Dapo sounded bored. “Really? And how did that happen – by diffusion or osmosis?”
Yemisi’s chest rose and fell in time with her sigh. “You could have at least played along and said ‘congratulations! Who’s the father?’
“Em…why would I ask that, knowing well I’m your guy? Na dat kain question dey cause wahala jare.”
“You’re too serious jo! Lighten up o, and besides I’m quite the bad girl o.”
She liked the sound of his laughter. “Trust me, there are easier ways to prove you’re a bad girl than getting pregnant for someone else,” he said.
She also liked the small shiver that ran down her back at his words. “Like?” she asked.
“Like you don’t know.” There was some static and then his voice came back clearer. “You’re a beautiful woman, Yemisi Adeoba.”
“You’re not too shabby yourself, Oladapo Ojo,” Yemisi answered, grinning happily. “I still don’t know how to say ‘thank you’ for the wedding gig.”
“Some more of those your kisses would do just fine,” Dapo responded.
Yemisi winced as she unconsciously pulled several strands of her hair along with the hairclip she’d just removed. “You know you don’t have to ask too hard.”
Network is just so clear tonight.
There was a slapping sound from Dapo’s end of the conversation. “What’s that, baby?” Yemisi asked.
“Mosquitoes. Giant humongous ones.” As though to affirm what he was saying, the sound came again.
Yemisi clapped a hand over her mouth to hold down the laughter threatening to burst lose.
“You can laugh – it’s okay,” He definitely had a smile on his face. “Still trying to figure out how they got in.”
After things were a bit quiet, Dapo asked, “So how’s things at work?”
“They’re okay love,” She stopped and looked at her toenails. They winked a deep purple and she smiled. “I’m getting a bit tired of it sha – especially one annoying loudmouth colleague of mine.”
“You know what to do sha,” He suddenly sounded down.
“What is it?”
There was a long pause. “Nothing. I just remembered something – “
“Nothing – something. If it’s enough to affect your voice while you’re talking with me, it’s something enough to matter. Oya tell me.”
“Dating 101: never discuss the ex with the new girl. It’s something to do with Mope…”
“Last week was her wedding,” Yemisi finished for him. “Oh Dapo, of course that’s something. I don’t expect you to just forget her like that now.”
“I have no business thinking about her. That’s that.” He stopped.
“Okay,” Yemisi began. “How do you feel about Robocop?”
Well, I’d like to see it – if that’s what you’re asking.”
She smiled. “I have two tickets – Friday, 6:40 pm.”
“It’s a date.”
“The client asked for a revert on the campaign which we shared last year before we left,” Yemisi hated the way she was sounding defensive. “I wonder what’s going on in there.”
“When did you share this revert?” the CEO asked.
“I didn’t get any mails to that effect o,” the CEO’s fingers danced on the screen of his iPad. “Yes…yes…no,” he said, fingers punching – and then turned to Yemisi. “I didn’t see any mail to that effect,” he repeated.
“I got a mail,” Adura raised her hand. “She copied me and the creative team.”
The CEO looked over to where the creative team looked like clothes draped over the backs of chairs. One by one, they nodded.
“But you’re supposed to share with me,” he remarked as he turned back to Yemisi, his voice noticeably softer and kinder. “If you had, I would have known what to tell that rude Indian.”
She mentally exhaled. The worst was over.
“I’m sorry sir. I guess I was distracted the last few days of work…”
“It’s not work jo,” Fred interrupted. “She suddenly found herself a boyfriend, though why any guy in his right mind would –“
All the pent up fear and frustration came out of Yemisi by way of a calm remark; “If you have nothing sensible to say, shut your mouth or I’ll come over there and make sure you don’t open it again – ever.”
Fred looked as if he had suddenly found out the shy neighborhood Bingo had grown teeth and could bite.
Amidst loud laughter the CEO who had a smile on his face raised his hand.
“That’s okay. Adura, you’ll be coming with me to speak with these guys. I think it’s time we’re clear on what we’re doing with them. That will be all.”
“About time you served that Fred some of his own medicine,” Adura whispered once they were out of the conference room.
Yemisi nodded, adrenaline surge still pulsing through her body. Would I actually have gone over to make good on my threat?
“But would you really have gone over there? You wouldn’t have, would you?”
Smiling at the other girl, Yemisi responded, “Honestly, I don’t know.” She paused. “And I don’t think I want to find out.”
Richard, a graphic artist touched Yemisi’s shoulder and snatched his hand away. Blowing on his fingers, he retreated towards his seat, grinning.
“Smoking hot! O gbona feli feli,” he muttered.
Both women laughed.
“Yemisi,” Felicia spoke two octaves higher than normal. “There’s…there’s a Remi here to see you.”
“Where’s he –“ Yemisi started and sighed as the click of a disconnected intercom sounded.
Pushing back her chair, she stood up and turned, almost bumping into Fred. He seemed to shrink.
She patted his shoulder, smiled briefly and continued towards the lobby.
Who is this Remi…Remi? It sounded familiar, like the name of a movie she’d only seen once but liked a lot. I’ll find out in about ten seconds, she told herself as she pushed through the double doors that led into the lobby.
A deep red flush covered Yemisi’s face and her ears started tingling, a strange reaction going by the commonplace picture that met her eyes.
A tall guy, average build was standing in front of Felicia’s desk, smiling in amusement at Felicia who looked as though she was staring at Tuface. Or Banky W. Or Iyanya.
But it was really the guy who held her attention.
He noticed her and straightened, his smile taking on depth. For some reason it pleased her to see him smile that way, and she mentally chided herself.
Of course she knew him. It was the guy from Tantalizers.
“How did you find me?” she asked.
“I er…I followed you that day. Just as far as the entrance though.” He chuckled. “I didn’t want to freak you out.”
“And why were you following me – why would you want to know where I work?”
Remi looked at Yemisi as though she had grown a beard. “You cannot seriously be asking me that. Why else would a guy be following a girl?”
He interrupted as she was about to speak. “And don’t talk about Twitter.”
After they both stopped laughing, Yemisi answered as she touched his arm lightly. “Well Romeo, I have a – I’m in a serious relationship.”
She almost winced at the 350 watt smile Remi was emitting. A smile like that cannot be natural. It cannot!
“I would be so disappointed if you said you were single. It cannot be that easy now, can it?”
“But I’m serious,” Yemisi said. “I am in a committed relationship and I’d rather not have any distractions.” She folded her arms and frowned at him. “Where have you been since – what if I didn’t remember you?”
“I travelled for about a month – but I didn’t forget you. I thought it was one of things that eventually goes away – you know, boy meets girl for a moment and puff,” he snapped his fingers. “It’s done.
“But I was wrong. I couldn’t forget you so I decided to come find you. I got back last night. And as for forgetting me – I’d have helped you remember.”
He lifted the box he was carrying. “Won’t you take this? It’s just sweets o, nothing diabolical.”
She shook her head. “Too early, but thank you. Maybe next time…”
“Oh. So there’s going to be a next time!”
She smiled in that woman’s sweetly secretive way and stood up. “Sure, if you want. You can always come looking for me here – whenever you’re around.”
Remi grinned. “Can I at least get a – “ Yemisi’s head-shaking stopped him mid-sentence.
“No calls. Not yet anyways. Do come again,” she said and walked into her office, smiling over her shoulder.
“Okay!” Remi yelled after her.
She was dialing Dapo’s number for the second time in three minutes when the quiet ‘PING’ of a text message interrupted the ringing in her ear. After listening for a while and her boyfriend still did not pick, she looked at the phone screen.
It was an alert from her bank.
Heart quickening, she opened the message and saw three and a half million naira had been deposited into her account by one Chidi Ighweh.
Three and a half million naira. She stopped breathing for a moment.
Even her heart seemed to stop beating.
Oh Dapo, she screamed mentally, Friday’s on me.
follow Seun on Twitter @seunodukoya
I could lie here forever; Dapo thought.
The rush of the waves sounded like Lagbaja’s saxophone, running soothing fingers along the nerve endings inside his head. Softly blending lights, stars blinking like diamonds laid in blue velvet – pink lips softening in a smile all lined his vision.
Which was strange, considering his eyes were closed.
Some of the diamonds in his imagination – cold and hard, began to trickle down his back and his eyes flew open. His clutching right hand closed on air as Yemisi danced away – and then he jumped up and began a dance of his own as wet sand she poured on his back entered his shorts.
“What is wrong with you!” he yelled, jumping up and down, shaking his shorts violently while other folk paused in their merrymaking and looked at the alien amongst them.
After dancing all variations of etighi, azonto and creating some new ones, he looked around, freezing when he finally found his girlfriend.
Those are boobs, my friend. BOOBS. When was the last time you really looked at those?
Dapo posed as if he was thinking deeply. “Whoa. That’s such a cheap below-the-belt blow,” he complained.
Think about it.
”I am thinking!” His shoulders drooped. “It has been a while.”
His heart pounded as he looked at his girlfriend of five weeks for the first time; really looked at her as a woman not as a friend or sister, as he liked to tell himself. What he saw was a woman; a very beautiful one at that.
Her skin…well, it wasn’t particularly blemish-free or stained, but he did not mind. She wore it well – she gleamed.
Her boobs were like oranges – small oranges; barely making bumps in the loose t-shirt she was wearing. He didn’t care. They were exquisite. Her legs –
He always knew how fabulous her legs were but looking at them now, laid bare by bum shorts, he thought they looked like well made barbeque turkey.
He liked barbeque turkey.
And her hips…
You better get over yourself and this ridiculous I-feel-like-I’m-dating-my-sister bullshit syndrome in your head and take what’s being offered. It won’t always be there, you know.
“And that IS the wahala.”
“Are you okay?” Yemisi crept closer, caution in her steps despite the concern in her voice. Dapo said nothing, allowing his whole demeanor speak defeat. Yemisi forgot herself and hurried towards him.
“What is…” Her sentence was punctuated by a shriek as Dapo burst into motion, charging towards her as she turned and ran as though her life depended on it. She was on automatic; Dapo marveled as she went from zero to one eighty in seconds.
“I’m going to catch you!” he yelled, laughing loudly as he accelerated. He felt good, tearing through the cold night air and beach-partying people in pursuit. Yemisi’s shrieking laughter sounded closer than before, and he ran even harder. He caught a glimpse of pink lips, white teeth as she looked over her shoulder – and then she dropped below his sight as she missed her footing. Dapo closed his eyes and executed a dive Sarsaparilla would have envied, catching her midriff and rolling over to end up on top.
Her laughter washed over him in waves of beautiful calm, and he opened his eyes, expecting to look into her shiny ones.
Imagine his surprise when it remained pitch black.
He nodded this way and that, checked by soft yet firm lumps of flesh on either side of his head. He stopped moving as he realized the only thing ‘soft yet firm lumps of flesh’ around where they were could be.
Yemisi’s loud laughter confirmed his thoughts and he looked up, his lips a few inches from hers.
How do you kiss your sister?
Idiot. Try ‘how do you kiss your girlfriend’ and whether you like it or not…
“Yeah. I get.” He mumbled and slid upwards till he was eye to eye with Yemisi. Her laughter faded out in time with the Mariah Carey playing in the background; in time with the clashing waves and incoming tide, in time with the dancing and laughing couples till all that remained were her eyes and lips; eyes glued nervously to Dapo’s hungry ones and lips that kept opening to allow a pink appendage dart out at intervals.
He focused on that and followed it through.
It’s so easy to forget what’s it’s like to be caught in a passionate embrace with someone you care about. Frighteningly easy to forget what a passionate kiss feels like.
It wasn’t ‘shocking’ or ‘electrifying’ or anything like that, it just felt as though his tongue had a million nerve endings and someone had dumped a five-flavor ice cream on it. Various sensations and tastes scrambled for expression in his head; anymore and his brain would short-circuit.
Dapo winced involuntarily as Yemisi’s teeth tightened around his tongue in reaction to the cold tide that suddenly drenched them both, leaving them spluttering and gasping.
He wiped his forehead clean of water and sand, and then finally opened his eyes.
Opened them – and couldn’t close them anymore even if he wanted to.
And he did not want to.
For a second, Dapo doubted the girl in front of him was the same as his friend Yemisi. It wasn’t as though she morphed or anything.
She just did not look like Yemisi.
Her hands were in her hair attempting to wring it dry. Only somehow the pose made her look like Beyonce on stage in front of salivating men. The wet t-shirt she had on was wet and therefore molded itself to every available curve on the surface of her upper body. There was a lot of ‘curve’ and so Dapo’s throat began to bench press eagerly. Her bra –
Something was pulling his eyes, but it wasn’t till he looked down he realized what it was. Her bellybutton was a dimple that accentuated rather than flawed the smooth landscape the wet t-shirt had exposed. There was a bulge where her tummy was – but he really did not care.
A frilly blue something whose color matched something else higher up peeked over the edge of her shorts, subtly waving. He couldn’t seem to decide whether to keep leading with his eyes or to follow them with his hands. Something long-forgotten stirred to life and slowing fanned itself into a raging fire.
“Something you like, boyfie?”
He tried to speak but only a croak came out. He tried again.
“Words fail me, so I think I should revert to that age-old but evergreen and ever-true cliché – ‘action speaks louder than words’.
His eyes narrowed as Yemisi lay back on the wet sand with as much poise as she would lie on a divan. Keeping her eyes locked with his, she spoke;
“Why aren’t you eating?”
Dapo looked from his knees. Yemisi was seated at his elbow, chewing on KFC chicken as though her teeth had been replaced with glass. He smiled.
“I’m probably having too much fun looking at you,” he answered. His left hand rose in a lazy arc that ended on her head and got lost in her hair.
“Don’t do that o, you know what they say about a woman’s hair.”
Dapo’s hand stilled but remained where it was. “And what do they say about that?”
She shook his hand off and continued eating. “Are you a learner?”
The extended silence drew her attention from the chicken she was holding to her boyfriend. Dapo sat still, head cocked in the direction of dunes in the distance. She wanted to ask what he was thinking – but she did not want to interrupt what might be a profound moment for him.
She reached for the hand nearest her – his left hand and held it.
He squeezed back gently and then began to talk.
“You know my dad’s sick, right?”
Yemisi was silent, her heart lurching with fear as Dapo continued to speak. “You don’t have to answer that. How would you know? It’s not like you’re psychic or anything.”
She liked the warmth from his hand whenever he pressed hers like he was doing just then.
“He’s sick. Diabetes. And it looks like…” his shoulders slumped. “My mum has been asking me to come home but I really don’t care. I don’t want to see him.”
Yemisi returned the gentle pressure of his hands but remained silent. It wasn’t the time to start sermonizing.
“She misses me, you know. She called me yesterday and was crying. Mosun’s not back from Spain yet but Peju has been with mum since.” He paused for a moment. “You remember Peju, right?”
“Your elder sister? You guys are cool now, abi?”
He shrugged. “Makes no difference to me either way. We just happen to be born of the same mother – we don’t have to get along.”
Yemisi had to ask. “And Mosun?”
She felt her heart soften like Eclairs that had stayed too long in a conductor’s pocket as he smiled. It did something to his face, something that made him look like he was fifteen years old again.
“She’s great. I suspect she’s found herself a moustache twirling Zorro wannabe,” his fingers plucked at an imaginary moustache as he turned his nose in the air. He had to reach out to stop himself from falling as Yemisi punched his shoulder.
“I guess you guys get on so well because you’re the last two.”
“How does it feel to be the last?” Dapo asked Yemisi, shifting wet hair away from her face. “Lonely?”
“No o. Just overworked and over disciplined. Everyone was too concerned that I would end up spoilt so they paid too much attention to disciplining me. Sore buttocks and tear-drenched pillows describe most of my nights growing up – but it’s okay. I forgave them a while ago.”
Dapo’s face closed as though a shutter was lowered over it. “Well I’m happy for you.”
The shrill ring of his phone interrupted the conversation. Yemisi reached into her bag and handed him the guilty phone – the Samsung Galaxy.
“Hello?” he answered, the question in his response telling Yemisi he did not know the caller.
“It’s me jo, baby cousin.”
Dapo flared up. “This your baby cousin greeting is really annoying. I have a name, you know?”
“Easy now, no vex. How far Dapo?”
He felt his muscles loosen and he closed his eyes as Yemisi’s firm hands massaged his shoulders. He exhaled slowly.
“I dey, ‘Lekun. You don enter country?”
“Yes o! I don dey for almost three weeks now. I bin dey Lag, then I enter Ib go greet my people. I suppose show Lagos next week then enter your side.”
“No problem na. Just tell me when you wan come,” Dapo answered, smiling as Yemisi gasped from his quick kiss. “I dey always.”
His cousin’s soft chuckle drifted down the line. “You go text me address na,” he said.
“No wahala. If I no send am tonight just call me tomorrow.”
“Okay now.” There was some silence, and then a click as the line disconnected.
“Just send the text now,” Yemisi said.
Dapo dived on her. “After I kiss you some more,” he said.
Their laughter was loud and happy.
Follow Seun on Twitter @Seunodukoya
“Why hello there,” Dapo said as Yemisi stepped into his apartment.
“Uh…there’s nothing wrong with MTN or Etisalat today o,” he added.
Yemisi’s smile was bright. “I wasn’t sure you’d pick,” she answered. “I wasn’t sure you won’t be in one of those your alcohol-induced hazes.” She dumped her bags and hugged Dapo tightly. “Thank you for Monday again,” she finished.
“Ah. Em…don’t mention it – again.” Dapo said as he eased away, face averted slightly. “You’re my babe, abi?”
Standing hands on hips, Yemisi looked picturesque image in a pink blouse and azure jeans. Her hair was done in a ponytail and soft-soled shoes completed her ensemble. Standing next to her t-shirt and boxers while resisting the urge to scratch his armpit and yawn, Dapo felt filthy.
She looked around. “You’re the first guy I’ve dated who I don’t need to clean up after. I’m not sure how that makes me feel.”
Picking up the bigger of the two bags she winked at Dapo as she walked past.
He waited till she had disappeared in the kitchen and moved quickly towards the larger of two sofas in the sitting room. He disappeared behind it for a few seconds – and then reappeared carrying a bottle of McDowell’s. Throwing furtive glances towards Yemisi’s back, he tiptoed till he was past the kitchen door – and then ran full speed into the room at the end of the short corridor.
“I hope you’re still in ‘banga-eating’ mode,” his girlfriend remarked when he emerged behind her seconds later. “I’m making you enough for two days.”
“Have you seen Ini Edo lately?” she asked Dapo, snuggling against his chest. “She’s so hot.”
Dapo looked down at the top of her head. “Yeah, I noticed she’s shed all the baby fat and stuff. I assume that happened because she started having babies, yes?”
“Who cares? She’s hot!” Yemisi snuggled deeper against Dapo who quickly put down the glass he was carrying to avoid spilling the juice in it.
He nuzzled the back of her neck and whispered, “Maybe, but you’re hotter.”
“You’re just saying that,” she mumbled sleepily, shy smile caressing her lips. “You don’t really think so.”
“You know I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think it,” Dapo answered, heat from his mouth raising goose pimples on her neck. “You have the nicest legs I have ever seen on a human being – male, female or the third kind.”
Yemisi sat up, her eyes searching Dapo’s, “Do you mean that?” she breathed.
“Why do girls like to deflect compliments? Why do you think every guy who pays you a compliment has an agenda? Well, you’re mine already – what kind of agenda could I have?”
Yemisi lowered her eyes. “Sometimes its insecurity,” she said slowly. “And sometimes – it’s really because you’ve heard so much of it from the wrong sources it’s lost all meaning.”
Dapo kissed her forehead. “Truth is truth, honey. No matter the source or how many times it’s repeated.” He pushed away from her gently. “You wanna watch some more AfroNolly stuff while we wait for the meat – or I should just kick your delightful ass in Scrabble?”
Interestingly, Dapo’s delightful ass was being kicked.
A few minutes into the game, they were neck to neck. After a bit Dapo got in the lead and then Yemisi caught up and sped past – back and forth like that. Then Yemisi hit premium by spelling D-A-R-L-I-N-G-S; springing off an ‘S’ Dapo had left carelessly unattended.
That was the end.
Imagine playing Scrabble with someone who had the entire Webster’s dictionary – that hardbound, nineteen thousand one hundred and eighty-six-word unabridged volume in her head.
It was worse than that.
After a while, Dapo simply stopped playing and sat back; watching Yemisi effortlessly massacre him. And she, having the most fun she’d had in a long while, kept dishing it out.
What saved Dapo was they ran out of tiles – else it would have ended something similar to that mythical Nigeria vs. India football game; 100 – 2.
As it were, the final score was too shameful to write down.
“You could have at least allowed me win, seeing how I’m the man and all that,” Dapo said, sounding like he was across the table from a client. Yemisi laughed, covered her eyes and stuck out her tongue at him.
“Score one for all the –“ She stopped talking with the abruptness of a loudly-playing sound system suddenly switched off.
“All the hearts I’ve broken abi? Always tagged you for the vindictive type,” Dapo finished as he rose to his feet.
“Drink? I’ve developed a thirst.”
Yemisi stood up and blocked his exit.
“I’m sorry. That was careless of me – I meant nothing by it.”
“I know, no offense taken,” Dapo smiled and kissed her perfunctorily. “I do need a drink.” He stepped around her and disappeared into the kitchen.
“The meat is burning o!” he yelled some seconds later.
“So how did Toke’s party go?” Dapo asked, mouth full of banga-flavored Semo.
“Oh, it was great,” Yemisi answered.
“They liked – her friends actually liked the food. They kept coming for more helpings and her husband asked why I wasn’t married.”
Dapo sucked noisily on stockfish bone.
“You should…” suck “…take this…” suck “…cooking of a thing seriously though…” suck “I mean….seriously….” suck
Yemisi chuckled. “I wouldn’t know what to do – and who would trust me with cooking for a party sef? I couldn’t handle that volume!”
“Toke did, and have you tried to cook that volume before?”
“Don’t knock it till you try it.” Dapo picked up a toothpick and looked at Yemisi, punctuating each word with a stab in her direction. “I trust you, and I know you’ll make a go of it. “
“Maybe it’s what I need sef, after plenty years of the same thing. I don’t know how it would look sha, me professional spinster cooking for marrying couples and naming ceremonies.”
Pausing dramatically, raised toothpick a few inches from his open mouth, Dapo looked at her as though she was overpriced boxers in a boutique.
“That’s encouraging – and me being your boyfriend and all,” he finished.
Yemisi punched him in the shoulder.
“Oh you – you know what I meant jo!”
He nodded. “Yeah, you’re my friend and that’s why you feel so comfortable being so pessimistic about our week-long relationship. I mean, what was I thinking?”
“Actually, that is your fault. You’ve been reminding me of it all day.”
He pulled the toothpick from his mouth. “And how have I been doing that?”
She ticked the points off her right-hand fingers as she talked. “Kissing me like a sister, not looking me in the eye – and hugging you is like hugging a teddy bear; even the bear puts its arms where you want them to be!”
Dapo’s sigh coincided with Yemisi’s release of pent-up breath, and they both laughed self-consciously.
“Okay, I admit. I have been feeling a bit awkward since…I was just wondering how to make the transition from ‘friend’ to ‘lover’. You can’t blame me for that,” Dapo finished.
“Maybe if you stopped worrying about hurting me and just enjoyed the fact that you’re no longer alone, you might actually start to live like a lover. Ever think about that?”
Dapo looked her in the eye. “No, but I’m starting to.”
“Is there some sort of juju you have?” Yemisi asked, arms around Dapo’s neck.
Dapo rubbed his hands up and down her waist and smiled. “Why do you ask?”
“I like…like kissing you. I think I like it too much sef.” She self-consciously brushed her hair as an okada sped past, and then smiled at him. “If this is why you’ve been holding out on me, it was well worth it o.”
“Is your mum still around?”
Yemisi untangled her arms from around his neck, pulled her keys from her back pocket and opened her car door before answering. “Yes o, the woman no wan gree go. I tire sef.”
Dapo dropped his arm. “Give me a minute,” he threw over his shoulder.
“And where are you going?” Yemisi said, confusion on her face.
“To freshen up. We’re going to say hello to your mum.”
“Oh. Wait.” Yemisi ran up to him. He’d turned and was waiting for her, looking expectant.
“Yes?” he said.
“She’s not home at the moment – she’s visiting friends or something like that.”
Dapo looked at his girlfriend patiently, nodding as he realized; I’m obviously not the only one who’s scared about all this.
She touched his left arm. “You’ll meet her soon enough, baby.”
He nodded. “Whatever makes you happy.”
Suddenly he scooped her, laughing at her screaming and gently deposited her on the boot of her Corolla. The shriek became laughter as she put her hands against his chest. “You crazy boy, we’re outside o!” she said. “What are you doing?”
“Being crazy,” he answered, and kissed her slowly, savoring the banga aftertaste that flavored her lips. Yemisi gasped in surprise, hands freezing around Dapo’s shoulders as she tried to meet him passion for passion. He stopped and looked into her glazed eyes.
“Tell me that felt like a brotherly kiss,” he said, grinning impishly and supporting her with his hands around her waist.
“Hmm…uh…” Yemisi looked like she was trying to gather her scattered wits. “Why did you stop na?”
“Do you want to finish everything in one day? Cool down jo,” Dapo said.
His girlfriend burst out laughing. It’s funny how everything is different.
“I swear, what possessed me to ask you out I’ll never know,” she said when she was calmer. “If I knew this is what I was asking for…”
“We can make it work,” he said, interrupting her. “I know you see something in me – something worth you risking your heart. Do you think I’m going to play around with that?”
He eased away and helped her down from the rear of the vehicle. “You know me better than that,” he finished.
Yemisi nodded. “I do, don’t I?”
Dapo nodded humbly as he opened the car door for her. He waited till she was seated comfortably before shutting the door and putting his head through the window.
“Tell your mum I said hi. And think seriously about the…you know; the catering thing.”
His fingers lightly brushed her forehead and she touched his cheek with her palm. Holding it against his mouth, he closed his eyes and pressed his lips to the centre of her hand. He felt Yemisi shudder and he smiled, tasting the different parts of her hand. There was a haunting scent around her wrist and he nuzzled it, trying to remember where he had smelt it before.
The memory eluded him and he deepened his kissing of her wrist – and the next moment he was kissing air.
Her hand was gone.
“What are you doing?” Yemisi asked, bosom heaving as she dragged in air.
“You don’t want me to go home again abi?”
“Mi casa, esu casa,” Dapo replied as he leaned back out of the car window.
“Oya fasten your seatbelt –“
“Stop. Just stop, you hear? I’m your baby, not a baby o.” She strapped the seatbelt and took hold of the steering wheel. “I’ll call you as soon as I’m home,” she said. “Thank you for not drinking anymore.”
Dapo shrugged. “I’m not a alcoholic – and I don’t drink because it solves problems or makes me forget. It helps me sleep nights it’s hard to.”
Yemisi dipped her head. “I don’t care why. Thank you for stopping.”
“You’re welcome. I want to –“
Dapo broke off as Yemisi sped off, waving goodbye to him.
As he turned to head back into his compound, a voice across the street stopped him.
“Uncle Dapo! Wassup?!”
He waved at a grinning thirteen year-old. “Just chilling, my guy. Just chilling.”
The boy gave the thumbs-up signal. “I want to be like you when I grow up!” he yelled.
Dapo smiled. “Grow up first, you hear?”
The boy ran off as Dapo waved again and walked into his compound.
Follow @seunodukoya on Twitter
Read today’s post HERE
It was Monday.
Five days after she’d asked Dapo out.
Yemisi looked down on Allen Avenue from the office window. It was busy as usual, midday with the sun shining down harshly on tops, human or otherwise.
She wasn’t there though.
What she was actually seeing was a face, a face with sad eyes and lines etched into it. She thought about her best friend and wondered for the billionth time if she had done the right thing. They had spoken over the weekend, but there was some sudden awareness between them, some sort of restraint obvious in both their voices. Their usual banter was gone, in its place some kind of probing, some kind of careful as though their words had more consequences now than ever before.
She was worried. And scared.
‘Have I lost him?’ she asked aloud. Of course, she wasn’t expecting an answer.
A smile tugged the corners of her lips hesitantly; as though it wasn’t sure it belonged there. She thought about her mother’s look when she had stumbled on her daughter smiling brightly after a call with Dapo. The older woman had said nothing, only smiling knowingly as the younger one tried to hide her blushes. Maybe I shouldn’t introduce him till I’m sure…
I need a drink.
The Chi Exotic pack was freezing. Yemisi smiled at the girl behind the Tantalizers counter as she collected the package. “Thank you.”
The girl nodded. “Anything else?”
A subtle tugging; real or imagined reminded Yemisi she hadn’t had anything that morning. “A Scotch egg, a sausage roll and two doughnuts.”
The serving girl’s smile was pretty. “Okay.”
As the girl turned away to start putting the order together, a voice at Yemisi’s elbow announced itself abruptly.
“God knows I love an eating woman – amen!” as a figure plunked itself on the counter beside her. Her brows came together as she tried to look serious before turning to her right.
“Oh really?” she said.
The only reason she was able to finish her statement was because she had told her mouth what to say and it just followed through. Her brain actually froze when her eyes met those of her target.
“Yes, really.” He answered but she wasn’t exactly listening. He looked like an interesting cross between Idris Elba and Denzel Washington with a bit of Nas thrown in.
His looks were arresting.
“Um…yeah…good for you,” she mumbled and turned away from the counter.
“But you haven’t taken your order yet,” the girl behind the counter said. Yemisi mumbled an apology and carried the bags, legs tangling with each other.
“Oh crap! Sorry, give me a moment,” she said as she realized she hadn’t paid yet. She gently set down her purchases on the counter, pulled out her wallet and burst out laughing.
“You must be having fun – are you not?”
The source of her discomfort smiled. “I’m just happy I got your attention,” he grinned. “I’m Remi.”
She took her time, sorting through the bills in her wallet before selecting a one-thousand naira note and placing it flat on the counter before taking the hand he proffered. “Yemisi,” she said.
Five steps away from the counter and it seemed as though he’d just woken up.
“Hey – where are you going?”
She smiled to herself. “Work. Desk, table, computer – you know, that kind of stuff.” She didn’t stop walking as he came up running behind her.
“If you really want to know you’ll find out somehow,” Yemisi threw over her shoulder as he stopped, hands in the air. She smiled at him and then at the guard who was holding the door open.
The heat wave on Allen made her skin shrink – and she hoped he wasn’t following her.
He’s so handsome jare.
She took another bite of her roll as she looked down on Allen from the window – and started guiltily as she remembered what she had been doing the last time she was standing at that window.
She had forgotten about her worries. About Dapo.
He’s the one I’m with – he’s the only one I should be concerned with even if it’s just for three months.
And so, almost wistfully she discarded the image that reminded her of both her favorite actors.
A flash of color pulled her back to what she had been looking at but not seeing – Allen Avenue. It was a jumble at first, and then what attracted her became clear.
A girl wearing a bright red dress was crossing the road. She had her left hand to her left ear and her right hand was waving excitedly. Suddenly a black Sedan came hurtling out of the street beside Alade market, brakes screeching as the driver turned into Allen, not slowing down a bit. The car’s bumper caught the hem of the crossing girl’s dress and with a loud ‘RIP!’ tore a large chunk of it away.
The car did not slow down.
To Yemisi the whole picture was happening in high definition. She saw the girl’s dress get caught, stretch and then tear. She watched as the girl became frozen solid in the middle of Allen Avenue. She heard clearly the curses hurled after the vehicle – watched as a man ran to the girl and hurried her off the road. It all felt like a movie; or an advert – her ears were unconsciously straining; waiting for a yell of ‘CUT!’ or to at least see someone carrying a camera.
No such luck.
She did not know when she moved, but when Yemisi came to herself she was sitting in front of her computer typing something she could not make any sense of – half eaten roll on the table beside her system.
She stopped and looked at her hands. They were shaking.
The jarring buzz of the intercom was like the breaking of a million plates to overwrought nerves, and she quickly stuffed her fingers into her mouth to stop from screaming. She stood up and walked to the reception, leaving the phone ringing.
“Yes?” she said to Felicia who looked like a child caught stealing meat from the cooking pot. Felicia hastily put the intercom down and faced her. “Yes…yes! This man has a package for you,” she finished, pointing to a man wearing a dispatch rider’s costume.
Yemisi looked at the ugly man and sighed. Probably from one of the clients.
The man was carrying an average-sized box and from the way he was handling it, the box wasn’t too heavy. At her approach he balanced the box on his left hip and pulled a pad from his right chest pocket.
“Why don’t you just set it down?” Yemisi said, taking the pad from him. “Or is it a bomb?”
He smiled and she wondered how she’d ever thought he was ugly. His face had this open, defenseless look that could make a lot of women start feeling like mothers.
It was working on her at least.
“No it’s not o,” the man replied. He set the box down and took the pad Yemisi stretched towards him. Her back creaked as she straightened, lighter-than-expected box in her arms.
“Thank you,” she said to the man’s back. He waved and went out of the office.
The office quieted as she came in carrying the box, but nobody said anything. Her colleagues looked on as she set it on her table and examined the box for clues as to who sent it.
But it only bore her name and office address. Nothing more.
“What is it?” Adura asked, walking over.
“We’re all about to find out,” she answered, picking up a box cutter. “Hope you’ve all repented of your sins,” Yemisi continued. “We might be about to meet our Father in heaven.”
The box surrendered easily to the razor-sharpness of the box cutter, and two smaller tightly-packed boxes showed up. She sighed in exasperation.
Is somebody playing a game?
“See anything?” Fred, her nemesis asked.
“Why don’t you come and look yourself?” she retorted. The other guys laughed, but from the silence behind her, she knew nobody was moving. She opened the larger of the two boxes and a frosty cake stared back at her. The lettering on it said ‘for my guy girl’.
She smothered happy laughter and opened the second one, a slim box that had a ribbon and another envelope attached to it. It was a bottle of fruit wine. Footsteps that seemed to be walking on eggs approached as she straightened with the card in her hands, and she waited till the steps were almost immediately behind her and then yelled; ‘RAT!!”
Adura screamed and ran back to the cover of her desk, stumbling on her own legs as she scrambled. The other guys ducked under desks and chairs to avoid the ‘rat’. Yemisi quickly slipped the card in her desk drawer and burst into laughter.
“Oh you,” Adura sulked as she carefully lifted out the larger one and sniffed it, a calculating look in her eyes. “Cake?” she asked Yemisi who nodded. “Hmm hmm.”
Fred tapped Adura on the shoulder. “Don’t you know its impolite to sniff food – especially food meant for a lot of people?”
The cake was on the largest table in the office before Adura replied. “And the ‘a lot of people’ would be who?”
Ignoring the indignant Fred, Adura folded her arms and smiled at Yemisi. “I’m so jealous right now. Can I meet your boyfriend?”
“Boyfriend?!” Fred ejaculated in mock-horror. “This manly woman has a…boyfriend?! The guy must be a hermaphrodite!”
“Soon enough,” Yemisi smiled at Adura, slight tremor in her voice betraying the sting of Fred’s thoughtless remark. She quickly shooed the admirers away from her table and cut a huge chunk of the cake. And then she called Felicia to share whatever was left before retreating to the rest room where she washed her face of tears.
She took her time, delicately opening the card.
I just want to say thank you. For being my friend. For being my girl.
I’ll make you the happiest woman ever.
She had stained the poor card with lip-gloss before she realized she was kissing it. Embarrassed, she hid it behind her back – and then caught herself at the silliness of the act.
There was a huge smile on her face – and not even the thought of Fred’s hurtful comments could dim it.
To be continued…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Seun Odukoya is the winner of the 2011 Chistell International Short Story
competition. He fell in love
with words at a very tender age, thanks to parents who fed him novels and poetry books, which led to his discovery of the use of writing to best
He is currently working on a full-length
romance novel alongside other short
stories. He released his first book, a short story collection titled For Days and A Night (ebook) in December
2012 and his free comic Songs About AIDS a year later. Some of his greatest writing influences are Stephen King and Louis L’amour amongst a host of others.
When he is not writing, he enjoys reading, watching movies and listening to music.
You can catch up with Seun and his
Follow him on twitter @seunodukoya.
If you haven’t been receiving notifications in your email to read Novocaine Knights, it is because you are yet to subscribe to the new blog. Please after you click on the link below to take you there, subscribe to get subsequent posts to your email box.
Please not that I will not be posting these excerpts here after today.
He was beautiful in his sleep. Nude, a pillow between his legs, twitching eyebrows and a heaving chest gave her some distraction for the morning. She stood by the foot of her bed and watched him as she sipped noodle soup from a bowl held by both hands.
Mother’s plans had come to nothing; her spell on both of them, useless. Genesis hadn’t seen the faces of her rapists while she was intimate with Dominic but she hadn’t seen his face either. In fact, the entire experience could be described as mildly agreeable and for that, she owed her best friend, Nancy, a huge one.
Nancy was Mother’s rogue daughter and had nothing in common with her. She was dark-complexioned, overweight, crass and loud. She ran a hotel where she pimped out all the girls Mother no longer needed. Mother loathed her and the feeling was mutual on her side but this didn’t stop Genesis from keeping her bond with Nancy. She was always the first person she turned to whenever she needed a shoulder to lean on.
Two days after her rape ordeal, she had visited Nancy in her hotel and as they both sat to have their nails done, she narrated all that befell her in the hands of Mother and the rapists. Nancy was peeved.
“But I warned you about her, didn’t I? I told you the beast in her will soon come out, Jene! It is her MO! She has a sick fetish of seeing people being raped. I told you! But you didn’t listen! Now, look at you!”
Nancy dismissed the ladies attending to them and left alone with Genesis, she cussed Mother in every tongue she knew. Genesis was bereft of tears and so she sat silently until Nancy expended herself. It took a long time but Nancy ended in a low note and turned concerned eyes on Genesis.
“I’m so sorry, love.”
“Did they use protection?”
“Yeah… Look, I didn’t come here for all that one, Nance. I’m here because I need to get over what happened. I need to be with this guy.”
“The Ditorusin person?”
To continue reading click HERE