It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #14

Missed previous episodes of It’s Another Novocaine Saturday? Catch up herezach-and-zoe

“I don’t want to do this,” Genesis says out loud. She is talking to no one, although she is in the company of Zach and Zoe whom she has just dressed up for an outing. Her expression of frustration gets their attention and they both fix their stares on her.

“You guys want to go see grandma?”

Zoe gurgles.

“You do?”

The gurgle turns into a smile. Genesis sighs, regretting her decision to have the twins visit Mamisi. But the woman had begged to the point of embarrassment and left Genesis with no choice. Now, she wishes she can take back her consent.

“Ma, I’m ready.” Iya Idaya emerges from Genesis’ closet where she went to keep a few clothes. She is set to take the twins to Mamisi’s. She would stay there with them before bringing them back home by six.

“Please, always have your eyes on them.”

“Yes, ma.”

Iya Idaya lifts Zach from the bed. Genesis takes Zoe and together they leave the bedroom. The sound of Dominic’s robust laughter rings through the house as they walk down the stairs. He has a few friends over. Having just had lunch, they are now seated in the living room, drinking over hearty conversation.

“I want you back here with them at 6pm sharp, Iya Idaya. Not later.”

“Yes, ma.”

Genesis and Iya Idaya step outside to a waiting car. They strap the twins in their seats at the back and after giving them each a kiss, Genesis stands and watches as the car drives out of the compound. She goes back into the house only when the gate slides back into place.

Loud laughter from Dominic and his friends greet her when she walks in. She takes a peek to see how things are going, having no desire to join them. But Seyi who is among the group, calls her in. The conversation stops as she enters the room. Seyi makes space for her to sit beside him and as soon as she does, the banter continues.

“I think I’ve fallen in love,” Seyi reveals to her in a low tone.

“Fallen in love? That’s new.”

Seyi leaves the sofa and goes for a glass of wine for her.

“And who is the lucky girl?” Genesis takes the glass offered.

“Someone I’d like to meet today.” Seyi sits and crosses his legs, straightening creases on the navy blue kaftan he’s wearing. A pair of lace-up leather boots completes the attire which Genesis approves of. She has always argued with herself over whom she feels is more stylish between Seyi and Dominic. Although Seyi’s fashion sense is more expressive, it lacks the attention to detail Dominic has. But both men always impress with their looks, pampering themselves with the same attention they give their women. Not that Seyi has had a woman in a while. His last relationship with a much younger girl ended quite dramatically after a pregnancy scare. Since then he has stayed off females completely, concentrating on work as much as Dominic does.

“Remember your friend on Friday night at the party?” He straightens out his moustache.

“What friend?” Genesis asks.

“The fair one who was in the company of her husband, whom you called Sugar or something like that.”

“Honey?”

“Yes, that one. Honey.”

“You’re in love with Honey?”

“No. But maybe if I had met her before her husband did, yeah, probably I’d have fallen for her. She’s got it. And that dress she wore…” Seyi gives a thumbs up.

“You even noticed her dress.”

“I’m sorry, my eyes pick out and appreciate sophistication by default… which reminds me to compliment the way you looked on that night. You killed it as usual.”

Genesis fights off a grin but her dimple betrays her. And for some reason, Dominic’s eye falls on her from across the room, adding to her blush.

“Thank you,” she says to Seyi.

“So, back to my crush.”

“Your crush…”

“She came with your friend.”

“Okay?” Genesis tries to recall the events on Friday night. So much had happened that she gave little attention to the people around her. She can hardly remember all that transpired that night.

“She was wearing a teal dress that had stones on it.”

“Oh! Hauwa!”

Genesis had spent the entire Friday with Honey glamming up for what she thought was a charity ball. On their way to the party, Honey had made a quick stop at the junction of their street and picked Hauwa whose dress left a mark on Genesis.

“I loved that dress she had on,” Seyi comments.

“Me too.”

“So her name is Hauwa?”

“Yeah.”

“She’s a Muslim?”

“I don’t know anything about her, Seyi. She’s Honey’s friend.”

“Is there a way I can see her today?”

“Today?”

Seyi leans in closer. “I thought about her all night on Friday, and the most of yesterday. So, yeah…I think maybe it’s something deep I feel. I need to see her to be certain.”

“I hope you’re not planning to just sleep with her, Shay. She seems to me like a responsible type.”

“I just want to see her before I travel back for business.”

“I think that can be arranged. Give me a minute.”

Genesis leaves the living room and returns some minutes later, talking to someone on her phone. When she sits, she concludes with the call.

“Honey will have us over for dinner tonight,” she informs Seyi.

“I hope we won’t be intruding?”

“She insists. I was going to have us do the ‘we’re in the neighborhood and so we decided to drop by’ type of visit while she had Hauwa over but she insists on dinner. She’s happy to entertain us for the night.”

“Okay. With Nick?”

Genesis glances at her husband. “Your friend is very anti-social. What’s the deal with that?”

“Self-importance, maybe?”

Genesis bursts out laughing. Dominic stares at them with a frown.

“You know he’s an arrogant prick.”

“Hey, he’s not. And to prove to you that he isn’t, we’ll take him along.” Genesis adjusts her sitting to a more comfortable pose. “So tell me what you like about Hauwa?”

“I have no idea, Gen. You guys walked in together and trust me, you were smashing and your friend…”

“Honey.”

“Honey was gorgeous as well, but Hauwa…” He shakes his head. “She got me like damn!”

“You think she could be the one?”

“The one?” He chuckles. “Take it easy. I don’t even know her. She could have a man on the side.”

“Whatever she has, please, Shay, no hit and run with her.”

He taps his chest. “Scout’s honor.”

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

I had planned to have a quiet Sunday. Just stay in bed and sleep until I hit the gym in the evening. But family drama will not let me be. First it’s Mex and Yazmin. After ignoring her for a whole week, Mex stomps into my house, barges into Yazmin’s bedroom and demands that she returns home or the marriage is over.

I have never been a fan of Yazmin but I just can’t stand and watch a woman being treated like shit, so I step in and order my brother out of my house. He is tipsy, of course. I don’t give a shit. Instead, I call Oba over and ask him to drive him to Kalu’s. After they are gone, I have a moment with Yazmin which basically ends in me being a shoulder she weeps on for a whole hour. She tells me she desperately wants to leave but is torn not because of the pregnancy but because she still loves Emeka. Even more now, with all their issues. She explains how they fall deeper into each other after every fight.

Crazy. But then the whole love triangle is.

Before I let her be, I notice that she is running a temperature. I get my thermometer and stethoscope. I check her vitals. Things don’t look good.

“Have you started attending antenatal?”

She shakes her head and breaks down again. “I don’t want this baby!”

Good Lord. What am I to do with this mess? Where is Honey when I need her?

“I want to have an abortion.”

I sigh and balance my butt properly on her bed. This is going to take long.

She explains to me her reasons, which are quite logical. Emeka doesn’t want the baby, they never planned for it and she feels guilty over the whole thing. She feels getting rid of it will give her some peace of mind and heal her marriage.

I let her speak until she falls silent. Only then do I make her see reasons in keeping the pregnancy. Unlike many of my colleagues, I am pro-choice and strongly believe that a woman should be allowed to make her own decisions as pertaining to her body. But I’m never going to go outright and tell anyone that comes to me for advise to terminate a living, breathing fetus.

“We will take care of your baby, Yazmin. You have brothers and sisters and parents who will be here for you even if Mex isn’t. We will never break your heart. You are family and so is that baby you’re carrying. So, please, think about it before you make your decision. Okay?”

She nods with a smile so faint. I smile back. I think I have taken to her finally.

I get off the bed and walk to the door. She stops me.

“I want to keep the baby.” She sniffles. I look at her. “Yeah, I want to. I didn’t plan for it but I think it’s innocent and shouldn’t have to die because Mex and I were careless. Yeah, I want to keep it. But will you be my midwife? Please? Because if you’re not, I don’t think I can stay strong.”

I mull over it for some seconds.

“I need to check you. I don’t feel comfortable with that fever you have. Is it okay if I have a quick look?”

“Sure.”

I go to my room and return with a few items. I take Yazmin’s vital signs again and calculate her due date. I find that she is already thirteen weeks pregnant. I question her about her gynecological and reproductive history as well as any medical conditions in her family that I need to know of. After that, I examine her for gum disease which can be an indicative factor for preterm labor. Done with that, I check her breasts, abdomen, and listen to her heart once more. Finally, I do a thorough but delicate pelvic exam. This is one of the reasons the gynecologists at the hospital where I work don’t really like me. I have been accused of trying to take over their jobs. But that’s far from it. I am just thorough with my methods, having trained specifically as a gynecological nurse before moving on to midwifery. This is all part of my process. The doctors usually run the first tests and once the pregnancy clocks twelve weeks, I take over, but sometimes, I am stubborn and break the rules with patients who have little trust in their doctors.

“Tomorrow, I’ll take you to the hospital to have some tests run.”

“Are they going to do another pelvic exam?”

“Yes. I’ll refer you to an OBGYN who will run further tests.”

“I always freak out with pelvic exams but you were gentle and I hardly felt a thing.”

I hold my tongue. I am not to say thank you to that. I have just literally shoved my fingers into her vagina. I doubt that Emeka will find it funny.

“I’ll be there with you,” I promise. She seems relieved.

“I’ll get you something for the fever and a full bottle of water. Please stay hydrated, draw the shades close, turn off your phone, use earplugs and go straight to sleep. Didi will watch Tobe.”

“Thanks.”

I stroll out and find my wife’s beautiful face smiling at me as she steps out of the kitchen. She has just returned from the market where she went to get foodstuff for tonight’s dinner with the Ditorusins.

“Is Yaz okay?” she questions.

“She’s fine. Nothing a little rest and Tylenol won’t fix. How are you?”

“I’m good.”

The scent of her perfume is like a pheromone and I follow it until my lips are tasting the sweetness of her mouth.

“Can I help out with something?”

“No, I got it all covered, hotstuff. Just sit down and put your ear out for Jiney when she wakes up.”

I’m not in the mood for Jiney or anything else. Having just had a taste of Honey’s lips, I want the rest of her. However, I take a couch in the living room and visit my blog to do some technical work in the backend. Barry makes it hard for me to concentrate. Chewing my jeans and yapping for no reason is his idea of male bonding. I ignore him and when he gets tired, he sits quietly beside me. By now I’m done with my blog and I’m trying everything I can to get laid but nothing is working. Not even when I use Barry whom Honey now considers the cutest thing asides Jiney. Amused at my antics, she takes a picture of both of us and quickly uploads it on Instagram, tagging me.

724715-1She captions it: all shades of cuteness. Is your hubs as hot as mine?

I tap on the little heart icon to like the picture, agreeing with her about my cuteness. I seem to have gotten sexier as a married man. I tell her that and give her kudos, all in a bid to get tail but Honey is not falling for my sweet mouth.

“Later in the night when I’m tired, you’ll be molesting me anyhow,” I tell her as I follow her into the kitchen.

“I’ll touch you anyhow I want, hotstuff,” she responds, stroking my junk as her other hand stirs something in a pot on fire. I drag her away and pin her to the wall for a steamy kiss but my phone lodging in my back pocket starts to ring. Honey pulls it out and hands it to me.

“Nne,” she utters.

I answer the old woman’s call.

Nne’m oma, how are you, darling?”

“Tired,” my mother answers. “Please come and speak sense to your younger brother before I pour pepper in his eyes.”

“Nne, I have washed my hands off Emeka…”

“Which Emeka? I’m talking about Obasi.”

“Oba is at home? I sent him to Kalu’s a short while ago.”

“He’s here with me. He just got in and it seems he has lost his mind with the nonsense he’s telling me. I will soon slap him and pour that pepper in his eyes.”

She then goes off in Igbo in one long ass lamentation.

“I’ll be there in a few minutes.” I groan silently as she rings off. Honey gives me a comforting peck. To show appreciation, I squeeze her boob and correctly aim for the nipple. She shrieks, pulls back and smacks me. Barry, who has been watching us, begins to bark at me. The beast is quite protective of her.

“Shattap.” I playfully kick it and it goes for my Nike slipper. We struggle for a while before I fling it off and hurry out of the house.

A sunny sky meets me outside. No, scratch that. Burning hell meets me outside. My car offers little comfort. The AC is bad. I let down the windows and hit the streets.

I yawn. I am tired, hungry and horny. The last thing on my mind is Oba and Nne’s drama. I pray it doesn’t take my time.

I arrive at the family house and from the gate I hear Nne’s raised voice. When I get in, I expect to see Oba in the same state but I find him seated on a couch in the living room, thumbing over his phone screen.

“What’s going on?”

“Ask her,” he replies. I look at my mother and I don’t need to be told that she has gotten into her bitch mode. This happens once a year. Woe betides the person that is responsible for bringing out this side of her. What is her grouse this year? Oba wants to leave the house and move in with a colleague. That is all! Nothing else. To her, Oba is still her little baby boy and going to live on his own means he has joined bad gang. The old woman is not having it. And yes, she has fresh pepper, pounded and waiting to pour into his eyes.

I put my arms around her and lead her to the kitchen where I sit her down, placate her and explain to her that Oba is now a grown man and should be allowed to do as he pleases.

“Nne, one day he will get married and leave you and your husband. Will you follow him and his wife to his house?”

At this, she keeps quiet.

“He is an adult now, mom. Please, it’s time you let him be.”

“Abeg, help me tell her.” Oba is standing by the door, hands in his pockets. “She doesn’t want me to go, yet she won’t let me have any girl over.”

“So that you will be romancing them in my parlor, in broad daylight!”

“Will you let me carry them to my room?”

“You see it? You hear your brother, Jideofor? All he wants to do is fornicate, and that is why he will not leave my sight! I can’t have a useless son, going around with a wayward penis!”

“Jide did it and nobody said anything.”

I turn to him. “Hey!”

“Jide did it and that’s why you too you want to do it, okwa ya? I will not only rub pepper in your eyes! I will hold that your thing and bathe it with the pepper! Open that your nonsense mouth again and see what will happen to you!”

“Mommy, free me nau! Let me go! It’s just out of respect that I’m still here o! You know I can walk out and there’s nothing anybody will do to me!”

I see hurt in my mother’s eyes. I gesture to Oba to leave. He goes away, grumbling. I take her hands in mine.

“Nne, you know you’re fighting against the wind. You know that, right?”

Tears fill her eyes.

“This is not a crying matter nau.”

“No. You don’t understand. It’s your father’s late mistress that is responsible for all of this!”

“How did she enter this talk now?”

“The only reason I am holding on to Obasi is because of that her useless daughter.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I suspect something is going on between two of them.”

“Oba and Ndidi?”

“Yes. I don’t want to ask him because it will be like I’m accusing him. I have not seen anything directly that connects them but I sense it, Jideofor. I sense it. And I don’t want that girl in our lives in any way. She has the same strange, evil spirit her mother had. She will ruin my baby. Please, help me talk to him. If he can stay away from her, then I’m fine with him living anywhere he desires to but as it stands, I want him under my nose all the time before she will destroy him. Please, talk to him.”

Wow. What a lot to take in. Oba and Didi? It’s unlikely. Nne must be imagining things. Nonetheless, I assure her that I’ll have a word with him.

“Let’s go for drinks,” I tell him as I come out to the living room. He picks his phone and follows me out. I allow him drive my car. I sit back and turn the radio on.

“So, what’s going on between you and Didi?”

Oba looks at me for some seconds and then throws his head back in laughter.

“Nne suspects there’s something between us?”

“Mm-hm.”

“Ignore her jare. There’s nothing going on between me and Didi.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah.”

And so I rest the matter. We stop at a sports bar, play a game of pool over drinks and after two bottles, Oba begins to sing a different tune.

“I have a crush on Didi,” he confesses. “Basically she’s been using me as her driver since she came to Lagos. And hey, I’m not complaining. She’s hot. I’m her baby brother, so it’s all good. We get to hang out a lot…”

“And you drop her for dates with other guys and spend money on her, abi?”

He gives an uneasy laugh. “I really, really like her, Jide, but it’s not just the brother and sister issue. I mean, I could just tell her that we’re not related.”

“And watch yourself burn in popsi’s hell.”

“I can handle that. But here’s my issue with Didi – and I’m not supposed to tell anyone this. Can you keep it to yourself?”

“Talk already.”

He breathes out loudly. Whatever he is about to say is difficult to let out.

“Didi is auctioning her virginity online to the highest bidder.”

I put my beer bottle aside.

“The URL of the website is sellyourvirginity.org and Didi is registered there.”

I quickly pick my phone up and type in the site’s URL in my Google Chrome.

“You can’t find her there. It’s a very private site that protects its members. It’s run by Bunny Ranch in the US.”

“And what’s that?”

“A brothel. Once Didi’s auction ends, they’ll fly her to the ranch to meet her bidder and basically, she’ll be stuck there as a ho’.”

My tummy churns. “Oba, are you sure of all you just told me?”

He nods.

“Can you please help her before she fucks her life up?”

I am dumbfounded. Unable to say anything, I down my beer as I ignore my ringing phone. Honey is calling. I guess the Ditorusins have arrived. I call one of the bar girls to come over with our bill. As I wait for her, I take a good look at my brother’s face and feel sorry for him. Dude is really in love.

“Not Ndidi,” I tell him as I rest a hand on his shoulder. “Find someone else, Oba. Not her. She’ll break your heart.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Images: www.pinterest.com, dariuswilliams

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #13

Keep up with It’s Another Novocaine Saturday here

He is never this quiet. Not even on days when he goes on a hyper mode and has to medicate himself to calmness. Wura worries about his state of mind. He is seated on the steps that lead out to the backyard from the backdoor of his kitchen, smoking cigarettes. He has had one too many for the day and it bothers her. Watching him as a mother would her newborn, she is just coming to realize that the responsibility of protecting him is now all on her.

His mother passed away on Sunday night and was buried not long after. Mahmud had received the shocking news without showing any form of reaction. He traveled home to Sokoto the next day and returned on Wednesday and since then he hasn’t been the same. Wura has been unable to reach him and she doubts that she can understand his pain. As the lastborn, Mahmud had been his mother’s pet. Wura is not sure she can take the woman’s place.

“Tokunboh, there’s dinner.” Wura moves towards him. “You’re going to eat today, right?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“But you’re going to have a shower, at least?”

“Is the stink that bad?”

“No. It’s just that you haven’t showered in three days.”

He lights a fresh cigarette and turns his head away from her and she immediately knows he is going to be unreachable for the entire night.

“I’ll be in the room if you need me.”

She walks back into the kitchen, picks her dinner and goes to his bedroom. Tomorrow promises to be a busy one for her but for this night she will have a good rest. She takes her dinner at a relaxed pace as she keeps up with her social media accounts which haven’t been attended to in a long while. These days she is a celebrity, thanks to the Love Concert. But she is yet to find a way to respond to the growing popularity as it comes with both the good and bad. There are people who are yet to forgive her for her past, and would, at every occasion remind her of it.

Her eyes cloud over they fall on a photo comment on her Facebook fan page. Someone posted a munched photo from one of her sex videos and added the caption: A leopard cannot change its spots.

Wura deletes the comment and puts her phone away. She forces down a sob but she fails. Her mood plummets and she buries her head in a pillow for a good cry. She has come to accept that her past will always keep up with her but she is yet to find a way to handle it whenever it shows up. Every bad comment from a hater always gets her down in the dumps. Without Mahmud, she would have fallen apart.

Finding a short moment of respite after her tears, Wura goes for a long, cold shower and steps out to find Mahmud in the bedroom, popping a couple of pills. She notices he has switched on the nightlight, bringing in dimness to the room.

“Should I get dinner for you?” she asks.

“I’m not hungry. Thanks.”

He takes off his t-shirt and shorts and tosses them in a corner. He now walks towards her, stops and holds her eyes for a while.

“Thank you for being here with me, mami. I’ve been trying to get my thoughts together, to understand why it all happened. I thought it’d be the old man to go, I was even ready for it but life throws in this curve and I’m yet to understand it.”

“God knows best, Mahmud.”

“Thank you for being here…”

She touches his face. “Please, don’t thank me. Your loss is my loss, Tokunboh.”

“Still…”

He pulls her in for a hug that expresses his distress. Minutes later, following a shower, Wura sets his dinner before him and persuades him to eat. Being his first meal in three days, he takes his time. She sits beside him, distracting his mind with tales of how her week has been.

“How does someone sleep and never wake up?” he asks from nowhere, cutting her off midway. “She was fine. You saw her. Wasn’t she looking okay to you?”

“She was, Mahmud.”

“Then how can she just go to sleep and refuse to wake up?”

Wura doesn’t have an answer for him. She lifts his dinner tray off his laps and takes it to the kitchen. When she returns, she finds a cigarette between his lips and moisture in his eyes. She fears that he is withdrawing from her again, so she picks her handbag and car key and stands before him. She is about to tell him she is set to leave but he takes her hand.

“Please, stay.”

“I’ll come back tomorrow evening, TK. I have to go to bed early…”

“Stay for a bit, please.”

She drops her car key and handbag and sits beside him as before. She watches as tears leave his eyes and disappear in the thick stubble of beard he hasn’t groomed for a while. The long drags of cigarette smoke and the manner in which his fingers keep combing through his this hair in a back and forth manner show his pain. There’s a silent heave, a sniffle and he throws his weight backwards on the bed, his head hitting a pillow.

Wura follows him and finds that the tears are more now, gushing down the sides of his face. In a tender manner, she wipes them; and while doing so, speaks comforting words to him. But he stops her hand, kisses it and turns to face her. She doesn’t object when he moves closer and places his lips on hers. She is also silent when his hand leaves hers to rest on her waist. His mouth tastes salty, smoky and delicious at the same time, and his kiss comes to her with intensity.  He leaves her lips to bury his face in her neck. His hot breath and the graze of his stubble give rise to goosebumps on her skin. When his lips trace their way back to her mouth again, leaving wet patches in their path, Wura allows herself feel the familiar tremors of desire. And because she hasn’t been in this place in a long time, the spark is instantaneous. Every nerve in her is awake and she responds to Mahmud’s ministrations, shutting down the cautioning voice in her head.

What follows is a series of lovemaking sessions that last for most of the night, bringing to Wura the kind of pleasure she has fantasized over for months on end. When she finally shuts her eyes in sleep, the morning after is the last thing on her mind. All that has happened feels right, and her emotional state of mind being the neediest, finds gratification in Mahmud’s arms.

sexBut the morning comes faster than she wants it to, and it brings with it censure. She opens her eyes in a slow and lazy manner and shuts them again to feel a quick rush of tears burn them. She then buries her face in shame. After a while, she quietly slips into her clothes, picks her handbag and begins out when Mahmud calls her back for a kiss.

“Let me take you home,” he says, getting off the bed. Her head shakes. She can’t stare at him in the eye.

“Just take care of yourself,” she tells him.

He pulls her in for a hug that ends with another kiss. She tries to leave but his hand resting on the nape of her neck keeps her back as his lips tastes hers once more.

“Mahmud…” she groans. He breaks away but stays so close she can feel his breath on her cheeks.

“I’m sorry yesterday happened,” he whispers. “Knowing you, you’re going to beat yourself over it and I feel terrible… Just…don’t sink under.”

“Please, let’s not have this talk. You lost your mom and you’re still grieving.”

“I don’t want you to feel bad over what happened…”

“I already feel bad, Tokunboh. I feel like shit.” Wura turns around, giving him her back. “I’m not so sure about me, if I’ll be the wife you think I’ll be.”

Mahmud’s full brows come together in a scowl. “Why?”

“See how easy it was for me to have sex with you? I couldn’t hold myself. What if after you marry me and my inner slut comes out and I cheat on you?”

Inner slut? What manner of rubbish talk is this, Woo?”

Wura gives no answer.

“So because you make love to the man you love, the father of your child, you’re now a slut?”

“Last night was not supposed to happen.”

“You’re right. It was not supposed to happen but I needed you and you were there for me. You took away the pain. Call it pity sex or whatever but I needed you.”

He walks around to face her.

“We were never supposed to happen, Belinda. Not with our different religious backgrounds and our pasts. But we’re here, fighting the odds, and I know we’ll make it work. You just need to believe it and never let anything from outside or within tear us apart.”

“I can’t think straight right now, Tokunboh. I have to go home and get my mind off everything.”

He covers her hands in his.

“Okay, I’m sorry about last night. I should have stopped us but I was as carried away as you were. At the same time, I’m not really sorry because being with you is what I always want to do. Don’t give up on us after what happened. I see you want to. I see it in your eyes. Please, hang on. We’ll get through this.”

Wura puts his hand to her cheek as tears let down.

“I so want to believe you, Mymood,” she says to him. “But can’t you see? There’s always something ready to tear us apart. First it was my past, then your family and now, this… Maybe we should just let go.”

Mahmud drops his hands. “We won’t.”

“It’s going to hurt now but we’ll both get over each other in the end.”

“You’re being ridiculous, Wuraola. It’s just sex!”

“It’s not just sex, Mahmud! What we did was wrong!”

“I am not going to lose you over what happened last night! Period!”

He gives the conversation an abrupt end by marching to the door.

“Since you’re irritated, you should go.”

She picks her handbag and walks to the door. Mahmud stops her and delivers one last kiss that sends her back to her emotions. After that, he holds her in a squeeze.

“Please, hang in there.”

He holds on to her a little longer and then lets go. His ringing phone takes him to his bed and while he attends to it, Wura quietly makes her exit. It is still dark outside when she leaves the house. A layer of moisture has settled over her car. She sits in and painful tears fill her eyes. She does not want to be taken by her emotions but the guilt cannot be helped. She remains in the car until the first light of the morning breaks. Only then does she drive home.

She enters a house that is dead quiet save for the hum of the deep freezer. Out of it she picks a bowl of chocolate ice-cream and retires to her bedroom where she consumes the entire thing without break. Afterwards, she hides beneath the blanket as the tears return.

Today is Sunday. She should be getting set for church but not in this state her heart is in. She is convinced God is disgusted at her.

Crying wears her out until her eyes shut. She doesn’t know for how long she sleeps but a long while after, she is awoken by Lexus’ voice in her ear.

“Move jare, let me lie down with you.”

Wura opens her eyes.

“Woo-woo, shift.”

She moves a little and allows Lexus in. They both leave their heads peeking out of the blanket.

“I need to talk to you about something,” Lexus says.

“You woke me up from sleep, so you better shoot.”

“It’s about Kasi.” There’s elation in Lexus’ tone. “I think I’m in love with him.”

Wura hisses. “I thought you had something new to tell me. Be going, let me go back to sleep jare.”

“No, no, this is deep, Woo. This is really deep, like massive. Like, I’m all in. Like, head over heels kind of shit!”

In spite of her mood, Wura smiles.

“So we’ve spent the entire week together – with Trini of course. And I think we make the cutest, little family.”

“I can imagine.”

“The arrangement is that we take Trini to daycare and then stay in and fuck all day and bring her back home, feed her, put her to bed and fuck all night.”

“Can you warn me next time before you use the F-word so lavishly?”

“Fuck?”

“Yes, stop saying it.”

“It’s just a word, Woo-woo.”

“Aunty, just go on with why you’re here.”

“Woo, have you had so much sex you get sore at first? But it’s the good sore that makes you want more; and then you get more until you become unsore and all you can feel is pleasure. Can you relate?”

Wura simply smiles.

“That’s where I am right now. But that asides, I think I really love Kasi.”

“You’ve said that already.”

“No, I mean, I love him enough to want to wear a ring and do the whole forever thing with him.”

Wura gives her a proper stare. “That’s serious, Lexi.”

“I know and it scares me because in New York, he was all about settling down and I freaked out and left him because I wasn’t ready. And now, I think I might’ve scared him off completely. As beautiful as our one week of smashing was, he hasn’t mentioned anything about us getting really exclusive.”

She sits up abruptly. “Woo, how do I propose to him?”

Wura’s brows shoot up.

“Propose?”

“Yeah. How do I say ‘Kasiobi, let’s get married?’ Of course, I don’t want to get married immediately because the entire concept still freaks me out but I want to own him exclusively.”

“You’re not joking.”

“Do I look like I’m joking, Woo? Kasi’s ass is mine and no Chichi or Shakira or any of them smelly ass thirsty bitches will touch his dick again.

Wura can’t help but laugh.

“Yes, I want to be his wife. Maybe next year or the year after. No, not the year after. That would be too far. Next year is fine. Trini has to start walking so she can be our perfect, little flower girl.”

“I can’t believe you’re going all girly on me this morning, Lexi. Your father’s prayers are finally being answered.”

“But seriously, how do I pop the question?”

“I hope you’re not planning to go on a knee with a ring.”

“Naa. That’s mainstream.”

“No. Actually, Lexus, that’s masculine.”

“Okay. So, any feminine ideas?”

“For starters, don’t buy a ring. Like I said, masculine.”

“Okay?”

“You can just talk to him. You could say, ‘remember we used to talk about settling down a lot?’”

“Naa. I don’t think I want to dredge up that past. It’s painful for both of us.”

“Then just leave hints.”

“Hints are going to fucking take forever! Urghh! Can’t I just say, ‘Kasiobi, marry me!’?”

“No!”

“Why?”

“Because girls don’t propose. The guy has to do it with a ring and on one knee and it has to be a huge surprise.”

“Who makes these rules?!” Lexus cries out in frustration.

“I don’t know. Just don’t propose.”

“Oh, before I forget, awesome surprise party on Friday. I had fun.”

“Thanks. All your dad’s idea. He just wanted to appreciate you and the boss lady.”

“I can’t believe I actually cried when he asked her to dance Unchained Melody with him. All I saw was that scene in Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. It was so beautiful, and I think it’s what inspired me to want to make this bold move with Kasi.”

“I’m proud of you sha. You’re all grown up now.”

Lexus sticks out her feet and rests them on the footboard. “So can you be a darling and throw in a good word to Kasi for me?”

“How?

“Just let him know I’m ready to take the plunge. He can propose any time, from now till the end of the year. I am so ready. Hair, nails and makeup will be on point every day for the perfect moment.”

Wura falls apart in laughter. “Tonbra, you will not kill me o! Come and be going, let me go back to sleep, abeg. I no get your time this afternoon.”

“You’ll talk to him for me? Maybe pick out the ring? It should be a blue or black stone. Nothing feminine.”

“I’ll talk to him.”

“Thank you!” She hugs her. “I love you, Woo-woo.”

“Me too, baby.”

“Meanwhile, I’m hungry. What did you cook?”

“Nothing jare.”

“Let me call Genesis to know if she has food.”

“She always has food. Go and raid her kitchen.”

“You want to come along?”

“Nope. I want to sleep. Now, go.”

Lexus stumbles down. She pushes her legs into a pair of crocs.

“Wait, though. You didn’t go to church, Woo?”

“No.”

“What’s wrong? Your eyes are swollen.”

“Nothing. I’m fine.”

Lexus abandons plans of leaving and takes the bed again.

“What happened?”

Wura lowers her eyes. “Mahmud and I had sex yesterday.”

“Ooooh.” Lexus moves closer. “How was it? Give me deets!”

“It was great, Lex,” Wura replies. “But you know it was wrong.”

“Nope. I don’t know that.”

“I was waiting until we got married…”

“But then you got horny and did it. So what? You’re going to kill yourself now?”

“You won’t understand.”

“No, I don’t. I’ve never understood your religiosity. But hey, it’s your life. Keep on killing yourself over something you enjoy doing. But seriously, how was it? I want details.”

“Go home, Lex.”

Lexus springs up. “Stop regretting what you did, Woo. It was just sex.”

“Just go.”

“Breathe in and out. And tell yourself ‘I love sex and it’s okay to do it with Mahmud’.”

Wura flings a pillow at her. “Be going.”

“See ya!”

Lexus steps out and Wura dives back under the blanket but that only lasts a matter of seconds as she hears Lexus calling out Ralph’s name. Knowing her alone time is over, Wura walks out to the living room where she finds Ralph and Lexus conversing.

“You’re the worst niece ever, Tonbra,” Ralph states. “You don’t even care about your cousins.”

“Uncle, me and your offspring are not age mates. What am I going to be discussing with them? How to wrap weed or have safe sex?”

Pastor Ralph cringes. Wura laughs.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to connect with them.”

“I thought so too.”

“We should have a family dinner or something one of these days…”

“Yeah…before Aunty Maggie disappears with all your money to London. You know I never liked her, right? Just putting it out there.”

Wura’s jaw drops.

“Eva didn’t like her too,” Lexus continues. “Thought she was too stuck-up. But it was weird that Eva thought Wura would have been better for you.”

Ralph looks at Wura who merely frowns at Lexus.

“I’d have been calling you ‘Aunty Woo-woo.”

“Lexus, just go nau,” Wura begs with a giggle. “Be going.”

“Yeah, Uncle Ralph, let me split and go and see Zach and Zoe before they start looking at me weirdly like your kids do.”

“Okay, sweetie.”

They hug and Lexus makes her exit. Ralph turns to Wura.

“You look tired.”

“Just sleepy.” She yawns.

“Why weren’t you in church today?”

“I had a little fever,” she lies, “but I’m better now.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, hopefully the good news I have for you will change your mood.”

Wura sits up and Ralph takes a seat as well, resting his feet on the center table. He is wearing a pair of loafers that match well-ironed grey pants and a black shirt. She notices he has lost some weight.

“Should I get you something to eat?” she asks.

“No, I’m fine. Just brace yourself for this massive gist.”

“I’m all braced up.”

“You remember the record company that contacted you two years ago to have you sign a recording contract?”

Wura nods but with a drop in enthusiasm. The record company in question had come to her for a three-year recording contract with an offer of a few million bucks and a tour around Africa but they had a single clause that put an end to the deal. They wanted her to break up with Mahmud, on the reason that she couldn’t be a renowned gospel artiste and have a relationship with a Muslim. This had happened shortly before her videos became viral and being so invested in her relationship with Mahmud then, she had walked away from the deal.

“But Pastor Ralph, you know I want nothing to do with those people.”

“I know but they have come with something different this time. Something you can’t resist.”

“Okay?”

“Fo Yo Soul Recordings is signing three musicians in Africa. One from SA, another from Ghana and then, wait for it… You and I, as a duo. As a team.”

Wura gasps, head pulled back, mind taking in the news. “You’re joking.”

“I’m serious.”

“For real, Pastor Ralph? As in, for real?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my God!” Wura springs up and screams as she hops around like a little girl. She stops and asks Pastor Ralph if he’s pulling her legs.

“No.”

She screams out again and stops once more. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“It is.”

“Fo Yo Soul?”

“Yep.”

“As in Kirk Franklin’s record label?”

“Yep.”

“Oh my God! Oh my God! I can’t breathe.” She fans herself.

“You need water?”

“Yes.” She doubles over, hands on her knees. “No, I’m fine,” she says when she sees him rise up. She straightens up too. There are tears of joy dancing in her eyes.

“Finally.” The words come out in a whisper.

“Finally.”

“Oh God.” She slumps back into her chair and starts sobbing. Ralph watches her for a bit but when she doesn’t stop, he takes the space beside her and places his hand on her back.

“I never thought this day would come,” she cries. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“You better believe it.”

“But I’m not worthy, Pastor Ralph. I don’t deserve it.”

“Stop saying that…”

“No.” She sniffles. “You don’t understand. Last night…”

She sniffles again.

“I slept with Mahmud.”

Ralph’s hand leaves her back. She covers her face.

“Slept with him, as in, on the same bed…and nothing happened?”

“Everything happened.”

Ralph shuts his eyes in disappointment.

“I am so sorry. So, so sorry.”

He doesn’t say a word. His silence stretches as her sobs intensify. But somehow he pulls her close for a hug.

“Oh, my darling Wuraola, you’re always a mess.”

“I’m sorry.”

“But God loves you like that, you know? In your weakness, he’s strong. Strong for you. Don’t give up on yourself. He’s still molding you.”

“But I keep falling.”

“He will restore you, baby girl. Just hold on, and please, stop crying.”

His words only pull her deeper into her emotions. He is patient with her; he lets her unburden and it takes quite a while. When the last tear is gone, wiped by his hanky, he releases her.

“You want to hear me play something? It’s a new song.”

Wura nods. Somewhere outside the house Bilal is screaming at the top of his lungs in excitement. She guesses he is playing football with her cousin. She is glad he is off her hands today. Her mood wouldn’t have been able to contain him.

Pastor Ralph leads the way to her studio. When they get in, she finds some corner on the floor to sit on while his fingers caress the black and white notes of her piano.

©Sally@moskedapages

Image: weheartit

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #12

Read Previous Episodes Of It’s Another Novocaine Saturday

Wura is swamped at work. Genesis, having explained that she won’t be at the office for whole week, has dumped all her duties on her. By 11am Wura is already feeling the heat of having so much to do and yet so little time. She is irritable and everyone knows better than to get on her nerves; everyone except Didi who waltzes in, chatting away on her phone.

“Where are you coming from?” Wura asks. She has just stepped out of her office for a break to put her thoughts together. Didi’s appearance disrupts the moment of bliss.

She stops at her cubicle and stares at Wura with a clueless expression.

“In my office,” Wura says, standing up from where she is sitting. Didi follows her back into her office.

“So, where were you coming from?” Wura goes around her table.

“I had a visitor. I was outside with him.”

Wura takes her seat. “You do realize this is a job, right? Not some socializing spot where the men in your life drop by anytime they want and you go out to entertain them. It’s becoming quite irritating the way they keep coming here. I know you’re in your prime and you’re beautiful and you’re getting all of this attention but my dear, this is a job. I will not have you entertain any more men during work hours. Understood?”

“Yes, ma.”

Wura stretches her hand and picks up a fancy, black folder from her desk and pushes it to Didi. “Client is a five-year-old boy named Samuel. His birthday is on Saturday. You’re in charge.”

Didi’s eyes widen. “Me? I’m in charge?”

“Yes. Don’t disappoint me. And there’s better news. His parents have given consent to us to record the entire planning process. So, congratulations, you get to have your face on TV as an event planner when the reality series drops on DSTV.”

Didi is stunned. “Me?”

“Yes, you, Ndidiamaka. Production crew will be here by twelve to prep you up. Hand them over the folder so they can plan their shoot.”

“Thank you very much, Wura.” Didi beams. “I will not disappoint you.”

“You better not.”

“Thank you!”

Excited, Didi leaves the office.

Wura yawns, pushes back her chair and tries not to recall how the previous evening had gone for her. She had been in the company of Mahmud, Asma, Asma’s husband and one of Mahmud’s childhood friend from the north who had come visiting with his wife. They were at the mall to see a movie. Having just gotten their tickets, they stopped for popcorn and drinks. But from nowhere, a pair of girls, dressed rather lewdly, came towards them and screamed out Wura’s name so loudly everyone in the area turned. Wura merely smiled back as embarrassment filled her face. The girls were colleagues from her stripper days in Port Harcourt and clearly, nothing seemed to have changed about them. Calling her “Belinda”, they went into classic vulgar mode as their type are known for. Wura could only stand there and do nothing as they dredged up her past without apology.

“But you don clean up now oo!” one of them said, touching her face. “You don fat up sef. See as your boobs don full,” she added and squeezed Wura’s breasts with both hands. It was then Wura felt she had had enough. Only Mahmud was standing beside her now. The other couples had shifted away and stood by to watch the spectacle.

“Girls,” Wura moved closer to Mahmud, “this is my fiancé and we’re here to see a movie with friends. If you don’t mind, we’ll be excused.”

Cringing as she turned, Wura hoped they would just get the message and disappear. Luckily for her, they did. She faced Mahmud to apologize.

“It’s okay, mami.”

“I’m so embarrassed right now.”

“Totally understandable but don’t let it ruin our evening. Let’s get popcorn.”

They walked back to the others and no one made a comment about what had happened. The movie compensated for the awkwardness but not for Wura. As the outing drew to an end, she concluded that her past was never going to let her go.

Fighting hard not to recall the incidence as she sits before her desk this morning turns out to be a waste of time, so Wura thinks up another way to redeem her image. Does she make plans for dinner tomorrow and invite Asma, her husband and Mahmud’s friends? They need to see her as a responsible mother and not the person those girls had painted her out to be. She picks up her phone and calls Mahmud to ask his opinion. He thinks it’s unnecessary for her to do anything to save face.

“Asma and her husband already love you, Woo. As for my friend and his wife, I don’t care what they think. Do I go forming opinions about his wife whose sense of makeup screams cheap Hausa ho’? No. So, let them think whatever. You’re my wife and I love you, past and all. In fact, I can’t wait for you to pole-dance for me. In our new house, I will install a pole in our bedroom and you’re going to slide up and down the thing for my pleasure.”

Wura breaks out in laughter. Mahmud has a way to always make her happy no matter the mood.

“Just enjoy your day, mami. Asma is on the other line. I have to go.”

“Bye.”

The line goes dead. Wura, feeling lighter, faces her work.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

Dominic walks into the house with Genesis coming behind. The moment he steps in, he finds the trio of Lexus, Zoe and Zach, waiting to give him a hero’s welcome. There’s a welcome banner of balloons hanging above them. The twins are wearing party hats and fighting over a blow horn.

Dominic finds the scene adorable. Lexus runs to him and slows down when she’s just a step away.

“Can I hug you? Will it hurt if I do?”

“No.”

She moves forward and rests her head on his chest as she encloses her arms around him. “Don’t scare me like that again, dad.”

“I won’t.”

He kisses her forehead and she moves away to let him lift Zoe who has crawled to his feet. Zach remains where he is, trying to rip the blow horn he bullied out of his sister in pieces. On his way upstairs, Dominic picks him up as well.

“You have started abi?” Genesis scolds from the bottom of the stairs. Dominic turns. “The doctors said you should take it easy and you’re already carrying load.”

Dominic chortles. “My children are now load.”

He continues up. When he enters his room he finds it brighter than he had left it. The drapes have been changed to a perkier shade and a lot of sunshine let in. Fresh flowers in a vase by the dressing table give the room an airy fragrance. Fruits have also been placed on the nightstand.

Dominic sits on the bed, placing Zoe beside him. Zach pushes his way down in search of the next thing to lay his hands on. Lexus perches at the foot of the bed.

“I thought I was going to lose you, dad. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay in the hospital. I freaked out. I went to Kasiobi.”

Dominic smiles and it is filled with mischief.

“It’s not what you think, dad.”

“I’m not thinking anything but I’m just curious. Are you guys getting back together at all?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. He kissed me yesterday, though.”

“How was it?”

“Dad, am I supposed to describe that to you?”

“Did you like it? Were there strings attached?”

“There were. Lots of strings. It was intense.”

“Interesting.”

“But that was all.”

Dominic studies his daughter’s eyes and sees that she wants to say more but he doesn’t bug her about it.

“So the procedure is permanent?” she asks. “The stent stays in?”

“Yes. It’s for life. I have to take aspirin every day. So, Genesis will give you an aspirin container, she holds one, Seyi holds one and I also keep one. Whenever you guys see me, you have to ask if I have taken my pill for the day. If I haven’t, you have to make sure I do.”

Lexus gives a sad smile. “You were always my hero, dad. Right from when I was little. Whenever you flew in from the States and came to grandma’s, you made me very happy. Every time you left, I fell sick. Every single time. To me, you were strong and powerful and there was nothing you couldn’t do. So, yesterday that image was shattered, and I just couldn’t bear it. I wanted my strong daddy back. I…”

She pauses. Tears plug up her eyes. Dominic struggles with his emotions as well.

Yesterday, he had returned home after his long flight from across the world just to prove to himself and the doctor in Singapore who had told him to take things easy, that he was in control. The sex with Genesis had been awesome and ego-boosting but the pain in his chest that followed brought his machismo to nothing. Lying on the bathroom floor after his fall hadn’t scared him; it was the dread on Genesis’ face, the tears she cried in the ambulance and the unspoken gratitude she bore on her features when they wheeled him out of the Cath Theater. She had cried again after that, asking him many times as he drifted off into sleep, what she was supposed to do with her life if he was not there. Those moments had brought on the reality check. Not the near-death encounter.

What was his family to do without him? How would Genesis start again? Who would love her the way he does? Would Lexus ever recover from losing him?

“Don’t leave me, Dominic,” Lexus pleads.

“I won’t. God will keep me alive to see Zach and Zoe’s kids and your grandkids.”

“Amen.”

Lexus vacates her spot and walks over for a hug. This time, it is he who gets a peck on the forehead.

“I love you, dad.”

“Me too, Lex.”

670887

After she is gone, Dominic lies on his side and places Zoe beside him. Her littleness reminds him of Nimi, of how one moment he was cradling her newborn frame in his arms and the next he was holding her limp body in a hospital reception crying for a doctor to attend to her. The pain of that loss never left him. Same way he still vividly recalls the night his mother’s head was blown off in front of him and also the time he had stared at Eva’s lifeless body and wished that he had given her a better life than she had lived.

He knows the pain of loss all too well and how one does not recover from it. His family must not go through it, and so he shuts his eyes and begs God for long life and happier days.

Minutes later, Genesis walks in with Iya Idaya who takes the twins away. Genesis, concluding he is asleep, tiptoes about as she has a shower and changes into clean clothes. Afterwards, she leaves the room. He then opens his eyes, picks his phone and makes a call to Wura.

“Hi Wuraola.”

“Good morning, sir.”

“How are you doing?”

“Great.”

“I need you to do me a huge one.”

“Okay, sir.”

“I need you to organize an appreciation party for Genesis and Lexus. I want to thank them specially for being in my life.”

“Aww.” Wura makes a mock sniffle. “I think I’m going to cry.”

Dominic smiles. “I’ll leave the details to you, just make it for either Friday or Saturday. Genesis has a new trusted friend. Her name is Honey Onuora.”

“I know her. She’s been here a couple of times.”

“Good. Get her involved.”

“Okay, sir.”

“Get Kasiobi involved too.”

“Sure.”

“Thank you, Wura. Have a nice day.”

“You too.”

When he hangs up, he dials Seyi’s number. He needs a friend to talk to.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

“Fumi, what is your problem nau? Ah-ah. Kilode! Stop shouting on me.”

This is how I wake up today, to Jiney screaming at the top of her lungs and her father giving her a dose of her medicine. He is not angry though; it’s just the normal daddy and daughter conversation they have on the regular.

It’s going to be a lazy day for me. No office work; although I’ll drop by later to see how things are progressing. The place is under some construction and the front desk girl would be present to ensure that the work is done well.

I dive deeper beneath the blanket as Jiney’s cries intensify. There’s a full bottle of refrigerated breast milk I have kept. Jide will feed her while I go back to sleep.

I close my eyes. Sleep comes swiftly but I am awoken when Jide barges in and announces that Yazmin is here to see me.

I step out, surprised to see that she has not come alone. Tobe is with her and a Gucci box rests at her feet.

“Yaz, is everything okay?”

She shakes her head. Tobe toddles over to me and I lift him up. As I pick a couch to sit on, Jide enters the living room with Jiney. He is here for whatever gist Yazmin has come with.

“I messed up, Hon,” Yazmin reveals. “I’m pregnant again.”

The news does not shock me. Dele’s wife and I have suspected that she is with child.

“And Emeka is mad at me.”

“Why did you stop taking your pills, Yazmin?” Jide interrogates. His tone is not friendly. He has never really liked Yazmin for Emeka.

“You stopped taking your pills?” I look at her.

“Yes.”

I turn my eyes on Jide. “Hotstuff, how did you know this?”

“Emeka called me this morning and told me everything. He is this close to leaving you, Yaz. And that’s not because he doesn’t love you. He’s just tired of your constant drama.”

Yazmin’s face is sad but surprisingly, she doesn’t cry. I suspect she has cried her eyes out already.

“He said he won’t be around for the period of my pregnancy. He’s choosing to be with Tola.”

“And that’s why you’ve come here?” Jide asks.

“Just for a few days. I want to go back home to Mexico.”

“No nau,” I tell her. “It has not reached like that.”

“It’s okay. I’ve thought about it a lot and I don’t think he loves me the way he loves her. And it’s fine. I’ll go home, have this baby and come back so that we can work child custody issues. I want to live in Nigeria. I love this country. Staying here is the best for my kids.”

I am devastated by all I’ve just heard. Yazmin is like a younger sister to me. She’s a beautiful soul and I love her dearly. Yes, she has the propensity to be selfish but that’s because of the way she was brought up. It’s no fault of hers and clearly, she alone isn’t to blame for how things have turned out in her love triangle. Emeka caused it. The moment Tola announced that she was pregnant, he abandoned Yazmin. A few times I caught her crying in her office. On one occasion, she opened up to me, telling me how lonely she was. When I told her I was going to speak to Emeka about it, she begged me not to.

“Yaz, we will have a word with Emeka on this. You’re not going anywhere. He is the father of your kids and he will treat you as you deserve to be treated.”

I glance at Jide who is feeding Jiney. He doesn’t look at me.

“Don’t go booking that flight, Yaz. Stay with us and trust me, Emeka will come looking for you soon and he’ll beg you to come back to him.”

I stand up and ask her to follow me. The room opposite Didi’s is unoccupied and that is where I lead her too.

“All yours for as long as you want to stay.”

“Thank you, Honey.”

“Do me a favor. Don’t pick his calls. Don’t text or chat with him. Put some respect on yourself and trust me, he’ll come here, begging.”

Yazmin nods. I ask her if she has had breakfast, she tells me she has. I return to the living room where a frowning Jide is waiting.

“You’re the one encouraging her to misbehave,” he accuses.

“I didn’t ask her to get pregnant, Jide. But I’m not going to support Emeka treating her like shit. That baby is his and she is his wife. He has to treat her better.”

“She needs to go. Emeka can’t do this. He can’t love them equally. Tola has his heart.”

“Then he shouldn’t have fooled around with Yazmin. What he’s facing now is the consequence of his actions. He can love her and treat her better if he decides to. Why should she be crying always because of him? Haba! I am so disappointed in Mex, and in you for supporting him.”

Well, if you guess that the argument goes downhill from here, you guess right. But the good thing is that Jide and I can get quite civil in a fight, which is also a bad thing because the words are more lethal since all the shout has been stripped from them.

Still frowning at me an hour later, Jide leaves for work. I am not bothered. We will make up before the day runs out, and of course, awesome sex will follow.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

Kasiobi asks her out on a date. His message on Whatsapp is short and straight.

Ice cream at Coldstone, Admiralty Way. Pizza at mine’s. Game?

She stares at the chat for a long time. Her answer is yes but she doesn’t want to sound too eager.

-We need to talk, remember?

She replies:

-Time?

-8

-And Trini? Who’ll watch her?

-Let me worry about that.

She puts her phone down. From the window of her art room she sees that the sun is setting. Her body is covered in oil paint. The canvas that towers above her has a half-completed painting of Dominic. She doesn’t think it looks good. She has the urge to rip it apart. Wiping her forehead, she abandons the project for the day. A warm cup of yogurt sits on the floor next to her foot. She picks it and downs what is left in it.

Her house is quiet today. These days she finds that she doesn’t do too well with loud music when she’s working. Picking a half-smoked blunt she had picked from a glass stool in the living room, she enters her bedroom. The place is in shipshape. She sits on the bed, lights the blunt and smokes till she can hardly hold it. She dumps what is left in an ashtray, annoyed that she is scarcely high.

“So much for 10k weed,” she mutters, taking off her clothes. She goes for a quick, cold shower. When she returns to her bedroom, she takes her time with a body lotion and her makeup which comes out looking like she has not made any effort. Next, she embarks on picking out what to wear.

This is where the problem comes.

Nearly an hour later on, she is still searching for what to wear. Her tidy room now looks a mess and she is on the verge of losing her mind. Frustrated, she takes a picture of the mess and posts it on Instagram.

screenshot_2016-10-09-17-16-32

She captions the photo: Date in an hour with an old flame. My room is practically upside down and no outfit yet. Outfit ideas anyone???!!

#messyroom #datenight #frustrated

She plops down on her bed and before she can blink, she begins to get notifications on her phone. Most of them from guys suggesting all manner of outfits. She stays on the phone longer, laughing at the comments pouring in. A few girls give her some ideas, and just when she is about to dump her phone and slip into a dress, she sees a comment from Kasiobi.

I’m sure said ex-flame doesn’t mind if you show up nude. It’d be kind’a nice tho

“Horny toad.” Lexus laughs to herself. The edge has suddenly been taken off and out of the corner of her eyes, she spots the perfect girly combo – a pleated bowknot mini skirt, an off-the-shoulder top, a mini satchel detail bag, open heart earrings and a pair of heeled sandals. When she takes in her appearance in the mirror, she approves of what she sees. After posing for a few photos for Instagram, she leaves the house. A surprise awaits her outside, however. Kasiobi is standing beside a cab, hands in his pockets, earphones in his ears.

Butterflies flutter in her tummy for no reason when he looks up at her.

“You didn’t tell me you were coming to get me.”

“Thought I’d surprise you.”

“What happened to your car?”

“I’m tired of driving.”

He opens the backdoor as she walks towards him.

“You’re beautiful,” he compliments. “Cool outfit.”

“Thank you.”

She expects a kiss on her cheek but she gets nothing. He holds the door open until she sits in. He shuts it and walks over to the other side.

“So, ice-cream?” he asks, sitting beside her.

“Yep.”

“John Bellion? Dappy? Or Brymo?”

“Dappy.”

“Dappy, it is,” he says to the cab driver. The man nods. Shortly, music begins to stream from the car’s speakers. They say nothing to each other on the drive to Coldstone. When they arrive there, he reaches over and picks something from her nose.

“Piece of thread.”

His breath over her lips brings back the last kiss they shared. She desires more of it even if it is all he will give her.

He clasps his hand around hers and together they walk into the ice-cream joint. After making orders for pizza, they climb to the second floor of the building where their date takes place. They don’t talk about Lexus’ pregnancy or the abortion she had or why they break up. That comes a lot later, after they fill in the details of the missing period they didn’t get to spend with each other. They also share their favorite Trinity moments and talk about her future.

“Would you let Chichi back into Trini’s life if she returns?” Lexus rests her chin on her hand and apprehends his eyes as she awaits his answer.

“No,” he replies. “I don’t care where she’s gone to or what the story is. You do not just get up and abandon your child.”

“True.”

“Which brings me to say this. Lex,” he takes her hand, “thank you for being an amazing mom to Trinity, for being there and helping me take the load off. It’s not been easy but you’ve been dope.”

“I’m crazy about her. My entire ‘gram is full of her pictures.”

“I know.” Kasiobi stares down at their clasped hands. His thumb is beginning to rub over hers in a familiar manner.

“I’m hungry. We should get our pizza and take this party to my place.”

“I’ve got a better idea, though.”

“Shoot.”

“Let’s just get out of here and I’ll show you.”

She rises up first and drags him. Downstairs, they pick up their pizza and head out. They cross over to the other side of the street to stop a cab. A red one readily pulls over and Lexus gives the driver directions. The drive takes them away from the island but not so far away from it. The cab comes to a stop at a street that looks busy only during work hours.

“Where is this place?” Kasiobi raises his head to stare up at a building that boasts of four floors.

“Follow me.”

Lexus walks ahead, taking him through heavy glass doors that open in when she pushes them. They find themselves in a large room that is almost empty and has a front desk and waiting benches.

“This is my art center!” Lexus spreads out her hands in pride. “Still under construction but almost there.”

“Wow. You didn’t tell me about this.”

“Well, now I am. Come.”

She hurries ahead, towards a flight of stairs. They come to the second floor which opens up to a few small offices a gallery and an art shop.

“This is where we make the money. For customers only.”

“B, this is really cool.”

Lexus stops and looks at him. He had just called her the pet name he gave her in New York. She doubts that he even realizes that he did it.

“Who is financing this?” he inquires.

“Moi.”

“Lex, this must cost you a lot.”

“Mommy left me plenty money, so…” she shrugs.

“I’d like to help.”

“That’s sweet but no, thanks. I must do this all on my own. And if it flops, it flops. Heard that’s part of being grownup and shit. Fall, bitch about it, get up, dust yourself up and say fuck the world while you try again.”

Kasiobi stretches out his fist and she bumps it with hers.

“Next floor,” she says, strolling out. “First to get there.”

She barely finishes speaking when Kasiobi breaks into a sprint that takes him up the stairs. He stops halfway, looks down at her stunned face and they both laugh.

She trudges up at a slow pace and together they arrive at the third floor.

“For students and their teachers. All sorts of art courses and trainings will happen here. You like?”

“I love.”

Lexus bends over abruptly and her bum positions itself perfectly on his crotch.

“Lex?”

“These heels are getting tight.”

“Let me help.”

He stoops down, puts aside the pizza box and unbuckles her sandals. When he makes to rise up, his head gets caught in her skirt. Lexus swallows down a giggle which blows out the moment he frees himself and gives her a curious stare.

“You’re not wearing underwear.”

“Oops.” Lexus covers her mouth. Her amusement has a hard time staying away from the surface. Nothing is actually funny; it is more of an expression of pleasure and the anticipation of more of it.

Leaving her sandals behind, she leads him to the last floor which turns out to be the only furnished place in the building.

“Typical of you to work in a backwards manner,” Kasiobi comments. “Why start fixing here first?” he asks, walking into a small lobby that welcomes him with warmth and Picasso-like paintings on the wall.

“Well, I have my tattoo parlor and makeup studio here,” she responds, pointing at doors that stand at opposite ends. “But that’s not all.”

She moves a few paces ahead of her and pushes in a door which opens to a large room that is an exact replica of their studio apartment back in New York. Everything Kasiobi left behind is found here, including their favorite couch and his plasma TV that has a small crack on the top right edge. The compact space with its small-sized bed to a kitchenette and even a shower cubicle and toilet takes Kasiobi and dumps him back in a place of beautiful and depressing memories.

“I was waiting to bring you here on your birthday but…”

“You shipped everything down?”

Lexus nods.

“Why?”

“I just couldn’t let go, Kas. Those days and nights were the best of my life. I threw away a good thing and I am sorry.” She bites her lips. “Can we go back and start again?”

Kasiobi doesn’t give an answer. She holds her breath as she watches him. He seems to have become suspended in time, frozen on his spot. Unsure if she has done the right thing, she picks a remote control from a Moroccan pouf on the floor and turns on the home theater system to rub out some of the awkwardness. Dappy comes on and continues from where he left off in the cab. His music seems to do its magic as Kasiobi comes to and places the pizza box on a craft table he and Lexus had both bought after watching an episode of Friends and getting inspired to visit the famous Pottery Barn. His fingers then caress the edge of the table and find their way to the couch where he takes the weight off his feet. He invites Lexus over. She wobbles to him, feeling the weight of her emotions slow her. When she drops down beside him, he shifts to the edge, takes her hand and pulls her towards him in a manner that ensures she is lying on the couch. He also stretches out until they are in a spooning position. With his hand holding her beneath her breasts, he buries his face in her hair and breathes in.

“I’ll do anything for this, B.”

“Me too.”

And they fall into silence, listening to Dappy, the lyrics of the present song meaning a lot to both of them.

I thought that you’d give up
When all we had was us
I can’t even lie, even lie to ya
I’m sorry it ain’t my fault
I run out of all my trust
I went through hell and back
To get it back
That’s why every day I thank the lord
You ain’t just with me for money
Cos you keep on giving without taking nothing from me
I remember all the times when I was low
And you never let go
Oh no

I’m just being honest with you oh
You could be down and out
But it won’t matter
Just call for back up
And I will always come through oh-oh
You don’t need nobody else
It’s me and you against the world


Cos I was built for this
So forget about my previous
When I say I’m being serious
I’m too real for this
I feel to run and tell everyone
As if I’ll find anyone as good as this
As good as this
You know I’m built for, for you
See I
I keep it

So the only thing that matters
Is you can always count on me
Cos you know I keep it one hundred
And I have done right from the start
This time round I won’t let you down
Cos you and I were a part of me
That’s hand on heart
So tell me if there’s anything I could do to make it better
Let me know a way I could take away any of the pressure
Now if ever you feel low
Just know that I’ll never let go

Now tell me who do you love?
Even though I haven’t made it easy
You think I’ve come this far just to give up?
Hell no
Cos what it is


Cos I was built for this
So forget about my previous
When I say I’m being serious
I’m too real for this
I feel to run and tell everyone
As if I’ll find anyone as good as this
As good as this
You know I’m built for, for you
See I
I keep it 100

Lexus turns. She rests on her back and receives Kasiobi’s waiting lips as his hand travels up her skirt to familiar territory.

Outside, it’s Lagos on a typical Monday night but to two of them, it’s New York in winter and warm bodies moving against each other with sighs and moans as hearts reconnect.

To Lexus, they were both built for moments like this.

©Sally@moskedapages

 

Image credit: Blackfathers

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #11

She comes to him in the morning. He is barely opening his eyes from a three-hour sleep when he hears a knock on the door. As he drags his feet to the living room, he imagines it is Chichi knocking. It’s something that has played out in his head several times—Chichi standing before him, begging to be let back into his life and him slamming the door in her face. Or it could be Kira coming back to pick a thing or two she left in the house. Last night he dumped her after she admitted, without flinching, that she couldn’t care for Trinity.

“I didn’t ask you to fuck her mother without a condom. She’s your problem, not mine. Isolate her from our relationship.”

That last line had been the cause for the fight that pushed Kasiobi to isolate Kira from his life entirely. She had cried a little but took the breakup rather maturely. He is hoping she is not the one returning to say she is sorry.

A surprise, however, awaits him as he opens the door to find Lexus standing outside with a tear-stained face and hair that looks like she has just tumbled out of a washing machine.

“Lex, what’s wrong?” he asks.

Lexus shakes her head and throws her arms around him. Her sobs are intense, shaking both of them with each heave. Kasiobi manages to shut the door but that’s all he can do. She doesn’t let go of his body. So, he stands there, rubbing her back, rocking her gently and assuring her that things would be fine even though he has no idea why she is crying.

Eventually, she comes to calm and explains to him that Dominic collapsed some hours earlier and is presently on a surgeon’s table having a procedure done to keep his heart in better shape.

“They said his coronary artery was blocked by a blood clot and they need to place something they call a stent in to keep it open.” She wipes her nose. Kasiobi is weak from what he has just heard.

“Wow.”

“He’s been suffering from coronary artery disease.”

“Your dad?”

“Yeah.”

“How come no one ever knew?”

“It’s not something we talk about. He manages it with drugs, diet and exercise but he’s been getting easily tired lately.”

Kasiobi guides her to a couch and sits beside her. “He’s going to be fine, Lex.”

“That’s what the doctors said but I just couldn’t wait there. I just couldn’t. Kas, I’m so scared. What if I lose him like I lost Eva?”

“You won’t.”

Kasiobi’s words don’t hold water. She begins to sob again. He holds her. The familiar scent of pineapples coming from her hair, blending with her perfume puts him in a place of memories. He recalls nights when they snuggled together on the only couch they had in their apartment in New York, covered by a blanket to keep warm, watching something boring on TV. Sometimes they ended up making love. Other nights, she would sleep off while he stayed awake, playing a computer game.

“Genesis is strong,” she murmurs. “I don’t know how she sits in that waiting room without losing her mind. I just can’t.”

“Your dad is going to be fine, Tonbra. Just believe that.”

Lexus nods but bites fingernails that peek out from the sleeve of an oversized sweater. Kasiobi drowns down the urge to kiss her hair, to bury his fingers in, push back her head and take her lips. These are thoughts that always occupy his mind in idle moments when all the things they had done and been comes rushing back to him. Just the other day when she came over to pick Trinity, he had longed to hold her hand when he handed over a feeding bottle to her. He could have told her then how much he missed her right before kissing her.

But his pride didn’t let him. Not even when he saw that she wanted it. Her eyes had taken on that look he knew so well that revealed how much she wanted to be kissed. That look always made her vulnerable, like a little girl, open to the wiles of a grown man.

“I’m sorry for bugging you like this, Kas.”

“It’s fine,” he replies. “You’re fam.”

Lexus pulls away. She sets herself in a comfortable position to face him. They stare at each other without words for a long stretch until her eyes moisten up again. He doesn’t touch her this time. He simply watches as the tears slowly course down her cheeks. He thinks it’s a beautiful sight, sad as it is.

“I was pregnant for you in New York,” she confesses.

For a second or two, he doesn’t understand her words.

“And I didn’t want the baby. But I couldn’t tell you because you were serious about us at that time. You wanted us to get married and have a family and it wasn’t what I wanted. I always tried to tell you but you just assumed we were on the same page. That was why I had mood swings and shut you out so many times. And then I went and got pregnant. I felt stupid and irresponsible. I hated myself…”

“What happened to the baby?”

“I had an abortion.”

Kasiobi shows no reaction, and this is not because he can’t. He keeps it in because he doesn’t want to upset her more than she already is.

“That was why we broke up. It wasn’t that I stopped loving you. No, Kas. I was…and I’m still crazy about you.”

At this, Kasiobi rises up. “Thanks for explaining everything but let’s not bring this topic up again.”

“Kas, I’m sorry. I just couldn’t face you after what I did.”

“You had an abortion, Woyintonbra,” Kasiobi responds with much calm. He is neither angry nor bitter but he feels the need to express himself.

“You aborted my child. You made that stupid, senseless decision all on your own without telling me and now you’re saying you still love me? What am I supposed to do with that? Dance? Let you back in?”

“I’m sorry.”

The sincerity in her tone makes it hard to keep a grudge; that and the fact that he is tired of the distance between them. She has been a mother to Trinity, helping him out without asking anything in return. This more than makes up for everything she did to hurt him. He wants her back but is scared to take the leap again. A friends with benefits arrangement would be better. That way, he eats his cake and keeps it.

Trinity wakes up with a scream.

“This talk is not over,” Kasiobi makes clear. “We won’t do this today. After your dad gets better, we’ll talk about it.”

As Lexus makes towards Trinity’s bedroom, Kasiobi pulls her back and enacts his fantasy of kissing her.

667832

It’s a long and deep one, the type that is gentle and fierce all at once. He has longed for this, dreamed that it would come in a finer setting and with a romantic ambience, but this is just as good and he would leave it hanging right here.

He marches away from her. She follows him to Trinity’s bedroom. The first sight of the little girl puts a smile on her face.

“Can I carry her?”

“Sure.”

Lexus walks to Trinity’s crib and lifts her out of it. The screams die down immediately.

“She’s hungry. Make food for her. I’ll heat up her bath water.”

Less than an hour later, the three of them are in Kasiobi’s SUV, on the way to the hospital. Genesis had called to let Lexus know that Dominic was out of surgery and asking to see her.

“Why do you think he’s asking after me?” Lexus had looked into Kasiobi’s face after Genesis hung up. “You think he wants to say goodbye? Give me some sort of last words?”

If Lexus hadn’t been dead serious with moisture dancing in her eyes, Kasiobi would have laughed. And even now as he parks in some empty spot in the car park of the most expensive hospital in Lagos, he sees that her apprehension hasn’t let down as she keeps chewing her nails.

They walk into the hospital, to the ward Dominic is recuperating, but they don’t let them in. Genesis comes out a while later.

“He’s sleeping,” she informs them. “Sedated.”

“Did it go well?” Lexus asks.

“Yeah, it went well. Your dad is fine, Tonbra.”

“He’s not going to die?”

Emotionally drained, Genesis can only shake her head. “Come here.”

Lexus steps forward and into a waiting hug. “Your dad is not going to die, Tonbra. Far from it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very sure. Just believe that, darling. I’ll take good care of him. I promised you this on the day we got married, didn’t I? He’s not dying on my watch.”

Yet, Lexus is inconsolable. Genesis doesn’t let go of her until she pulls herself together. Only then does she step away.

“I’m such a cry baby.”

“It’s okay. I don’t think you can handle any more loss. Me neither.”

They both smile.

“That being said, you’re a mess, Tonbra. Let’s go and have our nails and hair done and we’ll be back here when he’s awake.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Lexus sniffles.

Genesis links arms with her. “Kasbi, thank you for bringing her. She literally bolted out of here earlier.”

Lexus turns to talk to Kasiobi but he nods her away. “Go and glam up, B. We’ll see later.”

She gives Trinity a kiss and leaves with Genesis.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

Today, I had to say goodbye to Saratu. Her ex-husband is back in her life and she answers to his call without a second thought. She is off again to the UK to wastefully give her body to the man, not caring how it affects business. Dele’s wife thinks we don’t need her anyway. This is painfully said over a table where we are all seated. We’re in a noisy restaurant that has families with loud kids, all of whom have come to have their Sunday lunches. Eating out is quite a big deal in Lagos these days. I stare at some of the families and wonder if Jide, Jiney and I are going to be them someday.

“I’ll come back, baby.” Saratu takes Dele’s wife’s hand.

“Please, don’t. Just remain there even after he breaks your heart again and treats you like trash.”

“Oh, he will misbehave but before then, I’ll suck his account dry.”

Dele’s wife withdraws her hand. My eyes fall on Yazmin who is awfully quiet.

“Yaz?”

She doesn’t hear me. Her concentration is on her phone.

“Yaz!”

Saratu snatches the phone off her hands. “They’re calling you.”

Yaz looks up and her eyes dash to her phone.

“You’re consulting your ovulation app?” Saratu asks nosily. “Na wa o. Tobe is just over a year and you want another one?”

Yazmin mutters some insult in Spanish. Dele’s wife and I burst out laughing. Saratu frowns and hands Yazmin back her phone.

“One person I will not miss is you sha,” Saratu says to Yazmin. “I hate your racist ass.”

“Cabrona,” Yazmin cusses.

“Screw you right back, baby.”

“Yaz, be nice,” I scold.

“She started it.”

I am ready to roll my eyes right now. This is a typical day at work. I have no desire to see them play it out over this farewell dinner which is already going moodily.

“Can you two just get along? Just once?”

I know I’m speaking to the wind. How they have managed to work with each other for almost a year beats me. I love them both, though, and I tell them this. Saratu hugs me and we both tear up. I am going to miss her. She is the one friend I love and hate in equal measure.

Somehow we all manage through lunch and after we’re done, we walk out to the parking lot. Saratu hurries to one of the security guards and takes her pet dog from him. After shoving little pieces of chicken through the dog’s willing mouth, she brings it to me. I don’t cringe or move back. The animal has become a friend over the past month and has taught me to face my fears. These days I can stomach the sounds of barking and howling dogs.

“It’s for Jide.” Saratu hands me the leash. “All the times he stopped over at the office he came with something for him. I think they’ll bond well.”

I smile.

“Jide will be glad,” I tell her. “Thank you, Sara.”

The dog, Barry, sits beside me and looks up at Saratu, expecting more chicken but she stares at her phone and announces that she is set to leave. An Uber is already waiting to take her to the airport.

She embraces Dele’s wife first and comes to me next. I leave a few words of love with her and give her a parting gift. Finally, she stands before Yazmin.

“Don’t come back,” Yazmin says. We laugh. They hug and we afterwards, we watch Saratu leave. When the Uber has driven out of sight, I say goodbye to Yazmin and Dele’s wife and get into my car. Barry obediently sits in the backseat. I drive home.

jide8

When I get in, I catch Jide having an afternoon nap. For a moment I am distracted by the man’s half-dressed sexiness which lies invitingly on the couch. I want to do things to him while he sleeps but Barry whines and I behave myself. I quietly lead Barry to him. The dog sits beside the couch and on his own puts his nose to Jide’s sides and sniffs. Jide scratches the spot but Barry repeats his actions that get him a smack right before Jide springs up.

He glares at the dog for a few seconds and then at me.

“Sugams, what’s going on?”

Barry yelps. Jide stares at him again and then recognizes him.

“Barry?”

I don’t know if dogs can smile but I think Barry just did.

“How are you, boy?” Jide ruffles his fur. Barry responds by wagging his tail in excitement.

“He’s all yours. A parting gift from Saratu.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah.”

I watch his face light up. He is a dog person but he has kept the house free of them because of me. I am happy to see him this way. Momentarily, he forgets I am there as he bonds with Barry.

“I just hope Fumi doesn’t get allergic to him.”

“He’s hypoallergenic. Have no worries.”

Fumi is the short version of Fumnanya, Jiney’s Igbo name. Jide is the one who starts calling her that and it’s beginning to stick.

“So, we’re going to have a visitor anytime soon,” he informs me.

“Visitor? From where?”

“It’s Hauwa.”

My face changes.

“She is stopping by to say hello and formally ask your forgiveness over the Facebook pictures stuff.”

“I’ve forgiven her. She doesn’t have to come here.”

And at the instant, we hear a knock on the door.

“That should be her.” Jide stands up and goes to the front door. I take the seat he was sitting on, putting on an unwelcoming expression on my face. Soon, I hear her voice and seconds later she is in my house.

“Hi, Honey.” She stands by the door, waving at me with a smile. As usual, I find her distractingly beautiful. She is wearing a fitted gown and heels that are to die for. Gold bangs fall to one side of her face and join a fluff of alluring curly hair that bounces each time she moves.

Jide offers her a seat and walks to the kitchen to get her a drink. When he is gone, she pulls up to the edge of the seat. I know an apology is about to come, yet I act oblivious.

She starts out slowly, picking choice words she feels will get to my psyche. But bit by bit, she breaks through my tough exterior and locates a soft spot in my heart. It’s a very small spot, though.

“It’s alright, Hauwa,” I find myself saying. “As long as you’re not stealing my man, we’re good.”

“I will never hit on someone I consider my brother.”

“That’s good to know.”

Jide returns with something alcoholic for her and a glass of orange juice for me. After she is served her drink, we all sit and converse. Before long, Hauwa and I are laughing like old friends. All the resistance I put up against her falls away as she charms me with her openness. It doesn’t take long for her to express how desperately she is to get married.

“Why desperate, though?”

“I’m thirty-eight, Honey. Everyone I know is married, even my younger ones. My mom cries all the time because she believes she has done something wrong in her past and that’s why I’m in this situation. My dad and I now have this strained relationship. Home is no longer home. I’m the one everyone looks at with pity and when I’m not there, I become their gossip topic.”

“Aww.”

“I just need to take the shame away. At this point, I’ll marry whoever is ready to settle down…”

“Please, don’t.”

“But the problem is that I am still too picky. Am I not supposed to have sense and do away with some of my deal breakers?”

“You shouldn’t,” Jide replies. “I’ve told you over and over again, Hauwa, you will find a good man. Just hang in there.”

“You know I have offers to be a second wife. Many of them, in fact. Some of the men are my dad’s friends, but I just can’t. I want what two of you have or at least, something close to it. Even if I don’t find love, let me find a man who respects and treats me like a princess. Am I asking too much?”

Jide and I shake our heads in the same manner without meaning to. Hauwa finds it funny.

“You guys are sooo cute together.”

“We know,” Jide says.

“What if I fix a few blind dates for you?” I ask.

“I’m game. I never stop believing, though, and that’s why I moved to Lagos. The land of dreams.”

“And heartbreakers,” Jide adds. “Be warned.”

“This heart has been broken so many times that it is now numb to whatever.”

“Okay o.”

We talk for longer, keeping to the topic of marriage and all things relationship. When she announces that she is going home, I have a good mind to ask her to stay a little longer but I don’t. We walk her to the door and the moment she is gone, Jide turns to me.

“So, what do you think of her?”

“I like her. She’s nice.”

“Told ya.”

“And I feel for her. I’d be desperate too at her age. Frustrated even. There are just very few women in Nigeria these days who are comfortable being single after they clock thirty.”

“I respect such women.”

“You respect every woman,” I tell him with a certain look in my eye. He catches it.

“Can I respect you now?” he asks, taking me by the waist. I fall into his arms as my body presses into the muscles of his chest and the tightness of his abdomen. Jide, to me, is like some Greek god twenty-something hours of each day. It’s not about sexiness; he’s just incredibly male, and that always turns me on. Now that I have had Jiney and done away with that weird phase of sex-hating, I am always on heat. Jide can so get it any day, at any time.

Forgetting that Barry is present, we start to make out – first, standing, and then we fall onto the nearest couch. We are so into it that we don’t hear Didi’s door open and close until we hear a sound and we turn to see her standing near the front door with some guy I do not recognize.

Neither Jide nor I move. Thankfully, no private parts are out in the open.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes. “We had wanted to sneak out quietly.”

“Go ahead then,” Jide tells her.

The guy with her wants to say something but she takes his hand and drags him out. I sit up.

“Who is that boy?”

Jide shrugs. “Some guy she said was her friend.”

“Hotstuff, that’s the second guy she’s bringing here. I am uncomfortable with it.”

“She’s allowed to have visitors.”

“No. Not anyhow. What if she brings an armed robber or pedophile?”

Jide screws up his face in thought. “You’re making a point…”

“Talk to her or I will. The only guy permitted to enter this house is her boyfriend. If she doesn’t have one, she should entertain her men outside.”

“I’ll talk to her. Now, can we continue?”

Like I said, I’m on heat. He scarcely finishes speaking when I grab him again and we fall back on the couch. Barry barks. We both turn and catch him staring.

“Let’s take it to the room.”

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

I watch the sunset from the kitchen window as I wait for the pasta I put over the stove to cook. I ate less than three hours ago and here I am, hungry again. My pregnancy cravings will soon do me in.

Emeka is in the living room watching a football match on TV. It’s a chill evening, the weather is fine, the baby is not kicking much, all is good. What can possibly go wrong?

The doorbell dings. I pay it no mind. The sunset still has my attention. However, Emeka soon walks in and announces to me that Yazmin is around and wants to have a word with both of us. I frown. Yazmin and I are still not cool, although we are never at each other’s throats. She will always be the other woman that snatched my husband from me, an act I have not forgiven Emeka for, either.

I follow him out to the living room to find her waiting.

“Good evening, Tola,” she greets. I like when she greets me. Nne has instructed that she pays me respect always. So far, she is acting like the nice, little iyawo she is.

Emeka picks a sofa that is away from both of us. He rests his feet on the center table and glances at her.

“Oya, talk.”

We wait for her mouth to open but instead of words we hear a whimper as she covers her face. Emeka and I both stare at each other in puzzlement.

“Yaz?” he calls. “What’s wrong, bae?”

She shakes her head and sobs. We keep our eyes on her for a while until Emeka, loving husband that he is, goes to her and holds her. I won’t lie to you, I feel jealous. I don’t think I can ever get over the fact that he holds me the same way he holds her and that she gets the same type of loving I do.

“You don’t love me anymore, papi,” she cries. “You spend your whole time with her and hardly even pick my calls. And then when you’re with me, you’re always on the phone with her. Don’t you love me anymore?”

“Hian!” Emeka exclaims. “Yaz, is that why you came here?”

“Yeah.”

The audacity!

“But why would you think I don’t love you anymore, mi vida?”

“It’s the truth. You spend all your time with her.”

“And so?” I bite back. “He’s my husband.”

“You know she’s pregnant, baby,” Emeka explains. I roll my eyes. Is it something someone needs to tell her? She cannot endure until I give birth? See me see wahala.

“She needs all my attention,” Emeka continues with his unnecessary explanation. Me, I just feel like walking over to her and slapping her so that that pretty, white face will turn red. But all I can do is sit still and take in the scene. Emeka is speaking to her in Igbo, a language I’m finding difficult to learn. Yazmin already knows how to speak bits of it but understands it well. Honey, too; and even Mary. I am the only woman married to an Igbo man that is carrying last.

Emeka manages to calm Yazmin down. I don’t say a word about what I feel about her right now. We are both not allowed to insult each other or she wouldn’t have heard the last of it. This is the same babe that is playing games with Emeka, using that Omoh human being just to get him all jealous. Two nights ago, he disgraced himself by going to Omoh’s house to pick a fight but the security guards wouldn’t even let him in. He is treated like trash, all because of her. Tell me why I should like her?

“Are you better now?” he inquires.

“There’s more,” she answers. My frown deepens. I cross my arms.

“I’m listening, mi vida.”

“I’m pregnant.”

My crossed arms unfold. Emeka gives her a nasty up and down glare.

“What did you just say?”

“I’m pregnant, papi.”

“Don’t ‘papi’ me! Which one is that you’re pregnant? Pregnant for who, biko?!”

“You.”

“Yazmin Ivan, you are on the fucking pill!”

“You know I hate pills, so I stopped taking them. They were getting me fat.”

Emeka cannot believe what he has just heard. I can feel the coldness that has just settled on him.

“You did not take your pills at all.”

“No,” she answers in her usual I-don’t-give-two manner. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for yourself and your whole family back in Mexico! They didn’t give you proper home training at all!” He charges up. “And fuck you!”

She starts to cry. I hiss and give her a piece of my mind.

“Your crocodile tears are useless, Yazmin. What you did is wrong. You intentionally got pregnant just for attention. What type of nonsense is that? Do you think marriage is some game you play with your husband and that babies are things you use for your own selfish ends? Tobe is not even up to eighteen months and you’re carrying another one. Why, Yazmin?”

“I didn’t mean to.”

“Same way you didn’t mean to take my husband and have a son for him abi? Same way you didn’t mean to come between us! Why can’t three of us just stay in peace without you cropping up something from somewhere. The other time it was chlamydia and now, this!”

“I seriously didn’t mean to.”

“Abeg, keep quiet!” I yell back as I stand up. “I don’t sha blame you. I blame Mex and his community penis.”

My anger is now directed at Emeka.

“If you kept it in your pants, we won’t be here. This is your mess, handle it, and leave me out of it!”

I march to the kitchen. I warn myself against crying. I will not shed a tear because of those two. I must not. My baby needs me to be happy at all times and that’s the way I will remain.

I take down the spaghetti from the stove, serve it into a dish for one, add peppered stew that has lots of meat and head to my room to enjoy my meal.

Emeka comes in. I pretend I don’t see him.

“Doc, I am so sorry.”

I don’t reply. He sits beside me. “If you want me to divorce her, just give the word.”

“So that a Mexican warlord abi drug lord will come and kill all of us here? Abeg o! Take responsibility for all your actions. It’s your fault. You went to marry an omo daddy. Now, see where you have landed yourself.”

“I won’t lie to you, Tols, I’m regretting everything.”

“That one concern you. All I know is that once I finish this food, I’ll need you on this bed with me, to cuddle me while I sleep, right after you give me head. Only head. That your dick must not touch me.”

“I’m very sorry.”

“Meanwhile, are you sure she’s even pregnant?”

“Well…”

“She may be trying to play a fast one.” I drop my fork. “Where is she sef?”

Before Emeka replies, I leave my room. Fortunately, Yazmin is still in the house. I call her over. She gives me attitude.

“Come jor. Abi you think I’m Emeka that you’ll be doing anyhow ni?”

She walks to me. I point her in the direction of my bedroom.

“Why?” she asks, pouting those her red lips that make my husband lose his mind.

“Don’t question me, onyibo. Just be going.”

She walks ahead of me. When we enter the room, I tell her to take off her panty and lie on the bed.

“No.”

“S’onsiere ni? You think we’ll believe anything you say? I need to check if you’re really pregnant. My friend, off your pant and lie on that bed! I don’t have time for shit!”

Emeka tells her something in Spanish and she obeys while I get some gloves from my First Aid box. When I return and part her legs, I am shocked to see my husband’s name tattooed on her cleanly-shaved pubis. I eye him.

“Relax, Yazmin,” I instruct, although I’d rather shove my fingers in there and injure her.

“Don’t kill my baby.”

“That’s if there’s anything inside.”

“I’m not you.”

I push my fingers in and press down on her lower tummy without further warning. It doesn’t take me long to find out that she’s truly pregnant. I shake my head with a sigh as I pull out my fingers.

“Satisfied?” She gets off the bed. I remove the gloves, wash my hands and continue eating. I ignore them until she goes away. I can’t kill myself because of them – so I say to myself. But after my meal is completed and I’m cuddling the life size teddy on my bed, I put a call through to Mary and tell her what is happening. I say this while crying like a little baby. I tell her that I think it’s time to give Emeka an ultimatum. He either divorces Yazmin or I leave. I can’t take this again. But until then, I want to move into Mary’s. Does she have a spare room?

“Yes, Tola. Come over.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Translations:

Cabrona – fuck you

Iyawo – wife

S’onsiere ni – are you crazy?

omo daddy – daddy’s baby

 

Images: Pinterest,  Dariuswilliams