marriage? Would any woman in her right senses do what I just did? Honey, would you?”

Honey doesn’t respond.

“I can’t do this anymore, Dede. I just can’t. I think I’ll annul this marriage.”

Honey stares up at me sadly, urging me with her eyes to say something. I have a lot to say but not as much as Tola. She has to unburden and understand her pain.

“I love him. As in, mad crazy love that makes me stick with him because I know he’s going through some stuff and he needs someone. The type of love that makes me forget myself and my needs because I want to see him get better. You know that type of love?”

She doesn’t really need an answer from us.

“And then there’s Yazmin who loves him too and she has her own issues to deal with and he doesn’t just want to abandon her, so he takes her baggage and I take his. I carry all of it and I’m falling, Honey! I’m falling!”

Honey lends her a shoulder to cry on but Tola stays there only for a few seconds.

“I am much more than this. Stronger, focused, driven. I don’t take shit from men; everyone knows that. But look at me now. My friends are probably laughing behind my back, Honey. I am in a polygamous relationship. My husband has a second wife!” She laughs. “H-h-how did I get here? Was I sleeping when Emeka got me into this? Why couldn’t I just walk away when I had the strength? Why did I allow him screw me up this badly that I’m beginning to defend the other woman?”

“Because you’re only human, Tola,” Honey replies, holding her hand.

“I don’t want to be! I want to be selfish! To love me alone! To think about my own happiness! Only me! I don’t want to share my husband with another woman! I want what two of you have! Why can’t I get that?”

Honey offers her shoulder again and it was put into good use this time. I wait to drop in my own piece of advice when she calms.

“If you’re not happy with the arrangement, Tola, it’s okay to leave. You have tried abeg. You acted civilly and maturely. It’s now Emeka’s turn to put things straight. And let’s not forget the child you’re carrying. Whether now or tomorrow, he or she doesn’t need all this drama. If Emeka and Yazmin are not willing to be adults, then it’s your responsibility to stand and take firm decisions.”

Honey agrees with a nod.

“I don’t want to lose him, dede but if I don’t walk out now, I may be stuck.”

“You know what to do, Tola. We’ll support you all the way. Just stay strong.”

“Thank you.”

I touch Honey’s cheek. “Sugar lips, see you tomorrow.”

I walk back into the hospital. I have a long night ahead of me

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Female Chef Preparing Salad In Kitchen

Lord, I am tired! I need a warm bed, a nice cup of aromatic tea and a full body massage from strong hands.

The first two can be arranged but the last, which is what I need direly, is just wishful thinking. For the first time in a long while I am beginning to nurse ideas of wanting a man. But it’s just fleeting. It comes and goes. That’s what happens when you hang around a loving couple like Jide and Honey. They are contagious—the way he kisses random spots on her body when he thinks no one is looking or how they take showers together or the way they lie in the dark at night listening to music and not saying anything to each other. Simply adorable!

A few days ago, Tola and I stayed up late at night, unintentionally listening to them make love. They were hush about it because the power was out and there was pitch silence in the house but every now and then, we heard Honey moan.

“They’re having sex, right?” I had asked.

“Like duh! And I hate them.”

Laughter escaped my lips.

“Do you miss having a man, Mary?”

“No.”

“Well, me I miss my husband.”

Honey moaned again.

“Is it going to last all night?” Tola questioned.

“Are you asking me?”

“Jide should come out and put on the gen for us jare. I’ll go and knock at their door.”

“Leave them.”

“The weather is hot!”

“Go and have a shower then.”

Tola turned and faced me, a pillow wedged between us.

“You know you have to let men back into your life at some point, right?”

“Why?”

“The way you talk about them is disturbing.”

“Really?”

“Well, considering what you went through, it’s allowed.”

But my therapist thinks I have to move past that stage now. She had told me not to put my abuse in the same room with my love life. Those had been her words exactly.

“To you, Reno is a rapist. And Reno is a man. Therefore, all men are rapists.”

She went on to tell me that we were going to work at making sure every important area in my life does not get affected by what Reno did to me.

“It’s going to be tough, Mary but we will pull through.”

And here I am, pulling through, albeit slowly.

“Chef?”

I look up. I’m still not used to being called that.

“One of the guests is asking to see you,” the waiter that had just called me says. “The man is not in the banquet hall. He’s waiting in the reception.”

I rise from my chair beside the massive oven I’ve been watching and wipe my hands on my apron. Once a guest requests to see you privately, it’s a good sign. It means they want to request your services for their own event.

I pick a hot towel from a steamer nearby and wipe off the oil on my face. The scent of eucalyptus fills my nose as I inhale. On my way out, I pump my lips to revive my gloss. It’s just a few steps to the reception and when I get there, I see a few people around. I wish I had asked the waiter what the person looks like.

No one acknowledges my presence, so I assume it’s the guy who is backing me and speaking with the receptionist. I am about to walk to him when a familiar voice calls my name.

I turn and there is Ekene, looking all spruce in a striped blue suit and matching shoes. He had been sitting beside me the entire time and I missed him because he wasn’t wearing his customary shorts and t-shirt.

As I take his strange, new appearance in, my eyes deceive me by telling me he looks gorgeous.

kene2

“Hi,” he says. “What a coincidence. I ask for the chef and it turns out that she is you.”

I regain my sight and realize it is the same Ekene that irritates me.

“Hello Ekene.”

“You’re a big madam o! Catering to international events and shii.”

“How may I help you, Ekene?”

“Can we go somewhere private so we can talk?”

“No. Dessert is to be served in…” I check my watch, “thirteen minutes. I don’t have time.”

“But you came out here to see me.”

I sigh. “Ekene…”

“Fine. I’ll be here till you’re done?”

“Okay.”

I don’t wait one second. I begin back to the kitchen. The soufflés’ I put in the oven are okay by now. Time to get busy.

The kitchen soon fills with waiters and waitresses and a beehive of activity begins. The head waiter and I work together as we have done all day, ensuring service goes smoothly. A tiring hour later, I’m slumped over a table, sipping juice from a party cup.

“For you.”

A waitress dumps a complimentary card before me that holds Ekene’s details. Simply put, he is an oil marketer. Why am I not surprised? When Honey had pointed at his house as we were driving out of the estate last week, I had asked if he was an armed robber. She had laughed.

I turn the card over.

Meet me at the bar, he had scrawled over his social media details. P.S: you look scrumptious in apron.

I hiss. He’s so silly. I drop the card and continue with my drink. I’ll take my time, abeg.

I pour myself more juice and sip slowly, watching the kitchen assistants do the dishes. One of them is singing a Yemi Alade; I tap my feet in rhythm. I don’t leave until she goes into her third song.

I take off my apron, touch up on my makeup lightly and pick my handbag.

“Bye Chef!”

They all wave as I leave. I take a short walk to the bar. Ekene is waiting. He pulls a chair for me when I stroll up to his table. I notice he is not wearing his suit. He is left in his shirt with folded sleeves that expose arms marked by veins.

Why is he disturbingly yellow?

I look away and sit.

“What would you like to drink?”

“Nothing.”

He calls over a waiter and orders a drink on my behalf as I watch him in silence.

“It’s just red wine,” he tells me.

“I already told you I’m not drinking. Can we go straight to business, please? What do you want?”

“Yeah, business… So, my fuel stations will be opening in exactly ten days from now. I didn’t want to throw a party initially but friends will feel offended if I don’t. It’s not going to be something big but it has to be loud enough to make a statement. The food must be exceptional like the one you did here today. Have I said you are an amazing cook?”

I can’t hide my smile.

“You are. And that is why I need your culinary services. Payment will be split in two. Before and after. Does that work for you?”

“Yeah. What type of guests are you expecting?”

He goes into details and I take notes on my phone. For a moment, he is not Ekene, Honey’s annoying ex that drops by at hers, unannounced with his dog and ogles me like he has no home training. He has even lost his slight Igbo accent and is beginning to sound like some foreign national. I find myself being carried away by him until the waiter returns with a bottle of wine on ice.

I slip back into my commonsense.

“I have to go, Ekene,” I say, standing up.

“Why?” he holds my hand. “We’re ending up in the same destination. Sit, let’s drink. Stop forming abeg.”

I pull my hand away. “I’ll text you my account details so you can make the first installment for me to begin preparations. I like to work ahead of time.”

“I like you, Mary.”

I try hard not to hiss.

“Goodnight, Ekene.”

I start to walk away.

“Will you come to my place tomorrow evening and prepare a romantic dinner for me and my fiancée?”

I stop and turn. “You have a fiancée?”

“Not yet. I’ll be proposing to her tomorrow.”

I look into his face to see if he’s teasing but I find him serious.

“And you’ve been all over me?” My voice comes off annoyed.

He laughs. “It’s a man thing. Harmless flirting.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“So, will you prepare dinner for two tomorrow? I’ll pay you well.”

The suppressed hiss escapes my lips as I spin around and stride off. On my way home to Honey’s, I work myself up to annoyance that my logical mind begins to question my reason for my emotional state.

He’s an ass! He’s had a girlfriend all this time and he’s been putting moves on me! Why are men so useless?

But he never really toasted you.

Hello! He doesn’t have to come out straight to toast me for me to know he wanted to get into my pants.

But he never said anything about sleeping with you.

That’s all he wants! That’s all they ever want!

My logical mind lets me be. I sulk the entire way home. I plan to pack my things back to my house first thing tomorrow morning. I know Honey has asked me to extend my stay and even offered the option of being housemates but I’m going to have to graciously tell her I can’t. The thought of having Ekene as a neighbor just plain aggravates me.

I walk into Honey’s sitting room. I find her there with Tola.

“Hey girls!” I greet, taking off my shoes by the door. They hail back.

“Honey, so Ekene has a girlfriend?” I blurt. I can’t hold it in.

“Girlfriend? From where nau?”

“He told me to come and cook dinner for him and his girlfriend tomorrow evening, that he’ll be proposing to her then.”

Honey looks around in confusion. “What are you saying?”

“It’s what he told me. And the whole time he has been making moves on me.”

“Abeg, ignore Kene. He’s just pulling your legs. That’s how he does.”

“Please, just help me tell him to stay away from me because I don’t want somebody to come and disgrace me because of him.”

“He doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“Okay o.”

“Well, the only way to find out is to make the dinner for them.”

“Why do I want to find out? What’s my business with his love life?”

“Ah. Babe you’re vexing o.”

“My period is around the corner. I hate people annoying me at this time.”

I exit the sitting room. My period may be around the corner but it is not the reason for my bad mood. Ekene is. And I don’t know why any man would make me feel this way.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I have a calm patient today that goes through labor as though it’s a walk in the park. And she gives all kudos to me.

“You make things easy,” she says to me.

This uplifts my spirit. I promise to check on how she’s progressing in the next thirty minutes as I entrust her into the care of a maternity nurse.

I head to another wing of the hospital where Yazmin is. Earlier my dad visited and left with Nne because I had offered to look after Yazmin for the night. Emeka still refuses to stay with her. I wonder what grave sin she has committed.

“Can I come in?” I poke my head into her room.

“Hi Jide,” she says, pronouncing my name as Jidi. I have never bothered to correct her and I won’t do so now.

“How are you?”

“Better.” She smiles. She does look better. I sit beside her.

“The doctor says that maybe I’ll go home the day after tomorrow.”

“Excited?”

“Yeah. I’ve missed Tobe.”

“Yazmin?”

“Yeah?”

“Why is Emeka so mad at you?”

She looks elsewhere.

“You can talk to me, Yazmin. Anything you say is held in confidence.”

“You’re not going to tell Tola?”

“No.”

She exhales. “I cheated on Emeka a short while before I came to Nigeria. And I didn’t use protection and Tola got chlamydia.”

“Oh.”

“I told Emeka what I did, he got mad and made me do STD tests. Everything came out negative but he still can’t forgive me. I think he wants us to split.”

“Do you love Emeka, Yazmin?”

“Yeah. The guy I slept with…it was just a onetime thing. It was stupid. I was drunk, he was drunk. The day it happened was on my cousin’s birthday but it was also the two-year anniversary of my late boyfriend’s death, so I was pretty messed up that night.”

“Tell me about your late boyfriend? How did he die? Was he ill?”

“No. My dad murdered him.”

I sit straight and stare into eyes that hold pain from her past.

“Has Emeka told you what my dad does? Who he is?”

“Yes.”

“So Marcelo, my late boyfriend, his dad used to work for my dad. He was his second in command but something happened and they split and he started his own drug cartel. To my dad, that was a slap in his face. He ordered me to stop seeing Marcelo but I refused. We loved each other and had plans to elope if things got heated. But that never happened. Marcelo got missing and a couple of days later, parts of his body were sent to his family and a few close friends. I got his left arm where he had my name tattooed.”

I shiver at her story.

“I disowned my dad and permanently moved to New York. That was where I met Mex. He came to me when I needed someone. He helped me get through. We were friends at first and then we shared our first kiss on one snowy night.”

She smiles.

“It felt right. It was beautiful, Jidi. I love Emeka.”

“But he loves Tola,” I tell her plainly.

“I know.”

“Yazmin, I’m sorry for all you went through. I know it was hell but can’t you see that the only reason Emeka is with you is because he feels you still need him? You have dumped your fragile heart in his hands but Tola has already taken up all that space, so he’ll keep letting you down because there’s so much he can take as a man.”

“But a man can have a wife and still keep a mistress. African men can have as many wives as they want.”

“Not this man, Yazmin. He was raised differently. And right now, He is falling apart. If you truly love him, you’ll let him be where his heart wants to be.”

“What are you saying?” Her eyes sheen with tears.

“Let him go. You deserve more than he’s giving you. And he can never be the real Emeka with you or with any of us. We’re all losing him.”

She bends her head. “Please, can you go away? Right now?”

I stand up. Tears slip from her eyes as I take my leave.

Outside the ward, I feel like an evil person even though I am sure I have done the right thing that everyone else is afraid to do. I hope this doesn’t bite me in the back.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Mary, this is good,” Tola says with a mouthful. Mary has just whipped some goat meat peppersoup in less than thirty minutes. How she does it, I don’t know. And it tastes so good!

“Your husband will enjoy,” I comment.

“Ekene ba?” Tola teases. Mary chokes and starts coughing.

I dash into the kitchen for some water.

“I know you like him, Mary,” Tola says.

“I don’t.” Mary takes the glass of water I offer. “Thank you.”

“Why are you forming? Every time the guy drops by, you spend at least fifteen minutes moaning about how rude he is or how noisy his dog is.”

“The dog wakes me up from sleep every morning, barking at the window.”

“Awww, it comes to wake its master’s beloved up. How sweet.”

Mary frowns. Tola bats her eyes at her.

“You won’t face what is bugging you, Tola. The tears on your face have not yet dried and you’re entering my own matter.”

“My dear, I’ve decided not to cry for Emeka again.”

“You said that yesterday.”

“And I’ll keep saying it until I mean it. But let’s go back to you, shall we?”

Mary frowns again and diverts her eyes to me. “No, let’s talk about Honey and Jide.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Do you guys have sex every day?”

I flush with embarrassment. I am about to give an answer when a knock comes to the door.

“Who is it?” Tola calls out loud.

“Nicole?” a voice answers and we stare at each other.

“Who is Nicole?” Mary asks.

“She knows herself!” the voice responds.

It is then I recognize who it is and notice that Tola has buried her face in her hands.

“Tell him to go away,” she whispers as I go to the door.

I open it a little. Emeka is standing out there with unsteady legs.

“Hi Emeka.”

He tries to stand straight but sways a little. He rests a hand on the wall. “Tell my wife I need to see her.”

“She doesn’t want to see you.”

“I know but tell her I’m sorry.”

He peeps into the house.

“I’m sorry, doc! I’m very sorry! I miss you! I miss us!”

“Mex, go away abeg!”

“Please, come back home!”

“Go away!”

“Please!”

Tola vacates her seat to the door and slams it hard in his face. I step away. She remains by the door, her back to it.

“You slapped me, doc. Right on my cheek, you slapped me.”

“And I’ll do it again if you don’t go away.”

“I love you!” he hits the door.

“Mex, behave!”

“I can get us back to the way we were! I just need time, baby! Trust me!”

“You’re drunk, Mex. You say a lot of shit you don’t mean when you’re drunk or having sex and I don’t need that right now. Go to your wife. She needs you.”

“You’re my wife,” his voice mellows to an emotional tone. “My wife…”

And then he goes silent for a while.

“He’s gone?” I ask. Tola shakes her head.

“Thinking of the next stupid thing to say.”

And as if he hears her, Emeka resumes.

“You make a grown ass man do stupid things, Nicole. You know that?”

“Your name is really Nicole?” Mary probes.

“No. Just a name he calls me whenever he’s drunk.”

“And I’m about to do one stupid thing now. You remember the time I stripped and sang outside your window under the rain?”

“Don’t you dare, Chukwuemeka!”

“Then come out and stop me before I start.”

Tola covers her eyes. “He’s going to do it. He’s so going to do it.”

“Then go and stop him,” Mary tells her.

“No.”

“I’d have gone to watch if he wasn’t my boyfriend’s younger brother,” I say.

“You’re a bad girl, Hon,” Mary mumbles.

“No but seriously, Tola, he’s doing it?”

“Butt naked.”

“Wow. He really loves you.”

“No, he’s really drunk.”

“Yo, Nicole! I can’t remember all the lyrics to this song but I’ll try.”

“Emeka…” Tola murmurs with a sigh.

I’m never shy but this is different

I can’t explain the way I’m feeling tonight

I’m losing control of my heart

Tell me what can I do to make you happy

Nothing I ever say seems to come out right

I’m losing control of my heart

I wish that I could be

Another better part of me

Can’t hear what you’re thinking

Nicole if I just let go

You’ll open up your heart

Mary and I listen in silence. It’s a song I vaguely know but I am very sure the tempo is upbeat and not as slow as Emeka is going about it.

“Daniel Bedingfield,” Mary says.

“Thank you. Was trying to remember who sang it.”

I watch Tola whose ear is pinned to the door. It’s either I’m seeing things or her eyes have gone misty.

I can’t read you

I wish I knew what’s going through your mind

Can’t touch you

Your heart’s protecting I get left behind

“Aww, so cute,” I coo. Mary eyes me as Emeka continues.

Bla-bla-bla-bla I’m acting stupid

I can’t play the game I’m all intense and alive

I’m losing control of my heart

Bla-bla-bla something-something nervous

I should play my hand all cool and calm

I can’t breathe!

I’m losing control of my heart

Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah ah

I wish that you could see

The other better parts of me

Feel this fire I’m feeling

Then you’d see me in control

Baby then you’ll know

But I can’t read you

I wish I knew what’s going through your mind

“And he can sing…” Tola whispers, the tears I saw earlier now unmistakable.

Emeka stops as if interrupted.

“He’s done,” Tola tells us, biting her lip.

“Tola, go and meet him nau,” I plead.

“The last time he did this, the police arrested him and I went to get him out of jail and I forgave him,” she sobs. “I’m tired of fixing him, Honey. I’ve tried.”

“But he’s really sorry nau. Just hear him out.”

Tola steps away from the door as if she’s about to consider my request but she turns to the left and enters the guestroom. The silence that supervenes touches both Mary and I deeply for a long moment. I lose my appetite for the peppersoup in my dish.

“This is why I’m never falling in love,” Mary sighs.

I look at her and see Ekene’s complimentary card on the chair beside her.

Interesting.

Does she know she is the ‘girlfriend’ she’ll be cooking dinner for tomorrow? Clearly, she has no idea that she has gotten into an ‘Ekene trap’ and the only way out is to play the game the way he likes it.

Well, me I go just dey watch her like film because chicken wey run from Borno go Ibadan go still end up inside pot of soup

©Sally@moskedapages

Translation:

Chicken wey run from Borno go Ibadan go still end up inside pot of soup – You can’t run away from your destiny

 

 Image source: usa.hermes.com, Getty images

It’s Another Saturday…#25

Good morning!

For those of you who haven’t read the Fish Brain series, it is out for download on Okadabooks. Follow the Facebook link below to download them (Like my page in the process :)). The first book is free while the other two cost just N375 each. Really cheap for the length and the experience. 😉

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As for Boys With Toys, I’ll give you some info on Saturday.

This episode is dedicated to people like me who suffer from depression. Nobody really wants to talk about it but a lot of people go through it. You will find your healing and all the love you need. If you want to talk to someone, you know how to reach me. Hang in there!

Healing
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“So I have a toaster,” Peace whispers into my ear.

My eyes pop out. “Already?”

“What do you mean by already? In fact I have like three toasters.”

She swipes chicken bones off a dish into a garbage bag and places the dish in the kitchen sink. I wash the dish while listening to her tell me about the guy in her church who has the hots for her.

“He’s a widower, no kids, not so rich but very dapper. However…”  She stands beside me, backing the sink. “I’m not ready to go into any relationship now. I need to get a job, rebuild my life from scratch and concentrate on Sammy before I start thinking about men again.”

“But you like this guy?” I turn off the tap.

“Naa. Not really. I’m just basking in my newly-found spinsterhood. It feels great to be wanted again.”

I wipe my hands on a kitchen napkin. “But you know you can actually date someone, right? God will not punish you for it.”

“I know but…I don’t think I’m ready yet. I’ll give myself at least a year…”

“A year? P, cobwebs will grow on you o.”

“What will people say if I start seeing somebody so soon?”

“Who cares what people will say? You owe no one nothing.”

“Mary, it’s not as if anyone is saying anything at church but they judge me with their eyes. You know how we Christians can be sometimes. Nobody wants to know what happened in the marriage, the woman is always to blame.”

“Abeg, ignore them jor. Where were they when you were suffering?”

“Well…”

“Do what makes you happy, my dear.”

“I will.” She hooks an arm around my neck. “But only when you also decide to start dating again.”

“Me keh.”

“If I recall, you were very open to meeting someone new until that Reno incident occurred.”

“Abeg, P leave that thing.”

She faces me. “No, Mary. We can’t let one idiot ruin our chances of happiness.”

Her fingers pick something off my face.

“I’ll find love when you do,” she adds.

“You go old be dat.”

“But seriously, how are you coping?”

I lean back a bit. “It’s hard sometimes. My room still gives me nightmares. I’ve changed my perfume, thrown away my pillows and the sheets that were on the bed that day and basically everything that reminds me of what happened but I still have moments. Therapy helps sha, thanks to Jide who paid for it because God knows I can’t afford that doctor. But I basically find my solace in the Bible. Verdict is, I’ll be fine. I have since moved on.”

I pick out the guilt on Peace’s face and I spare her the unease of having to say something appropriate.

“I think you should dump these garbage bags outside.”

“Yeah.”

She picks two huge bags and hurries out.

I check the time. It’s past eleven and all our friends are gone. Peace thinks I’m spending the night but I feel it would be rude to Honey if I sleep elsewhere. I wonder if I’ll find a cab in this neighborhood at this odd hour.

A jug of freezing apple juice resting on the kitchen counter beckons to me and I go for a glass as I mentally plan for an event I’m catering to next week. I am almost down to my last gulp when Peace returns to the kitchen.

“Mary, there’s a fair guy outside asking after you and Honey. He said he’s been calling Honey’s line and it’s been ringing with no answer.”

“Oh, that’s Ekene. Her ex…em, I mean her neighbor.”

“Ex? Neighbor? Which one?”

“Both.”

Peace places a pot of some nice-smelling stuff on the cooker for her usual night cap concoction. Only Lord knows what’s inside.

“I do hope the guy is not a threat to Jide o,” she says.

“Threat keh? How now? You didn’t ask where Jide carried Honey off to?”

“They left together?”

I laugh. “Lastma! They’re probably in cloud twenty by now. The way his eyes were on her the whole time ehn. And the yeye girl didn’t even notice.”

“Ehya. I’m glad they’re back together.”

“Let me be going, P.”

“Going? But I’m making something for us to eat. All we did was drink all night.”

“Eat what this night, Peace? Abeg, I dey go. Eat your concoction alone.”

She laughs. “Okay, luv. Thank you.”

“Kiss Sammy for me.”

We hug and she walks me to the front door. It’s a bit chilly when I stroll out to the gate. I’m hoping that by some miracle Ekene would be gone by now but I catch him waiting outside his car. I grunt. It’s best to pretend I don’t see him.

I take the opposite route and stick close to the shadows.

“Mary!” he calls out. I frown. He’s so anyhow! “Mary!”

I stop out of annoyance and turn.

“Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“Where is Honey?”

“With her boyfriend.”

He pulls back. “Boyfriend?”

“Yes, her boyfriend. Jideofor. They left together. To his place.”

“You’re sure?”

I roll my eyes.

“I saw that.”

“You saw what?”

“The eye-rolling. I saw it.”

“Well, goodnight.”

“Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“Your house or…?”

“Why do you always ask questions? That was how you were bombarding me all the way here until you missed road.”

“Okay. So, your house or Honey’s?”

“I said I’m going home. That’s all you need to know.”

“Come and enter the car let me drop you.”

“No, thanks.”

I continue walking. I have vowed not to be alone in the same space with any man. Cars are as unsafe as bedrooms and not even a luxurious beast on wheels can make me change my mind. If I am lucky I might get a cab. This part of town is notorious for bad transportation once it gets dark.

I hear a car honk at me. I don’t turn. I know it is Ekene.

“So you’d rather walk in those ridiculously-high stilettos than let me take you home?”

I stride on. He drives beside me.

“It’s unsafe for you to walk all alone by this time of the night.”

I keep walking. He keeps driving.

“Am I irritating or something? Or…you just don’t like Igbo guys? Or is my accent that bad? Or is it my complexion? I know women go for tall, dark and handsome but come on, I’m not that bad. Even Honey thinks I’m cute.”

I snort.

“You think so too.”

My annoyance starts to wane.

“I’ll be fine, Ekene. Just go home.”

“So that Honey will come and skin me alive for not dropping you at her doorstep safe and sound? Biko, just spare both of us the drama and enter the blasted car.”

“Goodnight, Ekene.”

I hasten my steps, leaving him behind. I don’t move three or four feet ahead when his car speeds up beside me and screeches right in front of me, almost making me bump into it.

“Jesus!” I put my hand to my chest and try to catch a racing heart.

He comes out of the car.

“What is wrong with you?!” I scream at him. “Are you crazy?! You almost hit me!”

“I’m sorry. Please, enter the car. I am asking like a gentleman. Please.”

“No!”

I hurriedly cross the street and luckily for me an empty cab slows beside me. Before I get into it, I catch Ekene’s eyes on me. He seems pissed. Like I care.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

It’s daylight.

I open my eyes and find I am alone. The sun is fiercely making a statement in the sky. I wonder why it’s so hot these days. The weather is just screwed up this year. I pick a remote control from the bedside and change the temperature of the room.

I sit up. Hanging off a chair beside the bed is a jersey with the inscription #Jiney at the back.

I smile.

Jide plays football with his friends on certain weekends. They always compete against each other – the married guys versus the bachelors. On his blog he had asked his followers what they thought the best combo name of he and I would be to inscribe on his jersey. People gave numerous suggestions, a vote was made and the name ‘Jiney’ won.

The week we broke up, there was a huge game planned. Jide did badly and the bachelors lost for the first time.

I pick the jersey and inhale. The scent of fresh laundry cannot mask Jide’s fragrance. I slip into the jersey as my feet touch the floor. I wonder where Jide is.

I can hear my phone ringing from the sitting room. I go for it. Dele’s wife is calling.

“Honey, na wa o!” She shouts into my ear once I take the call.

I dump my weight into the couch Jide and I violated last night.

“How can you just go off radar like this nau? What is going on with you?”

“I’m fine, babe. I was just having some issues, is all.”

“Ha! You made me fear o!”

“But didn’t Saratu pass across my message? I told her to tell you that I needed to be alone for a while.”

“So that’s why you didn’t want to see me abi? Honey, we live in the same town…”

“That can be debated, madam. It’s almost a day’s travel to your side.”

“Shut up, abeg. I was talking. We live in the same town and you didn’t want me to come see you. Why am I your friend, though?”

I play with the tacked edges of the jersey as I listen to her scold me.

“And I feel slighted that Sara has access to you and I don’t.”

“I’m sorry.”

“O ga o! Me I’ve just decided to forgive you ni; if not, we won’t be speaking to each other now.”

“I’m sorry nau.”

“I’ve heard. Anyways, I was calling concerning our business. Everything is set. Sara and I have done our own part. In fact, the running around we did these past weeks ehn, even Dele is complaining. To set up business for Naija no be beans.”

“You girls, well done.”

“Anyway, sha. We’re waiting for your go-ahead. You are our oga at the top.”

I shake my head. Ever since the Oga at the Top incidence occurred, Dele’s wife has not let it be.

“Just do and let’s start before the spirit dies, abeg.”

I sigh. I had literally stopped my whole life for an entire month. Now, it’s hard to get back. I still don’t have the desire to begin again.

“We’ll have to sit and talk about a grand opening,” she adds. I smile. Dele’s wife can’t do without partying.

“Okay, ma.”

“How are you doing? Are you and Jide back together?”

“No.”

“Honey, why nau? That guy loves you. He called me like up to five times this past month. How can you just break a grown man’s heart like that? It’s not fair. Whatever is worrying you, please do away with it and let him back in, abeg.”

“I’ve heard.”

She tells me she loves me and hangs up.

I let my phone down for a second and take in the sitting room as it brings back beautiful memories of Jide and I. I stretch out on the couch, lazy to get up and have a shower. After a while, I go online. I have some Facebook and Instagram notifications waiting which I respond to. Done with them, I go through a couple of fresh emails and discover I have one from my doctor in South Africa which I don’t recall opening. I hiss before I proceed. He’s an unserious man, going off grid when I needed him direly.

I start to read the email and every word I take in stabs me in the heart. Tears veil my sight. I put my phone away and pull my knees together. It is at this moment that Jide comes in.

The front door slams and I hurriedly try to wipe my tears but Jide spots me in the act. He cocks his head to get a good look. I plant a fake smile on my lips.

“Hi.”

“Honey?”

He walks to me, looking sexy in scrubs. Despite my tears, I notice.

“Are you crying?”

With my hands still trying to wipe my tears, I shake my head in a lie. He stoops before me and pulls my legs down.

“I can’t let you keep killing yourself like this, Honey. I’m here, my ears wide open and my heart ready to accept whatever it is you have to tell me. Please, talk.”

“I shouldn’t have had an abortion,” I utter, the words stumbling over each other really fast.

“I shouldn’t have. I was scared that my meds would cause some birth defect for the baby and since I had been on medication way before I got pregnant, I was worried that the damage was already done. But that was no excuse. I should have gone for a scan first or waited to hear from my doctor but I was just so mad at you that day. And now, my doctor is saying I shouldn’t abort the baby, that the pregnancy would be fine even with the meds. But it’s too late, Jide. And it’s all my fault.”

Jide holds my hands to comfort me even though he doesn’t understand half of what I have just spilled. He lets me cry for a while.

“Sit down,” I say to him eventually. He takes the space beside me.

My fingers go into a nervous twisting contest with each other until he places a warm hand over them.

“I have bipolar disorder,” I confess to him. I can’t look into his eyes.

“I was diagnosed six years ago. I remember my doctor breaking the news and me staring back at him in total confusion. I was like, ‘isn’t that a mental illness?’ and he said, ‘yes. You can also call it manic depression.’ I remember not being able to process anything in the days that followed. The diagnosis was way worse than what I was feeling. I had always known, from my teenage years, that my level of depression was not normal. And when the doctor listed out the symptoms for me, a lot of stuff started to make sense. He said it could likely be linked to family history; maybe someone in my family had suffered or was suffering from it.”

“Was there anyone?” Jide asks, lifting a leg to rest on the couch so he can face me better. His sudden question and movement jarred me out of my narrative, making me realize I was sharing for the first time, my darkest secret. Before this, only Ekene knew. And I didn’t have to tell him. After a terrible spell of depression six years ago, he had dragged me to the psychiatrist who studied and pronounced me mentally disabled.

I had felt like dying that day. Questions that had no answers plied my mind for weeks and even today, I am still left in the dark. For this reason, I have kept this part of me hidden, hoping that somehow I would wake up one morning and it would disappear. Being with Jide freed me for a while. In fact, I believed I had been cured until the abortion, which plunged me into darkness, my worst ever. Since I left Jide, I have been locked in, shades drawn, eating myself to stupor and not being able to find my way out.

“I wouldn’t have known then if someone in my family had it. Bipolar is hard to diagnose because apart from the depression, it comes with highs. You have moments when you feel really happy and have lots of energy. But when I think of it now, I think my mom suffered from it. The pain I felt the day Jane shared with us the details of my mom’s death still lingers. It opened up a can of worms that explained a whole lot about what my mom suffered while she was alive. She did not only have to deal with enemies on the outside, she had her own mind working against her just as I do. And I believe that was the reason she readily accepted death when it came. I do not want to end up like her.”

“Are you taking your meds right now?”

“No. I stopped after the abortion and I’ve been on a terrible low.”

“You think medication is bad for you?”

“I think it’s good but too much of a good thing can turn bad too. I don’t know who I am anymore without the meds.”

“Is this why you broke up with me, Hon? You thought I would leave you if I knew?”

“You don’t know me, Jide. The real me. Before I was diagnosed, I could go for months on a constant high with little sleep, always up and running. Sometimes when I’d get off flights, I’d go clubbing and because we were not allowed to drink, I’d compensate with sex. I was in a constantly-spinning wheel. That was how I was able to manage my job competently. My bosses loved my efficiency but I was dying inside. And then I had my lows too. I remember locking myself in the lavatory during flights and just crying for no reason until a colleague would knock and tell me a passenger was waiting to use the place.

“Or at stopovers, I’d do the exact opposite of clubbing and stay locked in my hotel room until the next flight. And this had basically been the story of my life before the meds. I suffered it in the university and also in secondary school but I hid it really well then. Imagine you feeling like just dying but you have to wake up every day, smile, hang with friends and just live a life you don’t really want to live.”

“Do you think the way your siblings treated you could also be a contributing factor?”

“My doctor believes so.”

“Me too. It was painful to watch your elder brother abuse you the way he did.”

“My doctor says the abuse made me isolated and since I didn’t share it with my parents, it became part of my existence and left roots deep inside me. He thinks I should speak to my siblings, tell them how much they hurt me. He says it would help heal me. But I don’t want to.”

“Maybe you need someone to be there beside you. Can you do it if I’m there?”

His request baffles me.

“Why would you want to be there, Jide?”

“What sort of question is that, Honey? I am your friend.”

“You don’t know me, Jide. I am not the Honey you fell in love with. That one you love behaves herself, she is nice, polite, well-mannered, acts moderately…”

“And this one sitting here with me is who?”

“You don’t know me. And it would be best if we stayed away from each other.”

“Honey, you met me and fell in love, and your whole world stopped and you created space for me. You did that. Not the medication. You. And just like that you want to erase everything?”

“Jide, smashing your phone was me just playing with you. I can get worse. You don’t know me.”

“You keep saying that. Give me a chance to know you!”

“It would be a disaster, Jide! I know! I stopped my meds because I want to start my life afresh…”

“Start it with me.”

“No, Jide! I need to be able to, on my own, build myself, and learn how to manage my emotions and my moods before…”

Jide dashes up. “You can’t, Honey! You can’t do it alone! That’s what I’m trying to tell you! I have been there! When I lost Ezinne, I fell into depression and had mindless sex with strangers. I couldn’t sleep alone at night because I’d have nightmares; there must be a girl in my bed every damn night! And yet I couldn’t commit. I went for the ones that were already in committed relationships because I didn’t want strings attached or any type of drama. But in the end, I was lonely, angry and depressed. I’m not saying I’ve felt exactly how you feel but I have been there in the pits and I thought I could heal myself on my own but I couldn’t. And that was when I decided to come back home, to family, to friends…”

He bends his tall frame over me, resting his hands on the couch.

“And then I found you and my life found light. Being with you is my healing process, Erhinyuse. If you go, Honey…you’ll take me back into the dark. Please, allow me be the same for you. The one place you can go whenever you feel too weak to face your day. And of course, we’ll both be taking it one day at a time. Mmh?”

I bury my face in my hands. God! I love this man insanely and he sounds so convincing and I just want to throw my hands in the air and say take me but he doesn’t know the half of it.

“I do. I know more than the half of it,” he says and I look up into his eyes, baffled. “Yes, sugar lips, you just spoke out loud.”

I cover my face in embarrassment. He pushes my hands down.

“And it’s something you have done several times in the past. And I love it. You do other weird things too but I never complained because I have my own crazy.”

He shifts my weave off my face and lets it rest on my shoulder. He does so with so much concentration and tenderness that gets me smiling.

“You have a loving family, you know? And I don’t mean those assholes in Warri. I mean, Nne and her husband. And you have brothers and sisters too.”

He kisses my nose.

“You want to talk about the baby?”

“No.”

“You want to have another baby?”

I giggle but I see he’s serious.

“Be honest, Honey.”

“Funny enough,” I reply reservedly, “I want to be given another chance. I know it’s not a cure but yeah, I want to be a mom.”

“That can be arranged, starting from…last night.”

We both laugh.

“So, I think you’re reeeally beautiful and I think you have an awesome mind that I would want to know. So, you think you could maybe be my girlfriend – again?”

I put my arms around his neck and he lifts me up. I wrap my legs around him.

“Is this a yes?”

“Mm-hm.”

He knots his eyebrows. “Have we tried this style before?”

“Jide?”

“Just checking.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’m apprehensive about speaking to Yazmin about this claudia thing. How do I go to her and say ‘hey, Yaz you could have claudia’? She would just flip.

I should have paid more attention in my biology classes because I vaguely recall my sexy biology teacher saying something about the penis being the host of certain infections. I wasn’t concentrating, of course. I was staring at her boobs and thinking of the many things I could do with it.

Now, this claudia stuff, I’m wondering for how long I’ve had it and went about not knowing it was there. I dare not Google it, not after Tola’s scary questions about my balls. Yeah, that’s one of the perks of marrying a doctor. They scare you with medical stuff. Maybe the infection is not even that bad; I suspect it’s one of those things women have that comes and goes.

“Papi, what’s wrong?”

I stare at my son and look up at Yazmin.

“Does he have big ears?”

Yazmin gazes at Tobe like he’s a hunk. “No. He’s just so cute.”

“Well, for a baby he has big ears.”

“Papi, you want some syrup with your waffles?”

“Waffles kwa?” I frown at Yazmin. “Bia, when will you learn how to start cooking ogbono and egusi or learn how to say ‘Emeka’?”

She hisses, Nigerian style, and walks back into the kitchen where she emerged from.

“At least, you learnt something.”

“Syrup or plain?” She shouts from the kitchen.

“Plain, abeg. Which one is syrup?” I stare at my son. “Toby, your mother wants to turn us to white men and give us jedi-jedi and we say no to that. You are full-blooded Igbo. Your name is Tobechi Onuora. You’ll speak Igbo before you speak Spanish and when you see me, you say ndewo or I’ll daze your jaw.”

The tot bursts into a cry.

“You don’t like what I’m saying? Screw you.”

Yazmin returns with a breakfast tray and wrinkled brows. “Why do you always make the boy cry?”

“Because I can.”

She carries Tobe with one hand and sets the tray on my lap with the other. She picks a chair facing me to nurse Tobe. wafflesI stare at the breakfast. I want to scold her for the joke of a meal but I don’t want a fight this morning. This is basically all she knows how to cook.

“Thank you, mi vida.”

“De nada.” She smiles.

“So um… Tola has claudia and she thinks we might all be infected. It would be good if we run tests and…”

“Wait, back up. Tola’s got what?”

“Claudia.”

“Claudia?”

“Yeah. It’s an infection.”

Yazmin blasts into laughter and gets Tobe terrified. He shrieks out in an annoying voice.

“I’m so sorry, baby.” She places him back on her nipple. “Your daddy just cracks me up. What the hell is claudia?”

I ignore her and dig into my waffles.

“I’m guessing you mean Chlamydia.”

“Whatever. Tola has it. She swears it’s not from a dirty swimming pool in Mauritius and God knows I’ve been faithful to you girls, so I don’t know where else it came from. My best bet would be a public toilet.”

“So you want us to get tested?”

“Yeah. And also get treated.”

“Okay.”

I pause. “Okay? That’s your answer to all I just told you?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re not worried that you have a nasty claudia infection? That it is going to affect our sex life? You’re not upset about it?”

“No. I guess shit like this happens in polygamous families.”

“Oh. I see.”

“You see what?”

I slant my head in the direction of the kitchen.

“Erm…what’s the name of this girl again?”

“Bossy?”

“It’s Bose, Yaz. Bo-se.”

“Whatever. I don’t like her.”

“Bose!” I call the housemaid.  She answers and appears before me in seconds.

“Take my son from his mother.”

She stares at Yazmin and back at me.

“Sir?”

“Take the boy and give him formula.”

“Why?” Yazmin questions.

“Take the boy, my friend!”

Bose approaches Yazmin hesitantly and Yazmin, slightly scared by my sudden change of mood, passes the baby to her. I wait until we’re out of earshot before I speak.

“Who did you fuck, Yaz?”

“Wh-what?”

“Who did you fucking fuck to give me and Tola claudia?!”

“Nobody, papi.”

“Yaz, it’s nine in the morning and I have to be at the office before ten. I ain’t got time. You better start talking before I walk out that door.”

She does a silent and slightly insolent sigh. “Some guy I met at a party back home.”

I am instantly traumatized. I zap into a coma for a few and come back to life. I’m not sure how long I stayed in oblivion but clearly it wasn’t long enough because I return to find the two-timing bitch’s face glaring back at me with a do-your-worst look.

I mentally take a drink of icy water to cool me down. She must not see my heart cracking.

“Details, Yazmin.”

“My cousin, not the fat one, the one with the big boobs…”

I recall the cousin in question.

“It was her birthday and she threw a party at her house and I was there. I got drunk, met some guy from my high school and stuff happened. It meant nothing, really. Just sex.”

Ah! I don die! Wetin I go marry?

“Just sex,” I mumble.

“Yeah.”

“And this happened when?”

“I think a week before I came here.”

“Just sex,” I repeat.

“Papi, you’re mad?”

At this point, I can’t form again. My mouth hangs open and I glare at her as she continues speaking out of turn.

“I mean, I didn’t know our marriage is supposed to be that serious. We said we were only doing it to get my dad off our backs and so that I can have my life, away from him. Not like I’m Tola that you’re openly crazy over. I’m just the baby mama.”

“And that’s why you feel you can fuck around like a cheap ass puta.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“That is what you are!” My rage comes full force as I spring up. “How can a married woman, a mother who is breastfeeding go partying, get drunk and fuck around?!”

“It was just the one guy.”

“And without a condom?!”

“It was a mistake.”

“Mistake?! Bitch, his dick accidentally fell into your pussy?!”

“Don’t shout on me!” She starts to cry as my phone decides it is the best time to ring. I check the Caller ID; it’s a call from work. I reject it and face her.

“I don’t know how you do it in Mexico but here, a married woman who does what you did is sent packing. And that’s what’s gonna happen to you.”

It’s her turn to be shocked.

“Yes, I’ll call your dad and your mom and tell them what a slut you are after I send you back home!”

I grab my car key and head for the door.

“And yes, Tobe is not going with you,” I add.

She hurries to me before I leave.

“I’m sorry, papi. It meant nothing. I was just horny.”

“I bought you a fucking vibrator last Christmas! You even have those huge ass candles in your room you could have used! Why fuck a stinking dick that is infected with Mexican claudia and pass it to me and my wife?! Why would you do me like this, Yaz?! I defended you before Tola!”

“I’m sorry.”

“And you weren’t going to tell me?”

She blurts out series of excuses and apologies that make no sense and sends me into a rage again. To keep my lid on, I storm out. Once in the car, I dial her number and tell her to get dressed. We have to run tests at the hospital. I swear to God, if there is one more STD apart from this claudia, she is going back home. I won’t kill myself because of woman.

©Sally@moskedapages

 Image credits: huffingtonpost.com, www.lepainquotidien.nl

It’s Another Saturday…#24

Honey’s Secret

So the other day Oba asks me how I cope with two wives and I give him a pretty straight answer. I tell him what he wants to hear – that I’m having a ball, basically. Double the pleasure, double the fun. It’s not beans to wear two wedding rings. I think I deserve some respect.

yazmex3

You’re never going to hear me complain about my marital status. I love both women and they love me back. Case closed. We have bumps like every normal family. Jide tells me I’m living in a fool’s paradise. He calls my situation, in quotes, “a fucking freak show.”

I take no offence. He’s my brother and he means no harm. Besides, he’s been cynical since Honey dumped him. I honestly like her as a person but the moment their breakup clocks two months, I’m hooking him up with one of my friends. I don’t believe a man should hunger for a woman, no matter how fantastic she is. There are lots of women out there who would drop on their knees if someone like Jide as much as looks their way, so why lose sleep over one random chick?

I’m not your regular douchebag; I’m just always realistic. I didn’t write the rules and I’m not about to change them. I have a heart beneath it all, mind you. I honestly do love my wives and I’m faithful to them because they both keep me on my toes. Man, do I love the drama and double loving they bring.

Take for example, Yazmin. She’s cray. On a whole different level. She has plans to screw my life with her demands. I have literally spent the last week attending to her, hand and foot. Still, she wants an extra limb, the one I have been reserving for Tola. And she knows this but she doesn’t care. Yazmin must get what Yazmin wants or Emeka will hang.

Presently I’m watching as she weakens me with her tongue skills. I have always been meaning to ask her who tutored her in oral sex. I should ask her now but I can’t even speak. That’s how good she is.

I swear out loud as she goes deep-throat. I don’t think I can take it any longer, so I grab a fistful of her hair and push her away from me.

“Biko, it’s enough.”

The look on her face is not a good one, hence I hurl myself up on my knees, and still holding her hair, I kiss her.

“Baby, I gotta run,” I tell her.

“Just one more.” Her hand dives below my waistline. “Five minutes, I promise.”

Five minutes sounds harmless but I should know better what Yazmin can accomplish with it.

“No.”

I move away but she holds on to me, her hand working the length of me.

“Just lay back and let me do my thing, papi.”

She pushes me and my back hits the bed. Before I can blink, she is on me and I am in her. When I feel her warmth, my lips sputter out something nasty that gets her laughing.

“Why are you doing this, mi vida?”

“Because you like it and I’m the only one who can do it the way you like it.”

And that’s no lie there. Yazmin gets me sexually. Tola holds me emotionally and sometimes, it makes for great sex but when it comes to consistent, mind-blowing mayhem in bed, Yazmin has no equal. And she’ll swear that she’s had only two other men in her life before me.

My phone is ringing. Tola is calling but I can’t stop now, not when I have flipped Yazmin over and her butt cheeks are squeezed in my hands as I give her a taste of her own medicine.

I bury her head in a pillow. If I don’t, she’ll kill me with all that loud moaning. And to worsen it, she’s mouthing off nastily in Spanish. I try my best to hold on but I can’t. I withdraw from her before I risk giving her a second child. She takes me in her mouth once again to finish the job.

The instant she enters the bathroom to wash up, I dash out of the house.

In my car, both phones are ringing. Tola is on one line and of course, Yaz is on the other. I glance at the house and I see her standing by one of the windows with Tobe in her arms.

“I love you,” I say into the phone.

“Pinche pendejo,” she replies.

I laugh and drive off. Forty minutes later, I am home. Tola is in the kitchen, sitting before a huge mortar she got from God-knows-where. She is pounding something that looks like a mixture of pepper and crayfish. The housemaid stands nearby, watching. I’m sure she has pissed her madam off and has been ordered to do nothing. I look at the madam in question. She has a malicious look on her face that has me wondering what I have done this time.

But she looks beautiful. Sexy, even – with her legs spread apart and her little baby bump beneath her t-shirt and shorts. I haven’t seen her in a week. Staring into her troublesome face, I realize how much I have missed her and her constant hassle.

“I have chlamydia,” she spurts out as she stops pounding.

“Chlamydia?” I go for a drink of water.

She orders the housemaid out with a quick gesture.

“Isn’t that like yeast infection or something?” I ask.

“It’s worse. And I got it from you because it is sexually transmitted.”

“Oh?”

“Have you had any discharge from your penis lately?”

“For real?” I pick a bottle of freezing water and shut the fridge. “No.”

“Burning pain while urinating?”

“No.”

“Swollen or tender balls?”

“Jeez, doc! I don’t have Claudia or Carissa…”

“It is called chlamydia and you freaking gave it to me and I’m sure you got it from your wife!”

“Haba!”

“Well unless you got some other sidechick out there…!”

“Kilode?! What is your problem this early morning, madam?”

“I have a really bad sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious damage to my reproductive system or hurt our baby and I got it from you and you’re asking me what my problem is?!”

“Calm down, doc. Maybe you got it from your trip. You like swimming, so maybe you used the pool and…”

“Don’t be very stupid, Mex. You gave it to me! And now, I have to go on antibiotics which could cause me yeast infection and generally screw up my entire pregnancy! I hate you!”

She abandons the pestle and leaves the kitchen. I follow her.

“Let’s talk about this…”

“There is nothing to talk about, Chukwuemeka!” She swings at me. I break my steps.

“I did not sign up for this! It was supposed to be just me and you but now I’m sharing you and sharing STDs?!”

She walks to the bed, drops on it and begins to sob. I hurry to her and take her in my arms. I assure her of my love. I kiss away the tears too.

She stops for a bit and looks at me. “We can make this work, Mex. Three of us can but not with STDs flying about.”

“I’m sorry about what you’re going through, baby.”

I lie back on the bed and pull her to sit on me.

“Is there another girl out there, Mex?”

“I already told you there isn’t.”

“Then it came from Yazmin…”

“Yaz is not cheating on me.”

“How then did I get chlamydia?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, you figure it out and get yourself tested for chlamydia. You and Yazmin. And also get yourselves treated while I take a break from this ménage-a-trois before I lose my mind. I can’t keep crying like this. It’s not good for me and the baby. And it’s so hard because I need you. You used to be my best friend.”

“I still am,” I assure her.

tolmex2

She lowers to give me a kiss. It’s deep and passionate and for a moment, I brace myself for a long session of lovemaking but she breaks contact and rises to her feet. I suddenly realize she has not unpacked her things from her travel suitcase.

I sit up. “I hope you’re not planning to go away again.”

“I am.” She takes in a long sniffle. “I’m beginning to hate you.”

“Tols…”

She stops me, picks her handbag and points at the suitcase. “Help me with that.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just get yourself treated. And I want you and Yaz to run complete tests of every other STD out there…”

“Come on…”

“I have freaking chlamydia!”

“Fine. We’ll run tests. Anything else?”

“My box!” She points and I go for her suitcase.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Someone is ringing my doorbell like a maniac. I listen to the sound while staring at my television screen without interest. Ekene and Saratu are too deep into the movie they’re watching and the box of fries and chicken they have wedged between them that they ignore the doorbell. Who gets so engrossed in a movie at 10am anyways?

I get off my seat and head towards the door, praying that it is not Jide I’ll find outside. It’s been a month since we broke up but seventeen days since we last saw. I still love him, even more than I did before but I just can’t be the Honey he used to know. I don’t even know who I really am. I have lost my mind, my emotions and generally my will to be the person I used to be or do the things I loved. The pain is intense and I can’t really explain it. I feel I have hurt Jide so much that there’s nothing I can do to make up for the pain I have caused. I am literally burying my head in the sand and it’s the darkest place I have been yet.

I’ve told him to move on and since I haven’t heard from him in a while, I guess he has.

I open my front door and the last person I expect to see is standing under the blazing sun, decked up in Casual Couture and frowning at me like I am responsible for making her break out in perspiration.

I lower my eyes to her feet and see a suitcase resting on the floor beside her.

Her frown disappears, replaced with a smile. “Hi Honey!”

“Hey, Tola.”

She gives a curious expression, her head tilted to an angle to study my face.

“Are you okay? Heard you and Jide broke up. How are you coping?”

“I’m good.”

“Is it me or have you added a little weight?”

Her statement cuts. I have added more than a little bit of fat. I can’t comfortably look into the mirror these days.

“But I understand. When Emeka started cheating on me back then I did a lot of comfort eating and added some weight. So, don’t worry. You’ll get over it.”

“Are you coming in?”

“Bless! I thought you were going to leave me burning outside.”

She drags in her suitcase and stops when she sees Ekene and Saratu staring at her inquiringly.

“Hi.” She waves.

Ekene waves back. Saratu merely stares.

“I’m greeting o,” Tola pronounces.

“Hello,” Saratu mouths.

“Honey, can we talk?”

Before I can answer, she takes my hand and drags me into the kitchen.

“How are you, darling?” She holds my face tenderly; and if I am in the right frame of mind I would be trying to decipher how I became her darling overnight.

“You miss Jide, don’t you?”

I stay silent.

“Aww, I understand how you feel. I also suffered from Jide withdrawal for like twenty-four hours after we had sex.”

Is she kidding me?

“But I trust that you’ll get your shit together. Unlike me and Mex.” She sighs. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to the way we used to be. Like right now, I am so mad at him. Yazmin has given me some STI through him! And he’s denying it, claiming that I got it from my trip to Mauritius. I’m like how?! How on earth does one catch an infection like chlamydia from a swimming pool?! So I said to him, go and get you and your wife tested for STDs and treat yourselves before we continue our threesome! I have a baby coming on the way and God knows I cannot risk him getting an infection!”

“Yeah.”

Her shoulders slouch. “Honey, you look really down. Are you sure you’re okay?”

She touches my forehead.

“Temperature fine.”

She pulls at my lower eyelids. “Eyes normal. Stick out your tongue for me. Say aaah.”

“I’m fine, Tola.”

“You’re sure?”

She takes my hand and tries to forcefully read my pulse but I pull away.

“Okay. Since you’re fine, can I stay with you for a while? Like let’s say two weeks. Until I’m no longer angry at Mex?”

“You want to stay here?”

“I know I should have told you before coming but the truth is I didn’t plan to bug you initially. I was actually going to stay at my aunt’s place but my cousin said there was nobody in the house, that they all traveled. Then I thought of my friends but I changed my mind immediately. If I went to any of them, they would start spreading gossip that my marriage is on the rocks, so I thought of that one person that would neither judge me nor spread gossip about me and we could have mad fun together…”

“And you thought of me.”

She nods with a grin. “I even bought you something from Mauritius.”

She pulls out a nightshirt from her handbag that has ‘sisters-in-lawv’ written on it.

“I have a matching pair in my box. You like?”

“Yeah. Thanks.”

“We’ll have fun, right? I could have gone to a hotel but I don’t want to be alone. And you’re such a cool chick and well-traveled as I am. We have a lot more in common than we know, asides the Onuora boys. Plus we’re both heartbroken.”

I simply smile.

“So, tell me your spare room is free.”

“It is not,” Saratu answers, walking in.

Tola instantly puts up the condescending air she is known for but I step in before things turn nauseating.

“You can stay in my room, Tola.”

“That’s better.”

“This way.”

I lead her to my bedroom and let her in.

“Jesus Lord!” She gasps at the state of mess that is a result of four weeks of neglect.

“I’ll try to fix things this afternoon. I’ve been very busy.”

I part open the curtains to let in air.

“Honey…” Tola walks to me and touches my hand. “What’s really going on?”

I look at her. I desperately want to talk to someone but my tongue feels too heavy right now.

“Like you said,” I reply, “heartbreak.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

 “And I’m done!”

Tola takes a pose and flings a wet wipe into a trashcan resting under my dressing mirror. The room is now spotless but not as good as I’d normally do it. Jide used to tease me of having traces of OCD. I wonder what he’ll think of me now.

The doorbell goes off again and I feel my tummy churn. Without a second thought, I shut my bedroom door. Tola doesn’t notice. She is busy undressing for a shower.

“I actually wanted to make catfish peppersoup this morning but when I saw Mex, I just lost my mood. The guy is just an annoying ass, I swear. But I love him like that.”

She takes off her bra using that skillful manner women use in taking off their bras. I remember I once had a roommate that could not only take off her bra while dressed but also her jeans with her panty still on.

Saratu barges in.

“That your friend is here again o!” she announces.

“What friend?”

“The curvy one. She insists on seeing you and she even brought her luggage as well. I wonder when this house became a refugee camp.”

“Erm…let me see her.”

I leave the room with Saratu.

“Are you doing a sleepover I know nothing about?” Ekene jokes. “Fine chicks are just dropping in from the sky like rain.”

I open the front door and there is Mary standing outside. She is not smiling and I’m guessing Saratu must have been rude to her.

“Hi Honey.”

She reaches forward and gives me a hug.

“I’ve missed you,” she tells me, letting go. She doesn’t comment about my weight. Bless her!

“I’m staying for the weekend. Just to keep you company and to make sure everything is copacetic. Hope you don’t mind?”

“We do – actually,” Saratu answers. Mary puts on a scowl. “And what is copacetic?”

“Ignore her,” I say. “Come in.”

Mary walks in. Ekene says hello, she mumbles in reply.

“We’ve met?” he asks, recognition hitting his face.

“No,” Mary responds.

I make introductions.

“Nice to meet you again, Mary,” Ekene mutters.

I direct Mary to my room. Saratu follows us in.

“So, Mary the thing is the house is packed full. Tola just came in…”

“Tola?”

“Yeah. She’s in the bathroom.”

“Why is she here?”

I don’t answer the question. “She’ll be sharing my room. Saratu is in the other room…”

“And there’s nowhere for me to stay. I understand, Hon. Not that I could have called you to inform you, though. Your phone has been switched off for ages. How are you?”

“I’m good.”

“No, she’s not,” Saratu butts in. “But wetin concern me? You know what, Mary? You can stay. I’ll bunk with Kene. I just have a few days left in this damned country anyways, so enjoy your weekend.”

“No, it’s okay,” Mary protests.

“You’re not displacing me, seriously. I’m only too glad to be out of this house because sisi here has been acting really weird.”

Mary puts an arm over my shoulder. “She’ll be fine.”

“Me, I don try.” Saratu walks out and we’re left alone.

“Tonight we’re going for Peace’s divorce party,” Mary says. “I know she invited you.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Mary faces me and rests her hands on my shoulders. “You will. I’ll dress you in a beautiful dress, do your makeup, fix up your hair and we’ll go and support a friend. I know you’re going through a hard time too and that is why I’m here to uplift your spirit. But I promise you that after this evening, you’ll feel a whole lot better.”

“Will Jide be there?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t want to see him.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about that. You just have to manage.”

I exhale. “Okay. I’ll go. I actually got Peace a gift but I was planning to have it delivered tomorrow morning.”

“You will hand it to her yourself. Come here.”

She draws me into a hug.

“I don’t know what is going on with you, Honey but you’ll be fine, dear.”

There’s something about Mary that gives me instant peace. I hold her tightly. That’s the only thing I can do to stop the tears from coming.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Awww, you look absolutely gorgeous, Honey!” Tola exclaims when I step out of my room with Mary behind me. “I’m officially jealous.”

“Me too.”

Saratu is busy with a chicken bone. She is yet to move to Ekene’s house. Right now, she’s in a pair of boxers and a strapless bra. Her hair is held up in Brazilian rollers while Tola helps paint her toenails. I have no idea how they bonded in the few hours Mary and I left them alone.

“Yellow looks good on you, Honey,” Tola compliments. I try to smile but I can’t. I agree that the dress I have on is lovely. Jide would love it, especially the length. He likes me wearing short things because he thinks I have amazing legs. But I feel fat.

“Don’t I look fat?”

“No.” The answer is a chorus from the ladies.

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah,” Tola reiterates. “I would have told you if you looked fat. Go and kill them, bae! Honey for the boys them!”

I smile.

“I particularly adore the heels,” Saratu comments. “When you come back, I’ll just claim them.”

“And your makeup is sublime,” Tola adds. “Please, Mary, let no man steal her from us at that party o. She will marry my dede whether she likes it or not. All this one her and Jide are doing is just yanga.”

Mary links her arm in mine. “She’s in safe hands. See you girls.”

We turn to the door and Mary drags me along. It’s dark outside and the weather a little cool after a long, hot day. I feel weird the moment my heels dig into the lawn. My skin tingles and the air invades my nostrils. I immediately have the urge to turn back. Mary senses it and she holds me tighter as we head outside the gate.

“Hey ladies!” Ekene’s car stops across the street. “Need a ride?”

“How does he always pop up from nowhere?” Mary whispers.

“It’s his talent.”

“You’re both looking great, by the way,” Ekene mentions. “It would be my pleasure to drop you off wherever you’re going.”

“Let’s go.” I tug Mary’s hand. We cross over and I take the backseat of the car, leaving her with a puzzled face and Ekene’s ogling eyes. He doesn’t seem to notice that she’s properly covered because her curves are in full display from underneath her outfit.

He is going to have a hard time concentrating on the road.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Peace welcomes me with a smile that is new to her features. She looks radiant in white. Her cheeks are full and ruddy. There’s a contagious glow about her.

“Where is Honey?” she asks me, looking over my shoulder. I smile apologetically in response.

“You guys should stop this rough play jor. I will not take that breakup nonsense I’m hearing. You belong together.”

“Please help me tell her when you see her.”

“So she’s not coming?”

“I don’t think so.”

“That’s heartbreaking. Come in jare.”

I step into the house and realize I am a late. Everyone else is present, except Mary, and they’re already having drinks. I throw in a general greeting and take the seat Peace offers after leaving a gift bag on the dining table where others are placed.

“How are you?” Celia leans towards me and whispers.

“I’m good.”

She’s stirring a cocktail. “You miss her?”

“Yeah.”

“We miss her too…”

“I have something to say, everyone!” Peace stands, interrupting Celia.

“First of all, thank you for coming. When Celia came up with the idea of this get-together I totally kicked against it because of my beliefs. Divorce is not a tag a Christian wants to carry, let alone party over. But when I deeply thought about it and remembered all I went through with Reno, I was like, why not? I am basically celebrating my life here today. Eight years ago, I walked down the aisle to stand before a man I barely knew. I gave my body, my heart and my future to him instead of giving them to God and I paid dearly. I never imagined I’d be here today, doing this, but I am and I’m grateful to God and to you, my friends. I don’t know why Mary is not here. She was the catalyst that woke me up and I owe her a lot. In her absence, I want to make a toast to life, to love and to broken hearts being mended.”

Celia passes her a glass of wine. She declines.

“Just for tonight, Peace.”

She takes the glass and lifts it in the air. As we are about to cheer, the door opens and Mary waltzes in.

“I’m sorry we’re late! So, so sorry! Our dumb driver took us through one corner-corner road and dumped us in traffic! We had to use a keke here. Hope we didn’t miss much?”

I am about to ask her who her companion is when Honey makes a grand entrance in the most beautiful dress I have ever seen on her. My tummy literally makes a loud grumble that gets Celia’s attention. She snorts. I ignore. My eyes won’t leave the door. Honey stands by it as if she is uncertain about joining us.

“Look who the cat dragged in!” Celia exclaims. “Hi Honey! We missed you, babes! Come give us a hug.”

Honey walks in with slow steps and hugs everyone, leaving me for last. I don’t intend to give a show when my arms wrap around her, so I make it quick but ensure that I hold her hand afterwards. Celia conspiratorially vacates her space on the couch but Honey decides to go for another empty space right opposite me. I don’t complain. It’s perfect. This way I can stare at her as much as I want.

“Honey, what would you like to drink?” Bobby asks.

“Water.”

“Water? Nobody except Kate is doing water here today. We have spirits, wine, champagne, beer, even palm wine! Pick any.”

“Um…”

“I know exactly what she wants,” I offer, getting off my seat.

I dash into the kitchen to mix the perfect cocktail. I want her to loosen up. It’s been seventeen days since we last saw. I have been counting because that is the most I can do. She has shut me and everyone else out and I don’t understand why. From what I have gathered, Saratu and that Ekene guy are the only persons that have access to her.

Fam, that just makes me plain mad. The guy literally lives in her house. The couple of times I went there to see her, it was he who answered the door. He didn’t let me in at both occasions and he held this smile on his face that made me just want to punch the yellowness out of his DNA.

I don’t want to believe that something is going on between them. I have been trying my best to shut out that irksome voice that keeps telling me that the Bridemaker curse has returned.

I’m worried. Something feels out of place and I might have plans to swallow my pride and speak to Ekene. Maybe he knows something I don’t. I won’t accept that she has stopped loving me as she told me the last time we met.

Her eyes had been wearing a veil of blankness. She was sitting across the table from me in this dim, bland restaurant she had chosen for us to have dinner. I held her hand. I caressed her palm with my finger but she merely stared back and told me she had lost every feeling she used to have for me.

“What changed?” I asked, my heart bleeding.

“Nothing,” she replied and pulled her hand away. “Nothing changed.”

“So you’re sleeping with Ekene again?”

“No.”

“Then what is it?”

“I’m sorry, Jide. I can’t do this.”

She picked her phone and purse and began out before I could stop her. I sat there, broken, angry and confused. She left me with questions that still need answers and I would have them tonight at all cost. This cocktail I’m mixing has always been her kryptonite.

I split the mix into two glasses, place one in the fridge and take the other to her. After serving it to her, I reclaim my earlier position and resume gazing at her.

“Before you ladies joined us, we were about to make a toast to life, love and broken hearts being mended.” Peace raises her glass once more as do we.

“Cheers!”

We salute to her toast. When I let my bottle of beer down, I catch Honey’s eyes on me which she averts straightaway. I also notice she has had a good gulp of her drink.

The evening goes by rather slowly, jokes are told, stories are shared and Honey loses her subdued temperament. She is into her second cocktail now, being entertained by Bobby’s hilarious tale about a client who pretended to go mad in court by stripping nude because she felt she was losing the case. I am not that into the story; I’m simply observing Honey. She has no idea my eyes are on her. She laughs out loud every now and then and I remember how much she loved doing that, especially when I strap her down and tickle her pitilessly. I miss that uncontained hilarity. And her lip-syncing skills and weird addiction for Choco Milo, or how she loved to be part of my morning shower just to hear me sing a Michael Jackson song. I haven’t sang since she left, though. Nothing is the same without her.

It’s almost 10pm and we’re having an argument about love and relationships. Everyone has something to say, including Honey. Her tongue is completely loose now and she has some interesting opinions about relationships and I’m amused.

Out of the blue, while speaking, her gaze drops to her phone and she lifts it off her laps.

“Excuse me,” she mutters as she hurries outside.

I go after her. I find her at Peace’s front steps and stop behind her. I’m just a hair’s breath away but I keep my space. The smooth arrangement of fine hairs on her neck gives me goosebumps. It is with self-control I keep my hands to myself.

“Come and get us in an hour,” she tells the person on the phone with her. “We’ll be done by then.”

I wonder if it’s Ekene.

“See ya.”

The call ends and she does a swivel into my waiting arms. There is initial surprise and then a twinkling of silence as we both remain immobile.

Then she makes to pull back but I tug closer, smelling her hair, feeling the lushness of her breasts on my chest.

“Why did you take all of this away from me, sugar lips?”

I’m not looking for an immediate answer. I’d rather have a kiss, so I take one without asking. She only lets me taste her lips for a second before she moves away.

I see the defenselessness in her eyes. The cocktail has done its job; it’s time to do mine. I take her hand and cart her away from the front entrance of Peace’s home. We end up outside the gate where I have the car parked.

“Jide, Mary will look for me,” Honey protests weakly.

“She won’t.”

I open the passenger door, she slips into the car on her own accord. When I fire up the engine, she turns on the Mp3 player and makes a selection of her favorite party songs. I see that she’s in a hyper mood and I’m a little worried that I went too far on the cocktail mix.

“I don’t want to go home yet,” she tells me.

“My place, then?”

She nods, and does so to the rhythm of the song presently playing. Then she goes ahead to lip-sync to it, dancing at the same time. It’s Sia’s Free the Animal playing, a song I have heard so many times. But I am just realizing the song is talking about sex. I don’t even know what the lyrics are exactly; I’m more interested in the way Honey’s body pulses to it. Naturally, I am on my way to being turned on but I’ll control it. We need to talk first. If all goes well, anything else can happen.

It’s a short drive to my house. Honey is still pumped; there’s a party going on in her head, I guess. Once inside the house, she livens it up with the home theater, now playing some Jimmy Jatt party mix.

This is not what I had in mind. I enter the kitchen for a drink of water and when I return, I find Honey stripped and left in nothing but her underwear.

I balk.

“Isn’t this why you brought me here?” she asks, sauntering towards me. “Why you got me drunk in the first place?”

“No, Honey.”

I switch off the home theater system.

“I didn’t get you drunk. I just wanted to loosen you up a bit so we can talk about why we broke up. I feel there’s something you’re hiding from me.”

“I’m hiding nothing, Jideofor.” She keeps her eyes on my lips. “Except this.”

Her bra falls to the floor. I look straight into her eyes.

“Erhinyuse, behave.”

I hold her hands together. “I need answers. Just a few answers. I know you still love me. I know the breakup was hard on you too and it still is. I can tell by just looking at you. But what I don’t know is why you let go of something really good. What did I do that is so unforgiveable? Why was it so easy for you to dump me just like that?”

She loses her seductive air as her eyes grow dim. “It wasn’t easy, Jide. It was the hardest thing. And I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s best that you don’t know.”

“Okay, what if I give you time and you eventually tell me what is going on, will that fix things between us?”

“Jide, we’re done. There’s no fixing things. You won’t even want to be with me once I open up to you.”

“Let me be the judge of that, Honey. Let me stop loving you on my own terms.”

Tears instantly fill her eyes. She stoops down and picks her bra.

“I have to go.”

I catch her hand as she turns away. “Don’t go.”

She steps closer and shawls her arms around my neck, going for a weak spot underneath my ear.

“I’ve missed you,” she whispers.

I have never had reason to resist her advances before and I don’t think this time will be different. We kiss like we have been sex-starved for years. We grope and fondle like wildlings. We crash into the nearest couch. When I thrust into her, she explodes, and I have to break for a while to let her have her moment. She laughs as the orgasm takes her. All I can do is entertain myself while I wait.

But she won’t let me. She drags me by the collar and forces me in deeper.

The feeling is bliss! That’s the only way I can explain it. I have held this want for a long time and it’s more than I can bear. The deeper I go, the wilder we both get, the more certain I am that I want to be doing this to Honey all my life. I don’t care what her story is, I am not letting her out of my sight again.

She has a second orgasm that makes me lose control. I try to pull away but she straps me in. History could repeat itself but at the moment, neither of us cares. The absolute ecstasy we’re both feeling and the elation of being together trumps everything else, thus I get lost in pleasure and spend myself within her.

Total stillness takes over. I kiss her while trying to catch my breath. Tired eyes stare back at me and I caress her lips until her eyelids close. It doesn’t take long for her to drift into deep sleep. I lift her up and take her into the bedroom, and then return to the sitting room to accomplish what has been tugging on my mind.

I pick her phone from the floor where she has left it. I make a ‘G’ with my finger to unlock the code and surprisingly, the picture I see on the wallpaper is of both of us.

I stare at the phone for a while, not knowing what exactly I’m looking for.

I begin with her call log. The last call she received was from a contact she saved as ‘Eks’, obviously Ekene. The call before that was from me, seventeen days ago. This explains why I haven’t been able to reach her since then; her phone has been off.

Nothing else of interest arrests my attention. I move on to her text messages and find a blank wall as well. What am I expecting to see?

I check her email messages next. I still find nothing. I put the phone down, more curious than ever. I guess I have to wait until she wakes up before we can have that talk.

I turn on the television to get distracted and it is at that exact moment she receives an email. I know I shouldn’t read it but my curiosity won’t let me act politely. I tap open to read. It’s from some doctor with a Dutch-like name and he is responding to an email she sent at an earlier time before we broke up with the header, “I am pregnant”. His reply comes in five lines.

Hi Honey,

I am sorry to reply you this late. I was off connection for quite some time.

Please, don’t abort the baby or stop taking your meds. The baby will be fine. I hope this is not too late.

Attached is a new prescription and recommended dosage, assuming you’re still pregnant.

Can you fly in for your routine checkup?

I feel my heart beating fast as I scroll down and discover the email sender is a psychiatrist. I tap on the attached prescription. It reveals that she is on a drug called Lithium. The name rings familiar but I can’t recall anything about it. I quickly go to Google search on her phone and type in the word. Google lists out some suggestions and top amongst them are lithium for mania and lithium for bipolar disorder.

I stop right there, afraid to go any further as a cold sensation washes over me. I know I said I needed answers but I’m not so sure this is what I wanted to discover.

I walk back to my bedroom and stand by the door. She opens her eyes.

“I’m cold.”

I turn off the air conditioner.

“No, I want you here.”

I slide in beside her and she snuggles into my arms. The words mania and bipolar disorder won’t leave my head and I’m scared but I love this woman and I’m willing to bear her burden.

“Do you still want to talk?” she asks.

“No, sugams.” I kiss her forehead. “I just want you back.”

jih

©Sally@moskedapages

Translations:

mi vida – my life (Spanish)

pinche pendejo – fucking asshole

sisi – young girl

yanga – to front

keke – tricycle

 

Image credits:pinterest.com, favim.com, tofo.me