It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #7

Hi lovelies!

Just wanted to surprise you with this episode this evening but before you read, here’s a short announcement


Please tune in this Friday. I’ll be here to remind you again on Friday and to bring you a new series from @Ibukunwrites

Have a cool evening.

This episode is dedicated to Seye who recently walked down the aisle with his sweetheart. I wish you a happy married life, Seye.








He looks into his bag. He has packed light. Nothing more than the basics. A few shirts, a few pants, a pair of shoes, underwear and toiletries. He knows he is missing important items but his head cannot just figure out what needs to be added. Genesis usually does his packing for him. She would include all he needs and extra things that never cross his mind. Sometimes she tosses in little surprises like handwritten notes, her thong or one of the children’s stuffed animals. He always looks forward to discovering what new item she leaves in his bags.

Today, however, she’s in a mood. She blames it on the housekeeper’s illness which has left her handling the bulk of the house chores. But Dominic knows she’s upset because of his trip. She tries to be a big girl about it, having just told him a few days ago that she is done getting upset over his trips.

“Fly to Jupiter, I don’t care. I don’t need you to make me happy.”

Since then her moods have fluctuated a great deal. He hates that she hurts over his absences. He lives for the moments when he makes her happy but she has always been an outrageously-difficult woman to please. Gifts and elaborate romantic gestures have no effects on her. She simply wants the little things – love, family, and waking up beside him every morning.

“Just a little longer,” he would tell her, but her response would be a brushing away of his words. She stopped believing him when he had started to sound like a chant. He however, means to keep his promise. Soon she wouldn’t have to worry about him being away. Business is good, despite the recession. Four years ago, the BSD Group invested in foreign currency, partnering with European financiers to spread the BSD chain of malls across Africa and in some parts of Asia. The returns have been unprecedented, pushing all partners involved into unimaginable wealth. It has been four years of sleepless nights and dedication. Soon, he would go on the much needed break and give Genesis all she desires.

Dominic takes another peep into his bag and decides he would abandon the idea of packing and have breakfast with Genesis instead. She had slipped out of bed as early as 5am and is yet to return to their bedroom.

He grabs his phone and a t-shirt on his way out. The sound of the twins playing draws him to their bedroom where he finds them in the company of Iya Idaya who is seated, watching them. Just recovering from a brief illness, she looks worse for wear but upon sighting Dominic, she manages a smile and a greeting.

“How are you feeling?” he enquires. She tells him that she is doing better. He wants to know if she is taking her drugs. She replies that she is.

He stops for some playtime with the twins but they barely acknowledge his presence. They are already so attached to each other that they do fine entertaining themselves. After a few minutes of being ignored, Dominic rises up and asks Iya Idaya if she knows where Genesis is. The old woman shakes her head.

He exits the room and makes his way out of the house to the next building. The apartment upstairs, once belonging to Genesis, is still very much hers. When she wants to get away from the stress of work or if they get into one of their intense fights, she would leave the main house and hide out there. The fact that Eva passed away on her bed does little to bother her.

Dominic comes to the building and takes a door that leads to stairs going up to the second floor. But just as the top of the first flight of stairs he spots Genesis engaged in her fitness routine, which to him is a collection of sexual poses that turn him on. She doesn’t have a regular schedule for them but does them quite often to keep in shape. Dominic’s best pose is when she splits, either with her legs up in the air or flat on the floor. It always amazes him how someone who is plus size can have so much control of her body and make it do impossible things. He is most impressed by her discipline and dedication to her fitness goals. It is this same manner of mind she employs in Novocaine Knights that has kept them at the top.

Dominic stops for a moment to watch her. She has her entire weight on her hands alone and her feet up on the wall.


“Hey, gorgeous.”

She turns her head in his direction and turns it back. He is ignored for the next couple of minutes in which he sits and waits. She eventually lets down her legs and straightens up.

“Packed yet?” she asks, wiping perspiration off her forehead.

“More or less.”

“I’ve always told you never to bother doing it. I’ll come help.”

She picks a towel hanging off the bannister, slings it around her neck and comes down the stairs to meet him. When he rises up, his hand takes her waist and pulls her close for a kiss but she pushes him away.

“You know we don’t do this, Nick.”

“I’m sorry,” he apologizes, grabbing her again. “But I need you. I feel so drained and I’m not looking forward to this trip at all. You’ll give me the strength I need.”

“Domi, no. You’ll make love to me and leave me in an emotional mess for days. Don’t ask for what I can’t give. Just do your usual disappearing so that I can adjust to being single for two months.”

“Two months? Who says I’ll be gone two months?”


Dominic laughs. “You shouldn’t be listening to him.”

“Aren’t you guys traveling together?”

“We are but I’m not staying two months.”

She looks at him with something of an expectant expression. “So when will you be back then?”

“I don’t know.”

The expression vanishes. She starts out. He goes after her and forces his arms around her. In that manner they walk into the main house through the backdoor and end up in their favorite sitting room where she had left her phone charging.

“You want coffee?” he asks as she stretches out. The day has just begun for her. Her phone starts to buzz and she lazily stretches to the extension cord it is plugged in to take the call. An angry voice meets her ear and for a minute or so she has to endure whatever it is the person on the line is saying, throwing in apologies every now and then. Someone in the décor department has just messed up a bridezilla’s wedding decoration, substituting a shade of red for a deeper one.

“Maroon! Not burgundy!” The bride screams on. “Now my wedding is ruined!”

Genesis rubs an eye with the heel of her palm, feeling sore in the ear from all the shouting. Somehow she manages to bring the bride to calm and assures her that she’ll fix the situation in good time.

“Email a photo sample of the original color you asked for and a picture of what was done. I’ll look at it and if your complaints are legit, I’ll have it fixed in record time.”

“You’re sure?”

“Isn’t your reception six hours away? Have no worries. I’ll make you happy. All I want is for you to relax and smile. It’s your day. Don’t let anything spoil it for you. Your husband and the cameras need that beautiful smile.”

Genesis knows nothing about her, if she has a beautiful smile or not. Like many of the weddings and events that are handled by her staff, she is hardly aware. She takes on the big jobs for the big names and leaves the minor ones for her capable staff to attend to. She hates to be called in to repair someone else’s screw-ups.

Genesis rambles out her email to the woman and dumps the phone just as Dominic walks in with a pair of mugs containing coffee. She hadn’t known for how long she had been on the phone.

“Angry bride,” she explains, taking an offered mug. “I don’t even know how she got my number.”

“I hope you didn’t tell her you’ll fix whatever she’s calling you to fix.”

Genesis stretches out her legs on Dominic’s laps after he sits. “I did.”

“Remind me again why you hired people?”

“Don’t start.”

“If they’re not doing their jobs, fire them.”

“That’s why people call you heartless.”

Dominic slips his hand underneath her top and leaves it resting on her tummy.

“But I’m sure it’s nothing. Just a normal bridezilla fit. I’ll handle it.”

They sip their coffees in silence until her phone rings again. Dominic passes it to her. It’s the same bride calling. She wants to know if Genesis got her email.

“I haven’t.”

“Ah. I sent it almost ten minutes ago.”

“I’ll check my spam folder to see if it’s there. Please don’t call again as I’m busy right now and will not take your calls. I’ll call you if I need you to resend the email. Besides that, relax. I’ll fix everything that needs fixing.”

“Thank you, ma.”

The woman hangs up and Genesis consults her phone to get the said email but discovers she is out of internet service.

“Can I use your phone, Nick?”

Dominic dips his hand into his pocket, pulls out his phone and hands it to her. She types in the password. The screen brightens up as a text message pops into view.

“You have a text,” she informs him.

“Read it. I’m expecting some money.”

“You’re always expecting some money.”

“Abeg read it.”

Genesis taps on the SMS icon and it opens up to a short message from an unknown number which she reads out loud.

I’ve done all you asked for. I hope you’re happy. I’m on my way out of the country now. I’ll be expecting the rest of the money in 24 hours.

“Shit,” Dominic mutters. “Let me have that.”

Genesis passes the phone over to him and he returns it to her shortly.

“Something you care to share with me?” she asks.



“It’s nothing.”

“It’s not nothing, obviously, and I don’t want to pester but I’m curious and a little worried. My guts feel uncomfortable with that text.”

“Gen, let it go. Just do whatever it is you want to do with the phone.”

Genesis taps on the message icon and discovers that the message is no longer there.

“You deleted it.”

“Genesis Raymond, can you please let that text go?”

“No, Nick. You tell me everything. Why are you hiding this one?”

Dominic throws his head back and rests it on the couch. “Fine…” He sighs. “I paid Chichi off to leave Kasiobi and disappear for good.”

“Chichi? Chisom?”


“I don’t understand, Nick.”

“I’m giving her ten million bucks to get the hell out of Kasiobi’s life so he can go back to Tonbra. She left the baby behind.”

“Nick?” Genesis sits up. “Why would you do that?”

He straightens his posture. “Because Tonbra deserves to have the man she loves but with Chichi in the picture there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen.”

Genesis gives a dazed wobble of her head. “You scare me all the time, Dominic.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m simply nudging the lovebirds towards each other.”

“They are eventually going to end up together. Nothing can tear love apart.”

Dominic laughs. “Sometimes you’re so naïve. Nothing can tear love apart?”

“If they’re meant to be…”

“Genesis, please. You’re sounding like a cheesy romance novel. Love has never been enough to keep two people together. You have to give it a little nudge sometimes and that’s exactly what I did. I don’t want my daughter spending her youth being lonely and seeking for love in the wrong places. Soon, she’ll get over Kasiobi and start settling for less. As a father, I can’t watch that happen. She will not become Eva and end up being murdered by some man who can’t control her. So I’m doing everything to see her happy, and no one will give me the third degree over it. I’ll do it for Zach and Zoe if they fall into the same situation. This is who I am, Gen. I have the money and I’ll use it to fulfill selfish needs. Get used to it.”

Genesis lays a hand on his lap. “I understand, Nick. Relax.”

“I made Chichi sign a non-disclosure. If she ever comes back for her child, I’ll expose the documents to Kasiobi so he’ll know she gave up her child for money.”

“But what if Kasiobi has his sights on someone else?” Genesis asks, recalling the couple of times she had watched him flirt with Didi at the office.

“As long as the girl is not carrying his child, there’s no reason to worry. Chichi was the biggest threat.”

“I pray she never returns.”

Dominic pushes his hand into Genesis’ top once more as the mood mellows. “I pray you let me touch you before I go.”

Genesis ignores him as she signs into her email account and handles her client’s issues. The case takes her over fifteen minutes to sort out, during which Dominic graduates from just touching her to fondling her breasts. After she is through, he takes the phone off her hand, pins her down on the couch and starts to kiss her. She feels weak to stop him. His stunt with Chichi is a huge turn on. She has always had a weakness for his darker side.

“I’ll miss you,” he says into her ear, tickling it with his breath, and at the same time, pushing his hand into her pants to find the lushness of her bum.

She encloses her arms around him. “I never get used to you being away, Nick. It always hurts. Please, don’t stay too long.”

Her last word is caught in his lips. He kisses her lavishly but stops to look into her eyes.

“Just a little longer, Ms. Raymond.”

∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞


So I’m lying on this blue couch, doing my décor thing in my head and trying to take a selfie at the same time when my roomie steps into my sunlight and goes, “Is my ass big in this dress?”

Annoyed for losing a perfect shot that captures my eyes, I retort, “What ass?”

A pair of bespectacled eyes lands me an unpleasant stare. I return a smile. The person who has just spoken to me is a cute, petite Edo girl we call Ehizogie or Ehi for short. She is my housemate and also my colleague. We don’t particularly like each other but somehow we manage. Work and accommodation lumps us together. It’s only wise that we get along. Good thing I get to spend only weekends with her; during the week, I stay with my elder brother and his wife.

“If you want to see what they call ass, check this out.”

I get up, turn around and give Ehi a good view of my heavily-endowed behind. It is African in every sense, the type that gets fellow females jealous and males drooling.

Ehi hisses.

“You’re just fat,” she claps back. “Nothing sexy about it. Go and lose weight.”

To infuriate her further, I lower myself and give a twerk. There’s music coming from my bedroom, something that sounds like what Patoranking will sing. And I don’t only twerk to the beats, I give my booty a slow grind as though I am doing it for the viewing pleasure of a dude. And well, what do you know! A dude walks in unannounced, catching me in my moment.

He stops and focuses on me with a frown. I don’t stop. I’m not specifically doing it for him but if he chooses to be entertained, then he should by all means knock himself out.

By the way, while he watches, let me introduce myself. My name is Ndidi but people call me Didi or Chubby Di. I don’t mind, though. I’m fat, curvy, thick, voluptuous, plus sized and full of myself. You’ll never find me feeling sorry over how I look. Naa. I love my body and I am comfortable in my skin. There’s a huge market for my type, especially on this side of Nigeria. God bless the day I packed my belongings and moved from the east to the land flowing with men that appreciate booty. I have a long list of thirsters and blessers, already and I’m not even a ho. Just wild, sexy and more entertaining than your average girlfriend.

“Hello Kasi.” I stop tormenting my male spectator with my behind and face him.

“Hi Didi.”

Gosh! Kasiobi’s voice is to die for! It’s deep but not in a baritone way. Just deep and smooth like he should be whispering sweet nothings in your ear all night. And don’t even start me on his looks. He’s fine, with Will Smith kind of ears and pink, kissable lips. He is tall and (the best part) thin. Just the way I love my men. I can’t be plus size and go after fatsos like me. How do we enjoy sex? By bumping into each other’s cellulites? No, thank you. Skinny boys are best. They know how to love a big woman.

So, I’m thinking Kasi has a thing for me but he hides it well. Same way I hide mine. Dude’s got me feeling some kind of way but he’s never going to know I’m crushing on him. We’ve met on four different occasions but it has all been work-related. I’ve heard gist of his pathetic love life with the boss lady’s stepdaughter, Lexus, and how she dumped him. It’s not clear if he has recovered from the heartbreak but he’s yet to replace her. I’d have offered myself as a rebound girlfriend but not yet. I am watching the tides. I am barely three weeks old in these environs. It’s best to keep my head in what brought me here – and that is to work as an events planner at Novocaine Knights and to build a relationship with the family I never had.

I am an only child of a mother who was branded an ogbanje and rejected by her people. My grandmother died giving birth to her after losing four babies. My grandfather alone was left with the burden of caring for her but he remarried and had children by his new wife who maltreated my mom endlessly. Eventually, she ran away from the village and moved to Aba where she survived by selling food during the day and attending school at night.

According to her, one day, this rich man in his luxurious car drove up to her food stall to buy lunch and she fell in love with him. He was a married man with three sons but she didn’t care. A short affair culminated and I came to be. Sadly, the only thing mommy knew about my dad was his name – Lawrence Onuora. It took her five years before she bumped into him again. At that time, her hard work had paid off and she was able to secure an admission into University of Lagos, her dream school. And while I was left in the care of my maternal great-grandmother, mommy got herself educated, paying her fees with money she got from selling food in a canteen on campus.

She met daddy again at the school gates and they resumed their affair, meeting in hotels, until one unfortunate incident when his second son ran into them. The affair ended and left mommy heartbroken. She had told daddy about me but he made it clear that I was to remain in the shadows for the sake of his family. This didn’t stop him from being responsible for me. I was taken away from the village to Onitsha for a better life. Mommy eventually graduated but dropped all prospects of getting a decent job and returned to the east. She opened a beer parlor, faced her life and forgot all about my dad. Each time I asked, I was told he was dead. I only discovered he was alive when she was on her deathbed. She told me the entire story of how I came to be and gave me his phone number. Right in her presence, I called him. They spoke in Yoruba, a language I didn’t understand. When they were done, she asked me to put the phone on speaker. Her last words to us were, “Lawrence, your daughter, Ndidiamaka. Take care of her as your own. Ndi, your father. Go and be with him. God bless two of you.”

And then she breathed her last. It is barely three months since she passed. Daddy gave her a grand burial in the same village where she was treated as an outcaste. He took her shame away. He gave her a royal farewell and left tongues wagging for a long time. After my mourning period, he put me on a flight to Lagos. I was introduced to his wife, my brothers and their wives on a quiet night. Not all of them welcomed me with open arms. Nne, especially, doesn’t like me but I don’t take it personally. She lost her only daughter a short while after her birth. I understand her angst.

Wait, did I just deviate to talk about my family and forget about Kasi who is still standing in front of me in all his male hotness?

“Please, Ehi, I need your help desperately,” he says to Ehi.

“Anything, Kas,” she replies with a smile I never saw on her before.

“Please, come.”

I watch two of them leave the house and return shortly with a baby that looks every inch like Kasiobi. I take two, slump back into my seat and gape at the scene. He has a child?! How on earth did I not know this whole time?! And who the hell is her mother?!

“I’ll just change into something real quick and we’ll be out of here,” Ehi says and disappears into her room, leaving Kasiobi and I. And of course the baby whose cheek is enjoying the touch of his lips.

“Is she yours?” I ask.

“Yeah. Her name is Trinity.”

“Cool. So you’re married?”

He laughs. “No. Single dad.”

“Where’s her mom?”

“Oh, she’s out of town for a bit.”

“And left her all alone with you?”

“I’m capable.” He looks at his daughter. “Am I not, Trini? Is daddy not capable?”

Awww, how cute. But why would a mother leave a baby so little and travel? And why on earth did Kasiobi go and get a girl pregnant? Well, the whole thing now has K-leg. Who wants to be loving up a guy that has a baby under his care? I can’t be doing nanny abeg.

Ehi returns. “Let’s go.”

“Bye, Didi,” Kasiobi tells me. “See you later this evening at the concert.”


They walk to the door and then Ehi turns back. “I forgot my phone.”

She runs to her bedroom while Kasiobi makes his exit. I become moody over the latest development as I sit staring after him. Ehi comes back again but stops and blocks my sunlight once more.

“Stop wasting your time fantasizing about him, Ndi,” the silly thing speaks without permission. “His soul is tied to Lexus.”

“Plizz! Fantasizing is for teenagers like you,” I snap. “Speak for yourself.”

I flip my braids backwards, barge into my bedroom and begin fixing my scattered bed. My phone rings while I’m in the middle of it. The boss lady is calling. I pick the call in excitement. It’s not always she needs me for something outside office hours. I’m still a rookie in the business and apart from doing my job, I always aim to please her. Today of all days is a good opportunity to prove myself with the love concert. I had been assigned to do only a few things but I want more responsibility.

“Hello ma’am?”

I don’t get an answer.

“Hello? Good morning.”

I meet more silence.


I bring the phone to my face and put it back on my ear.

“Ma’am? Hello?”

I hear some sounds but not a word. I conclude that the network is bad and go offline. My thumb is about to tap on a button to return the call but a better idea pops into mind. I hurry out of my bedroom and find my way out of the apartment. There’s a small fence separating the bosses’ house from ours. In-between both houses stands a tree and beneath it a swing bench I enjoy spending spare time on.

I follow a small gate and come out to the massive mansion that is probably the most beautiful house I have seen in Lagos so far. At my entrance, guard dogs begin to bark fiercely. I ignore them because I know they have been caged. I follow a path that takes me straight to the kitchen via a backdoor. Upon entry I expect to see Iya Idaya, the housekeeper but I find no one present.

I leave the kitchen, finally having my opportunity to take a good look at the house. I have only been here once and it was on a brief visit. Now, I get the chance to absorb the elegance and beauty all at once, which blows me away at second glance.

Now, mind you, I’m standing in what seems like an anteroom which opens up to a stairway that leads up. If I guess correctly, the sitting room is to my left. It is where I plan to end up after I call the boss lady and tell her I am waiting for her. Before then, I decide to take a small tour.

Facing me, some feet away, is a door. My curiosity tells me to find out what is behind it. Since the door is ajar, it won’t be bad to take a peep.

I walk towards it and when I get there, I push the door open and come upon a beautiful sight of the boss and boss lady making out. The room is a mini-parlor with diffuse lighting and bright colors. It is not meant for any type of entertainment but somehow this beautiful couple has found it worthy enough to make out in.

The boss, lying between his wife’s legs which are spread apart, kisses her like he is born to kiss women. He stops and lowers his head to kiss her breast which is in full glare of my eyes. He does this as his hand goes between her legs. When he touches her ‘there’. She moans.

And I think I moan alongside her or something, because they stop abruptly and turn in my direction. My chest tightens, I step back, and find to my relief that they had not seen me. They have been startled by the stupid family cat that has just slipped past my leg and into the room. I had been too engrossed to feel its fur over my skin.

I withdraw and end up in the living room, trying not to keep the image of what I had just witnessed. It doesn’t help me. Who will quench the fires when I’m all alone? My bae-lessness, which has carried on for a long time is becoming something of a headache. I have dated just two boys in my life and both relationships didn’t have happy endings. Every other guy I met after them just wanted to be there for the nacks, something I wasn’t giving. It’s not like I’m looking for love, either. I simply want a reasonable guy that I can grow into loving, someone who is not all about sex. I might ooze it and talk so much about it but the fact is that I’m a novice. Literally, a virgin. Never known a man before, although, I have known men enough to understand the workings of their third legs. When people see me they automatically assume I have a PhD in men and sex. But I’m just a neophyte. A wild one, though.

Ehi has this theory that I’m wild because I’ve not been popped.

“When you have your first, you’ll calm down. I was like you – wild and wanting – and then I got disvirgined and became sane.”

I had rolled my eyes and almost snored to her unsolicited speech.

“In my opinion, the penis is overrated, and I’ll advice that you keep your body for marriage and use sex just for babies. That is what God would want of you.”

I had smiled. She wasn’t aware that I knew about her failed marriage to an old man her father’s age, which barely lasted four months after the man caught her engaged in lesbian sex with an unnamed chick. Now, she was using the religious angle on me. Bitch, please.

I pick my phone and plug in my earphones to listen to music. Boss Lady is moaning very quietly but I can pick out the sound. Well, they need it as a couple, with the boss always out of the country and his wife swamped with work– as I’ve heard.

I wait much longer than I thought I would and finally, I hear words and not moans. I also hear a door close. Only then do I choose to make my presence known. When I step out, the boss lady shows some surprise.

“You’ve been in there?” she asks.

“Yes, ma. Good morning, ma.”

“What happened to you calling me Genesis? How many times will I correct you?”

“I’m sorry Ms. Genesis.”

She smiles. A dimple shows on her cheek.

“Hello.” Her husband steps out of the mini-parlor. He shows no signs of what had just occurred between them, unlike her whose hair is in disarray.

“Good morning, sir,” I reply to his greeting.

He grabs his wife by the bum for a kiss and whispers into her ear. I look elsewhere.

“Oh, please, go away,” she tells him as he walks off. She turns to me. “So, Didi, why are you here?”

“You called me, actually. I answered the call and you weren’t saying anything, so I thought you needed me. Here I am.”

She gives me a guarded look. “How long have you been here?”

“I just got in.”

She suddenly becomes conscious of her hair. She shakes the expensive locks and they fall back into place. I wonder how much they cost.

“I think my phone dialed you on its own. It has a mind these days.”

I giggle. Not like what she said was funny but because she’s Genesis, the most beautiful woman I have ever come across that has a huge heart, and is an inspiration not to plus size women alone but to all women. I think I can fittingly call her a goddess. Let me digress a little and tell you how I almost ran mad on the day my elder brother’s wife, Honey, brought me to this house to meet her for the first time.

My dream had always been to work for Novocaine Knights. They were and still are that much of a big deal. Apart from the fact that they organized the best parties, weddings and events, they were rumored to pay their staff well. So on that Saturday when Aunty Honey brought me to the house and the door opened and I saw Ms. Genesis standing before me, I went blank for some seconds. I told myself she wasn’t the one. I said, ‘Didi, you have only seen her pictures online and videos of her. This can’t be her. Naa! This is a prank.’

But Aunty Honey hugged and greeted her, calling her name, and that was when I knew that it was her for real.

I fainted. Not literally. Just fainted out of my old life and into my new one with Genesis Ditorusin. So now you understand why I giggle when she says certain things even though there is nothing to giggle about. She is quite used to me doing that, though.

“Anyways, it’s good you’re here. Iya Idaya is not feeling so well, so I’d be glad if you step in and help me babysit the twins today. I have another event I’ve been planning which I have to attend briefly.”


She touches my arm. “I know this is last minute and I hate to do this to you but I need them out of my hair today. Can you handle them?”

This is not what I have planned. I want to be part of the décor team putting things together for the concert. I have dreamed about this. Why is Ms. Genesis doing this to me?

“Iya Idaya will put you through. Can you help out?”

“Sure,” I answer. I feel sad but anything for Ms. Genesis.

“Thank you, Didi. I owe you one.”

It better be an Hermes Birkin. You have four of them you aren’t using or so they say.

“But does that mean I’ll miss the love concert?” I ask.

“No, dear. You’ll be there with them. I’m sure by then your colleagues would have some free time on their hands to help you out.”

Great. I’ll be the fat one carrying babies around while my mates are fishing for men. I see Ehi laughing at me right now.

“You’re such an angel.”

Ms. Genesis pats my cheek and leaves me standing alone.

Permit me to swear…..


∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞

“That’s the last of her friends I know. If she’s not here, she can’t be anywhere else.”

Kasiobi fixes his eyes on the glass door of a beauty salon that has designs of beauty and fashion accessories etched on it. Ehi has just emerged from the place, having gone to ask a onetime mutual friend of Chichi if she has any knowledge of her whereabouts.

“None of them have seen her since she left for South Africa last year.” Ehi pushes her glasses upwards to scratch her nose. “They didn’t even know she came into town.”

“Ehi, we’ve been to four different places. Definitely somebody is lying. One of them must know where Chichi is.”

Ehi shrugs. Kasibi rubs his eyes in frustration. “Three hours of nothing.”

Ehi throws her head back to stare at Trinity who is fast asleep in her seat. “At least, someone’s not stressed out or stressing you right now.”

“Are you hungry?” Kasiobi enquires.


“Let’s stop at the mall to eat and buy some baby formula.” He starts the car. “I swear, I’m so frustrated right now.”

“Everything’ll be fine.”

He puts the SUV into gear and connects with a busy street.

“I could offer my services for free.” Ehi faces him, playing with her braids. “I’ll gladly take care of Trini and in return you get to be my boyfriend.”

Kasiobi laughs despite his exhaustion. “Who spoilt you like this for me, Ehi? You used to be such a good girl.”

“Life showed me pepper jare.”

“I so badly wanted you at some point but your forming put me off and then you went and allowed Chisom to disvirgin you.”

“Can we not talk about that phase of my life right now?”

“The lesbian phase?”

“Chichi is bad influence and that’s why I don’t understand why you want her back. Trinity doesn’t need a mother like her.”

“And who’ll be the best mother?”


“Not you?”

“I’m not crazy about you like that, Kas. Besides, I’m smart not to come between you and Lex.”

“We’re not together. I have a babe.”

“Shakira is a ho. Everyone knows that.”


“So you’re not getting back with Lex?”

Kasibi’s hand stiffens around the steering. “No.”

“But Kasi, I’m very sure you guys are meant to be together and no matter how hard you try to fight it, you’ll end up with her.”

“You’re making it sound like there’s some power out there that controls these things.”

“God, maybe.”

“He doesn’t have time for our love lives.”

“Cupid then?”

“Are you serious?”

“I believe in love, and I think you guys have it but if it never works out, I’m right here waiting.” She waves her hand. Kasiobi takes it and kisses it.

“You’re such a lowkey flirt, Kas.”

“I’m just trying to be nice in case I’ll ever need you to babysit Trini. But on a good side, though, that baby behind is going to score me enough booty. Watch what happens at the mall, but then you’ll have to give me some distance so that they don’t think we’re together.”

“You’re not well.”

Kasibio tries to smile but a yawn stops him. The drive to the mall is an uphill task and when they get there, he leaves Ehi with the chore of sourcing for food while he embarks on finding the best formula for Trinity. As he browses the stacks of different brands of baby foods in the kids section the last thing on his mind is the attention he is getting from female shoppers.

“Don’t go for that one,” a familiar voice stops him as his hand stretches to pick a can of milk amongst many off the shelf.

He turns around and Lexus’ smiling face meets his.


“Hi Kas. Hey, Trini.”

The naturally-unsmiling tot gives Lexus a grin.

“Weird,” Kasi mutters.

“We have a thing. Can I…?” She stretches her hands out and Trinity inclines towards her.

“She remembers you?”

“Not really. She fell in love with me from the first day. I think I have something she loves. Must be my piercings.” She kisses Trinity’s forehead. “How are you, bae? Did you miss me?”

Kasiobi watches both of them bond with Trinity trying to go for one of Lexus’ earrings. He notices other things too – like Lexus’ body con top tucked into a ripped jean that shows off her petite butt. He picks out faint signs of makeup on her face but the best part of her look is the pair of ankle strap heels she has on. He had never imagined she could comfortably go about in any footwear other than sneakers. He had hated Russell for a long time but at the moment, he is grateful he came into Lexus’ life and changed her style.

“So where’s Chichi?”

“Um…she’s out of town for a couple of days,” Kasiobi replies. “She’ll be back on Monday.”

“Okay.” Lexus faces the shelf. “Pick the SMA. That’s what she takes.”

Kasiobi glares at his daughter. “She takes formula?”


“But Chichi told me she has been exclusively breastfed from day one.”

“No offence but Chichi is a liar.” Lexus looks at Kasiobi. “And you too.”

“I’m a liar?”

“You’re lying about where Chichi is.”

“She traveled.”

“Still lying. It’s in your eyes. Something’s wrong. You look fucked, rings around your eyes, you smell of sweat and metallic stuff and you’re here buying baby food. Where the hell is Chichi? You guys fight or something?”

Kasibio shuts his eyes. “I hate you.”

“Or you caught her with your girlfriend on your couch?”

“God, no.”

“Then where the fuck is she? Why is Trini having soiled diapers?”

“She is?”

“Yes, she is, daddy. And she’s about to start crying over it.”

Kasiobi rolls his eyes in exasperation. “Chichi left, okay? I came home this morning and saw a note. Says she’s tired of the arrangement and she’s not coming back… She left.”

“Awww, poor Trini.”

“She took all her stuff…and…left. I’m still traumatized.”

“I don’t particularly give a fuck about you. I’m worried about this angel here. Has she eaten?”

“Thrice already.”

“What did you give her?”

“Refrigerated breast milk and then custard twice.”

Lexus frowns at him. “Grab a ready to eat formula, a bottle, and a bib while I get diapers and go and change her.”

“Thanks, Lex.”

“I’m not doing it for you.”

“I know.”

She begins to walk away from him.

“I’ll be at the food court,” he announces. “Jollof and peppered chicken?”

“With ice-cream.”

“Yeah. Always with ice-cream.”

She disappears to the next isle while Kasiobi remains standing until someone passing by nudges him. He begins to toss baby food into his shopping cart, going back to Ehi’s words about a force out there that wants him and Lexus back together. Thirty minutes ago, he would have fought against it but here he is, already coming up with a million ways on how to play nice with Lexus. Getting back with her doesn’t seem like a bad idea right now.

Anything for Trinity, he tells himself.



Images: Tabria Majors, Paulateles

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #6

I love you guys. I don’t even know how to start expressing how much. When I said show me love on Bellanaija, I didn’t know y’all will take it that seriously. I was dumbfounded when I saw the comments. Good Lord! Na so una love me?

How do I say thank you? How do I show my gratitude? The love you expressed in the comment section doubled the sales of the book, beating Fish Brain Madhouse records which has been there since January. Hmmmm…

Thanks a lot.

And here’s that my famous kiss.

blow kiss

So in retaliation, I will give the book freely to three lucky peeps next week. Today, enjoy IANS.

I’ll see you in the comment section..





“Isn’t this the cutest sight?”

I groan loudly. I don’t know for how much longer I can sit in this car with indecisive females and take one more ‘awww’. Or even stomach the sight before us. Yes, it’s supposed to be cute as Mary just said but I have to remind these girls that we’re here on a mission.

“Can the three of you just focus?” I snap my fingers. But they don’t hear me. Their eyes remain on Shady having a daddy moment with Dara as they both dance to music we can’t hear. The duo is in my husband’s biggest and classiest car showroom, surrounded by expensive luxury cars. And somehow Shady thinks this is the best place to perform his daddy duties.

I groan again. This is just wrong. Shady is going to ruin this business with his lack of class. How can you be dancing with a toddler when you have business to attend to? Look at the caliber of people around him and he’s stuck on parenting goals. I knew this was going to be such a bad idea. I had warned Ibro about it. Shady is an actor, not a car salesman, but Ibro had told me that he had been a hit realtor.

“It’s all about the numbers. If he can get people buying cars, then what is your problem?”

My problem then (and even now) was that my younger brother had waited for that spot for two years and when finally the manager is fired, Ibro tosses the job to his friend. Just like that! I have been pissed for three weeks and my anger isn’t going away anytime soon.

“Hasn’t he proven his worth?” Ibro had asked me just last week, showing me a printout of the sales Shady has made already. “In this harsh economy the guy is selling cars like no man’s business. I’m thinking that maybe Celia leaving him is a good thing. Abeg, she shouldn’t come back.”

“She should. At least, for the sake of Dara. The child needs her mother.”

“And Shady needs to learn responsibility. His present situation is perfect for him.”

I didn’t speak further. If I did, Ibro would call me unfeeling, a term he generously uses on me. Coldhearted bitch and ruthless too. I get those ones when we’re fighting. But his darling Eno – she’s all sweet and loving, tenderhearted and kind. Even after she cheated on him with her ex, Ibro finds no flaw in her.

Forgive me for rambling. I just had to get that off my chest after seeing the two necking in her car outside my house this morning. The effrontery! Would I do that to her? Would I blatantly shove my love for Ibro in her face?

Again, I wander off tangent. I apologize.

Back to Shady. Dude has stopped dancing, and is presently attending to a buyer, some pretty, little thing that has Dara in her arms and is flashing her thirty-two at him. I understand that he has a certain appeal with his tall, thin appearance. He carries his lankiness well and has an impeccable sense of style that I sometimes want Ibro to own. But that’s all there is to him. He’s broke and classless. Forget that he’s now earning huge for this present job; it does nothing to save him from his basicness which would soon bring my husband’s business to ruin. Of course it’s not something I want, and like my friends here, I’m supposed to do my bit to ensure that he keeps his head above water but really I don’t care if he falls flat on his face. It works well with my aim if he does but I’m not going to be the bitch that does not show compassion for a father holding a nine to five and caring for a two-year-old at the same time.

It was for this reason that when Peace threw in the suggestion that we take Dara off his hands so he can concentrate on selling cars, I didn’t object. However, they are all getting cold feet and I’m the only one still on the objective.

“Can we go in already?” I raise my voice, bringing them back to curve.

“Maybe this works for him,” Honey tells me. “Dara is his selling point.”

“Yeah, people just look at her and buy cars,” I answer sarcastically. Honey lends me a bad stare. I’d love to pluck out her eyes one of these days. She likes to oppose everything I say or do. She thinks her beauty, her handsome husband and trips around the world are good enough reason to compare herself with me.

I give her an unreadable stare as I secretly admire her outfit of a green fitted dress that shows no sign of her having just had a baby five weeks ago. I’m so tired of her and her perfectness and the way she flaunts it. She has the perfect body, the perfect husband and the perfect in-laws, and that’s why she feels so superior to all of us.

“Noka, I know you don’t like Shady for obvious reasons but can you please tuck that in and be nice to him? Don’t go there acting all ‘I’m your boss’ wife’. He’s your husband’s friend.”

“I should tuck what in exactly? The fact that he hit my friend?”

“He apologized,” Peace reminds me. “Did Celia tell any of us what he did? No. She just upped and left but Shady reported himself to every one of us and begged, including her brother.”

I take my hands off the steering for a second and turn around to face Miss Goody-Two Shoes. “And what is your point, madam?”

“Be nice. Forgive.”

“He is a wife-beater.”

“He is not,” Mary counters. “It was a moment of not thinking right, a bad decision, and he deeply regrets it. You should let it go and be reminded that we’re going in there to take Dara off his hands to ease his stress and not to punish him. He’s been a wonderful father for three weeks.”

Whatever. I don’t care. My brother deserves the job and I won’t rest until I see him get it. Ibro owes me that much.

“Let’s go in, abeg.” Honey steps down and the others follow suit. I’m the last to leave the car, stretching out my short Nautica skirt which I bought just a week ago at a ridiculous price. Eno has been sporting some new clothes; I don’t see why I shouldn’t indulge as well. I bought a whole wardrobe. I am yet to decide where to put the old ones, some of which I’ve not even worn. Bimpe used to say I have enough clothes to start a boutique with but I don’t think I do. Until I have the type of closet space Eno has, I’ve not even begun.

I follow my friends into the exquisite showroom that is proof of my husband’s wealth and refinement. It’s also proof of my hard work and unending support. The idea from the onset was not just to make it a showroom (like the other ones he owns, scattered about lagos) but a hub for car freaks. In addition, there’s a classy restaurant running from lunch hour till evening, just to help us make money on the side to keep the utilities running since they’re always paid for. Whenever I look at the place and think about how far Ibro and I have come, (of course I married him already swimming in money) I pat myself on the back by indulging in something nice. This is why it angers me much that Shady has brought his ghetto lifestyle into my family business.


The thin rake of a man sees the girls and I entering the showroom and lets out that killer smile he uses on Celia. Weirdly, I smile back. There’s actually something nice about it.

“Hi ladies. This is a pleasant surprise,” he says, walking towards us. I notice that he has abandoned the customer with his child. Such business ethic.

We exchange pleasantries and he leads us to his office where he offers us a leather couch to settle in.

“Give me some minutes, ladies, and I’ll be right back.”

He leaves and Peace engages us in a chat about some German guy in her church that likes her. We had first met him at Jiney’s christening and subsequently at a barbecue that Bobby invited us for. The guy’s accent is thick and sometimes he exchanges his V’s for W’s. He always smells of soap or aftershave. Never of cologne. His fashion sense is a total miss. He dresses too European for my liking. But the best part of him is that he’s really crazy about Peace, ready to propose at any moment.

“We’ve kissed and done the irregular ‘touching’,” she reveals with a look of embarrassment.

I cross my legs, ears itching to hear more.

“Which one is irregular touching again?” Mary asks. Peace laughs. Such a prude.

“How big is he?” I question. Peace covers her mouth in embarrassment again.

“It’s not all about sex, Noka,” she replies in a small voice. “I’m not planning to sleep with him. Not now and not in the future.”

“Is he circumcised?”

“Noka!” she gasps.

“Simple question.”

“He’s not.”

The mutual look of disgust that rests on all our faces pushes us into laughter.

“Urgh!” I make a face. “Those white guys and their uncut peens.”

“Are you speaking out of experience?” Honey turns in my direction.

“No. I’m just… you know…”


I notice all the girls watching me intently. I flash a wide smile. “I’m not telling anything.”

Shady returns with Dara who immediately runs into Peace’s embrace. She takes the little girl in her arms and hands her a chocolate bar she had bought along the way.

“What would you ladies want?” Shady asks. “Coffee? Breakfast?”

“Nothing,” I answer for all of us. “We’re actually here on a serious matter.”

“Not that serious,” Honey puts in with a smile.

“It’s about Dara.” I take control of the conversation again.

“Okay?” He crosses his arms warily, resting his flat bum over the edge of a glass table behind him that reflects the posh leather brownness of the office.

“We feel, and this is out of concern, that Dara is too much distraction for you, and we would like to help out with caring for her by taking turns. That way you get to concentrate on your job. It’s not easy for a man who has a lot on his hands to care for a child at the same time. Besides that, having her here at work might not be a good image for the company.”

A silent sigh from Mary tells me she doesn’t support my last statement.

“So, if you wouldn’t mind, we would like to offer our babysitting services to you. For free.”

Shady chuckles. It’s a silent chuckle that shows he’s only being polite.

“So you want to take Dara off my hands?”


“Because you think I’d hit her like I hit Celia.”

“No!” the others chorus. I simply take two and ponder on his insinuation. Why didn’t I think along that line?

“Shady, actually…” Honey speaks up. “It’s fine if you think this is ridiculous. We’re just concerned…”

“Dara and I are fine. And really, I appreciate it but you shouldn’t worry yourselves. We miss Celia and we desperately want her back but we’re coping. I need to bond with my daughter. Daycare was tearing us apart but her being here every day reminds me of Celia and keeps me focused.”

The others throw on pathetic faces and I roll my eyes in my head. I knew they’d sell out. Honey, especially. She thought it was a bad idea from the start. Well, whatever. It’s Shady’s loss. When customers start complaining, I’ll be quick to suggest to Ibro to have him changed to someone who is more competent.

I sit up. “But Shady, we haven’t heard from Celia since she sent us a message to our Whatsapp group that she was fine. Her phone rings unanswered and she’s never on Facebook. Please, are you sure she’s okay?”

Shady has the polite face on again. I know my insinuation comes off like I’m accusing him of getting rid of Celia but I don’t give five farts. We need to know what happened to our friend.

“Give me a second.”

He pulls out his phone from his pocket and soon we hear a line ringing as he puts it on speakerphone. After a long ring, Celia’s voice comes on.

“Shady, you’ve called me four times already this morning. Shey Dara is fine? What do you want?”

“Just checking up on you, baby.”

“I’m good.” There’s a pause. “You?”

“Missing you,” he answers with his eyes darting away. I spot an emotion in there and I suddenly feel bad for what I hold against him.

But the feelings lasts a second.

“When are you coming back?”

“I don’t know, Shady, and you calling me doesn’t help things. I need to clear that night out of my head. So please, respect my space and stop calling. Thank you.”

The line goes off. He looks at me. “That’s your friend. She’s fine – in some ways. She’s not stuffed in some cupboard, rotting away.”

“Noka didn’t mean that,” Peace comes to my defense.

“I know she didn’t. She’s a wonderful friend and I appreciate all she has done to see me out of my financial situation.”

I give a fake grin.

“You got me this job, got me a brand new car…And I’m utterly grateful.”

“Well, as Ibro will say, ‘ba yawa’.”

“Ba yawa,” Shady adds, smiling. I can’t believe he’s smiling after what he did to Celia. I do hope she’s getting proper loving from that Naomi chick. It would be the best blow to his face.

“I also want to thank you ladies again for being generous with that huge help you sent Celia’s way.”

“Well, what are friends for?” Mary quotes. I’m suddenly bored.

“We should be leaving.” I draw my legs together. I’m glad he has declined letting go of Dara. The idea of caring for another person’s child in the first place doesn’t appeal to me. The plan was to pass the tot to my housemaid if ever it was my turn to care for her. I already have too many children on my shoulders to worry about.

Shady escorts us out to the showroom and gets into some struggle trying to take Dara off Peace’s hands.

“Can I keep her for just tonight?” Peace begs. He shakes his head. The child breaks into a cry that irritates me. I slip on my sunglasses and hurry out to my car. I have to be somewhere urgently. My phone has been vibrating in my purse, riddled by phone calls from one person.

I sigh, feeling exhausted, thinking of the trips I have to take before I finally go to see the caller. I turn around and face the girls who are now walking towards me.

“I’ll pay everyone’s cab fares and that’s because I can’t drop you all at your destinations. I have a business appointment.”

“Housewives now have business appointments?” Mary teases. I yank her hair. She whines.

“Honey, you’re going back to your office?”

“Yep. Jiney’s there and I have loads of work to do before I close. Oh, and there’s that love concert this evening.” She sticks out her hand. “My transport.”

I take out some money from my purse and dump on her palm. She blows me a kiss, says goodbye to the girls and crosses the street. Mary and Peace also get some cash but I don’t wait for them to hail a cab before I dash into my SUV and drive off in haste. Patience is not a virtue the person I’m going to meet has.

∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞

Wura is sprawled on the floor of her living room, eyes up at the ceiling. She is a mix of different emotions. The day of her love concert with Pastor Ralph is finally here, and although she is physically ready, she is a mess mentally. This would be her first public appearance since her lewd videos hit the net. Even though everyone assures her that her past is forgotten, she still carries it on her shoulders.

The program coordinator for the concert had come up with a brilliant idea to help quash her fears. He had suggested that once she took the stage after her opening song with Pastor Ralph, they were both to share their stories to the audience and talk about how they found God’s forgiveness which became the push for the concert. The idea had sounded awesome to Wura and Ralph. The program coordinator got someone from the media team to help with writing the stories, and in the end, they came out with deep emotional pieces that were bound to score empathy from the audience. It had seemed all good with Wura over the past months but today she wakes up not feeling ready for what the evening holds.

Alone on the living room floor while Bilal lies sleeping with half his body on a couch and the other on the floor, Wura tries her best to calm her nerves. The scarily-efficient Novocaine Knights event team handling the concert has assured her that everything is under control. All she needs to do is to show up at the venue and sing. Still, she fusses, and not even the blueness of her space or the mild scent of incense in the air gives her calm.

She shuts her eyes and prays for a bit but she can’t put her thoughts together, so she remains motionless, listening to music coming from her bedroom, a jazz album by Dario Chiazzolino. She forces herself to be carried away by the complicated but mellow guitar arrangements that are distinctive to Dario’s sounds. Soon she finds herself falling into calm, but the serene moment is interrupted by a knock on the door.

She is not pleased by the disturbance, as she is observing total solitude and silence to keep her vocal chords in shape until the moment she climbs the stage to sing. Having someone dropping in unannounced is not what she needs at the moment.

She goes for the door and unlocks it. When she opens it, she finds no one outside. However, she is greeted by the presence of a brand new steel string acoustic guitar resting on a stand, gleaming in metallic brown under the light of the morning.

“Oh my God,” she whispers, leaving the door and stepping outside. She touches the instrument like someone touching the face of a lover for the first time, caressing its edges, stroking its strings – just to be sure it’s all real and she’s not imagining it.

A little card hanging off one of the tuning machines, held by a fancy string, is blown by the wind and it falls to the floor. She picks it to find a note in Mahmud’s writing.


You always wanted this, and I think on this big day, you deserve it. Sing like the wind, doll face.

I never stopped loving you.


“Mymood…” Tears attack her eyes as a feeling of lonesomeness which has now become part of her, surges in, mixing with her joy. But she doesn’t let it stay. She lifts the guitar off the ground, and expertly holding it in her arms, strums the strings. She considers herself a rookie with the instrument but Pastor Ralph who has been her tutor for under a year thinks otherwise.

“Music is just you, Wuraola. I bet if I gave you a pair of drumsticks you’d find your way around the percussions.”

To that, she had remained quiet. She already knew the basics of drumming, learned on her own. But it had never been her favorite instrument. She loved melody, strings and chords. Maybe next year she would buy a cello and start learning that as well.

“Thanks, Mahmud,” she voices out, her first loudly-uttered words for the day.

“You’re welcome.”

Wura swivels at the sound of Mahmud’s voice coming from behind her, almost dropping the guitar. She finds him standing right beside the front door. She had been so carried away with the guitar at first sight that she hadn’t noticed he was there the whole time.

“Mymood?” she whispers. He doesn’t reply. He simply remains standing, staring at her intensely, his hands in his pockets. For a second, Wura thinks she is imagining his presence. She gently places the guitar back on its stand and faces him again. They haven’t seen in over a year. Having him in the same space with her after endless months of tears and longing can best be described as being in the presence of a celestial being. She is not sure what to do. But he makes it easy for her as he walks over and wraps his arms around her, one taking her neck and the other resting on her waist.

She meets his hug with tears. The distinct scent of him that comes with cologne and cigarette finds her memories and brings them all to her head.

“You don’t know how happy I am,” Mahmud expresses. “This is like a dream, mami. I’m holding you again.”

The broken tenderness in his voice and his face buried in her neck pushes her emotions to the peak. She lets loose in his hold. He doesn’t stop her. He knows the tears are not just of joy. He understands everything her snivels and shudders mean. He holds her until it goes away.

“Do you know how much I’ve missed you, you silly Yoruba girl?”

She giggles as he steps back and feeds his eyes with her body.

“Wuraola Adegbite! God will not sha let you kill me. See as you fine like kilode!”

He takes one more step backwards and shakes his head. She suddenly becomes aware that she is wearing only a boyfriend tee and bum shorts.

“Stop looking at me like that.”

He grabs her waist again and goes for her mouth fiercely. She sighs at the taste of him and the familiarity of his kiss that is made more pleasurable by months of want. The kiss is long and sweet like a mouthful of sugarcane juice on a hot day. Even when Mahmud stops, Wura goes for more. But he stops again her and leads her back into the house.

Bilal gets his attention as they walk in. He breaks in his steps and a warm smile brings his lips together.

“He’s sleeping?”

Wura nods. Mahmud walks over to his son and stoops to study him. “He’s now beginning to look like you, Wu.”

“Everybody says that.”

“But he has my nose, thank goodness.”


“And my hair.” Mahmud pats the toddler’s thick, dark locks.

“It grows too fast. I have to take him for a haircut every three weeks.”

Mahmud smiles in pride, lifting the boy off the floor and onto the couch.

“But you sef, why did you leave him like this?”

“Don’t worry. By the time you stay with him for just one day, the way he falls asleep will be the least of your problems.”

Mahmud rises up.

“So, what should I cook for you?” she asks. And before he can answer, adds, “I like what you’re wearing.”

Mahmud stares down at his outfit of a pair of jeans, a checkered shirt and a sweater. “The clothes look a lot better off my body than on it.”

Wura gives him a playful frown but at the same time, forcing away memories of the feel of his hairy body against hers.

“Stop trying to make me sin here, oga. I’m ministering to thousands today.”

“Then marry me and let me make love to you before you climb that stage this evening.”


“I’m serious.” He comes closer. “We already met all the requirements last year and fixed the date for the wedding before you changed your mind. I still have my friend who works there and all I need is a phone call, a couple of friends and we’re husband and wife. And then I can smash you legally.”

“Good lord! Your mouth!”

He goes for her lips again, but taking it slowly and teasingly this time.

“I love you, mami,” he asserts between kisses. She buries her fingers in his full beard, stroking it down until she touches his neck. Her self-control begins to wane. She stops herself by pulling away. But Mahmud won’t let her go. He holds her bound for one more kiss which leads to caresses that has them both falling over a couch. It takes both her will and his for them to control themselves.

Head resting on his chest afterwards, she requests, “go away for the rest of the day so I can concentrate on my concert.”

He nips her nose as she raises her head. “That’s not fair.”

“After the concert, we’ll resume talks about us getting married.”

“Don’t pull my legs.”

“Just go away, you distracting man. Come with something nice at the end of the concert.”

“I bought so many things for you, mami. And for Billy.”

She straightens up. “Tokunboh, please go.”

He stands to his feet and drags her to the front door where they kiss one more time. “My applause will be the loudest at the concert.”

She grins.

“Kiss Bilal for me.”

She stands by the door and watches him leave. Her eyes drop down to the guitar. She fixes a long, unbroken stare that gives her a cloudy vision. And then she blinks it away as she lowers herself to sit on the double steps that lead into the house. The last time she kissed Mahmud was over a year ago; they were standing in the airport, his plane set to leave for Dubai. He was to spend a week there before proceeding to Jeddah. He had asked her to pass that week with him but she had declined, stating that she knew they would end up being inappropriate with each other. Now, as she recalls the moment, she wishes she had gone along, and done everything to save their relationship, including following him all the way to Jeddah.

Distance has left a gaping hole between them, one which gives her doubts about wanting to spend her future with him. He has no idea what his family did to her in his absence, how they summoned her and begged her to sever all ties with him. His elder sister, Asma, and her husband Usman were the only ones who stood by her side. But that had not been enough. At that time in her life, she felt she had nothing left to cling to. Even her siblings abandoned her. She didn’t blame them or anyone for how they treated her. She also hated the Wura that was in those videos. She had pulled through relying on her music, the quiet, dark days when she was alone and all she had was her voice and the black and white notes on her Yamaha keyboard. Ralph was there for her as well, upholding her ragged honor even to the disrepute of his name. He became a constant in her life, lending her his voice, his shoulders and cheering words. It was upon his back she learned to stand again. He always had enough strength for her.

But last week he had caved and brought the weight down on them both. A rather strange thing had happened during her rehearsals at a friend’s house where he was staying at the moment, having finally parted ways with his wife. The house was a large, quiet place somewhere in Badagry, and had tall, bare palm trees and a yard that looked out to a small, dirty beach. Ralph had chosen to live that faraway to heal from his broken heart. It was Wura’s first time in the place and Ralph treated her to a glass of orange and ginger juice before they set about their rehearsals.

But things didn’t go well that morning, as Ralph ran through a song in a manner so depressing and dark that Wura saved them both by placing a gentle hand over his to stop him. Music notes from the glistening black piano he was playing died down and he lifted miserable eyes at her.

“She’s taking the children to the UK, and I can’t do anything about it.”


“Well, it’s the best for them. I’m paying school fees, accommodation and all but…”

He ran his hand over his forehead.

“She’s taking everything from me. Everything. Nine years of marriage, my children and the bulk of my money. And I did nothing wrong. I never cheated on her. She just got tired of me…”

He sighed and dropped his hand, fingers landing on the black notes of the piano, causing an unpleasant sound.

“I’m so sorry, sir.” Wura drew closer and sat beside him. They had never spoken about his divorce, not to this extent, at least. She was unsure of how to respond to his heartbreak which was alien to her, being that he had done everything to hide his pain. The emotional side of him was new and utterly distressing. She wanted to just reach out and hug the broken man in him.

“But she accused me of many things,” Ralph continued. “Of loving God’s work more than her, of never being there when she needed me, of sacrificing for my music more than I sacrificed for the family… And maybe she was right. Maybe every other thing came before her and the kids but it wasn’t intentional. I thought I was doing everything right, Wura.”

“Maybe the problem is not with you and you should stop punishing yourself.”

But it seemed Wura had just spoken to the air. Ralph went back and in time and brought up occasions that he felt he might have missed being a good husband and father, times when the church came first and his family second. Wura stopped him again, her hand on his as before.

“It’s not your fault. She stopped loving you. These things happen.”

Ralph sought Wura’s eyes from the darkness of his.

“I’m not supposed to tell you this but I have to let it out of my chest. She also accused me of loving you.”

Wura’s hand dropped.

“Of being in love with you.”

An uneasy smile, barely noticeable took one side of Wura’s lips. It was her turn to search his face. She didn’t know what she was looking for but she held his eyes.

“But you’re not in love with me. You love me as a sister.”

Ralph was silent.

“Pastor Ralph?”

He looked elsewhere.

“Pastor Ralph.”

His eyes returned to her. “What she thinks I feel or don’t feel for you doesn’t matter. What matters is the work God has used me to do in your life. The work we’re both doing.”

Wura stood up, her pulse hastening.

“You shouldn’t bother about what she said. She was just looking for reasons to leave. Even if hypothetically, I was in love with you, and it’d been so from the first day I met you, you think I’d throw my family and ministry away for that? Come on, Woo. You should know I’m not that type of man. I’d keep it all bottled up. Put the lid on it. Treat you as I would my sister, because God knows what I feel for you is pure and wholesome. So, let’s forget that talk and concentrate on our ministry of healing broken souls.”

Wura didn’t feel better by his explanation. He had, in uncertain terms, confirmed his ex-wife’s assertions and it scared the hell out of her.

“I’m still Pastor Ralph,” he insisted. “Nothing has changed between us, Woo.”

But it didn’t feel that way to Wura. On her way home that day, her mind went back to all the moments she felt he had expressed his feelings. Nothing inappropriate in his manner towards her was recalled; Ralph had been a mentor at all times, even when he found out that she was pregnant with Bilal. He had been supportive and gracious to Mahmud then and never wavered in his character.

However, the awareness of those facts did nothing to soften the blow of what he had told Wura. She wished he had never said a word on the matter even though she understood his need to unburden himself. Looking into the history of their relationship over the period of Mahmud’s absence she came to the awful realization that they had gotten quite close; so close that Bilal now called him ‘daddy’ and he sometimes knew when she was on her period because on more than one occasion, he had helped her purchase sanitary towels when menstrual cramps left her incapacitated. They were that chummy. Hence, through her entire week, even until this moment, she had carried the feeling that she was and still is in a sort of unhealthy relationship with him. And to her, Mahmud’s surprise return is God’s way of telling her to leave the life she shares with Ralph.

She counts the hours to the concert in feverish anticipation, her unease returning.

∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞

His SUV enters the compound with the same weariness that claims his body. It feels to him like he has been driving for years without stop. He makes mental plans to sleep for five hours at least, and then wake up to map out more time to sleep for another twelve hours. Very little jobs like this claim his time and energy. He would usually delegate duties to the Novocaine Knights technical crew and hang about to see them done. But this is different. Wura, as sweet and soft-spoken as she is known to be, gets bumpy when it comes to her music and the sounds that accompany it.

Kasiobi had used most of the night and the dark hours of the morning to ensure that everything was technically perfect for the love concert. Mechanical glitches had prolonged his efforts but somehow he managed through, setting everything ready in good time.

He now longs for a warm bath and a cup of steaming hot chocolate or something of the likes. He recalls how Lexus always made the best cups of hot chocolate, adding twists with each fresh brew. He reminisces on moments when she got out of herself and treated him like he was the best thing since ice-cream. It felt good to be in love then, with nothing to worry about but whose turn it was to do the dishes or make dinner. Lexus had been the Lexus he’d always known – wild, open and bearing the mindedness and sometimes melancholy of a talented artist. In their small apartment in New York her talent blossomed, in oil paintings, charcoal and graffiti. The highlight of his nights after long hours in class and studio sessions was to come home and watch her, dressed in nothing but a single piece of clothing, throwing herself into her art. Sometimes, two or three days would go by before she acknowledged his presence. And when she did, she brought fierce affection with her. Their love was always on a high, sometimes too good to be true. But he had never nursed any worries. Lexus was not just his girlfriend; she was his best friend too. If love failed, friendship was bound to survive…

Kasiobi brusquely blocks thoughts of her out of his mind. Recalling their history together is always a torturous pastime, certainly not something he presently needs.

He steps down from his vehicle and walks towards his apartment, the sounds of reggae loudening as he nears the door.


He sighs.

She is becoming a problem. As he had predicted, her sole aim since she got back into his life had been to remind him that she once used to stoke his fires. He couldn’t count how many times he had wandered into the living room and found her naked or nearly so. He was now quite used to the show, something Kira constantly complains about. He foresees a fight between both girls soon, with Chichi being the instigator as is in her nature. They barely stomach each other, and it’s not that he really cares. He feels nothing particularly deep for either of them.

His present distraction is Didi whom he had had the pleasure of being with a few times at the Novocaine Knights head office. He finds her bubbly and quite naïve, but at the same knowledgeable in some areas about life for someone her age. She comes across as a spoilt child, much like Lexus, wild and willing to try anything. And maybe that’s why he finds himself drawn to her. Lexus still remains a constant crush in his life but he has no desire to get them back to where they used to be.

But Didi…

One of these days he’ll ask her out on a date, see what she’s all about.

He comes to his front foyer, the reggae music unbearable now. He opens the door and enters the living room, picking out a different, more disturbing sound than the music. He can hear Trinity screaming loudly from Chichi’s bedroom. He marches to the electronic stand and yanks off the main connection from the wall, stopping the music. He barges into Chichi’s bedroom and finds his daughter alone in her cot, kicking into the air with her screams. He takes her in his arms but the screams intensify.

“Chichi?” He peeps into the bathroom. It is empty. When he turns back to the room, he spots a piece of paper on one of the pillows on Chichi’s neatly-arranged bed. His tummy whips as he goes for the paper. On a second thought, he leaves it where it is, and stands to read its contents, written in Chichi’s hand.


This is the worst thing I’m ever going to do in my life and everyone will hate for it but I have to go and find my happiness. I never planned to be a mother or a baby mama. I’m not good at doing both. It’s best I leave Trinity in your hands. I can’t raise her out of wedlock and God knows I tried getting you to love me but your heart is with Lex. When we got back together last year I thought it was for good but you dumped me again. You have no idea how much it hurts to keep loving one person and the person keeps dumping you. Well I wish you and Lex the best when you get back together. As for me, don’t look for me. You’ll never find me.


Weirdly, Kasiobi is not shocked. With Chichi one should expect anything. Heck, he even expects her to walk back in and tell him the note is all a joke.

Thus, his reaction to what he has just read is laughter. A shake of his head and more laughter. Trinity who continues to shriek at the top of her lungs is now clawing at his neck.

“Let’s go get you something to eat, Trini. Your mom has gone mad.”

He leaves the bedroom to the kitchen, opens the fridge and finds a feeding bottle containing breast milk, the only one left. After he tosses it into the microwave, he picks a chair and sits, doing his best to placate Trinity.

“She’ll come back,” he says to the tot. “Your mom will miss you so much she’ll come back.”

But his words sound alien in his ear as he looks around. Usually, Chichi would be standing in front of the cooker or the sink, dressed in a panty or nothing at all, doing everything to seduce him. Her absence rings as loudly as Trinity’s screams.

“Trini, sorry o. Biko, calm down. Your food is warming up.”

Luckily for both father and daughter, the microwave dings to a stop. Kasiobi takes out the milk, hurries to the living room and proceeds to feed Trinity. This is his first attempt and it goes badly. The milk is too hot and it burns Trinity on first taste and she goes into a fit worse than before. Kasiobi then dashes for freezing water from the fridge and spends an extra two or three minutes having the milk come to manageable temperature. By now, Trinity has given up wailing. She goes into silent whimpers, setting the most miserable expression on her face that has Kasiobi feeling inadequate. When he eventually feeds her and all seems well with the world, he stretches out to have a short playtime with her but fails at it as he discovers he is too exhausted. He yawns more than a few times and soon his eyes begin to shut without his consent.


“She’ll come back,” he mumbles, yawning. But something in his head, sounding much like Lexus’ voice tells him, “Nigga, you know she’ gone.”