Category Archives: it’s another saturday

It’s Another Saturday
Jide is the The Bridemaker. He’s slept with more women than he can possibly ever remember but he falls in love with just one. The one who becomes more than he can handle.

I’d tell you more but I’ll kill the fun. Enjoy

It’s Another Saturday…#28

Read Previous Episodes Of It’s Another Saturday

I’m So Not Sorry

I don’t let them drive with me. They are tailing my car and I’m wishing to God that I can just lead them off a cliff or lure them to some place where someone will have them abducted or something worse. I do not want them near the Onuoras.

I honk my horn at the huge gate before me as I bring the car to a stop. A smaller, pedestrian gate opens and a uniformed guard walks out to meet me. I let down my window.

“Aunty, good evening,” he greets.

“Good evening, Solo. How you dey?”

“Fine, ma. Erm…una no fit enter. No space to park inside.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Maybe you fit give me your key make I park the car for you.”

“That would be great.”

I turn off the engine and step down. I walk to the car my siblings are sandwiched in and relay the news to the cab driver they came with.

“Is this your house, Erhinyuse?” Jessie asks as we head into the Onuora residence.

“Yes.”

We file in through the pedestrian gate. I notice that Emeka’s, Tola’s and Kalu’s cars are all parked in the compound, hence the lack of space.

“You share the house with other people?” Harry questions, his eyes scanning the environment.

“Yeah,” I reply. I lead them right to the front door and knock. Seconds pass, Jide comes to the door and opens it. Harry’s face transforms into an ugly expression. It is the only dignified way he can express shock.

“Good evening,” Jide greets. “We’ve been expecting you.”

I am dragged in with a light kiss on the lips and we both step out of the way to let them through. They walk in cautiously but nothing prepares them for the sight they find before them. The Onuoras are all waiting. Daddy, Nne, Kalu, Emeka and Oba, all of them, present.

I did not anticipate this pleasant surprise, one which is very much appreciated. I wonder if it was planned before I informed Jide about the meeting with my siblings. This can’t be a last minute setup.

“Our guests are finally here!” daddy says heartily. “Welcome! Come in, come in!”

I can see the infuriation that takes over Harry’s countenance which he masks with a smile. He hates being taken unawares.

“Good evening, sir.” He greets daddy. The others follow suit, acknowledging Nne as well. Eventually they settle into the couches offered to them.

“We feel sort of ambushed,” Harry mentions with a laugh. “Erhinyuse didn’t inform us that we would be coming here or we would have prepared. She told us she was taking us to her home.”

“This is her home,” Nne answers offhandedly.

“No, what I meant was…”

“She is part of this family. That’s what my wife is trying to say,” daddy elucidates. Harry keeps mute. “I think we should be properly introduced. Honey, can you do the honors?”

I am only too glad to show off the Onuoras to my siblings. One by one, I mention names and occupations.

“Impressive,” Harry mutters. “Our little sister learned well from us, choosing the right family for herself. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

The maid comes with drinks. I choose to serve them myself. When I pour drinks for Jessie, she leaves unkind eyes in mine and rejects what I offer. After I’m done serving them, I sit beside Nne.

“So, what brings you here?” daddy queries.

“Nothing of special occasion,” Harry responds. “We just wanted to see how our baby sister is doing. We haven’t heard from her since our father died and being that she was the closest to him, we were worried that she was finding it hard adjusting. We didn’t know she was being well taken care of here. It’s good to see that she is faring well.”

I feel my blood sour.

“But aren’t you in town to talk about your father’s estate with her?” Jide probes. I look at him with furrowed brows, the same way they all stare at him.

“Excuse me?” Jessie asks. She is trying to keep a plain face.

“The only reason you called Honey to see her is to talk about the estate your father owned which you turned over to the bank while he was sick and dying. Your plan right now is to bring fake documents to Honey, telling her the estate belongs to her, passed down by your father, and that it is about to be claimed by the bank unless she contributes money to save it.”

Jessie laughs. “What is this boy talking about? You sound confused, my dear.”

“You all know what I’m talking about. You plan to take everything her mother passed down to her under the guise of saving your father’s sweat and blood which he invested in that land. You will convince her that each of you is putting in a substantial amount to save the estate from the bank. Am I lying?”

I turn away from Jide and look at Jessie and also at Harry, who at the moment is finding it hard to hide his shock. Slowly they focus on Jane; she shrinks into her seat.

“But it is you, Mr. Harry, who has lost everything to the bank.” Jide goes on with so much calm, it’s scary. “Your name was one of the names listed under the Central Bank directive as owing hundreds of millions. You ran your business in debt and built houses and bought cars for your siblings with borrowed money from different banks. You have already given away your father’s estate but it was not enough to settle the massive debt you’ve acquired for more than ten years. The only way to stop them from ruining you is to rob your sister blind, knowing the moment you mention anything that has to do with your late father, she would gladly give in.”

“Lies!” Jessie laughs. “Plain lies.”

“Your sister, Jane, did the right thing, coming to me with this information,” Jide mentions. “Your wickedness has gone on long enough. It has to end.”

I feel tears leave my eyes. I try to speak but words fail me.

“Erhinyuse, Jane, you two brought us here to humiliate us?” Harry accuses in Urhobo.

“Brother, I did nothing. It is you who is trying to steal from me.”

“This was a setup between you and Jane! You brought us here to humiliate us in front of these strangers!”

“They are not strangers!” I retort.

Daddy steps in.

“I think your cup is full, mister man. It is time for you to stop your wickedness or something worse will happen to you. All the horror tales Honey told us about the maltreatment she received in your hands, it all ends here today. I am adopting her as my daughter. She is an Onuora from now on and I know your father and her mother will be happy to know that they did not leave her as an orphan. My son, Jideofor will take care of her and treat her the way a man ought to treat a woman, not the way you did. You will stay far away from her and desist from troubling her life from now on. Am I clear?”

Harry, whose eyes are set on me, can’t seem to utter anything. And for the first time, I am audacious enough to hold down his glare.

“Am I clear?” daddy repeats.

“Yes.”

“Honey?”

“Yes, daddy?”

“You have anything to say?”

I think of all that has been burning in my heart for years, all I wanted to tell them about how they hurt me. It’s right there on my tongue, a whole speech put together, memorized and rehearsed so many times but somehow, seeing them all intimidated, speechless and humiliated, I realize they are not worth my breath.

“I forgive you,” I tell them in a small voice.

“I forgive you,” I repeat, a little louder.

“This is all nonsense!” Jessie growls.

“I forgive you for all you did.”

Jessie stands and makes for the door. Jide who is standing by one of the windows, parts the curtain.

“Solo, let out the dogs!”

Jessie freezes. Her eyes widen.

“We’re not prisoners here! You can’t hold us against our wishes!”

“Then sit until Honey has finished what she has to say.”

“Madam, sit down,” daddy orders.

The sounds of angry dogs barking outside forces Jessie to behave. She returns to her place beside Harry.

“Sister Jess, you held me down and put hot pepper between my legs because you caught me talking to a boy. Not once, not twice. Brother AB, you punched me on my nose because you lost your five naira and you thought it was me who stole it. You always threw frogs and lizards on my bed while I was sleeping at night; even dead rats in my schoolbag. Why?”

Abel, the quiet one, the psychopath amongst them gives me a squint for an answer.

“Brother Harry, you beat me every chance you got and then threatened to kill me if I reported you… You made my childhood and teenage years hell. All of you. But I forgive you. I do hope that all you did was worth it in the end, though. None of you deserves my forgiveness but I’m doing this to move on. That’s what our father would have advised me to do. So please, do me a favor and forget that I exist. Don’t call and don’t text.”

I give Jane a smile.

“Thank you, Sister Jane. You came through for me again.”

Jane smiles back. Harry rises up.

“Thank you for the drink and the cozy welcome,” he says to the Onuoras. “Erhinyuse, you have my blessing to marry your boyfriend. If you people want to do things the proper way, you will be warmly received at home.”

He clears his throat.

“I admit that we might have done hurtful things to you in the past. But I want to assure you that it meant nothing. It was all youthful exuberance. Please, let bygones be bygones.”

“They can never be,” Jide fires. “She still lives with the scars. Can those be bygones? Can you take them away? Can you undo this so-called youthful exuberance?”

Harry flashes a tight pout. I have never seen him this mousy before. I had no idea it could take so little to get him to cower. It turns out that Jessie is even gutsier than he is.

“I think your answer is as good as mine,” Jide concludes. “Bygones can never be bygones.”

Harry draws out a noisy breath. “Well, in that case, if you don’t mind, please tell your guard to hold the dogs while we leave,” he entreats.

Jide parts the curtains and leaves orders with the guard. While we wait, there is an itchy silence which no one cares to break. Beneath it all, I’m beginning to feel weightless as a feather. Years of pain are being lifted off my back. The emotions are running deep and I wish I had Jide’s chest to unburden myself.

“The dogs are secure,” Jide informs Harry. “Y’all free to go.”

Not adding any more words, Harry flurries out. Jessie and Abel follow while Jane remains. I walk over and hug her.

“Sister Jane, is it safe for you to go with them?” Jide asks.

She nods. “I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you.”

She hugs us both, says goodnight to everyone and exits the house.

The Onuoras break into banter with Oba replaying the drama we all witnessed. He gives his own hilarious version that has us all entertained.

“How do you feel, sugar lips?” Jide pulls me into a hug.

“I feel…good. How did you and Jane plan what happened here today?”

“Well, their incessant phone calls always left me restless and annoyed. So, I had Bobby contact friends in Warri who followed your brother around and found out he had serious debt issues. When your cousin’s wedding came and they got into town for it, I called Jane and we had lunch and I drilled her, giving her the little information I knew. She spilled everything, including their plans to take your money. So, we devised our own strategy and I’m glad you listened to me and brought them here.”

“Thank you, hotstuff.”

He kisses me. Once, twice and when we go for the third one, daddy stops us.

“Biko, no be for here o!”

Jide unlocks from my grasp to face him. “De Lawrence?”

“Sir?” daddy answers.

“Since she is your daughter now, can I officially ask for her hand in marriage?”

“Put a ring on it first.”

There is uproar of laughter. Only God knows where the old man learns these things.

Emeka comes to us. “Have you guys seen Tola?”

“No,” Jide answers. “But her SUV is outside. It’s been here all day.”

“Momsi said she parked it this afternoon and left. She didn’t say where she was going. I’ve been trying her line all day. Nothing.”

“Last I saw her was in the morning, we were at the salon together with Mary,” I recall. “And then she said she had a patient to see. Have you checked the hospital?”

“She’s not there. Well, if she calls you, please tell her to call me. I’m worried.”

“Sure thing.”

He makes a turn but stops and tells Jide something in Igbo. The look in his eyes is not friendly. Jide does not reply. Emeka walks off.

“What did he just tell you?”

“Says I should stop putting ideas in Yazmin’s head.”

I give Jide a pointed look.

“Yeah, you told me so.”

“So what plans do you have for the night?” I put my arm around Jide’s waist.

“I’m thinking loud music, lots of sand and the sound of the ocean.”

“The beach?”

It’s our thing to take long walks by the beach at night once in a while. After each walk, we’ll stop to have suya and drinks and watch high people do stupid things while getting intoxicated from secondhand weed smoke.

“Let’s go.”

We say goodbye to the family and head out.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Mary has different faces to her. There is sweet, caring, selfless Mary whom we all adore. Also there’s wise, insightful Mary that we all turn to for guidance and good counsel. And then there’s stubborn as an ass, irrational Mary that is nothing like the woman we know. She hardly ever gets into that mode but when she does, oh my God! You just feel like giving her a good beating.

That is how I feel right now.

“Mary, you shouldn’t do this.”

“Are you going to follow me and be useful by toning down my excesses or are you going to sit there, trying but failing miserably to stop me?”

I watch her slip into a long batik-designed gown.

“Mary, he is a man of God. You don’t just question him like that.”

“You see, that’s the problem. You people think these men of God are unquestionable and that’s why you can’t confront them. Well, me I don’t see them like that and that is why I’ll go to him and ask him if he really heard from God about my situation or not. It’s a simple question that deserves a simple answer.”

“Mary…”

She packs up her hair.

“I am not listening, P. So not listening.”

Again, I watch her. She applies lip gloss, lines her eyes, slips on her earrings and pushes her small feet into a pair of designer slippers.

“I’m ready to go.”

There is no use trying to stop her. She is resolute on her decision. I’ll simply do as she suggests.

As I follow her out of her apartment, I ask myself why I decided to visit her this morning. If I had kept my bored feet at home and engaged in my daily job search online, I would have been oblivious of her mischief and enjoyed my day in bliss.

Outside her apartment, we get into my car and I appeal to her one more time but she snaps at me.

“Madam, drive or I’ll get into a taxi and leave you here.”

I shake my head and start the car.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Pastor Bayila has a busy day and we are told we have to wait to see him. Mary doesn’t mind. She has come with her earphones which she insists on sharing with me. We both have the same taste in music, so I sit quietly with her, listening to her song collection. The only time I stop for a break is to receive a call from Celia who is babysitting Sammy.

Finally, Pastor Bayila asks us into his office. He is having breakfast when we get in, although it is lunchtime.

“Good day, ladies,” he greets. His boyish face reminds me of the COZA pastor anytime I see him. I always want to ask if they are related.

“Sit.”

He offers us seats in his comfortable office. Mary makes herself at ease as do I.

“Sister Peace, how are you?”

“I’m fine, Pastor.”

He nods and invites us over to eat with him but we both politely decline.

“So, how may I help you?”

“Um…” I lean forward. “It’s my friend here, Mary. She asked to meet with you.”

“Hello sister Mary.”

“Good afternoon, Pastor.”

“I am listening.”

I look at Mary. I think she is a little surprised by his down-to-earth manner. She hesitates before she speaks.

“I am not a member of this church, sir but I have been here a few times, invited by Peace. I was here for the beginning of the year one week program.”

“The fasting and prayers.”

“Yes, sir. I attended each day.”

“Okay?”

“Erm…I don’t think you remember me.”

Pastor Bayila shakes his head graciously. “I don’t. Please, remind me.”

“On the last day, on Sunday, when you were preaching, you picked me out from the crowd. You told me God had a word for me…”

Pastor Bayila puts down his cup of coffee and is off thinking.

“Really?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You said something about me meeting my husband…”

“Oh!” Pastor Bayila recalls with amusement. “The lady in green Ankara! That was you?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my! You have lost a bit of weight. How are you?”

“I’m fine, sir.”

“Good! Good. So you are our dear Sister Peace’s friend?”

“I am.”

“Great.”

“Sir, I’m here to ask you some questions about what you told me that day.”

“Go ahead.” He picks his coffee again.

“Sir, was it really God who told you those things?”

I shift in my seat at Mary’s direct question. But Pastor Bayila merely smiles.

“You think I came up with it myself?”

“I’m not saying that. I just want to be sure that God spoke to you because marriage is a serious thing and I don’t want to simply run into the arms of a stranger just because you said God said…”

“Mary?” I scold.

“It’s okay, Sister Peace. Let her speak.”

“I don’t believe in prophecies. I’m a very practical person and when it comes to my love life, I’d rather choose my husband myself. I like taking things into my own hands, so you see where this whole prophecy thing leaves me…”

“It leaves you out.”

“Exactly. Right now, I feel I am not allowed to make my own choice. I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I need to be sure, Pastor. I need to be really, really sure you heard God, that you did not imagine the whole thing. I need to be sure.”

Mary is all nerves. Her voice trembles with each word. I feel bad that I did not recognize her frustration earlier.

“Sister Mary, from what I deduce you seem to have found your husband and just like God made clear, you are rejecting him.”

“I have no feelings for the man. He popped into my life from nowhere and proposed to me. If I was to ever agree to marry him, I think I would prefer to know him better, to fall for him on my own terms but right now, I can’t. I am being forced to say yes to him or miss God’s plan for my life entirely. Do you understand my dilemma, sir?”

“Yes, ma.”

“And to worsen it, he is my friend’s ex-boyfriend. You see how messed up it is?”

“I see.”

“He waltzed into my life so casually. The day was not special and I never saw a sign. There should have been something in the skies on that day. Maybe a heavy rainfall or…something! But there was nothing!”

She moves forward until she is on the edge of her seat.

“Maybe you have another message for me, something entirely contrary?”

Pastor Bayila sighs out.

“God speaks to me mostly from the bible, Sister Mary. That’s the only way he knows he can get through to me because I am as much a skeptic and a practical person as you are. I’d have some divine revelation in a dream and brush it aside until he confirms it through another person, so I understand where you’re coming from. And that is why when he speaks to me the way he did on that day in January, I make sure it is from him.”

Pastor Bayila props back on his swivel chair.

“God gives his word and it’s up to you to obey it. He will not force you. We have the gift of choice, Sister Mary. Feel free to do as you desire but do not come back here to complain about the consequences.”

“Okay, sir. Thank you for your time, sir.”

Mary is up on her feet in haste. She doesn’t give me the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to Pastor Bayila before she leaves. Nonetheless, I stop to thank him.

“Have you heard from him?” he asks, concerning Reno.

I recall Reno’s visit four nights ago. He came in tears and a thousand apologies and with that look on his face that always did me in. I almost let him kiss me.

african_couple_kissing

 

Almost.

“No, I haven’t heard from him.”

“Stay strong, Sister Peace.”

“I will. Thank you, Pastor.”

I walk out of the office. Mary is waiting in the car when I get to the parking lot.

“You told Celia?” she flares when I slip into the driver’s seat. I see the backlight of her phone held in her hand go dim.

“Yeah, I told Celia.”

“When?”

“Last night after we spoke.”

“I didn’t ask you to tell anyone else! When did you start letting out secrets, P?”

“I’m sorry. I thought it was just one of those things we share amongst us girls.”

“I kept your secrets secret, P. How about a little show of respect on your side?”

I stay mute and contrite.

“I’m sorry.”

“Just start the car, let’s go.”

I do as she wishes. We haven’t gone quite a distance when I realize she is crying.

“May-may?”

I slow to the curb of the street we’re on and stop the car. I try to touch her but she slaps my hand away.

“It’s stupid that I’m crying over this. Stupid!”

“It’s not.”

“Is God going to come save me when this so-called husband turns into an asshole and starts hitting me or cheating on me or raping me?!”

“Mary, you are judging a man you don’t even know.”

“I don’t want to know him! My life is going in a certain direction and then he jumps right into it and I can’t keep going where I want to go because we are allegedly paired up by God! And now, I have to marry and play wife and have kids to a man I don’t freaking love!”

I so want to give up on her right now. She is completely gone bunkers.

“Mary… No one is saying you should marry him like immediately or even give him a yes.”

“The entire saga is making feel claustrophobic, P, and I’m afraid that I may end up falling for him. I just wish God could have let me make that choice all on my own. Who says I can’t pick a good life partner? Look at Jide and Honey, they chose each other without any divine intervention. Same with Shady and Celia and all our friends. Why must my own be different?”

I have no answer for her.

“I want to go away, to move to a new place just to get away from him but then I remember the story of Jonah who tried to run away from doing what God asked him to do and got swallowed by a fish!”

For some reason, I break out in laughter. Maybe it’s the tone of her voice or the analogy she employs but I am laughing real hard and I can’t stop. Soon enough, she joins me. We both laugh until the humor dies away and she is left with a distressed face.

“Reno came to the house some nights ago,” I reveal.

“He did?” Mary wipes her nose.

“He said he wanted to see his son. I let him in. He stayed with Sammy, put him to bed… And then we talked. He said a lot of rubbish; that he was sorry… that he missed me. He wanted us to get back together but first he wanted to kiss me.”

Mary tilts her face to look into my eyes.

“Did you?”

“No. No, I couldn’t.”

Mary doesn’t respond to what she’s just heard and I stay in silence with her until her phone begins to ring.

“Celia wants to talk,” she informs me. “Let’s drive over.”

I start the car again.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

yazmex6

Breakfast in bed the way Yazmin does it is always epic. She works her ass off to sexually satisfy me like any sidechick would. I hate to call her that but she reminds me every time that she is fine playing second fiddle to Tola. This morning, however, I am the one serving and I give her the full princess treatment. I initially did not have plans to touch her because she just returned from the hospital and is yet to fully recover. But each time Yaz begs for the D like one hooked on steroids, I simply cannot say no. Nobody likes to shine congo like her, plus she’s a junkie for my love.

We start the morning with selfies. She has me all over her Instagram. Every moment we share together is a reason to upload something new; today is no different. She tags it #malariafree #grateful #inbedwithhubby #aunaturale #wokeuplikethis. Never mind that she spent a good fifteen minutes tempering with her face and now looks nothing like one who just woke up or is recovering from an illness. Mexican chicks and makeup, though.

Not long after her upload goes live, we get a comment from a user @poonydoc. It simply reads: use a condom, please.

Yazmin shows me the comment and I shake my head. Tola hides behind that particular alias, being a constant nuisance to Yazmin on Instagram. Well, I’m glad she’s back on my radar, nuisance or not.

“I hate this bitch! Arghh!”

I take the phone from Yazmin.

“Is she another of your hoes, papi?”

“We already had this talk, mi vida. I don’t know this person. And it may be a guy. The handle says poonydoc, which means…”

“I know what it means but why does the person keep stalking me?”

“Because you’re sexy as fuck.”

I start to kiss her in places that are too sensitive to ignore. It takes seconds to make her forget poonydoc and abandon her phone. Her mind goes back to begging for sex and so I give her what she wants, slowly, gently, intensely. I surrender all of me like I do to Tola, annoyed that Tola has abandoned me and gave me hell worrying about her. I fully expend myself in pleasing Yazmin.

I am so deep into the whole thing right now that even if a bomb drops, I won’t stop. The cool of the morning after a heavy downpour, her moans and the numerous Spanish expletives she uses, the way she claws at my back and bites my shoulders… the girl is driving me nuts. I feel myself getting close to the peak. I drive in harder and deeper and then…

“Can you cum already so we can talk?”

I pull out from Yazmin in a flash and swing around to see Tola standing by the door. Yazmin covers her breasts and snaps close her legs.

“Are you crazy?!” she screams at Tola.

“Doc?” I make no attempt at covering myself. I face Tola with an unpleasant expression. There is no need asking her how she got in. It was she who helped get Bose as a maid for Yazmin. The girl will always remain loyal to her.

“Sorry for interrupting your thing, Yazmin, but I need my husband urgently.”

Swinging her backside provocatively, she strides out.

“Yaz, I’m sorry baby. I’ll be right back.”

Yazmin is angry. She cusses in Spanish, throwing my clothes at me. I hurriedly wear them and force a kiss on her lips.

Outside, I find Tola waiting in her SUV. I get into the passenger seat. She gives me a full stare from my head to my feet and then she stops at my midsection on her way down again.

“So, you’re really into her? It’s not just sex?”

“You shouldn’t have walked in on us.”

“Walked in?” Tola titters. “Dude, I stood there and watched you guys for a long time. You were so lost in that Mexican vagina, pounding it like a sledgehammer.”

I hold back a laugh.

“Well, all I know is that you can’t use those same moves on me again.”

I pick something naughty in Tola’s eyes.

“Were you turned on watching us?” I ask.

“It’s either that or I get jealous. This is for better or worse, abi? Including swallowing my pain when I watch my husband screw another woman senseless and then somehow turn that pain into something perverted so I can have a sane mind.”

There’s no mistaking the presence of this ‘pain’ she speaks of in her tone.

“I’m sorry about the claudia thing, Tols.”

“Your wife gave it to us.”

“No, I did. There was some chick…”

She lifts her hand to stop me.

“Condoms from now on.”

“I did the tests as you asked.”

“Condoms until the baby is born, Mex.”

“Fine.”

She massages the area above her left brow. That’s her way of calming frayed nerves. I lean over and kiss her neck. She lets me take her lips.

“You taste like vagina, Onuora.”

There’s no annoyance in her tone. Beyond all the long talk, I know Tola too well. She loves the idea of another woman in my life or Yaz would have been history by now. She enjoys the drama Yaz’s presence brings and I will not be foolish to stay exclusive to her. If I try, the babe will just straight-out disrespect me. She’ll ration sex, food and affection. Yazmin keeps her on her toes.

“I’ll make nsala soup for us.” She plays with my sideburn. “And then you can buy me chocolate ice cream and some chicken pie to go with. Coleslaw too. Peppered gizzard, apple juice and finally, Sade Adu to keep me sane. All night long, baby.”

No, seriously she literally means all night long. She is the only woman I know who would spend six straight hours loving a man and still wake up in the morning to serve him breakfast. She scares me sometimes. I’m glad it happens only once in a blue moon.

“But first, go in there and give some excuse why you can’t continue where you left off. I will not let you waste one more drop of sweat on her.”

I can’t even dream of protesting. Yazmin will just have to wait her turn. Madam is back and I want to be a good boy for her highness.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Na wa for Celia o! Drinking medicine for another person’s headache. Is it by force to have a man and get married? See me see wahala! Abeg, people should just learn how to give advice and end it there. Just because you’re my friend doesn’t mean you should try to impose your ways on me. If it wasn’t for Peace’s long mouth, you won’t be involved in my love life presently. All of you should just leave me alone jor!

I hiss out loud, so loud the woman sitting next to me in the bus gives me a curious stare. I pretend not to notice and hiss again. Celia and Peace are really pissing me off. They believe that my life will suck balls if I don’t heed to Pastor Bayila’s prophecy. But the more they push, the more obstinate I get. They will soon get tired and leave me and my life alone.

“Owa o!” I call out as the bus nears my stop. The conductor bangs his palm over the hood of the vehicle and the driver slows. I step down and begin the short walk that would lead me to my apartment.

On the way I stop to buy akara and yam. I also get some raw pap. I have a deep freeze full of different types of soups but I have no appetite for my own meals. I’m no different from other cooks who would rather have junk food or eat someone else’s less-appetizing cooking.

Having purchased my dinner, I follow a busy path that leads to my house. I have scarcely gone in and put some water on the electric cooker when someone knocks on my door. Concluding it’s my neighbor’s teenage daughter who loves coming around to watch cable, I open the door without a second thought.

An unpleasant surprise greets me. I gasp at the face that meets my eyes. On impulse, a foot of mine steps back.

“Good evening, Mary.”

My hand goes for the door to shut it but my unwelcomed guest stops me.

“Please, I want to talk. You can step outside if you wish. In fact, I think that’d be best.”

“Have you lost your mind showing up here?”

“Mary…”

“To the same place where you raped me? Have you lost your mind, Reno?!”

“Calm down, Mary. And listen to me, please.”

“Go away, Reno!”

He moves back one step and goes on his knees.

“No, Reno. You can’t do this. Just go away!”

“I am sorry, Mary. I am very sorry. I am not asking you to forgive me; I just want to let you know that I am sorry. I will say it anywhere, to our friends, to the police, to anyone…I will confess what I did to you…”

There are huge tears coursing down his cheeks but I am not in the least bit moved. I just want to kick his face in.

“You raped me, you bastard.”

I feel my own tears coming.

“And I can never take that back, Mary. I know.”

“You raped me, Reno. In my own house, on my own bed… You choked me with my own pillow. And now you’re coming here to say you’re sorry? Sorry for what? For making me hate my own house? For making me not trust even my closest male friends? Or are you sorry that your wife has abandoned you and you have no friends anymore and you spend your nights getting drunk and screwing prostitutes? First you visit Peace and load her fragile heart with BS and now you’re here trying to spit out the same drivel? Reno abeg, leave before I scream rape and they set you on fire in this neighborhood. Go!”

“I’m sor…”

“Leave!”

He wobbles up and turns away. Something about him is broken but like I said, I don’t give two. I retreat into my house and lock my door. Not long after, I hear another knock.

“Oh God! Didn’t I tell you to go away?!”

I dash into the kitchen angrily, pour out the water I have set on fire into a bowl and hurry back to the door. I’ll give Reno a lesson he’ll never forget.

Without pausing for a second, I wrench open the door and in one swoop, I furiously hurl the water out, just to realize a little too late that I have assaulted the wrong person. The bowl falls off my hand as I lose control of my muscles the moment shock takes me.

Holding his face in agony and falling to the ground is Ekene.

“Jesus!” I clasp my hands over my mouth.

Oh Lord, what have I done?

©Sally@moskedapages

Images Credits: r5ftnickjonas.tumblr.com, www.wattpad.com

 

To continue with this story please click HERE to find it on Okadabooks or simply send me an email to moskedapages@gmail.com

It’s Another Saturday…#27

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Last night, I was down in the pits. There was a trigger, a text from Harry that I ignored, and before I could stop myself, I lurched into this senseless state of melancholy that I couldn’t get out of. I went to bed and found myself feeling like the walls were closing in on me. Tola and Mary had long gone to sleep and when I checked the time, it was 1am.

I sat by my window for a while. The bed seemed to be laid with pins and needles. It took me exactly twenty-seven minutes to decide that I needed to sleep in Jide’s bed to feel better.

I got the car key, slipped out of the house and drove all the way to Jide’s. I had not expected to find him at home. When I entered his room, he was in bed, awake and reading.

He looked at me when I walked in, showing no surprise.

“I’m getting used to this,” he said. “The impulsiveness. The spontaneity.”

He turned a page in his book.

“I understand that it’s your way of fighting your snags but can you please call me next time you want to leave your house at 2am to come see me?”

“I didn’t expect to find you here.”

“Just…call me next time.”

He didn’t understand that I did not want to burden him with my problems, that at that time of the night I just wanted to get away from the four walls of my room and it didn’t matter if I put myself in danger.

“I’ll try.”

He went back to his book while I entered the bathroom for a shower. It made me feel better, the change of environment, the cool of the water. I breathed out when I turned the shower off.

These days I try not to worry about certain things even though it’s hard. I take each moment as it comes as Jide has taught me. It’s difficult to have my shortcomings and my gloom laid bare before another person but he doesn’t complain – not when I sometimes withdraw to some place to brood or when I lash out at him for no reason or even when I dive into some unexplainable mood of excitement. He’ll tell me there’s no difference between me now and the person he fell for. But I know the difference; it’s something I suffer daily. Having finally been taken off my meds, it’s hard to keep a balance.

“And that’s because you worry yourself about staying normal. Just live.”

That’s what I’m trying to do. I wish it wasn’t so darn hard. I wish my siblings would just stay out of my life for good.

“Hon?”

I walked back into the room where it was freezing. He winched up the blanket and I stole in. He had his arms lifted to let my head rest on his chest but that wasn’t my final destination. I slid all the way down, taking his Calvin’s along. I needed something to distract me.

He didn’t protest.

And here I am this morning, tired, lazy, not willing to leave the bed for my morning out with Mary and Tola.

“Sugar lips?”

Jide taps me. I pretend not to hear.

“You should wake up.”

I moan.

“Honey…”

“Leave me. I want to sleep.”

“Your period is here.”

Straightaway, I throw off the bedspread I’m covered in as I jump up. True to his words, I’ve stained his bed. I look at him in shame. He’s seated at the other end, eating an apple, calm.

“I’m so sorry. I’ll clean this up immediately.”

I drag the bedspread and dash into the bathroom. I’m a bit sad that my period is here. It means the baby we’ve been planning for is not coming anytime soon. This threatens to dampen my mood but Jide appears with a pack of tampons.

“Maybe history will repeat itself,” he says and kisses lips I’ve pressed together. “I’m going to work and then off to my parents’. Will you promise me that you’ll not let your menstrual cycle or whatever it is that made you drive into the night dictate your happiness today?”

I nod, determined to act upon his words but I have no idea that somewhere in town, my evil siblings are thinking of the best way to ruin my day.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am staggered! I simply cannot believe this.

Somebody please tell me I am not dreaming right now. Please tell me my eyes are not imagining things because I am sitting here lost, confused, shocked to my bones at the sight before me.

This is not just happening.

“Mary, you’re not saying anything.”

Of course I am not saying anything because my mouth is hanging wide open and my tongue has lost its speech. How do you expect me to speak, Ekene?!

“Mary?”

I manage to bring my dazed eyes away from where it has been held bound and direct it to Ekene’s hand on mine. His touch is warm, yet strange on my skin.

“Please, say something. Even a ‘no’ would be a lot better than this silence.”

I take my eyes away from his hand and look into his face.

It’s a stranger’s face. I don’t know this man at all. Not his pink lips. Not his rubbery nose. Not his light-brown eyes. Not even the whole beard gang thing he has going on.

I don’t know him!

“Mary?”

Something snaps in me and I recoil from his touch. He raises his hand, moving back a little. I pick my phone and handbag, and still maintaining my silence, I hurry to the door as if chased by a ghost.

“I need my answer in four days, Mary!” he says as I open the door. “Four days!”

I slam the darn door and half-run, half-walk my way to Honey’s house. When I get in there, I collapse into a chair in a huff and stare at Jide who is watching some TV.

“He proposed,” I say.

Jide turns down the volume of the television.

“What did you just say?”

“Ekene proposed to me.”

Jide’s reaction is one of puzzlement. He calls Honey who walks in with questioning eyes.

“What’s going on?”

“Ekene proposed to me. He got out a ring and just popped the question from nowhere.”

“For real?” She grins. “Where’s the ring?”

I blink a couple of times at her and shake the dazedness out of my head.

“What ring? You think I’d say yes to that type of proposal? First of all, he tricked me into coming to his house. There was no girlfriend there! None! Just me and him and a house that can take twenty more people. I asked him where his girlfriend was and he was like the dinner was a surprise for her and if she knew about it, the surprise would be ruined. I believed him and went ahead to cook and he stood in the kitchen the whole time, not talking, just staring at me and giving me the creeps. After I was done and served the food, he asked me to sit. He confessed that he had lied about having a girlfriend and was hoping that I’d be the one.”

Jide stopped me. “Wait, what?”

“My thoughts exactly. I now asked him, ‘Ekene, what type of creepy, by-force toasting is this that you Igbo boys like doing?’ Sorry Jide.”

“Be nice.”

“No, but seriously, have you not seen those market traders that will grab your hands and pull you, calling you stuff like ‘my wife’ ‘my color’? Ekene looked like the same thing to me! No difference! I had scarcely recovered from him calling me his girlfriend when he brought out this blinding diamond ring from nowhere, looked straight into my eyes with that his cockiness and said, ‘Mary, marry me’.”

“No way,” Jide remarked.

“I swear. He said it like that. Not ‘Mary, will you marry me?’ And he didn’t even go down on his knees!”

“And your answer?” Honey asks.

“I freaked out, Honey. In fact, I am still freaking out! See, how my heart is pounding in my chest. My tummy is even turning sef.”

Honey is laughing; Jide is equally amused.

“Why are you freaking out, though?” Honey wonders. “I’m sure you’ve met different types of men. Kene can’t be the weirdest.”

I stand up. “He is. By far, he is. I just can’t deal.”

“You like him,” Jide states. He is not asking; he sounds sure.

“Me?”

“Yes, boo. You. See the effect he has on you.”

“He scares me. I don’t like him, Jide. When did we meet that he’ll propose to me just like that? Abeg o! I’m sorry, Honey, I know he’s your friend but his actions today ring of all shades of ritualist behavior.”

“Haba nau.”

“Then explain why a man that rich who has been around the world and has everything going for him will go and buy an expensive diamond ring and propose to a girl he hardly knows? It makes no sense! Unless he wants to use his wealth to dazzle me into marriage and then offer me as sacrifice to prolong his life.”

Honey rips apart in laughter.

“She really likes him,” Jide tells her. They both nod.

“Can you stop saying that, Jideofor?!”

“He’s getting you all worked up.”

“He is not!”

I breathe out.

“He is not.”

Another breath.

“I am calm. Very calm. Very, very calm. And I will repeat: I do not like Ekenedilichukwu Obiecheta.”

“Wow!” Jide sits up. “You called his full names, using the correct Igbo accent and you didn’t even stutter. Abeg, husband him.”

I am mad at Jide. I hiss and pick my handbag.

“I’m going home.”

“Why?” Honey frowns.

“All of you are annoying me. You and you and Ekene…all of you. Ekene clearly doesn’t understand the concept of boundaries and feels he can just pop a proposal from nowhere and I’ll say yes. Then instead of you two to be on my side, you’re making fun! You should all enjoy yourselves. I’m going home!”

I don’t give them an opportunity to respond. I know I am being silly but I haven’t been in this mood in a really long while. I march into the guestroom and shut the door behind me. But then I remember one vital piece of information I didn’t pass to them. I poke my head out.

“Oh, and he told me right before he asked me to be his girlfriend… he said, ‘I can have anything I want. Anything, including you.’ Can you imagine?”

“You don enter,” Jide sniggers.

“No, she has not.” Honey tries to remedy things. “Kene is just being Kene. He teases a lot and he understands boundaries, Mary. Please, don’t go. I’ll talk to him and tell him to behave. Just please, don’t go, Mary boo.”

I give a vehement shake of my head. My mind is made up.

“Okay, can you allow me speak with him first?” she requests.

“Still not changing my mind.”

“Please?”

Honey goes for the door and she’s out in a jiffy.

“You want to know my thoughts?” Jide asks.

“No, thank you.”

I close the door, leaving him still amused.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

mary's ring

“I told you not to propose to her, didn’t I?”

“Hi Honey.”

Ekene lets me into his house. The place is grand and spotless – as usual. The only difference from the last time I was here is the aroma of food in the air.

Ekene leaves me standing in the living room and walks to the dining area. I trudge after him and find him seated at the table, having dinner. The meal and setting is something only a professional like Mary can pull off. My tongue longs to have a taste but I’d rather listen to him explain his actions.

“You had to go freak her out, Kene. Why?”

“Well you know me, I don’t have time beating about the bush. And I’m too old to be doing boyfriend and girlfriend unlike some people I know. I learned my lesson with you. Years of my life wasted in love. Look where it got me. No more time for long talk, baby.”

I pull a chair and slide into it, my eyes catching the glitter of the controversial diamond ring as it sits in its box, untouched.

“Kene, you’re probably the closest friend I have and Mary and I pretty close; she’s an amazing person. And that was why when you told me you were crazy about her, I gave my blessing. In fact, I even dreamt about you guys getting married. I wanted you two to work but the way you’re going about it is wrong, Kene. You can’t force love. You have to…”

“Who said anything about love?”

He picks a piece of watermelon from a bowl of intricately-diced fruits and throws into his mouth. He looks at me.

“Because you’re in love you think everyone else has to go your way to maintain a happy relationship?”

“No. I…”

“Honey, I am not looking for love. I am looking for a wife. A beautiful, godly, industrious, humble woman I can take home to my dear, old mother. Mary fits the bill. Simple. Abeg, don’t go mushing up things in her head and filling her with romantic ideas. Plus I really, really like her. Do you know she has a birthmark on her neck that is shaped like the one on my left ankle?”

I smile at him. “But you used to believe in love.”

“I still do but not love at first sight and all that nonsense about being struck by lightning and having butterflies in one’s tummy. I want to grow into my feelings.”

“Well, you have a point. I’m just saying the whole proposal thing…”

“Is medieval. I know, and that’s how I do my thing. Leave me be, abeg.”

“You scared her.”

“I’d be worried if she wasn’t scared, Hon. The way she bolted out of here was proof that she is the one. Do you know how many women would walk in here and see that ring and go nude for me? But she didn’t; she got scared and that’s why I want her.”

I stare at the ring.

“Is this the same one you got for me?”

“No. I returned that one the day I went over to your house and from outside I heard you moaning and screaming out your boyfriend’s name like he was the best thing you ever had.”

“He is.” I give Ekene a straight face.

“Well, I’m glad you’re happy.”

I pick a slice of apple and stand.

“I know Mary will say yes,” Ekene adds. “She just needs to figure things out. She likes me. Maybe not as much as I like her but she likes me. And that’s enough for me.”

“I really want you guys to work, so stop being cocky and try not to screw things up.”

“How are you these days sef?” He looks at me.

“Good.”

“He knows?”

“Yeah. And he’s so amazing, and so patient, and so…”

I stop as I think of the many, beautiful ways Jide has been there for me from the moment I shared with him the story of my bipolar disorder.

“He’s an angel, Kene. And this means you have to stop being an ass to me. I have a bodyguard now.”

Ekene smirks. I tell him I’m leaving and he waves absentmindedly as he concentrates on his meal. I stroll back home with plans to talk with Mary but when I get in, Jide Informs me that she is gone.

“She says to tell you that she is sorry but she misses her home.”

I dump my sad self on Jide’s laps. His arms enfold me. I’m going to miss Mary. Tola is gone already. I have come to love both women in the short time they spent with me. Jide is right about having friends who will stand by you in dark moments. They both know about my depression and have been beside me, patient and supportive. I have had a couple of blue moments which they helped me through. The house is going to be quiet without them.

“You can come bunk with me if you need a roomie.”

Jide’s breath on my earlobe gives me goosebumps and other ideas. Too bad it’s that bloody time of the month.

Jide stares at his watch at the exact moment my phone starts to ring. I groan. I decide to let it ring out.

“You won’t pick the call?”

“Nope.”

“Okay. Um…I have to pop back to my parents’.”

“Again?”

“Family meeting.”

“Is everything alright? I don’t understand these family meetings you guys have been having all day.”

“Everything is fine, baby.”

“Can I come along?”

“No.”

I try to read his eyes which seem kind of evasive at the moment. Jide is always open with me about everything. What is he hiding?

“Are you coming back?”

“Sure.”

He kisses me before he leaves. Worrying about him, I stand by the window and watch until he’s out of sight. The moment he’s gone, my phone rings again. The Caller ID tells me Jane is calling for the millionth time. I know she wants to scold me for not honoring our cousin’s wedding, an occasion had no intention attending.

“Good evening, sis.”

Jane huffs on the phone. “Erhinyuse, why are you treating me like this? Fifteen times I called. Fifteen!”

“I’m sorry, sister.”

“This is not fair at all.”

“I know. And I’m sorry. I was busy.”

“Too busy for me?”

I stroll to the kitchen. I am so not in the mood to be scolded. I’m having cramps and the last thing I need is someone breathing down my neck.

“I’m sorry,” I say for the last time.

“Why didn’t you come for Sabina’s wedding?”

I open my fridge. “Well, you know… everyone else will be there and I don’t want drama. Brother already sent a text, telling me I was acting irresponsibly for not attending the wedding even though Sab and I are in the same town.”

“And what did you reply?”

I am staring at a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and salads. “Nothing.”

“That’s good. Ignore. Anyway, I want to see you.”

Immediately, red flags go up.

“You want to see me?”

“Yeah. Are you at home?”

I quickly recall a casual conversation I had with Jide two days ago about my family and how he warned me not to let any of them near me. His warning had sounded odd and when I asked why he came up with it from nowhere, he simply repeated himself and added, “If they want to visit, don’t take them to my place or yours. Bring them to my family house.”

I asked no more questions after that, finding it uncanny that at that moment we spoke, my cousin Sabina was having her traditional wedding and no doubt my siblings were present. I did not want to share that information with Jide. I felt my family issues were mine alone to handle. Just being with me was enough burden on him, although he must never hear me speak this way of myself.

“Can I come over?” Jane requests.

“Erm…I’m not at home right now…”

“I just want to drop your aso-ebi with you.”

I frown. “I don’t recall contributing for it. Or is Sab giving it out for free?”

“I paid for it to save face, okay? So tell me where you are let me hand it over to you with some other food ingredients I brought from Asaba since you have now started cooking.”

“You know what? Tell me where you are and I’ll drive over.”

“Even better. I’ll send a text.”

She goes offline and I remain standing, the light of the refrigerator in my face. I settle for a bowl of chicken salad. While I await the text, I dive in with a fork.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Jane is at some fast food restaurant as her message says. I drive there, still with no intention of informing Jide. It isn’t until I park the car in the parking lot and realize that Jane is not alone that I decide to dial his number. Annoyed, I speak to him on the phone.

“You were right about not trusting any of them,” I tell him.

“What’s going on?”

“Jane is in town. Everyone else is here as well for my cousin’s wedding. Jane told me she wanted to see me and asked me to meet her at this fast food joint. I drive here, thinking I’m meeting with her alone and you won’t believe who she’s here with!”

“Your other siblings.”

“I have a very good mind to turn this car around and go home right now, Jide! I am so pissed! She tricked me into coming here!”

“Calm down, sugar lips.”

“I trusted her.”

“I know. Just calm down and listen to me. Go and meet them. It’s safe. It’s a public place. Just go there and tell them you’d rather host them at yours–”

“Never!”

“Listen to me. Remember what I told you the other night?”

“Yeah.”

“Do it. Tell them you’re taking them to yours but bring them to the family house.”

“Jide, I don’t want them near your family. It will be a disaster…”

“Let me worry about that, sweetheart. Just bring them over.”

“Jide…”

Bring them.”

I concede, but not wholeheartedly. Imagine the shame if Harry or Jessica decide to act up in the presence of Jide’s parents.

“And take it easy on Jane.”

“She betrayed me. I’m so done with her.”

He laughs. “See you soon, sugams.”

I leave the car. Jessica is the first to spot me. The huge glass windows that act as walls do not hide what’s going on in the restaurant. I see them all looking at me. Jane is the only one with a lowered head. I grip my wallet tightly to still my nerves as I walk in. They keep their eyes on me and there is not one smile to go with their offensive stares.

I, however, maintain a poised exterior as I amble towards them.

“Good evening,” I throw in a general greeting. For a moment it seems my show of respect would be ignored by them as they used to do years ago but Harry breaks into a scary grin that halts my steps.

“Erhinyuse, my darling sister! Come and give me a hug.”

I stand frozen. Something evil crawls up my spine and fills my throat as I glare back at the same hands that abused me throughout my childhood now spread open to me in a show of love.

What on earth has this old devil up his sleeves this time around?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I am not sleeping. I’m sprawled on my floor, eyes to the ceiling, hands on my chest.

To watch the video or not to watch the video.

This is a rerunning dilemma in my head. I have one good reason to watch the video and an equally damning reason why I shouldn’t. Following my hysterics earlier at Honey’s house, I have decided to handle the situation with commonsense. One would think I’d toss Ekene’s proposal aside but I can’t. This video holds the reason why.

I turn around. My laptop is asleep. I tap it awake. It takes me another ten minutes or so of fighting the urge to go on YouTube. In the end, I do. I search for the video and with a palpitating heart I play it.

It’s a recording that stretches for an hour and twenty-one minutes. I should forward to the frame that mostly concerns me but I decide to watch from the beginning to calm my nerves. I sip cup after cup of green tea while I watch. I’m into my fifth cup when the video gets to the moment of truth. I sit up and clasp the cup with both hands.

“There’s a sister at the back row there!”

The voice of Peace’s pastor fills my ear, bringing nostalgia and a host of other feelings into me. My eyes stay glued on my laptop screen and I am transported back to the day the video was recorded.

Peace had invited me to her church for some program they were having at the beginning of the year. It was something they did annually. Seven days of fasting and prayers. I had begrudgingly attended; the end of last year had seen me in a terrible relationship that left me somewhat depressed. Church was the last thing I wanted but Peace assured me that I’d feel better when the program ended, and so I decided to attend just to get her off my back.

It ran for one week and finally we came to the last day, which was a Sunday. The church was packed to the rafters that morning and I had found myself somewhere at the back because I came late. The service was one of those power-charged affairs and when finally Peace’s pastor took the stage, people’s hearts were open to hear God’s word with a lot of expectations. I wasn’t one of those people. I was a tad disappointed that a whole week was wasted and I didn’t feel any better about my state. Years of failed relationships had left me bitter and resentful of the male species.

Somewhere in the middle of his sermon, the pastor stops, turns and directs his eyes straight into mine. But he says nothing and continues preaching. I tell myself I imagined the occurrence. However, towards the end of his sermon, he repeats his action and this time, he calls out.

“The sister at the back row there!”

He points. Heads turn left and right, including mine.

“The one with the green and yellow Ankara!”

Now, all eyes focus on me. There’s no one else wearing a green and yellow Ankara outfit except me. Slowly, I put my hand to my beating heart to confirm if it’s me as I rise to my feet.

“Yes, you. You have a surprise coming for you this year.”

Yeah right, my inner skeptic remarks. I have always had a strong dislike for pastors who did things like this. In my church we do not entertain such. We are more orthodox in our way of worship.

“Your husband will come this year,” the pastor continues. My inner skeptic snorts. It’s clear that I am not married because I am not wearing a ring. Please, man of God tell me something else.

And he does.

“God says to give you two signs so that you will know this message is from him because the man will come into your life and without these signs, you will throw him off.”

Okay, this is getting interesting.

“First sign: he will propose to you without any relationship going on between you two. Second sign: when he proposes, he will give you a short time to return with an answer.”

I remain a doubting Thomas.

“And God says you should say yes to him because that is your husband. He said he has made events and situations in your life align to that man. Your years of searching and frustration are not wasted years. The time was not yet set but before this year ends, you will wear a ring on your finger.”

The congregation choruses out a loud ‘amen!’ that terrifies me. I slump back into the chair, annoyed at Peace. Clearly, she told her pastor things about me.

“I did not,” she says in sincerity after the church service.

“You’re sure?”

“Why would I even do such a thing, Mary?”

“Maybe out of concern.”

“Please believe me, I did not. And you know what’s even scary about what happened here today?”

“What?”

“Our pastor hardly ever does what he did. He is more of a teacher than a prophet. If he prophesies in a year, it might be two or at most three times. What happened today was rare, so please take it as a message from God.”

Indeed. And that’s how I go through the year, a disbeliever, even though deep inside I know the message wasn’t a hoax. For fear of wanting it to come true, I refuse to entertain the presence of any guy. I dedicate my year chasing my career.

And then Jide returns home after five years and the feelings I once had for him are re-ignited, especially after the kiss we share. I tell myself he is the one. I speak to Peace first but she dissuades me, reminding me of her pastor’s prophecy. Ignoring her words, I share my feelings with Celia and the rest and they are only too happy to pair us up. Peace is not in support but she keeps mum and goes with the flow. When Jide brings Honey to the get-together at Celia’s and throws all of us off, only Peace shows support for their relationship. Well we all know how that story ends and how the next day, I debase myself by stripping for Jide and he gives me the tongue-lashing that I rightly deserve.

Peace’s reaction to the incidence is an ‘I told you so’.

“Shebi you will listen to God now?”

Listen to fire. I tell myself that the chances of that prophesy coming true is one in a million. I am more likely to get a yes if I propose to any random man out there than find Peace’s pastor’s dream husband for me.

I carry on with this state of mind as the months go by, oblivious of what waits for me around the corner.

Ekene is a blow to my face I don’t see coming. His proposal knocks me off balance and the after-effect still leaves me swooning. I am fighting him with everything in me and even after watching this video as a confirmation of where my life is supposedly ought to be heading, I insist on rejecting him.

“I do not like Ekene,” I say out loud. I need to believe this. I need God to hear me. “I don’t like him.”

I finish my cup of tea.

“I will not marry him.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Images credits: www.virgosandkisses.com, mystictalia.com

 

 

It’s Another Saturday…#26

Good evening, my people!

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

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

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

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

Secondly for those having issues downloading the Fish Brain Series…

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

And here’s Another Saturday…

Emeka’s Blues

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

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

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

“Yazmin, tell me how you feel?”

“Heartbroken.”

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

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

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

“Any tummy ache?”

“A little.”

“Headache?”

“Yeah. Burning eyes.”

“Have you started seeing your periods again?”

“Yeah.”

“And the last was…?”

“Two weeks ago, I think.”

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

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

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

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

“I hate needles!” she cries.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Don’t be an idiot.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey doesn’t respond.

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

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

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

She doesn’t really need an answer from us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey agrees with a nod.

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

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

“Thank you.”

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Female Chef Preparing Salad In Kitchen

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

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

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

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

“Like duh! And I hate them.”

Laughter escaped my lips.

“Do you miss having a man, Mary?”

“No.”

“Well, me I miss my husband.”

Honey moaned again.

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

“Are you asking me?”

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

“Leave them.”

“The weather is hot!”

“Go and have a shower then.”

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

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

“Why?”

“The way you talk about them is disturbing.”

“Really?”

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

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

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

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

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

And here I am, pulling through, albeit slowly.

“Chef?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kene2

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

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

“Hello Ekene.”

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

“How may I help you, Ekene?”

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

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

“But you came out here to see me.”

I sigh. “Ekene…”

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

“Okay.”

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

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

“For you.”

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

I turn the card over.

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

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

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

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

“Bye Chef!”

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

Why is he disturbingly yellow?

I look away and sit.

“What would you like to drink?”

“Nothing.”

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

“It’s just red wine,” he tells me.

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

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

I can’t hide my smile.

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

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

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

I slip back into my commonsense.

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

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

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

“I like you, Mary.”

I try hard not to hiss.

“Goodnight, Ekene.”

I start to walk away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re disgusting.”

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

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

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

But he never really toasted you.

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

But he never said anything about sleeping with you.

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

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

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

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

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

“Girlfriend? From where nau?”

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

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

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

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

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

“He doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“Okay o.”

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

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

“Ah. Babe you’re vexing o.”

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How are you?”

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

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

“Excited?”

“Yeah. I’ve missed Tobe.”

“Yazmin?”

“Yeah?”

“Why is Emeka so mad at you?”

She looks elsewhere.

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

“You’re not going to tell Tola?”

“No.”

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

“Oh.”

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

“Do you love Emeka, Yazmin?”

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

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

“No. My dad murdered him.”

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

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

“Yes.”

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

I shiver at her story.

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

She smiles.

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

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

“I know.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

“Your husband will enjoy,” I comment.

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

I dash into the kitchen for some water.

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

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

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

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

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

Mary frowns. Tola bats her eyes at her.

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

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

“You said that yesterday.”

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

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

“Why?” I ask.

“Do you guys have sex every day?”

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

“Who is it?” Tola calls out loud.

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

“Who is Nicole?” Mary asks.

“She knows herself!” the voice responds.

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

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

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

“Hi Emeka.”

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

“She doesn’t want to see you.”

“I know but tell her I’m sorry.”

He peeps into the house.

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

“Mex, go away abeg!”

“Please, come back home!”

“Go away!”

“Please!”

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

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

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

“I love you!” he hits the door.

“Mex, behave!”

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

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

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

And then he goes silent for a while.

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

“Thinking of the next stupid thing to say.”

And as if he hears her, Emeka resumes.

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

“Your name is really Nicole?” Mary probes.

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

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

“Don’t you dare, Chukwuemeka!”

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

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

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

“No.”

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

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

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

“Butt naked.”

“Wow. He really loves you.”

“No, he’s really drunk.”

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

“Emeka…” Tola murmurs with a sigh.

I’m never shy but this is different

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

I’m losing control of my heart

Tell me what can I do to make you happy

Nothing I ever say seems to come out right

I’m losing control of my heart

I wish that I could be

Another better part of me

Can’t hear what you’re thinking

Nicole if I just let go

You’ll open up your heart

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

“Daniel Bedingfield,” Mary says.

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

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

I can’t read you

I wish I knew what’s going through your mind

Can’t touch you

Your heart’s protecting I get left behind

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

Bla-bla-bla-bla I’m acting stupid

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

I’m losing control of my heart

Bla-bla-bla something-something nervous

I should play my hand all cool and calm

I can’t breathe!

I’m losing control of my heart

Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah ah

I wish that you could see

The other better parts of me

Feel this fire I’m feeling

Then you’d see me in control

Baby then you’ll know

But I can’t read you

I wish I knew what’s going through your mind

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

Emeka stops as if interrupted.

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

“Tola, go and meet him nau,” I plead.

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting.

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

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

©Sally@moskedapages

Translation:

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

 

 Image source: usa.hermes.com, Getty images

It’s Another Saturday…#25

Good morning!

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

Please leave a review and tell your friends and family.

FACEBOOK LINK 

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

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

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

My eyes pop out. “Already?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well…”

“Do what makes you happy, my dear.”

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

“Me keh.”

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

“Abeg, P leave that thing.”

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

Her fingers pick something off my face.

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

“You go old be dat.”

“But seriously, how are you coping?”

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

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

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

“Yeah.”

She picks two huge bags and hurries out.

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

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

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

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

“Ex? Neighbor? Which one?”

“Both.”

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

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

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

“They left together?”

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

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

“Let me be going, P.”

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

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

She laughs. “Okay, luv. Thank you.”

“Kiss Sammy for me.”

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

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

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

I stop out of annoyance and turn.

“Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“Where is Honey?”

“With her boyfriend.”

He pulls back. “Boyfriend?”

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

“You’re sure?”

I roll my eyes.

“I saw that.”

“You saw what?”

“The eye-rolling. I saw it.”

“Well, goodnight.”

“Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“Your house or…?”

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

“Okay. So, your house or Honey’s?”

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

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

“No, thanks.”

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

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

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

I stride on. He drives beside me.

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

I keep walking. He keeps driving.

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

I snort.

“You think so too.”

My annoyance starts to wane.

“I’ll be fine, Ekene. Just go home.”

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

“Goodnight, Ekene.”

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

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

He comes out of the car.

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

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

“No!”

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

It’s daylight.

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

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

I smile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ha! You made me fear o!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m sorry.”

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

“I’m sorry nau.”

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

“You girls, well done.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Okay, ma.”

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

“No.”

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

“I’ve heard.”

She tells me she loves me and hangs up.

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

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

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

“Hi.”

“Honey?”

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

“Are you crying?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you taking your meds right now?”

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

“You think medication is bad for you?”

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

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

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

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

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

“My doctor believes so.”

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

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

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

His request baffles me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Start it with me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He kisses my nose.

“You want to talk about the baby?”

“No.”

“You want to have another baby?”

I giggle but I see he’s serious.

“Be honest, Honey.”

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

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

We both laugh.

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

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

“Is this a yes?”

“Mm-hm.”

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

“Jide?”

“Just checking.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

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

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

“Papi, what’s wrong?”

I stare at my son and look up at Yazmin.

“Does he have big ears?”

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

“Well, for a baby he has big ears.”

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

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

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

“At least, you learnt something.”

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

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

The tot bursts into a cry.

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

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

“Because I can.”

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

“Thank you, mi vida.”

“De nada.” She smiles.

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

“Wait, back up. Tola’s got what?”

“Claudia.”

“Claudia?”

“Yeah. It’s an infection.”

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

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

I ignore her and dig into my waffles.

“I’m guessing you mean Chlamydia.”

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

“So you want us to get tested?”

“Yeah. And also get treated.”

“Okay.”

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

“Yeah.”

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

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

“Oh. I see.”

“You see what?”

I slant my head in the direction of the kitchen.

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

“Bossy?”

“It’s Bose, Yaz. Bo-se.”

“Whatever. I don’t like her.”

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

“Take my son from his mother.”

She stares at Yazmin and back at me.

“Sir?”

“Take the boy and give him formula.”

“Why?” Yazmin questions.

“Take the boy, my friend!”

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

“Who did you fuck, Yaz?”

“Wh-what?”

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

“Nobody, papi.”

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

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

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

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

“Details, Yazmin.”

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

I recall the cousin in question.

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

Ah! I don die! Wetin I go marry?

“Just sex,” I mumble.

“Yeah.”

“And this happened when?”

“I think a week before I came here.”

“Just sex,” I repeat.

“Papi, you’re mad?”

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

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

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

“Don’t call me that.”

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

“It was just the one guy.”

“And without a condom?!”

“It was a mistake.”

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

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

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

It’s her turn to be shocked.

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

I grab my car key and head for the door.

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

She hurries to me before I leave.

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

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

“I’m sorry.”

“And you weren’t going to tell me?”

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

©Sally@moskedapages

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

It’s Another Saturday…#24

Honey’s Secret

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

yazmex3

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Biko, it’s enough.”

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

“Baby, I gotta run,” I tell her.

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

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

“No.”

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

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

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

“Why are you doing this, mi vida?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I love you,” I say into the phone.

“Pinche pendejo,” she replies.

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

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

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

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

She orders the housemaid out with a quick gesture.

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

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

“Oh?”

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

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

“Burning pain while urinating?”

“No.”

“Swollen or tender balls?”

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

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

“Haba!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let’s talk about this…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is there another girl out there, Mex?”

“I already told you there isn’t.”

“Then it came from Yazmin…”

“Yaz is not cheating on me.”

“How then did I get chlamydia?”

“I don’t know.”

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

“I still am,” I assure her.

tolmex2

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

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

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

“Tols…”

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

“Where are you going?”

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

“Come on…”

“I have freaking chlamydia!”

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey, Tola.”

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

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

“I’m good.”

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

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

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

“Are you coming in?”

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

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

“Hi.” She waves.

Ekene waves back. Saratu merely stares.

“I’m greeting o,” Tola pronounces.

“Hello,” Saratu mouths.

“Honey, can we talk?”

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

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

“You miss Jide, don’t you?”

I stay silent.

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

Is she kidding me?

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

“Yeah.”

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

She touches my forehead.

“Temperature fine.”

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

“I’m fine, Tola.”

“You’re sure?”

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

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

“You want to stay here?”

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

“And you thought of me.”

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

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

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

“Yeah. Thanks.”

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

I simply smile.

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

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

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

“You can stay in my room, Tola.”

“That’s better.”

“This way.”

I lead her to my bedroom and let her in.

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

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

I part open the curtains to let in air.

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

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

 “And I’m done!”

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

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

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

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

Saratu barges in.

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

“What friend?”

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

“Erm…let me see her.”

I leave the room with Saratu.

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

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

“Hi Honey.”

She reaches forward and gives me a hug.

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

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

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

“Ignore her,” I say. “Come in.”

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

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

“No,” Mary responds.

I make introductions.

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

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

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

“Tola?”

“Yeah. She’s in the bathroom.”

“Why is she here?”

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

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

“I’m good.”

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

“No, it’s okay,” Mary protests.

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

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

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

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

“I’m not going anywhere.”

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

“Will Jide be there?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t want to see him.”

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

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

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

She draws me into a hug.

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

“Me too.”

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

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

“Don’t I look fat?”

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

“You’re sure?”

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

I smile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s his talent.”

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

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

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

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

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

“So she’s not coming?”

“I don’t think so.”

“That’s heartbreaking. Come in jare.”

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

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

“I’m good.”

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

“Yeah.”

“We miss her too…”

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

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

Celia passes her a glass of wine. She declines.

“Just for tonight, Peace.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Water.”

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

“Um…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So you’re sleeping with Ekene again?”

“No.”

“Then what is it?”

“I’m sorry, Jide. I can’t do this.”

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

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

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

“Cheers!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wonder if it’s Ekene.

“See ya.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She won’t.”

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

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

“My place, then?”

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

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

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

I balk.

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

“No, Honey.”

I switch off the home theater system.

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

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

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

“Erhinyuse, behave.”

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

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

“Why?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I have to go.”

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

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

“I’ve missed you,” she whispers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Honey,

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

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

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

Can you fly in for your routine checkup?

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

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

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

“I’m cold.”

I turn off the air conditioner.

“No, I want you here.”

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

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

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

jih

©Sally@moskedapages

Translations:

mi vida – my life (Spanish)

pinche pendejo – fucking asshole

sisi – young girl

yanga – to front

keke – tricycle

 

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

 

 

 

 

It’s Another Saturday…#23

It Must Have Been Love

Shit has hit the fan at last. We have been called to a family meeting by my parents on this humid Monday morning to settle issues between Emeka and Tola. As told to me by my mom, Tola had threatened to kill Emeka with a knife last night, literally holding his penis hostage for nine hours until the sun came up and Kalu drove over to rescue him. They say she is still in bad shape but Nne has been able to calm her down. Now, she wants to have a word with everyone.

I really don’t know why I have to be there. I wish they would just cut me off from anything that has Emeka’s name on it. I have my own issues to deal with, the biggest being how I am going to convince the woman I love that I am not a colossal ass.

God will not easily forgive me for what I did to Honey. I think yesterday I got to the lowest point of my life with my words to her. I didn’t sleep through the night. I spent the entire time whipping myself psychologically and emotionally. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was trying to get through to her line but was unable to.

“I don’t know what to tell her, boo,” I say to Mary over the phone.

“Just apologize, Jide. And assure her that you didn’t mean those words.”

“I didn’t but truth is I freaked out.”

“You are a grown ass man, Jide.”

“Boo, I needed time to think it through and let it all sink in. A baby is not a new gadget or a new car you just acquire. A baby is a life, an entire human being. If I don’t welcome him or her mentally and emotionally, then accepting them physically would be a farce. I had to prepare myself!”

“Well, see what your preparation has caused you.”

“She was inconsolable. My God! She cried like she was losing her dad all over again. I felt so terrible and I still do.”

“Abeg, don’t waste time. Go and tell her sorry before I take it personal.” Mary hisses. “Na dis kind story dey vex me. You just fall my hand big time, Olajideofor.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t tell me sorry! Go and tell her. And get an engagement ring while you’re at it for heaven’s sake!”

“Okay ma.”

Mary hangs up. I look outside the window of the cab I’m in. There’s Monday rush traffic building up ahead of us. I brace myself for wasted time and use the opportunity to cancel appointments with my patients, reassigning them to junior midwives. I intend to take the entire day off to be with Honey. She needs to know how much I love her and that I do not plan to bail on her or the baby, even though I am yet be excited that she is pregnant.

I arrive at the family house really late, hoping they had carried on their meeting without me. Unfortunately, I meet them in good time. The old man is about to speak when I enter the sitting room.

“Sorry I’m late,” I apologize. “Traffic.”

“Sit down.” My mom points to an empty space on a sofa beside Oba. When I get myself comfortable, I take in my environment.

Tola is seated in-between my parents on one of the three-sitters. Emeka and Kalu are put together while Yazmin occupies a single couch. My mom appears more exhausted than saddened. She holds Tola’s hand in both of hers. Yazmin seems uneasy and she draws no comfort when her eyes briefly catch mine.

“I was about sharing a true story before you walked in Jideofor,” my dad speaks. “You remember your late Uncle, Festus, my eldest brother?”

“Yeah.”

“He fell into a similar situation with Chukwuemeka when he recently got married to your aunty. Festus played away match with one small girl in a neighboring village and she gave birth to twin girls for him. Meanwhile your aunty had a son for him already. So, it was that he wanted to secretly settle the mother of his twins and send her on her way but our father said, ‘No. We do not do such in our place. The woman has given birth to your child and by doing that, you have completely killed her market. Who do you now want to leave her and the twins for? What man will even take secondhand cargo?’

“So, your grandfather refused. And thus, Festus and all the males in the family went over to the girl’s village and paid her dowry and brought her home. She was given her own room in the compound and they all lived in peace with your aunty even after your uncle’s death. What is the essence of my long story?”

“I wonder,” Oba murmurs. My mom eyes him.

“My daughter, Omotola,” my dad continues, “we cannot drive the mother of one of our sons away, especially since he is a first son. It is not in our culture to do so. It is better that the mother on her own accord, chooses to leave. We will bless her and send her on her way in peace but she will not take our son along. I have already told this to Yazmin. She says she has no desire to leave. You were here when she said it. Your husband who is also her husband wants her to stay. We too, we want her to stay. Omotola, I know it is painful but my daughter, what has happened cannot be reversed. And that is why, as a family, we plead with you in God’s name to forgive two of them and accept Yazmin as your sister.”

Tola looks away from him.

“Forgive your husband for his foolishness.”

“But daddy, if the table was turned and I did what Emeka did, won’t you be throwing me out of the house now?”

“Good question,” Oba comments.

“My dear, I am not a hypocrite. I will not throw you out of my son’s house if you did what he did. It is his right to do as he wishes, not mine. I may suggest it to him but I’ll leave him with his decision. The same way I am letting you know right now that it is your choice to stay with him or to go. But we are hoping you stay because you are now part of us and you’re carrying an Onuora. It will hurt us immensely if you go away but we will understand. Nevertheless, we beg you to forgive, to accept Yazmin as your sister and to manage this misbehaving Igbo family as part of yours.

“As for Chukwuemeka, your chapter is not closed in my book. There will be consequence for this grave wickedness you have displayed. May God deal with me severely if I see your face in this house after today. From now on you are banned from coming here.”

Emeka gulps. “What?”

“Lawrence…”

My dad raises his hand and stops my mom. “I’ve said what I’ve said.”

“You’re disowning me?”

“I have no right to. You’re still my son and that’s never going to change but you are not welcome here any longer.”

“Daddy, please.” Tola pleads.

I stare at my mom, expecting her to speak on her son’s behalf but she doesn’t. Her eyes hold tears that may take twenty years to spill. Her mercy has reached its limit and so has everyone else’s except Tola’s.

“Daddy, please forgive him.”

My father’s face is set in stone as he looks at Emeka who has gone on his knees. He dare not approach him.

“I’m sorry, dad. I screwed up big time. I’ll fix it–”

“How?” My dad probes. “You mess yourself up and the women who love you and you say you will fix it? How? What legacy do you want to leave your children with? When Tobe grows up to be a man tomorrow, what would he have learned from you? Or do you think women are rags you use to mop the very floor you walk on? When did you become this useless person? Where did we go wrong?”

The weight of my father’s pain falls on me and I am reminded of my own responsibility waiting. How do I present my case to them without them concluding they have failed as parents? I don’t feel any different from Emeka. We are both fuckboys. Our dicks have spoken for us and chosen the paths of our destinies. While Emeka seeks to ‘fix’ his issues, I intend to make things right with my woman.

I watch as Tola leaves her seat and plants her knees on the floor before my parents.

“Get up,” my mom commands. “Don’t kneel on his behalf.”

“Please mom, I want to speak. This is the reason why I called everyone together.”

“You’re pregnant…”

“I am fine. Please Nne, let me speak.”

“Go ahead.”

“Daddy, mommy, you’re the only parents I have. You have been kind and loving to me even with my flaws and mistakes. I owe you more than I can ever repay you. Right now, all I have to give back is my love and respect and this child I am carrying and that is why I have no intention of leaving Emeka. I have vowed for better or for worse and if this is the worse I’ll have to live with, then I’m ready for it. Oyibo woman no fit enter my domot come kolombi my husband. All of us go die on the line.”

Oba sniggers and I smile.

“Mommy, daddy, I just want to say thank you for stepping into this messy situation.”

Nice one, Tola. You just scored high on the scale of best daughter-in-law. Yazmin, your storytelling skills won’t cut it in this round.

Tola dabs her eyes with the back of her hand and returns to her seat.

“Emeka,” she confronts her husband. “I don’t know if love you the way I used to. It will take God’s grace to get us back to that place of love. Last night when I held your… When I held you, I had a lot of time to think things through. And I have come to the following conclusion if we want this marriage triangle to work. One: this baby I’m carrying, whether boy or girl will be considered your first child. Two: Yazmin is not entitled to anything you own. You will take care of Tobe and her but if anything happens to you or she decides to leave, she goes with nothing. Three: Yazmin must live in this same town with me. Not far away from me. I don’t trust her; I want my eyes on her. Four: I am the official Mrs. Chukwuemeka Onuora, the one you take for public functions. Five: If you do not accept my terms, you are free to leave but I will make sure I drain you of every last kobo you have. These are my terms.”

There is a hush that allows everyone present mull over her words.

“Thank you, darling,” Nne says. “Chukwuemeka? Yazmin? What have you both to say to all that Tola has just laid down?”

Emeka nods and looks at Yazmin.

“I’m fine with it,” she replies.

“It’s not just to say you are fine with it,” my dad drops in. “You are to say, ‘thank you,’ because no woman of this generation is this generous to share her husband with another woman, so don’t sit there and act like it’s your right to take what rightfully belongs to her.”

“I’m not trying to…”

“In short, you have no mouth or claim over Emeka as long as Tola exists in his life. She has become your madam. You’ll call her aunty. You will respect her the same way you respect us. If Emeka does anything to hurt you, you will not come to us but go straight to her to report him. She is your mommy as well. I will not hear that you were rude to her or you try to rub shoulders with her. Do you hear me?”

“Yes, dad.”

“That is our culture here. In the olden days in some parts of Igboland, the first wife was responsible for searching for and initiating marriage procedures to bring in a new wife for her husband. And once that wife has been brought in, she must accord the older wife all the respect she deserves. That is how it is done. If you cannot cope with the terms, Yazmin, feel free to find your way back to your father’s house but you must drop our son for us. Do you understand?”

“I do, dad,” a tearful Yazmin answers. She seems harassed by the old man who before now has been a cool dad to her.

“Oya, say thank you to Omotola.”

Yazmin faces Tola. “Thanks.”

“Which one be thanks? No, my dear. Do things properly. Yorubas love respect. You saw how she went on her knees before us? Do the same.”

“Dad?” Emeka protests.

“Shut your mouth,” my mom fires back.

With tears streaming down her face, Yazmin lowers to her knees before Tola. “Thank you, Tola.”

“Get up, abeg. After you’ll go and give him head behind my back.”

I try hard not to laugh but I can’t help it. I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of drama between both women. Yazmin looks like she has some trouble in her as well.

“Dad,” Emeka speaks up, “please take back your words about me not showing up here again. I’m really sorry for everything. I would do anything…”

“You have done enough.” The old man stands up. “You need to start undoing now. Until I see a man in you, a true husband and a responsible father, you are not welcome here. Have a nice day, everyone else. I have things to do.”

As he walks up the stairs, I see our perfect family falling apart. I wonder if things will go back to the way they used to be.

I hang around a bit to add some comfort to my mom’s life but she assures me that she is fine.

“I’ll spend the rest of the year praying, Jidenna. Everything is so confusing right now and I don’t know which way to turn but I know God will heal this family and set things right. The devil will not succeed.”

“Amen,” I say sincerely. Holding her frail form in a hug, I tell her I love her. She pats my cheek and I step into the kitchen for a drink of water. I see Yazmin sitting before the kitchen table, her phone is placed before her and she is on a video call to a woman I’m guessing is her mother. I don’t understand Spanish but I gather that the woman is mad at her for some reason, going by the way she is screaming. I feel somewhat sorry for Yazmin. Honey has told me she is also having a hard time on her own.

yaz

I take my drink of water and rinse the glass cup.

Yazmin looks at me briefly. She is on her way to a smile but I step out of the house through the backdoor.

“Jide!”

I turn to see Emeka trudging after me.

“I was thinking…” He walks up to me. “I’m trying to get Yaz her own place because I don’t think she’ll be comfortable here again. So I was thinking that since she’s in good terms with Honey, she could bunk up with her until…”

“No.”

“You didn’t even let me finish.”

“My girlfriend’s house will not be a hotel where you drop by to shag your wife whenever you’re horny. Besides, Honey is going through a lot right now. She doesn’t need stress.”

“Okay. No wahala.”

I start to walk away but he stops me again.

“I don’t want this thing to tear us apart, JD.”

“It won’t. I just have my own ish to deal with. As for Yazmin, I’ll come round. Just give me time.”

My answer seems to please him. He goes back to the house while I head out the gate. There are usually no cabs cruising by at this time of the day, so I decide to take a walk and while I do, I try Honey’s number. It rings, much to my nervousness. I have not prepared a speech for her yet.

“Hello?”

Hearing her voice takes the edge away.

“Hello?” I repeat. I can’t work up the words to express how sorry I am.

“Um…are you home?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I come over?”

She sniffles. “Alright.”

“Honey, are you okay…?”

She disconnects the line and I’m left staring at my phone. I hear the horn of a car, cock my head to see a cab and I flag it down.

The driver takes me to Honey’s house. Saratu lets me in and I head straight to Honey’s bedroom. I find her crouched on the floor and her head on the bed. Her face is to the wall, she is not crying.

“Honey?”

At the sound of my voice, she blinks but says nothing. I pull her up from the floor and try to look into her eyes but she wouldn’t let me. She dives into the bed and burrows her head in a sea of pillows.

“Honey, talk to me.”

“She won’t.”

I turn to the door where Saratu is standing.

“She’s been like that since last night.”

“What happened?”

Saratu’s expression shows that my question is ridiculous.

“Let’s talk.”

I do not want to speak with her but it seems she has something to tell me. I follow her to the sitting room and take a seat. She sits facing me.

“She had an abortion,” Saratu reveals and my chest constricts.

“Yesterday when you left, she went to some pharmacy in God-knows-where and bought a pill. In the evening she was tossing and crying in pain and bleeding as well. So I took her to the hospital where it was discovered that the pregnancy was threatened. A D&C had to be carried out immediately. We came back home around ten and she has since been like this.”

“Has she eaten?”

“No.”

I stand up and turn towards Honey’s bedroom.

“I think maybe you should go,” Saratu says to me, arms crossed. “You have done enough damage already.”

“Excuse me?”

“My friend loves you to death. The pregnancy was a mistake. She didn’t plan to trap you or whatever rubbish you told her yesterday. She nearly killed herself with that pill. All because of you! So you don’t deserve her. She has a full life ahead of her and she doesn’t need you in it.”

“Erm…Saratu, I understand your concern for your friend but it does not give you the right to be rude to me.”

I walk back into Honey’s bedroom.

“Close the door,” she says.

I do not only close the door, I turn the key in the lock and face Honey. She is now seated with her back to the wall, a pillow on her laps.

“I killed our baby, Jide. And I’m scarred.”

I walk to the bed in a slow pace.

“I wasn’t thinking when I drove out to buy the pill. I was just so mad at you and I wanted to get even. If I had just waited until the morning…”

She sniffles.

“My dad used to tell me to wait until the morning whenever I’m angry because daylight makes a person see better. I should have waited. Now, she’s gone.”

“She?”

“Our baby. She’s gone.”

I sit beside Honey and take her hand.

“I slept briefly this morning and had a dream about her. She had very weird hair like an albino. And then she had this really cute pink dress with tiny butterflies on it. She was on a swing chair and I was pushing her gently but she wanted me to push harder and higher and she was saying, ‘mommy, up! Up!’ And so I pushed harder and harder until she disappeared and the chair came back empty. And then I woke up.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Guilty. Depressed. Angry.”

“Physically, how are you doing?”

She laughs drily. “Fine. And that’s what’s weird. I take a life and I feel fine. My womb should be killing me right now or something.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Honey.”

“God will punish me. I know that. This is the second time, so God is on my case. Maybe when I eventually get married I won’t be able to have babies again.”

“Don’t talk like that.”

“I shouldn’t? Jide, I committed murder! I killed an innocent life!”

“Calm down.”

“You’re not angry at me? You’re not mad that I killed your baby?”

I scratch my head. I don’t want to answer her question. Of course, I am upset that she did what she did but what right do I have to scold her? It was me who told her that I wanted nothing to do with the baby. I stood and watched her cry her heart out and still accused her of wanting to trap me. In my opinion, I am equally culpable, if not worse. It’s like the case of Adam and Eve and I will not make that mortal mistake of putting the blame on her.

“I am not mad at you, sugar lips. Rather I am mad that I made you do such a terrible thing.”

“I am sorry, Jide.”

“Me too. For what I said and how I acted yesterday. Can you forgive me?”

She runs her hand over my beard. Her smile is broken. I want to take her in my arms and heal her but I feel this rift between us. It’s in the way her eyes look at me. There’s something missing in her stare. But maybe it’s just the psychological trauma that she’s passing through. It’s not something new to us in the medical field. Whether through careless mistakes, deliberate attempts or medical conditions, we get mothers like Honey, who after losing their pregnancies or babies, temporarily lose their mind to guilt. Abortion can be devastating and I have heard of cases where women immediately regretted their actions after the deed is done and plunge into deep psychological trauma. Oftentimes, they do not want to be consoled as they feel the guilt is the best punishment for what they have done.

“I shouldn’t have,” Honey whispers. I squeeze her hand. She pulls it away from me.

“We need to talk,” she says.

“I’m listening.”

“I think we should break up.”

I crease my brows. “What’s the meaning of that?”

She looks at me. “I’m not in a good place right now. I can’t be the person I used to be. I need to go through this alone.”

“No, we’ll go through it together, Honey. Your pain is my pain. Your loss, my loss. We will weather this storm together.”

She shakes her head. “No.”

“I’m not listening to you.”

“Jide, we are not good for each other. We are not ready to love. It was all about the sex and good times but when we both faced reality, both of us thought only about our selfish interests and in the process, lost a life. Do we need a prophet to tell us that we are not meant to be?”

“Honey, we will heal and learn and grow from our mistakes; not run from them.”

“I’m sorry I just can’t continue. All I felt before, the warm emotions, the feelings of desire, the sheer joy of just being around you, they’re all gone. I don’t see you the same, Jide.”

“You’ve fallen out of love?”

“What is love, Jideofor? Butterflies in the tummy? Passionate sex? Dinner date and trips to the cinema? Breakfast in bed? What is it exactly?”

“It’s when two people care for each other the way we do.”

“It’s a lot more than that, Jide, and sadly, we don’t have it. We’re just two selfish people infatuated with each other and it’s time we went our separate ways.”

The look in her eyes I saw earlier is now full bloom. The Honey I used to know is no longer there. Dear Lord, what have I done to a good woman?

“Honey, you’re just going through a phase right now and you’ll overcome it. I am here to hold your hand through it. That is what true love does…”

“No, Jide.”

“Honey…”

“No,” she emphasizes and rises up from the bed. I watch her in dazed silence as she walks to the door and holds it open. It is not until I spot tears in her eyes that I realize I am actually being dumped.

“You’re not thinking clearly, sugar lips.”

She says nothing. And I think she’s sparing me the indignity of a nasty breakup. I stand up and take slow steps to her in the hopes that she’ll change her mind but she looks at me with a blank stare that is alien to her features.

“Honey, I love you.”

“Me too. But I need to understand what that all means.”

“Do I give you time?”

“Don’t wait for me, Jide. I don’t know what is happening to me right now and I don’t want to keep you waiting. If you find someone else, please move on.”

“I will not move on. I’ll wait for as long as you keep me waiting, Hon. You are my wife and what happened yesterday only solidifies what we have. We have just experienced our first and probably only loss…”

“Just stop, please. And go. I need to be alone.”

“I respect that.”

She avoids my eyes but I pull her close and hide my face in her neck. I breathe in her smell and my hand feels the smoothness of her skin as my arm goes round her waist. I can’t believe she wants to take all of this away from me. What do I do with myself in her absence? How do I cope without her sugar lips?

I plant soft pecks on her neck and chin until I find her soft lips. Just one taste of her and my mind takes me back to that first kiss at Celia’s home party.

“We’ve come such a long way, sugams. Why do you want to throw everything away?”

“Go, Jide.”

I kiss her some more and her body naturally settles into mine.

“Go.” Her voice is weak and so are the hands that try to push me away. I know I can easily take advantage of her but I choose not to. I step back and catch a glimpse of how much she loves me through eyes veiled with tears.

“Keep the car, keep your key to my house,” I tell her. “Like I said, I’ll be waiting.”

“Go, please…”

I kiss her forehead and walk out. It’s the longest trip I have taken from her bedroom to the front door and each step is agonizing. She is not the only one who will go through the pangs of guilt. Mine awaits me in the dark places of my heart.

I step out to the sun and for some reason it burns hotter than normal. A lizard scurries past me as I step on the trimmed lawn beneath me. I look down and the grass doesn’t seem so green, the same way little blooming flowers in a flowerbed nearby have lost their color.

Must be my eyes or the blinding sun or maybe this is what heartbreak really feels like.

Mixed race couple holding hands

©Sally@moskedapages

Image Credit: www.revistapredicciones.clwww.veooz.com

Translations:

Na dis kind story dey vex me – It’s this type of story that gets me angry

Oyibo woman no fit my domot come colombi my husband – a white woman cannot just show up in my territory and snatch my husband

No wahala – no problem

It’s Another Saturday…#22

Eid Mubarak, guys!

This one is for the holidays just because I love you. Another comes on Saturday.

Have an awesome night, fam!

Baby Daddy 

“Love without complications? Honey, that’s like asking for a rose without thorns.”

I look at the bunch of roses in mommy’s hands. She is wearing gardening gloves but she remains careful not to touch the thorny stems of the flowers.

“Tola, please pass me that vase I gave you.”

A sulky Tola picks a green vase at her feet that contains clean water and hands it to me and I pass it over to mommy who smiles into my eyes.

I love her garden. The flowers, the way they are meticulously arranged, their different fragrances all coming to one intoxicating fragrance make me want to forget that I’m having a not-so-good day. Jide and I had this nasty fight this morning and I miss him like crazy already. I wish he would just answer my calls.

“So back to your question, Honey. Love is never free of complications. When you step out of the honeymoon phase, you begin to experience the nastiness that comes with it.”

“As for me, my honeymoon phase ended when she showed up,” Tola mouths acidly.

Mommy looks at her with a lighthearted frown. “Oya, lay you complaint, darling. I know you’ve been itching to talk.”

“I’ve been having dreams,” Tola almost cuts in. “Really bad dreams…”

“About?”

“Emeka and Yazmin.”

“And what do you see in the dreams?”

“That they have another baby together. Or the other night, it was that Mex followed her to Mexico and told me he wasn’t coming back.”

“And this somehow means what?”

“Mommy, I feel like something is going on between them.”

I look at Tola’s distressed face and marvel at the power of female intuition. Jide already revealed to me that Emeka married Yazmin and asked me not to tell anyone. So far, there has been nothing in the way Emeka relates with Yazmin that throws suspicion in anyone’s direction but Tola strongly holds that something is going on.

Abandoning her snooty attitude a few days ago, she invited me to their home for lunch and shared her fears with me. Although she didn’t mention it, I knew she wanted to know if there was something going on in the background that Jide was aware of and had mentioned to me. Luckily at that moment, I was oblivious of what was happening. Later that night, Jide exposed Emeka’s secret to me. I didn’t know what to make of it because I like Yazmin a lot and we have bonded.

On the one hand, I don’t blame Emeka; the marriage was forced on him. But on the flip side, no one got him into the mess but himself. Jide feels he should divorce Yazmin but I doubt that it would be the best solution.

“What is wrong with him having two wives?” I had asked. And I wished I hadn’t spoken because Jide gave me such a lecture on fidelity and the sanctity of marriage that I ended up apologizing for my careless statement.

“Nothing is going on between them, Tola baby,” Nne assures her daughter-in-law with a smile and a gentle rub of her back.

“I hope so.”

“You know you’re pregnant and pregnant women always have vivid dreams. It’s because of all the hormones running wild in your body. You’re a gynecologist; you should know better.”

“Mommy, this is beyond pregnancy. My instincts are telling me something is off. I feel this disconnect from Emeka.”

“Wait, I hope he’s behaving himself.”

“He is… but…”

“But what?”

“He is suddenly too loving and generous.”

“And you said your honeymoon stage is over?”

“Well…”

Mommy laughs. “This girl ehn!” She pulls her cheek. “Don’t worry, your husband is faithful to you.”

“If you say so.”

Mommy flicks off a little, green worm off a rose stem and her eyes passes over me briefly.

“Are you alright, Honey?” she asks. “You look pale.”

She is not wrong about her observation. I haven’t been feeling right all day. At present, I have this nauseous sensation building in me.

“I’m fine, mommy. Just tired.”

I dare not tell her how I’m feeling or she’ll jump into the easy conclusion that I’m pregnant.

“Maybe you need to go in and stretch out on the couch.”

“Sorry,” Tola mutters to me.

I nod and head into the house. Yazmin is watching a Nollywood movie. She is obsessed with Nonso Diobi and has gotten an entire collection of his movies after forcing Emeka into using his connections in the entertainment industry to arrange a lunch date for her with him. Now, she won’t stop going on about how handsome he is.

How do I describe Yazmin? Physically, she’s smallish and shapely. She is beautiful; I can’t overemphasize that. Character-wise, she is fun, friendly and bubbly, everything Tola is not. She charms everyone around her effortlessly and has chosen to make me her Nigerian bestie.

I genuinely like her despite her husband-snatching ways, and it was what got Jide and I into a fight this morning. Hurtful words were uttered on both sides. It didn’t start with me, though. He woke up in a mood and felt like laying down the law on my friendship with Yazmin. I defended my right to befriend whomever I wished but he insisted that she is not all she presents herself to be and is simply out to destroy his brother’s marriage.

So I said to him, “What if it was me that got pregnant for you? Would you abandon me and the baby like that?”

And he went, “First, I’ll never make the mistake of getting you pregnant until we’re married. Secondly, I don’t think you’re that irresponsible not to know how to handle your reproductive organs after unsafe sex. Only stupid women and those with bad motives get pregnant out of wedlock.”

I was dazed at the manner in which he had spoken because here was a man that clearly slept with more women than there were days in a year, yet he was going all straitlace on me. So I called him a hypocrite and in response, he told me he questioned my values if I found in Yazmin someone I could call a friend.

I was livid because his statement struck a chord somewhere. I knew he was dredging up my past affair with my pilot ex, Nonso (which I had shared with him). Hence, to hit back where I knew would hurt him, I told him the only reason he was defending Tola was because he had slept with her.

At that point, the air went dead silent and cold. Jide had a look in his eyes I had never seen before. Without telling me anything, he picked his phone and left my house.

He has refused to answer my calls since.

“Did I go too far?” I asked Mary over the phone.

“Probably,” she answered. “Here’s something you don’t know about Jide. He was a really good guy before the whole Ezinne disaster. Not that he was religious or perfect but he was one of the good ones. He didn’t sleep around, only drank socially with his friends, went to Mass every Sunday and held strong family values. His Bridemaker days are over and he’s back to being that old person. You didn’t have to dredge up Tola. He feels really bad about it.”

“But he hurt me too.”

“I know but bringing up Tola was way below the belt.”

Well, what did I expect? That Mary would take my side? She and Jide have this bond not even I can break and I have come to respect it. All the same, I have taken her words to heart and I plan to apologize to him later on. Right now, Yaz wants to accompany me to the mall where I intend to make a second installment of cash for office supplies.

The travel agency is coming up nicely, thanks to Kalu and concerted effort from Dele’s wife and Saratu. We hope to launch in a couple of months or even earlier if all goes according to plan. Sadly, the bulk of the work falls on my shoulder and I wouldn’t have bothered if my health was in order. I still feel nauseous and a little dizzy but I think I can manage to the mall and back. By tomorrow, Saratu will be in town and take over the running-around while I rest.

Yazmin dashes upstairs to change into fresh clothes while I am forced to watch Nonso Diobi do some slobbery kissing act with an Igbo-looking actress who has a budding moustache and fake grey eyes.

Out of nowhere, as it is with Nigerian movies, a horror tune takes over the bluesy song that is playing and Yazmin’s adorable baby is disturbed from his slumber. He cries out and I rush to his crib to check on him. His eyes are open but I don’t think his concentration is on me. I rock the crib gently and his eyes shut again. I smile at his cuteness. From the moment I laid eyes on him I fell in love. He is that type of baby that makes you think of having babies but just like Jide, I am not ready right now.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

I feel a presence in the room and turn. Yazmin’s maid, Maria Lena is standing by the door that leads to the kitchen and she’s giving me that look, which I’m quite used to now, that spells her dislike for me.

I head back to my seat and settle in.

Cabrona,” I hear her say. I turn to her with a frown and she smiles.

I turn back. Maybe I misheard. She did not just call me a bitch.

A couple of minutes fly by and I hear, “Puta.”

I turn again. She retains the evil smile, having just called me a slut.

“Did you just call me Puta?” I ask.

“Me?” she responds innocently. “Noh.”

I eye her real good. I understand Spanish a lot more than anyone knows. Working as an international flight attendant affords you the privilege to learn the basics of the world’s most popular languages. I have French, Russian, Chinese, Latin, Dutch and Spanish in my repertoire. Spanish, in particular, came easy for me because of a colleague who was Mexican.

Yazmin and her maid assume I know only the ABCs but I have enjoyed playing the fool just to listen up on all their gossip. I have learned from eavesdropping, that Yazmin’s mother is not in support of the marriage and wants her home immediately. I have also learned that Yazmin sometimes cries when no one is around because she feels she is going to lose Emeka to Tola. And of course, I gathered that Maria Lena hates all of us, especially Emeka, and wishes the marriage will come to a disaster soon.

Yazmin generally pays her no mind. They are more like sisters, Maria Lena having been born into their household to a mother who is still a maid to them. Both ladies grew up together.

“You should stop calling me names, Lena,” I tell the annoying fatso plainly. “I have been nothing but nice to you, although you have been a nasty bitch to me. So, stop it.”

I know she can’t translate my sentence word for word but she pretty much gets the message.

Si senora,” she replies sarcastically.

“Leave the door and sit down.”

She hesitates for a moment and then she decides to take the space beside me, which makes me rather uncomfortable.

“Don’t sit too close, Lena.”

Maria Lena,” she corrects me.

“Whatever.”

I shift away but she moves closer, nudging me with her thick arm.

“What’s your problem?”

She looks up the stairs and towards the kitchen door. I observe her cagey behavior.

“I tell you something,” she whispers. I lower my head.

“You hear Spanish.”

It’s not a question. It’s an outright assertion.

“No, I don’t.”

“You hear.”

“No, I don’t.”

Next, she grumbles in this long sentence that she knows I understand Spanish but she doesn’t comprehend why I pretend that I don’t, and it is the reason she hates us Nigerians because we’re always trying to fool someone.

“I don’t know what you just said.” I laugh, enjoying the annoyance I am building up in her.

Escúchenme!” She grabs my skater skirt, hiking it up my laps and exposing my nakedness.

I slap her hand away in embarrassment.

“Oh! No panty!” she sniggers.

“Don’t do that again, Lena.”

I straighten out my skirt.

“Sorry.”

Her face switches on to a serious manner and she moves yet another inch closer.

“You hear me?” She takes my hand now. Her grip is scarily strong but I extract my hand from it.

“Okay. I’ll listen to you. Just don’t strip me or break my hand or come near me. Okay?”

Stubbornly, she shifts closer one more time!

Okay, I’m officially freaking out here.

She begins to make certain gestures with her hands that I cannot comprehend. She links her fingers together and slams the heels of her palms into each other in a continuous motion that leaves me confused. I know she is talking about Emeka and Yazmin but I’d rather have her say the words in Spanish than this charade thing she’s doing.

Yazmin y Emeka …”

She does the hand motions again. I sigh.

It’s time to give up my pretense and expose that I understand her language. But she beats me to it as she grabs me forcefully and whispers really fast into my ear.

“Sabes porque anoche Yazmin y Emeka se desaparecieron? Estaban singando en su carro.”

WHAT?!!!

Okay, give me a minute and I will explain what she just said but WHAT?!!!

“No, Lena. You’re lying. It’s not…”

She slaps her hand over my mouth and I pick the sound of Yazmin coming down the stairs.

“Shhh!”

Maria Lena disappears just as Yazmin appears.

“I’m ready!” Yazmin announces with a bright smile. I take a good look at her from top to bottom and her smile dies away.

“Is everything okay?” she asks in her Mexican-American accent. “You don’t like what I’m wearing?”

I absolutely love what she has on. It’s a little black dress with teal floral prints and on her feet are purple sneakers. She looks casual, yet fab. I should tell her that but I am still reeling from what Maria Lena just shared with me.

“No, your dress is fine, Yaz. My mind was somewhere else.”

“Okay.”

She leaves a peck on her son’s cheek and we head out, she leading the way. I give the sitting room one last look before I leave and I see Maria Lena with a finger over her lips, instructing me to keep my mouth shut.

Like hell I will!

It’s drizzling when we drive out to the road. Yazmin stays in character, filling my ears with fascinating stories from her privileged life. She is quite the storyteller. She knows how to weave a tale with suspense and anecdotes that would leave you begging for more. Daddy, in particular, makes her entertain him every chance he gets.

“So last night, did you and Emeka have sex in his car after dinner?” I ask unexpectedly, repeating word for word what Maria Lena told me.

Yazmin slowly turns her head in my direction.

“Last night?”

Yesterday, I was at the family house to pick Aso-ebi for Jide and I. One of their cousins is getting married soon and Nne insists we should all pay for the ridiculously expensive Aso-ebi material. After picking it up and dropping the money, daddy had insisted I stayed for dinner. Emeka was also present, and of course, acted distant towards Yazmin. It’s still hard to believe he shagged her in his car after dinner. I hope Maria Lena was lying.

“Yes, last night. Did you screw Emeka in his car, Yaz?”

“No,” she replies.

I stare at her squarely. I wait for her to say something further but she doesn’t.

“Look, I know you’re married to Emeka. I was told the whole story.”

“Okay.”

“Okay? That is all you’ll say?”

“Yeah. And that I don’t have to lie about last night. We had sex, okay? It’s called conjugal rights.”

I hold back words that are about to say something nasty in response.

“Yaz…I think marrying Emeka was a stupid move because you’ll always be Emeka’s sidechick, wife or not.”

She chuckles and says silently. “I know.”

“And then, Tola is an Adeniyi. The name is pretty important around here. I doubt that Emeka would want to dump it for a Ramiros.”

“I’m fine with the arrangement, Honey. I’m not fighting for Tola’s place. I don’t want to tear them apart. I just want my son to grow up with his father. It’s a gazillion times better than life as a Ramiros, trust me. And it’s my escape from hell too.”

Her tone silences me. I realize her shoe pinches where no one sees or feels. I shut down my argument and promise to keep my opinion and nosiness to myself from now on. Love triangles are complicated things. I just hope no one gets hurt when the truth eventually blows out.

I slow towards a traffic stop and fight the nausea that is coming on me full force now.

“Are you okay?” Yazmin touches my shoulder.

“Yeah.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You’re pregnant,” Ekene says the moment I stoop down, bend over my toilet seat and barf up my lunch.

“Get out.”

I point the way out of my bathroom. My head is still crouched over as another upsurge of puke comes to the surface.

I feel terrible; I don’t need his unsolicited diagnoses about my health. Come to think of it, who even asked him into my house?

“How did you get in here?” I ask, wiping my mouth. I don’t get an answer.

I briefly recall parking my car outside my house and he showing up with his dog. I remember being really dizzy…

The toilet flushes and it startles me. I look up to see Ekene standing over me.

“Go away.”

“So after the last time, you didn’t learn shit. You still stupidly got yourself pregnant again?”

“I am not pregnant.”

“You are! And you’re showing the same symptoms like the last time! Night sickness, nonsense vomiting and faintness!”

I look at Ekene again. Why the hell does he think he has a right to shout on me?

I rise up.

“Please, go home. Whoever annoyed you outside, go and meet the person and stop shouting on me inside my own house, abeg.”

His face is a deep red shade of anger and seriously, I can’t understand why he should even care.

“You have your life ahead of you and you ruin it with a dick?! Learn to close your legs, Erhinyuse!”

“Okay, leave!” I scream back and instantly feel a burning sensation in my throat.

Ekene stomps out and seconds later, I hear the front door slam. I walk to the sitting room, lock the door, turn on classical music and walk back to my bathroom. I am too tired for a shower but I strip down to my underwear, rinse my mouth and lie in bed.

I pray Jide slips in later at night as he usually does. The weather is too cold; I can’t sleep in my bed all alone. I miss him.

Pregnant.

Ekene’s words return with a sting. I ponder on them.

No. Impossible.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

This priest, I don’t like him. He is boring and his homilies are as long as I used to know. One would think he would have changed after five years but it’s like I went away, returned and met him right where I left him. I prefer the older priest. He is more engaging.

I yawn loudly and get a disapproving stare from my darling mother who is seated with her husband two rows ahead of us. I smile at her.

Scolding after Mass, loading…

“Christ admonishes us to forgive one another just as he forgave us our sins on the cross,” the priest says and I catch some people nodding in seriousness like they had just heard breaking news. Isn’t the whole message of Christianity centered on God’s forgiveness through his son, Jesus? Why pretend like you’re just hearing it for the first time? God is not impressed by anyone’s falseness. I tire for these church folks sef.

“No matter what is done to you or what has been said, Christ wants us to forgive.”

I think about Honey. I have forgiven her but it feels good to punish her some more. I wonder if that counts as malice and if God would hold it against me.

“You didn’t have to tell Kalu,” Emeka, seated beside me, comments.

“Shh!” replies Kalu, seated on his right.

I’m in no mood to revive the conversation we were having before the homily began. It was about Emeka’s unfortunate marriage to Yazmin. I hadn’t planned to tell Kalu but coming to church and seeing Yazmin with the family, all happy and feeling at home with herself, I let my dislike for her get the best of me and blurted out to Kalu what was going on. Emeka hadn’t been pleased; a hushed argument between him and I ensued and we flagrantly kept on until Kalu stopped us just at the commencement of the homily.

“You are in God’s house, for God’s sake!” he had said with clenched teeth and we both conducted ourselves. Now, Emeka is pushing my buttons again.

“I will not divorce her,” he makes clear. “Deal with it. That is her, sitting two rows before you. Get used to her back view, her side view, her front view and every other view because she is your sister-in-law and will call you Dede from now on.”

I feel like elbowing his face. And why on earth did Tola decide to worship in her own church today? Why is she not here to put an end to Yazmin’s madness?

The homily ends and we all rise to recite the Nicene Creed.

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen…”

“You shouldn’t have married her,” Kalu speaks.

“I didn’t ask your opinion,” Emeka squelches.

“In God’s eyes, Tola is your only wife.”

“Don’t speak for God.”

We bow our heads as we recite more lines from the creed.

“But what has been done has been done,” Kalu continues. “Live with the consequences.”

“Meaning?” I question.

“Divorce is totally out of the question.”

“He should keep two wives?” I ask, aghast.

Kalu looks from me to Emeka. “It’s called consequences. Let Yazmin choose to leave you on her own. But you have to love and respect her and the vows you made to her.”

I don’t miss Emeka’s smile as the Nicene Creed comes to an end.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

The lector then launches us into general intercessions and I go through the routine like a zombie. We sit and I carry on my zombie mode. I feel annoyed over Kalu’s opinion and the way he uttered it.

I do get where he is coming from. I also feel it would be heartless to displace Yazmin, and that Emeka ought to face up to his responsibilities as a husband and father but at what cost?

I honestly do not see a happy ending for those involved. But as it stands, I officially withdraw myself from the saga.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am staring at the blue line on the pregnancy test strip like it is an alien color to me. I have broken into a sweat and my heart races twice over.

How did this happen?

“I am so disappointed, Hon.”

Ekene’s words are a million miles away, coming to me only in an echo.

“I am not pregnant,” I whisper, wishing the blue line away.

Why did I agree to the test when Ekene showed up at my door with Saratu and the test kit some minutes ago? Why didn’t I kill that proud voice that was telling me to go ahead with the test just to prove that I was not pregnant? Why did I do this to myself?

“This result is false,” I say.

“The pee is still there and so is another strip,” Saratu tells me. “Do a second test.”

I eagerly take out the second pregnancy home test kit from its pack and dash into my bathroom. I still want to prove to them that there is just no way I am pregnant.

I dip the strip into the urine and wait, my heart thumping.

After a while I pull it out and sadly, get the same result.

“No.”

Tears invade my eyes.

“No,” I repeat.

I walk back to my sitting room, dazed. Saratu is irked when she sees the result.

“I told you not to do this to yourself, Hon. I told you.”

“Does she listen to anyone?” Ekene lashes.

I slip into a chair and sob. Neither of them consoles me. Not that I want them to, though. My mind is on Jide and how he would react to the news.

“You don’t need this baby now, Hon,” Saratu states. “It will just ruin your life.”

“The worst part is that she doesn’t even know this guy well and she’s already carrying his child. If this is not the highest order of irresponsibility, I don’t know what is.”

I’m too devastated to reply their harsh words. What in heavens will I do with a baby in my life right now? Erhinyuse, what type of mess have you gotten into?

“And I will not support you in any abortion like I did the last time,” Ekene states. “For that one, I followed you because it had been a one-night stand. For this one, I remove myself kpata-kpata! In short, I wash my hands off you, Honey. Disappointment is an understatement for what I feel. I am heartbroken that you’ll do this to yourself and to us.”

“Us?”

“Yes, us! You knew I still wanted us back together. Your ring is waiting in my closet! You were supposed to be the one but you go and do this-this irresponsible thing to yourself?!”

That’s the word Jide used yesterday– irresponsible. Am I?

“I don’t have feelings for you again, Kene.”

“I didn’t tell you I was looking for your feelings!” He eyes me up and down. “Have a nice life, Iya Ibeji!”

He breezes out the front door. I am a little baffled at his behavior but it is the least of my problems.

“Well, there goes a good man,” Saratu murmurs.

I ignore her.

“So what are you going to do now?” she asks.

“Do?”

“With the pregnancy. What will you do?”

“Sara, I don’t want to talk about it now, please.”

“You know you have to get rid of it, right?”

“Get rid of it,” I echo.

“Yes. Go for an abortion.”

“Saratu…”

“Abeg, spare me any religious crap you want to spit out now. That baby needs to go. We have a company to build and you are the face of that company. We already have a baby mama onboard; we don’t need another. So, chin up and wipe those tears. It has already happened. Tomorrow, I’ll take you to a doctor in town and he’ll handle it like this.” She snaps her fingers.

I can’t say anything to her. I am still wondering how it all happened. Jide and I had that one night of unprotected sex and my period came in the morning. In fact the rush was so heavy I went through a tampon in just two hours. How on earth did anything survive that flood? Or does semen take a different route to the same uterus that releases the egg? And how can fertilization and menstruation occur at the same time? What the hell happened in there?

I hear the sound of a car outside. I peep out the window and see that it’s Emeka dropping Jide off.

“Jide is home.”

Saratu stands. “I’ll say hi to him later. Let me go in and unpack and rest.”

She kisses my forehead and wipes away the tears on my cheek. “You’ll be fine, luv.”

I watch as she gathers all evidence of the pregnancy tests I conducted.

“Don’t tell him anything yet.”

She vanishes into the guestroom while I enter my bedroom. Seconds after, Jide walks into the house. I’m standing at my bathroom door when he makes an appearance.

“Hi,” I say.

He doesn’t respond. I’m about to launch into an apology over our fight when he walks to me and kisses me really slowly and sensually. I bury myself in his embrace and struggle to keep my emotions in check.

“I’m sorry for all I said, hotstuff. I didn’t mean them.”

“I know. I’m sorry too. I love you so much, Honey.”

My emotions can’t be held back any longer. I break down in his arms. He doesn’t ask me why I’m crying; he thinks it’s because of our fight. I squeeze him tightly and get consoled by the affectionate words he uses to assure me of his love.

Somehow emotions transform to desire and before I can stop myself, we are peeling off each other’s clothes. Sex comes in a slow but passionate way and afterwards, we lie back in bed, both staring up the ceiling.

“Is there a reason why you were crying so much while we were having sex?” Jide questions.

I don’t know if I am to smile or be scared that he can read me so well.

“What’s wrong, sugar lips?”

He has his weight resting on his elbow and he’s staring at me in concern.

“I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. If it’s something my dick didn’t cure, then it’s serious. Come on, talk to me.”

He lightly runs a finger from my earlobe down to my shoulder and then to my nipple.

“I’m pregnant.”

His finger stops moving and he lifts it off my body. Slowly, he withdraws from me and shifts away as if I have a contagious skin disease.

“Can you repeat yourself?”

“I am pregnant.”

His eyes rest on my tummy for almost a minute.

“Honey…” His voice is hushed.

“I…”

He stops me with a raised hand. I can’t bear to look into his face and see something that might break me further. I gaze away and the moment I turn, I hear him leave the bed.

“I hope you’re happy,” he says, putting on his briefs. “You accomplished what you set out for.”

“What I set out for?”

“This was what you wanted all along, wasn’t it?”

“Jide?”

“Well, congratulations, Hon. Regrettably, I won’t be a part of it.”

I bury my head in shame and weep.

large

©Sally@moskedapages

Images: blog.daum.net, v0gue-en-soiree.tumblr.com

Translations:

Cabrona – bitch

Puta – slut, bitch

Si senora – Yes, madam

Escúchenme – Just listen for a moment!

Sabes porque anoche Yazmin y Emeka se desaparecieron? Estaban singando en su carro – You know why Yazmin and Emeka disappeared last night? They were fucking in his car.

kpata-kpata – totally, completely

Iya Ibeji – pregnant woman